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Lainey Young has a secret: she’s going crazy. Everyone else thinks she has severe migraines from stress and exhaustion. What she really has are visions of how people died—or are going to die. Not that she tells anyone that. At age sixteen, she prefers keeping her crazy to herself. When doctors insist she needs a new and stable environment to recover, Lainey’s game to spend two years at a private New England boarding school. She doesn’t really think it will cure her problem, and she’s half right. There is no cure, but as she discovers, she’s not actually crazy.
Almost everyone at Northbrook Academy has a secret too. Half the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted. A vision of another student’s impending death confirms Lainey is one of them. She’d like to return the crappy gift of divining deaths with only a touch, but enjoys spending time with Carter Penrose—recent Academy graduate and resident school crush—while learning to control it. Lainey’s finally getting comfortable with her ability, and with Carter, when they uncover her true Sententia heritage. Now she has a real secret.
Once it’s spilled, she’ll be forced to forget protecting secrets and start protecting herself.
“That’s one of our best editions; you must have a great eye,” came a soft—and highly unexpected—voice from behind me. I gave the most embarrassing, girly little shriek and spun around, nearly dropping one of the best editions in the store unceremoniously onto the floor.
He was handsome, tall, several inches above six feet, and lean but obviously muscular, all long legs and graceful limbs. His hair brushed over his forehead, curling at the ends. It was the unnamable color between brown and blond with brighter gold in some places, as if he spent lots of time outdoors. Or was just really lucky. Beautiful liquid blue eyes with darker edges topped a strong nose, narrow and straight, and lips that were perhaps a little too thin but complemented the rest of his features. He wore a simple t-shirt with jeans that fit perfectly, not too tight, not too loose.
He was the kind of guy I’d admire approvingly, if I saw him on the street or in the dining hall, but he was not the stuff of dreams, or so I thought. And then he smiled at me. Suddenly he became not just handsome but really handsome, entrancing even. I couldn’t look away. Didn’t want to either. I realized that I’d been wrong. He was the stuff of dreams, because he was real. He was a boy you didn’t fantasize about but actually knew and dated and were envied by other girls for it.
Of course, in the few seconds between when I turned around and he smiled, I couldn’t have made such a detailed inventory of his physical charms. Initially I had only a fleeting impression of cute boy, tall, unexpectedly talking to—and smiling at—me, but it would come to seem as if I always knew him exactly as he was, that I couldn’t remember him as anything less than everything. Eventually I would know his face better than my own, than anyone’s. But I didn’t know that then. I didn’t even know his name.
He coughed and gave me a look that was charmingly abashed. “Hi. Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you.” Another smile. “I’m Carter. I work here.”
Cara is a former middle school literacy teacher who now lives in the woods outside Boston with: one awesome husband, two large dogs, one small daughter, and lots of words. LOST IN THOUGHT is her first novel and was one of three finalists for the 2011 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the Young Adult category.
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