Today is the release day of The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen!
The Other Me
by Suzanne van Rooyen
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: 19 Dec, 2013
Genre: YA, LGBT, contemporary
Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she’s an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn’t find out she’s a freak.
As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.
But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.
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We sit at a table in the back. I head for the corner seat and so does Gabriel. Propriety wins, and he pulls the chair out for me. He orders a latte and asks me if I want to share a muffin. I’d share anything with him right now.
“So, tell me something.” He gouges his fork through the colossal blueberry cake.
“Like what?” I take a sip of cappuccino.
“Something about you. I know you sing in the choir and that you like aliens.” He smiles, revealing a sliver of inner lip stained blueberry purple. “You read about composers, and I guess you’re Catholic, being at St. Bridget’s.”
“Um….” I take a moment to collect my thoughts, to quash the impulse to tell him I think I’m an alien, to resist the urge to ask him if mybeing a Catholic schoolgirl is the only reason I’m here. Although the idea of fulfilling some sordid fantasy of his doesn’t sound too bad. Bobby socks and pigtails? For Gabriel, I’d do that.
“I used to play piano,” I say.
“How far did you get?”
He laughs, and the tension keeping his shoulders bunched seems to drain, letting him slide lower in his chair.
“You going to study music next year?” I stab a blueberry with my fork, hoping they won’t become permanent fixtures in the wires on my teeth. Gabriel doesn’t say anything, his expression clouded by ineffable emotion. “Sorry, did I say the wrong thing?”
“No, it’s just….” He slurps up latte and licks froth from his upper lip dusted with the shadow of stubble. Damn, he’s gorgeous. “I’d love to study music, but….”
“My father doesn’t approve.”
“But you’re like the next Ashkenazy!”
“I’d rather be the next Horowitz.” He fiddles with his serviette, shredding the logo printed on the corner.
“So, what are you going to do, then?”
“Engineering, probably.” He doesn’t look happy about it, and I don’t know him well enough to press the issue.
“I’m thinking of doing a BA.”
“Bugger all?” He grins.
I snort my coffee and cough up a blueberry. So sexy. Don’t think I’ve ever laughed this much with anyone, let alone a guy.
“Is that what they call it?”
“So I hear.” He takes another bite of muffin before pushing the plate and last few pieces across the table to me.
“I’d love to do astronomy, it’s fascinating, but I suck at actual science. I’m good at history and languages, though.” Don’t want to sound like a complete idiot in front of Mr. Academic Colors here.
“So BA history, then?”
“You want to study people?” He seems surprised.
“It might help me understand why we’re all so messed up.”
About the Author:
Suzanne is an author and peanut-butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance and music to middle-schoolers or playing in the snow with her shiba inu. She is rep’d by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
Aw they’re cute together. I love her snorting. Too funny.
I got a copy for review, so I hope to have time to read this one soon, it sounds great!