Lucas and Juliet couldn’t be more different from each other. But from the moment Lucas sees Juliet, he swears he remembers their first kiss. Their first dance. Their first fight. He even knows what’s going to happen between them—not because he can predict the future, but because he claims to have already lived it.
Juliet doesn’t know whether to be afraid for herself or for Lucas. As Lucas’s memories occur more frequently, they also grow more ominous. All Juliet wants is to keep Lucas safe with her. But how do you hold on to someone you love in the present when they’ve begun slipping away from you in the future?
"An ode to the enduring, transforming power of love." - Susane Colasanti, author of Now and Forever
"This is a book that shows you what true love is: heart-stopping, mind-bending, life-changing."
- Melissa Cantor, author of Maybe One Day
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
It was the end of summer. August 1994. My mom and I pulled into the driveway in our beat-up Audi that smelled of her perfume, my mom at the wheel, me slouched down in the passenger seat, pressing seek on the radio with my big toe, singing along though I couldn’t carry a tune. I was just back from eight weeks at sleepaway camp, and I remember how I felt then: free.
Lucas was mowing my neighbor’s lawn. I must have known who he was, because I remember thinking, There’s one of those guys from school. By “those guys” I meant jocks. I knew Lucas was on the hockey team. I knew he was a year ahead of me too. He’d be a senior when school started.
I remember that Lucas had his shirt off, and I remember that getting out of the car with my duffel bag over my shoulder, I was trying not to look at him. I didn’t want to so obviously not look either. I liked to think of myself as someone who didn’t freak out every time a hockey player took off his shirt.
But I guess I did look. I remember he was wearing dog tags and that they were tossed over his shoulder like a necktie moved out of harm’s way. I remember how light the lawn mower seemed in his hands, how deeply tan his skin had become over the summer, how he was scowling at a clump of grass growing right up against my neighbor’s fence. I knew that clump; it was impossible to get down on our side of the fence post as well.
Lucas caught me watching him and looked down at the mower, then back at me. Then he let out this ten-gigawatt smile that had a lot of information in it, including 1) we both knew he wasn’t going to mow that clump of grass down, 2) he was someone who smiled at people he didn’t even technically know, and 3) people always returned his smiles. Which is exactly what I was doing then.
Did he nod? Did I nod back? I don’t know.
As soon as I got into the house and passed by a mirror, I thought, Oh, great. Greasy hair. Red bandanna. Was that dirt where I’d thought I was tan? At camp, there was a layer of sap and sand and generally nasty woodsiness everywhere. Even the showers were slimy and smelled of mold, and I remember wondering if the veritable force field of scum was obvious, if Lucas had seen.
Now I think back to Lucas with the lawn mower—there was actually a whole crew of landscapers doing the bushes and the edging, laying mulch—and I wish I’d never gone inside. I wish I could freeze time, go back and take a picture, write it all down, the way I’m trying to do now. Had he shaved, or was the line of blond stubble he got at the end of the day already there? Had he bunched up the gray T-shirt he wasn’t wearing and tucked it into the back of his shorts? I remember that his chest and back were shining, but like I said, I was trying not to notice. They didn’t belong to me then. They would.
I woke up on the first day of school to good first-day-of-school weather. A sky you could bounce a quarter off, my mom would say. A chill in the air to let you know Halloween was one calendar page away. Stepping out the front door to catch the bus, I was thinking, I approve.
My fingers flew on my locker combination. I wasn’t gushing, “Oh, my God, how are you?” to everyone I knew or even half knew. That wasn’t my style. But I was glad to be back.
Second-period physics, I was slipping into a seat in the front next to Robin Sipe, who I used to be friends with in middle school and still hung out with at the newspaper, and I turned to scan the room for my best friend, Rosemary. She’d been away at the end of summer and I didn’t know her schedule. I didn’t even know if we had the same lunch period.
But Rose wasn’t sitting in any of the rows behind me. Instead, I found myself face to face with Lucas.
I saw him, felt my cheeks go hot, and turned back around. I thought that would be that. But during class, I kept hearing him drop his pen—he was spinning it across his fingertips like a top and every now and then it would go flying. When it hit the back of my chair, I reached down, picked it up where it had landed, and passed it back to him. Lucas mouthed, “Sorry.” I whispered, “That’s okay.” That was the first time we spoke.
Back then, Lucas had curly hair that he cut so short it didn’t look curly, just unbrushed. Our school made all the boys wear button-down shirts. Lucas’s was wrinkled and open at the neck. I got a glimpse of a chain and remembered his dog tags.
The year before, I’d written a newspaper article about how all war is wrong and the sign of a truly civilized nation a position of neutrality. A lot of my teachers liked that piece and for a week or two afterward would mention it during class or speak to me about it in the hallway. So I took it as fact: people like Lucas, who glorify the military by wearing dog tags even when they aren’t actually soldiers, are perpetuating a problem.
But when I passed his pen back, he held my eyes the way he had when he was mowing the neighbor’s lawn, and in that moment, something happened. To me. I felt like Lucas saw me—he saw right through the surface that a hockey-playing jock in dog tags would normally stop at. He saw through debate and the newspaper, the exterior of my high school life. He saw past the fact that I’m pretty enough, I guess, and that kids respect me, and that I’m friends with Rosemary Field. This may sound stupid, but I believed Lucas saw the person I am inside.
By that I mean the person I am when I cry at black-and- white movies with my mom, the person I am when I read the comics in the sun on the front porch after school. When I’m dressed in the UCLA sweats with bruins sewn on the legs my dad sends me from California. When I stay up late talking with Rosemary on the phone. When I laugh so hard I snort milk through my nose. The part of me that was there when I was three or ten or fourteen—the inner core that will stay the same forever.
As Lucas’s fingers closed around the pen, I held on for just a second too long. I felt weirdly alive, like I’d just inhaled super-cold air.
I let go of the pen and turned back around. Robin Sipe was writing “Homework = 20% of grade” in her notebook, and I dutifully copied her words. I even mimicked her good-girl bubble handwriting.
But then I snuck a peek behind me. Lucas was staring. At me. Still.
The next time I spoke to Lucas was at lunch a few days later. I’d come in late, so there was no line, and I hurried to the counter, only to find him ahead of me, holding a tray. Except for the lady serving the food, we were alone, but I didn’t say hi or “How do you like physics?” I was too cool for that then. I probably let my hair hang in front of my face so I wouldn’t look like I was hoping he’d notice me. Lucas was drumming his fingers on his tray like he was practicing a keyboard solo, and I assumed he’d do his music, he’d get his food, I’d get my food, and then we’d go our separate ways.
But he turned to me, and the way he spoke, it was like he was picking up a conversation where it had left off. “What are you doing in regular science anyway?” he said. “I thought you were in all the smart-person classes.”
How did he know what classes I was in?
“I barely passed chemistry,” I admitted, too startled to give up anything but the truth. “My advisor thought I wasn’t going to be able to handle honors physics.”
“Sheesh,” he said. “Why would you want to?”
And because he didn’t sound like he was asking that question just to make me feel better—he sounded like he was genuinely contemplating it himself, and maybe for the first time—I laughed. A little too much. “For college,” I said. “You’ve heard of college, right?”
“Yeah,” he said. He drummed on his tray some more, and then he looked me in the eyes so hard I thought he was angry. Had I made him mad? Had what I’d said come off as arrogant when I’d meant it to be funny? “I’ve heard of college.” He was still looking at me, as if he were daring me to let go of his gaze. I didn’t. I couldn’t, even if it was kind of scary.
And then he was gone, whistling, and I was left to decide between hamburger and sloppy joe, not wanting either one.