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Former pop star Heather Wells has settled nicely into her new life as assistant dorm director at New York Collegeâa career that does not require her to drape her size 12 body in embarrassingly skimpy outfits. She can even cope (sort of) with her rocker ex-boyfriend's upcoming nuptials, which the press has dubbed The Celebrity Wedding of the Decade. But she's definitely having a hard time dealing with the situation in the dormitory kitchenâwhere a cheerleader has lost her head on the first day of the semester. (Actually, her head is accounted forâit's her torso that's AWOL.)
Surrounded by hysterical studentsâwith her ex-con father on her doorstep and her ex-love bombarding her with unwanted phone callsâHeather welcomes the opportunity to play detective...again. If it gets her mind off her personal problemsâand teams her up again with the gorgeous P.I. who owns the brownstone where she livesâit's all good. But the murder trail is leading the average-sized amateur investigator into a shadowy world. And if she doesn't watch her step, Heather will soon be singing her swan song!
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The guy behind the counter is checking me out. No, really.
He's hot, too. Well, in a twenty-year-old barista kind of way. I bet he plays the guitar. I bet he stays up way too late at night, strumming, the way I do. I can tell by the slight shadows under his long-lashed green eyes, and the way his curly blond hair is sticking up in spikes all over his head. Bed head. No time to shower before work, because he was up so late practicing. Just like me.
"What'll it be?" he asks me. But with a look. A look that definitely says, I'm checking you out.
I know I'm the one he's checking out because there's no one in line behind me.
Well, and why shouldn't he check me out? I look good. I mean, the parts of me you can see through my bulky winter outerwear, anyway. I fully put on mascara and cover-up this morning (unlike Barista Boy, I like to disguise my undereye circles). And what with my parka, you can't see the fourâwell, okay, tenâpounds I put on over the holidays. Because who counts calories when it's Christmas? Or New Year's? Or after New Year's, when all that Christmas candy is on sale? There's plenty of time to get in shape again for bikini season.
And, okay, I've been telling myself that for the past five or six years, and I still haven't actually tried it yetâgetting in shape for bikini season, I mean. But who knows? Maybe this year. I have two days of vacation due to me, all I've accrued since passing my employment probationary period in October. I could go to Cancún. And, okay, just for the weekend. But still.
So what if I'm fiveâwell, maybe eightâyears older than Barista Boy? I've still got it. Obviously.
"Grande cafÃ© mocha, please," I say. I'm totally not into foamy drinks with whipped cream on top of them, but it's the first official day of spring semester (spring! Right!), and it's really cold out and supposed to blizzard later, and Cooper left this morning (for destinations unknown, as usual) without turning on the coffeemaker, and my dog Lucy wouldn't go out because it was so cold, so I'll probably find a nice surprise from her when I get home, and I really need a little pick-me-up to help me quit feeling so sorry for myself.
Plus, you know, as long as I'm blowing five bucks on a cup of coffee, I might as well go for the gold.
"One grande cafÃ© mocha, coming up," Barista Boy says, doing one of those flippy things with my cup. You know, twirling it, like it's a gun and he's an outlaw in a western.
Oh, yeah. He definitely plays guitar. I wonder if he sits around writing songs he can never work up the guts actually to perform, like me? I wonder if he's constantly second-guessing his songwriting talent, like I am?
No. He's got the guts to get up in front of a crowd with a guitar and his own lyrics. I mean, just look at him.
"Soy or nonfat?" he asks.
Oh, God. I can't face my first day back to work after break on nonfat milk. And soy? Soy?
"Whole milk, please," I say. I'll be good later. At lunch I'll just have a chicken parm and a salad, and maybe just a bite of lo-cal frozen yogurt. . . .
Mmmm, unless Magda got in more Dove Bars. . . .
"You know," Barista Boy says, as he rings me up, "you look really familiar."
"Oh," I say. I'm blushing with pleasure. He remembers me! He must see hundreds, maybe thousands of caffeine-starved New Yorkers a day, but he remembers me! Fortunately it's so cold outside, and so warm in here, my red cheeks could easily be taken for the fact that I'm overheating in my coat, and not that I'm kvelling over his remembering me....
Size 14 Is Not Fat EitherBy: Meg Cabot