"From Facebook to YA book: K.A. Harrington’s Forget Me is a psychological thriller inspired by Facebook’s facial recognition software."--Entertainment Weekly
Morgan never minded her boyfriend Flynn’s dark and private nature. She found it mysterious and alluring. But now he’s dead, and she can’t move on. She feels much like her dying town, River’s End, with its overgrown amusement park and abandoned houses: once happy . . . now fading away.
Hoping for some closure, Morgan uploads her only picture of Flynn to the social media site FriendShare along with a note to say good-bye. But she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as Evan Murphy. She’s never heard of Evan. A quick search reveals that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Same eyes, nose, jawline. Only this boy is very much alive. Digging through layers of secrets, Morgan questions everything she thought she knew about her town, her boyfriend, and even her parents’ involvement in this massive web of lies.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
K.A. Harrington is the pen name of Kim Harrington, author of several paranormal / horror books. This is her first psychological thriller and her first time writing under the name K.A. Harrington. When not writing, you can probably find her reading, watching one of her favorite TV shows, or fantasizing about her next vacation. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***
Copyright © 2014 by Kim Harrington
He lied to me.
That was my first thought when I saw him.
I was alone in my car, on the way to the party where Toni and my other friends were waiting. As I drove down Lincoln Road, my eyes went to the tall chain-link fence that bordered the old amusement park. In the distance, I could almost make out the highest hill of the kiddie coaster and the happy dragon that towered over the bumper cars. But it was dark, so I might have just been seeing what I knew was there.
What I wasn’t expecting to see was my boyfriend, Flynn. The car’s headlights reflected off his pale face, which seemed to almost float in the darkness. Flynn had told me he couldn’t come because he had plans with his parents.
I slammed on my brakes, shifted into reverse, and pulled over. Squinting into the darkness, I hoped the light had played a trick on me. But there he was, leaning against the fence.
Caught, he walked swiftly toward the car, head down. His ratty black trench coat fluttered open in the wind, revealing dark jeans and the vintage U2 T-shirt I’d bought him. He rapped his knuckles on the passenger-side window, and I lowered it.
He rested his arms on the roof of the car and hung his head low to look in the window. “Hey, Morgan.”
“What are you doing out here?” I asked, trying to keep my voice cool and level.
“Just hanging out, thinking.”
Brooding was Flynn’s natural state, but he seemed even more depressed than usual. Maybe he hadn’t lied after all. Maybe he really did have plans with his family but they’d had a fight or something. And he came out here to get away.
“Did something happen?” I asked. “You could’ve called me. I would’ve picked you up.”
“I know . . .” His voice was strained, different. He had a complicated relationship with his parents and hated to talk about them at all. I never forced him to let me in. I figured he would when he was ready. He’d moved to town two months ago, and I was the only one he ever voluntarily talked to. I told myself he just needed more time than most people, that was all.
He straightened to his full height, and I couldn’t see his face through the window anymore. I wanted to look him in the eye. I needed to quiet the uncertainty whispering from the back of my mind. I killed the engine and got out of the car.
“What are you doing?” he said.
“Coming to talk to you.” I walked through the headlights, rested a hand on the warm hood, and stared at him.
But he wouldn’t look at me. His eyes were jittery, nervous. They kept roaming over my shoulder to watch the road, like he was expecting another car.
This end of Lincoln Road was never busy after the amusement park shut down years ago. The only people who used it were those who knew it connected to the back of Meadow Place—the half-empty development of McMansions—where I’d been heading before I saw him. But I was hours late to the party. Everyone was already there. So who was he expecting to come down this deserted road? Was he . . . meeting someone else?
“Flynn . . .” I pushed his name out of my tightened throat. “What are you really doing out here?”
He looked down the street once more, and his expression changed. He seemed to come to some decision. “Get in the car.”
I blinked, confused. “What?”
He opened the passenger door quickly, and motioned for me to get in on the other side. I dashed around and slid into the driver’s seat. He leaned across the space between us and gave me a quick kiss. Like I’d just picked him up for a date, not found him acting shady by the side of the road.
He reached over and started the engine. “Let’s go.”
His sudden change had my head spinning. “What’s the rush?”
“Let’s just get out of here. I want to be with you.” He pointed at the road. “Let’s go somewhere.” “The party?”
“Anywhere you want.”
I pulled onto the road and drove slowly. This behavior wasn’t entirely surprising. Flynn was normally secretive and moody, regarding most people and things with a quiet disdain. But that’s why he made me feel special. I was the thing he didn’t hate. I was the person who could make him crack a smile by calling him “Mr. Serious.” Just two weeks ago, pressing against a bare-limbed tree on a frosty night, our lips inches apart, he told me I was the only good thing in his life.
But now, he rubbed both hands on his thighs as his left leg bounced up and down. He reminded me of a caged animal, yearning to break out and run free. But no one was making him sit here. I hadn’t forced him to get in the car.
I gave him a playful poke in the side. “Look who it is! It’s Mr. Serious.”
But he didn’t smile this time. Instead, he cast a quick glance over his shoulder at the dark road behind us. I didn’t speak, hoping the silence would encourage him to tell me what he was thinking. But the more time went on, the more I worried. Images flashed in my mind, of another girl driving this road, looking for Flynn at their predetermined meeting spot. She was prettier than me, maybe older, cooler, edgier. She knew bands I’d never heard of. Liked art and philosophical discussions. She had a dark side to her, one that Flynn found very attractive.
I forced the thought out of my head. I was driving myself crazy.
Maybe I was being paranoid. Maybe he wasn’t expecting someone else. He was just standing out there at night in the dark because that’s a weird, loner, Flynn thing to do.
He looked in the side-view mirror. “What’s going on, Flynn?” I asked.
A lock of black hair fell across his eyes. “What do you mean?” “Something’s up with you. Why were you standing out there? Why are you acting nervous? Tell me what’s going on,” I demanded. I never had attitude with him. I always went with the flow, did what he wanted, never questioned his idiosyncrasies. I never wanted to be that girlfriend. Nagging. Annoying. But tonight was different. I felt different.
He stared at me. I tried to keep my eyes on the road, but I could still feel him looking at me. What was he thinking? I’d have given anything to know.
“You can pull over and let me out here,” he said quietly. “What?” There was nothing but woods surrounding us. He’d have to walk a mile to get to the nearest house. He’d rather do that than talk to me?
“I’m not in the mood to go to one of your friend’s lame parties.”
Holy mood swing. I raised my eyebrows. “Nice, Flynn. Real nice. My friends have been nothing but good to you even though you seem to feel that you’re above them for some reason.”
“I’m not above them. I just have no interest in them. I only want to be with you.”
“Then be with me,” I pleaded. “We can go somewhere and talk.”
But he was already shaking his head. “I don’t want to talk.” “You have to let me in, Flynn. I can’t keep going on like this.” “Then pull over,” he snapped.
I turned to look at him. His eyes were apprehensive, but his voice was so sure, so filled with venom. He reached for the door handle like he was willing to jump out at thirty miles per hour. The tires squealed as I slammed on the brakes and the car jumped up onto the curb.
“Why are you doing this?” I yelled. “Why are you acting like this?”
His mouth opened and his eyes flicked around, like they were searching for the answer in the air. “Because I don’t want this,” he said finally. “You, driving around town, checking up on me, making sure I’m where I told you I was.”
“I wasn’t doing that,” I said indignantly. “I was on my way to the party. It’s not my fault you happened to be on the side of the road I was driving on. Excuse me for pulling over to say hi to my boyfriend who was standing alone in the dark like creep.”
“I have the right to stand wherever and however I want.” “I never said you didn’t!”
He shook his head. “It’s just . . . I think . . . it’s time for us to be over.”
His words took a moment to sink in. I’d thought we were having our first fight. Apparently it was also our last. “You’re . . . breaking up with me?”
I saw him swallow. Then he nodded, once.
I squared my shoulders. I would not cry. I would not give him one ounce of emotion. “Why?”
He opened his mouth to answer, but then closed it again.
“I have to go,” he said softly. He pushed open the door and shoved it closed behind him. His coat flapped in the breeze as he walked down the road, into the dark night.
My hands tightened on the steering wheel and tears spilled from my eyes, clouding my vision as I watched him walk away, until he was just a wavy, indistinct form far down the dark road.
I didn’t hear the car, but I saw the headlights come around the bend. Too fast.
My back bolted straight, and my lungs froze. For one long moment, I couldn’t breathe in or release what was held in my chest. I could only watch as Flynn flew through the air, flipping like a tossed doll. Then he crashed back down, his body rolling and scraping across the asphalt.
The SUV kept going.
It barreled past me, a black bullet with tinted windows, too fast for me to catch a look at the plate.
I have no memory of getting out of the car or running to Flynn with the cold air lashing my tearstained cheeks. I only remember holding his head in my lap. Seeing his blood on the ground. Listening to the 911 operator on my cell telling me to stay calm.
When the ambulance came, my hand was on Flynn’s chest. His heart was still beating.
C H A P T E R 1
I lifted the camera to my eye and focused on the lion’s mouth.
Click. Born of metal, plastic, and paint, he’d been a happy lion, with rounded teeth and lips curving into a smile. But now the paint was chipped, the plastic cracked, and bits of exposed metal were rusted. Graffiti morphed his happy smile into a sharp-toothed, menacing grin. Larry the Lion once welcomed children to King’s Fantasy World Amusement Park. Now he warned people to stay away.
Inside the park there were many more shots waiting to be taken. The fun house with its broken windows. The thick weeds that climbed the track of the kiddie coaster. The mice that nested in the Skee-Ball holes. But I didn’t climb the fence to enter the park.
Not that the No Trespassing sign intimidated me. Those were posted all over town, and they never stopped anyone. A rule meant nothing if there was no consequence for breaking it. No one was monitoring these places. Maybe at first, five years ago, when everything shut down, officers would swing by in a patrol car. But now . . . no one cared anymore.
The reason I wasn’t going past the fence was that the last time I was inside King’s Fantasy World, I met Flynn. My boyfriend. Who was now dead.
He’d been gone three months, and I still wasn’t ready to re- visit those memories.
I wasn’t ready to say good-bye.
My town, River’s End, had once been a shimmering oasis in our drab, rural area of central Massachusetts. But after the town’s only major employer, Stell Pharmaceuticals, went un- der, several other businesses that relied on Stell soon followed, and River’s End began its steep and sudden decline. Now half the McMansions stood empty. The mall’s doors were shuttered. Happy Time Mini Golf was overgrown. And, saddest of all the forgotten places, King’s Fantasy World was abandoned and rotting.
What used to be the happiest place in town was now the scariest.
I checked the display on my camera. The focus of that last shot could’ve been better. I adjusted and tried again. Click.Using my hand to shade the viewing screen from the sun, I squinted and then smiled. This one was a keeper. It captured what I was going for. The lion wasn’t evil. He was just . . . lonely.
I packed my camera back into its bag and drove home. It was enough that I’d finally gotten that shot of Larry the Lion.
I’d save climbing the fence for some other day.
I pulled my car into our empty driveway, not surprised that my parents were out. They used Saturdays to catch up on all the things they couldn’t do during the work week: grocery shopping, the post office, the bank, the pharmacy. A neverending list of errands.
My parents had both been biochemists for Stell. Great jobs, great money. But then people started dying from Stell’s most popular product, a migraine pill. The company shut down and everyone lost their jobs. Even people who didn’t directly work for Stell but depended on Stell employees to spend their money in town—at restaurants, retail stores—were out of work. Some businesses hung on longer than others, but eventually most had to give up and close their doors.
Now Dad took the train into Boston for work, a two-hour commute each way. Mom worked here in town but needed two jobs to earn anywhere near what she used to make at her pre- vious job. But at least they had work. Not everyone in town was so lucky.
I swung the camera bag over my shoulder and closed the car door with my hip. I smirked as I spied Toni sitting on the front steps. Toni Klane was my best friend and had been since we were little. Her house was one street over, but lately it seemed like she lived with me.
She visibly shivered as she stood up. It was the end of March. That week that always seemed like such a tease. It was still cold, but spring was so close, you could almost smell it in the air. Toni wore jeans and a scoop-neck T-shirt, her arms wrapped around her abdomen. I’m sure she didn’t mean to for- get a sweatshirt or a coat. Sometimes she just had to leave her house in a hurry.
“Morgan Tulley, where have you been?” she said, tapping her foot in mock impatience. “Out snapping photos of creepy things?”
“Nope. Flowers,” I deadpanned.
Her face brightened momentarily and then shut back down. “You’re joking.”
“Of course I am.”
She smacked my arm.
I unlocked the front door and we hurried inside, the warm air a welcome greeting. I didn’t have to ask why she’d come over without texting or calling first. Why she was sitting on my front steps for who knew how long, shivering in the cold, waiting for me. If she wanted to talk about the Fight of the Day, she would. Most days, she’d rather not.
Toni’s parents were having more trouble than most. The unemployment money was about to run dry, but the liquor was overflowing. Her family was exploding, and if Toni hung around the house all day, she’d be sliced by shrapnel. Collateral damage. So when she showed up here, I never turned her away.
I grabbed some sodas and a bag of Doritos from the kitchen.
I wasn’t hungry, but I knew Toni probably was, and she’d never help herself no matter how many times I told her it was okay. We climbed the stairs to the second floor and went into my room: our sanctuary. It had all-white furniture and bright, lime-green walls. I used to think it looked like the happiest room in the world, but now it felt like it was just pretending to be happy. If a room could feign emotion.
While Toni flopped onto the bed and opened the chips, I sat at my desk and uploaded the photos I’d taken to my laptop. “Larry the Lion, huh?” Toni said between crunches.
“Yeah. I finally got that shot I’ve been trying for.”
“The one that makes him look lonely and not like a jacked- up plastic lion that wants to eat your face?”
“Exactly.” Even though my back was to her, I smiled. It was...
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On the three-month anniversary of her boy - friend Flynn s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure - but she s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as Evan Murphy. She s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive. Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents involvement in what she discovers is a massive web of deceit. Bookseller Inventory # AA99780147509413
Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 21995516-n
Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From Facebook to YA book: K.A. Harrington s Forget Me is a psychological thriller inspired by Facebook s facial recognition software. --Entertainment Weekly Morgan never minded her boyfriend Flynn s dark and private nature. She found it mysterious and alluring. But now he s dead, and she can t move on. She feels much like her dying town, River s End, with its overgrown amusement park and abandoned houses: once happy . . . now fading away. Hoping for some closure, Morgan uploads her only picture of Flynn to the social media site FriendShare along with a note to say good-bye. But she s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as Evan Murphy. She s never heard of Evan. A quick search reveals that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Same eyes, nose, jawline. Only this boy is very much alive. Digging through layers of secrets, Morgan questions everything she thought she knew about her town, her boyfriend, and even her parents involvement in this massive web of lies. Bookseller Inventory # AA99780147509413
Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. On the three-month anniversary of her boy - friend Flynn s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure - but she s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as Evan Murphy. She s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive. Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents involvement in what she discovers is a massive web of deceit. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780147509413
Book Description Penguin Group USA, 2015. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # KB-9780147509413
Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0147509416
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Book Description Speak, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0147509416
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Book Description Speak 2015-08-04, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780147509413B