Don't Stop Now
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On the first day of Lillian's summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny's home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny's family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil's BFF, Josh. But here's the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn't want to "ruin" their amazing friendship.
Josh has a car and his dad's credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There's something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?
place?” marvels Josh as we walk toward the building. You wouldn’t know it from the approach, but the House on the Rock is a glorious, never-ending collection of FREAK. I have only been here once before, when my extended family stopped during a fishing trip to Minnesota. Its grandiose grotesqueness awed me then, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint now that I’m older. The admission desk has a small line, and when we get up to the teller, a sallow teen with leftover acne, she drones, “Welcome to the
door, which I’m slightly surprised to see Josh has bolted and chained; he seems too carefree to worry about safety. Maybe Wall didn’t feel too savory after midnight. The unlocking causes Josh to stir, so I call, “Good morning.” A mumble comes from Josh’s general direction. “I’m going outside,” I tell him. “Need fresh air.” “Shower,” is all he can say. “Meet me outside when you’re ready,” I tell him, and then I enter the morning air of Wall, which, strangely, doesn’t smell at all of the skunk
ended up with Lillian? My dad wasn’t actually at the hospital when it was time to name me. No, he was at a Cubs game. Which is fine. Life was harder with him around than without him. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get to me a little when I see a dad who seems to care. Would it have been nice to have my dad at my high school graduation? Probably. Would it have been nice to at least get a card in the mail? Yes, it would. But I didn’t. And here Josh sits, bunged that all his dad gave him for
so complicated.” He looks at me as if what he’s saying is the god’s honest truth. That I should just accept it. But I’m tired of accepting things from Josh. “Life doesn’t have to be so complicated?” I ask him, trying to hold it together so I can make a point instead of start crying out of frustration. “Tell that to Penny, who had to fake her own kidnapping to get away from something, or someone, that made her paranoid enough to do such a crazy-ass thing. Tell that to my mom, who had to raise me
marked emergency exit, and Josh follows me as I run up the stairs with abandon. The church is clearly marked with an open entryway, where we see a room filled with multifarious objects, loads of them, displayed haphazardly. I assumed the focus would be all Elvis, all the time, by the name, but the church is crowded with cardboard cutouts of hack movie stars and old instruments, scribbly, unique artwork, and various model heads with wigs. A group of people huddle around an older woman, who by the