by Danika Stone
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Can an online romance survive in real life?
Internet sensation Madison Nakama has it all! Her pop-culture rewatch site has a massive following, and fans across the world wait on her every post and tweet. Even Madi’s dismal romantic life seems ready to take off as Laurent, a fellow geek (and unfairly HOT French exchange student!) starts flirting with her in the comments section of her blog. But Laurent’s not the only one watching for Madi’s replies.
Internet fame has a price, and their online romance sparks the unwanted attention of a troll. When Madi’s “real life” hits a rough patch, she feels her whole world crumbling. With Laurent’s support, can Madi rally her friends across the globe to beat the troll, or will he succeed in driving her away from everything―and everyone―she loves?
This guy looked more like a college student than high school senior, but there were too many other clues to ignore. Madi’s stomach twisted. Oh God—there’s no way this is happening.
“You’re Madi,” he repeated. “From the MadLibs blog, right?”
“I am,” she said, then forced a smile. “I know this sounds weird, but how do you pronounce your name?”
“It’s Laurent.” The way he said his name tipped her off: Luh-Ron. It rhymed with Lebron—the accent on the second part of the name—clearly masculine. Laurent Abelard, not Lauren Tabelard! she realized. Madi fought the urge to face-palm.
“I didn’t realize it was you,” she said. “I thought you were a girl.”
“I didn’t either. I thought you were—” He laughed. “I don’t know. Someone else. I expected someone… different.”
“I don’t know. You just look like—like—”
Madi’s wanton perusal came to a screeching halt. What. The. HELL.
“Like what?” she snapped.
“Like a blogger.”
“A blogger? What’s that supposed to mean?!”
He shrugged “I… I don’t know. You’re just not what I expected.”
Madi drew herself up to her full height, vibrating with anger. “Sorry to disappoint you, but there are lots of people who look lots of ways—”
“But I only meant—”
“—and bloggers come in all shapes and sizes—”
“Yes, I know, but—”
“—and MadLibs has a HUGE fanbase! Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to my site each month. I’m eighteen years old. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m not some—some kid, or something!”
Laurent recoiled from the screen, his face blanching. “Ah, non! Ce n’est pas le cas! I-I’m so very sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. I just—I messed up. I didn’t think—I-I—Pardonnez-moi, s’il vous plaît. Je ne veux pas vous ennuyer…” His words tumbled out faster and faster, disappearing into a blur of anxiety-ridden French.
And that was the moment, Madi realized, when she knew she was going to fall and fall hard, because nothing was more romantic than a language you couldn’t understand and a young man who was anything but American who was spouting apologies and wringing his hands. (That doing it onscreen made him look like a matinee idol from some brooding French film was an added bonus.)
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (Icarus and All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.
The first book in Danika’s upcoming Tathagata series (Edge of Wild) was selected as a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013). Edge of Wild (Stonehouse CA) will be released March 2016. Danika’s YA novel, All the Feels (Macmillan US), will be released June 2016.
Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.
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