Title: Prom Theory
Word Count: 62,000
Genre: YA Contemporary
High school junior IRIS is tired of her paired-up classmates hanging on each other like damp towels. She doesn’t get what the big deal is. Love is nothing more than chemistry, the class everyone else wants to skip. When her friend, Esther decides to cash in IQ points for cleavage and giggles to get a prom date. Iris sets out to prove that love is a pointless misuse of science by setting up experiments designed to make the hottest guy in school, fall in love with her.
Every mad scientist needs an assistant, so Iris drafts her next-door-neighbor, SETH, commonly known as SQUEAK, to help her prove her point. Squeak has been her best friend for as long as since grade school. After so many years their hormones and brains should respond to each other as siblings.
Usually willing and eager to be Iris’s minion, Squeak suddenly seems preoccupied with something other than her likely future Nobel Prize. Instead, he is strangely focused on ensuring the academic success of the pom-pom squad’s most popular cheerleader. But something is different about Squeak these days… something other than his increased height and a noticeable lack of “squeak” when he talks. As her experiments become more complicated, so do her inexplicable feelings for the boy next door.
When Iris's hypothesis proves true, she finds herself trapped at prom in a dark corner with an over-sexed hunk whose chiseled features and muscular physique are suddenly intimidating and all too quickly bordering on dangerous. In the end, it's up to unassuming, geeky Squeak to rescue her from Theo's unwanted advances and prove that love -- real love -- has nothing to do with synthetic pheromones and balanced equations.
First 250 words:
“You and your father blame Spinoza for everything,” my mom said as we pulled up to the side entry of Hillcrest High.
“That’s because Spinoza is usually to blame,” I said.
Thanks to my mother’s ferret, we were fifteen minutes late. Twenty-five minutes later than I’d planned. I needed to get to my locker early. Before the buses, before the noise. I had to line my books up in my locker in the order of my classes—it was lab day. She knew my routine.
“Spinoza is chaos in a tube.”
My mother gasped and glared at me. Curls pulled free from her hasty attempt at a ponytail. “She is not a tube! She’s a free spirit.”
I was immediately ashamed. Bad enough I was going to be a hot mess trying to get things under control all day. But that didn’t mean I had to be nasty and ruin my mother’s morning as well.
“Sorry, you’re right. She’s a ferret. It’s her nature.”
Her frown ssoftened. Spinoza hadn’t only made me late by stealing the car keys but kept my mother from drinking her usual second and third cup of coffee. That didn’t bode well for anyone or anything, including my mother’s attention span.