Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (NOVEL EXCERPT)

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (NOVEL EXCERPT)

Sierra’s policy on cute boys, and really, boys in general, was this: ignore, ignore, ignore. They usually ruined all their cute as soon as they opened their mouths and said something stupid, and she had more fun hanging out with Bennie and the crew anyway. Robbie had always seemed a little different, though. He was mostly quiet and didn’t have that insistent hunger for attention about him. In school, he just sat there sketching and smiling like he was in on some joke no one else got. Which would normally be annoying, but Sierra found it endearing.

All that only made her more dedicated to sticking to the triple-I policy. Inevitably, Robbie would open his mouth and end up an idiot like the rest of them. Why bother? But here she was standing at the edge of this weird garden in Park Slope, a house-full of partying teenagers behind her, and a bizarre mandate from her normally incoherent abuelo to recruit Robbie to finish a mural. She sighed.

“You just gonna stand there sighing,” Robbie said. “Or you gonna come say hi?”