Excerpt: Girl Last Seen - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Excerpt: Girl Last Seen

Girl Last Seen—the sharply written, twisty debut from Nina Laurin—hits bookstores today, but you can get a taste of what to expect right now! Then, you can dive straight in and get lost in this highly anticipated thriller about a girl who faces her terrifying past.

Pre-order now: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble ✦

About Girl Last Seen

Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact…

I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl.

And now there is.

Excerpt

In the books and movies, the broken girl always dies at the end. Sometimes she’s allowed one final heroic act, one last snarky line before she goes out. Maybe she sacrifices herself to save the real hero, or maybe her death is just a meaningless accident, an afterthought. But she always dies, because she’s too tarnished to live.

Every time I see her die, I’m jealous. That should have been me, a long time ago.

It would have been better for everybody if I had just died, like they presumed I had—for years before I was found. Especially for me, the nameless, voiceless creature that was born out of Ella Santos’s remains, an abomination. A living dead girl.

They had to give this voiceless creature, this Frankenstein’s monster covered in scars and stitches, a new name at random because the creature couldn’t speak to pick one for herself. The most I ever had the wherewithal to do was drop that last y from Lainey, turning it into Laine, one syllable. Sounds like something you’d find on a highway.

I will probably never know what exactly glitched in my kidnapper’s mind that made him decide to take a risk, to allow me to live. I’ve never given up wondering, though. And I never could quite let go of the suspicion that some nameless force in the universe was saving me for something even worse.

Now, as my sneakers rhythmically hit the pavement, the shock of impact thudding in my bone marrow, I can’t help but wonder if this is it.

I was spared so I could do something, help the next one. And a darker thought: I was spared so that I could watch it all happen again, unable to do anything about it.

I focus on the burning in my lungs, the steady fire kindling in my leg muscles, but it’s not enough to keep my thoughts from drifting to the thing burning in my pocket, folded up next to my phone in half, then fourths, then eighths, until the layers of paper refused to bend. Charlene gave me four posters to put up, but only three are still there, next to the flashy yellow flyers advertising a discount on whole chickens. Charlene is of an exacting nature, just like everything about her suggests, and she will probably notice, but hopefully, she won’t think it’s me. She’ll think one of the shoppers decided to snatch it off the wall and keep it for some unknown reason.

I catch myself with my hand in my pocket like a thief, when it’s too late. The thick folded edge of the poster brushes the back of my hand, and to distract myself, I take out my phone instead and check the screen. Nobody ever calls me, and I’m not on any social media, unlike pretty much everyone my age. No one expressly told me to stay off it—it’s just an ingrained instinct too strong to go against: the instinct to hide.

Excerpted from GIRL LAST SEEN by Nina Laurin. Copyright © 2017 Ioulia Zaitchik
. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

Giveaway

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