When Mia’s summer starts with an epic breakup, she’s sure the rest of the vacation will be miserable. But her best friend, Justine, would never let that happen. Their plan has two parts. One: use their summer job driving a snow cone truck to keep tabs on Mia’s ex in person. Two: create a fake persona to connect with Mia’s ex online.
Soon both plans have morphed into something so much bigger. Add some kale to a snow cone and they’ve got the hottest smoothie in town . . . and more money than they could have imagined. And when Mia’s ex starts falling for the online girl, there’s a revenge plot just waiting to be born. A guy who dumps a girl because he thinks her thighs are too “thick” deserves to have his heart broken by a fake girlfriend, right? All’s fair in love and smoothies. . . .
Well known for My Life in Pink & Green, Lisa Greenwald has written a hilarious and refreshing take on getting over a breakup. Girls who love contemporary romance with lots of laughs will down this novel in one gulp!
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Livin’ the Dream
Coconut, peaches, banana, raspberries, vanilla frozen yogurt
Justine’s full-length mirror was magical. We weren’t sure if it was the way it hung on the wall, or the specific tint of the glass. Sometimes we thought the floor in her room was uneven and that was what caused it. It’s not like we spent forever trying to figure out why we looked great in it; we were just grateful that we did.
“Okay, go sit,” she instructed. “Because people always check themselves out in a full-length so they know how an outfit works standing up. But you may spend a lot of time sitting at this party. I don’t know. We need to get all perspectives.”
“Right.” I moved over to her desk chair. “Like this?”
“Sit more on the edge,” she insisted. “People always sit on the edge of chairs at parties.”
“They do?” I squinted and readjusted myself.
She stood back with a finger on her lip. “Perfect. You look so good in navy. Also, terry is so sensible because, I don’t know, you may need to use it to dry off. Will Adia really have towels for all of us?” She paused and I wasn’t sure if she was asking me or just thinking out loud. She walked over and tousled my hair. “I think you have your summer-blond highlights already, and it’s only June. Go you.”
“Yeah?” I stood up and went back to the mirror to check out my hair.
“Definitely.” She put an arm around me, and we admired ourselves. “We’re hot, what can I say?”
I laughed. “Yeah, right.”
“Okay, my turn,” Justine said, walking over to her closet.
I kicked off my flip-flops and leaned back on her bed. I turned up the playlista mix of current favorites and old classicswe’d made for the end of school.
“Hey, where did we go?” Justine sang with her back to me as she wriggled into the lacey white cover-up. “Days when the rains came?”
She slipped her feet into her black platform flip-flops and turned around. “So?”
“Love. One hundred percent love,” I said.
“Come on.” She glared, pulling her brown curls back into a low ponytail. “Really? You can’t mean that.”
“I can,” I defended myself. “I love it. Your legs look super toned and, like, tan already, and the cover-up is subtle enough to be a cute sundress. But also not like over-the-top look at me, I’m in a dress. Ya know?”
“Promise?” She stared at herself in the mirror.
I walked over to her. “Promise.”
“Was the bathing suit okay?” she asked, grabbing a lip color from her vanity table and testing it out. I followed her over there to do the same. “I mean, it’s just plain black. So whatevs. But it’s not mom-ish, right?”
“Definitely not mom-ish.” I pursed my lips, trying on a lip gloss. “How’s this color?”
“Go a little redder.” She handed me another tube. “This one’ll be good.”
I tried it, and she nodded in approval.
“Can we go?” I asked. “The longer we wait, the more nervous I get.”
“Well, it’s still really early, and we definitely can’t be the first ones there.” She plopped down on her window seat. “We’ll leave in ten minutes and drive around first.”
I pulled my hair away from my neck and rubbed the sweat off with my hand. I had a gravelly, rumbly feeling in my stomach. I paced back and forth, trying to calm down. I wondered if Seth and I would sneak away from the party to hook up in the pool shed or something. Maybe he’d say Let’s go for a walk and we’d find some secluded spot only he knew about.
“I know I’ve asked you this a hundred times, but do you honestly think Julian and I are gonna hook up tonight?” Justine asked. “Do you know for sure he’s into me?”
“I don’t know for sure, but I mentioned it to Seth and he thought it was a good idea. . . .” I motioned for her to move over on the window seat so I could sit down. “I feel like you’d be cute together.”
“We would be, right?” She smiled, pulling her knees up to her chin. “Julian and Justine. It sounds good. We could both have boyfriends this summer, Mia. How insane would that be?”
“Pretty insane,” I said, scrolling through Instagram. I loved the inspiring quote accounts.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have always imagined.
Henry David Thoreau
“Do you think I’m living the life I’ve always imagined?” I asked Justine. “I am, right?”
She rolled her eyes and gently kicked my knee. “Oh, man. You and your quotes.”
I shrugged. “Can we please go? I can’t sit here anymore!”
“Fine,” she said. “When we’re in the car, please coach me on how to talk to Julian. How to be flirty, but not too flirty. Give me interesting topics to discuss. Maybe an inspirational quote or two. Okay?”
“Okay.” I checked myself out in the mirror one last time.
Justine said, “Oh, waitone more thing.” She grabbed the bottle of cherry blossom body splash off her dresser and spritzed the air. “Walk into it. Walk into it.”
I sniffed. “I feel like I smell like a cherry Jolly Rancher.”
“Now we’re ready,” she replied. “We are so ready.”
And I believed her. I always believed her.
Melon, blackberries, soy milk, Swiss chard
Justine and I were in a heated game of Virgin/Nonvirgin, pretty much our favorite game.
“Oh, text from Alexis,” I said when we heard both of our phones chime at the same time.
Alexis: Having fun, girlies?
Mia: Yup, miss you!
Justine: Samey. We’ll give you a full report after the party.
“She is so pissed she’s missing this,” Justine said, putting her phone in her bag. “I don’t get why she has to be at her dad’s for, like, the whole summer. I mean, school just ended.”
“I know. I feel bad.” I kept looking for Seth out of the corner of my eye. Like, I was looking for him, but I didn’t want anyone to notice that I was looking for him. I could feel his presence, though. Every part of me was on high alert.
Seth. My boyfriend. We were at a pool party together.
It didn’t even seem real.
I was never the girl with the boyfriend. I never even thought I’d be the girl with the boyfriend.
I sat facing Justine on the lounge chair, trying to act like I was really involved in the game and not obsessing about Seth.
“Okay, Abby Sanders. Go,” Justine said after a sip of punch.
“Oh, definitely non,” I declared like it was a well-known fact. “Owen Umberg. Winter break. Remember? The whole thing about the back of his mom’s Pathfinder.”
Justine nodded. “Right. Duh.” She looked around, searching for another victim. “Craig Aronson.”
“Virgin. I think.” I tilted my head, unsure. “Right? Unless there was more to the Craig-and-Samantha two-week relationship of sophomore year.”
“Yeah, I’d say virgin.” She drank the rest of her punch in one quick gulp. “You think anyone plays this using us?”
I shook my head. “Doubt it. I don’t think anyone even thinks of us, or notices us . . . and if they do, they know we’re virgins.”
She pondered that for a second. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. But I bet people totally think you’re doing it with Manzell.”
“Really?” I squealed. I wasn’t having sex, but the notion that people thought I was having sexthat felt good.
I stroked my smooth after-haircut hair.
Everything felt perfect.
Justine left the lounge chairs to go to the bathroom, scope out the scene, and get us more punch. She was driving that night, so she was drinking the nonalcoholic kind. But she pretended it was alcoholic. Justine was good at tricking her mind.
All around me boys were throwing girls over their shoulders like it was nothing. Like the girls were silky laundry bags holding only a few pairs of underwear.
These were the skinny girls in the little bikinis. Their stomachs stayed flat without them even having to try.
The Adia Montgomerys of the world. The Laurel Pecks.
I wondered what it was like to be one of those girls. Did life literally seem amazing every single second of the day? How did the air feel against their bare stomachs? What was it like to never have to suck into never have to sit with a pillow over your middle at a slumber party?
I’d never be one of those girls. Not even if I starved myself for the rest of my life.
But that was okay. We couldn’t all be the skinny girl. The world needed the slightly chubby girls to balance things out.
I looked around for Seth, debating if I should go and find him. But I didn’t want anyone to take these lounge chairs. I had to wait until Justine got back.
A few minutes later, I spotted him, walking out from behind the grill with Adia.
Julian Glazer was flipping hamburgers in the air and serving hot dogs on skewers. I guessed Adia had made him grillmaster, or maybe he’d begged for the job.
It was odd that Seth hadn’t tried to find me right away, and it was odder that he and Adia were hanging out. But none of it was that odd. I was paranoid, always feeling like bad news was lurking around the corner.
I watched Seth coming over to me, and I quickly looked away like I wasn’t watching him even though I totally was. My heart felt slippery.
“Hey.” He sat down on the edge of the lounge chair and scratched his cheek. There were people all around us, but no one was really paying attention. I wanted to pull him close and start kissing him right there.
“Hey.” I smiled, putting my feet up on his legs. My pinky-peach pedicure was fresh and perfect.
“Mia, we have to talk,” he said, shifting away from me a little bit. “I just don’t know, like, about us.”
“Um,” I started to reply, looking around. I couldn’t tell if other people were hearing this or not. I sat back against the lounge chair and took my feet off him. “What do you mean?”
He rubbed his Birkenstock back and forth on the poolside pavement. “I just don’t think I can do this.”
“Do what?” I asked him.
It was hard to hear what he was saying with all the noise around us. Pool water splashed against the pavement and music blasted from the outdoor speakers. Girls clumped together, laughing, like everything in the world was hilarious. Guys screamed at each other to check this out.
We’d been looking forward to this party for weeks. There was even talk of skinny-dipping, though I hadn’t fully committed to it yet. I wasn’t really a candidate for skinny-dipping. But maybe if it was dark? Really, really dark would be okay.
“I just can’t be in a relationship right now. . . .”
I stared at Seth as he talked, but I couldn’t make eye contact. I focused on his neck. I loved that neck. And then I noticed something. It looked like Seth had a hickey. But that was impossible. Hickeys weren’t a thing. I definitely hadn’t given him a hickey. Sunburn, maybe? Some kind of allergic reaction?
I wondered if anyone had an EpiPen.
“Mia, I’m so sorry,” he said finally, and in that moment I guess he really did look sorry. Whatever sorry looks like. A combination of wimpy and tired, I guess. He took his hat off and twisted a little curl on the top of his head around and around and around. “I just need to be on my own right now.” He looked me right in the eyes, and then down at the pavement.
I scoffed, “On your own? It’s summer. You have nothing going on.”
I don’t know why I debated it or even continued the conversation. I knew it only made me look more pathetic.
I kept staring at the blotch on his neck. It seemed like it might be growing. What exactly had happened behind the grill with Adia? I was too scared to want to know.
I covered my stomach with my arms.
Get out. Get out now, I pleaded with myself.
“I’m sorry,” he said again, putting his hat back on. “I’ll see ya around, though.”
He stood up and swaggered away, the butt of his cargo shorts drooping more and more with each step he took.
I used to love his walk. I always thought it showed confidence. But now I hated it. Now I wanted to punch that swagger in the face.
I tried to get up, but I was frozen on that lounge, staring out into the party abyss.
“I think Manzell and Mia just broke up,” I overheard someone say, but I didn’t have the energy to look over and see who it was.
“Like, right now?” another kid replied.
I scanned the crowd for Justine, but I couldn’t see her. I stayed there, sitting up, looking out into the crowd, at nothing in particular, like I was waiting for something to happen. My mind was blank; I had no idea what to do.
“What’s going on?” Justine asked when she came back, two sweating cups of fruit punch in her hands.
“We broke up,” I told her.
“What?” She recoiled.
“Isn’t it weird how we say we broke up, but really it wasn’t a we thing at all? It was completely a him thing. All him. He broke up with me.”
“No. That is not okay.” Justine dropped the cups and made no attempt to pick them up. Fruit punch spilled all over the grass. She wasn’t the type of girl to drop things and not pick them up. Her mom was really into manners and stuff. Right and wrong. A firm believer in thank-you notes.
Justine grabbed my hand. “We need to get out of here. Come on.”
We got into Justine’s car, and she sped through the winding Bridgefield streets. We weren’t in a rush to get anywhere, though. In fact, staying in her old Buick seemed to be the most pleasant plan.
When you’re going somewhere, things are never as painful. You’re literally moving so it’s pretty much impossible to feel stuck. It’s like you never really want to get where you’re going. You just want to stay in the car, on the journey.
You want to feel like you’re on the way to better times.
Coconut water, apples, spinach, bananas
“Cheese fries?” I asked Mia, even though it wasn’t really a question. “You need cheese fries.”
I clutched the steering wheel, trying to drive safely in the darkness.
I wasn’t sure if I should tell Mia what I’d seen, or not. Would knowing make it better or worse?
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Livin' the Dream 1
Chapter 2 Meloncholy 5
Chapter 3 Comfort-Me Coconut 12
Chapter 4 Find Your Power 18
Chapter 5 Life's a Beach 26
Chapter 6 I Love You Berry Much 31
Chapter 7 Soul Cleanser 37
Chapter 8 Flax Your Muscle 47
Chapter 9 Cashew New You 51
Chapter 10 Cheer-Up Cherry 53
Chapter 11 Rise-Up Raspberry 58
Chapter 12 Beeter Than Before 64
Chapter 13 Survival 68
Chapter 14 Kiwi to Success 70
Chapter 15 Whey Strong 78
Chapter 16 Large and in Chard 84
Chapter 17 Orange Energy 91
Chapter 18 Careful Carrot 96
Chapter 19 Pearfect 98
Chapter 20 The Guilty Pleasure 103
Chapter 21 Lettuce Be Together 106
Chapter 22 Reset 111
Chapter 23 Apple of My Eye 115
Chapter 24 Mind Trick 118
Chapter 25 Focus on This 125
Chapter 26 Truth or Dare 129
Chapter 27 Lime Yours 135
Chapter 28 Second Chances 142
Chapter 29 Calm Before the Storm 145
Chapter 30 Lucky Lemon 150
Chapter 31 Orange You Glad to See Me 154
Chapter 32 Plum Crazy About You 157
Chapter 33 Positivity 164
Chapter 34 Nuts About You 171
Chapter 35 Honeydew You Love Me? 175
Chapter 36 Pumpkin Paradise 180
Chapter 37 Bravocado 183
Chapter 38 Rainy-Day Respite 187
Chapter 39 Delicious Discoveries 192
Chapter 40 Skinny-Dip 197
Chapter 41 Real Appeal 203
Chapter 42 Just Peachy 210
Chapter 43 Just Beet It 215
Chapter 44 The Cure 217
Chapter 45 Victory Dance 222
Chapter 46 Peace and Quiet 227
Chapter 47 Wake Up and Rise Up 232
Chapter 48 Summer Lovin' 237
Chapter 49 The Cold Truth 240
Chapter 50 Out in the Open 244
Chapter 51 Heartbreak Healer 248
Chapter 52 Last Drops of Summer 252
Chapter 53 Welcome Surprises 254
Chapter 54 Sit Back and Smile 256
Chapter 55 Noticeable Change 258