Title: My Crunchy Life
Author: Mia Kerick
Release Date: 26th June 2018
Genre: LGBT, Young Adult
John Lennon fought for world peace, but sixteen-year-old hippie hopeful Kale Oswald’s only made it as far as tie-dying his T-shirts with organic grape juice. Now he’s ready to cement his new hippie identity by joining a local human rights organization, but he doesn’t fit in as well as he’d hoped.
After landing himself in the hospital by washing down a Ziploc bag of pills with a bottle of Gatorade, Julian Mendez came clean to his mother: he is a girl stuck in a boy’s body. Puberty blockers have stopped the maturing of the body he feels has betrayed him. They’re also supposed to give him time to be sure he wants to make a more permanent decision, but he’s already Julia in his heart. What he’s not sure he’s ready to face is the post-transition name-calling and bathroom wars awaiting him at school.
When Kale and Julian come face-to-face at the human rights organization, attraction, teenage awkwardness, and reluctant empathy collide. They are forced to examine who they are and who they want to become. But until Kale can come to terms with his confusion about his own sexuality and Julian can be honest with Kale, they cannot move forward in friendship, or anything more.
Find My Crunchy Life at Goodreads
“So, Kale, you say you’re a champion of human rights, hmm?” It’s clear to me that Julian detects my discomfort. When he steps up close, his voice emits from directly beneath my left ear. “That means you’re here to protect my human rights, even if it takes you to a place you never figured you’d go— not even in your wildest, but most certainly unoriginal, dreams.”
His breath tickles my neck— or maybe I just imagine it— and I shiver. “Yeah… that’s why I came here tonight.” My urge is to add “dude” to the end of my sentence, but I don’t want to make an assumption.
“Really.” It isn’t a question or a statement. It’s just a word. But the way he says it is sharp enough to cut glass.
I nod for the zillionth time tonight, and about ten thousand prickles of dread pop up in my armpits, which might sound strange, but I hear it’s a common response to stress.
“Really.” He says it again in exactly the same way, then steps in front of me so we’re standing face-to-face. I don’t want to look him in the eye. I’m not sure why I feel this way, because I’ve got balls. So I force myself to be a man and drag my gaze up his body from the badass combat boots, to the tights, to the oversized purple plaid flannel shirt that would make even a lumberjack look like he’s going dancing. And finally I focus on the important stuff: long, dark hair, freshly brushed and falling over his shoulders, even darker eyes that lift a little bit at the corners, and an “I dare you to mess with me” smirk on shiny red lips.
His lips… well, they’re moving again, but I don’t have a clue what he’s saying because I’m too busy staring.
At. His. Lips.
Are hippie dudes supposed to get captivated by other dudes’ lips?
Because this is a first for me, and not just in my brief life as a hippie. I’ve never been one to suffer with debilitating crushes on movie stars or pop singers or the high school’s most popular girls. And here I am totally caught up in the lips of a dude I don’t even know. Weird.
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About the Author
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another in dance school, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press for providing alternate places to stash her stories.
Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.
Mia is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Contact Mia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.