The MG Book Village is thrilled to welcome back Nicole Melleby, this time to reveal the cover and share an exclusive excerpt of her latest novel, The Science of Being Angry. Take a look at the cover below, and stick around to read the excerpt. And get excited for the book itself, which is slated to release in May of 2022!
Exclusive Except from the Science of Being Angry:
“This is a terrible idea.”
Joey ignored her brother. Colton, her other brother, did, too, because they always ignored Thomas in moments like these. Thomas thought everything was a terrible idea. He usually went along with it, anyway, because he hated feeling like the third wheel. He was like Mama in that way.
There was really no avoiding it though, since they were triplets. They should all have been equals, but it was simple math: three of them meant there was always an odd man out.
Joey and Colton had their toes over the edge of the swimming pool. They were always the first two to do everything. The first two born, the first two to start a fight, the first two to climb out of bed in the middle of the unusually sticky, humid fall night to jump into the apartment swimming pool on a dare. They were like their other mom in that way, regardless of the lack of shared DNA.
The boys, Joey’s brothers, were skinny and pale in only their underwear. Joey had one of Mom’s old hockey shirts on; it came down to her knees. If it were up to her, she’d just be in her underwear, too. But they were already breaking a lot of rules, and her moms could be ridiculously strict about certain gender-related things, like girls wearing shirts outside, even though they were lesbians.
“On the count of three,” Joey said, tugging at the neck of her shirt. She was sweating; they all were. That was why they were out here in the first place.
The apartment-complex pool had been closed since after Labor Day, but it hadn’t yet been drained. It was too hot to sleep, and Joey had a view of that pool from her bedroom window. She had climbed out of bed and walked quietly on the pads of her feet to her brothers’ bedroom. Colton was breathing loudly. He hadn’t been snoring, but his mouth was open, and it drove Joey mad that he could sleep through this heat. Her sleep shirt was damp with sweat.
Thomas, from his bed across the room, had noticed her first. “What are you doing?” he had asked, his voice sleepy.
Joey hadn’t responded to him then, either. Instead, she climbed up on top of Colton’s bed, and started kicking at his legs, trying to get him to wake (both out of jealousy that he was asleep and because she knew if anyone else would agree to do this, it would be him).
“Stop,” Colton mumbled, his face buried into the pillow. “What are you doing?”
“I can’t sleep,” Joey said. “It’s too hot.”
“You’re supposed to do like Mama says,” Thomas said. “Think about your toes falling asleep, and then your feet, and then your legs, and then—”
“Yeah, yeah, I know, Thomas,” Joey interrupted. Mama thought meditation could fix anything. If not that, then the essential oil diffuser she put in Joey’s room. Joey usually turned that off once Mama was in her own bed.
The one in Colton and Thomas’s room was turned up high. As if the smell of lavender actually did anything.
“I want to go in the pool.”
“You want to what?” Thomas asked.
Colton blinked sleepily at her. But then he smiled.
Joey wasn’t supposed to have a favorite, but in moments like these, it was probably Colton. “Are you coming or what? I’ll dare you.”
Colton hesitated for only a moment before climbing out of bed. “Yeah, okay. I’m coming.”
. . .
From the acclaimed author of Hurricane Season, an unforgettable story about what makes a family, for fans of Hazel’s Theory of Evolution and Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World.
Eleven-year-old Joey is angry. All the time. And she doesn’t understand why. She has two loving moms, a supportive older half brother, and, as a triplet, she’s never without company. Her life is good. But sometimes she loses her temper and lashes out, like that time she threw a soccer ball—hard—at a boy in gym class and bruised his collarbone. Or the time jealousy made her push her (former) best friend (and crush), Layla, a little bit too hard.
After an incident at Joey’s apartment building leads to her family’s eviction, Joey is desperate to figure out why she is so angry. A new unit on genetics in her science class makes Joey wonder if maybe the reason is genetic. Does she lose control because of the donor her mothers chose?
The Science of Being Angry is a heartwarming story about what makes a family and what makes us who we are.
Nicole Melleby, a born-and-bred Jersey girl, is the author of the highly praised novels How to Become a Planet, In the Role of Brie Hutchens…, and Hurricane Season. She lives with her partner and their cat, whose need for attention oddly aligns with Nicole’s writing schedule.