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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Shortest Distance Between Love & Hate by Sandy Hall! If you are looking for a YA contemporary set in college, this is one to check out. Keep reading to learn more about the book and read an excerpt.
Author: Sandy Hall
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
A teen girl starting at a new school is torn between long-held loyalties and a bright new love in this irresistible new YA contemporary romance from the author of A Little Something Different.
Paisley is really looking forward to college. She is ready to take charge of her destiny and embrace some new experiences! Finding a hot guy to make out with at her first ever college party seems like a great start...until her best friend informs her that mystery guy is actually Carter Schmitt, Paisley's sworn enemy who basically ruined their lives in middle school.
So much for new people and exciting new experiences. Oh well. Paisley will just pretend he doesn't exist. Of course that would be easier if Carter, AKA her super-hot-sworn-enemy, hadn't ended up in three of her classes AND the same work study. Is it too late to rethink this college thing?
Excerpt: The Shortest Distance Between Love & Hate
Lizzie: That’s Carter Schmitt. Didn’t you used to hate him?
He was indeed Carter Schmitt and I did indeed hate him. We went to middle school with him, but then he moved away before high school.
I clasp my hands together and grind my teeth. I suck in a deep breath.
“I’m so pissed off now that I know who you are.”
He studies me, squinting at the setting sun, but doesn’t say a word.
“You lied to me.”
I cut him off. “You can shove that technicality right up your ass.”
He holds his hands up defensively. “You acted like you knew me at the party.”
“I thought I’d met you earlier in the day. Not because I thought I knew you from middle school! I didn’t recognize you. I think I blocked you out because you were so hateful.”
“Ah, right,” he says, leaning back and crossing his arms. “Um. Well. What does this mean in terms of us?”
I can tell he’s picking his words very carefully. I can’t believe I didn’t recognize him. I guess I didn’t spend much time looking at him in middle school. I always regretted not defending Henry more, but anytime Carter got on his case it was almost always when Henry was alone. Makes sense. That’s how bullies tend to work.
“Us?” I ask. “You were hideous to my best friend. And you’ve been lying to me from minute one.”
“I didn’t lie to you. I wanted to make a new first impression.”
I hold out my hand in a “stop” gesture. “Sorry. There’s no excuse for some of the stuff you did to Henry. And there’s no excuse for lying to me. Also, I thought you hated excuses.” I make sure my tone is extra mocking on that last word.
“I do,” he says. “But it’s not an excuse. It’s a fact.”
He has obviously never dealt with someone who knows how to hold a grudge. He’s about to find out how much I care about his “facts.”
“You flushed his clothes down the toilet during gym class. You hid his glasses so he had to walk around in his sports goggles all day. You copied his homework and cheated off of him during tests. You stole his lunch. You didn’t even eat it. You would take it and stomp on it and make a mess and leave the remains in the hallway for the custodians to clean up.”
I’m rattling off the things I remember. There was prob- ably a lot more, stuff that Henry never told me or that I never heard about.
“You remember all that, huh?” Carter asks.
“Of course I do. And so does Henry.”
“So you probably had an I Hate Carter Schmitt Club.”
“We called you Farter Shit, but yes. Basically.”
“Clever. I can’t believe the whole school didn’t call me that.”
“Well, I was the only one who called you that, mostly to make Henry laugh. And since I’m not a horrible person, I never spread it around school.”
He gulps. He knows I’m right.
“This does not look great for me.” His face is bright red, like he has the worst sunburn that I’ve ever seen.
“It doesn’t,” I say. I’m glad he seems resigned to this, that he’s not fighting me, even though I’m kind of in the mood for a fight.
“Well, I’m sorry. Whatever good that does at this point.” “It’s a little late for sorry.”
He wipes his hands down his face and sighs. “Can we at least be friends?”
“I don’t think so.”