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The frighteningly hip teenage children of the world's most famous monsters have gathered together under one roof...to brave the horrors of high school!
Always overshadowed by her six brothers and her fab friends, Clawdeen Wolf plans to finally strut her stuff in the spotlight at her upcoming Sweet Sixteen bash. But after The Ghoul Next Door goes viral, it's into the woods for the family Wolf. Clawdeen goes stir crazy lying low at her family's B&B with her annoying brothers ...
The frighteningly hip teenage children of the world's most famous monsters have gathered together under one roof...to brave the horrors of high school!
Always overshadowed by her six brothers and her fab friends, Clawdeen Wolf plans to finally strut her stuff in the spotlight at her upcoming Sweet Sixteen bash. But after The Ghoul Next Door goes viral, it's into the woods for the family Wolf. Clawdeen goes stir crazy lying low at her family's B&B with her annoying brothers until Lala shows up to keep her company. But is the vamp flirting with Claude?!
Melody wants to help put the smackdown on Bekka's Monster Home Tours, but she's kinda busy trying to find the truth about her past out of her parents, and keep Ms. J from sending Jackson into hiding. Meanwhile Frankie can't believe that Brett betrayed her by exposing all her friends. But unlike some of the RAD parents, Frankie wants to stay in Salem and fight for their rights. Who's with her?... Hello? Anyone still here?
The moon—a delicately arched crescent—was weeks away from being full. It was not time to hide. She was not transforming. Her monthly battle with rapid hair growth, insatiable hunger, and extreme irritability was not the issue. Still, Clawdeen Wolf was in a dark ravine, running for her life.
“Slow down!” she barked at the five athletic J.Crew catalog–worthy guys who formed a protective rhombus around her as they charged, panting, through the woods. Their mud-stained construction boots pounded the twig-covered earth with tireless determination. Not a minute passed without one of them vowing to keep Clawdeen safe, pledging to sacrifice his life for hers. It would have been extremely sweet—romantic, even—if they were contestants on The Bachelorette. But since they were her brothers, it was getting super annoying.
“My feet are killing me!” she groaned between breaths.
Howldon, aka Don, the oldest triplet by sixty-eight seconds, peered over his shoulder and looked down, fixing his orange-brown eyes on Clawdeen’s pointy-toed gold ankle boots. “I’d kill you too if you stuffed me into those things.” He turned to face the thicket ahead. “It’s like the shoemaker only made room for one toe.”
Howie, the middle triplet, snickered. If Howleen, or Leena, the youngest triplet, had been there, she would have seen Don’s insult and doubled it. Leena—whose nickname rhymed with mean-a for a reason—had boot issues of her own, thanks to Arrowhead Boot Camp. While Clawdeen suffered from blisters, Leena’s pain came from a drill sergeant, five AM whistles, and group meetings about anger management. Ahhhh… just thinking about her certifiable sister’s yearlong sentence brought relief.
“They didn’t come from a shoemaker!” Clawdeen practically spit. “They were designed by L.A.M.B.”
“Is that why you’re running so baaaaaaaad?” joked Clawnor from the back. His nickname was Nino because he tended to be “windy,” like El Niño.
The Wolf brothers laughed.
“What’s your excuse?” Clawdeen wanted to ask. But she already knew. Her sensitive canine ears heard the curses Nino muttered every time he ran into a branch.
Now thirteen, her youngest brother’s fur was coming in fast. Nino’s bushy brows, sideburns, and tangles of black hair undulated in front of his dark eyes like sea grass. It was nothing a bobby pin or styling products couldn’t fix, but Nino refused. He had waited all his life for big-boy fur and wasn’t about to let a few thwacks in the face bully him back to baldness.
“Owie,” Clawdeen whimpered. The sting of a heel rubbed raw slowed her sprint to a gallop. Is it hard to get blood out of leather? If only Lala were here. She’d know. But none of her friends were around. That was the problem… well, one of them.
“Keep moving, Clawdeen,” Rocks insisted, grabbing her wrist to pull her along. Leaves and long shadows blurred into bands of darkness. “We’re almost there.”
“This is so stupid.” She limp-ran, holding up her purple halter dress. “We don’t even know if anyone is chasing us and—”
“No, what’s stupid is a girl running in lamb’s boots,” he snapped. “They were obviously made for hooves, not toes.”
The boys howled with laughter. Clawdeen might have chuckled too if her feet weren’t throbbing like techno. Instead, Rocks’s insane remark became an excuse to stop running and glare at him.
Born Howlmilton, Clawdeen’s younger brother got his nickname because of his dumb-as-rocks comments. But what he lacked in smarts, he made up for in speed—record-breaking, jowl-dropping, thirty-five-miles-per-hour speed. All he had to do to stay on the school track team—and retain his star status—was get straight Ds. Which he did, making the family’s fastest member also the slowest.
“Keep moving!” Howie barked as the others forged ahead.
They took a lot of crap from the other RADs for their birth names. But deep down, they had similar objections. Because, seriously, what had their parents been thinking? It’s not like all normie kids were named Norman, Norma, Normandy, or Normiena. So why the need to force Howl and Claw on the Wolf kids? Being a girl with a hairy neck was embarrassing enough. Couldn’t her parents have at least tried to make life less mortifying?
Rocks smacked Clawdeen’s butt playfully. “Giddyup, lamb.”
Growling, she started limping forward again, silently cursing the day for not turning out the way it was supposed to.
Thursday, October fourteenth, I curse you! You tricked me! From now on, my year has three hundred sixty-four days.
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. The itinerary had been solid. After school and a rigorous body wax, she, Lala, and Blue would take a limo to the Oregon sand dunes. There, they would meet up with Cleo and the accessories editor for Teen Vogue. First, a team of hair and makeup artists would glam Clawdeen, Blue, and Cleo into models. Under Lala’s direction, stylists would adorn them in priceless jewels exhumed from Cleo’s aunt’s tomb. Next, the famed photographer Kolin VanVerbeentengarden would photograph them on camels for a fashion editorial layout on Cairo couture. After a toast to their futures in fashion, they would sneak tiny sips of champagne—aka “model water”—then limo back to Salem. The next day would be spent delighting their classmates with enviable anecdotes from the set. Months later, their exotic beauty would be available on newsstands everywhere—printed on high-gloss paper and bound by Condé Nast.
But the trio had never even made it to the sand dunes. They never got glammed. They never sipped model water. And they would never be printed on high gloss.
Rue you, October fourteenth!
During the ride down, she, Lala, and Blue were searching the limo’s flat screen for TMZ when they happened upon a special called “The Ghoul Next Door.” It featured all three of them, plus Clawdeen’s brother Clawd and many of their RAD friends. The never-before-seen glimpse into the secret lives of Salem’s monsters was supposed to air only if their faces were blurred, homes obscured, and names omitted.
But there it was, clear as Crystal Light. In high def, no less. Not a single blur. Not a single black box. Their true identities—identities the RADs had struggled to keep hidden for generations—were broadcast all over town. Now, instead of celebrating at a wrap party, she was under wraps, limp-running all the way to the Wolf family’s hideout.
Thursday the fourteenth is the new Friday the thirteenth!
Their faces were sure to be on the Internet and the AP wire by now. And the worst part? Cleo de Nile, Clawdeen’s ex–best friend, must have had something to do with it. Because if proof really was in the pudding, this was one lumpy dessert.
Lump 1: Frankie Stein had played a big role in producing “The Ghoul Next Door,” earning her major popularity points with the RADs. Cleo’s queen bee status was threatened, so she was determined to take Frankie down.
Lump 2: Cleo had turned her back on the RADs and become overnight besties with Bekka Madden, a normie who was out to destroy Frankie Stein for stealing her man.
Lump 3: Cleo had refused to be in “The Ghoul Next Door,” proving she knew it would expose the RADs.
It was hard to imagine Cleo jeopardizing the entire RAD community. But as Clawdeen’s mother always said, “People do unimaginable things when they’re insecure. Look at Heidi Pratts.” Clawdeen got squirmy when her trying-to-be-hip mother referenced pop culture—especially when she got celebrities’ names wrong. But Harriet was right: Cleo’s insecurities, like Heidi’s, had driven her toward the unimaginable.
Still, how could she?
Clawdeen began picking up speed, trying to outrun her rage. Popped-blister pain was minor compared to the sting of a stab in the back. Her high heels were sinking into the soft earth, and her C cups were in a turbulent state. Pumas and a sports bra would have made a world of difference, but she had been forced into exile the moment she stepped out of the limo. By then the show had already aired, and the RADs were fleeing.
“Couldn’t we have packed a bag or two, at least?” Clawdeen asked, risking a mouthful of mosquitoes.
“Couldn’t you have not gone on TV?” Don fired back. The honor roll student did make a good point, as usual.
“I didn’t know we were being set up!”
“You should have,” he grumbled.
“Clawd did it too,” Clawdeen added without guilt. Don would never get mad at Clawd—he was the oldest.
“I did it to watch over you,” he said breathlessly. A star football player, he was better at short sprints than long distances. “To make sure it wasn’t a trap.”
“And how did that work out?” Howie teased.
Clawd smacked him playfully on the arm. Howie smacked him back.
Clawdeen missed her girls already. No more gossip sessions, ab-grabbing laughter, clothing swaps, hair-streaking sleepovers, nail-art contests, or professional waxes at the spa.
She pumped her fists and ran faster. Every twig that snapped beneath Clawdeen’s boots was a closed-minded normie. Banished from our homes. No more Internet. No more television. No more jogging along the river to Blue’s bonzer playlists. Forced into hiding. Living in fear. Clawdeen ran harder. Snap. Snap. Snap.
Birds took off in flaps of panic. Rodents dipped back into their holes. Leaves rustled.
The clearing was visible now. Their mother, Harriet, would be there, anxious to guide them to safety.
“Maybe we should grab Mom and go back home,” Clawdeen tried. “Maybe it’s time we stood up for ourselves instead of being afraid—”
“We’re not afraid,” Howie insisted. “Dad put us in charge of keeping you and Mom safe while he’s away, that’s all.”
Clawdeen rolled her eyes. It was the same story day after day. The boys were supposed to protect the girls. But this girl didn’t want protection. She wanted to go back home and confront Cleo. She wanted to check the mail and see if anyone had RSVP’d to her Sassy Sixteen (because what sixteen-year-old wants to be sweet?). She wanted to take a long, hot shower.
“You guys stay with Mom, and I’ll go back,” she pressed.
“No. We’re a pack,” Clawd said, “and—”
“Packs stay together,” they all finished, in a mocking tone.
“Keep going. We’re almost there,” Clawd instructed.
Clawdeen bit her bottom lip and did what she was told. But her tolerance for being babied was wearing as thin as her socks. Forget about protecting her—what about their home? Their individual rights? Their freedom? Those needed protection way more than she did.
Harriet’s athletic silhouette became visible in the distance. As usual, she waved her kids forward, silently urging them to hurry. Going through the motions, Clawdeen picked up her pace, but the flight instinct had yet to kick in. Instead, she wanted to dig in her high heels and fight. And why shouldn’t she? She was just weeks away from her sixteenth birthday, too old to follow the pack. It was time to take control of her life, to show her family that she was more than just another shiny coat.
It was time for this Wolf and her L.A.M.B.s to stray.
Drained and aching from what seemed like hours of sprinting and hiding behind trees, cars, and lampposts, Frankie flopped onto a stone couch in the RADs’ underground hideout and surrendered to the weight of her eyelids. As usual, the lair smelled like popcorn and moist earth. The carousel overhead stopped circling at sundown, but familiar voices still swirled all around her. She was not the first to arrive.
Were her parents there? Had they made it safely? Was Brett really to blame for this?
Frankie tried not to think about him or she’d spark. And she couldn’t spark. She needed to preserve every last drop of energy in case she had to run again.
Her fingers flopped against the tattered hem of her matronly peasant skirt. It felt frayed and muddy—definitely no longer wearable. She grinned weakly. At least some good had come of this.
“You okay?” Frankie heard a familiar male voice and smelled orange Starburst. She forced her eyes open. No one was there.
He unhooked a strand of black hair from Frankie’s lashes and gently tucked it behind her ear. “Yeah,” he said softly.
She struggled to sit up. Her invisible friend gripped her shoulder and eased her back down. “Rest.”
Police sirens wailed aboveground. The room became noticeably quieter until they passed.
“I need to apologize,” she managed to mumble.
“No one blames you.”
Frankie sighed with doubt.
“It’s true. You did everything you could to protect us. Everyone knows that. Brett had all of us fooled. Not just you…” Billy kept talking. Going on and on about how Brett was the wrong guy for her. How he had used her to further his film career. How she never should have trusted a normie who wears monster-movie tees.
Frankie nodded in agreement to show Billy she was just as outraged. But if she were being honest, she would have told him that when Brett gave Channel Two the unblurred interviews, he did more than just break her trust. He broke her heart.
The underground lair began filling with the usual, albeit panic-stricken, RADs. Too nervous to sit on the stone club chairs, they paced. Their jittery movements blocked and then unblocked the lanterns that hung from ceiling hooks, creating a dizzying strobe effect. Jackson chewed his bottom lip while his mini fan blew the floppy bangs off his forehead. Beside him Blue peeled off her fingerless gloves and began slathering her scaly skin with Burt’s Bees moisturizer. Deuce removed his green beanie so the snakes on his head could uncoil and stretch. Lala, looking even paler than usual, closed her ruby-red parasol and quickly joined their tight cluster. Julia greeted them with her endearing zombielike stare behind her cat-eye glasses.
Ordinarily, bubbly conversation would fizz from their circle and overflow into the room like shaken soda. But tonight conversation was flat. Instead of giggly gossip, they exchanged what-do-we-do-now? glances set to a symphony of nail-biting, toe taps, and muffled sobs.
Billy tugged Frankie’s finger. “Let’s say hi.”
“You go,” she said, too embarrassed to face her friends. Not because her mission to liberate the RADs had failed, but because she really liked Brett and had led everyone to believe he liked her too.
Billy squeezed her hand before letting go. “Okay, be right back.”
Allowing her eyes to close again, Frankie heard familiar voices wash over her like waves of electricity.
“Who figahd Brett was such a bounce?” Blue said, her Australian accent thicker than usual. “I had him sussed for a real mate.”
“Well, thanks to that ‘bounce,’ I have to go back to Greece,” Deuce muttered.
“For how long?” Billy asked.
“Dunno. Long enough for the coach to kick me off the basketball team.”
“Does Cleo know yet?” Lala asked.
The sudden knick-knock knick-knock of wooden heels and a waft of amber perfume kept Deuce from answering.
“Heyyyy,” Cleo trilled, with meeting-up-for-lattes flippancy.
“Coooool haaaiiir,” Julia droned, noticing Cleo’s camera-ready do. The zombie was oblivious to the mounting tension.
Frankie wanted to peek, but opening her eyes had become impossible. She felt as if a dozen chandelier earrings were dangling off her lashes.
“Thanks! I just came from the Teen Vogue shoot,” Cleo announced. She paused for a second and then asked, “What’s wrong with Frankie?”
“She just needs some sleep,” Billy insisted. “She’ll be fine.”
“Really? ’Cause she looks a little green, if you ask me.” Cleo giggled.
Frankie’s fingertips warmed but didn’t spark. If she had a single watt of energy left, she would mummy-wrap the royal rhymes-with-stitch so tight that her fake lashes would pop off. What is she doing here, anyway? She wasn’t even in the video.
“What do you want?” Lala asked.
“I came to clear my name,” Cleo said, her tone downshifting to serious. “Where’s Clawdeen?”
“No one knows.” Billy sighed. “She’s not answering her phone.”
“Anyway, don’t you mean apologize?” Jackson seethed.
“Cleo apologize?” Deuce scoffed. “That’ll never happen.”
“Exactly, Deucey, because I didn’t do anything.”
“Rubbish!” Blue snapped. “You ruined our lives to impress your new bestie—”
“Ka!” Cleo stamped her wooden heel. “Bekka Madden is not my bestie!”
“Well, she should be, because we’re done,” Blue replied.
“Will you let me finish?” Cleo asked, hands on hips.
They were silent.
“I admit, I was bitter because you chose the movie over my Teen Vogue shoot,” Cleo began. “I teamed up with Bekka to erase the video from Brett’s computer so it wouldn’t air. Not cool, I know. All I wanted was to model with my best friends, so, technically, my heart was in the right place.”
Julia hummed in approval.
“But why team up with Bekka?” asked Lala.
“She knew Brett’s passwords.”
“Why didn’t she want the movie to air?” asked Jackson.
“Who cares? She had her reasons, but those were mine, okay?”
Frankie’s fingertips burned like cheeks blushing. She was Bekka’s reason.
“Anyway, when I heard Channel Two wasn’t going to show the video because of the blurs, I thought everything was golden,” Cleo continued. “You guys could model, and I could stop hanging out with Bekka and that pain in the Aswan, Haylee. I had no idea they were going to put it on TV uncensored. I had nothing to do with that! Swearsies on Ra. I was in the Oregon sand dunes fighting for my life in a camel stampede while this was going down. If Melody hadn’t filled me in, I never—”
“How is Melody? Has anyone talked to her?” Jackson interrupted. “My paranoid mother took my phone.”
“Hey, wanna hear something freaky?” Cleo leaned in, ready to dish about the new normie. “Did you know that when she sings—”
Blue cut her off. “Oh, quit your earbashing and stick to the point. Did you throw us under the trolley or not?”
Frankie wished she could have seen Cleo’s face. No one ever spoke to the royal highness like that.
“Bekka acted alone,” Cleo insisted. “The only thing I did wrong was choose a photo shoot over the cause. That’s it. I would never put any of you in danger. Not even for Teen Vogue. Crown my heart and hope to rot in my tomb.” She paused. “Any questions?”
No one said a word. Instead, Frankie heard kissy sounds and all-is-forgiven hug purrs.
“Cooooooool haaaiiir,” Julia droned for the second time.
Cleo giggled. “Thanks, Ghoules.”
Wait! I have a question, Frankie thought. When you said, “Bekka acted alone,” did you mean alone without you or alone without Brett? Is Brett innocent? Is—ouch! Tight. Bolt cramp. Ahhhhhhhh…
Frankie’s body began to hum. White-hot currents zipped along her spine and energized her limbs. Her fingers twitched. Her toes wiggled. Her eyes shot open. Is this how normies feel when they eat sugar?
Her father was leaning over her and squinting intensely, as if trying to read her thoughts. “How’s Daddy’s perfect little girl?”
Frankie nodded slowly and sat up. Her mother’s warm hands supported her back.
“We were so worried about you,” Viktor said. “If Billy hadn’t told us where you were…”
“Frankie, another five minutes and you would have been out,” Viveka explained. “Memory loss, coma…” She shook the horrible thoughts from her mind.
“Here,” Viktor said proudly. A black quilted handbag with bloodred straps dangled from his index finger. “It’s for you.”
Confused, Frankie looked back at her mother. The bag was voltage, but it was an odd time for gifts.
“Go on.” Viveka smiled. “Take it.”
The lair was teeming with parents racing to embrace their children.
“It’s a portable amp machine,” Viktor explained. “Keep it close to your body and you’ll stay charged.”
“We modeled it after a Chanel,” Viveka whispered triumphantly.
Frankie turned the bag around in her hands. It buzzed life. The straps were studded with miniature neck bolts, and the interior had more pockets than her Joie cargoes. She instantly transferred her iPhone 4, black-and-green Harajuku Lovers wallet, rhinestone compact, Fierce & Flawless makeup case, pink Lady Gaga key chain, and bag of assorted saltwater taffy from her now-passé silver backpack. Everything fit beautifully.
“I adore it with my entire heart space!” Frankie beamed, pulling her parents into a gigantic thank-you hug. They smelled like chemicals and gardenias—a scent she had come to associate with love.
“A rather unusual time for cutesy adolescent expressions and hugs, wouldn’t you agree?” A male voice, deep and melodic, suddenly filled the room.
The Steins pulled apart to find a giant monitor lowering from the ceiling. It stopped in the center of the crowded room and hovered ten feet above the stone floor. The RADs quickly stopped commiserating and focused on the screen, which showed a distinguished man seated under a giant sun umbrella. Wearing mirrored Carrera sunglasses and a gold satin robe, he had a seven-layer tan and slicked-back hair that was stiff with comb tracks. The shot revealed very little about his location, other than the polished wood railing of a yacht. Jay-Z blared in the background. Women giggled. Champagne flutes clinked.
“Forgive us, Mr. D,” Viktor said, approaching the screen. “We were just so happy to see that Frankie was safe and—”
Folding his arms across his smooth chest, the man on the monitor shook his head disapprovingly.
“Sorry,” Viktor stated humbly.
Three women click-clacked by on-screen wearing heels and the kind of cutout one-pieces that left Mondrian-esque tan lines. Their long pink fingernails raked along the back of Mr. D’s neck as they passed.
Embarrassed, Lala buried her face in her palms.
Frankie broke away from her mother and inched toward her friends.
“How’d he get so bronzed?” Cleo asked Lala.
“Thirty hours straight in a tanning bed,” she whispered back.
“I hate those things,” Frankie interjected, remembering her mortifying electrical surge at the spa. “I felt like I was in a coffin.”
Cleo and Lala giggled.
“Um, something tells me he’s okay with that,” Cleo added.
They giggled again.
Missing the joke, Frankie turned away and whispered into Blue’s beach-blond curls, “Who is this guy?”
“Lala’s pop,” Blue whispered back. “He’s the boomer.”
“The male kangaroo,” Blue said.
Frankie knit her brows.
“Cunning as a dunny rat, he is,” Blue continued. “And quite grouse with the sheilas, if you know what I mean.”
Frankie nodded like she did.
Mr. D cleared his throat. “I’ll save the scolding for another time. I suppose being forced out of your homes is punishment enough for now. Am I right?”
Several parents lowered their heads in shame. Some sniffed back tears. Frankie backed up and hid behind Deuce, just in case Mr. D started looking for a scapegoat. But he didn’t seem concerned with blame. Thankfully, no one did. Blame was a luxury they could no longer afford.
“I’ve made the necessary arrangements,” he stated. “My brother Vlad will collect your phones and identification. I have arranged for new mobile devices, phone numbers, and IDs for everyone so you can no longer be traced.”
Lala’s uncle Vlad appeared before Frankie holding open a giant black sack. No taller than five feet, with a mop of gray hair, round tortoiseshell glasses, and a black-and-white formfitting striped tee, he looked like a Happy Meal–sized Andy Warhol.
“Trick or treat,” he said, the tips of his Crest Whitestripped fangs poking his pillowy bottom lip.
Fingers sparking, Frankie searched the crowd for signs of Billy. Her phone had been a gift from him. She couldn’t just—
“It’s okay,” Billy said, as if reading her mind. “I won’t take it personally.”
Uncle Vlad cocked his head and raised his light eyebrows in a let’s go! sort of way.
Frankie reached inside her new bag and gripped her phone. Like a happy puppy greeting its master, the phone charged from her touch. Oh, how they would miss each other.
“Vite, vite!” urged Uncle Vlad.
Frankie released the phone into the dark sack.
“Wallet too, Sparky.”
Not one for being bullied, Frankie considered zapping his pearly fangs into candy corns. But now was not the time to draw attention to herself. Instead, she pulled out her Merston High ID and dropped it into the bag. “The wallet stays with me,” she insisted.
“Meowww,” Uncle Vlad mewed. “Feisty Stein has spoken.”
Frankie smirked at the nickname; she took it as a compliment. He winked like maybe it was, and then handed her a black envelope.
“Emergency money, new ID, travel itinerary, and a gift card for a new iPhone redeemable at any Apple Store worldwide.”
“Travel itinerary?” Frankie asked. “Where are we going?”
“Make like a librarian and check it out, Feisty.” Uncle Vlad gestured toward the roomful of people still waiting for their envelopes. “You’re not my only customer.”
He and his ominous black sack moved on to Cleo.
“Forget it, mister.” She clutched her bag to her chest. “I didn’t do anything—I wasn’t on TV!”
Frankie rolled her eyes as she pushed her way to the front of the crowd.
“A fleet of jets is currently en route,” continued Mr. D. “They will be in the usual spot in three hours. You have been guaranteed safe passage from one of my contacts at the FAA. Remain here until that time. No one is to return home. It’s not safe.”
“What’s going to happen to Salem when we leave?” asked one of the grown-ups. “Who’s going to run my restaurant?”
“And my law practice?”
“And the fire department?”
“What about my students?”
“And my patients?”
The atmosphere quickly shifted from conflict to panic. These were high-powered people, beholden not only to one another but to the entire community. Did Mr. D really expect them to drop everything and leave? Who would take their places? How would society function without them? And what would become of those left behind?
Forgetting her parents’ rule about not standing too close to the TV, Frankie approached the monitor and blurted, “Are you sure leaving is the best idea?”
Mr. D leaned closer to the camera, its round eye reflected in his sunglasses. “Ms. Stein?”
He leaned back in his white captain’s chair, his fingertips touching. “Yes, I’ve heard about you.”
Frankie beamed. “Thanks.”
A few of the grown-ups snickered.
“Sorry, sir,” Viktor said, placing his hand on Frankie’s shoulder and pulling her back from the screen. “She was just born. What she’s trying to say is that some of us are tired of being intimidated. And we want to stay.”
“Easy for you to say,” snapped Maddy Gorgon, Deuce’s mother. “Frankie wasn’t in the movie.”
“Yes, she was,” Viveka insisted.
“Just her voice,” argued Blue’s aunty Coral. “Funny how she conducted her interviews behind the scenes. It’s like she knew this would blow up in our faces.”
Frankie felt as if a vacuum hose had been attached to her belly button, the dial set to COMPOSURE SUCK. “We only had one camera!” she snapped. “I guess I could have sat on the subject’s lap, or we could have tied it to a pendulum, but—”
Viktor touched Frankie on the shoulder in warning. “Enough,” he mumbled.
“That was awesome,” Billy whispered in her other ear.
Frankie was too worked up to smile.
“What exactly are you accusing my daughter of?” Viveka asked.
On the screen Mr. D was mumbling his lunch order to a waitress.
“I think you know,” Coral said. “That one’s been nothing but trouble since the day she was born.”
“Hold up a minute, Carol,” said Ram de Nile, seated comfortably in a club chair.
“My Cleo wasn’t in the movie either,” he continued. “Are you suggesting she had an ulterior motive too?”
“Perhaps,” Coral pressed.
“Then I have a suggestion for you,” Ram said as Cleo appeared by his side. “Maybe you need to control your niece.”
“Rack off!” Blue shouted. “I am in control!”
Lala giggled, and Mr. D turned back to face the group.
“Sounds like it,” Ram scoffed.
“Well, I’m not taking any chances,” Maddy chimed in. “Deuce and I are going back to Greece.”
“What?” Cleo shouted. And then to her boyfriend, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I just found out an hour ago,” he whined.
“How long will he be gone?” Cleo asked Mrs. Gorgon.
“As long as it takes,” Maddy said firmly. “Normies all over the world now know who we are. We need to be with family—they’re the only ones we can trust.”
“That’s not true. There are a lot of normies out there who support us,” said Jackson, obviously thinking of Melody.
“What about basketball?” Cleo asked. “The coach will kick Deuce off the team if he misses—” She began to cry. “What about me?”
“Thanks to your smart choices, we’re staying right here,” Ram declared, even though that’s not what Cleo had meant.
Coral waved her black envelope in the air. “Well, Blue is going back to her parents in Bells Beach.”
At that, the sea creature broke into salty sobs. The dry scales on her cheeks glistened beneath her tears. Her aunt’s hushed promises of daily surf sessions and sunset swims along the Great Barrier Reef brought Blue momentary solace, but then the notion of leaving her friends and missing Clawdeen’s Sassy Sixteen tore her up all over again.
“We’ll send video of the party,” Jackson said, trying to console her.
“Excuse me?” said his mother. “We’re not staying.”
“What? I can’t just leave. What about school? My art classes? And Melody?”
“She’s a sweet girl, Jackson, but the least of my concerns right now.”
Fights were breaking out all around Frankie. Parents and kids argued over their futures as Uncle Vlad pried phones from their hands.
Lala was the only one still fixed on the screen. “Does this mean I’m coming to meet you on the yacht, Daddy?” Her voice sweetened with hope.
“La, I’m running an international empire from this boat. It’s hardly a Disney cruise,” Mr. D explained, in a tone that implied this wasn’t the first time he’d said so.
Lala looked down at the fuchsia ribbon laces in her combat boots. After a moment she lifted her moist eyes. “So I’m staying here? With Uncle Vlad?”
Mr. D shook his head.
“Why not?” she asked, burying her pale hands in the sleeves of her boyfriend cardigan. “I’m not like you. I don’t show up on camera. No one saw my face.”
“They know where you live.”
“You’ll have fun in Transylvania,” he insisted.
“No.” Lala backed away from the screen. “Not the grimparents, please!”
“Stop calling them that. You’ll be safe there. If you’re lucky, they might even teach you a thing or two about being responsible and taking charge.”
Vlad rolled his eyes, taking the dig personally.
“They drink meat shakes and stay inside all day!”
“So, they’re a little old-school,” admitted Mr. D.
“Dad, when I told Grumpa I wanted to be a veterinarian, he said I already was because I don’t eat meat. He doesn’t even know the difference between a veterinarian and a vegetarian!”
“They raised me right, didn’t they?”
Lala didn’t respond.
“Hang in there,” Mr. D urged.
“Pun intended,” Blue whisper-giggled.
“Grandpa’s just teasing you. Give them a chance.”
On-screen, the waitress returned with a sizzling steak on a silver tray.
“I’m afraid I have another meeting,” he announced. “Maddy, the phones.”
Uncle Vlad emptied the black sack onto the floor. Deuce’s fashionably lithe mother stepped forward. “Eyes closed,” she called, gripping her black Diors. Everyone closed their eyes and she lifted the sunglasses. The room quickly cooled and then warmed as she lowered the lenses back over her eyes. “All clear,” she announced.
Before them sat a stone statue made of their discarded cell phones, wallets, and IDs—another obscure piece of art to clutter their underground hideaway. The latest tribute to their ongoing struggle.
“Good luck to all of you,” Mr. D said over the sound of sobs. “And remember, hide with pride.”
“Hide with pride,” everyone muttered back. Everyone but the Steins.
The screen went black, and the monitor ascended toward the ceiling.
From across the room, Aunty Coral, who was still consoling Blue, fired a round of hate squints at the Steins.
“We should probably get going,” Viktor said, placing a protective arm around Frankie’s shoulders.
Excerpted from Monster High: Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way by Lisi Harrison Copyright © 2012 by Lisi Harrison. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted December 25, 2011
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Posted October 14, 2011
Posted October 4, 2011
I have read this book and it is very good once you start you will not be able to put it down andonce its over you will wish the next one was all ready out
9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 25, 2012
LOVE THIS BOOK I AM IN DRAMATIC SHOCK BECAUSE MY FRIEND BORROWED THE 4TH SO I WAS LOOKING ON HERE BECAUSE READING THE REVEIW TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER BECAUSE SHE IS A SUPER SLOW READER AND IM SUPER FAST SO IM DYING!!!!!!!! GOING ON MOSTER HIGH .COM CHECK IT OUT FREE AND FUN!!!!!
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2011
I love these books! I just finished the second book, now I'm dying to read the book. But, now I'm mad cause a person a few below said that Melody is a siren/mermaid. I wasn't expecting it at all, now I'm mad! I hate when people give things up!
Anyways, can't wait!
7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 2011
I love the whole Monster High series!!!!I can not wait untill the fourth book comes out. You might think that this series is not good, but trust me, I have read all of the books and loved every single one of them. Lisi Harrison is an amazing author of this series. So what I am really trying to say is READ THESE BOOKS!!!! :)
5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2011
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Posted July 12, 2012
Posted May 31, 2012
Luv it i like that the books are about R.A.D.S and peace.i like how they made them like actually teens tis book is so juicy. I love clawdeens party they finally have peace. Plus i luv clawdeen and she gets a sweet 16. But the dolls say draculara turns 1600 i hate that. I give this. Book five stars! VOLTIGE
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 22, 2012
Posted October 12, 2012
LOGOONAS ACCENT IS SO FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVEN THOUGH SHE IS HARDLEY IN THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 27, 2012
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Posted October 9, 2011
I love the book series it is literally nothing like the telivision show. This seriess shows drama and you could ger close to the characters in this series. The only thing I like and dont like is that it shifts from how many people varies in the series books i kindoff like how it shifts i. it is a really good book.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.