Jesse the Player - gorgeous, charming, and oh-so-irresistible, he goes through girls quicker than you can say, "Check, please!"
Abigail the Poet - quiet and beautiful, with a heart full of pain, she's scared that she won't recover from the loss of her mother.
Randall the MusicianÑyour typical procrastinator and Ÿber-sensitive emo guitarist, he can't find the courage to tell Abigail he loves her.
Kate the Know-It-All - stunning, overconfident, and a well-meaning buttinsky, she has everything figured out, or so she thinks.
When their favorite hangout closes, these four friends are more adrift than ever before. A mysterious young Frenchwoman named Caroline Deneuve reopens the doors of the One Trick Pony. And their lives will never be the same.
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|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||372 KB|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
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Read an Excerpt
"Crap," Jesse Majors barked as he pushed open the front door of the apartment building with the tire of his bike. It was pouring again. And he had a hangover. From the way that girl Cassie or Carrie or Cammie or whoever was kissing him all over the face a second ago, he just knew she wasn't going to handle this one-night stand--which he hadn't made any attempt to disguise as anything but--very well at all.
He pulled his Saint Martin cap from his back jeans pocket and covered his freshly buzzed hair with it, the bill shading his face. The hat--like his Italian key fob; too-mature steel-rimmed sunglasses from Paris; and expensive Hawaiianshirt-- was a souvenir from his parents. Armored up in all this stuff, Jesse felt like a walking, talking souvenir himself, something you bring home from a trip and forget about.
His cell phone rang right as he started pedaling home. It was his movie exec dad. "We're going to stay another week out here. This producer is really trying to ruin Kevin Sting's book. Could you imagine doing a musical of a horror picture?" No, as a matter of fact, Jesse couldn't. He couldn't imagine leaving his own seventeen-year-old son for months at a time, either, but that was something Jesse kept close to the vest.
"Don't worry about it, Dad," he managed to say, mustering up his most carefree voice. "I know you've got to do a good job. We'll do the hiking thing next month." They'd planned on heading up to the Catskills, where his mom had picked out an old Greek Revival place the previous year, but Jesse hadn't actually assumed they'd be going. They'd only been up there once since they bought it. Surely there was some rotting crap in the fridge by now.
"All right, Jess. Thanks for understanding. Why don't you go out and get yourself one of those new Nintendo Wii game systems? You've got the credit card. Everyone's talking about them over here. We've got two on the set. The Road Rage game is pretty awesome."
"Yeah, sure, Dad. Thanks. Talk later." Jesse tucked his phone back into the Velcro pocket on his left jacket sleeve and slipped his earbuds into his ears. Lately, he'd been listening to this garage band, the Flash, he'd heard at the One Trick Pony the previous month. The Flash had sort of a British punk sound and they'd played on the last night the place was open. Right when Jesse finished cleaning out the espresso machine and counting out his drawer, Jimmy had pulled a chair up in front of the coffee bar, settled his hands on the roundest part of his belly, and said, "This is it, Jesse. We're closing up for good. I'm bankrupt. Kaput. Dead. Over. If I thought you needed the money, I'd feel pretty bad about it. But I'm sure you can find a new place to pick up girls," he added with a wink.
"What are you gonna do now?" Jesse had asked. Jimmy was just about the worst businessman in the world--more into music and hanging out than keeping consistent business hours, or serving good coffee--and it wasn't shocking that the One Trick had gone under. But at least Jimmy had been around a lot, and he knew Jesse. He hated to admit it, but Jesse missed the whole scene.
Ah, but that was all history now. Jimmy had moved down to Miami and planned to waiter at a tapas joint. "People, possessions, money . . . it all comes and goes in life," Jimmy said before he left. That was exactly the way Jesse himself saw things. He found that if you didn't worry, life had a way of working out--ups and downs, ins and outs. There wasn't much point to any of it, so far as he could tell.
"Yeah, yeah, kiss her where it huurrrrrrrrts!" The music thumped in his ear as he coasted along Smith Street toward his family's luxury apartment, ready for a final school-free Friday of nothing and a whole lot more nothing. Maybe he'd order some wings later. Or take his car out to Brighton Beach for some Roll 'N' Roaster. Maybe Randall would join him, if he wasn't too busy waiting around for Abigail to fall in love with him. Randall sure knew how to make things difficult.
All of a sudden, Jesse's gaze was attracted skyward. As his eyes widened, he felt the scar through his right eyebrow tug a little. The dark clouds that had layered Brooklyn for the past month--making the air hazy, so thick you could grab a handful of it--now broke, and right above the chained-up facade of the One Trick, there was a sliver of crystal-clear blue. A huge gray bird of a variety you didn't normally see on Smith Street swooped down and Jesse slammed on his brakes in surprise. His eyes followed the bird soaring right down to the door of the One Trick. Jesse was shocked to see a black-haired woman crouched down, fumbling with the lock.
Jesse weaved seamlessly between a few cars across the street to the woman as the bird flew off frantically. He leaned his bike against the brick wall and asked, "Can I help you with that?"
She didn't seem surprised or frightened by the voice coming from behind her. Instead, she smoothly answered, "Oui, that would be wonderful."
A Frenchwoman, Jesse thought. He'd had plenty of dreams about them. But when she stood and turned to face him, Jesse had the weirdest feeling; he thought she could have stepped off the set of a 1940s movie. She had shiny, unfussy hair, pulled back into a lacy band, so that her milky white neck was revealed. It was the kind of neck Jesse had the urge to reach out and touch, ditto her tiny ears. She had enormous, almond-shaped eyes--as dark as her hair--and they seemed miles deep as Jesse's gaze was caught in them. Her thick lashes blinked and snapped him out of it with a start. The woman wore a classic trench coat, tied tight at the waist and flowing to her high-heeled shoes. She was beautiful, with her heady perfume and curved smile, and though she was older--he guessed twenty-something--he was very attracted to her.