Like the colorful strokes of her brush, love changes the canvas of their lives.
Lucas is just a small town writer starting a summer internship at the local paper when Julie blows into town like a cyclone. Legs a mile long, ginger hair that curls delicately to the small of her back and a smile that could generate enough energy to power Carltonville for months on end, she is easily a knockout. Unlike the other girls at the high school, though, she simply is what she is—beautiful, smart, confident and an artist to her core—all facts that cause the girls to hate her and the guys to want her.
By some stroke of luck—or so he feels—she is choosing to give Lucas, the quiet writer guy, a chance. It doesn’t add up, but Lucas isn’t going to dispute it. He just prays to the great God in Heaven that he doesn’t screw it up.
The writer and the artist—pen and paint. Is this story a masterpiece that will stand the test of time or will it fade with the summer sun?
General Release Date: 14th June 2016
“Lucas!” A firm hand rapped against my door and I growled, rolling over in bed to peer at the alarm clock poised atop my ever-growing stack of books ‘to read’.
It was seven-forty-five on Tuesday morning. Tuesday, May twenty-third, to be exact. Today I would begin my internship with Alexander Swift, proprietor and, for all intents and purposes, editor of the Carltonville Gazette. It wasn’t the New York Times, The Boston Globe or anything of the sort, but it was a real news office and it would most certainly be a step up from the Eagle Newsletter at school, where Sally Rainwater was editor only because she’d been the most popular person in the room on a random Thursday during assembly.
About twenty minutes later I arrived in the kitchen, freshly showered and wearing black slacks and a blue button-down shirt. Mom was setting loaded plates out on the table—four bright yellow plates to match the sunshine streaming through the open windows. My mom, wearing a pair of jeans and a simple black T-shirt covered with a tattered apron, loved sunshine. She was a kindergarten teacher during the school year, the perfect career for her demeanor.
My father was bent over the newspaper, but don’t be fooled. He wasn’t scanning its contents for new writing techniques or anything remotely creative. He was checking for stocks—reported straight from the Big Apple. The collar of his white starched shirt stuck up in the back. Classic Dad, the ever distracted businessman.
Clara, my younger sister by a year, was reclining in her chair and wearing a thin green T-shirt over her—surely—skimpy bikini to prevent Dad’s annual freak-out over her choice of swimwear. Did I mention that for most of Carltonville High’s student body, today was just the first day of summer vacation?
Clara rejected the plate Mom placed in front of her, instead plucking an apple from the bowl in the center of the table. “Alyssa is picking me up in five.” She took a bite.
Dad’s ears perked up. “Going out to the beach?” He didn’t wait for a response. “Who’s going?”
The inquiry went on as I ate my eggs, toast and bacon, the same inquisition that occurred every first day of summer. Dad dug around for information and Clara skirted around the truth. It was the same result. Dad, charmed by his baby girl, believed Clara and her two best friends were going to the beach sans boys to soak up some sun on the first day of summer when in actuality it would be Clara, her two best friends, plus practically the entire student body of Carltonville High—boys included—as it had been since Clara was thirteen.
She stood at the beep of Alyssa’s horn and pecked Dad’s cheek for good measure, grabbing her bag from where it’d been tucked under her chair and bouncing out of the front door without another word.
My mom, completely aware of Clara’s real plans, bit her toast carefully, checking her watch. “You’d better head out too, Lucas. Don’t want to be late on your first day.”
With that, Mom bought me time to run by and grab some coffee, something she and I had in common. I was about as far from a teacher as you could get, but I could put away a cup of coffee in under three minutes on our ‘commute’ to school—the high and elementary schools of Carltonville were basically the same entity. In fact, the idea of a ‘middle school’ had been eradicated from our schools long ago. Needless to say, my dad detested coffee so much that he banned it from his house. He was definitely the stricter of our parents, the iron fist to mom’s soft lilac.
I climbed in the front seat of Hendleson, my beat-up black Ford, and slammed the door behind me—not out of anger. It jams easily. My grandfather bought Hendleson on March twenty-seventh, 1972—also known as the day my dad was born. Granddad drove that truck until my dad went off to college and he passed it on. My dad was never very fond of Hendleson, though, so the second he raised enough money to buy a car, Hendleson took up a dusty corner of the garage until I got the keys on my sixteenth birthday. Unlike Dad, I loved that piece of scrap metal.
Word Count: 33,949
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Genres: CHICK LIT
Hannah Kay is a cowbell ringing, true maroon wearing writer of young adult fiction and a graduate of English from Mississippi State University. Hannah teaches high school English as a relatable language and hopes to instil a love of reading and writing into her students.
A self-proclaimed wallflower, Hannah published her first short novel, The Artist and Me, with Finch Books in April of 2016, and followed with The Separation in March of 2017. When Hannah isn’t glued to her keyboard, she can be found curled up on the couch watching reruns on TV or singing show tunes at the top of her lungs. Feel free to connect with Hannah on social media for updates!
You can follow Hannah on Instagram here and find her website here.
Reviewed by Marti L.
The Artist and Me is a sweet little romance that will make any girl who reads it wish they had a "Lucas". It was a quick read for me as I read it over the course of a few hours. Though the ending was...
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