TMI

TMI

4.2 12
by Patty Blount
     
 

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Best friends don't lie.
Best friends don't ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don't post your deepest darkest secret online.

Bailey's falling head-over-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she's never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn't trust smooth-talking Ryder. He's just a picture-less profile.

When Bailey

Overview

Best friends don't lie.
Best friends don't ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don't post your deepest darkest secret online.

Bailey's falling head-over-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she's never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn't trust smooth-talking Ryder. He's just a picture-less profile.

When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it's time to prove Ryder's a phony.

But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question: Who is Ryder West?

Praise for Send:

"Blount's debut novel combines an authentic voice with compelling moral dilemmas."—VOYA

"A dark, captivating, and powerful story!"—Crazy Bookworm

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/30/2013
Blount follows her debut novel, Send, with another tech-driven cautionary tale. Until recently, Meg and Bailey's similar circumstances have kept them tightly bound to one another. But now that they're 17, and the future beyond high school is looming uncertainly, their friendship is no longer as effortless or as integral to their lives. Meg consciously pulls away from Bailey and attempts to deny her attraction to Chase, who she believes will move on without her once he graduates. Meanwhile, Bailey flails, breaking up with her boyfriend, pursuing Ryder (a gamer she meets on Facebook), and obsessively searching for her father. Misunderstandings between the girls have a domino effect, leading to more hurt feelings, jealousy, and perceived betrayals, which are further obfuscated through cyberspace. Blount's chapters alternate between Meg and Bailey's perspectives, creating equally troubled and complex characters. Blount addresses the potential perils of online relationships and the sometimes-destructive power of social media without proselytizing. It's the threat of a cherished friendship's demise that will most likely sustain readers' interest. Ages 13–up. Agent: Evan Gregory, Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"TMI takes digital drama to the next level by putting two best friends' entire relationship at risk. There's also a juicy mystery involved, making it a great page-turner to savor during the last days of summer." - Seventeen Book Club

"[A] tech-driven cautionary tale . . .Blount addresses the potential perils of online relationships and the sometimes-destructive power of social media without proselytizing. " - Publishers Weekly

VOYA - Diane Colson
Meg and Bailey have nothing in common but have been best friends since elementary school. Meg is focused on her future, guarded in her relationships, and haunted by the death of her father. Bailey is bubbly, quick to give her heart, and looking for a dad she has never met. They disagree on many things, but the most heated conflicts revolve around boys. Meg has long loved Chase, but pushes him away whenever he tries to get close. Bailey believes that Meg should be with Chase, so she comes up with the idea of making Meg jealous, hoping that will break through Meg's stoicism. Bailey herself has just broken up with a boy that Meg never liked, and is now corresponding with someone online. Unfortunately, all of this intrigue stumbles over itself, failing to create a taut plot line that would engage the reader. The point of view alternates between Meg and Bailey while remaining third-person. The girls ruminate about each other, each remembering shared experiences, but the present-day emotional connection comes across as theoretical rather than heartfelt. The drama indicated by the title and cover seems misleading in retrospect, although there is quite a bit of extraneous information tumbling through the storyline. Nevertheless, some teens may enjoy the love-me/love-me-not motif that plagues characters throughout the book, as well as the treatment of relevant issues such as online dating and absent fathers. Reviewer: Diane Colson
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—Best friends can be quite different; Megan's idea of fun is wandering around an art museum, while Bailey would rather go shopping or work on her video game in development. Bailey is suffering the disappointments and regrets of a recent breakup with Simon, the guy who fed her obsession with video games. While playing Call of Duty, she flirts with Ryder, a fellow gamer whom she meets online. Her feelings for him quickly overshadow her friendship with Megan, to the point that she neglects to plan anything for her birthday. Ryder constantly makes excuses about his inability to speak with Bailey on the phone or in person. Blount has a good handle on teen culture, especially the importance of social media. Vivid descriptions of characters' physical characteristics, thoughts, and actions are kept in check without slowing down the narrative. The alarm shown by Bailey's friends over her relationship with Ryder and Bailey's defensiveness and dismissal of their concerns are realistically expressed. The impulsivity and rash decision-making common in the teenage years are honestly portrayed. Subplots involving dead and absent fathers abruptly turn this otherwise believable story of online fakery into melodrama. Recommended for collections in which problem novels or "ripped from the headlines" stories are popular.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A conflict over a mysterious boy met on the Internet leads two best friends into a fight, both online and offline. The third-person narration alternates chapter by chapter between the two girls' points of view. Meg, a driven artist, constantly paints Chase Gallagher, the boy with whom she refuses to become involved lest he interfere with her plan to go to college and build a stable future. Bailey, whose choices of boyfriends Meg constantly judges, concocts a bizarre plan to spend time with Chase in hopes that Meg will become jealous and admit her true feelings. Meanwhile, Bailey meets a boy named Ryder West playing an online game, and tension builds between the two friends as Bailey hides her involvement with Ryder. She reasons that Meg will see the lack of pictures on his Facebook wall and his unwillingness to meet in person as causes for suspicion. As the conflict between the two girls escalates, it spreads into social media, culminating in Bailey's post of a humiliating incident from Meg's elementary school years. Amid the histrionics, there are a few poignant moments, but readers have to slog through overblown scheming, catfighting and a climax involving a bloodstained canvas to get there. Relentlessly melodramatic. (Fiction. 12-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402273407
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
08/06/2013
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
521,912
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
HL640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Meg

The eyes had no soul.

Megan Farrell flung down her brush with a curse. The eyes refused to shine for her. No matter how she sketched them, no matter what colors she used to fill them, they sat on her canvas, dull. Dead. She couldn't even get the color right and probably never would, not unless she asked Chase Gallagher to sit for her, and she could never do that.

Chase Gallagher wasn't part of her plan.

She stretched, cracking her neck, and stared out her window into the backyard that butted against hers. He was out there now, running around with his little brothers, trying to fix the snowman they'd built during a late-season snowstorm that hit Long Island three days earlier. Temperatures had risen to the fifties since then, but Chase would never tell the boys Frosty couldn't be saved. The Gallagher brothers scooped up every inch of snow that hadn't melted and brought it to Chase, who had an unlimited supply of patience from what Meg could see. Even through the closed window, she could hear the boys' belly laughs and screeches of pure glee. "My turn, Chase! My turn!" And Chase would pick up another brother and lift him high enough to pat handfuls of snow into place. Suddenly, he lifted his head and stared right at her.

She jumped back, her face on fire. Not smart, letting him catch her with her face pressed to her window.

She turned back to her canvas, and with a charcoal pencil, she crossed out the color mix she'd noted. It was too dark out to fix it now. The master bedroom was already striped in shadows. After her father died, her mother had refused to sleep here, so Meg moved in, loving that she didn't need to "Clean up that mess!" when she was done painting. The room was large enough for art supplies and her stuff, not that she had much. Just a twin bed shoved against one wall, a garage sale bookcase and desk for homework, an ancient laptop whose E button had long since disappeared, and a meager wardrobe that hardly filled one rod in the walk-in closet otherwise devoted to art supplies.

The way the light shining through the huge palladium window illuminated the paintings on her easel, and the paint splatters on the wood floor made her feel like a real artist in a studio.

Usually.

Today, it only emphasized her failures.

On stiff legs, she took her brushes and palette knife to the bathroom that adjoined the bedroom to wash them. A drop of crimson paint hit the tile floor and spread, seeping into the grout.

Her throat tightened. Her breaths got shallow. Her stomach pitched and rolled, and when her legs buckled, she slid to the floor in a boneless heap, whimpering the way she had all those years ago when it had been blood on the floor instead of paint. He'd been gone for ten years now, but she could still hear his voice.

"The future, Megan!" he'd always said. "Focus on the future. Set goals and don't let anything or anyone ever make you lose focus." Her father's plan. But he'd failed. So now it was hers-a promise she had to keep.

Minutes passed, or maybe they were hours. She sat on the hard floor until she was able to pull herself together. How long it had taken this time, she wasn't sure. She grabbed a towel and rubbed furiously at the spot on the floor until it squeaked. Then she pulled out the tie that held her hair back in a messy knot, wincing when a few rooted strands came away with it. She dragged herself to her feet and ran the shower.

Piece by piece, she shed her paint-spattered clothes. She stood under the stream of water as hot as she could take it. She really wished hot water could melt away all the anxiety that seemed to cover her like a thick coat of ice. The panic attack, the SAT scores that still hadn't arrived, the job she was about to lose when the movie theater closed its doors in a few weeks, and the bills-the endless pile of bills her mom cried over when she thought Meg was asleep. When the water went cold, she stepped out, wrapped herself in a towel, and stood in front of the mirror, scowling at the look in her eyes.

Bailey would notice.

She always did, and Megan didn't want to talk about it. It was old news.

She tugged on jeans and a T-shirt, detangled her hair, and coiled it in another elastic. Downstairs, she foraged for dinner but found only a brown banana and the heels of a loaf of bread. Mom still hadn't been grocery shopping. She slammed the refrigerator door, hoping there was enough money in her wallet to spring for a fast-food meal, and grabbed her cell to tap out a message to her best friend.

Meg: Outta food again. Going to Main St. Wanna go?

Bailey would say sure. They never discussed it, but Bailey knew there wasn't always enough money for groceries, so she often came over with leftovers that she'd put on the top shelf in Meg's empty refrigerator without a word. That was one of the things Meg loved about Bailey-she knew when it was time to talk and when it wasn't.

Meg grabbed her keys and the art show flyer she wanted to show Bailey. Outside in the cold March air, she drew her hood up over her wet hair and rubbed her knees together to keep warm.

After about five minutes, her cell buzzed.

Bailey: Not hungry. CU tom. XOXO

Megan's forehead puckered. Bailey always walked with her to Main Street...or sometimes drove since Bailey was the proud owner of a driver's license, even when she wasn't hungry. Said it was a great excuse to escape her mother. Meg thought for a minute and typed back.

Meg: What's wrong?

There was no reply, which was even stranger than the first message. Bailey always had to have the last word. It was a thing with her. Meg started the half-mile walk north, trying not to obsess. She had her learner's permit, but she had never been behind the wheel of car.

Pauline Farrell didn't have the time or money for lessons. Meg had started a driver's license fund, setting aside change from her part-time job for lessons or maybe the driver's education class her school offered. She'd need a license to find jobs, and she'd need jobs to be independent. But first, she needed money to earn the license.

At a table in the corner, she sighed and picked at her meal. French fries and chicken nuggets kind of sucked when you didn't have anyone to share them with. She unfolded the flyer that had shown up in today's mail and studied it again. Bailey hated museums, and Meg knew convincing her to go to Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art wasn't going to be easy. She'd go. Of course she'd go. But first, Meg would have to agree to a day of shopping-one of Bailey's favorite sports-and maybe do some extra character sketches for the video game Bailey was trying to develop. But Bailey's radio silence had her considering even higher stakes.

Maybe makeovers.

She ate her last fry and shuddered. For Bailey, she'd do it.

She checked her phone. Still no reply from Bailey. Maybe she'd had another fight with her mom. Meg emptied her tray and started the long walk home. Or maybe it was Simon, Bailey's latest boyfriend. Meg rolled her eyes. What a jerk.

By the time Meg got home and still hadn't heard from Bailey, panic had set in. She logged onto her computer, fired off a quick email, but it too was ignored. The next morning at the bus stop, Meg took one look at Bailey's flat curls, bare-naked face, and sparkless demeanor, and her panic jolted straight to redline levels. Bailey Grant did not leave the house without her makeup coordinated to her outfit and her hair perfectly coiffed.

"What's-wrong-did-somebody-die-oh-God-are-your-grandparents-okay?"

Bailey glanced up, her blue eyes dull, and shrugged. "Everyone's fine. Nobody died. Nothing's wrong." Her eyes narrowed when she got a look at Meg. "What's wrong with you? You look terrible."

Knew it. Megan pressed her lips into a line and shook her head. "The usual."

Bailey nodded, understanding. "Anxiety attack again?"

"Anxiety attack?"

The deep voice had them both spinning around. Chase Gallagher frowned down at Meg, worry filling brilliant eyes that defied her every attempt to render on canvas. Greens, golds, flecks of browns and grays, his eyes were a source of endless fascination-and frustration-for her. Before she could stop it, her face split into the stupid smile her lips somehow reserved just for Chase.

Damn it. She needed a reason, an excuse, an explanation, something that could explain the grin, something like-

A book accidentally-on-purpose falling on Chase's foot. "Oh! Sorry, Chase," Bailey sang.

That might work, Meg sighed in relief. While Chase bent down to pick up the book, Meg gave Bailey a barely perceptible nod of thanks, which Bailey answered with a barely perceptible nod of her own. Chase frowned at Bailey and then at Meg. She knew he wasn't going to let it go. Luckily, so did Bailey. She quickly handed Meg something wrapped in a napkin just as Chase opened his mouth. "Here you go, Meg. Strawberry." Bailey handed her a Pop-Tart. She shoved half of it in her mouth before Chase could interrogate her.

Meg's eyes slipped closed. It was still warm.

"So, Chase, why are you riding the bus with the rest of the terminally uncool?" Bailey asked while Meg chewed.

"Lacrosse practice today. My mother needs the car. My brothers have a birthday party, music lesson, and a doctor's appointment after school today. Blah, blah, blah." He rolled his eyes as he ticked the events off his fingers, and Meg's heart gave a little pang. She thought it would be cool to have a big family like Chase's.

The bus arrived and everyone piled inside. Bailey slid toward a window seat, and Meg took the aisle seat beside her, leaving Chase on his own. He grinned and held up a hand. "Later."

Meg shut her eyes and sent up a prayer of gratitude. Sitting beside Chase Gallagher all the way to school would have killed her. It would have set her on fire, she was sure of it.

The bus continued its route, but Bailey remained quiet. Meg dug out her sketch pad and handed it to Bailey. "I did some character sketches I forgot to show you. Can you use these for your game?"

Bailey flipped through the pages of pencil sketches, stopping at one. "Who's this?"

"Pope Sixtus. Not a particularly nice guy, but he liked art, so I figured you could use him for the Renaissance level."

Bailey nodded and gave the book back to Meg without a word. Something was seriously up. Bailey was always bugging her to work on her video game, and Pope Sixtus rendered in charcoal didn't even earn a grunt? Curiosity tinged with worry twisted Meg inside out, but she would give her friend some privacy.

This vow lasted until lunchtime.

"Did your mom start in on you again?" Meg asked.

Bailey blinked. "What? Oh. No. She went away for the weekend. I'll see her tonight." She waved a hand and went back to picking apart a chicken strip.

Right. Meg had forgotten Bailey's mother, Nicole, had gone on another hot date. So if it wasn't her mother and it wasn't Simon, it had to be something serious. Meg tried again. "Is it your SAT scores? Mine didn't come yet, but I heard a few people got theirs and-"

"God, Meg! Please stop. I don't care about SAT scores. I only took the test early because you did."

Meg stared at Bailey for a moment and then quietly put her sandwich down on her cafeteria tray. She knew Bailey didn't care about school much, but the SATs? Their entire futures rode on those scores! Meg hoped for a scholarship. Actually, her entire plan depended on getting a scholarship to a good college, where she'd study business or maybe medicine. She hadn't figured that part out yet. Or maybe she'd wait tables while she attended community college just like her mother. Pauline Farrell had just a few courses left to finish the accounting degree she was earning at night school. Meg couldn't wait. Maybe then they'd have enough money so that her mother wouldn't cry at night.

She sneaked another glance at Bailey and finally faced facts. Bailey wasn't going to talk until she was damn well good and ready. Meg cleaned up what was left of her lunch, piling the plastic containers back onto her tray, and hoped Bailey wasn't pregnant or dying or something. Her head whipped up when Bailey suddenly shot to her feet with a muffled scream.

Gatorade rolled down Bailey's jeans, leaving behind angry red scars. Her boyfriend held the now-empty bottle, and from the sneer on his face, Meg knew it was no accident. An instant hush interrupted the usual cafeteria racket while Bailey frantically blotted the mess with a stack of recycled napkins. Meg leaped to her feet. "What the hell is wrong with you, Simon?"

Simon Kane tossed the bottle onto the table and took a threatening step closer. "Shut up, Meg. This is all your fault. What did you tell her? What lies did you spread?"

So Simon was the cause of Bailey's mood. Why didn't Bailey tell her they'd had a fight? They'd known Simon since second grade, and Meg never understood what Bailey saw in him-except for his computer programming ability. Sure, Simon was cute. But ever since his parents had won the lottery, he'd become conceited and spoiled, teased Bailey often, and questioned everything she said. Worse, Bailey allowed it. Actually thought it was cute.

Gag.

Meg tossed more napkins at her best friend, who now sat in shocked silence. "I'm not the one hitting on cheerleaders when I'm supposed to be with someone else."

"I wasn't cheating!"

Meg laughed. "Sure."

Simon ignored her and turned to Bailey. "Do you believe her or me?"

Meg wondered about the answer to that herself. Last week, after she'd caught Simon hitting on Caitlyn, the head cheerleader, there had been no apology, no explanation. Bailey swore-she promised-she was through, but Meg never expected Bailey to actually keep that promise....or worse, keep it from her. Whatever. She and Bailey would discuss that later. Right now, she had more important things to do.

"Bailey, can I make him cry now?"

Simon's blue eyes went dark as he stared Meg down. "Just mind your own business. You did enough."

"Meg. It's okay. Sit down." Bailey murmured, tugging Meg's arm.

"No, it is not okay." Meg glared at both of them. "Those are fifty-dollar jeans, and Gatorade never washes out. You should buy her a new pair, Simon."

"Megan, stop," Bailey said.

"Oh, I should, huh?" Simon laughed once and his blue eyes narrowed. "I'd have bought her tons of jeans. I'd have bought her anything she wanted. If she were nice to me, I'd have been nice to her." He shot Bailey a wounded look.

Bailey looked at him like he was diseased. "I'm done, Simon. Get over it."

A muscle in Simon's jaw clenched. "You know what, Bailey? I am over it. I can get any girl I want. You're not even that hot." He high-fived one of his friends with a loud laugh.

Meg was about to defend Bailey when she saw the hurt in Simon's eyes. Well, jeez, she'd never expected that. She looked at Bailey. Had she caught Simon's expression too? But Bailey's face was frozen, her eyes just as hurt, and Meg knew Simon's insult had hit home. Bailey was curvy with long blond curls, huge blue eyes, and a smile bright enough to power a city block. She was the definition of hot, no matter what Simon Kane had to say about it. But Bailey never believed the compliments. Simon would know all about Bailey's insecurities, and Meg's eyes narrowed. It was a low blow, an arrow aimed straight at Bailey's Achilles' heel.

And it had pierced the target.

Meg gripped Bailey's hand and squeezed hard.

"Simon, get lost. Nobody here is impressed." Bailey retorted, her face pale.

Simon's male-model smile full of capped teeth went tight. Vibrating with fury from the soles of his high-priced tennis shoes to the tips of his designer haircut, he nodded slowly. "Yeah. Fine. I'll leave you and your little dyke girlfriend and go find a real woman." He stalked around the table and motioned for his pals to follow.

Meg's eyes met Bailey's and she gave her a signal she knew no one else would see, a raised eyebrow that said, Is that the best you got? Bailey acknowledged it with a tiny close-lipped smile and turned back to Simon to fire off one last taunt. "Simon, you should take lessons from Meg. Unlike you, she knows how to keep me coming back for more."

Everyone in earshot applauded. Someone's shout of "Burn!" rippled over the small crowd that watched like it was reality TV.

"You'll be back. You're crazy about me." Simon shot them both one last glare and finally strode away, his pals on his tail.

Onlookers went back to their meals, chattering loudly about the floor show, but Meg just grinned proudly at Bailey.

"Close your mouth, Meg," Bailey snapped.

"You did it." Meg giggled. "You really did it. That was...it was-wow-really impressive. But why didn't you tell me? I knew something was bothering you."

Bailey sighed and didn't answer her for a moment. "You didn't see Facebook last night?" she finally asked and grabbed Meg's water bottle to blot the stains from her jeans.

Meg shook her head. "No, I was painting. What did he say?"

Bailey put the water bottle back on the tray and pulled out her phone. "Here. Check it out." She opened her Facebook app and scrolled down, and there it was-Simon's attempt at being smooth.

I've got two tickets to I-CON. One of them has your name on it, Bailey Grant. You know you want it. Meet me at ten on Saturday. Your welcome.

Meg snorted at the spelling error and figured Simon didn't need brains as long as he had money. Meg's amusement faded when she noticed the time the message had been posted. She'd been drowning French fries in ketchup and feeling sorry for herself. "Oh, my God, Bay, he didn't even post this on your Wall."

She rolled her eyes. "Or apologize. That's why I wrote this." She scrolled down a bit further and showed Meg the screen again.

You no longer have anything that interests me even a little. Maybe Caitlyn's interested. Have you tried her? Oh, I forgot. You already have.

Meg laughed and took Bailey's phone. She scrolled down, read some of the other comments. "Oh, wow. This got so many Likes."

Bailey boiled. "Good. I hope it makes him see what an ass he is."

"Still, I-CON, Bailey."

Bailey lived for I-CON, the annual science-fiction convention held at a college campus on Long Island. It was a huge multiday event that attracted the biggest names in video and role-playing games, animation, comic books, and sci-fi/fantasy fiction. If there was one thing Bailey adored more than hair and makeup, more than going shopping, more than even boys, it was video games-something that made her very popular with the guys. Dangling I-CON tickets in front of her should have made her putty in Simon's hands. Meg was even more impressed with her friend's sudden resolve.

She flopped back into her seat and blew a curl out of her eyes. "You can't stand Simon. Figured you'd be happy I finally listened to you." She covered her face.

Meg shifted in her seat but didn't say anything. True, she wasn't a huge fan of Simon's. But she certainly never wanted to see Bailey hurt like this. "I am happy. He treated you like crap, and it's about time you did something about it. I just wish you didn't do it so-you know-publicly. You have to think of your safety." Bailey wasn't a think-ahead kind of girl, so Meg usually did that for her. "Remember Josh from last summer? He followed you for two weeks. Oh, and that guy Ian from the stables! Didn't he like...threaten you or something?"

Bailey mashed her lips into a tight line. "Simon wouldn't do anything like that."

"No, he'd just run to a hot cheerleader behind your back." At Bailey's hiss of pain, Meg gave her hand a squeeze.

Several minutes passed.

"By the way, you might want to talk to Chase."

Meg tensed. Talk to him? That was never a good idea. "Why?"

Bailey handed Meg her phone again. "Take a look at his status."

Meg scrolled down and hissed in a breath.

Chase Gallagher is in a relationship.

"I never accepted that request!" Meg's hand curled into a fist. Bailey pried her phone away, tucked it carefully into her bag.

"Meg, before you freak out, why don't you-"

"Bay, we've been over this."

Bailey snapped her teeth together and rolled her eyes.

Meg boiled in silence and then remembered the art show flyer. God, could the timing be any worse?

"Uh-oh. Your shoulders are doing that hunchy thing. What do you want?"

And there's my cue. Meg opened her mouth and then chickened out. "It's not important."

"Meg, come on. What is it?" Bailey nudged her.

Meg slid the art exhibit flyer over to her and girded her eardrums for the assault she expected in three...two...one.

"No." Bailey moaned the word out for one long beat.

"Come on, Bay! I'll go with you to I-CON if you'll come with me to the museum."

She sighed in misery. "Do I have to? I'd rather have flat hair."

Bailey hated art in all shapes and all forms, and dragging her to Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art to see the upcoming exhibit on printed art ranked right up there with asking her to wear last year's styles. In other words: So. Not. Happening.

"Please, Bailey?"

"Megan!" She hit a new high on the shrill scale, and Meg cringed. "I really hate when you do this."

"It's called a compromise, Bay. I'm willing to subject myself to guys wearing underwear over tights in exchange for you looking at art with me."

Bailey rolled her huge blue eyes. "That stuff's not art. It's a bunch of posters and advertisements somebody stuck on the walls and sold tickets to."

"Please?"

Bailey gritted her teeth. "Fine! But you totally owe me."

Meg shrugged and happily bit into her sandwich. When she looked up again, Chase was heading toward them, carrying his lunch tray. She quickly folded the flyer and slipped it into her pocket, hoping no one noticed her lame Here comes Chase smile, especially him.

"Hey." Chase jerked his chin toward the rear of the cafeteria, sliding into the empty chair across from them. "What did you do to Simon? He's crying all over Caitlyn's shoulder."

Uh-oh. Meg thought with a worried glance at Bailey.

Bailey nibbled a fingernail. "Crying? Like seriously crying?"

Chase rolled his eyes. "No, not really. He's just putting the moves on her."

"Oh-"

"So what did you do?"

"I broke up with him."

Chase nodded with approval. "Good for you. Guy should get a clue."

Meg huffed out a laugh and muttered, "He's not the only one."

Chase raised his eyes to hers, and Meg stopped breathing. She never got tired of staring at his eyes. They hypnotized her and taunted her to find the hue and tint on a color wheel that could accurately render them, but that color didn't exist. Flecks of beige, gold, green. Streaks of brown and gray with a rim of black-the colors seemed to swirl as he stared at her, and then Meg realized why.

She'd hurt him.

"Sorry," Meg murmured.

Chase lowered those variegated eyes. "Um. Yeah. Whatever."

Bailey took pity on him. "We're going to an art exhibit in Manhattan. Why don't you come?"

The words were out of Bailey's mouth before Meg could kick her under the table. She gave Meg a bright smile. "And I-CON. You should come to that too."

Meg's teeth almost cracked from the strength of her clench.

"Really?" Chase looked to Meg for confirmation, hope glinting in his eyes, and Meg sighed, unable to resist. She hated that.

"It's up to you." She shrugged, hoping he couldn't tell how much she really did want him to come. "You didn't like the modern art exhibit at the library. You said it all looked like finger paints to you."

"It did."

"And what about the last time we went to MoMA? You stared at The Scream and said you-"

"Yeah. I remember what I said, Megan." He cut her off with a furrowed brow that intensified the color of his eyes.

"I'm sorry. I just don't want to waste your time, so if you have something better to do-"

"Megan, I like hanging out with you. I don't care what we do." Chase shrugged, and Meg looked away with a wince. That's exactly what she was afraid of.

"Chase, it's not a date."

He looked away, and she swore she could see him physically deflate. "Why not?"

"Delete your relationship status," she said abruptly.

He straightened up and glared at her. "I thought we were-"

She cut him off. "We're friends, Chase. That's all."

He sighed and scrubbed his face with his hands, and she wanted to kick her own butt.

"Fine. I'll delete the status when I get home."

The disappointment in his voice rattled the gate around her heart, and she wished she were stronger, tougher, with a heart coated in steel.

She had to resist him. It was essential. He was graduating in a few more months and would go off to college. She and Bailey still had another year. She would not be the one who ruined his plans.

And he would not ruin hers.

"Megan?"

"Um. Yeah." Meg jerked when she saw Chase waving a hand in front of her face.

He smiled, and it was a toothpaste commercial kind of smile that had her looking for the little twinkle that always sparkled at the end of those ads.

"I gotta go. Later?"

Her face burned. However, Meg nodded once and he was gone.

"Meg-" Bailey began, but Meg cut her off.

"Will you stop doing that?"

"What?" She blinked, and Meg glared, not buying the innocent act.

"Stop pushing us together. It's not fair to him."

"He really likes you."

Meg's eyes dropped. She knew that, and that was the entire problem. She couldn't afford to like him back, and the more time they spent together, the harder it was to remember why.

"Bay, I don't want to let him down."

"Not all guys are like our dads, Meg."

Meg sucked in a sharp breath. Neither of their dads had bothered to stick around long. Bailey never knew her dad, but Megan had known hers. She missed him. Every day, she missed him so much she was sure she'd choke on the tears. Bailey's words were a slap, and they both knew it. "Bay, I don't want-"

"Oh, you are such a liar. If you really don't want him, why does your face light up like Broadway when you see him?"

It did not. Meg was so done with this conversation. "Shut up. I'm mad at you."

Bailey pouted and twisted a curl. "You love me."

She did. But she was really mad too.

Bailey pursed her lips and shook her head. "So. Spill. What did he say the last time you went to the museum?"

Meg frowned, remembering. In February, she and Chase had been partnered up on a research paper. They'd grown close-too close-during the month it took to research their topic, the objectification of women in modern art. She'd been excited by the assignment. Chase had been excited by his assigned partner. "We saw a print of The Scream by Edvard Munch. Chase saw it and said, ‘Hey, this guy's an artist too? I thought he just produced horror movies.'"

Bailey blinked. "What's so wrong with that? At least he knew his name. That's more than I would have gotten right."

She spoke quietly, but there was a sting in her tone, and Meg squirmed under the sudden attack of conscience. "You're right," Meg said quietly. "That was snobby and mean and ungrateful and-"

"Meg, stop! I never said that. Look. I'm just saying, Chase is trying. You should too."

Bailey scooped her books from the table, snagged her tray, and left Meg standing in the shadow of her own ego.

Meet the Author

PATTY BLOUNT works as a software technical writer by day and novelist by night. Dared by her 13-year-old son to try fiction, Patty wrote her first manuscript in an ice rink. A short version of her debut novel, Send, finished in the top ten of the Writer's Digest 79th Annual Writing Competition.

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TMI 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
jukelley More than 1 year ago
I read this book because my daughters recently read it and loved it. I really wanted to see what types of books appealed to them. It didn't take long for me to get caught up. The thing I really liked about the story was that it deals with a teenage girl getting involved with someone she meets online. As a mom of two teenage girls, this is something I've had to deal with and worry about. I read this book through Wattpad (first and only time I have used it), and I was interested in reading the comments of the readers as they read the story. It was so nice to read many of them comment about Bailey being stupid to give so much information and in trusting a guy without knowing anything about him. This book gave me another opportunity to talk to my girls. (view spoiler) I thought the plot of this book was pretty unique, however it was typical in its teenage angst. There was plenty of drama, and I guess there has to be to keep the storyline going. It's just not something I like to read a lot of, and there's a lot of it to read in this book. The MC involved in the love story part was really frustrating. At the end of the book, you find out why, but it was all kinds of frustrating waiting on her to finally make a decision. There's no way a real teenage guy, especially a hot one like Chase was supposed to be, would hang around that long. He was so great, though. Overall, I did enjoy the story. I would recommend this for anyone who likes to read YA stories. It was clean enough (a little bad language and mild make out scenes) that I was OK knowing my 13 yr old read it. She gets embarrassed easily about anything remotely sexual, and she was comfortable with this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really lukevthis book so far about baily and emma because me and my two friends have been in same schools same classes and same homeroom.since third grade and we r bffs.so we have a problem because we some time like the same boys but dont tell eachother till like next year.lol so yeah just wanted to say that but i really like the book:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kristyn_Crabtree More than 1 year ago
this book is about two best friends who are always just trying to help each other out. Until a guy comes between  them and then all the secrets start to come out.  I think that this book was really interesting because it has many real world situations, such as friend troubles and the loss of loved ones.   think all the characters are all really well developed and interesting. the plot is itself s also well done and has many twists and turns that will keep you wondering what will happen next.  the story itself s also well written and has the story written in both of the girl's perspective, which makes it interest to know what the other thinks about the events happening in the story. the only problem i had with the book is that it jumps around a bit to much, which makes it really confusing at times to keep up with whose perspective you are reading from. nevertheless it was a really enjoyable book that i would recommend to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whats going on you are dating then stick together because almost everybody never finds there soul mate
Andreat78 More than 1 year ago
I'm going to start this by saying that I never had a truly healthy relationship with a best friend until a little over a year ago. In high school, my girlfriends and I were basically a train wreck most of the time. We weren't "bad", it was just drama. I would love to say I was completely innocent, but I had my moments. The reason why I'm sharing this in my review? TMI brought back some of the painful moments of friends and high school. It made me sad and it made me cringe. So I'm thinking the author probably did exactly what she set out to do. I spent much of the first half wondering if TMI is the story of a girl who wants to much control and worries about her friend too much, or the story of the dangers of befriending people online. I guess it could be both, and I would like to think I'm fairly intelligent when it comes to themes, but I had a hard time pinning TMI down for a while. At TMI's mid-point, the story picks up focus. It's a sad situation in which two girls with a lot of issues let emotions and hurt feelings take control, causing everything to spin out of control. I liked that I felt a sense of where the story was headed. And I hesitate at saying this, because I genuinely do believe an author should be able to tell their story, exactly the way they want, but I also must go with my feelings. I'm not saying TMI goes beyond the realm of possibility, but at times it felt like there was too much drama, too many intense and crazy scenarios for me to get completely on board. But then again, things have changed a lot since I was a teen, so maybe what happens isn't too much at all. As for the characters, I often felt conflicted. Now, I know that Meg and Bailey made bad choices. And I may be waaaay beyond my teen years, but I remember what it's like to be a teen. I made bad choices, and I don't know any teen who didn't at least a few times. So with this in mind, I didn't read TMI with a notepad, chronicling every bad choice Meg and Bailey made. I tried to remain a bystander, and let them tell their story. (Now excuse me while I climb off my soapbox.) Having said that, these girls were completely frustrating, especially Megan. And it's not that I can't see where she was coming from, but still, frustrating. I did adore Chase. The boy had the patience of a saint. I honestly left the story happy with how it ended up, but still scratching my head over how it all went down. Honestly, I think this should be chalked up to me not being a perfect fit for TMI. The story had valuable lessons. As an adult, I have hindsight on my side. I think a teen's opinion on TMI would be invaluable.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
TMI by author Patty Blount sounded like an interesting read to get started on. I personally was very excited to get started reading because I have never read any novels that centered around internet romances and characters who may be falling for a catfish (a person who uses social media to create an identity that isn’t their own in order to find romance online). After finishing TMI all I can say is that I am so glad I got to check out this read. In TMI best friends Meg and Bailey both find themselves going head to head after Bailey ends up meeting Ryder online. After constantly changing herself to impress her then-current boyfriends, Ryder is everything that Bailey could ever want. He’s sweet, understanding and a gamer just like herself. Bailey believes that Ryder is perfect. Her best friend Meg wouldn’t understand and she knows that which is why she’s trying to keep Ryder her own secret. So when she finally does tell Meg she knows nothing good can come from Meg’s pessimistic attitude toward Ryder. Meg has always followed her plan. She wants to graduate from high school, go to university and get a degree, a good job and be good in the finance department. Being madly in love with Chase doesn’t exactly benefit her plan. There’s no room for him. Meg can’t understand why her best friend Bailey wouldn’t want to have a plan just like hers. When Meg finds out about Ryder she knows that something isn’t right about Ryder or why he constantly finds excuses not to meet Meg or Bailey IRL (in real life). So when Bailey believes that Meg has told a series of secrets that best friends shouldn’t tell the two girls find themselves feeding an angry fire over the internet that could destroy their friendship. What I really liked about TMI was how emotional the writing and the characters made me. I’m not talking sobbing into a pillow emotional, I’m talking about angry emotions. The interactions between Bailey and Meg were realistic to the point where it had me furious. The two girls both do a lot of things that best friends should not do. Ever. Yet, both characters would constantly forgive each other or push the things that happened away in order to keep their friendship intact and I personally could see how in the real world teen girls do that a lot to keep their friendships. TMI has two main characters who I think a lot of teen readers will be able to relate to in some way or form and both girls are very different from each other. Meg is an ambitious, artistic teen girl who wants to go far in life and turns away her emotions if it means keeping herself and her secrets safe. Bailey is a beautiful, flirty girl who puts her emotions aside whenever she has a boyfriend and centers her entire life around what her boyfriend thinks of her and what her boyfriend may want. I think teen readers will be able to take away from the plot in TMI and create ways to better themselves in some of the situations the main characters find themselves in. TMI also kept me guessing. All the time. Mostly over who Ryder could really be. I had a few guesses and while my guesses weren’t correct (darn!) I think that readers will have fun with guessing the plot twists that the novel introduces. TMI is definitely a novel that will keep readers on their toes and on the edge of their seat as they try to anticipate plot twists and who Ryder must really be IRL and if he and Bailey will ever end up together. I would recommend TMI to readers who want an original read, readers who are big fans of teen fiction and to any readers who want a novel that deals with internet romances and also the dangers that can come with posting certain things on social media sites.
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
 TMI is focused around the lives of two girls, Meg and Bailey, who are best friends and though they are really opposites, they just click and get along really well.  Both girls come from dysfunctional families where the dad is absent.  Bailey has never known her dad and really wants to, and Meg's dad died tragically when she was very small.  She still remembers her dad, especially the last things he told her, and his death has left Meg very scarred and emotionally wounded, more than anyone really knows.  Bailey has always had a boyfriend, is outgoing, a gamer, and is very carefree in nature.  Meg, on the other hand, doesn't have time to fit a boyfriend in her life.  She is driven and focused on her "goals," is really more of a loner, and she and her mom have very little money, so Meg tries to pitch in as best she can.  Her passion is art.  She loves to paint and is very good at it.  Her mom works and goes to school, which means Meg is by herself most of the time.  Then, there is the hottie Chase, Meg's neighbor, who has had a thing for Meg for a long time, and secretly, Meg is crazy about him to, even though she pushes him away and is mean to him because he doesn't fit into her "long-term plan."  Whether she admits it or not, Chase is often the glue that holds things together and has been there to pick up the pieces when things fall apart on more than one occasion.  Both girls think they know what is best for the other, especially concerning Meg's relationship with Chase, and Bailey's relationship with the mysterious Ryder West.  Meanwhile, things are getting more complicated with Chase and it is getting harder for Meg to deny her feelings, and despite the "red flags" that Bailey refuses to see, she is falling harder for Ryder.  One thing leads to another, things are said, lies are told, feelings are hurt, and when it all comes to a head via Facebook posts and other online social media, everyone involved winds up in even more of a mess, one which is now very public and very ugly....something that both girls cannot walk away from unscathed.   TMI was a book that I think would mostly appeal to tweens and teens.  It does deal with important issues that many of them could very well find themselves it.  While the Ryder West thing was a part of the story, I didn't really feel like he was the main focus of the story, but was more of a catalyst for the other issues that these girls deal with.  Friendship is tested, the consequences of of "online revenge/bullying" is focused upon, and the emotional issues that stem from the girls pasts and how their pasts affect their actions and decisions, both in the present and the future are looked at.  TMI is told from both Meg's and Bailey's POV.  I did like both girls, though the way Meg treated Chase really aggravated me.  On the other hand, Chase was great, and so patient with her.  The mysterious Ryder West causes a lot of problems that result in some major drama, but that drama also results in both of these girls facing the reality of their issues, which in turn leads to both of them dealing with these issues and their root causes that have been too long ignored.  As I said above, I think TMI would appeal to younger teens, as it does highlight some really good points as the reader watches these girls mature and take their journey in life,  progressing from unhealthy ways of coping to healthy ways of dealing with issues, and learning what is really important along the way.  
StephWard More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars 'TMI' is a young adult contemporary novel that follows our two main characters and best friends - Bailey and Meg. Although they are polar opposites, Meg and Bailey have been inseparable since grade school. Now Bailey has a new crush on a guy she met online and Meg doesn't trust him. Meg - the always rational one with a plan - doesn't want to see her best friend get hurt or worse. Bailey is sick of seeing Meg waste her life - and the love of a great guy named Chase - all because of her past. Soon Ryder - the mysterious online guy - has Meg and Bailey fighting all the time, doing unthinkable things to one another, and bringing their entire friendship to the brink of destruction. Just who is Ryder West and will Meg and Bailey's friendship be able to withstand him? This was a well written story that hits on a lot of topics that concern teens these days. It's told from the two varying viewpoints of Bailey and Meg, so the reader gets an inside look at what's happening with each character. The characters are realistic with obvious flaws, which made them easy to identify with. I found Meg's character to be really annoying at times - it seems like she just kept whining about everything and wanted a one person pity party. She got on my nerves quite a bit throughout the book, but in the end her character got a bit better. The plot was an interesting one that definitely touches on a lot of popular topics facing teenagers - bullying, self esteem issues, friendship, love, loss, grief, family problems, and finding out who you are. These issues were dealt with in a great way, so that they flowed into the story without being too obvious. The writing was well done and had a great pace that holds the readers attention. I liked the added mystery of what secret Meg was holding on to from her past along with trying to figure out who Ryder was. I think those plot lines added great layers to the story and made it more intriguing. Recommended for fans of contemporary YA fiction. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** TMI by Patty Blount Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Publication Date: August 6, 2013 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC from the author Summary (from Goodreads): Best friends don’t lie. Best friends don’t ditch you for a guy. Best friends don’t post your deepest, darkest secrets online. Bailey’s falling head-over-high-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she’s never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn’t trust smooth-talking Ryder. He’s just a picture-less profile. When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it’s time to prove Ryder’s a phony. But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question: Who is Ryder West? What I Liked: I actually got the chance to beta-read this one back in December of 2012! In fact, if you look in the back of the book to the acknowledgments, @Alyssa_Susanna is there! That's me. So, I'd like to thank Mrs. Blount for allowing me to have the opportunity to beta-read for her, and for putting me in the acknowledgements of her book, and for sending me a review copy! Before I really start my review, let me say that the cover is slightly misleading. Readers will probably think, so there's two girls and guy and a LOVE TRIANGLE?! No no no! There is no love triangle! In fact, I'm not even sure who's kissing who, and why there is a girl looking on. Maybe it's Meg and Chase, with Bailey looking on? But that wouldn't make sense, because Meg and Chase are known for their relationship until the end. It could be Bailey and Simon, but they broke up. It could be Bailey and Ryder, but they never kiss! So, I'm not really sure about the angle of the cover. Just ignore the cover. When I first read this book, my feelings couldn't really be summed up. This book had me on a roller coaster of emotions, and when it ended, I didn't know what to think! Bailey, Meg, Bailey, Meg, back and forth with their shenanigans. As a teenage girl, I did my best to understand their motives and their thoughts. But Mrs. Blount has created two very unique protagonists - both very different in personality. This book includes the perspectives of both girls. Sometimes we read Bailey's, sometimes we read Meg's. I thought it would be really cool if we could read Chase's as well, but I see why Mrs. Blount included only Meg's and Bailey's perspectives (though both are in third person). Meg is careful, calculating, and always planning. Bailey wears her emotions on her sleeve, does what she wants when she wants, and doesn't like Meg's nagging. Bailey has a plan to get Meg closer to Chase, the guy that Meg likes but doesn't want to admit. Chase has always been in love with Meg, since they were kids. But Bailey's plan gets out of hand when Bailey herself "meets" Ryder West - online. Meg thinks that Bailey is with Chase, but when she hears about Ryder, she gets angry. For Meg, dating someone online, whom you've never met before, is dangerous. In this book, it proves to be dangerous, but in a different way than is expected. Things get crazy between Meg and Bailey, all starting with one text to Ryder that was never actually sent, one Facebook post in retaliation of that text that was never sent, and a confusion of boys and feelings. What I really, really liked about this book is the message behind it - the dangers of the internet and online presence. What Mrs. Blount is trying to to convey is that people should be careful about what they post online - especially teenagers. In this day and age, we post comments and statuses and tweets and reviews and EVERYTHING without a care. But everything is public, and once it's posted, it's there forever. Bailey thought Meg sent a text to Ryder about something personal and embarrassing. But Meg never sent that text. Yet Bailey lashed out and posted something embarrassing and personal about Meg on Facebook. For EVERYONE to see. There are so many things wrong with that - and I'm glad Mrs. Blount chose to include that backlash in the novel. Meg NEVER sent the text, but Bailey didn't believe her. Bailey decides to be petty and post something even more embarrassing on Facebook. Meg hits back and posts something embarrassing about Bailey on Facebook. What's wrong with that is that the girls used Facebook in the wrong way - to humiliate each other. What's even worse is that none of it would have happened if Bailey hadn't started to talk to and obsess over and trust a boy online that she never met in person. I know people meet people online and swap contact information and hang out, but Mrs. Blount's message about that is clear: be careful around people you've never actually met. A person can be anyone online, someone so different from who they actually are. In Ryder's case, he was someone different. So, yeah. I really enjoyed this book, for the messages behind it. I think teenagers and parents should pay attention to how much internet access and freedom they give themselves - because the internet really is a fun yet dangerous place for young, innocent people. So, the romance *seems* confusing, but it's not. Bailey doesn't want Chase, she wants Ryder. Bailey recently broke up with her ex-boyfriend Simon, who Meg saw with Caitlyn. THAT was a whole mess as well. Chase doesn't want Bailey. He wants Meg. Meg doesn't want Ryder. She wants Chase. It's simple, but it takes the entire book for the romance to be sorted out. But, everything DOES get sorted out, and the ending in terms of the romance is great! The ending in general is pretty awesome. Chase gets something that he wanted, related to his parents and his future. Meg and Bailey work to repair their friendship. And Bailey discovers something huge about her father - the father she never knew. Everything isn't what it sounds like, but I promise the ending is a good ending, for mostly everyone. What I Did Not Like: When I beta-read this one, one thing I couldn't stand was the bickering and crazies and shenanigans between Meg and Bailey. I think this "dislike" still stands, but I totally see why it's necessary. Without it, this book wouldn't be much, and Mrs. Blount wouldn't have an important message to send to readers. And I think Mrs. Blount did some excellent changes from the manuscript I read to the ARC, in terms of Meg and Bailey's rocky relationship. But I think that a lot of readers might get turned off by all of the bickering, which is why I'm mentioning it in this section. DON'T. Keep reading! The message of this book is so important, and is one of the reasons why I love this book. Also, this is nothing towards the content of the book, but like I said before, I don't really understand the cover. It's nice, but it doesn't make sense with the book. But, whatever! Would I Recommend It: YES! Just. Keep. Reading. This book is one of those books that are important for people my age (teenagers) to read. The internet is no place to mess up, people! Patty Blount does an excellent job of showcasing the downsides of the internet, but she does it in an engaging an interesting way. Rating: 4 stars. I am really, really happy that I got the opportunity to read this one twice! I encourage all your readers and internet aficionados to read Mrs. Blount's novels!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol sry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WHY DONT U BELIEVE ME? WELL O WELL I CAN GET OVER IT LOL