Lost Summer

( 16 )

Overview

When Caitlin Ross's mother takes her and her brother to an island in the remote Outer Banks for the summer, Caitlin is furious. She was planning on spending the summer hanging out by the pool, partying, shopping, and singing backup in her boyfriend's band, Box of Flowers. North Carolina isn't anything like California, and Caitlin doesn't fit in. But her troubled mother is too busy popping pills and trying to win back her creepy ex-boyfriend to care.

At first, the only friend ...

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Overview

When Caitlin Ross's mother takes her and her brother to an island in the remote Outer Banks for the summer, Caitlin is furious. She was planning on spending the summer hanging out by the pool, partying, shopping, and singing backup in her boyfriend's band, Box of Flowers. North Carolina isn't anything like California, and Caitlin doesn't fit in. But her troubled mother is too busy popping pills and trying to win back her creepy ex-boyfriend to care.

At first, the only friend Caitlin makes on the desolate island is a local misfit named Danielle. but things start to improve when she meets a bunch of visiting prep school boys and gets swept up in their exciting world. Then, one dark night, she witnesses a murder and begins to suspect that her new friends aren't really her friends at all. With a powerful hurricane approaching, and the island cut off from the outside world, Caitlin has no one to turn to but herself...and whether she'll live to see another summer is the biggest mystery of all.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615514144
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Alex McAulay, author of Bad Girls, Lost Summer, and Oblivion Road, is a graduate of Brown University, and holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also an indie-rock musician who has recorded several albums under the name Charles Douglas. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lisa. Visit him online at www.alexmcaulay.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Lost Summer


By Alex McAulay

MTV

Copyright © 2006 Alex McAulay
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1416525734

1

complicated

Caitlin Ross slammed the door to her bedroom, locked it, and stood there fuming. She was fighting with her mom again, which was a pretty typical scenario for the two of them. Since Caitlin's dad had left home a year ago, she and her mom had been at each other's throats. But in the last month, things had gone from bad to unbearable. Caitlin didn't know if she could stand it anymore, but she didn't know what else to do, short of stealing her mom's credit cards, hijacking the Mercedes, and running away for good.

Caitlin could hear her mother moving around angrily in the hallway outside her room, talking to herself. Caitlin crouched down to look under the door, trying to see if her mom was heading in her direction. It was too hard to tell, so she stood up and leaned against the wall.

They'd been fighting over the usual suspects again. The argument had started over Caitlin's clothes, but then spread like a virus to her hair and makeup, and then to the million other things her mom always nagged her about.

At least she isn't banging on the door trying to continue the fight, Caitlin thought. She took a deep breath through her nose, counted to six, and thenexhaled through her mouth, like she'd learned in yoga. It didn't help her feel any better, so she walked over to her bed and knelt down to extract a small, silver flask from underneath the mattress. She pulled it out, opened it, and took a sip, which burned her lips and made her cough. Vodka neat. Like her boyfriend Ian once said, it tasted like crap, but made the pain of living hurt less. Of course, he'd been drunk at the time . . . She took another sip as she fumbled around for a pack of cigarettes. Usually she didn't smoke in the house, but today was an exception.

As she sat on her bed and lit the first cigarette with her chrome lighter, she heard her mom start calling for her again, implacable and relentless. Ah fuck, Caitlin thought, closing the flask and slipping it back into its hiding place. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . .

"Caitlin!" her mom yelled. Caitlin studiously ignored her, taking a long drag on the cigarette and breathing out slowly. Her mom started rattling the doorknob. "Open this door right now and talk to me!"

Fat fucking chance. "If I wanted to talk, I wouldn't have locked you out," Caitlin muttered to herself. She cranked the iPod connected to her stereo, and her mom got drowned out by the blaring sounds of the Killers. But under the pounding drums and churning guitars, she could still hear her mom banging on the door. Caitlin turned the music up even louder, feeling the bass in her chest.

Caitlin knew from experience that her mom would get tired and go away pretty soon. But she also knew that this would just be a brief détente, and the fight would continue at a later date. Her mom couldn't resist an argument; she was like a pit bull once she got started.

If only Dad were still around to help balance things out, Caitlin thought. Her dad had been her champion and kept her mom's chaotic tendencies reigned in. Yet the divorce was final, and her dad was living in a Manhattan penthouse with his new girlfriend, Sofie. She was a nineteen-year-old model from Paris whose vacantly beautiful face Caitlin sometimes saw on the covers of fashion magazines.

Caitlin tried not to think about it as she stared around her room because the emotions were too painful. Instead, she focused on her surroundings, and thought, God my room is a mess -- what the hell's wrong with me? I'm turning into a bigger slob than Luke.

Luke was her eleven-year-old brother, five years younger than her, and his room generally looked like Osama bin Laden had sent a suicide bomber to visit it. Luke had three main passions in life: playing games on his Xbox, watching violent gangster and horror DVDs, and shooting at cars with his paintball gun. Other than that, he was kind of lazy and slobby, and didn't have many friends. He dressed mostly in black, had a scruffy haircut, and was about twenty pounds overweight. Caitlin felt sorry for him, but also a little embarrassed that he was her brother.

The Killers gave way to 50 Cent, which amused Caitlin because she knew her mom hated hip-hop more than anything, especially if it were laden with profanities. Not that her mom didn't swear all the time, which was fairly hypocritical of her. If anyone ever said anything to Caitlin about having a potty mouth, which sometimes happened, Caitlin always made sure to say she'd picked it up from her mom. That and her drinking, and occasional smoking. She drew the line at those bad habits, though. Unlike her mom, she didn't constantly pop Valiums, Percocets, and other pastel-colored pills like M&Ms. Her mom was taking so many pills these days, it was frequently impossible to deal with her at all.

Sick of looking at the mess, Caitlin got up and opened the blinds on her two huge picture windows, unveiling a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Her spacious bedroom looked down over the La Jolla Cove far below. Sunlight sparkled on gentle waves under the vivid blue sky that seemed to stretch to infinity over the water. The house, which was nearly a mansion, was located up high on the crest of a steep hill.

Caitlin sometimes felt guilty about living in such a lavish home. It had seven bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a huge pool, and a gleaming kitchen larger than some people's entire houses. In Southern California's inflated real-estate market, the house was worth over five million dollars: one for the house and four for the land. Her dad had given it up in the divorce, along with so many other things. Caitlin didn't blame him for the collapse of her parents' marriage, although she'd been devastated at first, thinking he'd abandoned her and Luke. With time, she'd gained some perspective. She still loved her dad and most of the time she just missed him a lot. If only Mom hadn't driven him so crazy!

As Caitlin looked out at the admittedly spectacular view, she mused that prettiness could be so boring. In fact, the more she'd looked at the idyllic scenery over the past year, the more depressed she'd felt. Maybe she was just letting her parents' divorce spoil everything, but recently it seemed like there was nothing interesting whatsoever about La Jolla. Not all of Southern California was exciting and glamorous, like it seemed on TV. La Jolla was mainly populated by old people with garish mansions, too much money, and yachts they never sailed.

It's hard to believe I loved this place so much once, when I was a little kid, Caitlin reflected. Things had certainly changed since then, when she'd imagined spending her entire life here on the coast. She'd since realized the town was like a cute guy with nothing upstairs: superficially attractive, but not a good long-term prospect.

Caitlin pushed back a strand of her dark, wavy hair and stubbed out her cigarette on the edge of her oak desk, where it left a round scar. She immediately regretted it and tried to rub it away, but failed. With a sigh, she went over to her bed and slumped on a pile of pillows, under her framed poster of Donnie Darko. For some reason, she loved that movie, even though all her friends hated it, and whenever anyone saw the poster for the first time, they'd ask, "What the fuck is that about, Caitlin?"

Caitlin knew the poster didn't square with the stereotypical image of a spoiled, rich, fashion-conscious SoCal princess. And so what? She wasn't that kind of person anyway, and had never been, despite appearances. Besides, she'd discovered that it was an asset to seem unpredictable -- to her mom, her friends, her boyfriend, and pretty much everyone else in between.

50 Cent faded into an old Weezer song, and Caitlin tapped her fingers on her knee in time with the beat. Judging from the fact that she didn't hear any banging and screaming under the music anymore, she figured her mom had gone away. Probably back downstairs to take some pills, and then call one of her friends to complain about me. She stared up at the ceiling, listening to the music, and felt like a pathetic refugee from one of those stupid Gossip Girl books she used to read.

Suddenly she sat up. Shit! All the drama with her mom had made her forget that she was supposed to call Ian at 3:00. She checked her watch and saw it was already 3:20. She was surprised and a little disappointed he hadn't called her. She took out her cellphone, which no longer displayed images because she'd spilled beer on it the week before, and turned the music down a little. Then she called Ian, lying back on her bed. Just as her call was about to go to voicemail, Ian picked up.

"Hey," he practically grunted, articulate as ever. Caitlin had never figured out why boys got so awkward on the phone. In Ian's case, he wasn't much easier to communicate with in person. He was only her second long-term boyfriend, and they'd barely been going out for three months. She wasn't sure they'd make it too much longer.

"It's me. Don't you miss your girlfriend?" Caitlin asked.

"Sure, I miss you," he said. "Weren't you s'posed to come over today, like at three?" He sounded distant, maybe even annoyed, but perhaps she was reading too much into it.

"Was I? I thought I was supposed to call you then . . ." Their plans were always getting mixed up. I hope I didn't flake on him, Caitlin thought. "Maybe I got things confused," she said, plowing ahead hopefully. "But anyway, I got in a big fight with my mom today. Huge. So I'm sorry I didn't call."

Ian didn't sound very interested in what she was saying. "It's okay, I guess."

In the background Caitlin could hear someone trying to tune an electric guitar, and failing. Ian was the bassist for an up-and-coming band called Box of Flowers that sounded, for better or worse, a lot like Green Day. Even though he was only seventeen, they already had a demo deal with a major label, mostly because the singer's dad had connections. Caitlin had formulated vague plans to sing backup on some of their songs if the album ever got made, although she hadn't told Ian about this idea yet. She didn't know how he'd react, but she hoped she could think of a way to talk him and the rest of the guys into it.

Not that singing backup for Box of Flowers was much of anything, but her ultimate goal was to become a singer or an actress one day, even though she knew it was pretty unlikely that would ever happen. Who doesn't want to be a singer or actor in Southern California? she wondered glumly. If it didn't happen for her, then she'd probably go to law school instead. That would be much less exciting, but then maybe she could work in the entertainment industry as an attorney, like her dad. She just didn't want to end up like her mom, who didn't have a college degree and had always depended on men for money.

I want to be my own person and actually do something with my life, she thought, not just be some rich brat from La Jolla who sponges off their parents forever. Besides, that'll probably be Luke's job.

Ian's voice on the phone snapped her out of her reverie. "Still wanna come over?"

"Definitely." She sat up again and lit another cigarette, feeling like she was getting a headache. "I'll be there in fifteen minutes." Caitlin heard the kick of a bass drum. "Sounds like you guys haven't even started practice yet. Still setting up?"

"Yeah." Long pause. "We scored some weed, so things are progressing . . . slowly . . ."

Since talking to Ian was like pulling teeth even when he wasn't high, Caitlin said, "Listen, I gotta go, but I'll see you soon, okay?"

"Okay," he echoed.

"Love you." She hung up before he could say anything else -- in case he wasn't going to say "I love you" back -- and slipped the phone into the pocket of her jeans. Now she just had to find a way to sneak out of the house and into her car without getting into another blowup with her mom.

She sighed and put out her cigarette, this time in a half-empty bottle of San Pellegrino. It was only the second week of June. School had been out for just ten days. Who knew the summer would already be so complicated?

Copyright © 2006 by Alex McAulay

Continues...


Excerpted from Lost Summer by Alex McAulay Copyright © 2006 by Alex McAulay. 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2007

    more like a 4.5 than a four!

    i am about 25-30 pages from finishing this book and its amazingly good! out of the two books shes written i like this one a little better, but they are both good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2007

    Lost Summer

    i rate this a four only because alex mcaulay's first book was so much better. I dislike his style of writing in this one and the story sometimes gets a little slow, unlike his flawless first novel Bad Girls. But all in all this is a great book. In the end it is so suspenseful it is unbearable. Despite what i said earlier I most definately recommend this book to teens like me. It's pretty much awesome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2006

    what a summer

    This book is thrilling and impossible to put down. Such a page turner. After Caitlin and her brother Luke are forced to go on a summer trip to Danbroke with their mother all turns hay wire. Caitlin learns that they had to come because her mother wanted to 'catch up' with an old friend. Caitlin befriends a girl on the island, Danielle, and after Caitlin gets hit on and possibly worse with her mother's 'friend' she and her brother Luke move in with Danielle. After she meets a boy and moves in their and all goes down hill. I'm not going to say much more but other than that this book is very very well written. Definetly a buyer for those who like suspense. I truly couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting family drama

    Divorcee Kathryn informs her sixteen years old daughter Caitlin that they will spend the summer on Danbroke Island on the North Carolina Outer Banks because she feels her two children are out of control. Caitlin is outraged as she planned to sing backup with her boyfriend¿s band while her eleven years old brother Luke accepts a four wheel bribe from his wealthy mother.----------------- After traveling from La Jolla, California the three Rosses reach their destination, the Pirates Lodge, owned by Bill Collins, Kathryn¿s high school boyfriend. Her two children realize they are across the country because their prescription crazed mother was hoping to renew an old fling. The teen makes friends with an out of place Goth Danielle, but as a hurricane approaches she fears Bill, who always leers at her when he is not ¿accidentally¿ touching her. She has no one to turn to as her mom hides behind her drug stupor, her brother continues to be the same lunatic he was on the west coast, and her dad abandoned the family last year.--------------- LOST SUMMER is an interesting family drama starring a beleaguered female teen with no place to turn to except to a degree another isolated peer as Bill increasingly tries to take unwanted liberties with her while her mom pretends all is well. Kathryn and Luke are purposely made extreme out of control stereotypes so that their hedonistic destructive behavior negatively impacts Caitlin especially during the isolated LOST SUMMER.------------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2006

    summer thrill ride

    I love this book so much because its like a weird cross between two authors I love: Stephen King and Sarah Dessen. In Lost Summer, a troubled rich teenage girl goes to a crappy island where she has to make new friends, avoid her mom's new boyfriend who basically tries to hit on her (and worse), and ultimately fight for her life when she gets involved with some shady characters. This book is scary in places, but is just overall a great, strange thrill ride.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2013

    Good fun read

    This book is an easy read. Doubt it will be up for any awards, but it is still a fun book to read. It would be of interest to adults and teens. Keeps you on the edge of your seat a bit. And, it sheds light on how parents' behavior can affect kids, especially in the case of divorce.

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  • Posted November 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    good summer reading

    this book reads just like a summer horror teen flick. it's fun, light, and it definitely leaves the reader in the dark 'til the end. Recommend for reluctant readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    pretty exciting read

    i really enjoyed this book. i thought it was very exciting and it kept me on the edge of my seat. it was a little depressing though, i mean i felt very sorry for the main character. she was going through quite the rough patch and at times you felt like you were her, and you just felt helpless. so that part was no fun. but all in all, it was a great read that kept me entertained.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    SLOW READER!!!!

    this book is amazing! i loved it and you might be wondering why the title of this says slow reader well its because usually it takes me like 3 or 4 days to read a almost 300 page book...but i got so caught up with reading it it only took me six hours....YEA PRETTY AMAZING FOR ME!!! so anyways i recommend this book for people who like....hmmm....who like, i dont really know....<BR/>but Caitlyn is a 16 year old girl who is rich and her parents are divorced and she has an annoying little bother named luke and a best friend name Alison and a b/f named Ian and yeah....thats who she is...oh yea she lives in La Jolla...ok well yea i loved the book and you should read it too because its a really good book and always read the epilogue...their really important in the stories or book or novels so yea<BR/><BR/>ok have good luck and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS OR MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!<BR/>BYE ¿

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

    Caitlin Ross's mother believes that Caitlin and her younger brother, Luke, need a change of scenery. That the lavish, free life they live has gone to their head, and that they need something to help change their attitude. Why wouldn't she feel that way, since Caitlin's dad divorced her and now the family is even more messed up than before? Caitlin is still seeing her rocker boyfriend, Ian, who doesn't really seem to care that much about her, and Luke is speaking like a rap song. <BR/><BR/>So mom decides to take them to North Carolina's outer banks for the summer, ruining Caitlin's plans. But of course Caitlin's dad will save her from her mother's summer plans. That is, until she finds out that her father, the one person that had always backed her up, has already agreed to her mother's travel plans. Goodbye, singing in her boyfriend's band and all the partying - hello to an island that she has never heard of. <BR/><BR/>Yet who knew that Caitlin's ordinary teenage life would be replaced with Nancy Drew's. Caitlin just so happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when she accidentally witnesses a murder right in front of her eyes. And these supposedly new friends she has made are at the top of her suspect list. Now all she needs is a little help. The only problem is that staying on a stormy, isolated island isn't much help in solving a murder mystery when the weather just so happens to cut off all ties to the mainland. So it's up to Caitlin to save the day, or at least her life. <BR/><BR/>LOST SUMMER is just another one of Alex McAulay's awesome books that should be on everyone's to-read list. Caitlin's adventure is just so gripping and suspenseful that you wish you had her life; well, maybe not really. It is the perfect book to have with you on the beach, during the summer, to take your mind off all the drama - if you have any. Another great novel in the MTV line of books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2008

    A reviewer

    This was a really interesting read, its not the usual situation that books have, but this makes it unique. I would definitly recommend it to everyone!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2008

    Haunting and Chilling, what more could you want?

    I am a huge fan of Alex McAulay. I have written him e-mails which he has responded to with passion, appreciation, and great detail! Having vacationed in the Outerbanks(OBX) of North Carolina quite frequently, this novel highly contradicted my fun filled family vacations. When I first heard that his next novel would be set in the OBX, I was really happy and excited, but after reading about Caitlin's 'less-than-thrilled' views of it, it opened my mind to the more boring parts of the island Danbroke. My only regret is that McAulay did not mention Ian (Caitlin's former boyfried) or Evan (her island crush) in the epilogue :( Still a great read with numerous peaks of excitement, a great page turner and short read, even for the dyslexic.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    Caitlin Ross¿s mother believes that Caitlin and her younger brother, Luke, need a change of scenery. That the lavish, free life they live has gone to their head, and that they need something to help change their attitude. Why wouldn¿t she feel that way, since Caitlin¿s dad divorced her and now the family is even more messed up than before? Caitlin is still seeing her rocker boyfriend, Ian, who doesn¿t really seem to care that much about her, and Luke is speaking like a rap song. So mom decides to take them to North Carolina¿s outer banks for the summer, ruining Caitlin¿s plans. But of course Caitlin¿s dad will save her from her mother¿s summer plans. That is, until she finds out that her father, the one person that had always backed her up, has already agreed to her mother¿s travel plans. Goodbye, singing in her boyfriend¿s band and all the partying - hello to an island that she has never heard of. Yet who knew that Caitlin¿s ordinary teenage life would be replaced with Nancy Drew¿s. Caitlin just so happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when she accidentally witnesses a murder right in front of her eyes. And these supposedly new friends she has made are at the top of her suspect list. Now all she needs is a little help. The only problem is that staying on a stormy, isolated island isn¿t much help in solving a murder mystery when the weather just so happens to cut off all ties to the mainland. So it's up to Caitlin to save the day, or at least her life. LOST SUMMER is just another one of Alex McAulay¿s awesome books that should be on everyone¿s to-read list. Caitlin¿s adventure is just so gripping and suspenseful that you wish you had her life well, maybe not really. It is the perfect book to have with you on the beach, during the summer, to take your mind off all the drama - if you have any. Another great novel in the MTV line of books. **Reviewed by: Randstostipher 'tallnlankyrn' Nguyen

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2007

    scary, romantic summer read

    This book has the perfect blend of a great Sarah Dessen style romance with a lot of thrills in it too. It is about a girl whose mom is a drug addict and moves the family to a deserted island, where the girl hooks up with a guy and gets over her head in a mystery. I read the whole book over one weekend, and I don't usually read that fast!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    Lost Summer is the most depressing book I have ever read. I'm not really a picky reader but this one is just down right depressing. Caitlin is MAD because her mom and her brother are staying in NC for the summer and she wants to stay in Califoria with her friends, Caitlin is MAD at her mom most of the time, Caitlin only talks about how bad her summer is. I recommend not reading this book. It could have been a great story but she is always mad and depressed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2006

    Alex Mcauley Does it Again

    Lost Summer is a must read for literally ANYONE! it's a thriller and a drama packed into one book.if you read Bad Girls by Alex Mcauley you will absolutley love this book. Plain and Simple READ THIS BOOK!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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