How to Speak Boy
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 7th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Two sworn enemies start to fall in love through anonymous notes in How to Speak Boy, a fun and charming YA novel from Tiana Smith.
Quinn and Grayson have been fierce speech and debate rivals for years. They can’t stand one another, either in competition or in real life.
But when their AP Government teacher returns their school assignments to the wrong cubbies, they begin exchanging anonymous notes without knowing who the other one is.
Despite their differences, the two come together through their letters and find themselves unknowingly falling for the competition. Before the state tournament, the two of them need to figure out what they want out of life, or risk their own future happiness. After all, what’s the point of speech and debate if you can’t say what’s in your heart?
Grayson looked away and I took the opportunity to study his features.
Maybe he didn’t like me scrutinizing him because he took his glasses off and wiped them on the hem of his shirt. He put them back on and adjusted them.
“Glasses suit you,” I said without thinking. I wanted to take the words back, but they were out, so I kept stammering one word after another, like that might somehow erase what I’d said. “I mean, they look right on you. Like, you look good. Ummm, wow, I should stop talking.”
“Nah,” Grayson said with a smile. “I think you should keep talking.”
He was insufferable. I reached over and snatched one of the pillows, then I hit him with it.
“Oh no you didn’t.” He grabbed the pillow from behind his back and then he whacked me across the face. He didn’t hold back either. It knocked me back off the bed so I fell to the floor in a tangle of limbs, laughing so hard I couldn’t move for a minute.
“You are so going to pay for that,” I said between fits of laughter, standing up on still-shaking legs. I gripped the end of the pillow for better leverage and rocked my weight back on my heels. Grayson held his hands in front of his face.
“Wait, wait!” He took his glasses off and put them on the nightstand. “Okay, contin—”
I didn’t wait for him to finish before I smacked him full on in the face.
It was cathartic. Freeing. Surprisingly fun and all I could have wanted in that moment.
He lunged from the bed and tackled me back onto it, his fingers finding the sensitive skin at my waist and squeezing until I squealed.
I was suddenly breathless. Breathless from laughing yes, but more so because his hands were on my waist and I could feel the heat of his fingertips on my skin. Either he was very good at playing games, or he was very bad at being just friends. How did he expect me to think of him that way when his face was only inches away from my own? I sucked in a breath and bit my lip—and that was when someone knocked on the door.
Tiana Smith is a copywriter turned novelist who grew up in the Rocky Mountains. When she isn’t writing, she’s chasing after her ninja boy, reading, or binging the Disney Channel. She’d love to be fluent in sign language, but for now she gets by with awkward hand gestures and even more awkward French. She has double degrees in Honors and English from Westminster College but wants to go back to school to be a lion tamer.
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