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I rolled my eyes. Hazelle, really? She seemed so no-nonsense, I could hardly believe she'd fall for that kind of thing.
The text came in on Sunday night, just as I was getting ready to throw a load of clothes into the washing machine. I was surprised to get a forward from Hazelle-she hardly ever texted me.
I shut the washing machine lid and didn't give it another thought.
I went upstairs and strummed my guitar for a while, then texted with Penny, my bestie, and Gwennie and Jill and some of my other friends. In spite of myself, I kept glancing at the clock to see if the two hours had gone by. Then I reminded myself how stupid that was and went back to texting. After a while my in-box was full, so I erased everything in there.
With a start, I realized that I'd gotten rid of the forward from Hazelle. So now I couldn't send it on.
What does it matter? I asked myself. I don't believe in that kind of stuff anyway.
I brought down a second load of clothes, tossed the first one in the dryer, and threw a heaping scoop of snowy white laundry powder into the machine with the dirties. I shut the door, and the machine began to shake its hips and swirl my clothes back and forth like a hula skirt.
Later that night I headed downstairs to pull my wet clothes out of the washer. I untwisted them as I pulled them out.
"Oh no!" I shouted loudly enough that my mother could hear me over the telly she was watching in the next room with my father.
She came running into the laundry room. "What?"
I held up my jeans, my favorite jeans, the only jeans that fit me perfectly and helped me look effortlessly fashionable on no-uniform Fridays. Big white streaks ran through each leg like badly healed scars. I handed them to Mom and pulled out one of my favorite hoodies, one that my cousin in Seattle had given me just before we moved to London last year. Ruined. My bright pink Juicy jacket looked like it had permanent stains all over it.
"What happened?" Mom held up the jeans and clucked. "What did you put in here?"
I tapped the plastic tub of laundry detergent. "This."
"Ahhh, that's bleach powder, Savvy." Mom pointed to the larger tub in the laundry cubby. "This is the detergent. I'm sorry." She looked genuinely sorry, too-she knew the worst part of all was my jeans. They were the first expensive piece of clothing I'd bought with my own money. "At least your socks are really bright." She held up my white anklets.
"Big comfort," I said, wondering how I could have made such a mistake when I'd done the first load right. I gathered up the ruined wet clothes and tossed them into the dustbin.
As I went to bed that night, I lay there wondering how I was going to get the money to buy new jeans. I knew things were tight for my parents too-so tight that we weren't even going to leave London to visit Seattle this coming summer. My mom would buy me some Levi's, but I knew she wouldn't fork over the money for designer jeans.
I mourned the loss and thought how close the word denim was to the word demon. One last time I glanced at my phone, which was sitting on top of my closed Bible, to see if Tommy had texted (he hadn't) and then tried to push away fears about Hazelle's forward and future impending disasters.
As Jack called the meeting to order, I stood as far as possible from Natalie, my evil nemesis. She gave me the dead fish eye, and I lobbed it back at her. Well, really. She could have Rhys, my former May Day Ball date who ended up going with her instead. They deserved each other. I didn't know why she disliked me, but the feeling was definitely mutual.
"Now that the end of the school year is approaching, we need to turn our minds to some serious business," Jack began. I still hadn't gotten used to the idea that summer break didn't start until July here. "As you know, next year I will be moving up to sixth form, and so will Melissa. That means the paper will need a new editor. By tradition, anyone who has been on the paper staff for a year or more is eligible for the position." Jack looked around the room, but his gaze lingered just a second longer on Hazelle and then on Rodney, the sportswriter.
"We'll be having elections sometime in June, date to be announced. As far as I can see, the election will be open to Hazelle, Rodney, and Alex, should they desire to have it. However, if you feel I've overlooked you and you'd like to be considered, please let me know right away."
He clapped shut his notebook. "With that, let's get back to business as usual so the next edition of the Wexburg Academy Times can go out on Thursday."
Everyone dispersed, and I noted that I had only about three minutes before the first bell. I'd been planning to talk to Jack about the article he'd promised I could write. I needed a deadline and a topic. I was so excited-the first article I'd be writing for the paper with my own byline. But Natalie cut me off and buzzed into his office, firmly closing the door in my face. I took a deep breath and bit back the words on my tongue. My question for Jack would have to wait.
I walked to maths with Hazelle.
"This has been an absolutely fabbo day already," she said. "My grandmother sent me a cheque for a hundred pounds, and my mum gave it to me at brekkers this morning. Brian sent me some great snaps of us at the ball. And now the editor election. I doubt if Rodney and Alex even want it."
I hoped today would be fabbo for me, too.
Excerpted from Flirting with Disaster by Sandra Byrd Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Byrd. Excerpted by permission.
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.
Posted August 29, 2011
So I have to admit that I might have stayed up a little late reading Flirting with Disaster, the fourth and final book in Sandra Byrd's London Confidential series. But well, I just couldn't help it. After eagerly waiting to get my hands on this book and see how everything turned out, I was very much pleased with how this series ended, although I am disappointed that it is over with.
After spending months hanging out with the Aristocrats, the most popular kids in school, it finally seems that she just might be on the fringe of becoming a full-fledged member herself. So when some of the girls start sending her text and e-mail forwards, she gets so caught up in her desire to be one of them that she starts to forget who she really is. That is until disaster strikes and it seems like it might be too late to fix her mistake. Add to the mix that she has the tie breaking vote on who will be the next Wexburg Academy Times editor, and things aren't looking as good as they used to. Now in the midst of her biggest disaster yet, Savvy will now have to learn how to truly rely on God and put her trust in Him.
This book was a fun, fast and highly enjoyable read, and at the same time it also carried a lot of valuable lessons for young tweens and teens. Not only that, but it was an excellent ending to an amazing series. Or, as the Brits would say, it was jolly good! :)
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Posted July 21, 2011
Flirting with Disaster is book four of the London Confidential series by Sandra Byrd. Although I'm usually not much of a fiction fan, I devoured this series, and of course this book was no exception. I think one of Byrd's strongest points with her writing is her character development. Savvy's character is so well developed, I often feel as if she is a real person.
In this book, Savvy seems to mature a lot but yet the book isn't a preachy one. She ruins someone else's computer by opening a forwarded e-mail, deals with conflict on the newspaper staff, and learns the importance of making decisions as to where to help out when serving others.
Like the other books in the London Confidential series, there are always plenty of secondary story lines. Will she be able to keep her position on the newspaper staff if she refuses to write a horoscope? How can she have a fantastic article AND help out the ministry shop whose computer she ruined? How does Tommy's grandmother know who she is since he claims to have never mentioned her to his Gran?
I very much enjoyed this book and read it in an afternoon. While written for teens, it definitely held my attention even if it wasn't for my targeted age range.
Posted November 20, 2010
Review by Jill Williamson
Savvy is almost a full-on member of the Aristocrats. Well, not really, since she doesn't live on an estate or get rides to school from her butler. But she has several of the Aristocrats cell numbers and they're texting her! Savvy gets so caught up in all the texting and forwards that she starts to forget who she really is. And then one of her forwards causes a major disaster that makes Savvy put down the phone and think. Is there any way to fix what she's done?
A great end to the series. Savvy gets into her biggest disaster yet. All because she's trying to do good-by her own standards. When she slows down and takes her own advice, she starts to realize she got caught up in something she didn't believe in. Boy can I relate to that one! I loved how Sandra Byrd tied up all the loose ends with youth group, the clothing ministry, the Aristocrats, the paper, and the cute guy. Two thumbs up for this series. It's brilliant, to say the least!