The story of two girls and the wild year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades
Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat is quickly drawn into Marlena’s orbit and as she catalogues a litany of firsts—first drink, first cigarette, first kiss, first pill—Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try again to move on, even as the memory of Marlena calls her back.
Told in a haunting dialogue between past and present, Marlena is an unforgettable story of the friendships that shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.
Julie Buntin is from northern Michigan. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, O, The Oprah Magazine, Slate, Electric Literature, and One Teen Story, among other publications. She teaches fiction at Marymount Manhattan College, and is the director of writing programs at Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Marlena is her debut novel.
Viola Fisher is the epitome of perfection.
She despises my one-night stands and mocks my less-than-classy habits.
She’s smart, beautiful, and too good to be true. And I want her.
If she were anyone else, I’d have made my move years ago, but considering she’s my best friend’s little sister, she’s always been off-limits.
Not to mention how much she loathes my very existence. Hating me is her religion, but needing her is mine.
Her sexy curves and filthy smart mouth make me want her even more, and I’m more determined than ever to change her mind.
I’ll prove I’m done playing games. But until then, we’ll continue to play by her rules.
Viola Fisher may have won the battle, but the war isn’t over yet.
This is book 2 in the Travis & Viola duet and must be read after This is War.
*Recommended for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*
Courtney Bishop is as sugary sweet as her famous blueberry muffins.
Southern belle at heart, Cali girl by choice.
She barged into my life and easily became my best friend.
All was great as roommates and just friends, but then I fell for the girl who could chop firewood, deliver baby calves, and bail hay without breaking a sweat.
She’s the perfect mixture of sugar and spice, and I love her.
Being more than friends and trying to build our future isn't as easy as it sounds.
Moving forward and creating memories is all I want for us, but when the past continues to come back and haunt me, I'm not so sure she’ll stay for the ride.
Loving her is easy, but losing her will break me. Burning passion combined with an undeniable chemistry constantly pushes and pulls us together. In the end, I'll prove we’re worth the fight, even when the game is far from over.
*You must read Checkmate: This is Reckless first in the Drew & Courtney duet.
Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*
Drew Fisher is the type of guy every girl wants.
Noble police officer by day, charming prince by night.
He has no idea the effect he has on women, especially me—his little sister’s best friend.
I’m the blonde Southern belle who lives up to the cliché, except I have my own quirks. I’m smart as a whip, can change my own oil, and recite The Pledge of Allegiance backward, but he doesn’t see that girl.
It’d be easier to forget him if he wasn’t my roommate and if the first thing I saw in the morning wasn't his shirtless body covered in tattoos. I’ve crushed on him since the day we met, but he’s made it perfectly clear where we stand. Just friends.
I know I need to move on and accept that his feelings will never be mutual, but every day he smiles at me, I’m left dreaming of what if.
He has girl issues, and I’ve got a crush I can’t deny.
We’re friends, but I want more.
One drunken hookup leaves us with much more than a platonic friendship. Pretending it never happened proves to be more difficult than anticipated.
A crazy ex-girlfriend, a dangerous war of stolen glances, and passionate kisses leads to the most reckless battle yet. I won’t be a pawn in his game, but I’ll play by his rules if it will show him I’m the one worth breaking them for.
Checkmate, Prince Charming.
*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*