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Six Months Later
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Six Months Later
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From the New York Times bestselling author of teen suspense books, Natalie D. Richards, comes a psychological thriller about a girl who wakes up with everything she's ever wanted, but can't remember...
From the New York Times bestselling author of teen suspense books, Natalie D. Richards, comes a psychological thriller about a girl who wakes up with everything she's ever wanted, but can't remember...
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  • From the New York Times bestselling author of teen suspense books, Natalie D. Richards, comes a psychological thriller about a girl who wakes up with everything she's ever wanted, but can't remember the last six months of her life, perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and If I Stay.

    When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground, and she can't remember the last six months.

    Before, she'd been a mediocre student.
    Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools.

    Before, she never had a chance with sports star Blake.
    Now he's her boyfriend.

    Before, she and Maggie were inseparable.
    Now her best friend won't speak to her.

    What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she'd ever imagined.

    This book is perfect for:
  • Readers of all ages who want thriller books in paperback
  • Fans of Karen McManus and Natasha Preston
  • Parents looking for mystery books for teens
  • Praise for Six Months Later:
    YALSA Teens Top 10 nominee
    "[A] smart, edgy thriller."—Kirkus
    "Well paced and beautifully written...This romantic thriller will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page."—School Library Journal
    "An intense psychological mystery... has the feel of a high-stakes poker game in which every player has something to hide."—Publishers Weekly

    Also by Natalie D. Richards:
    Five Total Strangers
    Gone Too Far
    My Secret to Tell
    One Was Lost
    We All Fall Down
    What You Hide


  • From the book

    Chapter One

    I'm sitting next to the fire alarm, and my best friend is going down in flames. Irony or divine intervention? I can practically feel the metal handle under my fingers. It might as well be whispering my name.

    Tempting. One strategic arm stretch and I could send this whole school into an evacuation frenzy.

    I could end Maggie's nightmare right now.

    At the front of the classroom, she swallows hard. She is as pale and shaky as the paper in her hands.

    "The social p-pressures and isolation encountered b-by male n-n-"

    I can't let her suffer like this.

    Maggie shakes her head and tries to shrug it off with a sheepish grin. "S-sorry."

    "It's all right," Mrs. Corwin says, playing with the cat pendant around her neck. "There's no reason to be scared."

    She thinks stuttering is a fear problem? Aren't teachers supposed to know about speech issues and all that crap? Then again, what can I expect from a woman who has professionally framed pictures of her beloved Siamese, Mr. Whiskers, on her desk?

    Maggie takes a breath. "The p-pressures and isolation encountered by male n-nurses in a predominantly f-female occupation is a compelling argument f-f-f-" She trails off, going crimson.

    Someone snickers from the front.

    "Go on, Maggie," Mrs. Corwin says. Again.

    I'm going to do it.

    Beside me, Blake Tanner shifts in his chair. I know this partly because I have good peripheral vision, but mostly because I have freakishly sensitive Blake radar. I hesitate, breathing in the clean hint of his cologne, watching him softly drum a thumb on his desktop.

    My face goes hot. I can't do this with him sitting here. I'm completely invisible to this guy. And now I'm finally going to get his attention by, what? By pulling a fire alarm? Yes, I'm sure that will send a great message. To the guy who's been on the student council since the eighth grade.

    Maggie tosses her hair back, forging on. "It's a compelling argument f-for s-s-sexism against men. In most modern contexts, concerns about s-s-s-s-"

    Maggie goes pink and then red. Tyler and Shannon laugh in the back, and my eyes start to well up. Screw it. I can't sit here for one more second of one more minute.

    I sink down as far as I can in my chair and start sliding my arm back along the wall. I reach up, but I'm grasping blind. It kind of hurts. I touch something cool and metal. Bingo. Two seconds and this misery is over.

    Blake clears his throat and I bite my lip. Is he watching me?

    What's wrong with me? Of course he's not watching me. I'm invisible.

    I turn my head because I'm sure I feel someone's eyes on me. I do.

    Adam Reed. He's slouched low in his seat, his dark hair in desperate need of the business end of a pair of scissors.

    Adam arches one of his brows at me. The half smile on his lips asks me what I'm waiting for. I don't really have an answer, so I curl my fingers over the alarm handle and pull hard. And then I kiss my detention-free junior year good-bye.


    Maggie is waiting outside the principal's office. She's got a couple of notebooks clutched in her arms and a pencil securing her strawberry blond waves into a bun.

    The office door is barely closed when she starts in on me. "What were you thinking? You c-could have been expelled."

    I sling my backpack over my shoulder and offer our school secretary, Mrs. Love, a wave. Maggie takes the cue and...

About the Author-

  • After years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her second novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at nataliedrichards.com.


  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 23, 2013
    Richards debuts with an intense psychological mystery about a high school senior who cannot remember the previous six months of her life or reconcile who she was then with who she is now. What’s changed? She has (somehow) aced her SATs and is on track to a top college, she has an inexplicable bruise on her head, and her best friend Maggie won’t speak to her anymore. All told, Chloe is beginning to worry that she’s going crazy. But the worst part is that Chloe is increasingly repulsed by her gorgeous former crush Blake—who is apparently now her boyfriend—and attracted to bad boy Adam. Whenever Chloe touches Adam, she has flashes of memory that lead her to confront her cagey therapist and investigate a fellow student’s sudden move across the country. Richards constructs Chloe’s fear, paranoia, and scheming with great care. Her novel has the feel of a high-stakes poker game in which every player has something to hide, and the cards are held until the very end. Ages 13–up. Agent: Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Chloe calls herself "the last slacker standing" but figures she'll have all senior year to repair her tattered GPA. Instead, she wakes up to find six months have passed in which her world has changed beyond recognition--including herself. She's ratcheted up her GPA and achieved stratospheric SAT scores, thanks to the study group she can't remember participating in. She's shaken by the charged attraction she feels toward bad boy Adam, who shows up moments after she awakens in response to a call she doesn't remember making. Meanwhile, her feelings for Blake Tanner--gorgeous, sought-after and evidently now her boyfriend--have morphed from infatuation to fear. For the first time ever, Chloe's popular--but her best friend, Maggie, won't speak to her. Like Chloe's parents, the therapist she's been seeing for her panic attacks seems confused by Chloe's lack of enthusiasm for Blake and indifference to her stellar grades. The flashes of memory Chloe experiences with Adam are more troubling than confusing, but his warm presence is all she's got. Richards' use of the present tense is enormously effective here, one of the few novels in which suspense actively relies on readers' immersion in the now. As tension rises among these sharply observed characters, this smart, edgy thriller taps into the college-angst zeitgeist, where the price of high achievement might just be your soul. (Suspense. 13 & up) COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2013

    Gr 9 Up-Chloe leads a mediocre life as a high school junior in a small Ohio town-until the day she falls asleep in study hall and wakes up to find it's six months later. She now has exceptional SAT scores, the perfect boyfriend whom she's been crushing on for years, and a buzzing social life. However, Chloe can't remember anything about her previous life. Nor can she remember why her best friend, Maggie, isn't speaking to her, or why her heart races whenever she sees bad-boy Adam, with whom she seems to be all too familiar. She knows that she should be happy about her new life, but everything feels wrong. As she tries to figure out what happened to her, she uncovers a chilling conspiracy surrounding her memory loss, and the only person she can trust is the one who won't take her calls. The story is well paced and beautifully written, with fully developed characters teens can easily relate to. This romantic thriller will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page. Recommend it to fans of Gayle Forman's If I Stay (Dutton, 2009) and Lissa Price's Starters (Delacorte, 2012).-Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Hartford Public Library, CT

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    October 15, 2013
    Grades 9-12 Chloe, an average student with a bit of a rebellious streak, wakes up in study hall one day not remembering the past six months. But suddenly she's popular, dating her longtime crush, being recruited by Ivy League colleges because of top SAT scores, and her best friend is no longer speaking to her. As Chloe tries to unravel her memories, she begins to uncover secrets more dangerous than she ever thought possible. The pressure and angst of precollege life, perfect grades, and test scores take center stage in this debut thriller. Readers are thrown right into the mystery alongside Chloe, and as the plot is slowly uncovered, the suspense rises to a shocking crescendo of events. Chloe is an intriguing character with plenty of gumption, and she makes for a splendid amateur detective. There is some romance sprinkled throughout with a supposed bad boy, and even this character has more depth than the average hunky lead. With several twists and surprises, this is a well-plotted mystery, sure to keep readers guessing.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

  • Girls' Life "An intriguing new book loaded with suspense. The shocking reasons behind Chloe's transformation will keep you guessing until the very end, culminating in a stunning truth. So what really happened in those six months? You'll just have to pick up this incredible book to find out for yourself."
  • Publishers Weekly "An intense psychological mystery . . . Richards constructs Chloe's fear, paranoia, and scheming with great care. Her novel has the feel of a high-stakes poker game in which every player has something to hide, and the cards are held until the very end."
  • RT Book Reviews, 4 stars "Confusion and a desperate search for answers drive the action in this captivating thriller . . . As the mystery builds, so do the stakes and the romantic tension."
  • School Library Journal "The story is well paced and beautifully written, with fully developed characters teens can easily relate to. This romantic thriller will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page. "
  • Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List and Thousand Words "Filled with tension and heart-in-your-throat suspense that kept me guessing to the very end. I predict readers will want more and more from her. I know I do!"

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