This is my post during the blog tour for Life and Other Complications by Heather Mullaly. This story is a new young adult contemporary book in which a 17 year old girl can’t bring herself to tell her friends the truth about how she contracted HIV so she writes to the one person who might understand, a girl she’s never met.
This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and runs from 5 till 18 July. See the tour schedule here.
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Life and Other Complications by Heather Mullaly
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 5 July, 2021
Seventeen-year-old Aly Bennett has been in love with her friend Luke for years. She hasn’t told him how she feels for two reasons. 1) She’s the girl with HIV. 2) She lied about how she got it. Aly never meant to lie. The words just slipped out on her first day of a support group for kids living with life-threatening conditions. It was the day she met Luke and Caroline, who would become her best friends and the closest thing she has to a family. After so many years, Aly doesn’t know how to tell her friends the truth. So she paints and she runs and she tries not to think about the future she can’t have. But when a Boston prosecutor asks Aly to testify in a trial—and her relationship with Luke intensifies—things become complicated. If she testifies, Luke and Caroline will learn the truth—that Aly has been lying to them for most of a decade. If she doesn’t, a monster could go free, again.
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Excerpt from Life and Other Complications:
Tonight, Caroline and I ended up in her bed eating ice cream while Hacksaw House IV played on mute in the background.
“You don’t want to go in there,” Caroline said to the three girls who were approaching the ridiculously creepy house.
“You know they aren’t going to listen.”
“I know. It’s as if they have no sense of self-preservation.”
The girls went into the house and explored, giving us plenty of time to build up our sense of dread before the shadow of a man wielding an ax appeared on the wall.
I pointed at the ax with my ice cream spoon. “You would think the ax would be a clue that it was time to leave.”
“No,” Caroline said. “They haven’t run yet. They have to run and scream and one of them has to sacrifice herself to try and give the others a chance to escape.”
“They could have just not gone into the house in the first place.”
“But then there wouldn’t be any blood or horrible acting.”
“They could have had horrible acting somewhere else.”
Caroline shook her head. “It wouldn’t be the same.”
On the screen, one girl got an ax to the stomach, and I had to look away. “That’s disgusting.”
Caroline looked from me to the girl whose guts were pouring out of her belly. “Then why are we watching this?”
“Because you like it.”
“Aww.” Caroline wrapped her arms around me. “You’re such a good friend. I would let myself get eviscerated for you.”
“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”
“How about Hacksaw III? Everyone dies off-screen.”
“Sure,” I said.
Caroline switched movies, and we started again with three other girls approaching the ridiculously creepy house. The makers of the Hacksaw series apparently don’t believe in deviating too far from a theme. Shockingly, they haven’t won any Oscars yet.
Eventually, Caroline fell asleep. But I lay awake staring at the images on the screen.
I don’t know why Luke and Caroline became my friends. I just know that I love them, and I don’t want to lose them.
But the trial changes everything. They’re going to find out about Rick, and what happened in Boston, and that I lied to them. That I’ve been lying to them since the day we met.
On the screen, a girl ran silently through the house. There was no escape. She couldn’t change what was going to happen. All she could do was postpone the inevitable. But she kept running. Because she couldn’t bring herself to let go.
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Heather Mullaly is a passionate believer in the power of story. When she isn’t writing them, reading them, or listening to them, she can usually be found baking something that involves chocolate, thinking up new story ideas before she’s finished the two she’s currently writing, or hanging out with her family, who happen to be even more fantastic than the characters in her head. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their three teenagers.
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There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Life and Other Complications. Three winners will win an $10 Amazon gift card. For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter image below:
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