Friday 15 February 2013

Blog Tour: The Next Forever Excerpt!

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One night in college can change everything…

Away at college, Amy just wants one night alone without her high school sweetheart, Joe. So when he invites her to go to the library, she heads off on her own instead. How she ended up at a house party with the mysterious bad-boy Trevor is another story…

Joe so isn’t going to the library. He needs space from Amy, too, so he’s decided to rush a fraternity, to get back the swagger he had in high school. But it doesn’t take long for the brothers to invite him to the real rush here the beer is flowing and one particular girl has set her eyes on Joe.

Over the course of one wild night, both Amy and Joe will have to decide if their futures belong with two new people, or whether the next forever will have their first loves in it.

For The Next Forever's blog tour, I get to share an excerpt with you! :D

The Next Forever is told in alternating points of view between Amy and Joe, from Lisa Burstein's Pretty Amy. The headings at the top of each section lets you know who's point of view you're reading...and now I'll leave you to it. Here's your excerpt of The Next Forever...


I finally ducked into the bathroom, put the seat down, sat, and called Joe. He probably wouldn’t answer. You weren’t allowed to have your ringer on in the library and when Joe was doing work, he got lost in it. I’d seen it. His eyes practically sparkling as he turned the pages in the dusty, old leather-bound law books. It was almost like he was inhaling knowledge. I always admired him for being lucky enough to find something that he’d really cared about.
I pictured his phone shaking in his backpack as mine rang in my ear, a vibration like someone trying to wake another person from slumber—from a bad dream. Except it wasn’t him who had to wake up from the nightmare, it was me.
I probably didn’t have any right to really call it a nightmare if it was self-induced.
It went to voice mail and I heard his message: This is Joe’s phone. He’s not answering, but you can talk after the beep. If he’s not ignoring your call, he’ll call you back.
It was Joe in recorded form—smart, funny, confident Joe.
I didn’t leave a message myself, though. It was strange considering that was how we had gotten together. How after my arrest, he had tried to connect to me via my parentally forbidden phone during the time we were across the street from each other but I had still assumed worlds apart.
Back then, we weren’t even friends anymore. Not like we had been before sophomore year when everything changed. I thought he was mad at me. He thought I was done with him. We talked, but only because we lived next door to each other.
But he had been calling me, checking on me, wanting me to know he hoped I was okay. It was all archived on my phone. When I was finally allowed to have it back, Joe’s messages were waiting.
Each recorded time he reached out, when I didn’t even know he was there. When in real life he and I were too afraid to really talk to each other.
That was what I needed to be thinking about. Not why I was here with Trevor and was such a shitty girlfriend.
Maybe not remembering that when he asked me to move in with him was what made me so shitty.
Not being able to fly across the dining hall table and kiss his lips off was what made me so shitty.
Hanging up without leaving a message was also what made me so shitty.
I called back and said quickly, “Thinking about you,” before hitting end.
In the months before Joe and I arrived here, we were in the perfect bubble between my arrest and now. Our lives back then were only waking up each day and being with each other. It was beautiful.
And most importantly, simple.
I remember the two of us in my backyard on my old, rusty swing set. Joe and I would spend hours on those swings not even swinging, but being held up off the ground. The feeling bringing me back to the day we first kissed and kissed again—that weightless, flittering sensation that being on a swing can give.
Even though the arrest was behind me, we hung out in my backyard because my parents still liked having me near enough to know I wasn’t fucking shit up.
Shit being my life.
With Joe in the picture I finally didn’t feel like I was. I actually thought things were starting to make sense, were starting to fit. I probably should have known that continuing to count on someone else to validate my happiness would backfire on me. But at the time, I was too blissed out to care.
At least until we’d talked about coming here.
“I wish we could stay like this forever,” I’d said, because I knew that being outside this perfect bubble would change things. I had reasons for my suspicions. The world had pushed us apart for years when I was too bad-girl for him and he was too all-American-boy for me. When we let the choices we made and the people around us dictate how we felt about each other.
With no one around, with just the two of us, we only had to worry about pleasing one person. Lucky for me, Joe was easy to please, and when it came to him, I was, too.
“In your parents’ backyard?” Joe had asked, laughing his laugh that had the power to make my stomach float like it did on the swing.
Being on the swing, I felt it double.
“Life goes on, Amy,” he’d said.
I looked at him, his profile turned pink in the sunset. “That’s what I’m worried about,” I’d mumbled.
“It doesn’t matter where we are. I’ll be there,” Joe had said, taking my hand.
“What is this, a love song?” I’d asked, even though I held his hand tightly.
“I don’t think you want me to sing,” he’d said. “But I can,” he added, leaning into my ear and humming, his breath on my neck, making me shiver.
I’d wanted to believe him. That no matter where we were, this, us, wouldn’t change. With the two of us connected as the swings below us wobbled, I tried to believe him. Unfortunately, I also knew I’d been wrong about a lot of things; the highest on the list resulted in me being arrested.
He kissed my neck.
“But we both know what noise can do,” I’d said.
We did.
I did.
The years he avoided me and I avoided him. The years we wasted that we could have spent like we were now. The years that may have led me to an actual prom night I could have celebrated with him, instead of celebrated in a jail cell.
“I think we’re beyond that,” he’d said, getting up and pulling me out of my swing. He touched my face, his hand still. Somehow when he was with me, close to me, he could get the shaking in his hands to stop. The shaking that started the day his father left, that he hid any way he could.
He moved his hand over my cheek like water to my thirst, a blanket to my cold. Before I even knew I was thirsty or cold. He kissed me. His kiss that made me want so much I bit his lip. That could only be a kiss because my parents were a kitchen window away. That could and would turn into more later when he snuck into my room that night.  
The other place we could be where we could forget about the rest of the world.
“I’m scared,” I’d said into his lips. I didn’t say anything else, knowing I didn’t have to explain it to him. That he would know what I meant.
That maybe he knew what I meant because he was scared, too.
“We’ll be together,” he’d said, kissing me again, launching me like the swing, up, up, up. Each kiss pushing me higher and higher.
And we had been, until I was alone in the bathroom at a party having to make myself bother to leave him a message.
Having to make myself remember why I’d agreed to come here with him in the first place.
I took out my phone: two missed calls from Amy and a message. I would call her back, but not here. This sounded less like a library than a bowling alley did.
It was odd that she’d called twice, but I also knew she second-guessed herself a lot. To be honest, it was one of the things I loved about her. If she felt like something wasn’t right, she went back and kept trying until it was. I knew she’d called again just to leave the message, and I also knew it would probably say, Sorry I hung up before.
I watched Emily at the fridge across the room. I didn’t really like talking to Emily about Amy. Amy was mine.
Finally, mine.
Or at least she had been.
Not in a weird, possessive way, but in a how could I not have known that this was what I always needed way. I didn’t want to share her and because of the arrest I hadn’t had to. She didn’t want to be friends with the girls she used to be friends with anymore. She was afraid of other guys because of the ones from her past who only wanted to use her, so she chose me.
She chose me.
I hoped Emily, regardless of how semi-naked she was, wouldn’t change that.
Living across the street from Amy meant that after we got together I could sneak in to her bedroom whenever I wanted, and I did want.
I would carry a ladder from my garage to her open and waiting-for-me window. The heavy, metal, clunking one my mother never used but made me hoist up every fall to do the gutters. I would lay it against Amy’s house so lightly, so quietly, hoping not to wake her parents, the rest of the neighborhood, but most importantly her.
I would climb up to her window and push the screen out to be in her room—right across the street from my room. Once inside, I would sit on her bed and touch her face, waiting for her to wake up. Loving the way her lips pouted like she was angry. The way her chest moved up and down, up and down so gently, her hair growing over her pillow like dark ivy.
She was Amy.
The one I’d known since she was six. The one I’d loved since she was ten. The one I hoped I would love until she was one hundred and ten.
That is, once we both got through the confusion that the freedom and choices of college seemed to be causing for both of us.
Sleeping in her bed, she was my Amy without the voices in her head that plagued her and made her think she was anything less than the amazingness she was—funny, smart, and so caring.
When she would finally wake up, the look of fear I saw at first was quickly transformed to recognition and then to love.
Then to a kiss.
“Joe,” she would say, her breath minty with toothpaste.
“It’s me,” I would say. The bed would always squeak while I tried to get comfortable.
She would say, “Shhh my mom has ears like a Doberman in heat.”
I would say, “I think your dad sees my ladder every morning.”
She would laugh and kiss me again.
AJ, her parrot, brought in from his aviary for the night, would twitter in his cage. And repeat, Joe, Joe, Joe and make kissing noises.
We would laugh.
Amy would say, “Don’t you ever sleep?”
I would say, “How can I with you across the street?” and growl into her neck.
She would laugh harder. The kind of laugh that made her body fold in on itself as she said, “You’re crazy.”
I would say, “For you.”
She would say, “No, just crazy.”
AJ would repeat crazy, crazy, crazy and fly around his cage.
In those moments I would know what Amy meant when she said she wished we could stay here forever.
Except my forever was under her blankets, body to body, breathing like one, sweating and kissing and reaching for each other in the night, kissing her shoulder and her kissing mine.
And after, her head on my chest, perfectly fit in the crook of my neck, my arms around her in a tight, constant orbit.
When did that become not enough anymore for either of us?

I posted my review today as well, and I really enjoyed this one. :) I haven't read Pretty Amy yet, but I definitely will be reading it soon. :D

What did you think of the excerpt?
Does The Next Forever sound like something you want to read?
And have you read Pretty Amy already...thoughts?

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