The Obvious Game
by Rita Arens
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Release Date: Feb 7th, 2013
“Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn’t notice at first.”
"Your shirt is yellow."
"Your eyes are blue."
"You have to stop running away from your problems."
"You're too skinny."
Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse's past with her own secrets -- which she'll protect at any cost.
Praise for The Obvious Game:
“I couldn’t put down The Obvious Game. Arens perfectly captures the hunger, pain and uncertainty of adolescence.” -- Ann Napolitano, author of A GOOD HARD LOOK and WITHIN ARM'S REACH
"THE OBVIOUS GAME is a fearless, honest, and intense look into the psychology of anorexia. The characters—especially Diana--are so natural and emotionally authentic that you’ll find yourself yelling at the page even as you’re compelled to turn it." -- Coert Voorhees, author of LUCKY FOOLS and THE BROTHERS TORRES
"Let’s be clear about one thing: there’s nothing obvious about The Obvious Game. Arens has written a moving, sometimes heart-breaking story about one girl’s attempt to control the uncontrollable. You can’t help but relate to Diana and her struggles as you delve into this gem of a novel." -- Risa Green, author of THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL
When we were in seventh grade, Amanda and I snuck out of her house one foggy Saturday night to meet her boyfriend, Matt. We spent more time planning our escape than we did actually conducting it.
We’d made a list while pretending to do our homework:
Wrap flashlights with black electrical tape. (check)
Make fake bodies out of pillows to hide in our sleeping bags. (check)
Booby-trap her bedroom door with string across the threshold so we could see if her mom had tried to check on us. (check)
Assemble all-black outfits, complete with stocking caps, so we would blend in with the shadows as we walked. (check)
Arrange the rendezvous point ahead of time with Matt: the third-grade playground at the elementary school. (check)
It wasn’t until we’d successfully shimmied down the fence, jogged the four blocks up the street, and seen Matt sitting there alone on the seesaw that I realized I had nothing at all to do while they giggled and kissed. I’d been so caught up in the planning portion of our escape that I didn’t notice how pathetic my part in it seemed.
I twirled on the swings across the playground and out of view, once again pretending to be totally cool with it. The thing was, though, I wasn’t cool with it. I felt about as important as the guy who wrote the cooking instructions for Pop-Tarts.
We probably would’ve stayed there for hours if I hadn’t finally strode over to the jungle gym, coughing and kicking rocks as I went. Amanda poked her head out.
“What’s up, Diana?”
“Can we go soon? I forgot to bring a book.”
Her expectant smile turned sour. “Okay,” she finally said, disappearing in the darkness. “Just five more minutes.”
I wandered to the edge of the playground, thought about turning back on my own, letting her get caught out there by herself. But I wouldn’t. That’s what friends are for. She knew it. I knew it.
Everyone trusted me. Good old dependable Diana. Which was why most people didn’t notice at first that I was in trouble.
A little bit about Rita ...
Rita Arens is the author of The Obvious Game and the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology Sleep Is for the Weak. She writes the popular blog Surrender, Dorothy (www.surrenderdorothyblog.com) and lives in Kansas City with her husband and daughter. The Obvious Game is her first young adult novel. She is at work on a second.
Rita has been a featured speaker at BlogHer 2012, BEA Bloggers Conference 2012, BlogHer Writers 2011, BlogHer 2011, Blissdom 2011, Alt Summit 2010, BlogHer 2010, BlogHer 2008 and BlogHer 2009, the 2008 Kansas City Literary Festival and 2009 Chicks Who Click and appeared on the Walt Bodine Show in 2008.
She’s been quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek, The Associated Press, Forbes Woman, the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek and Businessweek Online and featured in Breathe magazine, Get Your Biz Savvy, The Kansas City Star (archived material available on request), Today Moms (Today Show blog) and Ink KC.
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