Salvador Resendez–Salva to his friends–appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He’s student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.
Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she’s also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.
Popular guy and bookish girl–the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever–because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.
Then tragedy strikes–and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth’s love be enough to save him?
2/2 Always YA at Heart
2/3 Books With Bite
2/4 Live to Read
2/5 The Bookish Babe
2/6 Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
2/7 The Reading Date
2/8 I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
Read an excerpt:
“Hey, gorgeous,” Tosa greeted the long-legged blonde at Char’s side. He grinned as if he was joking, but no one was fooled.
“Hi, sweetheart.” Linette flipped her golden hair over one shoulder, propped herself on the outside of the bench, and leaned her hip against Tosa’s waist. Whether or not she was joking was harder to tell.
Char, whose tight shirt and tighter jeans battled with the dress code, stood waiting next to Salva, despite the fact that there was no space beside him on the bench.
He hated that—how she’d just stand there waiting for him to read her mind whenever she wanted something.
Pepe moved over, and Salva reminded himself to give his best friend a lecture on loyalty. Char slid in between them.
“Listen, guys.” Linette set her chin on Tosa’s shoulder. “My parents are water-skiing this weekend. You wanna come over while they’re gone for a little back-to-school action?” She popped her tropical-orange lips. “Saturday ’bout two?”
“I’m working,” Salva said. Scut every weekend at the onion-processing plant. His father’s idea.
“Ah, man!” Pepe frowned. “You’re not serious.”
Salva shrugged. Sorting onions wasn’t his view of a career path, but whatever. His older brother and sister had done their part to pay his way, so Salva owed it to his two younger sisters to do the same. Plus, he could work around his football schedule.
“Can’t you talk your way out of it?” Linette asked.
Char’s fingers brushed his arm.
“No,” he replied.
The fingers retreated, slightly.
“Well, I’m in,” Pepe stated.
Tosa laughed. “Oh, we knew you wouldn’t give up your Saturday for cash.” Of all of them, Pepe was the most flush. Not that his mom had money. Ms. Hart, who had ditched her husband’s last name of Real after he’d split when her son was twelve, had raised Pepe on a middle-school secretary’s salary. But his grandparents spoiled him rotten.
“And you, Ricardo?” Linette eased her long leg inside the bench so her right knee fell in front of Tosa and her left one rested behind. “Are you coming?”
Like that was gonna get a no.
“Prob’ly.” Tosa turned as orange as his polished-off Tabasco. “I’ll have to ask at the machine shop, but the boss owes me hours.”
“Good.” She slid back.
“Aren’t you chicas eating?” asked Tosa as he bit into his well-doctored burger. Juice from the tomatoes ran down his chin.
Both girls dismissed his question. Always dieting, one of the things that had driven Salva crazy when he was dating Char. What were you supposed to do with a girlfriend who wouldn’t eat?
“So you’re coming this weekend, aren’t you, Char?” Pepe prodded.
“I’m not sure,” she replied.
“What?!” he reacted as if the sagging ceiling had fallen in. “The worth-it factor goes down by half if you’re not there.”
Char lowered her eyes. She’d used glitter eye shadow, not much, but still a little creepy. “My mother would have to give permission.”
That’s not gonna happen. Char’s mother was the queen of overprotection. No cheerleading. No R-rated movies. No overnight field trips. Nothing that would leave her daughter exposed to the hazards of, well, a guy like Pepe.
“I thought maybe if I could tell her someone would be there”—Char raised the sparkling eyelids to look straight at Salva—“someone she trusts . . .”
Right. She wanted his name for an alibi. He’d been playing her chaperone since they were kids. She could ride the bus to summer school if he rode with her. She could go to the music concert if he was also going. She could attend the dance if he escorted her.
Pepe wheedled, “Come on, man, if you can’t come, that’s cool; but you’re not gonna leave her sittin’ home, are you? Just because you’re makin’ love to some onions.”
And you’re gonna take over as chaperone, huh? Salva felt a twinge prick his conscience. Charla was a little like a sister to him—he had known her so long. He wouldn’t have advised one of his real sisters to date Pepe.
Char leaned closer, her arm against Salva’s, her knee pressing his. There was nothing sisterly in that gaze.
So much for his conscience.
“All right,” Salva said, “use my name.”
Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author:
Anne Osterlund is the author of four young adult books, including Aurelia and its sequel, Exile. Her second novel, Academy 7, won the OCTE Spirit of Oregon Award and was an ALA/YALSA Popular Paperback nominee. Anne works as a full-time author and presents for schools, conferences, and writing events. She grew up in the sunshine of eastern Oregon and earned a BA from Whitworth College, where she majored in elementary education with Spanish and English teaching fields. Anne lives in a cute little yellow house with her new feline friend, Simba, and her own library of young adult books. She and her characters can be found on her website at www.anneosterlund.com. Salvation is her fourth novel, and she has dreams of many more in the future.
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