Little, Brown and Company

New York Boston
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September 17th
Forgive me, Journal, for I have sinned. It has been less than a
day since my last entry so that’s obviously not it. It’s something
else. And it’s worse than not journaling.

As you know, I had an Algebra quiz today. You also know I
studied during lunch so I was prepared. What you don’t know
is that the “Before” picture sat beside me in Algebra and com-
pletely disrupted my chi.
“You’re too funny,” she said.
“I am?”
Way worse.
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“I love how you signed up for every spot on the Phoenix
Five. Hilarious.”
“Why? Those blank spaces were rhetorical.”
Foe no you dizn’t! This was her trying to rile me up before
the quiz. It was a total power move. But she’ll have to fight
smarter than that if she wants to beat me to the Academic
Excellence award, the Honors Society, and the Principal’s
Award. As for the Phoenix Five, she can have one spot if she
really wants. I’ll take four.
“I really like those bracelets you’re selling.”
“I’m sure you’ll be very happy with yours,” I snipped.
“Mine? I didn’t get one.”
“You will.”
“Your boyfriend bought two.”
“Boyfriend?” She looked confused and then kind of laughed.
“You mean Blake?”
I stared at her again.
“He’s not my boyfriend. He’ s—we’ve been best friends for
“I think he likes you.”
“There is nothing between us. Trust me.”
“Cross my heart.” She made an X over her ill- fitting shirt.
“Never has been. Never will be.”
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“Does he have a girlfriend?”
“Oh,” I said, like I didn’t really care. But on the inside my
cells were popping like kernels in a microwave. Blake was sin-
gle. He didn’t like Lily!

I wanted more intel but Mr. Baskin started handing out the
quiz. We had twenty minutes to answer ten questions.
I tried to focus but Blake’s dark eyes waxed in my mind and
eclipsed my math knowledge.

Still, I finished first. Eighteen minutes and twenty-three
seconds. Instead of taking our quizzes home and grading them
like a responsible teacher, Mr. Baskin had us switch papers
with the person sitting next to us. Lily got mine and I got hers.
He called out the correct answers while we, the students,
graded them. It was a total sweatshop move.
Lily got ten out of ten.
I got eight.

When you make a choice, you change the future.
— Deepak Chopra
Not that I care. I have to focus on my work. It’s just nice to know he
doesn’t like her.
Love the image of Blake’s eyes as the moon eclipsing my rational
thoughts. So poetic.
I “accidentally” took Lily’s paper so I could pass it off as my own. I
needed a Benihana night. Don’t judge.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the
product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Lisi Harrison
All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning,
uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of
the publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property.
If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes),
prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at . Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.
Hachette Book Group
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Visit our website at
Poppy is an imprint of Little, Brown and Company.
The Poppy name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content)
that are not owned by the publisher.
First Paperback Edition: May 2014
First published in hardcover in October 2013 by Little, Brown and Company
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Harrison, Lisi.
Pretenders / by Lisi Harrison. — First edition.
pages cm.
Summary: “Five high school freshmen—the Phoenix Five—reveal their
friendships, crushes, school and family dramas, and big secrets, as told in their
unique voices through journal entries”— Provided by publisher.
ISBN 978-0-316-22244-0 (hc)—ISBN 978-0-316-22232-7 (pb)
[1. High schools—Fiction. 2. Schools—Fiction. 3. Diaries—Fiction.
4. Friendship—Fiction. 5. Dating (Social customs)—Fiction. 6. Family life—
New Jersey—Fiction. 7. New Jersey—Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.H2527Pqm 2013 [Fic]—dc23 2012048434
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Printed in the United States of America
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