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       Snapstreak, p.1

           Suzanne Weyn
 
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Snapstreak


  Contents

  * * *

  Title Page

  Contents

  Copyright

  Dedication

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Middle Grade Mania!

  About the Author

  Connect with HMH on Social Media

  Text copyright © 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

  Illustrations copyright © 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

  Photographs by Carrie Garcia © 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

  All rights reserved. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to [email protected] or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.

  www.hmhco.com

  Emoji art was supplied by EmojiOne.

  Styling by Lauren Litton and Lori Andrews.

  Patterns © Amovitania/Shutterstock (Vee, Lulu); Anya D/Shutterstock (Megan); and Fay Francevna/Shutterstock (Gwynneth)

  Cover illustration by Risa Rodil / Good Illustration Ltd.

  Cover design by Sharismar Rodriguez

  THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE PRINT EDITION AS FOLLOWS:

  Names: Weyn, Suzanne, author.

  Title: Snapstreak : how my friends saved my (social) life / Suzanne Weyn.

  Description: Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2018].

  Summary: Told from multiple viewpoints, eighth graders Vee, Lulu, Megan, and Gwynneth enter a local television station’s contest for the pair of students who can prove the longest-running “snapstreak.”

  Identifiers: LCCN 2016057655 | ISBN 9781328713469 (paper over board)

  Subjects: | CYAC: Friendship—Fiction. | Social media—Fiction. | Contests—Fiction. | Middle schools—Fiction. | Schools—Fiction. | Brain—Concussion—Fiction. | Single-parent families—Fiction. | BISAC: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship. | JUVENILE FICTION / Computers. | JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings. | JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / General. | JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education. | JUVENILE FICTION / General.

  Classification: LCC PZ7.W539 Snd 2018 | DDC [Fic]—dc23

  LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016057655

  eISBN 978-1-328-83023-4

  v1.0118

  For Diana Weyn Gonzalez and Rae Weyn Gonzalez: love always.

  Chapter 1

  NOW THAT PLAN A has bombed—Dad covered his ears last night when I begged him not to move us to Shoreham—I need a plan B.

  Blackmail? (“I saw you steal the neighbor’s paper, Dad. I don’t care if they’re on vacation! Promise we won’t move or I’m telling them.”)

  Taking our dachshund hostage? (“You had better promise not to leave this house if you ever want to see Heidi Dog again.”)

  Pretending to have amnesia? (“Are you my dad? I don’t know. The only thing I remember is this house. This house. Which. I. Can. Never. Leave.”) I’ve never actually met anyone with amnesia but I think it’s a really cool idea. It would be so freaky to not remember who you are or your past life. Secretly, I’d like to try it sometime. Not forever, of course—just a couple of days of temporary amnesia to see what it’s like.

  I might as well get real—none of these ideas is going to work. I’m just going to have to accept that Dad and I and Eric (my pest brother) will be moving to a brand-new town when I start high school. The move will put Dad closer to his new job. It doesn’t matter that the town is only ten miles away. It might as well be a hundred miles! Kids who live in Pleasant Hill don’t hang with kids from Shoreham. It’s just too far away. It’s as if I’m moving to another country—another planet.

  I don’t want to be the new kid. I’ll be shunned! An outsider! An outcast wandering the halls of Shoreham High School like the invisible ghost of the formerly cheery, friendly, and—to be honest—fashionable girl I used to be. No one will even realize I’m there. That’s how it is with new kids. Even if you smile at them and wave and try to be helpful, they know they don’t really fit in. Everybody knows it. And now that tragic figure is going to be ME!

  But wait.

  Maybe not!

  Something unbelievable just happened.

  My phone buzzed. I thought it would be Megan or Lulu. But it isn’t!

  It’s Gwynneth!

  My heart is racing.

  How did she even find me?

  Oh yeah—I wrote my username on her palm, but still . . .

  I can’t believe she contacted me. Getting a Snap from Gwynneth is beyond awesome.

  Listen to this: Last week I was standing in front of my new home-to-be while Dad talked to the real estate lady. I was just staring at the house. (More like glaring at it, willing the house to explode.) A tall girl wearing lots of bangles and heavy eyeliner strolled up to me along with three of her BFFs. This girl was clearly the Queen Bee with her three Wanna-Bees hovering. She shot me the once-over with her narrowed, black-rimmed eyes. “You moving into Emma’s old place?” she asked.

  Leaning onto one hip, I folded my arms. “Maybe, who’s asking?”

  The corner of her mouth twitched into an approving grin. Her teeth glistened with spit from the gum she chomped. “Gwynneth, that’s who.”

  “Hi, G.,” I said. “I’m Vee.”

  The Wanna-Bees erupted into a buzz of chuckles.

  “V for victory?” Gwynneth asked.

  My name is really Olivia, but when Eric was a baby, all he could say was Vee, and it stuck. I wasn’t going to tell them all that, though. “Maybe” is all I said.

  Gwynneth raised a fist and I bumped it. “Welcome to the nabe, Vee,” she said in a turn to friendliness. Taking short, stubby eyeliner from her pocket, she grabbed my palm and wrote on it: GQB2the2ndpwr. “If you need help finding your way around, Snapchat me,” she said.

  One of her Bee drones stepped forward and poked the writing on my palm. “Gwynneth is really awesome at math,” she informed me with a knowing nod.

  “Excellent,” I replied, making sure not to seem too impressed. I took her hand and her eyeliner and wrote V-Ness. “That’s me.”

  “Venus, the goddess of love,” Gwynneth said, nodding with approval. She flashed a thumbs-up as she and her pals continued on their way. “See ya,” Gwynneth said.

  “See ya,” I said.

  Gwynneth could be the lifesaver I need. If I get in good with her now, then I’ll have a pal when I get to Shoreham High. I’ll be in with the in-crowd. Genius! (Don’t mind my bragging—but it’s an awesome plan.) Only, I felt funny about it. There’s a part of me that’s shy with new people. I’d put off contacting Gwynneth because I didn’t know what to say.

  But now here she is. Gwynneth has contacted me!

  I stare at my phone. What could I say that would sound cool? Not needy or nervous. Before I can think of anything, my phone buzzes. It’s one of my main girls, Lulu. I always smile when I see her username, Luloony, because it’s very her. She can be sort of zany and loopy, but in a fun way. She’s probably responding to the Snap I sent to her and Megan earlier.

/>   Luloony

  Wanna hang later?

  V-Ness

  Luloony

  What did you think of my Snap??

  V-Ness

  The flower crown? So pretty!

  V-Ness

  Wud it b cool to use that filter with someone I want to impress?

  Luloony

  Yeah! Who?

  V-Ness

  GQB2the2ndpwr

  Luloony

  Luloony

  V-Ness

  Luloony

  Why?????

  V-Ness

  I’m going to need friends in Shoreham . . .

  Talk to you later. Dad’s taking me shopping at the mall.

  Luloony

  What are you getting?

  V-Ness

  Need new sneaks.

  I want a new pair of Chucks. High-tops, I think.

  Luloony

  Cool. Send a Snap!

  V-Ness

  Did you hear the new Boys Being Dudes song?

  Luloony

  No. Is it good?

  V-Ness

  Really good! You should check it out.

  Luloony

  LOVE them!

  Luloony

  V-Ness

  You will

  Luloony

  Thnx!

  V-Ness

  Omg! Gwynneth is snapping me.

  OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Chapter 2

  VEE CAN BE so annoying. Like at this very moment. She knows I’m freaked out that she’s moving. But clearly she’s moved on already.

  Moooved on! So long, Lulu! It’s been real but I already have a new BFF.

  As if Gwynneth is now her everything.

  Guh-win-ith! What a name, huh? What kind of person is named Gwynneth, anyway?

  And not only THAT!!!!

  Not only is Vee on her way to forgetting her former friends—she wants ME to help replace myself.

  I feel bad about saying this, but I was happier when she was crying all the time about having to move. (And I mean ALL the time. On the school bus. In the cafeteria. During gym.) At least then I knew Vee was heartbroken to be leaving Megan and me. At least then it was clear how much she was going to miss us.

  And it was a lot.

  I felt a sad kind of happy.

  But now she’s all tra-la-la . . . moving along.

  I need to vent.

  I’m texting Megan.

  Wait, no! Megan’s messaging me! (Great minds, and all that.)

  Megawatt

  Hey! What’s up?

  Luloony

  Gwynnwitch.

  Megawatt

  ?????

  Luloony

  Vee wants to be friends with G!

  Megawatt

  Okay. SO?

  Luloony

  Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

  Megawatt

  She’ll need some friends.

  Luloony

  She only needs us!!!!!

  Megawatt

  Why not us plus G?

  Luloony

  No. We are the only friends she needs.

  Megawatt

  Vee will be lonely, though.

  Luloony

  We’ll see her!

  Megawatt

  How?

  Luloony

  Megawatt

  We can’t drive.

  Luloony

  Megawatt

  Too far

  Luloony

  Megawatt

  Sorry. Don’t worry so much.

  Luloony

  I’ll try.

  Hey, have you heard the new BBD tune? It dropped this morning.

  Megawatt

  No! Not yet. I

  Joe, the drummer.

  Luloony

  For reals? No one likes him. Derek is way cuter and cooler. And those Pokémon T-shirts he wears are so goofy.

  Megawatt

  Luloony

  Whatevs. Ttyl.

  Megawatt

  Bye

  So here’s the thing that Megan doesn’t get. I don’t make friends that easily. Megan and Vee have other friends. I don’t. They’re my friends. That’s it.

  I’m not exactly sure why this is. My mom says I’m too fussy about people. She says I’m a fault finder. But I don’t go searching for people’s faults. They’re pretty much right out there. And it’s not like I don’t have any faults. I have plenty: I’m hypercritical (as I just said); I can’t resist gooey desserts; I get bored really easily; and sometimes (always) I speak before I think. Mom says I’m like my dad in that way. (Could that be one of the reasons they got divorced—because Dad would talk without thinking? Maybe I’d better try to be more careful about that.)

  I have good qualities too, but not everyone appreciates them and that can be a drag. Recently I took a chunk of my dark hair and turned it into rainbow hair. It wasn’t easy because I had to strip the dark color away with peroxide and then lay in five different colors. It took forever! I thought the kids at school would love it, but I got a lot of stares and not many compliments.

  Vee, of course, adores my mermaid hair. “It’s so fashion forward,” she said. I told her that it didn’t seem to be a big hit and she just laughed. “Not everyone is as cool and creative as you are,” she said. “Who cares what they like? It’s so YOU.”

  “But is that a good thing?” I asked.

  Vee cracked up at that, laughing so hard tears ran down her cheeks. “Of course it’s a good thing. It’s a great thing! There’s lots of them but only one you.”

  So as you can see, Vee is not the kind of friend I want to lose.

  My only other friend is Megan. I don’t want to lose her either. Even though she’s not moving away, without Vee to connect us, Megan and I could drift.

  It wouldn’t be something we’d want to happen. It just kind of would. When you’re in a group of three friends, one of the friends is always the link that keeps the threesome connected. In our case, Vee is the glue. Without Vee, Megan and I don’t have enough in common to stick together. Megan already has a bunch of other friends, just know she’d drift in their direction until all that was left of our friendship would be a smile and a wave as we passed in the hallway.

  Though Megan does unexpected stuff sometimes. Like loving Joe, the drummer from BBD. I didn’t even know she likes their music. She usually likes grunge rock. I think she got into it from her older sister, Paula. Paula and Megan both have that same flannel shirt, jeans, and Vans look. It doesn’t look bad, but, you know, it’s a LOOK. And liking a certain kind of music goes with it. BBD is completely pop. Not at all Megan’s style. She must be super crushing on this Joe guy. It’s the only thing that explains it.

  So Megan is kind of a mystery in ways. Like, she’s always writing something that she refuses to show us. She guards it like she works for the CIA and she’s writing secret spy instructions. (Could that be it?!)

  Anyway, without Vee and Megan I’ll be the lonely girl with the mermaid hair who sits by herself at lunch and is the last one picked on every volleyball team in gym. Speaking of gym (not my favorite activity at ALL), tomorrow is lacrosse. Vee is a great player. She’ll be a captain and will pick Megan and me to be on her team, sparing us the humiliation of being last called. (No other captains in their right minds would want us. They’ve seen us play. It’s not a pretty picture.)

  My phone buzzes like crazy. I have five new Snaps, from Vee. Five pictures of five different pairs of shoes.

  Megan must have gotten the same Snap.

  Megan: The black ones.

  Lulu: Definitely the gold.

  Vee: I’ll ask G. Bye!

  I’m stunned! No, I’m mad! No, I’m hurt. I don’t know! I’m all those things. Ask G? Ask G?!

  Lulu: Do you believe her?

  Megan: What?

  Lulu: Vee!!!!! She’s going to ask G????????????????

  Megan: No biggie. Mom’s calling me for supper.

  Lulu: Kk. Ltr.

  It’s happening already. Vee
is off with G and Megan is losing patience with me. I know she doesn’t want to hear me complain. Note to self: Stop complaining so much. What is going to happen to me if I have no friends? It’s such a disaster I can’t even stand to think about it.

  I hear Mom come in the front door so I slide off my bed and go to say hi. At the top of the stairs I see she’s staggering under the weight of two grocery bags, so I hurry down to take one from her. “How was your day?” she asks.

  I sigh deeply. “Just the usual mix of betrayal and confusion,” I say, thinking of Vee.

  Mom puts her bag on the counter and turns to me, alarmed. “What happened?”

  “It’s only life, Mom. You should know what it’s like by now. My best friends have abandoned me, that’s all.”

  “Lulu, what’s going on?”

  Settling my bag on the table, I wilt into a chair. “I’m about to enter the barren desert of the friendless. No biggie! I’ll be fine. NOT!”

  “Is this because Vee is moving?”

  “Yes, and Megan is distancing herself emotionally, too.”

  Mom starts unpacking the groceries. “Lulu, I think you’re making too much of this. Those girls will always be your friends, no matter what.”

  “Will they?” I ask, letting my head drop into my arms. “Who knows? Only time will tell.” Mom believes this is nothing to worry about. She has no idea how deeply the idea of losing my two friends torments me.

 
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