Summary: Intelligent, popular, handsome, and wealthy, sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas is pretty much perfect -- on the outside, at least. What no one knows -- not even his best friend -- is the terror that Nick faces every time he is alone with his father. Then he and Caitlin fall in love, and Nick thinks his problems are over. Caitlin is the one person who he can confide in. But when things start to spiral out of control, Nick must face the fact that he's gotten more from his
Summary: Intelligent, popular, handsome, and wealthy, sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas is pretty much perfect -- on the outside, at least. What no one knows -- not even his best friend -- is the terror that Nick faces every time he is alone with his father. Then he and Caitlin fall in love, and Nick thinks his problems are over. Caitlin is the one person who he can confide in. But when things start to spiral out of control, Nick must face the fact that he's gotten more from his father than green eyes and money. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:01 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Harpercollins College Division Published: 05/28/2011 International: No
View Author Bio
Flinn, Alex :
When Alex Flinn was five, her mother informed her that she would be "an author" when she grew up.Never one to follow instructions, Alex studied theater and opera and became a lawyer before finally writing her first novel, Breathing Underwater.Alex lives in Miami with her husband, Gene, and their daughters, Katie and Meredith.
In Her Own Words...
"I write about the things that scare me. When I sat down to write my second novel for teens, I didn't have to go any further than the newspaper. Acts of violence in our schools are terrifying. What is it like, I wondered, to sit in class, not knowing whether the guy beside you might pull out a gun or plant a bomb? What is it like to feel you have reason to commit an act of violence at school-and nothing to lose?
"I dont know the answers. But by writing the story of one teen who reached the breaking point, I've tried to make sense of something that teens are already trying to make sense of. I've tried to understand what makes some teens so fed-up, angry, fearful, and-above all -- isolated that they feel they must strike out. I hope this book will stimulate discussion. Although we cannot excuse the acts of kids like Paul, we must try to understand them. It is the first step toward preventing them."
View Sample Chapter
Chapter One January 5 Justice Building, Miami, Florida
I've never been in a courthouse before. But then, I've never been in such deep shit before, either. The metal detector screams when I walk through, and a security woman tries to check my pockets. I pull away.
"These what you want?" I dangle my keys an inch from her nose, getting in her face. She backs off, scowling. I throw them into her yellow plastic basket and walk through again."You were supposed to give me those first," she says.
"Sorry." I'm not.
Behind me, my father flings in his keys. "You're always sorry, Nicholas, always forgetting." Then, he looks at the security woman, and his expression becomes a smile. "Miss, if you would please be so kind to tell me where is this courtroom?" He hands her the notice for my hearing.
She smiles too, taken in like everyone else by his Armani suit and Greek accent. "Second floor." She looks at me. "Restraining order, huh?"
"Trouble with his girlfriend." My father shakes his head. "He is sixteen."
I stare forward, remembering a day on the beach, Caitlin laughing, a white hibiscus in her hair. Was it only a month ago? God, how did we get here?
My father nudges me onto the escalator, and it bears me up, high above the white-tiled floors and the metal detector, far from the security woman's gaze. We reach the top, and he shoves me through a green door.
The courtroom smells like old books and sweat. Brown benches, like church pews, face the witness stand. On the front wall, gold letters read:
Miami-Dade County, Florida We Who Labor Here Seek Only the Truth
Fine, if you know what the truth is. Caitlin sits with her mother in the center pew. Dressed in white, her blond hair loose, she looks like something from our mythology book, a nymph, maybe, pursued by a beast. Guess I'm the beast. I pass her.
"Why are you doing this, Cat?" I whisper. "I thought we had something special."Caitlin examines her knees, but I can tell her eyes are brimming. "Yeah, Nick. I thought so too."
"You know why." She moves to the other side of her mother.
I must stand there a second too long, because my father shoves me forward. I take a seat in the fourth row. He leaves a gap between us, opens his briefcase, and removes a thick folder. Work. I try to catch his eye. "Do you think they'll--?"
His eyes narrow in annoyance. "Nicos, this is important." He gestures at the folder.I look away. From across the room, I feel Caitlin's mom staring and Caitlin trying not to. So I concentrate, really concentrate, on making my face a mask. I'm good at that. People at school--my ex-friends, even Tom, who used to be my best friend--see me how I want them to: Nick Andreas, sixteen-year-old rich kid, honor student, coolest guy around. All fake. Only Caitlin knew the truth about the warfare with my father. She knew how humiliating it was warming the bench in football all season.
Telling her that stuff was a mistake. It's easier to fake it. When you fake it for sixteen years, it becomes part of you, something you don't think about. Maybe that's why I can hold a smile when the judge--a female judge who's sure to take Caitlin's side--enters and Caitlin takes the witness stand. I grin like an idiot as the bailiff swears Caitlin in and a lawyer in a gray polyester skirt begins asking her questions.
"State your name," the polyester lawyer says.
"Caitlin Alyssa McCourt."
Polyester points to the paper she's holding. "Is this your statement, Miss McCourt?"
Caitlin nods. "You'll have to voice your answers for the record."
"Is it your testimony you were involved in a relationship with the respondent, Nicholas Andreas?" Yes. "Is he here today?" Yes. "Point him out, please."
Caitlin's finger stretches toward me. I meet her eyes, try to make her remember all the good times. Bad move. Her tears, brimming before, spill out, unchecked. A tissue is offered. Polyester keeps going.
"Was the relationship a sexual one?"
Caitlin's hands twist in her lap. "Yes."
"Was the sex consensual?"
Cat says nothing, glancing at her mother. The question takes me by surprise. Does she mean to lie about that too, make it rape, what we did together? It wasn't. Polyester repeats the question, and Caitlin says, "I heard you. I was thinking." She looks at her mother again and wipes another tear. Her chin juts forward. Finally, she says, "Yes. It was consensual. Nick and I . . . I loved him."
In her seat two rows away, Mrs. McCourt shakes her head. Now, Caitlin stares forward.
"What happened December 12?" Polyester asks.
I look at the wall, my attention suddenly riveted by a palmetto bug, feelers writhing. I could kill it if I wanted.
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