Please welcome Nash Summers who's brought with her the latest installment of
Life According To Maps
- Diamonds -
Maps’ kingdom is crumbling before his eyes.
His parents are forcing him to get a job, there’s a new kid at school who won’t stop staring at him, and his best friend is too busy thinking about girls to help Maps deal with his real problems.
Worst of all, Maps is lost.
And none of the roads on his map are leading to Lane.
“Well, that’s never happening. Not today, not this year, not next year, not in ten million years when I am half-cyborg ruling my own space station. The very notion, in fact, is absurd. Absurd and preposterous. Absurdly preposterous.”
Maps’ dad took his glasses off his face, set them down on the table, and rubbed his temples. They were sitting down at the kitchen table across from each other. Maps had his arms crossed in front of his chest, while his father slouched in the wooden chair.
“Mattie,” his absurdly preposterous father said. “Other kids your age get part-time jobs. It’s perfectly normal.”
“But dad, as you well know, I am not perfectly normal,” Maps stated as though it were his crowning achievement.
His father mumbled something under his breath.
“Also,” Maps went on, “I’m much too busy to get a job.” He put his fingers in the air, making quotation gestures as if job was a made up word his father had just created to be cruel to him. “A person with my level of intellect does not need a job.”
“I have a job,” Benji hollered from where he was seated on the couch watching America’s Next Top Model. The top of his head was just peeking over top of the couch.
“See?” His father pointed in the general direction of Benji. “Benji has a job.”
Maps gave his dad a meaningful look.
“Hey, I saw that!” Benji yelled.
“Benji, I’m sure your IQ is huge. Gargantuan, even. Too large to be measured on any scale. Large enough to send all the ladies aflutter,” Maps said.
“That’s right,” Benji replied. “Ladies love big IQs.”
Maps’ dad looked like he’d rather be on a plane ride to Eastern Europe with only screaming newborn babies in the seats around him.
“Your mother and I think it’s best for you to get a job instead of sitting around the house all day, lighting things on fire and sulking about Lane being away at baseball camp.”
Maps’ jaw dropped. He guffawed and threw his hands up in the air.
“Sulking!” he said, his eyebrows touching his hairline. “Maps Wilson does not sulk. He prowls and ponders, and perhaps peruses, but he does not sulk.”
“He also lies through his teeth!” shouted Benji from the couch.
Maps had not been sulking. He’d been living the free life while Lane was away at baseball camp for the summer. And how was baseball camp even a real thing? And who was crazy enough to sign up for it? Toss, catch, toss, catch. How much more could there be to it?
Maybe Maps and Lane had left things a little up in the air when Lane left, but that didn’t mean he was sulking. In fact, now that Lane hadn’t been around with those distracting teeth of his, Maps had got a lot done.
He’d conducted a few experiments involving the shaving of his armpits with his mom’s razor, which, for some reason, sent her into one of her frenzies. There was an experiment involving panty hose and garlic, one that resulted in Benji running from a rabid poodle, and his own personal favorite, the one with the electrical wires and the robot parrot toy that he named Frankenbird. That was the experiment that Maps’ dad referred to when he mentioned Maps setting things on fire. And it only happened twice, so he wasn’t really sure what all the fuss was about.
Regardless. He had been living the sweet, sweet bachelor life doing experiments and hanging out with his best friend, Benji. What more could a rakish rogue like Maps ask for?
Still, he had to admit that he’d stared longingly a time or two at the outside of Lane’s window. And, yeah, okay, maybe a time or two he’d taken the maps that Lane had given him off the wall and studied them for a few hours. And he’d admit that once or twice he’d worn Lane’s old baseball cap and fallen asleep in his bed wearing it and listening to Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
But that didn’t mean he missed Lane.
Sure, he missed the sound of Lane’s laugh, Lane’s big ‘ol gapped teeth, his pear-green eyes, his smile, his pale blond hair, his face, really, his impossibly tight baseball uniform, helping Lane with math, Lane playing ball with him, and just the air in general when Lane was around.
But that didn’t mean he missed Lane.
Maps was, after all, a rakish bachelor.
Get the book:
Maps is being forced to get a job, and Lane is at summer baseball camp. Maps doesn't miss Lane, not at all, no, sirree. Maps does not sulk, nor does he stare longingly at Lane's window. He's a free agent, a rakish rogue, and he doesn't miss Lane at all.
Between getting dressed as a Giant Chicken while working at the Chicken Castle or Palace or whatever, getting into a fight with a very surprised Lane who only wanted some chicken, being pursued, according to Benji, by hot hairstylist/fellow student Perry, reduced to just being Lane's "neighbor", and being possibly cat-called, Maps is really lost for most of this book.
While Benji is pseudo-stallking a girl, and mostly shaking his head at Maps' antics, Maps is busy pretending that he doesn't miss Lane at all. Not all summer long, not after they return to school, and not even when Lane knocks on his window.
While everyone seems to shake their heads at him, and while his experiments go wrong more often than not, he's still self-confident and doesn't quite understand what everyone is fussing about. Just because he may have set something on fire - twice - doesn't mean his experiments aren't important and successful. His brain still fires differently than that of the rest of the world, and what makes perfect sense to Maps makes no sense to anyone else.
Except Lane, he of the gap tooth, he of the blond hair, and the baseball hats, he of the green eyes Maps gets lost in, and he who thinks he's stupid, but holds the keys to Maps' heart.
This book is YA, and as thus there's no steam at all, no fumbling teenagers between sheets on a single bed, but there is one kiss, and that kiss is all-important.
The book is laugh out loud funny and quirky and unusual, and sweet and adorable, and it must be read slowly and carefully, and savored. The words flow beautifully, the story, while short, just grips you, and you can't help but fall in love (again) with Maps and Lane, and how they figure things out.
This is not a standalone, and should be read after you've read the first book. I do hope that the author plans to write more about this unique boy, and his green-eyed neighbor/boyfriend, and Benji, and Lane's little sister, Princess Madame Sprinkles, who despite being only five and three-quarters, seems wise beyond her years.
** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **
About the author:
Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But, when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. And if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line.
Needless to say—she’s a genuine hellraiser.
3 prizes are up for grabs - 2 e-copies of Maps, and 1 e-copy of Diamonds!
Giveaway sponsored by the author. Excerpt provided by the author.