Excerpt from Die For You by Amy Fellner Dominy
One of the many slogans at the Women’s March on Washington read, “You Matter.” Women are standing up for the bodies, their rights, and their needs but the journey starts at home. The powerful Delacorte/Random House young adult book, Die for You by Amy Fellner Dominy, explores the subtle, insidious danger of mental and emotional abuse so prevalent in teenage dating. With insight and sensitivity, Die for You offers hope to young women everywhere.
After her parent’s divorce forces Emma Lorde to move halfway across the state of Arizona to live with her father, Emma must face her senior year in a new school knowing absolutely no one. Then she meets Dillon Hobbs, and something just clicks.
Dillon introduces Emma to friends she can call her own. He provides a refuge from the chaos of her past and creates a blueprint for their future together. But just when everything seems perfect, Emma is offered an opportunity that will derail their plans. How can Dillon let her go when he understands that people don’t always come back? Uncertainty grows, and fear spirals into something darker.
Now Dillon is the one who needs saving. But how much do you sacrifice for the one you love? What if Emma, by saving Dillon, loses herself?
About the author:
Amy Fellner Dominy is a former advertising copywriter, MFA playwright, and hula-hoop champion. Her novels for teens and tweens include Die For You (11/8/16); A Matter of Heart, Audition & Subtraction; and OyMG, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book. Amy’s first picture book, Cookiesaurus Rex, will be published by Disney, Fall 2017. Amy lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, various pets and two children who occasionally stop by for free meals.
Die for You is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
“Watch out,” Hannah says. “There’s a sweaty guy headed your way.” I follow her gaze to the baseball diamond and laugh as Dillon hops the low fence surrounding the field and jogs towards the bleachers where Hannah and I are still sitting, along with most of the parents. The team won in the bottom of the ninth and we’re basking in the victory. My throat aches from screaming. I’ve become one of those girls who jump up and down and shriek like a game of baseball is the most important thing in the world. Of course it’s not. Dillon Hobbs, on the other hand… He sees me watching, and grins. I know that grin. “Don’t you dare!” I call. It’s only the second week of March but summer likes to come early in Phoenix and it’s in the mid-nineties today. Dillon’s been strapped into his catcher’s gear for nine innings, except for when he was sprinting the bases and diving head-first to beat out a tag. His gold jersey is soaked with sweat, plastered to his wide shoulders and the flat ridges of his abs. His black hair is just as wet—slicked back and dripping with the remains of a jug of Gatorade dumped over him after his bloop single brought in the winning run, and clinched a win against our biggest rivals. When his cleats hit the metal ramp their clatter is drowned out as the parents stand and cheer, then make a path for him. He takes the steps two at a time, shaking off droplets of liquid like a wet dog. A very dirty, wet dog. Dust is smeared across his forehead and his dark maroon socks are caked brown with the same mud that covers his white pants. There’s a chorus of laughter as I grab Hannah’s shoulder and climb up a row, putting her in front of me like a human shield. “Come on,” he says, stopping just below Hannah. “We just beat Hampton. I need a hug.” He holds out his grimy arms. “I’m embracing you from afar,” I say from behind Hannah. “And later I’m going to embrace the showered and sweat-free-you.” His grin widens. Hannah shifts out of the way. “You got to take one for the team, Emma.” There’s more laughter as she shares a high-five with Dillon. “Traitor,” I say. “Give up,” he intones in a deep and oh-so-sexy voice. “There’s no escape.” And then he leaps up the row, grabs me in his arms and lifts me against him. Sweat and mud and smelly boy presses against me from head to toe. I groan at the death of my white tee shirt as more laughter rings out. And then I hug him back. I can’t help but smile. It’s good to see him happy like this. Dillon has been struggling since we started back after winter break, wound tighter and tighter as we go from one last to another. Last baseball season. Last Valentine’s dance. Last spring break. Graduation is weighing on everyone in some way, but Dillon most of all. So I love it when he loses himself in the moment, like now. It’s a perfect afternoon. Nothing but clear skies overhead and cotton-ball clouds. Spring break is officially here and the Ridgeway baseball team is off to a winning start. Small things, yeah, but I’ve come to appreciate those in the past year. “We’re going to celebrate at Pizza Joes,” Dillon says. “Jace, Spence—I’m sure Hannah, too. You’re coming, right?” I glance over. Hannah has found her way down to the fence and Spence. They’re nearly the same height, both with honey-blond hair, and could pass as brother and sister. Which would be creepy seeing as how they’re officially an item now. Dillon’s closest friend, Jace, who’s next to them, is usually a head above everyone else but he’s bent over tugging off the ankle brace he’s been wearing this spring. The four of them have been best friends since elementary school and I try not to feel like a fifth wheel. Mostly they’ve been great—treating me like one of the group. They did it for Dillon at first but more and more I feel like they’re my friends now, too. Still, there are times when I look at how close they are and I miss Marissa. She’s my history, the best friend I left behind when I moved across town last May. Marissa and I try to stay close, but it’s hard when we live so far apart. “I’ll try,” I say. “I’ve got to meet Mrs. Lyght, remember?” “I forgot,” he says. He lets go and I look down at myself. “I’ve been slimed.” Dillon’s dark eyes skim over my chest and then lower. His lips part and his eyes narrow in a look that still takes my breath away. “You look good slimed.” Warmth shivers through me. “Later,” I say. “I have a meeting.” He brushes a chunk of mud off my shoulder. “Love you, Emma Lorde. “I love you too Dillon Hobbs now go away.” With a laugh, I push his soggy chest with the flat of my palm. “I have to clean up—somehow.” “I’ll see you later then.” He kisses me and I taste the grit of dirt and sweat and lemon Gatorade. I smile. If forever had a flavor, this would be it.