ETERNAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith
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At last Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theatre wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Her reckless and adoring guardian angel, meanwhile—fighting in guise as the princess’s personal assistant—has his work cut out for him with the Master’s Death Day gala fast approaching. Can Zachary save his girl’s soul and redeem himself before all hell arrives, quite literally, on their doorstep? Here, with diabolical wit, Cynthia Leitich Smith revisits the deliciously dark parallel world of her novel TANTALIZE, this time with a breathtaking new cast.
Excerpt from ETERNAL:
/Zachary’s point of view /
I’m Miranda’s guardian angel (GA for short). A newbie created after the first atomic blast in 1945. Miranda is my second assignment and my reason for being. Not that she has clue one. She can’t even see me. Nobody can unless I choose to show myself. That’s a no- no.
We GAs have our limits. Sure, we help out when we can, but not in any way that’s clearly detectable . . . or at least traceable (I’m known to push the limits now and then).
Night after night, I watch her sleep. She’s restless. Always restless. I’m forever rearranging the sheets so her legs don’t get tangled. Otherwise, she’ll wake up.
She doesn’t get enough rest as it is. She worries about little mistakes. Or what she frets are mistakes. What other people think of her. What will happen next. All humans do. I wish they could glimpse infinity. It would make glitches like a C in algebra or a nitpicking parent or being ignored by The Guy feel a whole lot less fatal.
I would love to talk to Miranda. To tell her that.
/Miranda’s point of view /
I debate telling Lucy that my dad is in Alaska (or at least floating on a boat around it) with some mysterious woman who’s forging his postcards, that my mom is in the midst of one of her trademark needy phases because of it, and that she may sign off on sending me to a shrink after I tell her about today’s audition.
“My beanbag is possessed,” I reply instead.
“Interesting.” At HORROR, Lucy holds up The Grudge. “What do you think?”
We’ve seen it before. That said, I love movies. Lucy and I have been watching films and munching popcorn — with real butter — on her L-shaped sectional almost every weekend for as long as I can remember, and last summer, my job was working concession at the mall multiplex. “I think —”
“Can I help you ladies fi nd something spooky?” It’s Lucy’s crush, “Kurt,” a fact we deduced early on due to the helpful plastic name tag on his red polo- style shirt.
He’s tall, taller than Lucy — which, for her, is key — a sandy blond, and looks a couple of years older than us. Despite the safety pin stuck through his right nostril, he’s remarkably cute for a DVD rental guy.
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Monster Day Death Gala may be one name for your high school prom. Give us another name.