Title: TINY LITTLE LIFE
Entry Nickname: Ooh, crown molding?!
Word Count: 53,000
Genre: YA Contemporary
Seventeen-year-old Jordan Pearce has three months left of high school. Three months to decide if her alcoholic mom can be trusted to fend for herself without Jordan’s supervision. But when Jordan heads out for one night of fun with her best friends, she returns home to find her mom passed out and bleeding from a head wound. After a brief hospitalization, mom is forced into rehab. With no one else to look over her, Jordan’s absentee dad steps in, mobile tiny house in tow. At first, life in the tiny house with Dad is awkward. Close quarters, no bedroom walls, and a composting toilet are just the tip of the iceberg. There's also the whole "thanks for abandoning me and making mom drink her sorrows away" drama. Good thing she's got her two best friends and a cute crush to get her through. Jordan soon discovers she likes not having to be the one in charge of everything, and being able to put herself first for once. But rehab can’t help people who don’t want to help themselves, and soon Jordan must make a choice: either she puts herself first and heads off to college, risking her mom’s safety, or she gives up on her dreams to make sure mom stays safe.
Maybe the first big party of the new year isn’t the place to make my debut. I lag behind Sydney and Hannah as they walk up the front steps, their hands laced together. Guilt churns in my stomach. I should be home, working on my Physics paper and keeping an eye on Mom. But I can't handle missing out on another party, especially this one. Mom will be fine for one night.
The house pulses with music and activity. I hold my breath, step into the foyer, and take a look around. My classmates are more alive than I’ve ever seen them. Everywhere I look, they’re dancing, drinking, kissing, moving. Hannah twists her way through the crowd, moving with the music and disappears.
"Well?" Syd asks.
I nod. "It's good. Fun." She raises an eyebrow. "Really, I’m good." I'm not convinced. My toes already ache and my heart’s beating so fast that I feel shaky but there’s something about all of this that feels right. Maybe it isn't too late for me.
Hannah returns with two beers and a water. “Who’s driving?” Syd grabs the water so I take a beer--my first--out of Hannah’s hand. I wipe off the condensation and then pop it open and take a swig. I scrunch up my face and Hannah smiles. “Acquired taste. It gets better, but not until the third can or so.”
I take another sip as I look around the room, my gaze landing on a tall redhead across the way. He's here.
Title: All Intents and Purposes
Entry nickname: Alternative Facts
Word count: 68K
Genre: YA Contemporary
Seventeen-year-old Adrian understands that “genderqueer” isn’t exactly an acceptable identity at her Pennsylvania school. That’s why she’s stoked to discover she can blend in as a boy with a group of friends she met online. So when a rape scandal about two of her fellow high school students is plastered all over the news, she brushes it aside as useless chatter; she has more exciting things to focus on.
But escapism meets reality—and Adrian’s stomach drops into the sub-basement—when the accused rapist from her high school, Hunter, arrives at an out-of-town party. Hunter knows who Adrian is under her masculine appearance; he could out her with a single pronoun. Likewise, Adrian could reveal Hunter’s disreputable identity to their new friends. With both Hunter and Adrian holding the upper hand, they hit a standstill.
Yet Hunter doesn't seem all that interested in outing Adrian’s born sex. In fact, he seems captivated with Adrian exactly as she is, genderqueerness and all. As his trial date approaches, Adrian second guesses everything the media's been saying about Hunter—and about the accusations against him. With her gut and the media sending conflicting vibes, she’s unsure who to trust. She needs to figure it out soon, before her heart decides for her.
The bass thumped in Adrian’s ears, pulsing her temples to the beat of the overplayed top-40 hit. She would’ve crawled into bed an hour ago if the music—and Katelyn—hadn’t demanded her attention. Or if she weren’t so far from home.
A pang crept from her temples to her forehead, but she pushed on. Like hell would she waste this opportunity to pass as a guy for the night. Even if it meant feigning interest in a girl she met online.
She jerked her hips to the music as Katelyn popped her chest. Katelyn wrapped an arm around Adrian’s shoulder and brought their heads together, huffing shallow breaths into Adrian’s ear. They swayed, enclosed by the heat and sweat of the others dancing around them in Katelyn’s living room.
Adrian side-eyed the clock on Katelyn’s living-room wall. Almost one in the morning. She blinked slowly as her body danced on. One more song. She could do this.
Her head bobbed, more out of tiredness than to the beat. She reached around Katelyn’s waist to regain her bearings, grasping the flesh at the top of her hips. Katelyn whimpered in reply, and an uninvited spark shot up the short hairs on Adrian’s neck. Katelyn dropped a hand between their torsos, resting her fingers at the top of Adrian’s jeans.
Adrian hunched her shoulders forward, her pelvis back. No way could she let Katelyn shift her hand two inches down or six inches up. One wrong move, and Adrian’s number-one, very-important, do-not-violate-under-any-
circumstances partying rule would be broken.