Book Excerpts

Excerpt from Totally Crushed

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

"Pretend you're me, looking at you," Phoebe said over the phone.  It was first thing Monday morning and she'd called me for a Spirit Week Outfit Check.

"We really should get videophones if we want to do this right," I said.

"Forget the videophones," Phoebe said.  "Now, look at yourself in the mirror.  How many hearts do you see?"

What was this—Sesame Street?  I counted up the number of hearts on my clothes and jewelry.  Two heart earrings, plus at least six hearts on my belt, plus dozens on my red–and–white top...can't forget my socks...Yikes.  Too many to count.

"Annabel?" Phoebe said.  "I don't like that silence.  If it takes you this long to count up your hearts, you're wearing too many."

"I thought I was restraining myself," I said.  But I knew she was right.

Phoebe King, my best friend, is the practical type.  She always goes for comfort over style.  Normally I'm the one prodding her—ever so gently—to kick it up a notch, fashionwise.

But Valentine's Day is my weakness.  And this year was double whammy: Valentine's Day happened to fall on the first day of Spirit Week.  The theme for the day was Red and White.  We were actually required to wear valentine–inspired clothes.  The invitation to turn myself into a walking valentine was more than I could resist.

If there's one holiday I'm prepared for, it's Valentine's Day.  I love hearts and flowers and chocolates, and my wardrobe shows it.  I have a closet full of red and white, sprinkled with a liberal dash of pink and a touch of sky blue.  I've got heart T–shirts, heart sweaters, heart dresses, a heart tote bag, and so much heart jewelry I could open my own store.  I'd call it I Heart Jewelry.

"Annabel," Phoebe said.  Take off at least one heart garment now.  Remember what Sam told you last year?  Girls like hearts.  Boys are scared of them."

"Last year?  Phoebe, I told you never to mention last year to me again."

  • Subjects:
    Literature, Literature Appreciation, Life Experiences
  • Skills:
    Reading
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