Young Adult Romance with Heart, Adventure and Sizzle
Each heartbeat leads Joss closer to a shocking truth that will change everything.
Joss Olstad has finally talked her clingy, stoner mom into springing Joss from her stifling private school and into the labyrinth of a prestigious Brooklyn public high. Searching for “a way out, a way in, and something I can’t even put into words, yet” Joss longs to find missing pieces of herself she lost when the father she never met died on a faraway road in India. All she has of him is a painted box he made. Joss is also itching to escape the hippie hell of her mother’s bong shop, and the hypocrisy that is her life. With her honey skin, and long brown hair, she passes for white, even though she’s half Indian. This culturally diverse school will be her chance to find out who she really is.
Day one, and Joss is terrified by how different things are. Has she made a horrible mistake? Before long, she gets into the pace. Her sights are set on her own “Bobcat in black denim”, the tall, handsome Will Torres. She’s met Katya too, a popular glam queen, who’s a blast to hang out with. She’s even joined a Culture Club, who invites her to hear live music. Life is perfect!
Or is it? Her friend, Katya starts acting like a royal slut, her mom’s flinging insults and lies at her, and the club girls are pressuring Joss to reveal her sketchy pedigree. Joss finds herself spinning stories about her past to fill in the holes. Even Will becomes leery of her. And the Personal Iconography class that Joss signed on for because kids claimed the teacher was “nuts in a good way” is the toughest class she’s ever taken. In it, Joss starts to make her own, heart-shaped boxes, with private messages in them. They help guide her forward. Not only is she forced to figure out who she is beyond the “nice girl” she always hid behind, her search leads her to the fringes of the outer boroughs, to a scary industrial section of Queens, and a shocking family secret that changes everything. This novel has been on Amazon’s top 100 in Teen and Alternative Family for two years! A Library Journal Self-E selection.
Readers and reviewers are saying:
“Really moving & unique.” - 5GirlsBookReview
“Emotional read! Joss learned things she’d been dying to know forever.” - Becca’s Book Affair
“Heartwarming, positive story, also edgy & real.” - Bookkeeping
“So stinkin’ cute I don’t even know what to do with myself right now.” - Painted Words Reviews
“Will’s a super-swoony love interest. I loved everything about this, honestly!” - Go Read a Book
"Heartwrenching & wondrous!”
“A family secret will either tear Joss’s world apart or make it whole.”
“I loved Joss and her mom, both headstrong & stubborn.” - Njkinny’s World of Books