Author: Kelly Oram
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Well, here we are folks. The final day of Science Geek Appreciation Week. And what a week it's been! We've read all about The Avery Shaw Experiment, revealed the cover and got a few teasers from The Libby Garrett Intervention releasing this October, we've gotten up close and personal with Science Squad author Kelly Oram, and we've invaded Avery's and Grayson's privacy by reading their journals.
We've partied on Facebook with games, teasers, bonus material, and giveaways. (The party's still going on, so stop by the FACEBOOK EVENT and enter the giveaways before they're over.)
Hopefully you've all bought your copy of Avery at its Science Geek Appreciation price of just $0.99. I promise, it's worth the dollar! Amazon * iBooks * B&N * Kobo. And, of course, (fingers crossed) you've preordered your copy of Libby at the early bird sale price of $2.99.
It seems there's only one thing left to do, and that would be get a nice good look at The Libby Garrett Intervention in this first-ever sneak peek!
“I love Avery, and I’m happy for her—she certainly deserves Grayson—but now her perception of reality is totally skewed. She thinks everyone has a fairy-tale ending coming to them. She doesn’t understand that most of us won’t be so lucky. Especially not someone like me.”
Adam kept his gaze on the window and let out a breath. “Someone like you?”
“Yeah, someone like me. Fat girls don’t exactly get a lot of love.”
He pulled his eyes away from the view to glare at me for that one. I wasn’t sure what his problem was. It’s not like my weight was a secret.
“Maybe I’m not three hundred pounds, but I’m definitely pushing it when I use the word chubby. In high school, that equates to being the fat girl, and, before you ask, I can’t just lose the weight. I have hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed when I was eleven because I became borderline diabetic. I’ve been on a strict diet and exercise program ever since so that I don’t develop more serious health problems. I’m actually in decent shape cardiovascularly speaking; I just can’t get rid of all the weight. This is as good as I will ever get.”
Adam pulled his eyes away from the window and shifted his entire body so that he was facing me. “You don’t think you’ll ever find someone that loves you because you’ll never be thin?”
I scoffed. “This is real life, not Hairspray. There is no Link Larkin out there waiting for me. Don’t even try to tell me that there is. You know there’s not. It’s a miracle Owen even gives me the time of day.”
After pulling the beanie off his head to rake his hand through his hair, Adam slumped in his seat and crossed his arms over his chest, glaring out the windshield. I didn’t understand the mood swing. He’d seemed pretty chill when I first picked him up. Now he was back to being that stick-up-the-butt grump I first met. “What about Owen?” he asked suddenly. “He doesn’t seem to mind your weight.”
“Ha!” I clenched my hands so tightly on the steering wheel that my knuckles turned white. I’d been telling myself that same thing for a year, but that didn’t make it true. “Of course he does. That’s the biggest problem we have. He acts the way he does with me because he’s embarrassed of my looks. I always knew that, but I told myself it didn’t matter, because even if he was ashamed of his feelings for me, at least he had them.”
Adam was appalled by my logic. “Are you serious? The guy is ashamed of you, and you don’t think that matters?”
A surge of anger pulsed through me, but I managed to keep hold of my temper. “Of course it matters. Do you think I like that he won’t introduce me to any of his friends? I don’t. I hate it. He won’t even admit to Grayson that we’re dating. Do you know how that makes me feel?”
“Then why do you put up with it?”
“Because it’s better than nothing. Which is what I have without Owen. No one has ever wanted me before. At all. In any way. Owen can be a jerk, but I know at least part of him cares about me. It’s not like he hooks up with me because I’m his only option. The guy is gorgeous, popular, and athletic. He can be with anyone he wants, but he still chooses to be with me. He likes being with me. He’s not a total douche. He does appreciate my awesomeness. When we’re together and it’s just us, he can be so sweet. He makes me feel beautiful—desirable, special, wanted. I don’t get to feel like that any other time in my life, so I take the bad with the good.”
I couldn’t believe I was having such an intimate conversation with this odd stranger, but it was surprisingly nice to be completely honest for once. “I can’t say no to Owen because I know that if I say yes, I’ll get to feel those things. The bad stuff will disappear and I’ll feel amazing, at least for a little while. And I’m afraid that if I don’t come when he calls, he’ll find someone else. I’m sure he sees other girls at college. Yes, I hate that, but what other choice do I have? If I push him away, then I’m back to having nobody. Without Owen, I’m back to being a lonely, fat nerd. I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life.”
The conversation died there.
I’d never been so honest with anyone before, not even Avery. I wasn’t sure how Adam got me to crack open like that, but I felt so exposed. I’d spent years building up the thickest skin a human being could possibly have, and somehow, in less than an hour, Adam broke right through all of my defenses. That scared me. Who was this guy? How did he get to me so easily?
Adam sat in silence on the other side of the car. I knew he was thinking about everything I’d just said. Knew he was putting it together with all the times we’d met so far, and forming a new opinion of me. I didn’t want to know what that might be.
I drove us through the winding mountains, paying more attention to my crappy thoughts and feelings than the road. We were lucky I didn’t send us plummeting over the side of the canyon to our deaths.
“Believe it or not, I understand how you feel,” Adam said, breaking the long silence with his soft voice. “I know exactly what it’s like to be so desperate for someone’s affection that you’d let them destroy you just to win their approval.”
My chest tightened at his admission. It made me crazy with curiosity. Who had he loved so much that he could sound as full of despair as he did now? There was truth in his words, and whatever truth it was, it had been devastating to him. Was there more to Avery asking him for help than just his ability to play Bad Cop? He said we had something in common, but I couldn’t understand how a guy like him could ever be an outcast the way I am.
“If you don’t let him go,” Adam said, pulling my attention back to the conversation, “he will destroy you eventually.”
I had no doubt he was speaking from experience, but I didn’t ask, and he didn’t elaborate. He left me alone after that, and we spent the rest of the drive in silence. It wasn’t until we reached the ski resort and climbed out of the Escalade that he finally said, “You have to want it, Libby. Admitting that the relationship is unhealthy is a good start, but it isn’t enough. If you don’t genuinely want to give him up, then we’re wasting each other’s time.”
I wasn’t sure I’d ever fully want to give Owen up, but I didn’t want to let him keep using me, either. “What exactly are we doing with each other, anyway?” I asked as I led Adam through the parking lot toward the mountain. “How do you plan to help me?”
“Every twelve-step program is a journey. It’s actually a very spiritual experience for the person taking the steps. It requires a leap of faith. My job as your sponsor—so to say—is to take that leap with you and sort of guide you through the process. You’ll have to do all the work. I can’t take the steps for you, but I can show you the way. I’m here to hold your hand or give you a nudge when you need it, point you in the right direction if you can’t see clearly, and pick you up if you fall.”
We reached the base of the mountain and immediately hit a wall of people. The mountain was packed because it was the last weekend of the season, and it looked like the competition had also drawn quite a crowd as well.
I grabbed Adam’s hand tightly so that we wouldn’t get separated, and headed toward the halfpipe. Adam startled at my touch, but didn’t pull away. He looked down at our hands and then did that infuriatingly sexy thing where he raises one of his eyebrows at me, as if demanding an answer.
Man, he could be so hot when he wanted. If I weren’t in such a hurry, I’d have stayed locked in that challenging stare with him until the snow melted. Unfortunately, there was no time to explore the tension that sometimes ignited between us. I rolled my eyes at him, pretending I wasn’t the least bit excited to be touching him, and started tugging him through the spectators. “Gotta move your honeybuns, Coffee Man. We’re late.”
“You know,” he said lightly as he followed me through the crowd, “when I mentioned hand holding before, I was speaking metaphorically.”
“Well, that’s just too bad, because right now I need it in the literal sense. I don’t have time to lose you. It looks like they’ve already started, and I’ll be the worst daughter ever if I miss my dad’s first run.”
Adam chuckled. Then, a few seconds later he relaxed his grip, shifting his hand in mine so that our fingers laced together. There was something intimate in the casual way he clung to me as we walked. It was as if he weren’t hanging on for the purpose of staying together, but rather holding my hand simply for the pleasure of it. The way a boyfriend would. The way Owen had never done. The way no one had ever done.
It took everything in me not to stumble to a stop and gape at him. I glanced back as subtly as I could manage. He met my eyes, smiling as if he didn’t have a care in the world. As though holding my hand was something he did every day, something so natural he didn’t even have to think about it.
Coming October 24th!
Available for preorder now at:
Special preorder price of $2.99.
(Two dollars off the normal listing price of $4.99)
This follow-up companion novel to The Avery Shaw Experiment can be read as a stand alone. (But where's the fun in that?) The Avery Shaw Experiment is only $0.99 right now. So why wait until October to meet Libby when you can fall in love with her right now for only a dollar?
Kelly wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.