Swollenby Melissa Lion
Samantha only wants to be loved. By her father, by her best friend, and now by the new boy at school, Farouk. The more time Sam spends with him, the more she can’t stop thinking about him. But she’s cautious, because people can hurt. To escape, Sam runs track at school, finishing every race, but never pushing herself to the limit. As she runs, she is haunted by the recent, mysterious death of Owen, the school’s golden boy and track star.
Sam and Farouk spend afternoons at the beach where divers risk their lives to jump off high cliffs into the churning water below. Like the divers, Sam risks herself to be with Farouk, growing more and more attached to him, longing to feel safe enough to let herself go and show her true feelings.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Random House
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 245 KB
- Age Range:
- 12 Years
Read an Excerpt
The new boy showed up on the day Owen Killgore died.
Earlier in the morning, when I walked through the quad and saw the popular girls crying and the jocks swiping at their eyes with their sweatshirt sleeves, I knew something was very wrong. I found my best friend, Chloe, sitting against a wall with the pad of her thumb pressed to her wrist, staunching a small bit of blood from a cut she'd made, thinking no one would notice.
She stood and I put my hand on her wrist over the cut as she tried to hug me.
"You promised," I said, holding tight to her wrist. "No more cutting."
"I saw his body," she said into my hair. "Owen died." I loosened my grip.
"What?" I said, and looked at her closely for a smile on her round face. Chloe's skin was pale and smooth like the inside of a shell and her eyes drooped at the corners and made her look sad.
"It's true," said Chloe.
"It can't be," I said. Not Owen Killgore. The most popular boy couldn't die. He was destined for greatness, they'd said when he was chosen homecoming king. When he won races, the boys' coach stood in front of the teams and talked about Owen's dedication and drive. Owen would bite the inside of his cheek and stare beyond the coach at a vague point on the horizon.
"He won at the last meet," I said.
It had been at our school. The girls' team had finished and we'd stretched and cooled off before the rumble started in the crowd. I sat up in the grass as the people in the stands began to cheer. A single air horn went off as Owen circled into the track. His hands were loose and he smiled as he ran past the home-side seats. He knew the cheers were for him, only him.
"It was horrible. The ambulance woke me," Chloe said now. She lived across the street from Owen. She put her arms around me and squeezed. "I just saw him in the quad yesterday playing football during lunch."
"I don't believe it," I said.
"No," she said. "He was a good person."
When they were kids, she and Owen trick-or-treated together, and splashed together in swim lessons. In her locker, Chloe kept a photo of them as kids making soap beards and mustaches in the bathtub.
"I'm so, so sorry," I said.
She pressed her lips together and nodded. "I'm sad for you guys. For cross-country."
"He was a great runner." He was lean and his stride was long, his hands and shoulders loose like he could run for days. But this beauty and this confidence were only visible from far away. Up close he was just a boy. I had found this out one afternoon a few weeks before.
The bell rang and Chloe hugged me again. "Don't be late."
I walked to first period. The spindly ceramics teacher sat on her desk and dangled one shoe off her toes.
"As you know, Owen Killgore died in his sleep this morning. He was peaceful." She wiggled her foot back into her shoe. She dusted chalk from her hands onto her thighs. "Please read, or work, or go out and talk to the counselors and be with your friends. I'm so sorry," she said, and pressed a tape into a portable stereo. Classical music played as some people got up, and I rested my head on my desk. I dug my thumbnail into a groove in the Formica and for a secret moment I felt relief that Owen was gone, because on that afternoon a few weeks ago he seemed to know me too well.
It was after a meet and I was walking up the hill to my house, which was on the opposite side of the canyon from the nicer part of town. I'd heard stories about the trails in the canyon, about a runner found raped and left for dead. About the coyotes and the homeless people who lived there.
I walked slowly as the sun heated the shirt on my back and I felt my neck burning. Owen came up from the canyon, still in his shorts and jersey. He jumped when he saw me.
"JV Girls' Cross-country, right?" he said.
"Varsity Boys' Cross-country, right?" I walked quickly, but he walked next to me. His sweat made him look clean, like he'd stepped out of the shower.
"You don't win many races, do you?" he asked. I could smell him, wet and brown like mud and dead leaves. I stopped and the cars groaned past us up the hill.
"I don't win any, but I don't come in last either."
He stopped and touched my arm. His fingertips were cool despite the heat.
"I lost today," he said. "Not last place, but close."
"Congratulations," I said. I stepped around him and kept going. He walked beside me so close his arm brushed mine and I was suddenly hotter; his body radiated heat.
"I need to go home." I walked faster, thinking of a time in elementary school when two boys wouldn't let me pass in a corridor.
"Have you ever run the trails in the canyon?"
"I haven't," I said.
"Wanna run now? I can show you the best trail."
"Go shower up, maybe we can run another time," I said, thinking that would be enough for him. I would make plans with him, and then accidentally forget. Not just because of Owen's girlfriend, Linda, though I was sure if she knew she would kill me. But because I wasn't popular and if anything happened between me and Owen, I'd be called a slut as soon as he told all his friends.
He stopped walking and I looked at him up close for the first time. From far away he looked handsome, with dark hair and tanned skin, but now I noticed his eyes were just a bit too light for his skin--a kind of cloudy jade--and his cheekbones were too sharp. Still, he fit the idea of handsome and the girls at our school could forgive him for this.
From the Hardcover edition.
Meet the Author
Melissa Lion earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California where she received the Agnes Butler Scholarship for Literary Excellence. Her stories have appeared in the Santa Monica Review, Other Voices, and The Crucifix Is Down, an anthology published by Red Hen Press. She is a native Californian who burns easily in the sun. She lives in San Diego, CA.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Im moon blaze. Ill mentor docepow.im all wite. Reply at no r.1
Srry guys i was on vacation
No. Im applefire and im going to b her matem
I felt the book should have been longer. After finishing it I felt kinda sad & depressed (LOL). I felt sorry for Sam the only person who seemed to love her was her dad's girlfriend. I didn't like the end & felt it should been more to the story.
i enjoyed this book a lot. it was a real page turner though the ending was a bit dissapointing.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a very good book and i didnt want to put it down. I thought the end of the book was a little bit of a letdown, it could've had a better ending, but overall it was a very good book.
It was hard putting this novel down. Teenager Samantha Pallas feels as if she is 'invisible.' It is easy to see that what she wants most is something reliable that she can hold on to. She is a cross country runner, but gives up this sport when the new boy, Farouk, shows her attention. Samantha's home life is also empty. Her dad is rarely home and her mother lives in Berekely. Sam also lives with her dad's girlfriend, Ruth, who is pregnant with a baby her dad doesn't want. Her best friend Chloe doesn't have a rewarding life at home either, and starts cutting her wrists. The author, Melissa Lion, vividly paints the picture in my head of Samantha and Chloe trying to find themselves. This book is very interesting, and shows the ups and downs of romance, friends, family, and life. I recommend this book because it shows something that most books overlook.
This book is pretty good. It has a lot of insight. But its not that great. It's worth reading if you like to read interesting love stories and about teenage life.
This book was great! I couldn¿t put it down. This book was about a 16 year old girl, named Sam, lost in her problems of everyday life. She lived in a condo with her dad and pregnant girlfriend in San Diego. Her mother left her when she was very young, but she still sees her whenever she comes down from New Jersey. Problems at home seemed to get to her so she ran on the track teem to help her stress. Everything was going great until the star track runner died in his sleep. That same day a new boy, named Farouk, came to her school. He started hanging out with her the first day that he arrived at her school. She became very attached to him. She would ditch track practices just to hang out with him in the afternoons after school before her dad came home from work. She seemed to let everything revolve around him. She began losing touch with everything, even her best friend, Cloe. After she started having a sexual relationship with him, she realized what she was doing to herself and she knew she deserved better.
everyone should read this book. it will teach you alot of things about teenage love.it will also teach you to be grateful for the family you have.
Swollen, is a good book, but, poorly written. The author had a very good idea, and the first 2 or 3 chapters are very good. But after that, the plot goes down hill. Sam, a 16 year-old, goes around having casual sex with boys she meets on the beach, because she feels sorry for them. But then she meets Farouk, an new student, who comes on the same day a popular boy is found dead. The books revolves around everyone trying to solve Owens death, and Sam having her first serious boyfriend.