One Broken Day
by Melissa MacVicar
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: May 18th 2017
After a notorious school shooting leaves her a shadow of the girl she once was, seventeen-year-old Lizzie Beringer moves to Nantucket Island. There, Lizzie vows to hide her identity as the shooter’s sister. All her efforts to fly under the radar, however, are complicated by her P.T.S.D. and the attention she receives from two competing boys. While fending off the not-so-subtle advances of popular athlete Michael Wickersham, she must also deal with her growing feelings for her shy lab partner Gage Pike. Gage may act like he’s all wrong for her, but the pull between them is undeniable.
Under the threat of discovery and the possibility of testifying in a televised trial, Lizzie fights to keep her secrets and start her life over.
One Broken Day is a brilliantly imagined story exploring the ways we are all broken and at the same time, offered redemption in the most unexpected of places.
My brother should be dead. Death was what he wanted, and his death might have made everything that came after that day less painful. After succeeding in so many terrible things, however, he failed to complete this one final act.
Despite these harsh words, I do not take the possibility of his death lightly. Even now, when the thought of it enters my mind, I resist it, and immediately following the shooting, I hated myself for it. My insides ached, and my head throbbed. He was my brother. My baby brother. I was supposed to love him, not wish him gone from the planet.
Standing in his room before we left for Nantucket, I considered what to take. I wanted something of him. A talisman. An object from the scene of this crime, my own personal family tragedy, that would allow me to remember him as the boy he was before. The boy who laughed at sitcoms on Nickelodeon and swam in the pool with neon green floaties. The boy who called me Wizzie. The little brother who couldn’t possibly be locked up in a jail cell for murdering four people.
The room itself was not special—double bed, blue walls, built in book shelves stripped of their contents. Boxes littered the floor, filled with the personal items that populated Thomas’ life. Out his windows, the picturesque view of the pool and the fir trees beyond was still lovely.
I forced myself to try to see it as a stranger, like someone who only heard about Thomas on the news. Were there clues in the paint color? The books he read or the framed poster of Tony Hawk? No matter how hard I searched, no answers to my infinite questions were revealed. Nothing there explained what happened to us.
I spotted it then, atop a pile of books in a still open box. The horseshoe. I forgot all about it until that moment, but I knew instantly it was what I’d been looking for. We both received one on the vacation at the dude ranch with Dad although I had no idea where mine was anymore. On that trip, we rode horses and square danced and ate all our meals together. Good times. We had some good times. The rust speckled piece of metal, satisfyingly heavy in my hand, was my proof.
Turning to leave, I caught a glimpse of Thomas’ cork board. Removed from the wall, it leaned against the side of a box near his old desk. Weird drawings of scary faces, death metal concert leaflets, and a few pictures of a scowling Thomas were pinned haphazardly across it. In one corner, however, an unexpected pop of color peeked out. Without thinking, I reached to expose it.
Thomas—a four-year-old Spiderman, me—a six-year-old Cinderella. We both smiled as we clutched our bags of trick-or-treat candy. With a little effort, I unpinned it from the board and gazed down at our grinning, childish faces. When exactly had Thomas stopped smiling for pictures? When was the precise day and time that occurred? That was the day I should have known. I should have noticed. I should have realized that something was not right with my baby brother.
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About the Author
Melissa was born and mostly raised on Nantucket Island, and she currently lives there with her husband and two teenage children. When not being a wife and mother and teaching writing to seventh graders, she enjoys binge watching shows like Big Little Lies, House of Cards, and Outlander. Despite the rumors to the contrary, she does not actually wish she was a teenager again, nor does she see ghosts like the main character in her first novel, Ever Near. She does, however, love to hear from readers so send her a message on social media or at her email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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