I like Kassidy Milton. There, I said it. She’s funny, beautiful—even though she doesn’t know it—and my favorite kind of weird. But I can’t tell if she’s into me or just trying to get close to me for a chance with my famous twin brother instead. I mean, it has to be me. I am the better-looking one.
But Kassidy has some demons, and she’s not good at letting people in. That happens when you’ve been hurt by someone close to you. I can relate. Trust is a funny thing; it’s hard to gain but easy to lose. I might just learn that the hard way.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book includes a snarky heroine, a swoon-worthy hero, crazy best friends, your favorite music, and lots of feels.
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|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About the Author
Amber Garza currently lives in California with her amazinghusband, and two hilarious children who provide her with enough material tokeep her writing for years.
Amber loves to connect with her readers. You can visit herat ambergarza.com, or find her on Instagram and Facebook as ambergarzaauthor,or on twitter @ambermg1.
Read an Excerpt
I'm Not in the Band
By Amber Garza, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Amber Garza
All rights reserved.
@archerdev1 - My brother should pay me for all the autographs I give out for him. #hazardsofbeingatwin #hesthepopstar #imnotintheband
Heading out to spend some quality time with my brother along with thousands of his screaming fans. Wish me luck.
Ella Marsh I'll be there, too! Can't wait to see the Playlisters live!
Sierra Grant No way! Ross Devlin is your brother?
Chris Simmons Seriously, Sierra? You never figured that out? They're identical twins ... and have the same last name. SMH.
Tiffany Engle Boo! Wish I could be there. Tell him hi from me!
Brody "Mac" MacMillan Sell out.
Archer Devlin You're just jealous.
Brody "Mac" MacMillan Yep. Because boy bands are my thing.
Archer Devlin I know. I remember an album you listened to in junior high that proves it.
Brody "Mac" MacMillan We agreed never to talk about that.
Archer Devlin I never agreed to that.
John Cruise Mac and Archer sound like an old married couple.
Archer Devlin Ahh, don't feel left out. We have room for one more, John.
* * *
Ross: Where are you?
Ross: Dude, get off your phone and get down to the theatre.
Me: How can I when you're texting me?
Ross: I'm serious. Mom and Dad are driving me nuts.
Me: They're excited to have their prodigal son back.
Ross: I'm not a prodigal, I'm a popstar.
Me: Same thing.
Ross: Are you on your way?
Me: Chill. I'm busy. I'll be there when I can.
Ross: You're on social media.
Me: I'm not the lead singer of the biggest boy band in the country. Social media's all I have. Don't take this from me.
Ross: Bitchy baby.
Me: That's not all. I had to sign autographs for you today.
Ross: I have no idea how anyone could mix us up.
Me: Yeah, 'cause I'm better looking.
Ross: You should be a comedian.
Me: Can I open at your shows?
Me: Don't be such a dick.
Ross: Why don't you just tell people you're not me?
Me: Usually I do, but today I had fun with it.
Ross: They were girls, then?
Me: Do you really think I'm that shallow? I'm not you.
Ross: I don't ask for all the attention. They offer.
Me: I've noticed.
Ross: Have you left the house yet?
Me: Obviously not. I don't text and drive.
Ross: Fine. I'll stop texting. Hurry.
* * *
Mac: I'm getting you back for that comment on Facebook.
Me: Ooh, I'm shaking in my boots.
Mac: First a boy band concert and now you're wearing boots? You're turning into a chick.
Me: You wish.
Mac: Trust me. I don't.
Mac: What time are you leaving for the concert?
Me: I just got here.
Mac: I don't envy you, man.
Me: Why not? Lots of hot girls will be here.
Mac: Yeah. For your brother.
Me: Good thing we look alike.
* * *
Ross: Where are you, man?
Me: Looking for you.
Ross: We're behind the stage.
Me: Be there in a minute.
* * *
Mom: When you come to the concert, can you bring my camera? I left it at home on the kitchen counter.
Me: Too late. I'm already here.
Mom: Shoot. I was hoping to take pictures.
Me: You know you can use your phone, right?
Mom: Oh, yeah. I always forget.
* * *
Ross: Mom won't let me go to sound check until she gets a picture of us. SMH.
Ross: Screw you.
Me: Smile pretty.
Ross: Suck it.
Me: Almost there.
Ross: Finally.CHAPTER 2
#1 — Attend a Playlisters Concert
I wasn't sure about this before we arrived. Now that we're here, I'm kind of excited. Even though I'm not a fan of the Playlisters, I love concerts.
My sister Sophie jabs me in the side with her elbow. "Tell me this isn't so much better than spending the night in your jammies reading one of your boring books."
"Uh, I'll have you know my jammies are super comfy and my books aren't boring," I joke, flashing a smile.
"Whatever." She waves away my words with a flick of her wrist, while her gaze scours the crowd boxing us in. "Ooh, I so have to buy some merch." Her eyes widen. "But I can't decide if I want a T-shirt, a hoodie, or maybe a bag."
I can't even see the merchandise table. The giant line is obscuring it. There's no way I'm standing in that. We'll miss the entire concert.
"Good luck," I say sarcastically.
"Hopefully the line'll die down later." She frowns. "Let's go find our seats." When she grabs my arm, her fake, claw-like nails pierce my flesh.
"Ow." Yanking my arm back, I rub the raised, reddened scratch starting to swell. "Why do you insist on making your fingernails into weapons? Is it really that dangerous at the community college?" "This shape is in right now."
I peer down at my own hands. "My shape is in, too. I call it bitten."
"Eww." Sophie turns up her nose. "That's gross, Kass."
I laugh as she continues to tug me through the crowd. We are jostled to the right and left as people push past us. But it doesn't stop Sophie.
I pick up a familiar scent — a perfume I recognize, one my bestie Kate used to wear all the time. If she were here like she was originally supposed to be, she'd have it on. But she isn't. I swallow hard against the lump in my throat as hot tears prick my eyes. Blinking, I breathe in deeply. But my chest is so tight it's difficult to pull in air. When I hear a familiar voice up ahead, a chill works its way up my spine.
No, it can't be her.
With my head ducked until my hair hides my face, I dare to glance up. Yep, it's her. Actually, it's all of them. My cheeks burn. Of course they're here. Why hadn't I thought of that?
I stop walking and frantically look for a way out. I can't face them.
"Kassidy?" Sophie's eyebrows knit together. Her palm lands on my shoulder. "You okay?" I shake my head.
"What happened?" she asks.
Keeping my head lowered, I point. When Sophie spots them, her jaw drops.
"Umm ... well ..." She sounds as freaked out as I feel. "It's okay. They haven't seen you. It's gonna be fine."
"I wanna go home." I sound like a whiney kid. Sophie's being the mature one. Even though I'm seventeen and she's nineteen, I usually act older than her. Dad's always teased me, calling me his eighty-year old daughter. But right now, I feel five.
"No," Sophie says firmly. "We're staying. Tonight's supposed to be about having fun."
"How can I do that when they're here?" I feel sick.
"Kass, you've gotta let this go. I know what happened was awful, but it's time to move on."
If only it were that easy.
"I've been looking forward to this," she says.
My gut dips. I'm being selfish.
"I'm sorry," I say. "This whole thing is just — well, it's not what I — it's not what it's supposed to —" Heat rises to my skin, emotion thick in my throat.
"I know, Kass. I get it."
Her concerned expression coupled with her gentle tone causes my eyes to fill with water. Biting my lip, I will myself not to cry. Not here. Not now. Giggling teenagers file past us while I violently clear my throat.
As if sensing I'm on the verge of a meltdown, Sophie forces a large smile. "C'mon. We're almost there."
When we finally make it to our seats, I'm surprised at how close we are. I also don't see any sign of my former friends. I heave a sigh of relief. This place is huge. The chance of running into them again is pretty low. "These are great."
"These are great." Sophie parrots me, her eyes wide. They sweep around, taking everything in, a smile inching its way up her face.
She's happy, and I want her to stay that way. I try to forget about all about my ex-friends and my past.
"Are the Playlisters any good?" I ask, bobbing my head toward the stage.
Her eyes bug out. "Have you really not listened to them? I thought you had their album on your phone."
"Kate downloaded it for me. I meant to listen, but I guess I never got around to it."
Sophie's eyes soften the way they always do when Kate's name comes up. "I'm sure you'll recognize their songs. They're always on the radio. And, yes, they're really good. Totally different than that weird indie crap you like."
"My music isn't weird."
"Yeah, okay." Sophie snorts. "Hey, wanna grab something to eat before the show starts?" I shake my head. "No, thanks. I'm good. You can go get something, though." We just sat down, and it took forever to get here. I'm not ready to get up yet.
"Please don't tell me you smuggled in a bag of carrots or something." She pins me with a death-stare.
"I wish," I mutter under my breath.
"Seriously?" She grins. "Sometimes I cannot believe we're even related."
"Tell me about it." I laugh. In the past, her statement would have irritated me. Sophie and I weren't very close until recently. Funny how it took my life blowing apart for me to finally appreciate my sister.
"All right." She stands, flinging her purse over her shoulder. "See ya in a few."
Settling back in the hard chair, I watch a girl with impossibly high stilettos struggle down the stairs while balancing a tray of nachos in one hand and a large soda in the other. When she turns into our aisle, she loses her balance and begins to pitch forward. Leaping out of my seat, I lunge in her direction. My hand connects with her elbow, steadying her.
"Here. Let me help you," I say, wrapping my fingers around her soda cup.
"Thanks," she says, blowing out a breath. "It's these stupid shoes." Glancing down she flashes a smile.
"You're doing a lot better than I would in them," I reply, peering down at my faded Converse.
She offers another smile and then directs me to her seat. Once she's plunked down, I hand her the soda.
"Thanks again," she says.
"No problem," I respond before heading back to my spot.
The place is filling up fast. Once our row is full it will be a challenge to get out. There isn't much space between seats. My stomach growls, a reminder that I haven't eaten since lunch time. I should've taken Sophie up on her offer. Sighing, I pick up my cell and shoot off a text.
Me: Gotten food yet?
Sophie: No. In line.
Me: I changed my mind. I want something.
Sophie: Okay. What?
Me: Anything healthy. Salad? Sandwich?
Sophie: It's a snack bar. Nachos. Pretzels. Pizza. Hot dog.
If only Sophie had said something about carrots before we'd left.
Me: They should have healthier options.
Sophie: A few chips and some cheese-dip won't kill you.
Me: That's debatable.
Sophie: I'm ordering you nachos.
I'm not surprised. Nachos are Sophie's favorite. She can't get enough of that gooey, fake cheese. It's not my favorite.
Me: No. I'm not eating that.
Sophie: There might be another food stand somewhere else if you want to look around.
Me: Okay. I'll go look.
Shoving my phone into the pocket of my jeans, I grab my purse and stand. At least one nice thing about this concert is that we have assigned seats. Most of the concerts I go to are general seating. Once you find your spot, you can't leave. Making sure my ticket is securely tucked inside my purse, I scoot my way out of the row, careful not to step on anyone's feet. Then I hurry up the stairs and into the lobby. Loud chatter and laughter envelop me as I weave through all the people waiting in line to buy merchandise or food. I keep my eyes peeled for my ex-friends, ready to hide if I need to.
After passing the snack bar, I head in the opposite direction from where we came in. The scent of fried food sticks to me like grease. My shoes squeak on the linoleum floor. Rounding the corner, I ram straight into someone's chest. Cheeks heating up, I step back.
"Sorry," I mumble, brushing hair from my face.
"It's okay," a deep voice responds.
When I glance up, my stomach whirls around like a dryer on full blast. The guy standing in front of me is not what I was expecting. Not only is he good-looking, with his piercing blue eyes and tousled dark hair, but his expression is open, not cocky. He's wearing a navy shirt that brings out his eye color, and tight jeans that show off his muscles. A lanyard hangs around his neck. Does he work here? If so, I bet he knows if there are any other food vendors.
Clearing my throat in an effort to slow down my racing heart, I say, "I'm so glad I ran into you. It's like fate." The minute the words are out, I feel stupid. I wish I could shove them back in my mouth and swallow them. His expression reveals that he thinks it's weird, as well. Probably thinks I'm some crazy stalker. "Um ... I was hoping that —"
Face darkening, he cuts me off. "I'm not him."
"What?" I ask, thoroughly confused.
"I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not him," he repeats, as if I'm hard of hearing, which I guess is understandable based on how loud it is in here. But I still have no idea what he's talking about.
"Ross Devlin," he says, his brows furrowing.
"Who's Ross Devlin?"
The guy who isn't Ross Devlin laughs. Like, throws his head back and laughs super loud. Maybe he's the crazy one.
"You don't know who Ross is?" His tone is incredulous.
Pressing my lips together, I shake my head. "Should I?"
"Well, he's the lead singer of the Playlisters ... and you are at their concert."
"Oh ... I didn't know that."
"Obviously." An amused grin spreads across his face, and I marvel at how adorable his smile is. Not that it matters. I've probably just insulted his favorite group. He'll want nothing to do with me now. Good going, Kassidy. "So, I take it you're not their biggest fan?"
"I've actually never even heard their music," I say. Realizing I'm making it so much worse, I rush to add, "But I'm sure they're great. Can't wait to finally hear them." The lie sounds lame even to my ears.
Not-Ross-Devlin smiles even wider. "If you're not a fan, what made you come tonight?"
"A friend, actually," I answer softly.
"A friend, huh?" He glances around. "And where is she ... or he?"
Is he fishing? "Um ... the friend who I was originally supposed to come with couldn't make it, so now I'm here with my sister. She's at the snack bar."
"Hmmm. That sounds good. I might head there, too."
"Really? You like snack bar food?"
He shrugs. "Who doesn't?"
"I don't," I blurt, then immediately regret it. God, I sound so stupid.
His eyebrows shoot up in surprise. "Chips, pretzels, nacho cheese, pizza," he rattles off. "What's not to like?"
My stomach churns as I imagine eating all that greasy food, but I force a smile. "Right." My gaze flickers down to his badge. "But you can probably eat whatever you want. You don't have to wait in the snack bar line."
"Ah." His head dips. "Um ...I actually don't work here. This is a backstage pass."
"Oh." My heart plummets. "I guess you're their biggest fan, then."
He laughs again, and I could seriously listen to that sound all day long. "Trust me, I'm nowhere close to their biggest fan. I got this from my brother." He holds up the lanyard. "I guess you could call him their biggest fan." His eyes sparkle like he just shared an inside joke, but I don't get it.
Regardless, I nod and smile. When he glances around, I worry he'll take off before I have the chance to get his name. I jut out my hand swiftly. "I'm Kassidy, by the way."
"Archer," he responds, folding his hand over mine. It feels warm and strong. Goosebumps rise on my arm. "You live here in town?"
I nod. "You?"
"Yeah," he responds, narrowing his eyes. "Do you go to Oakhollow High?"
"I will. This'll be my first year. I went to Hamilton Private Academy before."
"Senior?" His tone is hopeful.
I nod again.
"Cool. Me, too." Reaching into his pocket, he yanks out his phone. "Give me your number. I can introduce you around."
"Sounds good." Heart slamming against my chest, I rattle off my number while he types it into his phone.
"Great. I'll give you a call sometime," he says, and I silently pray that he does. "I better get back to my brother."
"Yeah, and I better find my sister."
"Cool. I'll talk to you later." His hand momentarily brushes my arm before he maneuvers around me.
I shiver at his touch, the goosebumps remaining on my skin long after he leaves.
Excerpted from I'm Not in the Band by Amber Garza, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2017 Amber Garza. 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.
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