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Sway

Kat Spears

St. Martin's Griffin

In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or "Sway," as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want---term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.

But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?

A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion---until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.


BOOK EXCERPTS

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The first time I ever heard Bridget Smalley’s name, it was a day like any other. There was no reason for me to think everything was about to change. That’s the way life happens, why you have to be able to see all the angles every time you make a choice. What’s true today might not be true tomorrow.

When the last bell of the day rang, my butt was already halfway out of my seat and I took the stairs two at a time to the first floor. A group of chattering girls banged through the stairwell door and I stepped back to let them go by me. As they passed,

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REVIEWS

Praise for Sway

“Sharp dialogue, edgy humor, and an unlikely hero make this page-turner a winner.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
A compelling debut told with swagger and real depth.” —Kirkus (starred review)
 
“Spears’ debut novel sets an update on Cyrano de Bergerac in a contemporary high school, with noir undertones… Raw, honest…A gritty take on the male high school experience.”—Booklist
 
"A page turner about high school’s victims and villains — and about layers of callousness that spring from true grief. "—Meg Medina, Pura Belpre award-winning author of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
 
"[The] characters are fantastic and real, but that plot? The licks and riffs that led to Jesse's transformation totally blew me away, every damn page."—Gigi Amateau, author of Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Kat Spears

  • Kat Spears has worked as a bartender, museum director, housekeeper, park ranger, business manager, and painter (not the artistic kind). She holds an M.A. in anthropology, which has helped to advance her bartending career. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and three freeloading kids. Sway is her debut novel.
  • Kat Spears Kristin Seward Photography
    Kat Spears
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Available Formats and Book Details

Sway

Kat Spears

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

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