The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos
English | 2020 | Children/Young Adult | ePUB | 2.1 MB
A magic-infused YA novel about friendship, first love, and feeling out of place that will bewitch fans of Rainbow Rowell and Maggie Stiefvater.
Living in a small town where magic is frowned upon, Sam needs his friends James and Delia-and their time together in their school’s magic club-to see him through to graduation.
But as soon as senior year starts, little cracks in their group begin to show. Sam may or may not be in love with James. Delia is growing more frustrated with their amateur magic club. And James reveals that he got mixed up with some sketchy magickers over the summer, putting a target on all their backs.
With so many fault lines threatening to derail his hopes for the year, Sam is forced to face the fact that the very love of magic that brought his group together is now tearing them apart-and there are some problems that no amount of magic can fix.
She was about to cry. She knew she was about to cry; she could hear it in her voice, and she hated that. This man didn’t seem like the type to take pity on someone in need. She’d have better results if she bargained from a place of strength. But these past few days—the fights with her parents, the reaching out to friends who’d all taken her parents’ side, everyone turning their backs on her after seventeen years—well, she didn’t really have any strength to draw on at the moment. Some days Liv thought she was on track to have real power, if she worked at it. Today did not feel like one of those days.
“A hundred twenty. Take it or leave it.”
One hundred and twenty dollars. That was the value of the only thing she had left to remember her grandmother—her grandmother, Emilie, who used to read her palm and her tarot and who used to tell her that her magic was as clear on her face as sunshine. One hundred and ten dollars, plus the twenty in her pocket—if she walked to Augusta, she could get the bus ticket and still have money left for food.
“Fine,” she said, undoing the metal clasp. She set the watch on the counter, while the man reached into his pocket and pulled out a large wad of bills. He flipped through them until he found a hundred-dollar bill and a twenty-dollar bill, and he handed them over to Liv like he was giving her a real gift.
She took the money and ran, the clunk of the cowbell the last indignity of the encounter. Though that wasn’t quite true, was it? As she walked along the side of Highway 104, the sun beating down on her face, hot and miserable, she realized she was suffering the indignity more with every step. She pulled out her phone, hoping at least that Uncle Theo had responded to her Friendivist message by now. If anyone would understand the soul-crushing ordeal that had been her week, it’d be him. She was counting on that.
But no, no response. She tried to steady her breathing. She was still okay. As long as he responded before she got to New York, or before her parents realized they had the power to stop paying for her phone—since they’d said she was quote unquote “dead to them”—then everything would work out. Even if he didn’t respond, surely she’d be able to find some way to track down his address once she got to New York. Or maybe she’d start sending Friendivist messages to his New York friends if she hadn’t heard back by the bus ride.
She was walking a few feet off the shoulder of the road, hardly paying attention to the cars that sped by. Even when she heard the crunch of gravel just ahead of her, she barely looked up; she didn’t care why this silver Honda was pulling over. She just wanted to get to the bus stop and get the hell out of this state.
It was the customer from King of Pawns, leaning out of the passenger side window. Now that she got a good look at him, Liv realized that he was more of a boy than a man—he couldn’t be that much older than she was, in fact. He had a military buzz cut and a thick neck, but there was something about his smile that seemed genuinely friendly. Liv had been catcalled plenty of times before; this guy was at least smart enough not to lead with a come-on.