In a World Just Right

In a World Just Right
by Jen Brooks 
Release Date: 04/28/15
Simon & Schuster Book for Your Readers
432 pages

Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance.

Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.

But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.

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"This is Jonathan in school observing the real Kylie Simms after spending the night with the version of her he created in another world. It is the first time real Kylie comes on stage in the novel."

I’m halfway up B-Hall when I see her talking to a teacher at the far end.

The real Kylie Simms.

She looks exactly like my Kylie, from her ponytail to the toes poking out of her sandals. Gorgeous. Athletic. Smart. Confident. Kind. A million other adjectives to fall in love with. She’s wearing a royal-blue T-shirt with a winged-foot logo and “Pennington Track and Field” in white. There’s a meet today, so all the track girls will be wearing them. Kylie is team captain and one of the top sprinters in the state. Her devotion to the sport is the reason I joined the track team myself in Kylie-Simms-is-my-girlfriend.

I try not to stare at her, but I can’t help myself. One would think that having an exact Kylie copy all to myself in another world would satisfy my craving for her, but one would be dead wrong. My curiosity knows no bounds. 

She doesn’t spare a glance in my direction as I walk by. Not that I expect her to. Kylie Simms might be a nice girl, but she doesn’t have much reason to talk to a loner like me. As I keep going down the hall, forcing myself not to look back, I feel the small thrill of potential fading away. Whenever I see Kylie, there’s always the chance she’ll notice me, but I haven’t hit that lottery yet.

How would she feel to know that in another world not only does Jonathan Aubrey love her but she loves him right back?

It’s sick, I know. What I’ve done. But it’s all I have for happiness, and just thinking about Kylie in Kylie-Simms-is-my-girlfriend makes me realize I forgot to give her the yearbook form I picked up for her that’s due today. I look at my watch. Six minutes to first period is enough time for a quick errand . . . .

About the Author
Jen has a habit of being deeply moved by profound ideas, and her writing reflects her interest in exploring human goodness, relationships, and the feeling of being a part of something greater than oneself. She loves the science fiction and fantasy genres because of their dazzling possibilities for portraying characters and ideas. She credits her undergraduate experience at Dartmouth College, her MFA at Seton Hill University, and her fourteen years of English teaching with shaping her writing.  She is grateful to her family, friends, and students for inspiring her to write.

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