Always cautious, Joe has never even gotten so much as an after-school detention. So how is it that this Saturday night, he's at Burger Heaven, waving a loaded gun, yelling at the teen workers to get down on the floor NOW?
Dylan has always succeeded at his twisted plans--until this Saturday, this robbery, where everything has gone wrong. And now, surrounded by police outside Burger Heaven, Dylan's life will never be the same--and neither will the lives of his hostages.
Terri Fields's Holdup--a novel with nine unforgettable points of view, in four astonishing parts--will leave the reader wondering about luck and life's strange surprises.
|Publisher:||Roaring Brook Press|
|File size:||193 KB|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Terri Fields, an author and English teacher, lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Her books include Holdup, After the Death of Anna Gonzales and My Father's Son.
Terri Fields is the author of more than a dozen books, including middle-grade novels such as Holdup and After the Death of Anna Gonzales. She is also an educator, and was named--among other honors--Arizona's Teacher of the Year and selected to the All-USA Teacher Team. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Read an Excerpt
Finally — a day of freedom. No school, no work, no one pulling me in seven different directions at the same time. I allow myself the amazing luxury of sinking even deeper into my sheets. I'd forgotten how great it can be to do absolutely nothing.
It's still October, but my stress level is already soaring. I thought junior year was supposed to be the killer. Wrong. Senior year is going to be a hundred times worse.
I tried to keep it from happening, I really did, but when I said I didn't think I could manage so many Advanced Placement classes, my counselor shook her head. "Jordan, don't you realize the difficulty of getting into a selective college?"
"Yes, but —," I said.
"No but ...," my counselor interrupted. "You want the rewards, you've got to work."
"But, I think —"
Again, my counselor: "Jordan, this high school doesn't have very many students who could realistically consider Stanford, but you can. Imagine that! Stanford! I am not going to let you throw away such a wonderful opportunity because of some kind of early senioritis. Someday you'll thank me for this."
So now my supersized class load devours me every day. And every AP teacher warns, "Don't even think of complaining about the homework. You signed up for this class! You had to know that you were going to have a couple of hours a night."
Trying to find a little breathing room, I told my parents that given my homework load, I didn't think I could manage an after-school job. My father frowned, reminding me, "You're not a child any longer. Do you realize how much the kinds of colleges you're looking at will cost?"
"Yes, but —," I said.
My father interrupted. "I've taken every overtime shift I could get so we could afford to put you through a top-notch college. But honestly, Jordan, don't you think you have some obligation too?"
"But, I ..."
My father put his arm around me. "I know my daughter. She would never believe she shouldn't be contributing at least some part. Such a smart girl with such a bright future."
So Burger Heaven now counts me as part of their "friendly team."
And then there's basketball. When I said I didn't think I could play varsity this year with all my other commitments, my coach came unglued. "Do you realize how much this team is counting on your shot?"
"Yes, but I —"
And Coach cut me off. "That's exactly the problem. There is no I in team, right? How many times have you heard me say that! It's the philosophy that guides our team. We'll just forget you even came in to see me today, because we both know that you are not going to let your teammates down."
So I'm in the gym three afternoons a week for preseason training.
But somehow today, the cosmos has aligned itself in my favor. Dad's out of town, Mom's at a conference, there's no school, practice got canceled, and I've X'd myself out as available for work.
I don't know when or if another opportunity like this will come along, but I won't let myself think about that. Instead, I'm going to sink even deeper into these sheets and give myself the amazing gift of this one day to do absolutely nothing.
So, yesterday this really hot guy comes in with, like, the world's greatest smile aimed at me. And I mean, here I am, wearing this puke-green Burger Heaven uniform, and I'm thinking could I at least ditch the dweeby orange beanie before we're face-to-face? I mean, like, did they get the most color-blind loser to design these uniforms?
So, before I can get the beanie off, this guy, he's, like, standing right in front of me with these amazingly awesome blue eyes, and I sorta freeze until some robot voice in me blurts, "Hi, welcome to Burger Heaven."
"Why thanks, Sara," he says.
"You ... you know my name?" I gulp.
He winks one of those so-sexy baby blues. "Well, I had a little help," and he points to my name tag.
I feel like some minus IQ. I can feel my face getting red, which, I am so sure, clashes with the orange beanie! I try to recover by flashing a smile and saying, "So ... how can I help you — with — with — food?"
He gives me that megawatt grin again, and honest, the guy has, like, gorgeous teeth, and I'm, like, trying not to stare at that perfect face when he says, "My sister's named Sara too, only her name has an H at the end."
And that's when I so know that, even with the beanie, this stud puppy is interested in me. I've got to keep this conversation going until he asks for my number. At least there's no line behind him, so we can, like, just keep talking until it happens.
"Uhh," I say, "uhh, you know why I don't have an H in my name?"
"No, but tell me," he says.
I smile. "'Cuz, when my mom found out she was pregnant with me, she says it just knocked the H right out of her."
My stud man's eyes move behind me. I don't even have to turn around to know that Manager Phil must be there. Like, why do I have the worst luck in the world? I mean, no girl in her right mind would even consider a date with Phil, so, like, how would he ever consider cutting me a little slack here? And, like, he can even read my mind. Phil snarls, "I'll finish this order, Sara."
But I don't just give up. I mean, this guy is hot, and hot guys are not all that common at Burger Heaven. "Oh, that's okay," I say brightly. "You know how I always like to help our customers."
Phil just glares. "You go fill the napkin containers."
He, like, gives me no choice, and I feel like tripping him when he tells the guy, "Sorry about Sara. I'll have your order right out." And I am even more burned when Mr. Awesome Blue Eyes does not say one single thing about how he was the one who started the flirting, which is exactly what he did. No, he just walks out with his burger and fries, without even a backward glance at me. I jam all the napkins in one container. They're in there so tight that no one will ever get them out! It will serve people right for coming to this stupid place!
Then my loser boss calls me into the office. And I have to have another one of the manager/bad-employee talks. It's not like I haven't done this a few gazillion times before with other managers. Phil says he's blah, blah, blah, disappointed in me, and blah, blah, blah, and, like, what do I have to say for myself?
I point at a sign on the wall, noticing that my Passion Pink polish is chipped. I decide I'm so not buying that brand again. I tell Phil, "Right there, doesn't that sign say 'Friendly service by friendly folks'?" Then I sigh and shrug my shoulders. "I, like, don't get it. I mean, wasn't I just following the Burger Heaven motto and being friendly?"
Phil rolls his eyes. So I just roll mine right back at him and say, "Hey, last week I got written up for being impatient with customers. I mean, I'm sorry, but, like, what exactly do you want from me?"
I don't know why I even bother to ask. It doesn't matter. I get written up again. I have to sign this little form that says the manager talked to me about an inappropriate attitude. What a joke! The whole thing means ... just about ... a big nothing. We all know that, but we play oh, let's pretend it matters. The loser managers who are going nowhere in life like to feel important. So we have these talks; they write me up, and I use the signed forms to blot my lip gloss, which, like, I don't even know why I bother wearing. I mean, they don't make a lip gloss color that goes with puke-green uniforms.
I mean, let me just say that I hate this place: the gross smell of the grease in my hair that manages to hang around even after I've shampooed twice with Spring Rain, and the so-uncool fit of the baggy uniform that makes me look like a size fourteen.
Oh, I know they don't want me to work here. And, yeah, I so want to get fired.
I am a player — wimpy managers — watching this chick magnet in action — they're jealous. I don't blame them, but it means they're always busting my chops about rules. Rules are all they have.
Too bad that at Burger Heaven, the counter girls don't turn me on. Except Theresa. Sara's a joke. Jordan's Jordan. But Theresa — she had to know we were the only 10s in a store of employee 4s. And she wanted me. I know it. She stood at the first register — made sure her butt got framed just right for me to take it all in.
I picked right up on her come-on — but I took my time. Let her want me that much more. For a few days, I just watched that butt wiggle its hello. Then I headed out of the kitchen. I stood kind of close to Theresa, but not creeped-out close. "You must be wearing space pants today." She looked up at me, confused. I smiled, ready for the payoff. "Because your butt is out of this world."
But Theresa didn't play it back. Instead, she started giving me the silent treatment. Like I'm supposed to beg or something? I don't do that.
Then all of a sudden, we get slammed. Haven't got the grill fired up yet, so, I throw some water on to speed the heat. Maybe ought to try that on Theresa. Start grilling a bunch of burgers, when the grill shoots flames five feet high. Boss is gonna freak if he sees this, so I tank the fire with a towel. Burgers look kind of burned, but people won't be happy if they have to wait. ... Add extra cheese, more relish ... flip the frigging mess on buns and put it up on the pick-up counter. Hey — just another day of cooking at the Heaven.
Take a break for some smokes outside. Just as soon as I've got some bucks I'm out of here — going to Hollywood, baby! Why not? Johnny Depp had just as crappy a kid life as me, moved even more times, and he's doing pretty good now, even if he is kind of old.
I drop a couple burgers on the ground and call for my cat. Named him Socks because he's got four white feet but the rest of him's black. Lives in back of the Dumpster. Never had a pet before, but Socks and me — we're a lot the same. Living in garbage, but we're still survivors. And we look good — both of us make all the ladies want to cuddle.
It's Paulie's day off, but he comes round the corner, sees me — stops to talk. Tells me how Sara said she heard Theresa talking to the manager. Theresa doesn't want to work the front — wants to be part of the kitchen crew.
Doesn't make sense to me. No girls ever want to work the back grill. Too greasy. So it's not the grill Theresa wants ... it's me. Well, fine ... she played hard to get. Now she can wait till I say.
On Theresa's next shift — she's working the back, right next to me. I look her over real good. She wears stuff that smells great — makes me think, the things we could be doing in the storage room during breaks. But girl's got to be punished for jacking me around — she'll have to wait.
Two days, side by side slinging burgers — and still silence. It's enough. I'm done waiting. I reach over to that beautiful butt and grab a nice little pinch. I'm thinking she's thinking it feels pretty good.
And then wham! A whole steel ketchup container slams into my head. Man, I can't see much, but what I'm seeing is all red. And I'm hoping it's just ketchup, but my head hurts something awful. And I'm wondering if maybe it's blood.
So after my head gets bandaged, and the ketchup gets cleaned, the overall manager shows up. Not just the shift guy, but some big shirt. He yells at me about "sexual harassment." Says I better be on my knees she doesn't sue Burger Heaven, because if she sues, they don't have my back.
"What about her wearing those tight pants?" I say.
"No excuse!" The vein in corporate's neck bulges. "Rules. Rules. Rules!" He pounds the table. Warns, "If you ever break another rule, you are out of Burger Heaven forever."
Ooh, out of frigging Burger Heaven. It's not that this place is anything great, but I got bills to pay before I move to California. And I'm going to need some extra cash there because it may take me a few months to land a movie deal.
This job is easy money. So why get fired? I lay low and follow all their stupid rules.
Then this P.M. they call asking about me taking a shift tonight. Yeah, I need the money, but I already worked my maximum, and it's against the rules to get overtime. It bites, but I tell them the truth.
They don't even listen — they're too busy griping about being shorthanded in the kitchen for tonight. And so — just like that — bam! — they change the rules. They tell me to come on in. I'm here off the books tonight. Anyone asks, I never worked today. They'll pay me in cash at the end of the shift — nobody needs to know about my overtime. Hey, cash is good with me.
So I start my "not really here" shift, and man, I can't believe it when I see for the first time since the ketchup, me and Teresa are going to be in the back together. She starts swinging her little butt. And there's no ketchup next to her.
Sometimes I have to smile at the stupidity of it all when I think of myself as a Burger Heaven employee. I mean, I'm a vegetarian who's entirely hung up on health. I believe you have to take care of yourself. If you don't, nobody else is going to do it for you. But here I am routinely handing out fat on a bun with a pathetic pickle and a wilted piece of lettuce as the meal's only vegetables. I tell myself, it's people's choice, and for whatever reason, they want to eat this lard. They're going to do it whether I'm here or not. I need a job, and this place always fits my hours around school or gives me time off when I have to have it for big school projects.
I work the front counter and hustle to get the orders out quickly. Even when a lady with biggie thighs asks me for two giant-sized orders of fries, I smile and hand her the lard-coated sticks. Even when a dad brings his kid in for dinner four nights in a row, I never mention a word about nutritional needs, and when the old guy already missing three teeth orders an extra-large soda, I don't open my mouth about sugar's effect on teeth and the way this man should protect the ones he has left.
I even suck it up and shut up when a girl my age complains to the manager that I gave her the wrong order, when she knows perfectly well that the order she got is exactly what she asked for. She's already eaten almost all of it before she "remembers" that it's wrong. I think me and her and the manager all understand that she's just after free food. But I hand her a new order anyway and watch her walk out the door with it because our Burger Heaven motto is "Keep the customer happy." And I do buy into that motto, but only to a point. I mean, I shouldn't have to take the harassment crap that gets dished my way.
When a customer comes to the counter, I always deliver the corporate greeting, "Welcome to Burger Heaven, what may I serve you today?"
But I hate it when some jerk answers, "How about your body in my bed?"
"The menu of Burger Heaven's food is on the wall" is all I ever say. Then I fold my arms and stare him down until he orders his burger, shuts up, and slinks away. But believe me, getting hit on gets old real fast, and unfortunately, I get hit on all too often.
Okay, so I do have a great body. I'm proud of it. I exercise, I eat right, and I'm lucky. But I'm only here to hawk burgers and fries. Unlike Sara, who's always trying to figure out some way to make her uniform tighter or shorter or show more cleavage, I do nothing to enhance the sexless bagginess of mine. But it doesn't seem to matter — some jerky customers still can't get the message that my body belongs to me!
Finally, I ask to work in the back doing kitchen prep because I decide that, despite the fact that I would never actually eat red meat, the hamburgers themselves never harass. But my manager just hems and haws at my request. "You wouldn't want to get all greasy back there," he motions.
"I'd be okay with it," I say. "I'd really like the change." My manager shakes his head. He says he hopes I'll understand that they like to save the cooking for people who don't speak English so well. "Besides," he says, "you give the healthy glow that we like to have greeting our Burger Heaven customers."
I think he thinks that's a compliment, so I don't tell him that the only reason I probably have that healthy glow is that I never eat Burger Heaven food. Instead, I say, "Thanks, but I've been here for a while now." He and I both know that's an accomplishment, since some employees don't even last a week. I continue, "I know you want to keep your employees working here and happy." I take a deep breath. "And I hope my seniority means that I can move to the back."
The manager smiles, tells me they definitely do want happy employees. He's so glad I let him know my feelings, and he'll see what he can do for me.
I leave our little meeting feeling good — glad I finally said something. But the next week, when I walk in, I see another new guy is working in the back. And my schedule shows me still at the first register all week. So much for having a manager who cares.
I'm still seething when two guys arrive at my register. One of them says, "Oh, yeah, she's a ten."
The other says, "Not so fast. We need to see all sides. Wait until she turns around so we can see her butt too." And they just keep at it; they're talking about me like I'm not even human.
Excerpted from "Holdup"
Copyright © 2007 Terri Fields.
Excerpted by permission of Roaring Brook Press.
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
Breaking Local News Breaking Local News,
Manuel and Mrs. Wilkins,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Burger Heaven, with only teen workers there one night, is robbed. The workers are held hostage as a cop stumbles across the scene and then calls for backup. The tale weaves between the different characters before the event, during the event, and the aftermath. One moment can change so many lives...
really good book about a restaraunt like burger king that gets robbed. all 9 point of views are fun to read and it doesnt get repetitive.
Wish they got to the crime quicker, maybe spent more time w/ it but should work for RR
Holdup, an exciting and humorous novel that gives the opinions and points of view of high school students who are facing many difficult life situations and are trying to find a positive resolve. These teens face a number of choices and decisions they can take to turn their life around, one of which, Dylan, chooses the life of a delinquent. However this certain person is not just a backstreet hooligan, he is an academically talented young man, and his I.Q is that of a genius. He uses his intellect to his advantage by carefully plotting and planning his attempts at robbery. His actions will soon prove to be a major turning point for all of these young adults.While Dylan's plans are unfolding, other high school students are going about their lives, unintentionally becoming more and more infatuated with Dylan's most important scheme. A major role in this scheme is Joe. Joe has found out that his classmates think of him as a white wall in need of a splash of color. To change the way he is looked upon, he invites a girl of interest to come see his Truck. His problem is that he does not have a truck to show. He turns to his cousin, asking him if he might lend him his new truck. After his cousin refuses, he offers a proposition out of desperation. The deal is that Joe must get front row seats to a slayer concert- his cousin¿s favorite band. Joe does not have this kind of money, and resorts to holding signs at passing cars for money to obtain his cash. Out of chance, Dylan, aliased Derrick, finds Joe and fakes sympathy, by saying he was in a similar situation and understands what he's dealing with. He tells Joe that he may use his truck, if he helps him propose to his girlfriend in a fast-food restaurant. This proposal ends up being a robbery attempt, and the students who gave their stories were all coincidentally involved in the robbery as hostages. The robbery ends with a gunshot, and Dylan escaping. A year after the robbery these students now reflect on the event that occurred a year ago, and how they changed their lives for the better. Holdup is a touching yet exciting and humorous read. Although its reading ages may be for teenagers, it is an overall great story, in which lessons can be learned from.
I found this book highly frustrating. The use of multiple perspectives works to start with, but then that whole technique is abandoned. More then half the book is spent setting up characters, the kids who work at Burger Heaven and even the robber and his accomplice, and then when we finally get to the robbery (page 90 of 170 page book) we're introduced to a police officer with no back storySara, one of the workers, has to be one of the most annoying characters ever. She, like, says, like, like, every, like, second. And it's not even written in the way someone would use that word. She gets shot, and I was surprised she didn't say "Help me, I'm, like, dying!" but she does come close, whilst bleeding on the floor she begs to the robber. "I SO need help." And then post the robbery, she's interviewed and has absolutely nothing of importance to say.Random characters are introduced (Keith) for no apparent reason, no relationships are tied up, no conclusions are reached, the ending is cliched and so obvious it made me laugh, but if you want a quick read that doesn't engage you, pick this one up.