The Careful Undressing of Love

The Careful Undressing of Love

by Corey Ann Haydu

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Overview

The girls of Devonairre Street have always been told they’re cursed. Any boy they love is certain to die too soon. But this is Brooklyn in 2008, and the curse is less a terror and more a lifestyle accessory—something funky and quaint that makes the girls from the shortest street in Brooklyn special. They wear their hair long and keys around their necks. People give them a second look and whisper “Devonairre” to their friends. But it’s not real. It won’t affect their futures.
 
Then Jack—their Jack, the one boy everyone loved—dies suddenly and violently. And now the curse seems not only real, but like the only thing that matters. All their bright futures have suddenly gone dark.
 
The Careful Undressing of Love is a disturbing and sensual story of the power of youth and the boundless mysteries of love set against the backdrop of Haydu’s brilliantly reimagined New York City.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399186745
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 01/31/2017
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 849 KB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Corey Ann Haydu is the critically acclaimed author of several novels for young readers novels, including OCD Love Story, which earned her a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Her books have been Junior Library Guild, Indie Next, and BCCB Blue Ribbon selections. Corey lives in Brooklyn with her dog, her fiancé, and a wide selection of cheese.
www.coreyannhaydu.com

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1.

Angelika grabs my face, stares into my eyes, and looks for signs of love.

Her hands are cool and stronger than I remember. It’s not the first time she has pressed them against my cheeks. She leans in so close I can smell leathery Aramis cologne on her neck. She wears it every day—says it reminds her of her late husband. It is a Devonairre Street smell. Like freshly watered mint and basil that I planted in the garden or just-smoked cigarettes on Charlotte’s stoop or my mother’s chemical hairspray.

I keep my eyes open and on Angelika, but I’m aching to slide my sunglasses over my face and disappear.

I don’t like the oversoft, worn texture of her hands or the way I can feel her wedding ring folded beneath her wrinkles.

She turns my face this way and that, like love might be hiding under my chin or behind my ear. She brings her fingers close to my eyes, pulling at them from below so they open a little wider. I shift my gaze skyward. Someone tied balloons to the rusting garden gate for the Shared Birthday, which comes every year at the beginning of April, and a few of them have freed themselves and are floating up, up, and away.

I think I wouldn’t mind being a red balloon against a blue Brooklyn sky, looking down over Devonairre Street.

Angelika moves a hand to my forehead. Beside me, Delilah sighs. She’s next. Angelika’s eyes close and her lips purse and she tilts her ear to the ground like she’s listening for an earthquake.

When her eyes open, she’s beaming. From a certain angle she looks almost young, but most of the time she looks even older than her seventy-five years. That’s what a lifetime on Devonairre Street does to a person, I guess.

I love it here in spite of Angelika and her minions and the crazy things they believe. Or maybe because of them.

She pats my cheek. It’s almost a whack. There’s power behind it. “Good girl,” she says before looking over at my mother. “Lorna’s not in love.” Her Polish accent lilts on the word love so it sounds like luhf. The accent itself is a mystery—she was born on the street to a Polish mother and an American father, but her voice carries her mother’s history instead of her father’s or her own.

When we ask her about it, Angelika only shrugs.

“I am my mother’s daughter,” she says. “We are all our mothers’ daughters, are we not?”

With Angelika, the only answer we are allowed is yes.

And it’s true. Or it is for me. I look at my mother. She raises her eyebrows and lets her eyes laugh while the rest of her stays serious. I echo the look. I’m always a little bit scared and a little bit delighted during the Shared Birthday.

“There is not even the littlest bit of love on your daughter,” Angelika says to my mother, who is across the garden, past the bench and the waterless fountain, by the opposite gate. My mother nods like it matters; Angelika nods back and pats the top of my head, telling me to step away so that the next girl can step forward.

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