It's all fun and games until you fall in love...
After Mariely Hinojosa and Cabot Wheeler both break up with their significant others at the same party, Mariely sees a way to get even with both of their exes. Everyone knows that the best way to get over a breakup is a hookup-a fake hookup, that is. Three weeks, all fun, no strings, and definitely no heartbreak at the end.
But somewhere between the sweet hand-holding and melt-your-mind kisses, their fake relationship starts to feel less like an act and more like the real thing...but Mariely's a free-spirited girl from the other side of the tracks, and Cabot's the hot trust-fund guy from the Hills. They'd never work for real...
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.46(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
Read an Excerpt
Crazy Stupid Fauxmance
By Shellee Roberts, Stacy Abrams
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Shellee Roberts
All rights reserved.
I can't stand drama.
I don't mean the drama that requires a script, a stage, and a spotlight, the kind that's going to take me all the way to Los Angeles after graduation next spring. No, I mean high school drama, the kind that churns the wheels of teen social circles, not to mention my stomach. The kind playing out in front of me on the rooftop deck of Cabot Wheeler's private Lake Austin boat dock. *Draaah-maaah* (* = jazz hands).
Drunk girlfriend drama. The worst.
Cabot's girlfriend, to be precise. The absolute worst.
"You didn't do anything, Cabot. Of course you didn't," Audrey Jakes screeches. I wince and try to edge back a step, but the deck is jam-packed with people. Beside me, my best friend, Willa, seems rooted to the spot. Me, I'm looking for an exit.
Cabot looks like he feels the same.
Audrey doesn't wait for a response from him before she continues to blast him. "That's the problem — you never do anything anymore. You don't care about anything anymore. You probably don't even care that I hooked up with another guy." She punctuates this bombshell with a fling of her red Solo cup, dousing me and about forty of our Austin NextGen Academy classmates with what smells like Jim Beam and ... Coke Zero? Yuck. The surrounding crowd groans and squeals, and everyone backs up, but not too far. When your school's power couple goes supernova in front of you it's hard to look away.
Unless you're Cabot.
I see his eyes dart over the deck railing, and I'm pretty sure he's calculating whether jumping two stories into the always cold, way-too-shallow water isn't preferable to having Audrey humiliate him in front of everyone he knows. When possible paralysis seems like a valid alternative, I think one's choice of girlfriend should really be reexamined.
The whole scene is unpleasant and awkward, and it starts making me feel icky to watch any longer, so I grab Willa by the sleeve. "Let's get out of here."
"Definitely," she agrees. We zigzag our way through the crowd, and she dabs sticky droplets from her face using her jacket sleeve. "Ugh, dancers," she says, talking about Audrey, the prima performer of our creative arts school's contemporary dance track. "People who don't eat shouldn't be allowed to drink alcohol."
"Actually, none of us are allowed to drink alcohol," I remind her. Willa cuts me a side-eye.
"You know what I mean, Mariely Hinojosa. Anyway, Cabot should take this opportunity to run fast and far from Audrey's manicured clutches. Poor guy."
I know Cabot and Audrey only because we go to the same school. But other than the fact that both of them are unbelievably beautiful — Audrey in that classic, statuesque, Grace Kelly way that tends to bedazzle the unwary into forgetting how horrible she can be, and Cabot in that tall, dark, delicious way that makes girls with boyfriends (like me) sometimes wish they didn't — I did not know either of them well enough to care about their impending breakup. Though as we walk down the palatial deck's stairs, past the hulking forms of two boats and a pair of matching Jet Skis, I decide "poor" could never describe Cabot.
"I think you mean poor little rich guy. Seriously? How many boats does one family need? This boathouse is bigger than all the houses on my street put together."
"Having money doesn't mean you can't have shitty taste in women — there's a whole industry of divorce lawyers who count on it. Cabot seems like a decent guy, though. He certainly doesn't deserve public humiliation from his girlfriend."
I shrug. "Lita says all the time that when you lie down with dogs you're bound to get their fleas."
"Well, your grandmother would be right about Audrey, because she's the biggest bitch at NextGen." We giggle as we make our way up the stone path from the lake to the house.
"I can't believe I spent an hour pin-curling my hair for this." Tonight I've gone pretty classic rockabilly with my look, polka-dot halter top and cigarette pants, but instead of my usual bandanna to hold back my updo, I went with a big festive flower. I pat my head, making sure all the waves are still in place. "Is my flower crooked? Also, where is Damien? Isn't he the whole reason we're at this train wreck?"
Willa's face falls. "He's not coming. He texted me about ten minutes ago to say he didn't want to risk having 'hangover face' for his audition tomorrow."
"Hangover face? Can't he come to a party to be with you and just not drink? Besides, it's an audition for a public service announcement about the dangers of teens driving while texting, not Citizen Kane." Damien Northwood, Willa's new boyfriend, and I are both in theater track at NextGen. He's one of those "actors" who's more concerned with making sure he gets good lighting than he is with turning in a great performance, which is one of many reasons I'm having a hard time getting onboard the Willa and Damien train.
"Who's Citizen Kane?" Willa asks.
I give her a look that I'm able to get away with only because we're best friends. "Only one of the greatest movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Seriously, Wills? Your dad's a cinematographer. How can you not know these things?"
"Probably because he makes films in this century. And if you'd stop living in the last one" — she tosses a judgey look at my retro curls and ensemble, even my prized fuchsia peep-toe pumps, the ones she helped me score on final final clearance at Ross — "you'd see that I really like Damien and you'd stop bad-mouthing him all the time."
I exhale, a little huffy — she knows I love these shoes. "You know that I want you to be with someone special, but I can't help it if I don't think Damien is that person. He's too ... overproduced. And that is not you, Willa."
"You don't understand, because you have Jacen, who's sweet and adorable and you finish each other's sentences and it's so damn perfect I want to stick a pin in my eye. But when y'all move to L.A. together next summer, I don't want to be left behind in Austin by myself. Probably forever."
"Wow ... Audrey's not the only one bringing the melodrama tonight."
Now Willa gives me the look only best friends can get away with. "My point is ... why is having a hot high school romance with a guy who's totally into me too much to ask for my senior year?"
Poor Willa. I should cut her some slack on the whole Damien thing, but I just can't — he rubs me the wrong way. Instead, I wrap my arm around her shoulder and give her a squeeze. "Funny you should be asking about having a hot romance just when Finn McCain drops onto your doorstep like a gorgeous angel from heaven."
Willa pushes away my arm. "Do not start with that again." Finn showed up in town and at our school about a month ago when his mom, Mia McCain (yes, the Mia McCain. As in Academy Award nominee Mia McCain) practically eloped with Willa's dad. Well, almost. The wedding is on hold for the moment. But even though that makes Finn Willa's almost-stepbrother, stepbrothers don't usually look like Finn. But Willa, being Willa, refuses to acknowledge his blond, gray-eyed yumminess because from day one, Finn has been like fingernails on her chalkboard. I tried to tell her that's how all the best romances start, but I think she's still too shell-shocked by her widower father's sudden relationship with America's sweetheart to see it.
"Well, if you don't want Finn and Damien doesn't work out, you'll always have Himesh," I say with as straight a face as I can muster.
"Great, just me and my gay best friend. I wonder how many cats you can adopt before they investigate for animal hoarding?"
"Okay, okay. I officially declare this party a bust, so let's collect my adoring boyfriend and go hang out at your new place."
"Yes! Y'all can help me with the disaster that is the script for our group senior project. I was clearly out of my mind when I pitched this Lizzie Borden idea. What do I know about writing and producing a Web series?"
"Don't forget it's also a musical," I add.
"Gah, my very own Frankenstein's monster."
"Stop it. The Lizzie Borden Diaries is going to be ah-mazing. Everyone loves the idea, including Damien, so stop worrying."
"I wish I had your faith," she says.
"Of course it's going to be great. I'm the lead." I playfully bump her with my hip, making her smile, and at last she seems to snap out of her woe-is-Willa funk. We climb the handful of concrete steps leading to the back door of Cabot's house — and by house, I mean ginormous mansion.
"I cannot believe you live in this same neighborhood now, Wills." When Mia showed up, Willa and her dad moved into a similarly ginormous house down the street from here. The transition from comfortably middle class to movie-star millions has been surreal, and not only for Willa. Her new house, new car, and new paparazzi lifestyle sometimes make me feel less like her best friend these days and more like her shabby sidekick, even wearing my fuchsia peep-toe pumps.
"Me neither. You'd think in a house that big, Finn's room wouldn't have to be right across the hall from mine." Her brow crinkles. "I hope he isn't home. I do not want to deal with him tonight," she grumbles.
"Agreed. I've had all the drama I can handle for one night." I press down the latch on the French door and push it open. Music is playing and all the lights are off, making it too dark to see anything. I feel for the switch along the wall and flick it on, then immediately wish I hadn't. Couples in various states of undress on the den's huge sectional sofa come apart and scatter, like so many hormonal cockroaches. Blech.
Next to me, Willa gasps. I follow her shocked gaze to the other side of the room. Smack in the middle of all of this, the overhead light aimed at him like a theater spotlight, is Jacen, my sweet, adoring boyfriend, untangling himself from another body.
The body of Himesh Shah, to be precise.
* * *
Cabot pulled up in front of Audrey's house. He left the car running and rested his hand on the gearshift, waiting for her to get out. On the radio, "Pictures of You" by The Cure played just over the purr of the Porsche's engine. When his parents separated, he'd found his mom many nights sitting in the middle of the living room floor, drinking wine and listening to this song over and over and over. How appropriate that it would be playing now. The lyrics made him wonder whether, maybe like his mom had, if he had only said the right words, could he have held onto Audrey?
Did he still want to?
"Cabot, did you hear me?" Audrey's drunken rasp drowned out the song's final instrumentals and reverberated against the convertible top. He should have put it down for this ride. Two seats were way too small for her and him and all the space that had come between them, not to mention the guy she was hooking up with on the side. Or maybe the space had been there all along and it had just been easier for him to ignore it than deal with it.
"I want to work this out. I don't want us to be over," she said before she bent over and clutched her stomach. "Oh God. I think I'm going to puke." Funny, he was having the same thought, and he hadn't had anything to drink tonight.
He turned off the ignition and got out to help her before she got sick all over his grandfather's car. She'd managed to open her door by the time he got there but couldn't get out on her own. He took her hand and helped her. She leaned against the car and tried to steady herself.
"Why won't you say something? After all the time we've been together, don't you have anything to say?" Her words came out as a moan, and she had to put her hands on her head to hold it up. Cabot leaned next to her on the car and waited to hold her hair back.
"How long?" he asked.
"A year. We've been together a whole year."
"No, how long have you been hooking up with this other guy?" Not that it mattered — once was enough. For some reason, though, he wanted to know how long he had been the ignorant dumbass in this triangle.
"Only once, and it didn't mean anything. That weekend you flew to Vermont for the photography workshop, I got bored and lonely and —"
"This is my fault? You cheated on me because I wasn't here to entertain you?" He pushed away from the car. "If you were so bored and lonely, why didn't you just break up with me?"
"Because I still love you, Cabot. I didn't mean for it to happen. It just did."
He snorted. All of this felt so familiar. Hadn't those been the same words he'd heard his dad say to his mom?
"You never want to go out anymore. You'd rather paint or go take pictures all day, every day. I'm seventeen, not seventy. I want to have fun, I want to party, I want —"
"No, Cabot. I thought I did, but being with him only made me realize I want to do those things with you. Like we used to." She hiccuped and swayed a little. "I know we can get past this. I know we can make it work. We belong together."
Audrey had been his first serious relationship, his first everything, maybe even his first love, but she was right — he wasn't the same guy anymore. When he'd first come to Austin NextGen, right after his parents' divorce had been finalized, he'd needed all those things, too: fun, parties, going out, forgetting, getting lost, getting lost in Audrey. But lately it hadn't been enough. He'd been restless. With her, with his art, with himself. At least now he knew what to do about this part with her.
The harsh cone of light from the streetlamp carved out the angles of her face, her bones rising in relief while the hollows beneath her eyes receded into shadow. Black rivulets of mascara marred her cheeks and her blond hair fell stringy and limp against her head.
Staring at her, after what she'd done tonight, he thought he should feel anger or revulsion, but all he felt was relief. If he had his camera right now to capture her like this, he'd title the picture The End.
"No, Audrey, we don't. I'm sorry, but we can't work this out. It's over."
Her face crumpled and mascara dripped off her chin. "Oh, Cabot." She reached for him and then heaved Jim Beam and Coke Zero all over shoes.
Yes, Cabot thought, this is definitely the end.CHAPTER 2
The biggest problem with having to share a room with your little brother and sister is not the lack of privacy, it's the ABSOLUTE. FREAKING. LACK. OF. PRIVACY!
I feel when a girl discovers two nights before that her boyfriend of nearly three years is not only cheating, but cheating on her with a guy, she is entitled to some extra alone time in her pajamas under the covers. And by extra time, I mean all of Sunday and Monday.
The thought of going to school today, knowing everybody is talking about me, judging me, feeling sorry for me, laughing at me ... I can't deal. So, today I don't plan to get out of bed at all.
When the alarm goes off at six thirty, I turn it off and bury myself back under the comforter. The twins, Gia and Alé, however, pop out of their bunk beds like little jack-in-the-boxes. I hear Alé crawling over the rail of the upper bunk. "Wake up, wake up, wake up, Mariely! Time to go to school." He's six; school is still exciting for him.
"Cállate, Alé, it's too early to be so loud," I mumble from beneath my protective fort of pillows and blankets.
"But it's time to get up," he argues.
"I'm not going to school today. Leave me alone." I roll over and fold my pillow over my head.
"Are you still sad because Jacen doesn't want to be your boyfriend anymore?" Gia asks. She's only three and a half minutes younger than Alé, but obviously light-years ahead when it comes to female psychology.
A moment later, I hear the light switch flick on. "Everyone up," Lita chirps.
"Mariely says she's not going to school today," Alé tattles.
Gia adds, "Because she doesn't have a boyfriend anymore."
Excerpted from Crazy Stupid Fauxmance by Shellee Roberts, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2016 Shellee Roberts. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.