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The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That's all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a horrible cyberbullying incident. Now she's been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can't look her in the eye.
With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates, almost as much as she hates herself. But then she meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it's like when one mistake shatters your life. He shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.
"You want to hear a dirty little secret?"
I'm smiling again. "Sure."
He hoists a nylon sports bag onto his lap, unzips it, and lifts the top. "I'm addicted to cafeteria Jell-O."
I stare inside the bag, where he must have about a dozen plastic containers squirreled away: lemon-lime, orange, and the coveted black cherry.
"How'd you get your hands on those?" I ask, pointing at the dark red goo. "I've only worked here a few weeks, and I've already seen some wheelchair wars break out over the last container of black cherry."
"I'm not gonna lie. I flirt with Peggy."
Now I laugh for real, throwing my head back, imagining Pax kicking game to the perpetually cranky eighty-year-old cafeteria manager.
"Hey, there's no shame in my game. I love this stuff. And Peggy's actually pretty sweet."
"I don't believe it!"
I'm still laughing and smiling, and Pax nods in the direction of the automatic doors. "Looks like maybe you're ready," he says quietly. "Sometimes you've just got to face the worst head-on. Get it over with."
"Cozzo has created a well-written YA novel featuring a main character with a disability. ... Pax and Nikki’s love story is natural and gradual and feels authentic to the teen experience. Recommended for readers who appreciate tales filled with redemption and forgiveness and positive portrayals of teens and young adults with disabilities." —School Library Journal
"I have read a lot of good books lately and I am not easy to please, but this book was simply fantastic. If you want a cute, emotional, romantic read with some great character development, you’ve found it." —Kookie Krysp Reads
"This book put me through an emotional wringer and never let up. Not only did it make me cry (always a big bonus in my book), but I also found myself laughing at times, getting angry at others, and completely swooning over the plethora of sweet moments between Nikki and Pax. This is the single biggest factor that made this book shine for me—I felt so incredibly emotionally invested in these characters that I felt their every joy and pain." —Feed Your Fiction Addiction
“How to Keep Rolling After a Fall's got everything I look for in contemporary YA romance. It’s a perfect mash-up of the thoughtful family dynamic of a Sarah Dessen story, the complex friendships of an Emery Lord novel, and the sexy edginess of a Miranda Kenneally book.” —Katy Upperman, author of Kissing Max Holden
"Five stars, easily. This is how a Young Adult novel is done. From the writing to the characterization to the plot to the pacing to the message—I recommend it to any teen or anyone with a teen daughter. Just excellent." —Teamskelley, Goodreads Reviewer
November has come and gone in the blink of an eye. For some people, that’s a good thing. Some people are chomping at the bit to string up those holiday lights before they’ve even digested their turkey dinner. Some people are already scouting cyber Monday deals. Some people, oh I don’t know, might be going to a ...read moreadvice, NaNoWriMo, karole cozzo, NaNoWriMo2016, How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, pep talk
Coincidentally, it seems my weekly August blog posts have been alternating between serious and deep… and a bit lighter. Which means—yay!—it’s time for a fun post! My books always have a mental soundtrack. And my books always have a mental aesthetic. Sometimes I even bring these images/concepts to life because 1.) us creative types are usually ...read moremusic, writing, books, Swoon Reads, How to Say I Love You Out Loud, The Truth About Happily Ever After, How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, Karole Cozzo, soundtrack, author
Hey Swoon Reads community! I want to share with you a very personal narrative I penned back in January 2016… For me, one of the most important aspects of a story, something I like to pride myself on focusing on as a writer, is emotional honesty. My characters experience emotions honestly, even when said emotions aren’t pretty. That being ...read morepersonal, writing, writer, rejection, no, experience, Swoon Reads, How to Say I Love You Out Loud, The Truth About Happily Ever After, How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, Karole Cozzo, author
As a proud and prolific planner, I’m a huge fan of character development worksheets. I dare say one of my favorite aspects of the writing process is sitting down with a freshly printed blank sheet and getting to know my characters. However, the questions that really get me going are those that force me to think about my characters ...read morewriting, wisdom, character, How to Say I Love You Out Loud, Swoon Reads, process, The Truth About Happily Ever After, How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, Karole Cozzo, writer, development, author
2016 thus far has been a great year at Swoon Reads. The online community continues to grow and thrive, bringing new readers and writers together. New staff members have been added to bring their expertise to the team. And there are now 34 books either published or on their way to publication. 2016 thus far for the world outside of ...read moreescape, author, place, hope, reading, Karole Cozzo, How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, world, The Truth About Happily Ever After, young adult, Swoon Reads, How to Say I Love You Out Loud, books, fiction, YA, writing