Anything You Want
By Geoff Herbach
May 3, 2016; Tradepaper, ISBN 9781402291449
Title: Anything You Want
Author: Geoff Herbach
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Expect a bundle of joy—er, trouble—in this hilarious, heartwarming story from the award-winning author of Stupid Fast
Taco’s mom always said, “Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better.” That was hard to believe the day she died of cancer and when Taco’s dad had to move up north for work, but he sure did believe it when Maggie Corrigan agreed to go with him to junior prom. Taco loves Maggie—even more than the tacos that earned him his nickname. And she loves him right back.
Except, all that love? It gets Maggie pregnant. Everyone else may be freaking out, but Taco can’t wait to have a real family again. He just has to figure out what it means to be dad and how to pass calculus. And then there’s getting Maggie’s parents to like him. Because it’s would be so much easier for them to be together if he didn’t have to climb the side of the Corrigan’s house to see her...
About the Author:
Geoff Herbach’s books have been listed in the year’s best by YALSA, the American Booksellers Association, and many state library associations. They’ve won the Cybil and the Minnesota Book Award. Geoff grew up a very nerdy jock in Southern Wisconsin and now teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
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When did this start? Duh, dingus. Last spring.
Last spring, I decided I was completely emotionally ready for her, so I asked Maggie Corrigan to prom and she said, “Boom,” and poked her finger into the middle of my chest.
I said, “Boom? That’s good, right? That’s a yes?” Maggie Corrigan is intense. She’s wild and crazy and intense and I had to be prepared.
We stood in the hall at school, leaned up against her locker as a bunch of freshmen, a total wad of screaming monkeys, ran by on their way to gym.
Maggie shouted, “Yeah, for sure, Taco! Boom!” She poked me again.
“What?” I shouted back, because I couldn’t hear over the freshmen.
“I totally want to go to prom with you!” she shouted.
“Really?” I shouted back
Then she grabbed my face and she pulled my ears so my head came down to her face and she French kissed me right there in front of all those freshmen. She, like, kissed my ass off. My shoes and pants almost exploded from my body, because she kissed me so hard.
She’s spontaneous like that. I knew that then, but not like I know now. And, you know what, dingus? Doesn’t matter, because I love her. I think I’ve loved Maggie Corrigan since before time. In a past life, I was probably the court clown and she was probably the Crazy Queen of Holland, and I’m pretty sure we were doing it behind the king’s back. If we weren’t doing it, we were probably going on long naked walks in the forest where we stroked unicorns and lay upon the dewy moss to gaze upon the sky.
All the freshmen monkeys in the hall shouted stuff like, “Get a room,” and “More tongue,” etc. Freshmen are pretty funny. I’ve always liked them.
That day will go down in history, for sure. I really needed Maggie Corrigan’s intensity, energy and love right about then.
The year before Maggie kissed my ass off, Mom died. Six months after Mom died, Dad took a job driving truck at a mine up north, because we needed more money to float the boat. Two months after Dad left for the mine, Darius, my older brother, got a drunk driving ticket, which he said he didn’t deserve, because he only had like two beers after work—it’s just that his blood doesn’t register alcohol like normal peoples’ blood, because it’s a mix of O+ and A -, which is rare, so the cops didn’t know what they were doing when they gave him the breathalyzer. Okay, dingus, that didn’t exactly make sense to me, but that’s good old Darius! Anyway, he lost his Pepsi product delivery route and went to work at Captain Stabby’s, this fish sandwich place, for about half the money. Dude smelled like fish 24/7.
So things were crap and I began to lose the pep in my cucumber. I was seriously beginning to think my mom was wrong about everything, and maybe life really terrible, like Darius always says. But then I spent a few weeks following Maggie Corrigan around school and saw how she laughed until she fell on the floor, screamed when she got mad at her friends, cried when she was sad about the basketball team losing, and smiled so hard it looked like her face might break when I told her I liked her handwriting. After that I thought, “That’s what Mom was talking about! Life is beautiful!” and so I summoned my good feelings and my optimism, and I asked Maggie to prom. A week later, we were boyfriend and girlfriend and going at it in the hall between every class period.
Literally. Going at it!
Dr. Evans, our principal, had to bring us into the office to ask us to stop all the public displays of affection, (she called them “PDAs”) because our exhibits of love made some people uncomfortable—like those going through hard break-ups or maybe the divorce of their parents.
Maggie and I tried, but we couldn’t stop going at it. Sometimes, to hide from people who might feel sad, we climbed into the costume loft behind the auditorium. Sometimes we took our clothes off, mostly so we could try on costumes, but also because it was pretty great to get naked. Maggie would hang out up there in her underwear, pretending she had to find the perfect costume on the rack–but really she just liked being naked with me.
Right on. I liked it, too. See why I love Maggie?
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