About the Book:
A group of geeky 20-somethings in Scranton, PA, struggle to form post-college identities without alienating each other in the process.
When happy-go-lucky Wade is dumped by his longtime girlfriend, he’s left to wonder whether she might have a point about his lack of ambition. Needing a distraction from the heartbreak, he begins programming a video game, which soon becomes a passion project as he strives to prove he can follow through on his own.
Meanwhile, his brother Ian barely has time for games now that he’s overloaded at work and struggling to connect with pregnant wife Kat, who’s starting to doubt whether she wants a baby at all. In fact, without the shared experience of college, their entire friend group is splintering.
Needing his friends more than ever, Wade becomes obsessed with turning back the hands of time. But with everyone’s hopes and expectations so tangled up, it might take an outsider—someone like painfully shy librarian Eleanor—to provide some much-needed perspective. That is, if she could get out of her head long enough to risk making a connection.
Read an Excerpt:
Featured in Feb/Mar 2017 Issue: Crossover Edition
Rain dribbled down the window glass, the sky a sheet of grey behind it. Slouched in the recliner, Wade stared at the screen with zombie eyes, mashing buttons on the X-Box controller. His brain throbbed from lack of sleep but he couldn’t shut it off.
“We weren’t even fighting.”
Sprawled on the couch, Rob kept his eyes on the game. “If you haven’t figured it out by now, you probably won’t. You’ll just have to wait until she tells you.”
“How does it even work when a girl rejects your proposal—do you automatically break up, or do you stay together and pretend it didn’t happen?”
“Which do you want?”
“I wanna figure out what I did wrong and make it right.” The doorbell rang, freezing his insides. “Is that her?”
Rob peeked through the mini-blinds. “Yeah. She’s got a box.”
The shrapnel in Wade’s gut inflamed anew as he shut his eyes and dug his fingers into his forehead. It was over.
“You want me to go?” Rob asked.
“No.” Wade peeled himself out of the recliner, legs numb from sitting so long. “I don’t wanna be alone when she leaves.”
Rob plopped back down on the couch as Wade hobbled over to open the door. On the other side stood Jill, balancing the cardboard box against her hip and holding a jacket over her head. She smiled as if she hadn’t shattered his heart less than 24 hours ago.
“Hey, let me in, it’s awful out here.” She pushed past him but stopped short, noticing Rob. She lowered her voice. “Can we go to your room?”
Wade shrugged and led the way. She chose a spot on his bed, picking up the corner of the blanket and smoothing it between her fingers.
“I’m sorry about the way I acted last night.” She forced a laugh, but then stared at the ceiling, tears pooling in her eyes.
Even when he was mad, he could never stand watching her cry. Holding back his own tears, he sat down beside her, rubbing her back as she wiped her eyes with the blanket.