February 19, 2013

Excerpt: Popular by Gareth Russell

Title: Popular
Author: Gareth Russell
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: YA Contemporary

On the first day of September, 16 year-old Meredith Harper rules over the teen it-crowd of Belfast, Northern Ireland. But beneath the surface, Meredith’s complicated web of manipulative lies and self-serving intrigue are slowly beginning to threaten her social position and she finds herself being challenged by handsome Mark Kingston, the only guy in the school who’s always hated her.
In a world where nothing stays secret for very long, Meredith and her friends will need all their skills to guess who’s in, out, coming out, going up, going down, dating, cheating, lying and trying to cope....
Let the games begin!

          Since Religion exams were not sat in alphabetical order but according to house, Cameron’s desk was across the aisle from Kerry’s, and as the papers were being handed out the two of them fell into conversation about how criminally gross the three boys in the bathroom were.
          ‘He sneezed right next to me,’ Cameron said. ‘It was so loud that it was like an elephant had taken a really bad line of cocaine.’
           Kerry wrinkled her nose in distaste. ‘That is vile. Don’t tell me those kinds of stories. You know I can’t handle . . . nasal debris.’
          Imogen, who was sitting directly in front of Kerry, suddenly lifted her head from the table where it had been lying for the last two minutes and turned round to Cameron. ‘Quick last-minute questions – totally off the top of my head. Who was the Roman Emperor when Jesus was born?’
          ‘Augustus,’ he answered.
          ‘Fab. And when He died?’
          ‘What gospel does the angel come to Mary in?’
          ‘St Luke’s.’
          ‘Super. And who replaced Judas?’
          ‘Who replaced Judas? You know . . . when he died, kicked the bucket, said sayonara, etc.?’
          ‘St Matthias.’
          ‘Hello all,’ said a nasal voice behind them.
          ‘Hello, Geoffrey,’ murmured Kerry, who watched as he warily took the desk on the other side of her. ‘What if he sneezes again?’ she hissed at Cameron.
          ‘No one’s asking you to look in his tissue,’ he answered.

About The Author:
Gareth Russell was a student at Down High Grammar School in Northern Ireland before he went onto to study Modern History at Saint Peter's College in the University of Oxford.
Gareth is the author of several plays and his first novel, Popular, was originally published in 2011 and has been updated for republication in 2012. Since 2011, Popular has been adapted for the stage on several occasions.
Gareth divides his time between Belfast, London and Connecticut. His accent is therefore best described as polymorphous, shifting with the greatest of ease from Northern Irish to English to American. This pleases him greatly. His first ever word was "shoe" and if he had to have dinner with one person from history, it would be Anne Boleyn.

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