Marcus is a Cupid. Lena is a Reaper. Opposites attract in the exciting new Switched At First Kiss series by the acclaimed author of The Dirt Diary.
Dared to kiss the adorkable Marcus Torelli at a party, Lena thinks it's the perfect opportunity to cross First Kiss off her list of "Things to Accomplish Before I Turn Fourteen."
It's only when she gets sent on an assignment the next day she realizes something went horribly wrong. That ZING she felt wasn't the thrill of her first kissshe and Marcus have swapped powers! Lena is not your average eighth grader, she's a soul collector with an serious job to do. And Marcus turns out to be a supernatural matchmaker (like cupid, but without the diaper).
Now logical Lena finds herself with the love touch, and sweet, sentimental Marcus has death at his fingertips. The truth is that Lena should never have taken that dare...because one little kiss has Lena and Marcus in a whole lotta trouble.
Praise for Anna Staniszewski's The Dirt Diary:
"Holy fried onion rings! Fun from beginning to end."Wendy Mass, New York Times bestselling author of 11 Birthdays and The Candymakers
"I LOVED it...sweet, sensitive, and delicious!"Erin Dionne, author of Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies
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About the Author
Anna Staniszewski lives outside of Boston with her husband and an adorably crazy dog. She was named the Boston Public Library's 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Discovery Award. When she's not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and not cleaning her house. Visit her at www.annastan.com.
Read an Excerpt
The mess all started with a kiss. Or, really, with a dare.
It was the first party of the year, and most of the eighth grade was in attendance. Lena was hovering near a bowl of Cheetos, counting the uncomfortable seconds until her friends came back from the bathroom. How long did it take to fix a "glitter emergency" anyway?
She noticed Marcus Torelli giving her a shy smile from near the Ping-Pong table. For a second, Lena considered going to talk to him. After all, they'd had fun doing their math project together last spring. But then she spotted the ratty book in his hands and glanced down at her feet instead. Someone who brought reading material to a party clearly wasn't interested in being social.
Suddenly, Connie Reynolds clapped her hands and called out, "All right, everybody! It's time to play Dare or Dare." She laughed as her guests gave her blank looks. "The ‘truth' part of the game is a total waste of time," she explained before scanning the crowd, looking for her first victim. When she spotted Marcus, Connie smiled. "You! I dare you to kiss Lena Perris for five seconds."
Lena swallowed a Cheeto and whirled around to find Marcus staring back at her in horror.
"You want us to what?" Marcus asked. He shoved the book into his pocket and took a step toward the door. Lena wondered if he was going to make a run for it.
"Do it!" Connie said. "Or I'll make you both lick the toilet."
A chorus of "oohs" echoed through the room. Choosing toilet licking was social suicide, but saying no to Connie Reynolds was even worse.
Lena hesitated. She'd planned for her first kiss to be with Brent Adamson because of his plump lips. Marcus was nice enough and even kind of cute, but his nose was a little big. What if it got in the way?
"Remember, five seconds!" Connie squawked as she pushed Lena and Marcus toward a closet.
Then she shut the door, and they were alone.
Lena firmly planted her feet for balance and closed her eyes tight. Everything she'd read had said your eyes could not be open during your first kiss.
Meanwhile, Marcus's head swam at the thought of kissing Lena. He'd come to the party determined to ask her out-something he regretted not doing during their math project last year-but so far he'd spent the whole party hiding behind the Ping-Pong table. And now, here he was, alone in a closet with Lena, his lips only inches away from hers.
"So...do you want to...?" Marcus asked. His brain was screaming at him to flee before things got even more embarrassing.
"Okay," she said softly.
Marcus sucked in a breath, closed his eyes, and tipped his face forward.
At first they bumped noses. Then they bumped chins. And the third time, for some reason, it felt like they bumped ears. But finally, their lips found each other. And then-
Wow, Marcus thought as a bolt of energy zinged from the top of his skull to the bottoms of his heels. When their lips broke apart, the air around them felt charged with electricity. For a second, Marcus even thought he saw glowing wisps of smoke coming out of his shoes.
Then someone threw open the door, and it was over.
"Well, how was it?" Connie asked.
Marcus glanced at Lena and found her smiling back at him. Neither of them said a word. Seeing the end of her fun, Connie lasered in on someone else in the crowd. "Nick! I dare you to kiss Brittany!"
Marcus and Lena wandered through the party, their hands almost touching.
Something felt different. Lena thought it was the fact that she'd finally been kissed. Marcus thought it was the fact that his crush on Lena had finally turned into something more.
Of course, they were both wrong.