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Authors: Wendy Toliver

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The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren

BOOK: The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren
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The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren

How NOT to Spend Your Senior Year


Royally Jacked


Ripped at the Seams


Spin Control




South Beach Sizzle


She's Got the Beat


30 Guys in 30 Days


Animal Attraction


A Novel Idea


Scary Beautiful


Getting to Third Date


Dancing Queen


Major Crush




Love Undercover


Prom Crashers


Gettin' Lucky


The Boys Next Door


In the Stars


Crush du Jour


Available from Simon Pulse

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

Copyright © 2007 by Wendy Toliver

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

SIMON PULSE and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Designed by Ann Zeak

The text of this book was set in Garamond 3.

Manufactured in the United States of America

First Simon Pulse edition December 2007

10   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1

Library of Congress Control Number 2007933816

ISBN-13: 978-1-416-9-506-5-3

eISBN-13: 978-1-4424-0-7480

For Lynn Gray: my mom, my inspiration, my hero


I am grateful to my editor, Michelle Nagler, for her enthusiasm and patience, and to Caroline Abbey for championing my book from the get-go. I'm so lucky and honored to work with the amazing people of Simon Pulse. I want to thank my fabulous agents, Christina Hogrebe and Annelise Robey, who not only believe in me, but make me believe in myself. Big hugs to my CPs: Aryn, Nadine, Jennifer, Denise, Kaylie, and the Eden Writers' Circle. Thanks to Drienie and Kwana for always being “on call”; and Marley, an angel on Earth. A shout-out to my parents and my sister and brother for their infinite love and support. Last but never forgotten are my three sons, Miller, Collin, and Dawson, whose bright blue eyes and mud-splattered faces remind me of what really counts; and Matt, who stole my heart and will never let go.


I want to kiss Zach Parker. Just once. Is that too much to ask?

I pretend like I'm getting a kink out of my neck so I can sneak a quick peek at him. His Denver Broncos cap is shadowing his eyes, but they're this baby blue color and they're simply heavenly. He's got wavy, sandy hair that almost reaches his shoulders, and on the rare occasions that he's not wearing a cap or a football helmet, it's always falling into his eyes. He's tan already, and I doubt he's ever had to buy a tube of Clearasil in his life. Some girls think he looks like David Beckham, but I think he's even cuter. Oh! He glances at me and I swear our gazes lock for a split second of
heart-stopping ecstasy (on my end, anyhow). I whip back around and look straight ahead, accidentally making eye contact with the teacher. Wonderful.

“I take it you're finished with your quiz, Roxy?” Mr. Hickenbaum asks, stalking over to my second-row desk.

“Um, no. Not quite yet.”

“Then maybe you should keep your eyes on your own paper and stop looking at Zach's.”

Oh my God. The entire English class swivels in their seats to stare at me. Eva “the Diva” Nelson and her trusty, busty sidekick, Amber, laugh in the way only cheerleaders with freakishly large lung capacity can.

I wish I could say, “If I were to cheat on a quiz, which I most certainly did not, I wouldn't rely on a
for my answers.” But I'm not that brave. And I'd have to be stupid to talk smack about jocks, since Zach, J.T., and Devin are all sitting in the back row. Even if they're juniors and this is a class for sophomores.

Eva raises her hand and I sink into my chair. “Mr. Hickenbaum, it's obvious Roxy wasn't trying to cheat off Zach's paper.” My ears perk up. Can it be? Is the Proud Crowd
Queen finally being halfway nice to a band geek (or a BeeGee, as we're fondly referred to at Franklin) like
“She was just trying to get his attention. You know, to see if he has a date to J.T.'s party tomorrow night. Right, Roxy?”

The classroom explodes into laughter and I'm sure my face is as red as a cherry. This can't be happening. Please, God, make this all be a terrible nightmare. You know, one of the ones where you go to school and everything seems normal till you look down and realize you're wearing nothing but your little brother's Sponge-Bob SquarePants slippers?

Mr. H marches back to the front of the room in his Dr. Scholl's, whips around, and fixes Eva with an icy glare. “Thank you for enlightening us, Miss Nelson.” Then he turns his back to us and writes,
on the blackboard in big yellow squeaky letters.

I hear a few hopeful gasps as I gnaw on my pen cap. It would be my luck to have him cancel a quiz that I'm acing.

“Don't forget to recycle your quiz on the way out.” Mr. H crosses his arms over his Michelin Man chest and smiles benevolently
as his students grab their backpacks and file out.

When I get to my locker, my best friend, Natalie, is already there. She sweeps her brown flippy hair off her face and stuffs her flute case into her Eastpak. She's wearing her new last-day-of-school outfit—a short, flirty skirt and an embroidered tank. If teachers ever gave quizzes on the latest issue of
she'd get straight As.

Natalie could almost qualify for a legit Proud Crowd member. I mean, she passes on two very important requisites. One, she's got a closet full of cute-slash-expensive clothes. Two, she's demented enough to think she's a chub, never mind she weighs a hundred and ten pounds even in her chunky Steve Maddens. But like me, Natalie's a BeeGee, and that little detail is a mega deal breaker.

Eva and Amber saunter by, side by side. I swear, those two are joined at the hip. And they must share a brain, too, since each only has half. “Cute bebe shirt,” Eva the Diva drawls in passing.

Natalie's chest puffs up just a hair. “Thanks!”

Amber stops to examine the tank top.
“I had one like that when I was in junior high.”

And just like that, my friend's face crumbles like the last Cinnamon Twist in the Taco Bell bag. After the queen and princess of the Proud Crowd float away on their strappy sandals, Natalie whispers, “It's vintage. But Amber wouldn't know that, now would she?”

I shake my head as if I know the difference between a shirt that's vintage and one somebody dug out of a fifty-cent box at a garage sale. “So, we still on for tomorrow night, then?”

“You betcha. Can't wait, birthday girl!” She gives me a little kiss on my cheek. “Well, I'd better get going. Dad's picking me up any minute now.” She slings her purple backpack over her shoulder and scurries down the hall.

Natalie's dad lives in Colorado Springs, and she visits him every other Friday. So we're not really celebrating my Sweet Sixteen till tomorrow. Natalie and I are going to T.G.I. Friday's and then to the movies. Her treat, it being my birthday and everything. We really want to see that new Orlando Bloom movie. You know, the one
where there's a glimpse of his naked butt? Anyway, it's not like my plans are super-exciting, but hey. I'm looking forward to it.

Having a birthday dinner with my family, like I'm doing tonight, is as exciting as watching nail polish dry.
nail polish. Maybe I should look on the bright side, though. Could this be the year my birthday wish will come true? Maybe I'll finally get my first kiss. Well, my first
kiss. You know, with a guy, on the mouth … maybe with a little tongue? With Zach Parker, perhaps?

Somewhere in the hallway, I hear Zach's voice. I've had a crush on him for so long, my ears are fine-tuned to his voice's frequency. I blow my bangs out of my eyes and suck my stomach in, a routine that's become more of an instinct than a conscious effort. Just as Zach and the other jocks strut around the corner, Alex McCoy sidles up to me and lays his big trombone case next to my Skechers.

Alex sits behind me in band, tooting his trombone, his face pink and jolly. Come to think of it, he sits behind me in every class we have together, and his face is pink and jolly whether he's blowing into his trombone or not. Alex and I live in the same
neighborhood, and since I don't have my license yet, he drives me to school. Which is cool of him, but I wish I could be carpooling with Zach instead. But, like I've already said, Zach's a jock. And not only does he play football, baseball,
soccer, but he's the crown jewel of the Proud Crowd: a two-time Homecoming attendant and the reigning Prom Prince. Sure, people might say he's out of my league, but a girl has to set her expectations high.

“Hey, Rox. You about ready?” Alex asks, but I ignore him so I can hear what the jocks are saying. “Oh, here's your yearbook back,” he continues. “Sorry it took me so long to sign it.”

I snatch my yearbook from him and jam it into my backpack, ears tuned to the jocks' convo.

“No, dude. She's spent way too long in the fake baker. Totally not my type,” Devin says. I don't really know much about Devin, except that he's one of Franklin's best athletes.

Then Zach says, “How about Lindsay Lohan? Man, she's hot. Definitely

Lindsay Lohan? I'm assuming he means circa
Mean Girls
and not Rehab Girl. But anyway, I look nothing like the beautiful
movie-slash-pop star. For one, I have frizzy red hair. I have microscopic boobs and eyes the color of mud. That is, if you can tell through these thick glasses I have to wear. My nose is covered with blackheads, and I swear my right leg's longer than my left.

The world's best makeup, hair, and wardrobe team couldn't make me half as beautiful as Lindsay Lohan. My only hope would be Photoshop, where I could merge a photo of me with one of her and then airbrush to no end. But that's beside the point. Fact is, Zach Parker would rather be with someone beautiful and famous than someone … well, someone like me.

BOOK: The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren
5.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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