So, this is the second ARC I’ve been lucky enough to read this month and this one will have you grinning all over your face. Even I was a bit in love with Lloyd as Chessie obsessed over him! It’ s due for release early next month, you lucky people, so enjoy this excerpt and watch for more news from Jaimie herself by checking out her website: www.jaimieadmans.com or following her on Twitter
“New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lloyd Layton will know I exist. He once said three whole words to me, so this is obviously progress. If I don’t get a proper conversation out of him soon, then I’ll take my top off and streak through the cafeteria, because nobody could fail to notice these boobs.
2. I will not get expelled for streaking through the cafeteria.”
Those are the words that begin her mission.
Chessie is fourteen, not pretty enough, and very much in love. Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and unaware of Chessie’s existence.
Her goal is clear: to get Lloyd to love her as much as she loves him, and she has exactly one year to do it.
As Chessie’s obsession with Lloyd reaches boiling point and she starts to spin a web of lies that spiral out of control, Lloyd turns out to be not quite the prince she thought he was. Can Chessie avoid the gathering storm before things go too far?
Not Pretty Enough is a contemporary young adult comedy suitable for ages thirteen and over.
Book two in the series will be released early 2014.
I stare at the back of Lloyd’s shaggy brown hair as I follow him across the yard. He doesn’t know I’m following him, of course. I’m not even following him, not really. Not this time, anyway. Debs and I are just casually strolling across the yard towards the buses and he happens to be in front of us.
“Chessie!” Debs shouts at me just a second too late as I walk smack bang into the side of a bus.
Lloyd turns around at the sound of the clattering thunk I make.
Usually I like the sound of Lloyd’s laugh, but not today. Not when he’s laughing at me.
“You couldn’t have told me just a second earlier?” I ask Debs.
“Sorry,” she says. “I was talking to you and didn’t realise you weren’t listening until it was too late.”
Luckily the bus I’ve just walked into happens to be our bus, and I throw myself onto it with such force that I nearly come out the other side.
“You all right, love?” The driver asks. I ignore him and heave myself down into my seat with a huff.
I am all right. My boobs are so large they hit the bus before the rest of me did, otherwise I’d probably have a bruised face as well as the bruised ego. Once, just once, couldn’t these things happen to me when Lloyd isn’t watching? It’s not too much to ask, is it?
“Maybe if you spent more time watching where you were going and less time watching Lloyd, these things wouldn’t happen in front of him,” Debs says.
I hadn’t meant to say that out loud.
“But he’s just so… watchable.”
“I’m pretty sure he’s talkable to as well, you know, if you tried.”
The thing is, I have tried. Lloyd brings out the worst in me. He brings out the most nervous, clumsiest, downright embarrassing side of me that doesn’t even exist unless he’s in the immediate vicinity. Well, maybe it exists but it doesn’t show half as much if Lloyd’s not there.
“Why don’t you?” Debs is saying. “Just go and talk to him. You’re a great girl. He’d be lucky to have you.”
“Oh, please. Lloyd is popular, rich, and gorgeous. He doesn’t even have to get a bus to school, the lucky bugger. I’m the complete opposite.”
No one even knows where Lloyd Layton lives. He has a taxi bringing him to school every morning and picking him up outside the gate every afternoon. I get to ride on this rustbucket with Debs twice a day. He’s popular, always surrounded by a gang of equally popular mates, and always the first to be picked for sports teams. I’m unpopular, always surrounded by no one but Debs, and always the absolute last to be picked for sports teams.
“Come on, Chessie,” Debs says. “You’re not ugly and you’re not unpopular. No one dislikes you.”
“No one particularly likes me either.”
“I particularly like you. Ewan does too. We’re your friends.”
“I love you for trying to make me feel better but I’m average all round and you know it. The only person who has any feelings towards me whatsoever is Leigh, and she intensely dislikes me.”
“Leigh is just a bitch. She intensely dislikes everything.”
Leigh Marlow is our class bully. She walks around the school like she owns the place, flanked on either side by two other bullies who think the sun shines out of her backside. If she doesn’t get what she wants, someone gets hurt. What she wants this year is our friend Ewan, who isn’t interested in her in the slightest. She thinks this is somehow our fault, so Debs and I are her current targets. Me in particular.
This is why I made those resolutions. Not because of Leigh, but because I have to do something. I’m sick of being the girl who doesn’t stand out. I doubt most of the kids in my form could even tell you my name, and I’ve been in class with them for over two years. I get good enough marks but never good marks. I’ve never done anything memorable in my life. The most memorable thing about me is the size of my boobs and how frizzy my hair goes in the rain.
So I’m going to make Lloyd Layton fall in love with me. On most days it seems like the unlikeliest thing that could ever happen, because apart from those three little words last month, he barely even glances in my direction. I want to prove to myself that I can do things if I put my mind to it. I’m not pretty, I’m not smart, but I think Lloyd and I have lots of deeper, more important things in common, and I want to prove to people like Leigh that looks don’t matter, and not being as pretty as her isn’t the end of the world.
I’m thrilled to welcome another indie author, the delightful Jaimie Admans, to the blog to face my questions. Jaimie’s first YA novel, Afterlife Academy, is due out 15th March and I can’t wait to read it. So, here she is to face the music…
If you don’t already know, what star sign do you think your main character is?
Ooh, now that’s something I never thought of when writing this book! I think Riley is a Leo. She’s quite fiery, I think she’s quite arrogant in the beginning, and she’s impatient and proud, and she has a great sense of humour!
If you could be friends in real life with any of your characters, who would it be and why?
I really like Anthony. He grew and changed a lot as I was writing him, he ended up being a lot nicer and more fun than I had originally intended, and I ended up really enjoying writing him. He’s a bit of a geek and was meant to be quite boring, but he turned out to be funny and really supportive! He’d be a great friend to have!
Have you ever written a character that you’ve disliked so much you’ve scrapped them from a work?
Not yet! I think dislikeable characters are really fun to write! I don’t write straight-up evil villains as such, but writing unlikeable, nasty characters is great fun! I like it when they’re not outright evil but you have to gradually show their true colours through their actions.
Which of your characters would frighten you if you met them in real life?
Eliza Carbonell, who is the headmistress of AfterlifeAcademy. She’s pretty strict and you don’t want to go against what she says. I think she’s quite reasonable and understanding sometimes, usually in that “I’m not mad, I’m disappointed” way, but things would get pretty scary if you step out of line once too often!
Describe your book in one word.
Death-after-life. The hyphens make it one word, right? Right?
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Chocolate-loving, pink-haired, tattooed, procrastinating writer!
Do you ever consult friends when you’re stuck with a plot?
No. I can’t bring myself to talk about works in progress. It’s the fear of never finishing something and having to admit you’ve failed. It’s only when I have a decent draft, usually the second, that I know can be fixed and edited into some sort of readable shape that I can bring myself to start telling people anything about it!
What’s your personal kryptonite?
Procrastinating. Honestly, it would be amazing the amount of things I could do if I just got on with it! I always say I need more hours in the day, but if I stopped fizzing around aimlessly on the internet, I could get much more done! I have new book ideas to write and books to edit, a TBR pile so large I can’t see the top of it, and a to-do list as long as both my arms, and yet I still manage to find the time to play Scrabble and Angry Birds on my phone when I should be doing something else!
If you could converse, a la Dr Dolittle, with one type of animal, which would it be and why?
I’d love to be able to talk to my own dog, a Chihuahua called Bruiser, I reckon he’d have some good things to say, although he’d probably tell me to get off the internet and get writing! It would be great to be able to talk to dogs. Dogs know all their owners secrets – mine certainly does!
Tea or coffee?
TEA! How could you even ask me that?! Tea is an absolute necessity, and I am absolutely addicted to it. I can’t function in the mornings without a cuppa! I can’t stand coffee – I don’t mind coffee flavoured things like cake or ice cream, but coffee itself is vile! Tea all the way!
Find out more about Jaimie and her books at the following locations: