Cali Boys

Cali Boys

by Kelli London

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758261298
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 04/01/2012
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Kelli London, aka Kells, has been writing since she was six years old. She’s pro anything that uplifts girls (ok, boys too), is a mentor for A Dream Inc. (a non-profit organization for teens), and creator of Kelli Girls’ Pearls—gems for a girl to live by: Positive Affirmations & Daily Quotes. She lives in The Moment, is a social butterfly (social networking and newsletter butterfly too), has a passion for education, reading, writing, running, chocolate, life and, of course, her readers.

Read an Excerpt

CALI BOYS

A Boyfriend Season Novel
By Kelli London

Dafina KTeen Books

Copyright © 2012 Kelli London
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-6129-8


Chapter One

JACOBI SWANSON

It's not supposed to happen this way, Jacobi stressed, sloshing a creamy mask on her face, then washing her hands and drying them on her jeans before getting down to business. It's just not. With her damp fingers, she pinched the shirt fabric where her breasts were supposed to be, then pulled, making two lopsided, sideways tepees. She'd never have melon-sized brassiere-fillers like her best friend, Katydid, and definitely wouldn't have vavoom-sized, D cup ta-tas like the women in her family. Her head shook at the thought. Never mind large. Big ones didn't matter so much. The problem was, it seemed as if she'd never have enough to fill a bra. At least not in the equal sense. Her small breasts were different sizes. One was clearly bigger than the other, by almost an inch. The other was barely a lump.

"This is ridiculous," she said, letting the shirt snap back against her skin, leaving wet fingerprints where she'd pulled. The unevenness made her more insecure. How was she supposed to start a new school in a couple of months looking like her left boob had been deflated? She nodded. It would take some serious work and dedication to even out her breasts before summer was over, but she'd do it—whatever it was. And it—the solution—lay before her on the sink in a magazine whose cover touted BOOB LIFT OR BUST: 2 BEST CHEST EXERCISES. Turning to page sixty-three, Jacobi read the directions, took off her shirt, and grabbed a medium-sized hand towel. "I can do this. I will do this. I must do this."

Her left hand gripped one end of the towel; her right, the other. She pulled, tugging on the terry cloth until she felt her chest muscles tighten, then released. Again she performed the routine, pulling for a second, then letting go. She repeated the exercise in short intervals, tightening and loosening in quick, five-second repetitions while she watched her muscles contract in the mirror. They'd barely moved, she noted. But they had, and that caused her to smile.

"Pull to the east. Pull to the west ... to increase your breasts! To the east. To the west. To increase your breasts!" She sang a bit too loudly, switching her hips side to side in rhythm with her words, mimicking a dance she and Katydid made up years ago.

Jacobi turned sideways and viewed herself in the mirror. Her profile hadn't changed one bit, but she felt like it had. With a solid thirty days of the bust-increasing exercise, she was sure she'd see a difference. And she hoped it'd be sooner than later because the four marks where she'd pulled on her shirt, two on either side of where bigger breasts were supposed to be, stood out more than anything else on her chest. That was a definite no-no. Girls her age—in her opinion—were supposed to have something to look at. Namely, boobs.

"To the east. To the west ..." she sang again, then paused mid mantra, sure she saw and heard the doorknob rattle. "I'm in here!" she yelled.

A deep laugh rumbled from outside the bathroom. "To the north. To the south. Now get your butt out!" Diggs, her older brother, answered. "That's why nobody likes you but Katydid, Jacobi. You're weird. Mean and weird. 'To the east. To the west ...' Who says stuff like that? And you wonder why you can't make new friends?"

"Yeah!" said her younger brother, Hunter, agreeing with anything that Diggs said, as usual. He was barely five, and already a huge toothpick in her side.

"Shut up!" Jacobi's heart raced, and a film of perspiration made the creamy cleanser mask run down the sides of her face to her neck. Just the mention of her not making new friends made her panic even more. If she had a choice—which she didn't—she'd have plenty of friends in the new neighborhood; that's what she told herself. But the truth was, here she was a loner—an unsocial butterfly who longed for her old stomping grounds and her real BFFs, Katydid and Shooby, though Shooby was more of a crush than a best friend. But not having friends here wasn't her fault. Where she came from, you had to either stand on your own or join some dumb female clique that paraded as a gang. And getting into trouble wasn't her thing, but she knew she could hold her own and hang with the best of the troublemakers if forced to; she and Katydid had done so plenty of times together. The housing projects had taught her that. And it didn't matter that they'd moved to a house where they didn't have to have bars on their windows. The lessons of the streets were already ingrained in her mind, and it was too late to erase them. So, she wondered, how was she responsible for any aspect of her new life? She was in friendless surroundings, had been forced to move into a new neighborhood where she didn't know anyone, and was broke compared to all the other teens in her area. More importantly, she questioned, how much had her older brother heard? She wiped away the white, creamy facial mask streaks from her skin and tried to wish Diggs away.

A loud banging on the door told her that wishing-away powers were only real in movies, and served as an answer to her wondering how much Diggs had heard.

"Increase your breasts on your own time, in your own room," Diggs said, laughing between words. "The truly grown folk—like me—need to use the bathroom. I gotta get fresh, too, before the motorcycle show tomorrow. That's why you're trying to magically grow breastesses overnight, right?"

Before she knew it, she'd swiped her things off the counter and opened the door. She was embarrassed and upset, mad that she had to share a bathroom with her brother. If her parents weren't such penny-pinchers, they'd have sprung for a house with more rooms instead of moving to Baldwin Hills and banking half the small inheritance they'd received upon her grandmother's death. Who wanted to live in the Hills, anyway? She'd have settled for someplace on the outskirts of Los Angeles where people weren't so uppity. She shrugged. Maybe if they'd had the money they had now—money she'd been secretly flipping for her father on Wall Street for the last few weeks, ever since he'd caught her trading penny stocks—she could've changed their minds by changing their bottom line: their debt-to-income ratio and net worth.

"What, you think growing bigger breasts is gonna keep your singer boyfriend, Shooby?" he asked, laughing. "Shoo-shoo-shoo shooby-do," he sang. "I hear he can't even sing."

"Shut up, Diggs! And for your information, he's not a singer. Shooby's just his nickname. You don't know what you're talking about," she snapped, pushing him out of her way and into the almost ceiling-high pile of moving boxes they hadn't yet unpacked. Yes, he was right; she'd hoped she could puff out her chest a bit. She wanted to look like the other girls in their crew, and was sure Shooby would finally notice her if she did. She didn't want to be invisible and stay in the background; she wanted someone to pay attention to her at the motorcycle show. And not just any someone, but Shooby, the only person from her old Lancaster neighborhood besides Katydid that she was sure she'd never be able to let go of. They had a history together; one that included flash mobbing for fun, Scooby tutoring her on life, and Jacobi liking him.

Suddenly Diggs snatched the magazine from under her arm. He held it up as high as he could while he scanned the cover.

"Give it back!" Jacobi yelled, jumping in an effort to take it from him. But that's all it was—effort. Diggs was tall, skyscraper-high for his age, and she couldn't reach the magazine no matter how high she bounced. "Stop playing, Diggs!" She drew back and punched him squarely in the chest.

"Ow," he said, pretending she had hurt him. "Breast exercises. Hmm." He cackled like a hyena. "Girl, you better pray. Ask God to fix your teeth and face first—your breasts can come later. First you need to be proactive. Get it? Like the acne stuff," he said, laughing and pushing his way into the bathroom, tossing the magazine at Jacobi right before he slammed the door in her face. "Or just keep hiding behind the stock market and that stupid video camera you love so much. Those are your friends. As long as you're behind the lens of that camera or the Wall Street Journal, and not on video or the front page, you won't be harming the world," he yelled.

She poked out her lips, begged herself not to cry, and wished she and God could have a two-way conversation so she could know for certain what He was planning for her. Diggs was right. Her skin was atrocious, her breasts were lopsided, and the prized video camera her father had surprised her with was her only close friend now, especially since the stock market was plummeting and she was constantly losing money. But prayer wasn't the only thing she needed—that she knew for sure, because she'd kneeled down many times to ask God for at least a B cup. She needed help from a different sort of trinity: divine intervention from a higher power, heavenly chest exercises, and an angel for a dermatologist. And because their flash-mob crew was growing thicker by the day, and Shooby was the ringleader with all eyes on him—girls' eyes—she knew she needed immediate help to get his attention.

Chapter Two

KASSIDY MADDOX

The Beverly Center was crowded, as usual, and Kassidy was peeved. She pushed through the throng of mall shoppers, hating Los Angeles more and more with each shove she gave and each pleasantry some polite stranger returned. Why is everyone so nice here? "La-La Land," she muttered, answering her own question as she made her way to the escalator, ignoring a phone call from an unknown caller. "Why do I have to live here?" she asked for the umpteenth time, seeing no reason for the twenty-five-hundred-mile move from New York to Cali. Sure, her mother had eloped with an LA local, but, as far as Kassidy was concerned, her mother's marriage and relocation had nothing to do with her. One, she didn't really know her new daddy dearest and hadn't preapproved him, though she'd put on a pretense to make her mom happy because her mother was deserving of happiness. Two, New York was her playground, and, for her, there was no place like the Big Apple. Three, Manhattan was where she'd made all of her money by being a highly sought-after teen model. Growing up, the rule had been that Mommy was the manager and Kassidy was the star, but not after today. In the last twenty-four hours, she'd waved good-bye to her friends and boyfriend, Brent, hopped a plane from John F. Kennedy International Airport to LAX, and now she was here at the mall on a guilt-trip shopping spree, courtesy of her mom. She shrugged. She didn't know what made her mother think that more clothes and shoes could erase the headache and heartache moving had caused Kassidy, but, whatever it was, her mom was wrong. Flat-out wrong. But she'd accept the new wardrobe as a gift, though it wouldn't be enough to sway her. Kassidy had been on modeling shoots in Los Angeles too many times to count, and she'd frequented the Beverly Center, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica, and other trendy places more than she'd care to admit, and not one had made her want to stay. New York pulsed through her veins, plain and simple, and she was certain she'd die without the heartbeat of the city of all cities. More than longing for New York and everything that came with it, she missed the love of her life, Brent—the boyfriend of all boyfriends. He was the one she'd kept, the only one she was true to, except for when he wasn't looking. But what boys didn't know didn't hurt them. That's what she'd told herself. Now she wished she'd been faithful and spent more time with him. Maybe being forced to move was the universe's way of paying her back for cheating. Karma.

Her phone vibrated again, and "Unknown Caller" popped up on the screen. As always, she pressed Ignore, wondering why whoever-it-was kept calling anonymously. She always treated anonymous calls the same: she didn't take them.

As Kassidy approached the escalator, she saw that a small crowd had gathered, and she stopped behind it. Someone appeared to be blocking the escalator. As though her hand were a magic wand, she extended it between two boys and parted the group of people who seemed to be way more tolerant than she.

"Excuse me," Kassidy said to the back of some extra-large girl who wasn't moving. Kassidy was simultaneously reading a text from Faith, her best friend in Los Angeles, who said that she was waiting for her on the top floor. Faith was also a model, one that Kassidy had helped many times; in fact, she had just hooked her up with a major shoot in New York. Faith wasn't on the same level as Kassidy, but she knew the ropes in California and had promised to introduce Kassidy to all the bigwigs she needed to know. It'll be nice to have someone to talk shop with here, Kassidy thought, then realized the person blocking the elevator hadn't moved a centimeter. "Excuse me," Kassidy repeated, not sure if the girl had heard her. Her phone vibrated in her hand again, stealing her attention. A message from Brent came through: CALL ME.

She called him immediately. When a song met her ears, she was certain she had the wrong number. She hung up. Brent didn't do any sort of ringtones or music on his phone. She shrugged, then scrolled to his name in Favorites and selected it. Again, some song came on. Kassidy gave it a few seconds and was about to hang up.

"Hey. You like it?" Brent asked.

"What?" Kassidy said, smiling for no reason.

"The song that you heard when you called. That's mine. I'm thinking of becoming a double threat, a model and singer-songwriter. I've been dabbling with my boy at the studio, and we're putting some tracks together. Maybe we can get one of the designers to use it during Fashion Week," he said.

Kassidy smiled, walking forward, then bumped into the rude girl, the one who was blocking the escalator. "Uh ... I said excuse me. Didn't you hear?"

The girl glanced over her shoulder, sucked her teeth in irritation, and turned back around. She'd rotated her head so quickly, Kassidy didn't get a good look at her, but her message was clear: she didn't care.

"S'cuse me. S'cuse me," the girl mimicked, messing up the enunciation. She stepped sideways, positioning herself in the middle of the escalator. She obviously had no intention of moving, and purposely stood in the way of everyone who tried to politely get by her. "Excuse yourself, skinny girl ... right outta my way. Maybe if you had asked me nicer, I'd move. So you move. I was here first."

Kassidy couldn't believe the nerve of the girl. "Baby, I'm going to call you after I finish shopping," she said.

"Wait, Kassidy. Make sure you call because I won't be able to text—" he began.

"Later," Kassidy said, cutting him off and pressing END on the phone. She wasn't able to really hear what he'd said because the rude girl kept talking trash. She put her hand on her hip and asked the girl once more to move. The girl turned completely around, and Kassidy almost threw up in her own mouth. The girl had a white ring of confectionary sugar around her chapped lips and a dab of what appeared to be jelly on her chin, courtesy of the huge powdered doughnut she scarfed. Without a hint of embarrassment, the girl licked the reddish filling off her fingers, looking Kassidy up and down. Kassidy took a good look at the girl's face, and almost keeled over. The girl had two faint black marks on her cheeks where blush would've normally been, and she didn't breathe; she snored while awake. Kassidy almost cringed at the sound of the heavy wheeze.

"You should see about that," Kassidy said, and tried to move the girl out of the way with the back of her hand. It was bad enough that she was here in La-La Land, but her good friend and only connection to the modeling world was waiting. From Kassidy's experience, cash and opportunity didn't wait on anyone, and if something didn't make money, it didn't make cents or sense.

"S'cuse me?" The girl pushed Kassidy's hand away, then stepped in front of her. "I know you didn't! And see about what, Ms. Lookin' Like Feed The Children?" she spat between bites of the doughnut.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from CALI BOYS by Kelli London Copyright © 2012 by Kelli London. Excerpted by permission of Dafina KTeen Books. 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.

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Cali Boys 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very interesting. It was about two girls and what they go through. When you get to the end your gonna wish there was more. I liked it and I can somewhat relate. It was also interesting enouh for me to read it three times!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago