Share this Manuscript
When Jordyn Michaelson's autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she's determined not to let anyone know they're related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can't shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.
Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?
It all happened so fast.
Even though we couldn't find anything else in the darkness, we had no trouble finding each other. His hands fell to my hips, like they belonged there. I felt myself being pressed against the rickety wooden shelves, the firm, warm heat of his bare chest against my damp skin.
I gave into everything and dropped my hands to his waist. When I did, Alex finally lowered his head to kiss me. His lips crashed against mine without hesitation, on the most natural course in the world. They were soft and full and he caught mine between his teeth before softening the kiss and entering my mouth.
My tongue met his, and a ragged noise escaped Alex's mouth and echoed in the darkness.
For about two minutes… my walls were down. I twisted my legs around his calves. I pulled him into me at the same time he pulled me into him, and I gave up the idea of holding anything back. It was so easy in the dark and for the first time I allowed myself to have something, without considering what would have to be sacrificed or what it meant in the context of my life. For about two minutes, I was honest. I told Alex everything.
But I'd spent sixteen and a half years constructing walls, or allowing walls to be constructed around me.
A single kiss, even the best kiss in the history of kisses, was not enough to bring them down.
A 2016 Carolyn W. Field Honor Book
"A budding romance with family drama and a feel-good ending.” —School Library Journal
"A book of acceptance, bravery, and most of all, love. It’s a book that will touch everyone’s hearts.” —Bibliophile Soprano
"Powerful and emotional, and it brings autism to light in a way I had never considered it before . . . It’s an impactful story about love, compassion, and the power of your voice.” —Snuggly Oranges
"You know a story captures your attention when you need to get the tissue box to continue reading through your tears." —Mindy Gebert, Swoon Reader
"What a wonderfully written and poignant story! This story hit me from two angles—one as the sibling of a person with a disability and the other as a high school guidance counselor. A beautiful story woven with just enough romance and drama to keep you on your toes." —Casey, Swoon Reader
"This was an excellent book! The details and plot were realistic, relatable and highly recommended to anyone looking for a phenomenal story to read. So glad my teacher showed me this!" —Sophia, Swoon Reader
"The story is really one-of-a-kind. It blends together style, plot, and humor perfectly, with a bit of tragedy and well-deserved tears. Many aspects of this book I found relatable to my own life. My own brother is mildly autistic, so I can connect to Phillip's oddities and Jordyn's occasional frustration but ongoing love. All of it is realistic and believable." —KC Feldman, Swoon Reader
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
Every girl has imagined what it’s like to play a princess at one of the most popular theme park in the world, right? (looks left…looks right) I mean… it’s not just me, right? There’s something about the idea of embodying one of those iconic fairy tale princesses that makes it seems like fun more than work ...read morefun, teen, author, announcement, book, young adult, How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, romance, YA, love, How to Say I Love You Out Loud, The Truth About Happily Ever After, summer, princess, reading, new, fiction, Swoon Reads, story, contemporary, news, Karole Cozzo