Synopsis from Goodreads:
Though she’s nicknamed for the magical Harry Potter, six-foot, dreadlocked Harry Kavanaugh doesn’t find any wonder in her daily life at an exclusive girls’ school outside of Washington, DC. In fact she wants nothing more than to chuck her lot and enter the wilds of public school—too bad she didn’t reckon on a trip to the hospital, a runaway, and a renegade or three, which just might show her a different path to everywhere.
Although I attempt devil-may-care, my heart races a bit. “Surprise?” Good or bad? I was heading to the kitchen anyway, so it’s not like I’m doing what she wants. I do try and be a normal teenager in that respect, and it’s not hard, since what she wants is usually diametrically opposed to what I want anyway.
As much as I hunch over and try to slouch my way through lacrosse practice, I am constantly hungry. That Imogene Gayle survives on carrot sticks and celery does not deter me; you’d be amazed at the things I’m willing to eat peanut butter on. At least becoming an official vegetarian last year didn’t entail much of a struggle since dried-out chicken breasts are Imogene Gayle’s idea of protein heaven. I have pretty much taken over the cooking and shopping, riding my bike or tagging along with Phyllis, my friend William’s mother, and that suits us both. I am dreaming of a tofu scramble with a side of hot Nutella toast when I stop short. I shriek and run forward. Good surprise, oh, yeah, you got that right!
“Hey, kid, how’s it hanging?” he drawls when he extricates himself from my hug. I pride myself on my ferocious hugs, though their recipients are few indeed.
I try to salvage my teenage cool, even supposing that I have any. “I can’t hang. I don’t have balls. We have discussed this.”
“I’m getting by.”
“Shouldn’t an almost sixteen year-old be more than getting by? I remember the world rocked when I was your age.”
“You didn’t have my life. You weren’t stuck at Barfmore with no friends.”
“That’s true. That’s true... I wasn’t on my way to six feet tall and smarter than Einstein either. Would a little ice cream help?” He raises his eyebrow at me.
I salute him in kind. “Peanut buster parfait. Maybe two,” I say this defiantly, as if there is some chance that I won’t get what I want.
“With extra nuts!” We both scream at the top of our lungs.
This exchange varies slightly from visit to visit but not substantially. I think we both count on it. What we don’t count on, or at least Jeremy doesn’t, is being bowled over by a dog the size of a small cow. I only wonder what took her so long, perhaps a fight with a sock in the laundry heap or a moldy cookie discovered in the bottom of a closet.
“Holy shit! What is that thing?”
That thing has me backed up against the kitchen counter and is slobbering over every inch of me in her quest to make sure I am unharmed by the intruder. “This ‘thing’ is Frannie, or Frances Bean if you want to be formally introduced. It is her mission in life to kill those she loves with kindness,” I wipe a string of drool off my chin and remove her front paws from my shoulders, “and she has the bulk to pull it off.” We dance a little around the kitchen before I set her down on all fours. I extend one hand in her direction and one in my brother’s. “Frannie, Jeremy, Jeremy, Frannie.” Frannie immediately goes to investigate Jeremy further, crotch first.
“Let me guess: she’s named after Kurt Cobain’s daughter, right? Where did it, she, come from? Is she yours?” Jeremy looks aghast as he tries without success to fend her off.
“I think you could more accurately say that I am hers, or we are each other’s, let’s be equitable here. I found her, she found me, whatever, a few weeks ago. She came to the door and knocked,” I look at Frannie for confirmation, and she smiles. “I swear.”
“Knocked. You mean like knocked it down?”
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