After years of being bullied and struggling to relate to her peers, 16-year-old Becca has figured out that it’s better to be safe and lonely than to try opening up to others and risk getting hurt. Even so, she longs to meet someone who will see her as more than an easy target to pick on or a strange, quiet girl.
When everyone in class pairs off for a group project, Becca is stuck partnering with Shaun, the standoffish, short-tempered loner with a permanent scowl. His mean, aloof demeanor makes her nervous, but when Becca inadvertently witnesses an unexpected vulnerable side of him, she catches a glimpse past his bristly exterior into the pain he’s hiding.
Shaun makes it clear she needs to forget what she saw, but Becca finds herself drawn to the idea that they’re more alike than they seem. Will unearthing the secret Shaun’s keeping lead Becca to make her first friend, or will prying too deeply close that door and make her lonelier than ever?
Nada Mohammed is a New York City-based writer and illustrator who first began making art as a teenager in order to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation brought on by bullies. Inspired by her love of cartoons and anime, the stories she produced helped her find her place in a community of like-minded people, and as a working professional she intends to pay it forward and support the next generation of young people and artists. Through her work, Nada hopes to share stories that resonate with all audiences, but especially those who struggle with self-acceptance and confidence. She enjoys writing and illustrating for comics, novels, and animation, and looks forward to joining a story development team.