In honor of the YA scavenger hunt this week, I will be posting a link of ALL of chapter one of PRETTY AMY on my FB page. Here’s sneak peek of the first section of chapter one edited to PG-13 for the hunt. 🙂
Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleishman.
I am one of the legions of middle-class white girls who
search malls for jeans that make them look thinner, who
search drugstores for makeup to wear as a second skin, who
are as sexy and exotic as blueberry muffins.
I am a walking, talking True Life episode. Your highschool
guidance counselor’s wet dream, and one of the only
girls I know to get arrested on prom night.
When my mother dropped me off at Lila’s, rather than
running like hell the way I usually did, I sat next to her in our
minivan and waited for a speech. The speech mothers give to
their only daughters on nights when those daughters are all
dressed up and the mothers look all wistful and teary.
I assumed she was building up to it, was working through
exactly what she was going to say so it would be perfect. I
knew from TV that she must have practiced in the mirror, but
maybe, faced with having to say all those things to me, she’d
frozen up. I could understand that.
When I saw Lila peek out to see who was sitting in her
driveway, and then felt my phone vibrate with a text that I
knew must say, WTF R U DOIN?, I figured I had waited long
“So this is it…,” I said. My mother stared at Lila’s small,
birdsh*t-gray house and bit at what was left of her nails. After
I’d started hanging out with Lila and Cassie, my mother
gnawed at her nails the way a baby sucked her thumb. “…my
senior prom,” I continued.
Maybe she was overwhelmed. Her little girl was all grown
up. Her ugly duckling had finally become a swan.
“I don’t want to ruin this for you, so I’m choosing to hold
My mother loved using old-time folksy sayings. Hold your
horses. The early bird catches the worm. The penis with two
holes puts out the fire faster.
All right, fine, I made up that last one.
She had been holding her tongue for a while now. When
yelling at me about my “degenerate” friends hadn’t helped,
she went for the semi-silent treatment.
Stupid me for trying to get her to talk.
“There’s something very wrong with this, Amy,” she said.
She meant that Lila’s boyfriend, Brian, had arranged a
date for me. My mother had never met this boy. I had never
met this boy. It may have seemed wrong to her, but I was used
to Lila bringing the boys. And, it was still my senior prom. It
was still my night, and she couldn’t even have a special, sappy
moment with me.
“I want to tell you to have a good time, to enjoy every
moment, to be safe, but I know you won’t listen anyway. I
know you’ll do what you want to do.”
She was talking to herself again.
My mother’s favorite hobbies were talking to herself
and bitching. Though I suppose those were hobbies for most
mothers, my mother honed them like skills. If bitching were
karate, my mother would be a black belt.
I looked down at my dress. It was strapless and light blue
to bring out my eyes, which weren’t blue, but raccoon gray,
and picked up whatever color I put next to them. The bodice
was tight and shiny, like what a superhero might wear, and the
skirt flared out and fell just below my knees. When my mother
had seen it hanging on the bathroom door earlier tonight,
she’d said it looked trampy, which made me even happier that
she hadn’t been there when I picked it out.
She also hadn’t been there when I got my shoes and clutch
purse dyed to match. Sure, she had given me money, but she
hadn’t been there. Not like I would have asked her to be there,
but she hadn’t offered, either.
“Thanks for the memories,” I said, opening the door.
Her only job tonight was to tell me I was beautiful, that I
was her beautiful baby girl all grown up, but she couldn’t even
“I can’t help the way I feel,” she said, like some self-helpbook
junkie. Well, not like one—she was one. For Chanukah
last year she had gotten me an itchy sweater and Chicken
Soup for the Daughter’s Soul. The inscription had read, FYI.
In addition to giving away a signed copy of PRETTY AMY for the hunt, I will also be giving away a signed copy, bookmark and bracelet to one lucky Facebook follower. I’ll also be posting a link to the WHOLE first chapter on Thursday! Simply Like my page to be entered!https://www.facebook.com/LisaBursteinAuthor