Only five months to go until Un-DIE is released! And a very few Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) have begun to be sent out to sales reps and book reviewers in the United States. However, it was discovered after-the-fact that a 1 1/2 page section was accidentally dropped in the printing process.
Of course the problem will be fixed by the time the actual book is published in May. But in the meantime I got special permission from HarperCollins to reveal the dropped text here on my blog. And to celebrate the fact that I am actually allowed to share a sizable section of text, I made a video of me reading it which you can see just below the passage.
And here is your sneak peek at (what starts as) an everyday scene with Kate and Vincent. For those who have an ARC, this begins at the beginning of Chapter 6.
Before meeting Vincent, my days all seemed to speed by like one of those passage-of-time visual metaphors in movies that show pages falling off a calendar. But lately, every day seemed significant: The first time Vincent met my grandparents. The first movie date (Holy Grail, where Vincent earned major points by quoting the best bits in English right along with me). Our first New Year’s together.
Today was my last day of freedom before school resumed post-holidays, marking exactly one year and one semester to go before my high school education was officially over. Which made it another significant day. So of course I planned on spending it doing the thing I loved most.
I flitted down our building’s creaky wooden staircase with a feeling of elation buoying my footsteps. The whole day stretched out in front of me like a new country to explore. With my favorite person.
I caught sight of him as soon as I stepped out the door. Shaking my head in disbelief, I jogged to the park across the street and pushed through the metal gate.
“What are you doing? I thought we were going out for breakfast,” I laughed, pointing at the picnic blanket he was lying on, with wicker basket and thermos by his side.
“You can’t get much more ‘out’ than this,” Vincent responded, his eyes hidden by mirrored sunglasses.
His languid smile did its regular job on me: It was as if an invisible hand took my insides and squeezed. Hard. It happened every time. And it made me wish that I could freeze-frame the moment and stand there feeling that delicious, squeezy feeling for the rest of my life.
Inhale and then exhale, I reminded myself. I tore my gaze away from his face and noticed that he was cocooned in a warm coat, wool scarf, and knitted cap, with his dark hair waving out from underneath. He lay back on his elbows, propped on the blanket that was spread across the frozen grass.
“Let me get this right. We’re having a picnic in January in the freezing cold?” My breath came out in a warm puff of mist as I stood above him, hands on my hips.
He pulled off his glasses, and the amusement in his eyes warmed me more efficiently than a bonfire. “I thought we could have a day of doing things we’ve never done before. I’ve never had a picnic in January. Have you?”
I shook my head and, bemused, sank down onto the blanket next to him.
“Perfect,” he concluded. “Since it has to be something that neither of us has ever done, this totally counts.”
I glanced at the people walking by: mainly businesspeople carrying briefcases and backpack-wearing tourists out for an early start. They all stared at us as if the park was a circus and we were its freak-show headliners, and a few laughed out loud. Vincent said, “I hope you don’t mind spectators,” and then leaned forward and took my face in his hands, kissing me.
“I think I can deal.” I grinned, and then shivered as he let me go.