Ten bestselling, critically acclaimed authors deliver a fresh novel of interconnected stories that follows a group of young adults over the course of a few wild, transformative hours at an epic house party!
The biggest event of the year is happening, and you’re invited! Join us for Florence Hills High School seniors’ last hurrah before graduation.
THE LOCATION: A megamansion in one of Chicago’s wealthiest suburban enclaves
THE HOST: DeAndre Dixon, aka FHHS’s golden boy
THE GUESTS: The populars, the jocks, the artists, and heck, even that one kid
THE HOPE: All the drama ensues. Kisses are swapped between old friends, new friends, and could’ve-sworn-they-were-enemies kind of friends. Relationships get tested. Animals roam free. Secrets are spilled. Add dope music that’s thumping, and there’s a good chance the whole neighborhood will be disrupted.
Featuring: Angeline Boulley • Jerry Craft • Natasha Díaz • Lamar Giles • Christina Hammonds Reed • Ryan La Sala • Yamile Saied Méndez • justin a. reynolds • Randy Ribay • Jasmine Warga
House Party offers a delightful snapshot of diverse classmates getting ready to say goodbye to high school and hello to life’s next chapter—but not before they make their final night together one they’ll never forget!
An Excerpt fromHouse Party
It’s Friday, and your boy’s on a mission. Our main objectives, in no particular order, are as follows:
□ Get invited to DeAndre’s house party.
□ Convince Sadie to go to said party.
AT THE PARTY
□ Confess feelings to Mia.
□ Maybe make out with Mia?
□ Secure GOAT status.
ACTION ITEM #1: Convince Sadie to go to the party.
Trap sprung, I throw the kitchen island spotlight onto the intruder and yell, “Yo, you jacking my strudel?!”
“Dude, no,” Sadie says, shielding her eyes from the accusatory halogen. “Just no.”
I grab a rolling pin from the nearest drawer and slap it into my palm a few times, like a nightstick. Except this nightstick is still caked with dough. Man, our dishwasher sucks.
Me, I suck. I’m the dishwasher.
I scowl at my best friend since second grade. “What, you think you can just waltz into my home, broad daylight, and cherry strudel jack me with impunity, Sadie Bernbaum?”
Sadie cuts her eyes, unfazed. “Ha, you wish I’d jack your little nonpopped cherry strudel, but I’m on a strict no-corny-dude diet, sorry.”
“Wooow, for real?” I put the dirty rolling pin back, then pluck the last frozen pastry from the box. “And you didn’t put the box back in the freezer? You’re savage.”
She winks at me, smushing her last bite of my all-time favorite breakfast treat into her mouth with the ferocity of a world-champion eater. “So they say.”
Except her mouth’s full so it sounds more like: Schlo dey shay.
“Hmph,” I say, locking my Trust me, you don’t want this smoke eyes onto hers as I rip open the last packet of strudels with my bare hands.
“Hmph,” I say again, eyes still locked, as I . . . as I . . . Damn you, kidproof packaging!
Sadie holds out her hand. “Need an adult?” she asks, reading my mind when I wish she’d mind her own.
“Why, you know one?” I elevate my package-ripping mission to my mouth, setting the plastic onto my canines to open it with my teeth, but there’s a gap between my top and bottom teeth from not wearing my retainer back in middle school, so yes, my parents paid thousands for an under-overbite, Thankssss, guys. The retainer made my cheeks even bulgier than normal, like I was having a permanent allergic reaction. Or stashing acorns. Plus, I couldn’t talk with that thing; I sounded like the love child of Donald Duck and that teacher from Charlie Brown, so every morning, the second I got on the bus, I ditched the retainer.
I pull a knife from the block like it’s the Sword in the Stone and slice the wrapper’s corner clean off, one swipe, mission accomplished. Almost. “Hold up, where’s my—” I upside-down the box, but it’s still empty. I eye-sweep the floor, nope. I’m about to search the freezer when I spy Sadie trying to slide something under her island-flattened palm, on the low.
I lift an eyebrow. “Well, that’s not suspicious.”
Sadie shakes her head. Twists her face into her version of I’m innocent. I try to lift her hand, but she’s stronger than she looks. So I booty-bump her off-balance, which she exaggerates, flailing extra dramatically like LeBron pretending to take a charge. I wave the evidence in the air, two used-up glaze packets.
“The hell, Sadie? You used two icing pouches?”
She laughs, casually licking leftover glaze from her fingertips. “You know there’s never enough glaze in one package.”
I throw up my hands. “Now I gotta eat icing-less strudel,” I whine. “Again.”
“Oh, boo-hoo,” Sadie says, making that super-weird universal gesture for fake crying when you put a fist on the outside of either eye and twist like you’re gripping the handlebars of your invisible motorcycle.
I sidestep her one-woman performance to scribble “strudel” onto the family grocery list magnet on the fridge, adding it just beneath “condoms,” scrawled in Mom’s handwriting—as usual, she turned her “o’s” into smiley faces.
“Wait, why is Deborah buying condoms; she having issues with her IUD?” Sadie asks, resting her chin atop my shoulder and reading the list, like we’re two wily raccoons peering out of a hole in a tree.
I fake vomit. “Please never say my mom’s name in the same sentence as ‘condoms,’ ‘IUD,’ or any other popular forms of birth control, okay, thanksss. Besides, how do you know those aren’t for me?”
Sadie stares into my soul and cackles. “Yeah, the thought did cross my mind, considering the great abundance of intercourse you’re having, but the drawn-in smiley-face ‘o’s’ in ‘condoms’ gave it away. Your ‘o’s’ would’ve been sad.”
“Whatever.” I roll my eyes. “I choose to abstain.”
“If by choose, you mean set your sights on unattainable humans, then yes, you are the poster child for abstinence.” She makes a weird flourish with her hands, like they’re a butterfly, then adds, “The More You Know.”
“Yasmine Kalouria isn’t unattainable.”
Sadie blinks at me, hard. “Dude, she’s been your international pen pal since fifth grade. If after seven years of you translating ‘So, how’s the weather there now’ in Spanish you haven’t hooked up, it’s not happening.”
“Hey, I begged my parents to fly to Honduras. Not my fault they’re haters.”
“Right. Because your parents were clearly the problem in that can’t-miss plan.”
I shrug. “What about Mia?” I ask, except the name Mia drops off my sentence like an anvil, so it sounds like What about me-oooow? But leave it to Sadie to catch every vowel and consonant.
“Mia?” Sadie double-bops her fist on the island, punctuating both syllables, like Mee Uhh. “The same Mia who is one of the five most popular kids in school? The Mia who broke up with QB One and Student Body Co-President DeAndre six weeks ago, and yet you, after crushing on her since preschool, have barely spoken a word to, despite the fact she lives right next door to you?”
I pause to make sure she’s finished and then I go in. “Okay, one, it hasn’t even been four weeks since the breakup. Two, Mia wasn’t even in Florence Hills for preschool. Three, she lives two houses down.” I clear my throat. “And four, today is not only the day I, Jrue Edwards, pour out my heart to Mia, but it might even be the day I find out if she’s wearing lip gloss or colored ChapStick.”
“Eww,” Sadie squeals as the napkin she uses misses nearly all of the strudel remnants clinging to her chin. I, not very helpfully, direct her efforts to the cleaner side of her mouth, where a cherry glob is not glistening in the kitchen skylight, and she diligently wipes there, too. “Never say anything about what’s on someone’s lips again, creeper,” she says.
“Easy there, Minecraft,” I say, but if she catches my joke, she doesn’t let on; she’s too busy crumpling the barely soiled napkin into a ball and chucking it at my head. Direct hit. Two can play that game . . .
“Thanks, but I think you need this more than I do, looks like you missed a spot . . . or three,” I say, pointing at my own face like it’s a handy reference guide to the regions of her face still covered in strudel crumbs, before flinging her napkin ball back at her, aiming for where her heart should be; Sadie, diving to the other side of the island, unable to control her grinning.
And now it’s a full-on napkin-ball war. I wish I could tell you this was new for us, but we’ve been trading napkin grenades since your mom.
When the dust settles, I rock on my cardinal-red Jordan 3s, which is normally a big NOPE for an aspiring sneakerhead like me, but I’m nervous. “Listen, Sadie, about tonight? I was, uh, sorta thinking we could shake things up a bit and maybe, uh, you know, check out a party or something . . .”
Sadie peeks over the top of the island. “Hold on. What’s happening?”
I shrug. “Nothing.”
“Something’s definitely happening, and I can’t believe I . . .”
“Omigod, nothing’s happening. Why would you even think that, that’s what’s really . . .”
“. . . almost thought tonight wasn’t gonna turn into some Disney quest to save the world with one kiss from your OTL. I should’ve known something was up when you sent me that squirrel gif this morning.”
“. . . weird . . . you . . . thinking . . . that . . . I can’t believe you’d even imply that I’d have an ulterior motive for this party. It’s absurd is what it is. Absurd.”
“I see right through you. Like, maybe I’mma start calling you Lingerie because that’s how see-through you are to me.”
“If I’m Lingerie, then you’re . . . Negligee . . .”
“Yeah, because you’re so negligent when it comes to looking out for your friends . . .”
“One hundred percent not how that works.”