All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani
English | 2020| Ya, Romance | ePUB | 1.4 MB
From the moment Carli and Rex first locked eyes on a Texas high school basketball court, they both knew it was destiny. But can you truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself? Acclaimed author Liara Tamani’s luminous second novel explores love, family, heartbreak, betrayal, and the power of healing, in gorgeous prose that will appeal to readers of Nicola Yoon and Jacqueline Woodson.
A glance was all it took. That kind of connection, the immediate and raw understanding of another person, just doesn’t come along very often. And as rising stars on their Texas high schools’ respective basketball teams, destined for bright futures in college and beyond, it seems like a match made in heaven. But Carli and Rex have secrets. As do their families.
Liara Tamani, the author of the acclaimed Calling My Name, follows two Black teenagers as they discover how first love, heartbreak, betrayal, and family can shape you—for better or for worse. A novel full of pain, joy, healing, and hope for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jenny Han.
eyes tremble and go still.
The trainer waved something under her nose that made her eyes open wide, but only for a second. Then the paramedics came and rolled her out on a stretcher.
I hope she’s okay. She has to be okay, right? They wouldn’t let us keep playing if she wasn’t okay. Right?
“Hustle back! Hustle back!” Coach Bell shouts, running up the sideline, swinging his short arm in a wide circle.
Twenty-eight seconds left in the game and it’s tied 71–71. Focus, Rex, I tell myself, and sprint back. We can’t lose to Gaines and let them get their confidence up. They’ll be our biggest competition at the state championship, only five weeks out. We gotta shut these boys down now.
I’m coming up behind their point guard, Russell Price. Can’t stand this dude. He thinks he’s so much better than he actually is. He dribbles the ball between his legs—once . . . twice . . . three times—trying to look cool. Then he tries to pass to his shooting guard, but the pass is lazy and slow.
Thanks, I’ll take that. I steal the ball and sprint back up the left side of court. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Russell coming up behind me on my right. You ain’t slick. I switch the ball to my left hand so he can’t steal it back. The crowd is chanting, “Rex! Rex! Rex!” Nearing the basket, I cross back to my right, leap, and cock the ball back for a nasty dunk. But Russell tackles me hard to the ground.
“Number-one player my ass,” he says, still on top of me.
With the back of my head and tailbone throbbing, I quickly shove Russell off of me. All I want to do is get up and knock this fool out. I can almost feel my fist meeting his sweaty cheek, see his head whipping back over his right shoulder before he falls limp to the ground. But the referee blows his whistle and wakes me from my rage. Then he holds his fist in the air and signals for two regular foul shots.
“What?” I shout, and quickly hop up to protest the call. “It should’ve been a flagrant!”
Coach Bell agrees. He’s on the sideline yelling, “Flagrant!” and banging his forearms together in an X above his head.
The crowd is booing in agreement, too.
“If that wasn’t a flagrant foul, I don’t know what is!” I shout, walking behind the ref. “This ain’t football. You can’t tackle somebody like that.”
But the ref ignores me.
“Man, this is some bullshit!” I yell at the back of the ref’s balding head.
The ref immediately makes a hard T with his hands to signal a technical foul.
“Are you serious?” I shout, throwing up both of my arms.
Danny, our point guard, grabs me and pulls me away from the ref before I get another tech.
At the free-throw line, I calm down. This is exactly where Carli caught the kiss usually meant for Mom.
Wait, before you try to play me, blowing a kiss has been a part of my free-throw routine since I was eight and discovered Jason Kidd on YouTube. I figured if a ten-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner could blow kisses as part of his game and not be lame, then so could I.
Every time he went to the free-throw line, he blew a kiss, took one dribble, and shot. To tell his wife and kids he loved them. Every time I go to the line, I blow a kiss, take three dribbles, and shoot. To tell Mom I’m sorry.