No one had ever invited me to join anything before, and I was curious. Problem was, the group leader, Kade Harlin, manipulated each of us in order to achieve his own mega-sick goal. Somehow, he just knew what we each needed, and he played us. For Nora, it was permission to be herself and stop the goody two shoes act. For me, he could tell that I needed a break from babysitting my drunk mom. For Charlotte, it was a hot fling with a guy who found her attractive. Except no one knows if he ever really did like Charlotte, or if he was just trying to keep the League’s “weakest link” close by. In the end, after that horrible thing happened, Kade finally got arrested, but because of stupid legal laws and the clog up in the justice system, he was released early. It made me so angry! Didn’t anyone know he’d be right back to manipulating people in his own psychopathic way?
One thing I’ve shared with a few of the League members is that I want to join the police force as soon as I’m old enough. I’ve always been drawn to the military, to the pursuit of justice. Justice was not served with Kade. He’s a charismatic, confident jerk (read: arrogant) who can talk a snake into walking upright. One day soon, when I’m a police officer, I’m going to run into Mr. Harlin. He’ll think it’s coincidence, and he’ll try to talk me out of taking him in, but it won’t work. I’m going to bide my time until I see him do something that will stick for good, and then I’ll bring the club of justice right down on that creep. What do I want to do before I die? I intend to do everything in my power to make sure that the last person Kade Harlin hurts is himself.
Enough about that psycho creeper, I’ve got other bucket list dreams, too. It’s kinda embarrassing, so you better not laugh, or I’ll have to take you in, too. Okay, so I’m going to get real singing lessons, not just Youtube karaoke. The thing is, I love jazz, and I know I can warble with the best of them. When I’m a cop, I’m going to have loads of money, and then I’m going to sing Billie Holiday for the rest of my life.
I also want to be a foster mother. I know what you’re thinking: me, a mom? But really, I’d make an awesome one. I don’t want kids myself. I mean, for one thing, this planet doesn’t need any more people weighing it down. What about the kids that already exist with lousy moms and dads and no one to care for them? They didn’t ask for a crappy life. I don’t want to adopt anyone, just help out those kiddies until they can find themselves real parents, with real love to give. That’s what we all deserve.
After all that, I’m hoping God will forgive me for the stupid stuff I did this year, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll give me reserved seating in Heaven.
Want to know more about Zoe? Pick up LEAGUE OF STRAYS by L.B. Schulman or fill out the form below and leave a comment on this post by 6:00 PM 11/14/12 for a chance to win a signed copy of the book. Be sure to include a way to contact you either via email or through your blogger profile. We'll notify winners on 11/15.
This suspenseful debut follows a group of teenage misfits in their delicious quest for revenge on those who have wronged them at their high school. When a mysterious note appears in Charlotte’s mailbox inviting her to join the League of Strays, she’s hopeful it will lead to making friends. What she discovers is a motley crew of loners and an alluring, manipulative ringleader named Kade. Kade convinces the group that they need one another both for friendship and to get back at the classmates and teachers who have betrayed them. But Kade has a bigger agenda. In addition to vandalizing their school and causing fights between other students, Kade’s real intention is a dangerous plot that will threaten lives and force Charlotte to choose between her loyalty to the League and her own conscience.
Praise for League of Strays
"A group of misfits is drawn together by a charismatic, sinister boy for friendship and revenge."
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L.B. Schulman writes middle-grade and young adult books. LEAGUE OF STRAYS is her debut YA novel, published by Abrams/Amulet. She lives in California with her husband, two daughters, and a pair of magnificent mutts.
Her website: lbschulman.com