June 29, 2017

#Spotlight: The Beautiful Lost by @LuanneRice @YaReads

 
Here are three things to know about Maia:

1. Ever since her mother left, Maia's struggled with depression -- which once got so bad, she had to go to an institution for a while. She doesn't want to go back.

2. Maia's sure that if she finds her mother, if the two of them can talk about whale songs and constellations, then everything will be okay again.

3. She's in love with Billy, the handsome, brooding boy who lives in the group home in town. He doesn't seem to know that Maia exists... until now.

When Maia sets off on a road trip in search of her mom, Billy unexpectedly comes along. They drive up the East Coast, stopping along the way for lobster rolls and lighthouses. Maia learns that Billy has dark secrets of his own -- and wants to outrun his past, too. But what will the future hold if they reach their destination?

From internationally bestselling author Luanne Rice, this is a sweeping, stunning story about the surprising directions our hearts can take.


Follow the Tour


Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of 32 novels, which have been translated into 24 languages. The author of Dream CountryBeach GirlsThe Secret Language of Sisters and others, Rice often writes about love, family, nature, and the sea. She received the 2014 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award for excellence and lifetime achievement in the Literary Arts category. Several of Rice's novels have been adapted for television, including Crazy in Love for TNT, Blue Moon for CBS, Follow the Stars Home and Silver Bells for the Hallmark Hall of Fame, and Beach Girlsfor Lifetime. Rice is an avid environmentalist and advocate for families affected by domestic violence. She divides her time between New York City and Old Lyme, Connecticut. Visit her online at www.luannerice.net.



Praise for The Secret Language of Sisters:
"Riveting and heartbreaking... a glorious affirmation." -- Lauren Myracle, bestselling author of Shine
"Luanne Rice brings her trademark grace and lyricism to a suspenseful story about sisters and life-changing chances." -- Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door
"A moving story, beautifully told, about art, hope, and all kinds of love. Welcome to the YA world, Luanne Rice!" -- Natalie Standiford, author of How to Say Goodbye in Robot
"Raw and emotional. A novel you'll want to discuss, and one that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page." -- Tamara Ireland Stone, bestselling author of Every Last Word
"Rice skillfully examines the way one mistake can shatter the lives of many." -- Publishers Weekly
"Genuine and heartfelt. . . fans of Gayle Forman's If I Stay. . . will find another favorite in this." -- School Library Journal
"Rice, a bestselling adult author, employs alternating chapters in the sisters' voices with clarity and honesty in her YA debut." -- Booklist





From The Beautiful Lost by Luanne Rice
Today I was ready. Last night I’d hidden the Volvo key on the ledge outside my
window. I grabbed it and stuck it into my jeans pocket along with my cell phone.
Then I dove into my closet, rummaged for the duffle bag t
hat I’d already filled with a
fleece, my rain slicker, underwear, extra jeans, my diary, bottles of medication, my toothbrush, the packet of my mother’s letters, and all the birthday and Christmas money I had.
“Who’s there? Maia, is that you?”
I froze. Astrid had finished faxing and making her call, and her vigilance had kicked in. I heard her footsteps on the stairs and quickly locked my bedroom door, just as she began rattling the knob. That lasted exactly three seconds, and then she ran down the hall. I knew what she’d do next: call my father and try to head me off at the pass.
I had to move fast and couldn’t risk her grabbing me if I went through the house. I threw my duffle out the window and, just like yesterday, climbed out and shinnied down the pine tree.
Wind blew through the lilacs. They’d just bloomed, and their scent was stronger than perfume. Tiny purple flowers tossed overhead, mixing with the pine needles. I had lived here since birth; my parents had brought me home to this house, and the smell was as familiar to me as anything in my life. I tore through the trees, made it to the garage door, and hauled the door up in one wild motion.
I hadn’t started my mother’s car in a long time, but it was an indestructible Volvo station wagon and it fired right up. I backed out, my heart beating so fast it could have run the
engine. Wheels squealing, I flew out of my driveway, leaving Astrid running after the car, yelling and waving.
My plan was to hit the highway and disappear, but I had a lump in my throat that made me turn right onto Shuttle Meadow Avenue. My phone buzzed in my pocket. I ignored it. I passed my old elementary school and Heckler Pond, where I had learned to ice-skate, and
didn’t feel an ounce of sentimentality. Leaving home meant leaving home. You had abandon old things to the past. I was ready.
But Billy.
Martindale Street wound up the steep hill above the pond. Tall trees shaded it, but every so often I’d glance right, and through the branches could see the opposite rise where my house stood.
My phone kept buzzing, the different rhythms that meant that Astrid, and maybe by now
my dad, were both calling and texting. I didn’t even look.
I pulled into the circular driveway. The massive brick building, gothic with spires, arched

windows on the first floor, and oxidized green copper roof rose before me. This was a different perspective than I’d ever seen before; I scanned the upper stories, trying to locate Billy’s window, but everything looked different, being so close.
A bunch of kids my age were clustered in a play area full of swings, seesaws, picnic tables, and a jungle gym. I saw Mary Porter, Anna Jacoby, and Kevin Hernandez from
school. I could ask them where Billy was. I could do that so easily, but I was frozen in the car.

How many times could I say a private goodbye? I had thought yesterday in English class was it, then in study hall today, and now here I was at the Home. I had to see him one last time.
The car running, I gripped the steering wheel hard with my elbows locked, just begging the stars to let him walk by. That’s when I spotted him sitting alone under a maple tree, leaning against the wide trunk. And, as if the stars had decided to answer, he looked up and saw me
too. Then my heart had the biggest jumpstart everhe leapt up and came toward me. I got out of the car.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
“I came to say...” I said, but I couldn’t get the words out. He looked in the back seat and saw my duffle.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“Away,” I said.
Our eyes burned into each other. I felt heat in my chest, knowing that this really was the
last time. I wanted to reach over, touch his hand. I hoped he could read my mind and somehow know he was the only person I’d miss, that I’d come here today because he was, ineffably, mine.
“Away where?” he asked.
“To see my mother,” I said.
“Can I go with you?” he asked.
I stared at him. Had I heard right? No, I had to be dreaming. “Will you take me?” he asked.
It was real. This was happening. His eyes were begging me.
“But people will miss you. They’ll wonder where you are,” I said.
“I live in a group home,” he said, gesturing at the building. “They won’t wonder for long.”

And then he touched mejust one finger on my wrist bone—so quickly I would have thought I’d imagined it if it didn’t tingle all through my body.
“I can help you,” he said.

“Help me?”
“Yeah, you’re running away, right? I know how to do that. No one will catch us,” he said. He was already hurrying around the car.
I didn’t think after that. I climbed into the driver’s seat, he got in beside me, and we sped
off.




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