Genre: MG Contemporary
Word Count: 47,000
At a time when most eleven-year-olds are navigating first crushes, Sunny Beringer finds herself trying to ignite a spark... between her own parents. That’s when Sunny Beringer’s Totally Awesome Plan for Romance is born--a list of sure-fire ways to make her mom and forever boyfriend Scott, her real dad as far as she’s concerned, fall madly in love again.
Step One: Buy Mom and Dad a gift certificate to a romantic restaurant.
Step Two: Make a playlist of Mom’s favorite love songs and give it to Dad. (The mushier, the better!)
Step Three: Enter “A Perfect Family” contest by writing a paragraph about what a great couple Mom and Dad are. (Win the contest and they’ll have to get back together. Plus, the whole family earns a trip to Disney World!)
Step Four: Cut down flowers from the neighbor’s rose bush and give them to Mom as a gift from a Secret Admirer.
By the time Sunny gets to Number 5 on her list, she knows this spark will need to be more like a wildfire. Her mom is back in school and now they’re living miles and miles away from home. Going to a new school, meeting new friends, and learning to live with a grandmother she doesn’t know isn’t easy. To make matters worse, she uncovers secrets about Mom and Dad’s past that makes her question if she’s ever really had a family at all. Without a marriage, divorce, or custody arrangement Sunny knows if she doesn’t spark a romance between her parents soon, she’ll risk losing the only father she’s ever known.
Gravel crunched under the car wheels as we pulled into a long winding driveway. I stuck my hand in my jeans pocket, running my fingers over the tiny slip of paper I’d found in my fortune cookie at lunchtime.
You will have a pleasant surprise.
I’d had plenty of surprises in the last couple of months, none of them pleasant. The only surprise I wanted now was for Mom to back the car out of the driveway and tell us it had all been a big mistake.My younger sister Autumn bounced up and down on the seat. “This is our new home?”
I stared out the window at a huge white house with black shutters and a porch that wrapped around the side. “This is not our new home,” I corrected her. “It’s our temporary residence.”Autumn ignored me as she got out of the car. “It’s the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen,” she said, almost in a whisper.
It may have looked like something out of one of those magazines you find at the dentist office, but that didn’t mean I wanted to live there. Moving in with our grandmother meant I was now dad-less, best friend-less, and cat-less, which was nothing to be excited about at all.
“Oh, can’t you just feel that fresh mountain air!” Mom exhaled deeply to make her point.
I had no idea what she was talking about. It still felt hot and humid to me, seeing it was the middle of August. I stared at the hazy blue mountains off in the distance.