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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
On the surface, Mabel Wright is your average upper-middle class high school junior, with two little sisters, doctor parents, and a lovable pug, Woof. She gets decent grades, participates in clubs, loves reading, works as a swim lesson instructor and lifeguard during the summer, is mediocre at track, has a small group of loyal friends, and has a teeny crush on the guy that she works with, Caleb . Underneath it all, her family is falling apart. A scandal that took place at her father's company left him struggling to find work halfway across the country, with the family stuffed into a tiny beach house that is falling apart. Her mother is too busy with her own studies to be home often, and when she is home it almost seems as if more of a curse than a blessing. Her middle sister, Giana, is a budding fourteen-year-old clarinetist in the youth symphony who also happens to clash with their parents at every turn, and sneaks down to the park to smoke weed and drink at two in the morning, and posts long essays about depression and cutting and anorexia online. Elle, the youngest, is just finishing up elementary school, and is turning into the popular girl that Mabel would have despised at that age. But to anyone else who saw the family, you would think they were your typical squeaky-clean suburbanites.

Mabel is intensely jealous of her globe-trotting best friend since birth, Ivy Moreau. Ivy's parents are rich, she belongs to a powerful family who are positioned in almost every western government on the planet, and best of all, her ultra-cool mother, Eloise, is taking her on a whirlwind tour of the world instead of the hellhole that is junior year. The pair agreed to write letters to each other instead of just texting or calling. But Ivy's life is far from perfect either. After inheriting an immense fortune from her irritable late great-grandmother, she isn't sure if she can even trust her parents or her cousin Rachel, instead pouring out her heart to the gruff old lawyer, Mr. Beagle, that manages her finances. And after going through her father's belongings late one night, she starts to question his real work, and the real purposes behind the trips.

One night, Mabel is invited to a party in an old abandoned house near the shore. Despite her initial inhibitions, she puts on her favorite floral dress and scrappy sandals and sneaks off, but quickly feels out of place among the drinkers and dancers. A charming boy, who went only by the initial 'Q', notices her boredom. In a moment of rare boldness, Mabel leaves the party with him and shares a delightful evening by the pier. She is surprised to learn how similar they are, but has the nagging feeling he is guarding secrets.

Over the next few months, Mabel gets to know the mysterious Q better-from his divorced (if they were even married) Hispanic mother to his verbally abusive bank/bigPharma-mogul father. She learns that he goes to her friend Emma's school, and played JV soccer, and that he graduated early this past year. She learns that he's a brilliant hacker, and learns new things about the scandal that ruined her life, and seeds of anger are planted in her. At Q's urging, she steals drugs and papers from her father's desk, and they mess with the executives at the company, despite receiving numerous threats. She begins to be suspicious of her new boyfriend, especially when he tells her not to tell anyone else, especially her friends and family that they are together. She can't resist, though.

Meanwhile, Ivy learns why, exactly, she and Mabel have been friends since the very beginning. Maybe Mabel's father wasn't all he seemed either. Maybe massive sums of money are being moved around for far more sinister reasons than she had originally suspected. And, after learning about his father's business dealings, and noting the increasingly paranoid tone that Mabel's letters begin to take on as the months drag by, she begins to suspect that Mabel's precious Quentin is up to no good, and is rebelling against a plot that had been put in place since his accidental birth, a plot that involves all three of them.
Ivy's longtime boyfriend, Jake, a son from an ally of her religious family, just came out as gay, and she isn't sure how she feels about that either.

As threats and new mistakes pile up, Ivy, Mabel, Quentin, and Jake find themselves entangled in a web of lies and dark secrets that has been being woven for hundreds of years.

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Submitted: December 04, 2016

Prologue:   It was nearly two in the morning. The girl knelt down next to the elevator of the hotel lobby, clutching a rose-... Read Chapter