The Hating Game meets The Summer I turned Pretty in this YA rom-com about two teens forced to vacation in neighboring lake houses every year. They spend their summers embroiled in escalating pranks, until they're kicked out of their houses and forced to call a truce, so they can join forces against a common enemy.
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Tonight we’re at her house, seated at opposite ends of the long oval table, with our parents coupled up on either side of us. We are the reigning king and queen of mealtime misery, and all we can really hope is that neither of us tries to be-head the other and gets blood all over the floor. (Or our grilled chicken, roast broccoli, and sweet corn, which is delicious.)
These dinners do have a few foreseeable perks. I glance toward the hallway that leads to the little bathroom I know Sidney uses. I’m sure there’s more than one way I can use this time in enemy territory to my advantage.
At least we can have fun. I catch Sidney’s eye, and hold her gaze. Even when I spear a piece of broccoli, I keep my eyes on her, daring her to look away. Yes, we can do this. Nothing makes time fly like harassing one another. Sidney’s eyes narrow in annoyance, but she doesn’t take her eyes off of me. I reach for the salt shaker, and blindly shake it over the blurry yellow blob that is my corn cob. Sidney reaches for her water glass, and her fingers tap against the glass as she gets a hold on it. I fumble with a roll when my mom holds the basket out to me, and Sidney clumsily spoons rice onto her plate, a chunk of it falling onto the table. In my mental tally, I give myself a point. She gets one when I pick my spoon up by accident and try to gouge a piece of chicken with it.
When I tip over my glass of water, both of us break our gaze at the same time, looking to our parents, who are all laughing. At my clumsiness or our little game, I’m not sure, but when I crawl under the table with a rag thrown at me by my mom, the game is officially over.