It’s a town of heartthrobs, drama queens, and bullies. Now two teens who are new to L.A. are about to get a crash course in it all—and learn that getting the guy isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be…
Kassidy Maddox has everything—beauty, brains, and confidence to spare. Fresh off the New York A-list, she knows what she wants: Shooby, Romero, and Carsen, three extremely fine, must-have boys. And she isn’t about to choose between them—until she meets Diggs. He’s a hot property—and he doesn’t like to share. Will Kassidy finally have to give up the spotlight?
Jacobi Swanson is a late bloomer with a major crush on her neighbor, Malone. He’s got a serious case of the perfects—perfectly popular, perfectly smart, and perfectly rich. Determined to break out of her shell and into his heart, Jacobi turns to Kassidy for beauty and boy tips. But when Jacobi finally captures Malone’s attention, she’ll have to figure out whether he’s for real—along with everything else in la-la land…
“An amazing tale that is sure to delight, teach, and intrigue teens everywhere!” —Ni-Ni Simone on Boyfriend Season
It’s not supposed to happen this way, Jacobi stressed,
sloshing a creamy mask on her face, then washing her
hands and drying them on her jeans before getting down
to business. It’s just not. With her damp fingers, she
pinched the shirt fabric where her breasts were supposed
to be, then pulled, making two lopsided, sideways tepees.
She’d never have melon-sized brassiere-fillers like her best
friend, Katydid, and definitely wouldn’t have vavoomsized,
D cup ta-tas like the women in her family. Her
head shook at the thought. Never mind large. Big ones
didn’t matter so much. The problem was, it seemed as if
she’d never have enough to fill a bra. At least not in the
equal sense. Her small breasts were different sizes. One
was clearly bigger than the other, by almost an inch. The
other was barely a lump.
“This is ridiculous,” she said, letting the shirt snap
back against her skin, leaving wet fingerprints where
she’d pulled. The unevenness made her more insecure.
How was she supposed to start a new school in a couple
of months looking like her left boob had been deflated?
She nodded. It would take some serious work and dedication
to even out her breasts before summer was over,
but she’d do it—whatever it was. And it—the solution—
lay before her on the sink in a magazine whose cover
touted BOOB LIFT OR BUST: 2 BEST CHEST EXERCISES. Turning
to page sixty-three, Jacobi read the directions, took off
her shirt, and grabbed a medium-sized hand towel. “I can
do this. I will do this. I must do this.”
Her left hand gripped one end of the towel; her right,
the other. She pulled, tugging on the terry cloth until she
felt her chest muscles tighten, then released. Again she
performed the routine, pulling for a second, then letting
go. She repeated the exercise in short intervals, tightening
and loosening in quick, five-second repetitions while she
watched her muscles contract in the mirror. They’d
barely moved, she noted. But they had, and that caused
her to smile.
“Pull to the east. Pull to the west . . . to increase your
breasts! To the east. To the west. To increase your
breasts!” She sang a bit too loudly, switching her hips
side to side in rhythm with her words, mimicking a dance
she and Katydid made up years ago.
Jacobi turned sideways and viewed herself in the mirror.
Her profile hadn’t changed one bit, but she felt like it
had. With a solid thirty days of the bust-increasing exercise,
she was sure she’d see a difference. And she hoped
it’d be sooner than later because the four marks where
she’d pulled on her shirt, two on either side of where bigger
breasts were supposed to be, stood out more than
anything else on her chest. That was a definite no-no.
Girls her age—in her opinion—were supposed to have
something to look at. Namely, boobs.
“To the east. To the west . . .” she sang again, then
paused mid mantra, sure she saw and heard the doorknob
rattle. “I’m in here!” she yelled.
A deep laugh rumbled from outside the bathroom. “To
the north. To the south. Now get your butt out!” Diggs,
her older brother, answered. “That’s why nobody likes
you but Katydid, Jacobi. You’re weird. Mean and weird.
‘To the east. To the west . . .’ Who says stuff like that?
And you wonder why you can’t make new friends?”
“Yeah!” said her younger brother, Hunter, agreeing
with anything that Diggs said, as usual. He was barely
five, and already a huge toothpick in her side.
“Shut up!” Jacobi’s heart raced, and a film of perspiration
made the creamy cleanser mask run down the sides
of her face to her neck. Just the mention of her not making
new friends made her panic even more. If she had a
choice—which she didn’t—she’d have plenty of friends in
the new neighborhood; that’s what she told herself. But
the truth was, here she was a loner—an unsocial butterfly
who longed for her old stomping grounds and her real
BFFs, Katydid and Shooby, though Shooby was more of
a crush than a best friend. But not having friends here
wasn’t her fault. Where she came from, you had to either
stand on your own or join some dumb female clique that
paraded as a gang. And getting into trouble wasn’t her
thing, but she knew she could hold her own and hang
with the best of the troublemakers if forced to; she and
Katydid had done so plenty of times together. The housing
projects had taught her that. And it didn’t matter that
they’d moved to a house where they didn’t have to have
bars on their windows. The lessons of the streets were already
ingrained in her mind, and it was too late to erase
them. So, she wondered, how was she responsible for any
aspect of her new life? She was in friendless surroundings,
had been forced to move into a new neighborhood
where she didn’t know anyone, and was broke compared
to all the other teens in her area. More importantly, she
questioned, how much had her older brother heard? She
wiped away the white, creamy facial mask streaks from
her skin and tried to wish Diggs away.
A loud banging on the door told her that wishing-
away powers were only real in movies, and served as an
answer to her wondering how much Diggs had heard.
“Increase your breasts on your own time, in your own
room,” Diggs said, laughing between words. “The truly
grown folk—like me—need to use the bathroom. I gotta
get fresh, too, before the motorcycle show tomorrow.
That’s why you’re trying to magically grow breastesses
Before she knew it, she’d swiped her things off the
counter and opened the door. She was embarrassed and
upset, mad that she had to share a bathroom with her
brother. If her parents weren’t such penny-pinchers, they’d
have sprung for a house with more rooms instead of
moving to Baldwin Hills and banking half the small inheritance
they’d received upon her grandmother’s death.
Who wanted to live in the Hills, anyway? She’d have settled
for someplace on the outskirts of Los Angeles where
people weren’t so uppity. She shrugged. Maybe if they’d
had the money they had now—money she’d been secretly
flipping for her father on Wall Street for the last few
weeks, ever since he’d caught her trading penny stocks—
she could’ve changed their minds by changing their bottom
line: their debt-to-income ratio and net worth.
“What, you think growing bigger breasts is gonna
keep your singer boyfriend, Shooby?” he asked, laughing.
“Shoo-shoo-shoo shooby-do,” he sang. “I hear he
can’t even sing.”
“Shut up, Diggs! And for your information, he’s not a
singer. Shooby’s just his nickname. You don’t know what
you’re talking about,” she snapped, pushing him out of
her way and into the almost ceiling-high pile of moving
boxes they hadn’t yet unpacked. Yes, he was right; she’d
hoped she could puff out her chest a bit. She wanted to look
like the other girls in their crew, and was sure Shooby
would finally notice her if she did. She didn’t want to be
invisible and stay in the background; she wanted someone
to pay attention to her at the motorcycle show. And
not just any someone, but Shooby, the only person from
her old Lancaster neighborhood besides Katydid that she
was sure she’d never be able to let go of. They had a history
together; one that included flash mobbing for fun,
Scooby tutoring her on life, and Jacobi liking him.
Suddenly Diggs snatched the magazine from under her
arm. He held it up as high as he could while he scanned
“Give it back!” Jacobi yelled, jumping in an effort to
take it from him. But that’s all it was—effort. Diggs was
tall, skyscraper-high for his age, and she couldn’t reach
the magazine no matter how high she bounced. “Stop
playing, Diggs!” She drew back and punched him squarely
in the chest.
“Ow,” he said, pretending she had hurt him. “Breast
exercises. Hmm.” He cackled like a hyena. “Girl, you
better pray. Ask God to fix your teeth and face first—
your breasts can come later. First you need to be proactive.
Get it? Like the acne stuff,” he said, laughing and
pushing his way into the bathroom, tossing the magazine
at Jacobi right before he slammed the door in her face.
“Or just keep hiding behind the stock market and that
stupid video camera you love so much. Those are your
friends. As long as you’re behind the lens of that camera
or the Wall Street Journal, and not on video or the front
page, you won’t be harming the world,” he yelled.
She poked out her lips, begged herself not to cry, and
wished she and God could have a two-way conversation
so she could know for certain what He was planning for
her. Diggs was right. Her skin was atrocious, her breasts
were lopsided, and the prized video camera her father
had surprised her with was her only close friend now, especially
since the stock market was plummeting and she
was constantly losing money. But prayer wasn’t the only
thing she needed—that she knew for sure, because she’d
kneeled down many times to ask God for at least a B cup.
She needed help from a different sort of trinity: divine intervention from a higher power, heavenly chest exercises,
and an angel for a dermatologist. And because their flash-
mob crew was growing thicker by the day, and Shooby
was the ringleader with all eyes on him—girls’ eyes—she
knew she needed immediate help to get his attention.