The Break-Up Diaries

The Break-Up Diaries

4.2 17
by Ni-Ni Simone, Kelli London

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The only thing more intense than teen love is a break-up with the uncertainty of a make-up. This exciting new series serves up two tales of love that will shake-up your assumptions of relationships. So buckle up, it's time to get real, learn to deal, and move on with this first volume of The Break-Up Diaries.

Hot Boyz Ni-Ni Simone

Chance Kennedy


The only thing more intense than teen love is a break-up with the uncertainty of a make-up. This exciting new series serves up two tales of love that will shake-up your assumptions of relationships. So buckle up, it's time to get real, learn to deal, and move on with this first volume of The Break-Up Diaries.

Hot Boyz Ni-Ni Simone

Chance Kennedy always gets what she wants, even if she has to bend the truth to do it. She's set her sights on extremely fine and college-bound Ahmad King, and she will do anything to become his girl. There's only one problem: she didn't count on love entering the picture. Now she's scrabbling to make things right before the tiny white lie she's told to lock down her guy blows up in everyone's face. Now, the girl with everything may lose it all. . .

The Boy Trap Kelli London

Pretty, popular, and with mad potential, Gabrielle Newton is, hands down, the girl to know. But Gabrielle only has time for Tyler Scott, Lakeview High's hottest new athlete. He's the golden ticket to her dream: becoming an NBA star's pampered wife. But when Gabrielle plays Tyler one time too many, suddenly more than their relationship is on the line . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Simone (Upgrade U) and debut author London kick off a new series with a pair of drama-fueled stories about girls looking for love in all the wrong ways. Set in Atlanta, Simone's "Hot Boyz" follows the charmed life of 16-year-old Chance—the pampered daughter of a DA and a CEO—who prefers partying with her Thick-n-Juicy clique in edgier neighborhoods; when she meets college senior Ahmad, she pretends she is 18, which brings plenty of trouble. In London's "The Boy Trap," head cheerleader and schemer Gabrielle, aka "Easy Breezy," is dumped by a popular basketball player, only to latch on to a new one, Tyler, as she tries to fulfill her goal of snagging a future NBA player and living the easy life. Readers won't doubt that everything will work out in the end (even after Gabrielle nearly poisons Tyler after she tries to stimulate his libido with ginseng), which it does in very tidy, message-heavy endings. Opportunities for genuine growth get lost amid dialogue and characters that aim for authenticity but simply feel clichéd. Ages 14–up. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Readers of teen urban fiction will love these two preachy but engaging novellas about love gone wrong. Both feature African-American teens who learn lessons about telling the truth and being themselves. In Simone's "Hot Boyz," high-maintenance but lovable 16-year-old Chance lies about her age to date Ahmad, 22. All but ignored by her wealthy parents, she prefers staying at her grandmother's house and spending time with her friends in their Atlanta neighborhood. When her lies have terrible consequences for Ahmad, Chance realizes the error of her ways. The story has action, romance, and plenty of teen slang. In London's "The Boy Trap," Breezy is an even more self-centered teen intent on trapping a future NBA star so she sets her sights on newcomer Tyler and decides to seduce him. Breezy is sure that if she can marry him and have his babies, she will share in his eventual fame and fortune. Ultimately, however, her gold-digger ways cause grief, and she realizes that she needs to succeed on her own terms. While the lessons imparted by both stories are not subtle, the main characters are memorable, there are plenty of plot twists and turns, and readers will enjoy the pop culture and fashion references. Teens who loved the "Drama High" series (Dafina) and Simone's full-length novels will definitely reach for this book.—Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Unified School District
Kirkus Reviews

Lessons, frenemies and posturing abound in this pair of novelette-length bittersweet romances featuring African-American teens.

Simone's (Shortie Like Mine, 2008) "Hot Boyz" stars confident 16-year-old Chance, who prefers Atlanta's rougher Bankhead neighborhood to her rich mother's gated community. After catching her "trial run" boyfriend cheating at a Bankhead club, Chance meets her "chocolate knight," the handsome, hard-to-get and, as it turns out, 22-year-old Ahmad. As their romance deepens, Chance becomes guiltily entangled in the lies she tells both her friends and Ahmad about their respective ages until, inevitably, a somewhat contrived string of bad decisions brings the truth to light. In debut author London's "Boy Trap," head cheerleader Gabrielle, aka Easy Breezy, plans to follow in her mother's footsteps: snag an NBA-bound high-school basketballer, "trap" him by having sex and guarantee herself a future as a millionaire. But Tyler, the baller on whom she sets her sights, won't take the bait. As Breezy's disturbingly manipulative schemes escalate, so do Tyler's often didactic admonishments: "First, you have to be good enough for yourself." The language in both stories is fresh and appealing, filled with contemporary slang, wordplay and censor-friendly modified curses ("Oh, hello!"), and each protagonist's pride has enough cracks to let the reader in.

Fun, if heavy-handed. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

Publication date:
Break-Up Diaries Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Break-Up Diaries

Vol. 1
By Ni-Ni Simone Kelli London


Copyright © 2011 Kensington Publishing Corporation
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-6316-2

Chapter One

This is how we do it ... —Rick Ross, "Aston Martin Music"

Hotlanta, USA

"Well, here goes nothin' ..." eased into the air as Rick Ross's "Aston Martin Music" boomed from my hot-pink '85 Impala with the custom drop top and tags that read DADDY'S GIRL.

I was on a natural high and there was nothing anyone could say that would ruin this moment—the best moment of my life! I'd just been given the keys to the classic car of my dreams. The very car I had pictures of sprawled about my room for the last two years, as I waited patiently for today—the day I turned sixteen.

Instead of having a fly MTV-esque party, my wish when I blew out the candles was that I'd have a custom and kitted-up ride with twenty-eight-inch white-ball tires planted on the pavers of our Alpharetta circular driveway. And I did.

Now, all I needed was for my night to get poppin'. I already had my girls—Keeya, who was also my aunt, and my two besties, Riunite, who we called Ree-Ree, and her sister Martini, all lined up and ready to get it crunked.

I could tell by the look on my mother's face that she wasn't pleased with my birthday gift, but she didn't dare part her lips. Instead, she smiled. Her complaining is why she and my father were separated in the first place.

I wished she would be happy for me though, instead of faking the funk. It's like, I wanted to connect with her, but she was too busy being the district attorney for the city of Atlanta than to be my mother. It was almost a pity that I was her splitting image: skin the color of smooth maple syrup, coils of natural and thick ebony curls that rested against the small of my back, rich chestnut eyes, and deep-plunging dimples.

Honestly, I didn't know I was beautiful until I turned fifteen. Up until then, my life had been mundane, routine, and filled with self-pity. I spent every day feeling awkward. I'd never played with dolls, never jumped rope, hopscotch, or any other ridiculous game. I didn't have time for things like that.

I was too busy wondering why I had my period at nine, why at twelve I filled out a D-cup bra, and why at fourteen my small waist and size-fourteen hips had more dirty old men hollering at me than I could deal with. Needless to say, most of my childhood was spent indoors.

But the day I turned fifteen was when it all changed: My daddy's gift to me was his family. He decided that since all of my mother's relatives lived in Jersey, I should get to know his family better. That's when the clouds opened up and the real me stepped out of my shell.

I had the coolest fifty-seven-year-old nana in the world, who forced the matron out of me! And thanks to my aunt Keeya—who was only a year older than me—I was put down on this thing called "game." I learned that my insecurities were actually attributes. Better known as a milkshake that, when worked correctly, would bring all the right cuties to the yard. And once those cuties came, I suddenly liked being hollered at and being able to pull whatever cat I wanted. And not only lil young dudes my age, but hot boyz, ages eighteen, nineteen, and beyond. And not some creepy, old-man-type ish, but sexy rap-star-esque, six-pack-havin' type. I'm talkin' fine. The kinda fine that you dream about. Sneak out the house and defy your parents to see about. Those dudes.

That's how I ended up with Derrell. He lived in Bankhead a few blocks over from Nana and Keeya. Derrell was supposed to be a trial run, just enough for me to see if I could handle an older man—nineteen. But being with him was like babysitting. He was such a pest that I had his number programmed into my phone under the name Stalker. He was way too sensitive, said yes too much, had the nerve to cry in front of me once—talk about a turn-off—and to top it all off, he threatened to tell my mother how much fun I really had in the hood if I ever left him. But that was a chance I would take, which was why I planned to rock out my birthday with my home girls and not him.

"Thank you soooo much, Daddy!" I gave my father the biggest hug that I could. My arms barely wrapped around his athletic frame, but I did my best to squeeze him.

"Deedra," my father said as he smiled at my mother and pointed to my ride. "You like? Check out the soft pink drop top. It's a nice contrast to the car's color. Peep the chrome rims, and the white leather seats with pink piping trim."

She shot him a struggling grin. "Well, Kaareem, I would've liked a Mercedes better, perhaps a Lexus, but moreover I would've appreciated had you spoken to me first, before you bought our daughter a car."

He walked over to her and placed her hands between his. "You're right," he said, a little too much like he cared, which caused my mother to tense up. She didn't do public displays of affection and she especially didn't do them coming from my father. She eased her hands back to her sides.

"Don't try and pacify me," she said, pissed. "We've had this discussion before and every time you do the same thing."

"Can't you be happy for once?" he snapped.

My mother's lips grew stiff. "I'm tired of Chance's presumed unhappiness being the running theme around here. My problem with you, aside from you not understanding the role of a family man, is that Chance, our child, just passed her road test this morning and already this evening she has a car. That's a little baffling to me, considering she hasn't done anything to earn it! And I think she would've appreciated having a nice dinner with you a lot more."

I can't believe she said that.

Daddy's chiseled jaw clinched and he shot my mother a nasty eye. He walked over to me and kissed me on my forehead. "Anything for my baby girl." And I knew he meant that. He was the CEO of United Banking Express Inc., a Fortune 500 company, which landed him in Forbes twice, so money was never an issue and anything he could buy me I had in the blink of an eye. My mother was pretty much the same way. The only difference was that Daddy always claimed he wanted to spend time with me, while my mother always said, "I have to work to take care of you." Needless to say they were both pretty much always M.I.A.—except for my birthdays and Christmases ... and maybe an Easter or two—so my mother's tongue-lashing at my father was definitely the pot pissing on the kettle.

But, whatever, their limited time for me didn't bother me anymore. I had a life and I did my own thing. Besides, one thing's for sure and two things for certain with parents like mine, I may not have been legally grown, per se, but I was grown. Trust.

"What do you have planned for your birthday, baby girl?" Daddy asked me, as he turned away from my mother.

My mother stepped to the side of him and interjected, "Whatever it is, it needs to happen before ten-thirty tonight."

I whipped my head quickly toward her. It was already nine o'clock and I really should've been out of here an hour ago. "Since when do I have a curfew in the summer?"

"You have always had a curfew," she said sternly.

"Ma, stop buggin'."

"Stop what?"

"Watch your tone, Chance," my daddy warned.

Ugg! I swear he sided with her at the wrong time. "Ma." I softened my voice and steadied my tone. "Please. You told me I could spend the weekend with Nana and Keeya. And it's my birthday. My sweet sixteen."

"I know what day it is," she said. "I gave birth to you. And it may not have been a car, but I did give you a pair of rare, princess-cut, chocolate diamond earrings. But I don't see you ready to break free and show those off."


"And," she continued, "I don't think you are responsible enough to drive a car around here like you're grown. Because you are not an adult."


"And let me tell you something, you got one time to mess up. One time to not come home on a Sunday night and it will be a problem."

She was trippin'. "Ma, it's not that serious."

"Well then, don't go. Stay home." Is she for real? Does she understand that I just turned sixteen and not six? Clearly there is a difference. "Ma," I whined, "it's my birthday and I want to go and hang with Keeya—"

"Go hang with Keeya where?" she pressed.

"Umm ... the movies. Nana made a cake for me, so after the movies, we'll be inside celebrating for the rest of the night. I promise."

"Your nana baked a cake? Since when did Mama start cooking?" My father arched his brow. "She's never cooked."

I wish he would shut up.

"Ma—" I whined.

"So what you're telling me is that you want to spend your birthday transforming to ghetto—"


"And you want to hang—or should I say chill—in the projects watching the crackheads go by? Really? And I should consent to my only child doing that?"

"Ma, I'm not trying to be ghetto and Nana doesn't live in the projects," I said defensively. "She and most of her neighbors own their homes. They can't help it if it's a crime-riddled housing project down the street. The mayor, city council, and rich investors have intentionally not done anything about that. You told me if the city wanted to really clean that up, they'd decide those changes at a political round table. Now how can you blame Nana for that? She doesn't even like politics."

I could tell my father was impressed. My mother was pissed that I threw her own words back in her face, but hmph, I had to prove my point. The last thing I needed was her placing a wedge between me and my destiny for tonight: McDaniel's Bowling Alley. And no, my plan wasn't to bowl. It was to profile in the parking lot.

"And," I continued, "you really don't have to live in Bankhead to be a crackhead. The actress down the street is a straight fiend and this is a multimillion-dollar gated community."

"Whoa, I'm impressed." She twisted her lips. "Let's see if you can retain that much during the school year. Now, as I said, I would like you to stay home."

"Yo, Ma, for real—"

"Yo, Ma?" She said, clearly disgusted. "What's with all of this slang? You attend the prestigious and very expensive Maris Academy and this is how you're speaking? Please don't tell me my thousands of dollars a month in tuition are going down the drain."

OMG, has anybody else had enough of Diva Esquire? I turned to my father and pushed my Chanel-covered lips into a pout. "Daddy."

"Dee." He patted me on the head. "Cut Chance some slack."

"It's Deedra and I really don't like her down there."

"Why don't you just say what you really mean!" Daddy snapped. "Just say you don't like her with my family! They don't live on the right side of town for you, Deedra?!"

"Did you just receive that memo, Mr. Kennedy?" She turned on her court room voice. "I told you that when you paraded her down there last year. And it's not that they don't live on the right side of town for me, they don't live on the right side of town for my child! I deal with Atlanta's thugs every day!"

As soon as she said that I knew it was on—which was cool for me, because their focus had shifted from me to one another.

But whatever, I didn't have time to stand around. I had a big night to prepare for and twenty minutes away from here was a whole other world, that, come hell or high water, I had to get to.

Chapter Two

You wassup, girl ...

—Fabolous, "You Be Killin' 'Em"

I drove into Bankhead in my bangin' ride with my Bose system pumpin' and a look so fly it was a struggle to describe—but I'll try.

My hair was flat-ironed straight and pulled back into a sleek ponytail that swung at least four inches past my shoulders. My ears were adorned in a platinum pair of large hoops that most probably thought were sterling silver, and my right arm was dressed with three chunky and different shades of pink sapphire bangles. Painted on my tight thighs and glued to my perfectly round bottom were black Roberto Cavalli skinny jeans. My full breasts sat up just right in a hot-pink halter—the same exact color of my car. And yes, oh yes, my four-inch, Christian Louboutin pink and patent-leather heels were serious. Make no mistake and never underestimate, my shoe game was tight.

I laid on the horn as I pulled up in front of Nana's house, where my crew, better known as the Thick-n-Juicy clique—named after our description of ripe Georgia peaches—waited for me.

Nana's house was where we always met up. It was the only place we could go and not be stressed. Mainly because Nana did her own thing and she encouraged us to do ours. There were only two things she didn't tolerate: disrespect and a nasty house. Outside of that we had free rein, which was the exact opposite of my house.

There was no way we could hang in Alpharetta. My mother wouldn't dare open her eight-thousand-square-foot, six-bedroom, and seven-bathroom mansion to the likes of Bankhead residents. And the only reason Keeya ever came over—and her visits were few and far between—was because she was family. Otherwise, she would've been on the outside of the electronic gate looking in. So, there wasn't a doubt in my mind that Riunite and Martini—named after their mother's favorite drinks—could never look her way.

There was also no way we'd make the mistake of hanging out at Ree-Ree and Martini's spot ever-ever-ever-again! Ever since their mother married a pastor, they have Saturday-night prayer service at their house. The last time we were there, their parents turned the living room into a church and made us testify and praise dance. All of which made Nana's house a unanimous decision.

I laid on the horn again and finally the screen door flew open.

"Daaaaang!" Martini spat in her extremely thick and heavy Georgian accent. "You took hella long! We been walkin' round on ten for two hours ready to get it crunked, and here you just showin' up! You better be lucky we're girls and this is your grandmama's house. Otherwise, it'd be a problem." She batted her extended lashes and placed her hands on her voluptuous hips. Her leopard mini dress crept up her thighs as she struggled to walk in her clear plastic stilettos. All I could do was roll my eyes to the sky, especially since Martini was the only one in our Thick-n-Juicy clique who insisted on wearing her clothes too small.

And she knew our constitution clearly stated: "There's a difference between bringing sexy back and needing to take yo behind back to the store for a bigger size." She also knew that since we were privileged to be big girls we had to be cute at all times. So why—oh why—she stuffed her size-fourteen body into a cheap, size-ten animal print getup was beyond me.

But you know what? It's my birthday and tonight it's about me and my ride so I'ma overlook her gear and let her live.

"Oh my!" Keeya screeched as she stepped onto the porch. She stamped her feet and her three-inch stilettos clapped against the wood planks like wind chimes. Keeya had flawless apple-butter skin and was a perfect size sixteen. We were pretty much shaped the same way: pear shaped with a flat middle. She wore a cute pair of jeggings, a sleeveless and white ruffle shirt, with a thick red leather belt wrapped around her waist. Her hair was cut into a layered one-sided bob and behind her right ear were cascading stars that ran down the side of her neck. She may have only been a year older than me, but I truly admired my aunty.

"Am I seeing right?" Keeya gushed. "Or am I seeing thangs?" She placed her hand over her eyes like a sun visor. "Is that my girl?" She pulled her round-eyed shades down the bridge of her nose.

"Yes, it is." Ree-Ree stepped from behind her and nudged Martini on the shoulder. Martini tried to hold out and not smile, but when I dropped the top and cranked up the hydraulics her face lit up and she screamed, "That ish is fiyah!"

"Make it hot!" Ree-Ree said as I turned the music up and hopped out the car. The rap group, Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How to Dougie" filled the air and as if on cue, we all chanted along with the song and started dancing. "You ain't messin' wit' my dougie!"

"Get it now!" Nana stepped onto the porch and smiled. Her green sponge rollers shook as she nodded her head to the beat. "Teach me how to Dougie!" she said with her arms opened wide. "Happy birthday, Nana's baby!"

My heels clicked up the stairs as I ran over to Nana and hugged her tightly. She always had a way of making me feel five again, safe and secure like nothing else mattered but me. "You know Nana loves you!" She kissed me on my forehead. "And when you come back I have a gift for you."


Excerpted from The Break-Up Diaries by Ni-Ni Simone Kelli London Copyright © 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corporation. Excerpted by permission of DAFINA KTEEN BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Break-Up Diaries (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I justed this book, and i really like it. Its funny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It gave me some self motive becauae ive always been an.......outcast
Anonymous 10 months ago
This book was vary hard for me because i just brok up with a man named darl i cry i know i am a baby
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
* kisses Jessie* " okay "
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was 2 in one i liked them she ended them good she didnt leave me hanging and i liked that the first one wirh chance at the end he was likewe cant be together in this life but we see each other in another so basically he told her that they cant be together right now but maybe later that had me on my feelings like for real The other one was about this girl who was trying to get this boy to have sex with her but he wouldnt and he kept telling her that he liked her because whats in her head (brain) and whats in her heart and that taught me a lesson you know and i learned it but in the end she ended up deciding she was going to college because at first she wasmt going to cuze she was planing to have sex the boy and then get married but she ended up learning the hard way and changed her mind So that book taught me alot and i hope you like it nini keep up the good work
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey babe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get out of my life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best ever Very good job kelli
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