Jolene Perry – The awful wonderful Story of Us

Act strong. Feel strong. Be strong. Are the words that London chants to herself to get through the day. She lives in a house where rules are enforced with fists, and drugs change hands in a near steady flow.

Cole uses his carefully placed camouflage of studious athlete to cover up a past he wishes he could erase, constantly counting down to keep himself in check. At school he pretends. At home, he hides.

The two have a friendship based on an unspoken knowledge of past and present secrets. But when London’s dad sends her to the hospital, and Cole’s stepmom has the backstory, Cole steals the chance to help a friend.

Running away together feels like the perfect plan to keep London safe, but with Cole’s stepmother working on an investigation against London’s father, the two are being attacked from all sides.

Soon, it might not be a matter of fighting to stay together, but fighting to stay alive.