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Welcome! My name is Haley, I'm a 27 year old book-aholic. I'm a book reviewer for the RiverTalk Newspaper. I love reading YA, NA, and adult paranormal mostly, but I do go into other genres on occasion. If you want to talk more one on one about books, please don't hesitate to contact me on facebook or twitter, I love making new bookish friends!

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Title: Second to No One by Natalie Palmer
Details: 253 pages, Contemporary YA
Purchase: Goodreads . Amazon

“Things change. People change. Jess and I weren’t above it.”

Gemma’s first year of high school isn’t starting out the way she hoped. Jess is back from California and before she can memorize her class schedule their summer romance comes to a screeching halt. To add to her misery the gorgeous new girl in school also has eyes for Jess and despite Gemma’s unfailing attempts to win him back she keeps finding herself alone.

But when a late night car crash lands her a three month grounding and twenty hours of community service she discovers that there’s more to life than just romance and boyfriends.

Unpredictable and heart wrenching, Second to No One is the perfect continuation to the magical beginning of the Gemma and Jess romance.

Natalie Palmer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English Literature. She resides in the Gilbert, Arizona with her husband and three energetic children.

Getting inside the head of a guy…

My books may be written from the perspective of my female character, Gemma Mitchell, but anyone who’s read my series’ first book, Second Kiss will know that the only thing any of us really care about is the boy who lives across the street, Jess Tyler.

So who is Jess Tyler? He’s this perfectly flawed, ruggedly sweet, mysteriously honest best-friend that may or may not be way too good for Gemma (the jury’s still out). But he loves her anyway which gives the rest of us insecure females the hope that the amazing men in our lives (or at least hot even if they’re not always so amazing) will love us despite all our flaws.

Mmmm, Jess. He’s a complete figment of my imagination and yet he’s floating around in the deepest, darkest crevices of girl’s fantasies all over the world. So how did I do it? How did I get into this beautiful boys head and say it like he would say it… and do it like he would do it…

You want embarrassing truth? I’ve been talking to myself for a very, very long time. Longer than I can remember really, which is quite scary. When I say talking to myself I mean full blown conversations. Not with myself though, with imaginary people. I’m not certifiable here, I knew they weren’t there but I talked to them anyway and more often than not, they were boys. So here I am, age fourteen and I’m brushing my teeth while chatting with this imaginary guy, just making up things he would say and what I would say back and sometimes they were glorious conversations of him confessing his love for me and sometimes they were fights or make-ups or break-ups and after a while I got pretty good at coming up with the boy’s side of the conversation. I put myself in his shoes. I looked at the conversation from his point of view and then I made him react the way I decided he would react if he were real. Even if the way he reacted made me want to tear my hair out.

As you can imagine my pretend world slightly affected my for reals world. I got frustrated very easily at human boys when they didn’t respond to me in the way that my metaphysical ones did. But then I started using these frustrating moments for good. I learned from them and incorporated these experiences into my pretend places so that finally, after years of practice, I was beginning to have a handle on these boyish humans. Not enough that I didn’t want to scream at them every once in a while but enough that I felt like I could sit down and create a story about one of them and make him pretty stinking believable.

So tell me, am I the only one? Or do you have conversations with fictional characters while you’re blow drying your hair, too? Because it would be nice to know that there are more of you out there. I guess I’ve never really talked to anyone about it because it would be kind of weird to show up to first period and announce that my imaginary boyfriend and I broke up last night. So spill it people. Leave a comment. Tell me your secrets. Because I just told you mine.

And while you’re deciding what to reveal take a look this Gemma and Jess moment in my newest book of the series, Second to No One.


My attention was pulled from my Cheerios with the way he said her name. It was obvious that he held her on a pedestal and that aggravated me more than I wanted it to. “What about Lauren?”
“I’m just surprised that she left, that’s all. But she wasn’t driving. She probably tried to get Bryce to turn around, and he wouldn’t. That’s probably what happened.”
“You don’t know that,” I said, a little perturbed. “Why are you defending her?”
Jess shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. I just think she’s a good person.”
I felt the molars in the back of my mouth starting to grind together. “Do you like her or something?”
Jess didn’t look flustered or caught off guard by my question, but I definitely didn’t get the resolute, “Heck, no!” that I was looking for. “I don’t know,” he said thoughtfully. “I mean, I think that would be weird. She’s your good friend.”
What was that supposed to mean? That he would like her if she and I weren’t good friends? In that moment, I saw it all laid out before me. Because of me, they wouldn’t date, but secretly, they’d be obsessing endlessly for each other. Every single day, the romantic tension between them would grow thicker and thicker. Meanwhile, Lauren would become Jess’s main focus in life, the
heroin of his personal love story, and I would become, well, nothing but the ex-girlfriend coming between them and their perfect ending. “You should date her.” I found myself saying, not because I really wanted them to date—in fact, I’d rather have my toenails plucked out one by one—but I said it because it was better than the alternative.
“Really?” Jess acted like it was a novel idea, but I could tell the thought had definitely crossed his mind.
“Sure,” I feigned innocence. “I mean, what happened between you and me is in the past. I’ve moved on to Trace. You should move on too.”
Jess watched me carefully. “So you and Trace are official?” I wasn’t sure if he was happy or sad about that. (I neglected to think about the fact that it wasn’t true anyway.)
I studied his expression and tried to figure out a way to respond. “Yeah, I mean. As official as you can get in high school.” “Huh.” Jess stared at the counter in front of him.
“I know Lauren likes you,” I heard myself say. “She told me last night.” I watched his reaction carefully, willing him to turn green and nauseous at the idea of dating Lauren. But that didn’t happen. Not even close.
“I don’t know.” Jess finally said. “I guess I’ll have to think about it.”


Obsession with Books said...

I really enjoyed the first book and hope to find a moment to read this one as well. Jess is a pretty perfect book boyfriend.

A great excerpt and guest post, I have to admit I don't find myself talking to fictional characters ;-) although I do mutter to myself..

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