-School Library Journal on MYSELF AND I
Way Too Much Drama (Harlequin Kimani TRU Series)by Earl Sewell
The toughest lessons aren't always taught in the classroom
Maya is ready to put the fabulous back into her lifeand that means getting her manipulative cousin, Viviana, out of it. Bad enough that Viviana is living under the same roof and tried to claim Maya's boyfriend, Misalo, for herself. Now she's going to Maya's high school and she&… See more details below
The toughest lessons aren't always taught in the classroom
Maya is ready to put the fabulous back into her lifeand that means getting her manipulative cousin, Viviana, out of it. Bad enough that Viviana is living under the same roof and tried to claim Maya's boyfriend, Misalo, for herself. Now she's going to Maya's high school and she's part of the quiz team competing on a TV show alongside Maya, Keysha and Misalo.
Maya has no sympathy when Viviana finally starts to feel the pressure of fitting in to her new world. That's until her cousin does something drastic and dangerous. Maybe Viviana isn't as tough as everyone thought. Maya could be the only person who can help bring her back safely. Question is does she want to?
-School Library Journal on MYSELF AND I
Read an Excerpt
"Hey, Maya. Snap out of it." Keysha popped her fingers a few times in front of my eyes before she placed her hands on my shoulders and shook me.
"You look like you're standing at the corner of Confused and Stunned. Is Viviana still on the phone?" Keysha asked. I had arrived at her house not too long ago and had been in the bathroom talking to her. Keysha had insisted that I come even though I'd injured my knee. I had gone to watch my ex-boyfriend, Misalo, fight Carlo, another guy I had sort of been dating. The fight had turned into an all-out brawl that involved everyone who had come to watch Misalo and Carlo beat each other senseless. My knee had gotten injured while running for safety when the fight got out of control.
"Hello? Why are you glaring off into space like a disoriented zombie?" Keysha clapped her hands several times.
I flinched and said, "I'm sorry." I placed my cell phone in my front pocket.
"Why didn't you confront Viviana on the phone about her wicked ways?" Keysha asked, as to why I had not forced my evil cousin, Viviana, to own up to what she had done.
Keysha and Viviana didn't exactly like each other, which was cool with me because I hated Viviana more than saints despised sinners.
"She was being chased," I finally answered.
"Chased? By who?" Keysha asked as I thought about who'd want to beat Viviana down besides me.
"A group of girls. Through the park not too far from here. Viviana screamed into the phone and begged me to come and help, and then her phone died."
"Seriously?" Keysha's eyes questioned whether my words were true.
Nodding my head, I said, "Yeah." Then I glanced down at my knee, which was tender, so I began massaging it. "Are you going to help her?"
I met Keysha's gaze and wondered why she had asked a question she already knew the answer to. I had absolutely no desire to aid my deceitful cousin.
Scrunching up my face as if I had suddenly caught the scent of a dead animal, I said, "No."
"You have to help." Keysha's insistence surprised me.
"What?" I shrieked, certain I had heard her wrong.
"We have to help her." Keysha spoke as if I had a moral obligation to do so.
"So let me get this straight. Thirty minutes ago you got into a scuffle with Viviana, and now that some other girls are about to beat her up, you want to go help her?" My words were filled with sarcasm. Keysha's harebrained idea was one for the books.
"I know I sound crazy, but I have my reasons for why I think we should lend her a hand."
"What you're saying doesn't sound crazy, Keysha. It sounds insane. Have you turned bipolar on me?" I gawked at her in frustration.
"Maya, listen." Keysha once again placed her hands on my shoulders, then met my gaze. "I know you're really ticked off with Viviana, and you have every right to be. Deep down you want to see her suffer for destroying your relationship with Misalo. Trust me, I get that."
"Viviana suffering isn't a harshenough punishment." I spoke from a bitterly cold place in my heart.
"I truly get it, Maya," Keysha repeated, trying to reassure me.
"Then why are you trying to convince me to help her?" I angrily asked. The very thought of Viviana brought my blood to a boil.
"Remember how much I used to hate Priscilla for ruining my prom dress, sleeping with my boyfriend and getting pregnant by him?" Keysha reminded me of some drama she'd had to deal with in her past.
"Oh, yeah. I'll never forget how you wanted to kill Pris-cilla on sight." A sour expression spread across my face.
"Remember how I was forced to save her life when she nearly drowned?" Keysha said.
I recalled the incident. Alex, an eighth grader who had a crush on Keysha, shoved Priscilla into the pool after she and Lori had tried to beat her up on the pool deck. Alex was only trying to help when he did it, but Priscilla could not swim and nearly drowned.
"I could've easily allowed her to die, but I set aside my animosity and did something I never thought I would do. I rescued her. I learned something when I did that," Key-sha stated.
"Oh, really? What did you learn?" I asked, wondering what revelation she'd come to.
"Forgiveness, Maya. I had to forgive Priscilla before I allowed myself to save her from certain death," Keysha whispered.
I raised my voice and said, "Well, I'm not ready to forgive that slut. She can burn in hell for all I care!"
"You don't mean that," Keysha said.
Refusing to take back my words, I said, "Yes, I do."
Keysha sighed disappointedly and asked, "Where did you say she was again?"
"At the park not too far from here. Why?" I asked, sensing that Keysha was about to do something foolish.
"I'm going to help her," she said, opening the bathroom door. Keysha walked out of the bathroom and I reluctantly followed. When we reached the family room, Keysha paused in front of her younger brother, Mike, who was sitting on the sofa texting.
"Mike, I need your help," Keysha interrupted him.
"How much money do you have?" Mike asked, momentarily glancing up from his cell phone.
"Okay, I need a favor then." Keysha rephrased her request for assistance.
"Girl, you know that I don't like handing out favors, especially to you." Mike once again began thumbing a text message.
"Stop being a jackass, Mike," Keysha snapped at him. Mike looked up. He glanced at me then back at Keysha. Sucking air between his teeth, he asked, "What kind of favor?"
"We need you to help us break up a girl fight," Keysha said in a hurried voice. "Now come on, before it's too late."
"Whoa! I like watching girl fights. I wouldn't want to break one up. I'm not the type of guy you need for that job. I will come along to watch, though," Mike said.
"You're such a typical guy. I don't even know why I bothered to ask you," Keysha fussed at her brother.
"You're starting to sound like Sabrina now. Nag, nag, nag, nag!" Mike spoke with a very annoyed voice.
"Whatever," Keysha said, then headed toward the door. I couldn't let her go alone so I trailed behind her.
"I swear, I don't see why or how Sabrina puts up with him," Keysha griped as we hurried to the park.
"Jeez! Would you slow down? My knee is killing me," I complained.
"I'm sorry," Keysha said, slowing down her hastened pace. At that moment, we were both startled by the sound of a car horn blowing beside us.
"Hey, I was just on my way over to see you, Keysha," said Wesley as he pulled up alongside us.
"When did you get a car?" I asked, admiring the cute white Volkswagen Jetta.
"It's my dad's. I have my license now, but I can only drive it locally," Wesley admitted.
"Good. Can you give us a ride to the park behind Maya's house?" Keysha asked.
"Yeah, hop on in." Wesley was more than willing to take us wherever Keysha wanted.
"What's going on at the park?" Wesley asked curiously. Wesley and Keysha used to date a long time ago. Now they were just good friends, although I got the feeling Wesley was interested in hooking back up with her.
"We're going to break up a fight," Keysha informed him.
"For real?" Wesley glanced over at Keysha as she got situated in the passenger seat. I was in the backseat admiring the interior of the car. The convertible top was down and the sun felt really good on my skin.
"I would look so cute in this car," I spoke aloud. I was hoping to distract Keysha and make her forget about assisting Viviana.
"Yeah, really," Keysha said as Wesley sped toward the park. He got us there in less than two minutes. When we pulled up, we didn't see Viviana or any other girls.
"The police probably came and broke it up already," I said with a sense of gratification. In my heart, I hoped Viv-iana was someplace unconscious with her nose smashed in dog crap. I was angry and that emotion gave my heart the permission it needed to blacken my thoughts, even if only for a moment. If I ever did see Viviana in a situation where she was injured and helpless, I knew I would be the first person to offer help.
"Pull over, Wesley," Keysha ordered. Once Wesley parked, the three of us got out of the car. We looked around, but saw no sign of Viviana or the pack of girls she claimed were attacking her.
"Is that her over there?" Wesley asked, pointing to a girl who was coming our way. She was cutting through the grass from the opposite side of the softball field.
"Yeah, that's her," I confirmed. She was walking lethargically. Keysha and Wesley began moving in her direction. I stayed put and rested my behind against the car.
"Are you coming?" Keysha looked over her shoulder at me.
"No. I told you my knee hurts." I offered up what I'm sure Keysha considered a lame excuse. I shifted my weight so that all the pressure was placed on my good leg.
"Maya, don't be like that. From what I can tell, it looks as if she could really use a hug."
"Fine," I agreed, walking with them.
As we approached, Keysha tried to hug Viviana to comfort her, but Viviana rejected her sympathy embrace.
"Get off me before I kick your butt," Viviana snarled at Keysha.
"You could at least say thanks to us for coming to help out," I scolded Viviana for being so ungrateful.
"I had it under control," Viviana answered stubbornly.
"From the look of things, I'd say you got your ass whooped," Keysha said.
"It's nothing. Just a ripped shirt, a few scrapes and messy hair." Viviana downplayed the degree of damage that had been inflicted upon her. Her long hair looked disheveled, and it was obvious that it had been yanked on several times during her scuffle.
"Your hand is bleeding." Keysha, still being kindhearted, reached for Viviana's hand.
"Hey! I said leave me the hell alone!" Viviana jerked away.
"Viviana, what the hell! She's only trying to make sure you're okay," I shouted at her.
"I don't need any help from either of you, okay! Just leave me alone!" Viviana yelled at the top of her voice as she moved on.
"Who were the girls that were chasing you?" asked Wesley.
"Why do you even care?" Viviana harshly glared at Wesley.
"You sound just as crazy as my ex-girlfriend, Lori," said Wesley unapologetically.
"Oh! Why do you want to bring that tramp up?" Keysha turned her attention to Wesley and awaited his response.
Lori was the reason she and Wesley had broken up.
"Uhm." Wesley paused, uncertain of what he'd done to turn Keysha's aggression toward him. Boys can be clueless sometimes. The last name Keysha wanted to hear pass through Wesley's lips was Lori's, especially after Keysha had agreed to let him get close to her again.
"Her name shouldn't even be in your head, especially after the mess she put you through." Keysha didn't filter her words.
"Jeez, this is the second time I've tried to help a girl in need, thinking that I was doing the right thing. I'm never going to help out again because I only end up getting my head chewed off. Girls are way too complicated and love drama way too much. I swear, I feel like a cat chasing a red laser pointer whenever I try to figure girls out," Wesley said, washing his hands of the conversation. He turned and began heading back toward his car.
"Now do you see and understand how crazy Viviana is?" I looked at Keysha and waited for the acknowledgment that I was right all along and that we should've let Viviana deal with her own mess.
"Yeah, I see what you mean," Keysha admitted.
"She'll live," I said nonchalantly as I watched Viviana walking toward my house.
"Are you still going to talk to her about causing the breakup between you and Misalo?" Keysha asked.
"Don't worry. I'm going to deal with her in my own way," I said as I rested the palm of my left hand on Keysha's shoulder and hobbled back to the car where Wesley was waiting on us.
Meet the Author
Earl Sewell attended Columbia College in Chicago where he studied screen and fiction writing. Earl’s YA novels in his Keysha and Friends series have made him a librarian and teen fan favorite. He currently resides in South Holland, Illinois, and is working on his next novel.
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Too much drama for me like forreal
I feal vivana got what she dezerved misalo found out and went back to mya and mya parents start seeing the truth i love em carlo got dissed thats what they get i got from libaray someone please lend me the real one even though i read it i cant wait to read more love it hope you live it to