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First Love
First Love
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316207047
$25.00/U.S.
320 pages
Little, Brown and Company

An extraordinary portrait of true love that will move anyone who has a first love story of their own.

Axi Moore is a "good girl": She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn't tell anyone how all she really wants is to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson—who she also happens to be madly in love with.

When Axi spontaneously invites Robinson to come with her on an impulsive cross-country road trip, she breaks the rules for the first time in her life. But the adventure quickly turns from carefree to out of control after the teens find themselves on the run from the police. And when Robinson suddenly collapses, Axi has to face the truth that this trip might be his last.

A remarkably moving tale very personal to James Patterson's own past, FIRST LOVE is testament to the power of first love—and how it can change the rest of your life.

First Love
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316207047
$25.00/U.S.
320 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Prologue

Two

“DID YOU HEAR THAT, ERNIE?” ROBINSON called. I’d have told him he sounded gobsmacked, but he’d never let me forget that particular vocabulary word, either.

Of course, Ernie hadn’t heard anything, not even Robinson’s question. So Robinson pushed away the doughnut and stared at me like he’d never seen me before. It’s not often I can surprise him, so I was enjoying this.

“Did you ever read that copy of On the Road I gave you?” I demanded.

Now Robinson looked sheepish. “I started it…”

I rolled my eyes. I’m forever giving Robinson books and he’s forever giving me music, but since he’s distractible and my iPod is dead, that’s usually about as far as it gets. “Well, Sal—who’s really just Jack Kerouac, the author—and his friends go all over the country, and they meet crazy people and dance in dive bars and climb mountains and bet on horse races. We’re going to do that, Robinson. We’re leaving this dump behind and taking an epic road trip. Oregon to New York City—with stops along the way, of course.”

Robinson was blinking at me. Who are you? the blinks were asking.

I sat up straighter on my stool. “First we’re going to see the redwoods, because those things are totally mystical. Then we’ll hit San Francisco and Los Angeles. East to the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. Then Detroit—Motor City, Robinson, which is so right up your alley. Then, because you’re such a speed addict, we’ll ride the Millennium Force at Cedar Point. It goes, like, a hundred twenty miles an hour! We’ll go to Coney Island. We’ll see the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We’ll do anything and everything we want!”

I knew I sounded nuts, so I spread out the crumpled map to show him how I’d figured it all out. “Here’s our route,” I said. “That purple line is us.”

“Us,” he repeated. Clearly it was taking him a while to wrap his head around my proposition.

Us. You have to come,” I said. “I can’t do it without you.”

This was true, in more ways than I could admit to him, or even to myself.

Robinson suddenly started laughing, and it went on so long and hard I was afraid it was his way of saying No way in hell, you totally insane person who looks like Axi but is clearly some sort of maniac.

“If you don’t come, who’s going to remind me to have a doughnut with my coffee?” I went on, not ready for him to get a skeptical, sarcastic word in edgewise. “You know I have a terrible sense of direction. What if I get lost in LA and the Scientologists find me, and suddenly I believe in Xenu and aliens? What if I get drunk in Las Vegas and marry a stranger? Who’s going to poke me in the ribs when I start quoting Shakespeare? Who’s going to protect me from all that? You can’t let a sixteen-year-old girl go across the country by herself. That would be, like, morally irresponsible—”

Robinson held up a hand, still chuckling. “And I may be a scalawag, but I am not morally irresponsible.”

Finally, the guy says something! “Does that mean you’re coming?” I asked. Holding my breath.

Robinson gazed up at the ceiling. He was torturing me and he knew it. He reached for the plate and took a thoughtful bite of cruller. “Well,” he said.

“Well, what?” I was kicking the counter again. Hard.

He ran his hand through his hair, which is dark and always a little bit shaggy, even if he’s just gotten it cut. Then he turned and looked at me with his sly eyes. “Well,” he said, very calmly, “hell yes.”

Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson

First Love
Fiction/General
Audiobook (Unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1619697017
$23.00/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by Lauren Fortgang

Audio Excerpts (MP3)
First Love
Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316207047
$25.00/U.S.
320 pages
Little, Brown and Company

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