When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true...
Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!
As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?
From Jessica Brody, the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy, comes A Week of Mondays, a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.
“A teenage spin on Groundhog Day that is sure to please those looking for a light and entertaining read.” School Library Journal
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A Week of Mondays
By Jessica Brody
Farrar, Straus and GirouxCopyright © 2016 Jessica Brody Entertainment, LLC
All rights reserved.
THE FIRST MONDAY
Mountain High, Valley Low
When my phone chimes with a text message on Monday morning, I'm still in that dreamy state between sleep and awake where you can pretty much convince yourself of anything. Like that a teen Mick Jagger is waiting in your driveway to take you to school. Or that your favorite book series ended with an actual satisfying conclusion, instead of what the author tried to pass off as a satisfying conclusion.
Or that last night, you and your boyfriend didn't have the worst fight of your relationship — correction: the only fight of your relationship.
Or that it wasn't completely your fault.
But it was my fault.
I blink out of my trance and scramble for the phone, knocking over the cup of water on my nightstand. It splashes onto the stack of textbooks and papers next to my bed, soaking the extra-credit AP English paper on King Lear that I spent the entire weekend working on. This was my only hope of turning my borderline A to a solid A before first quarter grades are finalized.
I hastily swipe at the lock screen of my phone.
Please be from him. PLEASE be from him.
We didn't talk at all after I stormed off from his house last night. Some hopeful part of me thought he might call, not wanting to leave things the way we did. While some slightly delusional part of me thought he might have taken some unknown back roads and alleyways, driven twice the speed limit to beat me to my house, and would be standing in the front yard with his guitar, ready to play me an apologetic "I'm a jerk, please forgive me" love ballad that he just happened to write on the way over.
(Okay, a really delusional part of me.)
Regardless, neither had happened.
My fingers fumble to open the text message app and I nearly collapse in relief when I see Tristan's name. Twice.
He sent me two text messages.
The firdst says:
Tristan: I can't stop thinking about last night.
Oh, thank God. He's a mess, too.
This makes me so happy I want to cry.
Wait, that didn't come out right. It's not like Tristan's misery makes me happy. But you know what I mean.
I want to grab Hippo (the stuffed hippopotamus on my bed that I've had since I was six) and waltz around the room with him while "At Last" by Etta James plays soulfully on my life soundtrack. (The sixties really were the best decade for music.)
But then I see the second text message and Etta screeches to a halt in my head.
Tristan: Let's talk today.
Okay, deep breaths.
Don't jump to conclusions. This could be a good thing. This could be like "Let's talk today so I can apologize profusely for everything I said last night and confess my undying love for you while I run my fingers through your hair and a four-piece band serenades us. Or maybe a six-piece band. You know how much I love the sound of the trombone."
Ugh. That sounded crazy even to me.
Honestly, since when does "let's talk" ever foreshadow good things? It's like the universal sign for impending doom.
This is it. He's going to break up with me. I said all the wrong things last night. I overreacted. I've turned into the very thing that Tristan hates.
A drama queen.
And really what happened last night wasn't that big of a deal. I don't know what got into me. I just, kinda ... flipped. I chalk it up to stress. Severe stress. And hunger. It was a moment of stressful hangry weakness. And now the whole relationship is probably over. The best thing to ever happen to me (okay, pretty much the only thing to ever happen to me) and I screwed it all up.
I suppose it was only a matter of time, really. I mean, Tristan is Tristan. Gorgeous. Funny. Charming. And I'm ... me.
No. Stop. Self pity party over.
I can still turn this around. He hasn't broken up with me yet. I can still save this. I have to save this. Tristan is everything to me. I love him. I've loved him since our second date, when he took me to his band's show and I saw him singing up on that stage. He just oozed sexytime and poetry.
Can one ooze poetry?
Or sexytime, for that matter?
Whatever. One fight does not a breakup make.
We will persevere. Our hearts will go on!
I send Tristan a quick text back. I infuse it with nonchalance and free-spiritedness. I am Ellison Sparks, Drama Free since 2003!
(Okay, so technically I was born before that, but the first few years of anyone's life are, by nature, dramatic.)
Me: Morning! Can't wait to see you today!
I press Send with a flourish. Then I find "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in my "Psych Me Up Buttercup" playlist and set the volume to Blast!
It's almost impossible to feel down when Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell are cheering you on from the sidelines. It's like this song was written specifically for impeding a breakup. It's the Relationship Saver's Anthem.
I prance into the bathroom, place the phone down on the counter, and sing along at the top of my lungs while I shower.
"Ain't no mountain high enough ... To keep me from getting to you, babe."
On second thought, this song might also be the Stalker's Anthem.
But it doesn't matter. It works. As I step out of the shower and grab a towel, I actually have the nerve to think:
Today is going to be a good day. I can feel it.
Talking 'bout My Generation
Why do we have to pick out clothes every day? Why can't we just live in one of those cheesy futuristic sci-fi movies where everyone wears the same neon space suit and no one really seems to care that they all look like clones?
I stare hopelessly into my closet. It's school picture day and I also have to give a speech to the entire student body for class elections. Rhiannon, my running mate, texted me last night, reminding me to "Look vice presidential!"
Now I have to find an outfit that not only reminds Tristan that he's madly in love with me, but also makes every member of the junior class — or at least a deciding majority — want to vote for me, and it has to be something that won't totally embarrass me in front of my grandchildren in fifty years when I show them my junior class picture.
So basically, no pressure.
I pull my pair of lucky skinny jeans from a hanger in the denim section of my closet and move over to the pinks. My wardrobe is coordinated by fabric, color, and season. It's supposed to make clothing selection more efficient, according to an article I read in Getting Organized magazine two years ago. (I've been a subscriber since I was ten.) But today, I don't think even a personal stylist could help me pick out the right thing to wear.
I settle on a conservative-but-not-totally-puritan baby pink button-down shirt with a navy cardigan from the autumn section. Then I brave the mirror.
Huh. Not bad.
Maybe I don't need the neon space suit after all.
I blow-dry and flat-iron my hair until it's (relatively) tamed, reprint my extra-credit English paper, and pack up my schoolbag.
Downstairs, the Sparks Family Circus is in full swing. My father is trying to eat oatmeal while playing Words With Friends on his iPad, which usually just ends up with him wearing most of the oatmeal.
My mother, the hotshot real estate agent, is her own sideshow this morning. She bangs cabinets and drawers closed as she searches for God knows what.
And in the center ring is my thirteen-year-old sister, Hadley, noisily shoveling spoonfuls of cereal into her mouth between page turns of whatever contemporary young adult novel is at the top of the bestseller list. She has this obsession with reading about people in high school. I've tried to tell her that four years of high school is bad enough. Why on earth would she want to submerge herself early?
She eagerly looks up from her book when I walk into the kitchen and asks, "Did he call?"
I roll my eyes. Why oh why did I tell her about the fight? It was a momentary lapse of judgment. I was a weepy sack of emotions and she was ... well, she was there. Popping her head out of her bedroom as I climbed the stairs. She asked me what was wrong and I told her the whole story. Even the part where I threw a garden gnome at Tristan's head.
In my defense, it was the only thing within reach.
Then she proceeded to summarize the entire plot of 10 Things I Hate About You in an effort to make me feel better, which, incidentally, only made me feel like she was comparing me to a shrew.
"No," I say dismissively, reaching into the fridge for the bread. "He texted this morning."
My dad looks up from his iPad and I cringe, waiting for him to ask me what happened. I really don't want to hash out my domestic issues with my parents. But instead he says, "I need a word that starts with T and has an X, an A, and preferably an N in it."
No one responds. No one ever does.
My mom bangs another cabinet closed. This time, miraculously, my dad takes notice. "What are you looking for?" he asks.
"Nothing!" she snaps. "I'm not looking for anything at all. Why would I possibly be looking for something I have no hope of ever finding? At least not under this roof!"
Talk about a drama queen.
Oh God. Is this where I get it from? Are meltdowns genetic?
I pop two pieces of bread into the toaster and return the package to the fridge.
"What did the text say?" Hadley asks.
"Nothing," I mumble. "It was just a misunderstanding."
Hadley nods knowingly. "Lost in textation."
I lean against the counter and glare at her. "What?"
"Lost in textation. It's that awkward part of texting where the context of a conversation is lost without being able to see the person's face or hear their inflection."
I sigh. "Will you stop looking at Urban Dictionary? Mom, tell her to get off Urban Dictionary. It's completely inappropriate. Do you know what kind of things are on there? Words you and Dad don't even know."
My mom doesn't respond. She pulls a frying pan from the cupboard and sets it down on the stove top with a boisterous clank.
"Textation!" my dad shouts excitedly, tapping at his screen. "Good one, Hads!" But a moment later his face falls. "Not a real word? WTF?"
I groan. How is this my life?
My toast is only half done, but I push up on the lever and force the bread to eject. I smother it with peanut butter, wrap it in a paper towel, and grab my schoolbag. I'm not exactly running late, but staying around here another second will make me want to stick my own head in the toaster.
"Ellie," my dad says.
I stop just short of the door. I almost got out alive. So close.
At first I think he's going to ask me for another word for his game, but instead he says, "Are you ready?"
I pat my bag. "Yup. Got my speech notes right here."
He looks genuinely confused. "No, I mean, about softball tryouts."
Oh, and I have softball tryouts today. On top of everything else.
"Making varsity your junior year would be huge. The state schools would definitely take notice of that."
I'm itching to get out of this house. And my dad reminding me of yet another thing that's looming over this day is not helping. "Yeah," I agree.
He sets his iPad down and stares wistfully into space. "I remember when my varsity baseball team made it to the state championships."
Aaaand he's off.
"Standing on that pitching mound, I'd never been so nervous in my life. Your mom was in the stands. I just didn't know it yet. It probably would have made me even more nervous. Remember that, Libby?"
My mom takes the butter tray from the fridge and slams it down on the counter so hard I think she might have cracked the plastic.
"Is something wrong?" my dad asks.
Quite the observer, he is.
"No," my mom answers sharply, not even looking at him, as she cuts a piece of butter and drops it into the frying pan. "Why would anything be wrong?" It's one of her snakebite questions. I call them that because she coils up, lunges at you, and before you can even answer, you're dead from the venom.
"Are you sure?" my dad asks.
"She's gone mom-zerk," Hadley remarks.
My dad glances down at his iPad. "Ooh. I wish I had a Z!"
That appears to be the last straw. My mom storms out of the kitchen, leaving the burner on and the butter melting in the pan.
I am so not getting into the middle of this. I don't need to add "mediate parental dispute" to my to-do list today.
I shove my shoulder against the garage door. "Great story, Dad. Okay, bye!"
Dropping my bag into the backseat of the car, I get behind the wheel and start the engine. It isn't until the garage door opens and I back out onto the driveway that I notice it's raining and I don't have an umbrella.
But there's no way I'm going back inside that house.CHAPTER 2
The Magic's in the Music
I sing along at the top of my lungs to "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys as I take a left at the end of my street, then the first right, and pull into Owen's driveway, putting the car into park. I'm about to lean on the horn when I notice the front door of his house is open, and he strolls casually to the car, not even caring that he's getting totally soaked by the rain.
"Wow. It's really chucking it down out here," he says, opening the door. He stops when he hears the song playing. "Uh-oh. What happened?"
I give him a questioning look.
He plops his backpack on the floor and climbs into the passenger seat. "You only put the Beach Boys on after something bad happens."
I scoff at this. "My life doesn't have to be in shambles to listen to the Beach Boys."
He closes the door. "Yes it does."
"What if I just felt like listening to something beachy?"
But Owen knows me too well. We've been best friends since the summer between third and fourth grade when he talked me into jumping off the ropes course telephone pole at Camp Awahili. "The Beach Boys are in your 'Psych Me Up Buttercup' playlist. And I happen to know that playlist is reserved for emergencies only."
He gives his head a doglike shake, flinging drops of rain from his dark, shaggy hair onto my dashboard. I grab the small cleaning cloth I keep in my glove box and wipe it off. Then I slump in my seat. "Fine. Tristan and I had a fight."
His green eyes open wide and he turns down the music. "You and him?"
"As in, the two of you actually disagreed about something?"
"Do you not understand what a fight is?"
Owen lets out a low belly laugh.
"Owen," I whine. "What's so funny?"
He stops laughing. "It's just that it's about bloody time."
"You're not British," I remind him. "You can't keep using the word 'bloody.'"
"The Brits don't own the word 'bloody.'"
"Yeah, they kinda do. In America — where we live — it means 'covered in blood.'"
"It's a good word. It's like the loophole of swearwords."
I scowl. "What did you mean when you said it's about time?" "I said it's about bloody time," he reminds me.
He sighs. "Fine. I just meant you two never disagree. About anything." He holds up a finger. "No, wait. I wish to strike that from the record."
"So stricken," I say automatically.
Talking like we live in a television legal drama is kind of our thing.
"You never disagree with anything," he says, amending his statement.
"I do, too."
"Well, yeah, with me. But not with him."
"On what grounds?"
"I —" I begin to argue but then realize I can't come up with a single example to prove him wrong. "Well, but that's just because I don't want to be like all the other girls he's dated."
"Superficial and obnoxious?"
I slug his arm. "Dramatic."
"Having a differing opinion is not being dramatic. It's being, you know, a person. What was your fight about?"
I groan. I don't really want to rehash it, but I know Owen won't leave me alone until I spill. "His phone."
"You had a fight about his phone?" Comprehension flashes on his face. "Oh. Let me guess. He has an Android operating system and you have Apple. It's a compatibility issue. You'll never get along. You may as well just end it now."
I give him another slug. "No. It was what was on his phone."
He cocks a scandalized eyebrow. "Now I'm really interested."
"Not that, you perv. Snapchats. From girls. While we were trying to watch a movie."
He shrugs. "So?"
"He's a musician. In a semipopular local band."
I exhale loudly. "Yeah, that's what he said. Well, you know, minus the 'semipopular' part. And I know. I know. It was something I told myself I'd have to deal with when we started going out. And normally, I'm able to suppress it. But last night, I kind of just snapped."
"You Snapchat Snapped?"
Owen finds this incredibly amusing. I do not. He wipes the smile from his face. "Sorry. Good joke. Bad timing. Withdrawn."
"Anyway," I go on, "we got into a huge fight. I told him I didn't like the attention he gets from girls. He accused me of overreacting. It went on and on and then I threw a garden gnome at his head."
Owen's jaw drops. "You did what?"
"It wasn't a heavy one," I say, defending myself. "It was mostly full of air. It didn't even hit him. I missed. It hit the paved walkway and broke."
"That doesn't bode well for your softball tryouts today."
Excerpted from A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody. Copyright © 2016 Jessica Brody Entertainment, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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.
Table of Contents
THE FIRST MONDAY,
THE SECOND MONDAY,
THE THIRD MONDAY,
THE FOURTH MONDAY,
THE FIFTH MONDAY,
THE SIXTH MONDAY,
THE SEVENTH MONDAY,
Also by Jessica Brody,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Its such a great story and each page leaves wanting more! I loved the whole book in general 10\10?
Ellison Sparks is having the worst Monday ever. She runs a red light and gets a ticket while driving herself and her best friend, Owen, to school. She forgets her umbrella and gets soaked in the rain. Right before it's time to take her school picture which turns out terribly, of course. She gives the worst election speech for Junior Class Vice-President in the history of ever. She doesn't make the cut at softball tryouts. Worst of all her dreamy, rockstar boyfriend Tristan dumps her. At the carnival. On what should have been their dream date. Ellie knows if she just had a second chance she could get Monday right. But what happens when she gets seven chances? As Ellie tries again and again (and so on) to get her Monday right she starts to realize that maybe the dream Monday she's been chasing isn't so perfect after all in A Week of Mondays (2016) by Jessica Brody. A Week of Mondays is a fun standalone novel. Although there are some fantasy elements with the repeating day (reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day), this novel is contemporary at its heart and will appeal to fans of that genre. Brody makes good use of the repeating days to flesh out Ellie's character and explore different aspects of her life over the course of this unusual week. Readers will also see the scope of the book's plot expand as Ellie begins to delve into other parts of her day including why her parents are fighting every morning and what problems her younger sister is facing at school. While some of Ellie's decisions may seem obvious to readers from the start, this story is more about the journey than the destination. Ellie's character development and growth over the course the novel more than makes up for any predictability to the plot. The payoff at the end of Ellie's "week" also seamlessly brings every repeated Monday together for a satisfying conclusion to a truly enjoyable story. A Week of Mondays is a sweet, optimistic novel with a breezy narrative and tons of humor. Highly recommended for readers looking for a new fun diversion. Possible Pairings: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre, The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein, The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder, The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood, The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith, P. S. I Like You by Kasie West
We all know that I'm super particular about my contemps, but I loved the idea of this and plus it's Jessica, so I was sold. Love love loved overachieving Ellie. She's smart and snarky and maybe a bit unsure of who she really is. By the end of the book, we've seen all sorts of Ellies and it's amusing to see who she tries to be and who she finally becomes. Tristan and Owen are both adorable for different reasons. The plot is fun, especially seeing how Ellie's decisions change throughout the day. I absolutely would have loved an epilogue or something more after the last chapter, but it was perfect the way it was. Overall, it was a fun and quick read. **Huge thanks to Macmillan for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
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