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  • Fairy Tale
  • Written by Cyn Balog
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780385737074
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  • Fairy Tale
  • Written by Cyn Balog
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780375891021
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Fairy Tale

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Written by Cyn BalogAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Cyn Balog


List Price: $7.99


On Sale: June 23, 2009
Pages: 256 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89102-1
Published by : Delacorte Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
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Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne are a match made in heaven. They've been best friends since birth, they tell each other everything, and oh yeah—they're totally hot for each other.
But a week before their joint sweet sixteen bash, everything changes. When Morgan demands answers, she's shocked to discover the source of Cam's distance. It isn't another girl—it's another world. Pip claims that Cam is a fairy. No, seriously. A fairy. And now his people want Cam to return to their world and take his rightful place as Fairy King.
Determined to keep Cam with her, Morgan plots to fool the fairies and see if their "perfect" love can weather an uncertain future.



People call me spooky.

Maybe because by eleven o'clock on that day, I'd already told Ariana Miles she'd starve to death in Hollywood, Erica Fuentes she'd bomb history, and Wendell Marks that he would never, ever be a part of the A-list, no matter how hard he tried.

Now, sitting in the bleachers after school, half watching a meaningless Hawks football exhibition game and waiting for some nameless freshman to bring me my French fries (psychics cannot work on an empty stomach), I've just about reduced my fourth client of the day to tears (well, Wendell didn't cry; he just pretended to yawn, covered his mouth, and let out a pathetic snurgle). But hey, sometimes the future is scary.

Sierra Martin won't look at me. Instead, she's taken an unnatural interest in the Heath bar wrapper wedged between the metal planks her sequin-studded flip-flops are resting on. A tear slips past her fake-tanned knees and lands perfectly on her porno-red big-toe nail.

"Sorry," I say, offering her a pat on the back and a couple of orange Tic Tacs for consolation. "Really."

Sometimes this gift does suck. Some days, I have the pleasure of doling out good news--BMWs as graduation presents, aced finals, that sort of thing. Today, it's been nothing but total crap. And yes, it obviously must have come as a shock that I'd envisioned Sierra, whose parents had bred her for Harvard, walking to Physics 101 on the Middlesex Community College campus, but it's not my fault. I just deliver the mail; I don't write it. 

"Are you . . . su-ure?" she asks me, sniffling and wiping her nose with the back of her hand.

I sigh. This is the inevitable question, and I always answer the same thing: "I'm sorry, but I've never been wrong."

I know that probably makes me sound like a total snob, but it's simple fact. Since freshman year, I've correctly predicted the futures of dozens of students at Stevens. It all started way before that, though, in junior high, when I correctly guessed who would win the million-dollar prize on every reality-TV show out there. At times I would have to think, really think, to know the answer, but sometimes I would just wake up and, clear as day, the face of the winner would pop into my mind. Soon, I started testing my abilities out on my friends, and my friends' friends, and before long, every other person at school wanted my services. Seriously, being a psychic will do more for your reputation than a driver's license or a head-to-toe Marc Jacobs wardrobe.

Sierra tosses her frizzed-out, corn-husk-blond spirals over her shoulder and straightens. "Well, maybe you saw someone else. Someone who looked like me. Isn't that possible?"

Actually, it isn't possible at all. Sierra has a totally warped sense of style, like Andy Warhol on crack. Everyday things lying around the house do not always make attractive accessories. I shrug, though, since I don't feel like explaining that hell would have a ski resort before two people on the face of this earth would think it was okay to tie their ponytail up in a Twizzler, and crane my neck toward the refreshment stand. I'm starving. Where are my French fries? 

"I mean, I did get a twenty-three hundred on my SATs," she says, which is something she's told me, and the rest of the student body, about a billion times. She might as well have broadcast it on CNN. However, she hasn't taken into account the fact that there are thousands of other students across the country who also got those scores, and took college-level physics or calculus instead of Dramatic Expression as their senior extra_curricular activity. Everyone knows that Sierra Martin screwed herself by deciding to coast through her classes this year.

See, I'm not that spooky. Truth is, most people don't use enough of their brains to see the obvious. Part of it is just being keenly aware of human nature, like one of those British detectives on PBS. It's elementary, my dear Watson. Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room with the candlestick, and Sierra is so not Harvard material.

"We need to do the wave," Eden says, grabbing my arm. She doesn't bother to look at me; her attention is focused totally on the game, as usual. "They need us."

I squint at her. "It's an exhibition game."

She pulls a half-sucked Blow Pop from her mouth with a smack and says, "So?"

"Okay, you go, girl," I say, though I wish she wouldn't.

She turns around to face the dozen or so students in the bleachers, cups her hands around her lips, and screams, "Okay, let's do the wave!" Auburn hair trailing like a comet's tail, she runs as fast as her skinny, freckled legs can carry her to the right edge of the seats, then flails her arms and says to the handful of people there, "You guys first. Ready? One, and two, and three, and go!"

I don't bother to turn around. I know nobody is doing it. It's human nature--doing a wave during an exhibition game is _totally lame. Actually, doing a wave at all is totally lame. And nobody is going to listen to poor Miss Didn't-Make-the-Cheerleading-Squad.

She scowls and screams, "Morgan!" as she rushes past me, so I feel compelled to half stand. I raise my hands a little and let out a "woo!" Sierra doesn't notice Eden's fit of school spirit, since she's still babbling on about her three years as editor of the yearbook, as if giving me her entire life story will somehow get her closer to the Ivy League.

Eden returns a few seconds later, defeated, and slumps beside me. The spray of freckles on her face has completely disappeared into the deep crevasse on the bridge of her nose. "This school has no spirit."

From the Hardcover edition.
Cyn Balog

About Cyn Balog

Cyn Balog - Fairy Tale

Photo © Angela Pursell

My grandfather, Orlando Bianco, was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, quiet Italian. Yes, those do exist. But like the stereotypical Italian who prefers a good glass of red wine with his pasta and gestures way too much with his hands, he had a fiery temper. He’d lounge in his rocker on the front porch of his home on Seventh Avenue in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and I remember him getting upset more than once when I’d leave for the evening wearing pants that were much too tight for his liking.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe our grandparents were ever our age. I explored this generation gap in my novel, Sleepless. Eron is a Sandman who died in 1910. He is very much like my grandfather. In fact, Eron’s history is taken from a story my mother told me about my grandfather’s past, one I never knew while I was traipsing about town in those too-tight pants. My grandfather had come over to this country from Italy with his mother when he was only a few years old. Neither of them spoke English. A marriage had been arranged in Newark, New Jersey. My grandfather was brought into a family with several stepsiblings, none of whom was happy about the arrangement. They ignored him on good days, treated him horribly on bad ones. 

I was told that he left school in sixth grade. That he worked for a jeweler. That he met my grandmother and married very young. That he eventually started his own successful oil company and bought that seaside home. That he was also quite the adventurer before he resigned himself into that rocking chair on the front porch. I knew him as the guy who saved everything, even large jars of pop-up turkey timers in the garage, in case he could find another use for them. Who thought most TV was trash and would only watch Lawrence Welk and Golden Girls reruns, at wall-shaking volume. But he had this whole other life before I came around, one that I never knew about until he was gone. I think maybe if I had learned more about him, I would have understood that he was a product of his time. That actually, when you looked at it through his eyes, through his experiences, all of his weird behavior made sense.

If there’s one memory I have of my grandfather, it was one night when the whole family was together, playing a card game called Michigan Rummy for pennies. The old wisdom was that if you want luck, you needed to walk around your chair, clockwise, three times. After the cards were dealt, my grandfather looked his over, sighed, then silently threw his cards down and started walking around his chair. He was such a practical person so that was my first indication of how even the people closest to us can surprise us. No, my grandfather didn’t have a very happy youth, and his life was one in which the things that mattered most were seemingly insignificant, like pop-up turkey timers and the clothing choice of his granddaughters. But maybe, I realize now, they’re not so insignificant. And maybe, wherever he is now, he’s finally reaping the good fortune of that walk around the chair.

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