Pity Isn't An Option
by Jessica Brooks
Seventeen year-old Jonas Norton is trying to come to terms with what his blood disorder has robbed from him, including his two most favorite things: basketball, and competing in Hatchet Racket, Wanless’ annual hatchet-throwing contest. The facts that his father works constantly to pay for his blood tests and Jonas can actually see the disappointment in his eyes for being such a failure only make matters worse. And even worse than all of that? Jonas' own twin brother, Micah, is perfectly healthy and becoming quite the basketball player. Also, Hattie, the girl Jonas has loved for forever? She has no idea how he feels.
Sixteen year-old Hattie Akerman lives down the hill from Jonas. Though her father, Heath, tries to hide his lack of mental clarity behind the bottle and she's pretty much given up on having any kind of relationship with him, she would still rather her younger sister, Lucy, not have to deal with the consequences of his behavior. Hattie helps her mother by baking food to sell at Market and looking out for Lucy. No matter what the rest of the town says about her crazy father, Jonas sticks up for them. He is, by far, her very best friend.
As if things aren’t complicated enough already, Heath and Micah are unexpectedly drafted into President Kendrick's army (an army from which no one ever returns) just days before Thanksgiving. When Heath disappears instead of arriving at the Meeting Place to check in, Hattie and Jonas decide they’ve had enough, and take matters into their own hands. And though nothing could have prepared them for what happens next, Hattie and Jonas learn that hope can be seen in every situation. You just have to know where to look.
My head is cloudy and it hurts, and I don’t want to go to school acting as if nothing is different, because everything will be for the rest of my life. What’s worse is I know that regardless of what’s happening and the fact that our family is about to be torn apart, I can’t miss any more days of school or they might flunk me and give my seat to somebody else.
Money. It always takes precedence.
Precedence. I almost smile, in spite of everything. Jonas would be proud of me for using that word. --Hattie
Jessica resides with her husband of over fifteen years, three awesome daughters, and a plethora of pets in Central California, where fog, frost, triple-digit heat and various items of produce arrive bountifully, depending on the season. She has an affinity for both coffee and owls, and loves to connect with fellow readers and writers on most social networks like Goodreads, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also connect with her on her blog, My Thoughts Exactly.
Jessica writes both young adult and adult fiction. PITY ISN’T AN OPTION is her debut novel.
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