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1250084059 (ISBN13: 9781250084057)
A new spin on the classic smart-girl-and-bad-boy setup, this witty contemporary romance shows how easily a friendship – even one built on an elaborate lie – can become so much more.
Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.
With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all.
Debut author Tiffany Pitcock delivers a spot-on depiction of first love and the high school rumor mill in Just Friends, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads.
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The classroom door swung open.
Every head in the class turned to see a boy with messy blond hair walk in. He gave a nod to his classmates before handing Mrs. Tanner, the slender Oral Communications teacher, a slip of paper.
“Late on the first day, Mister”—she looked closer at the slip in her hand—“Masters?”
“Car trouble, ma’am,” he assured her.
She shook her head disapprovingly. “Don’t make a habit of this.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” He winked before heading to the only open seat in the room.
He collapsed into the seat next to Jenny Wessler. Jenny glanced at him out of the corner of her eye as she chewed the end of her pen. She knew who the boy was, of course. He was the one and only Chance Masters. He’d spent his high school career carving out the most scandalous reputation he could.
“Anyway,” Mrs. Tanner called the class to order. “As I was about to say, for your first assignment you will each interview the person next to you, and then perform a dialogue together about your summer vacations for the class. Any questions?”
“Um, yeah.” Kelsey Molar, a perky blond, raised her hand. “Can we switch partners?” She looked at her partner, Danny Jennings, with disdain while Danny just continued to slumber in his seat.
“No, sorry, Kelsey, but I pick partners in my class. It’s the first day of your junior year. It’s one of your last chances to meet new classmates,” Mrs. Tanner explained. “Could you wake Danny, please?”
Kelsey prodded Danny awake with her pencil, then glanced over at Jenny.
Jenny met her eyes, shrugged, and mouthed, “I wanted to be your partner.”
Jenny watched as Kelsey gave a weak smile and turned to start the project. I better start, too, she thought as she looked to Chance. He sat slouched in his desk, his blond hair tousled just so and his brown eyes shining wickedly. He flashed what could only be called a smirk and said, “Ready to go, partner?” in a voice that could convince even the most grounded girl to run away with him.
Luckily, Jenny had no time for him. “Look,” she began in her no-nonsense voice, “I really, really like having all A’s, so no playing around. You have to take this seriously. I want to start the semester off right.”
“Well, you’re no fun. I bet you’re the type who excitedly packs her backpack the night before the first day because you just can’t wait for school to start.” He sat up and produced a notebook. “Let’s get this over with, then, Little Miss Really-Likes-Having-A’s.”
“I am not…” she hedged, blushing slightly. The truth was, of course, that she was exactly that type of person. She tried to hide her blush by looking over at Margaret Lester, who—with every perfect hair in place—was interviewing the brainless Max Gregs.
“Ah.” Chance followed her line of sight. “Margaret Lester. She’s not quite the perfect angel everyone seems to think,” he said matter-of-factly.
“How would you know?” Jenny turned back to him. “She only moved here at the end of last year.”
“Because we went out,” he said with a shrug. “We met at a party, and one thing led to another.…” He trailed off. “You might want to write this down, since the interview is over something we did during the summer.”
“I can’t get up there and tell the class how you hooked up with Margaret.”
“Seriously?” She looked skeptical. He was a gross pig, just like everyone said.
“Okay, I see your point.” He scratched his chin. “Well, I also broke into an abandoned gas station with my cousins, and then we went skinny-dipping with some girls they knew, but I’m betting you won’t say that, either.”
“No.” Jenny set down her pen. “Did you do anything school appropriate?”
“Um, let’s see.” He pretended to look thoughtful for a moment. “Nope.”
“Of course not.” Jenny was feeling a little uncomfortable with him. She’d heard that he got around, but she didn’t expect it to be true. She also couldn’t help but think of her own pathetic summer; she’d locked herself in her room and read the entire time.
“Let me guess: You did nothing fun?” He raised one eyebrow.
“I’ve always wanted to do that,” she blurted out.
“What?” He looked taken aback by her bluntness. “Have fun?”
“No, raise one eyebrow,” she explained, feeling lame.
He just nodded and went to sketching on a blank page in his notebook. Jenny bit her bottom lip and looked around the room; everyone else was well under way with their interviews. Mrs. Tanner sat at her computer, playing solitaire. Jenny glanced back to Chance as he absentmindedly doodled. “Chance?” she asked.
“Yeah?” He looked up, his eyes surprisingly sweet.
“How many girls have you slept with?” The question sprang from her lips before she could contain it. She quickly looked away from him and blushed. How could I be so stupid? she thought. You can’t go around asking people those things!