Little, Brown and Company

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BY #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR
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I was hoping to see Audri at lunch but she wasn’t there. Second
day in a row.
Did I freak her out when we doubled home?
Something about her face (Blue glasses? Uneven smile?
Freckle below her right eye?) said, “Go on, Jagger, tell me
everything. Trust me with the extended-play version of your
story. Life hasn’t always been fair to me, either. I won’t run. I
won’t ever run.”
Still. I should have known better.
I should have left out the part about being followed by Pat, the
ex– navy SEAL with a history of violence and a score to settle.
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At least until she got to know me better.
But she seemed so interested and it felt good to talk.
Too many people know my deal.
Bags of clothes appear by my locker. I never eat lunch alone.
Even the 3Ms say hi to me in the halls. But Pat knows too. I
can feel it.
Bushes shake when I walk by. Camouflage blurs whip
through my line of vision when I’m in crowded places. Randy’s
pets bang on their cages the moment I fall asleep.
Last time I visited Carla and Ed in prison they begged me to
keep to myself. They made me promise.
Pat wants revenge. Payback for teaching Pat Jr. that lesson
about bullying. And the best way to hurt my parents is to hurt
me.
I should have kept my promise.
I really really should have kept my promise.
I should have kissed Audri instead of blabbing.
That kiss- butt Vanessa just sat on the couch across from
me. She’s journaling too. She keeps looking at me. She’s
scratching her arm like crazy, which makes me think she has
some sort of communicable skin disease.
Contracting a communicable skin disease is no way to win
Audri back.
Man, she’s itchy.
Imagine if she lifted up her leg and started scratching
behind her ear like Noodle did when he had fleas.
I just laughed out loud a little.
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100
Uh-oh. She just smiled at me.
What if she wants to come over and talk? What if she asks
me to join her on her infested communicable couch?
I can’t let her think I am open to that.
Better fake sleep.
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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
permissions@hbgusa.com . Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.
Poppy
Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
Visit our website at lb-teens.com
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
RRD-C
Printed in the United States of America
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