Marcus is an agent of the Library—a place filled with tales that don't have an ending. Read more...
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: Oct 2017
From the cover
"I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm seriously dead."
"You're also a drama queen," Theo McLean said without a trace of sympathy. "It's not exactly the end of the world."
"Easy for you to say," Lu snapped at him. "What did you get on the test? An A, right?"
"No, in fact, I didn't," Theo replied. "I got an A-plus. But I missed the extra credit."
"I hate you," Lu snarled.
My two best buddies don't always get along. If not for me, I doubt they'd even be friends. Annabella Lu is driven by emotion. She's a real "seat of the pants" kind of girl who always starts out in third gear. Theo McLean, on the other hand, is a thinker. An overthinker, actually. By the time he analyzes a problem and looks at every possible solution from multiple angles, it's usually the next day and nobody can remember what the problem was in the first place.
I fall somewhere in the middle. I can think through a challenge fast, and I'm not afraid to make bold, decisive choices. On the other hand, my bold decisions aren't always the best, and I've been known to solve problems by creating even bigger problems. But, hey, at least I get things done. Sort of.
Lu is Asian American, Theo is African American, and I'm Caucasian Euro-mutt-American. Together we look like the cast of some racially diverse kids' TV show.
"It's only one test grade," I said, trying to be the voice of reason. "Your father's not going to kill you over one C."
"It's not just one C, Marcus," Lu said, spinning on her roller skates with nervous energy.
Lu is a roller-derby girl. The only reason she takes off her skates during the day is because they aren't allowed on Stony Brook Middle School property. Theo and I were sitting near the school's front entrance so Lu could legally roll along the sidewalk and burn off tension.
"I bombed a couple of other science tests I haven't told my parents about, and now I'm staring at a big, fat old C for the trimester. That will make my dad's brain detonate."
"It won't. Your parents are cool," I argued.
"Sure, when it comes to my friends and letting me play derby and not getting up in my stuff all the time, but school is a whole different thing. I've got a tiger mom and a dragon dad. To them, anything less than an A is failing."
"So what will they do?" Theo asked.
"I don't know!" Lu shouted in frustration. "I've never had to find out! They could ground me, or get me a tutor, or they might even force me to quit derby!"
"All because of one lousy C?" I asked, incredulous.
"To them it's not a lousy C. It's a hot blade that cuts straight into their souls and twists with such a vengeance that pain from the hideous scar will torture them until the day they die."
"Wow," I said. "You may suck at science but I bet you're getting an A in English."
"So do better next time," Theo said matter-of-factly. "I mean, you're not dumb. Not really."
"Gee, thanks," Lu said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Maybe that should go on my tombstone: 'Here lies Annabella Lu. She wasn't dumb. Not really.' "
"But you aren't," Theo said innocently.
"Ugh," Lu groaned, and skated off. She spun around, skating backward, and said, "If you don't see me tomorrow, it's because I've been shipped off to boarding school."
"You're making too big a thing outta this!" I called to her as she spun back around and zipped away.
Her response was to throw me a dismissive wave.
"I don't know...