Table of Contents
why i let my hair grow Out
“[This] is a rockin' book! It includes a dude who is madly in love with a toad . . . a talking horse; several extremely hot guys; magical mysteries . . . and much more that makes me recommend it . . . extremely highly.”
âE. Lockhart, author of
The Boyfriend List
“This romantic and magical adventure had me cheering and laughing out loud. I can't wait for the sequel!”
âSarah Mlynowski, author of
Spells & Sleeping Bags
“Great storytelling . . . makes a strong case that to enjoy and live life, âto thine own self be true' . . . Teen readers will jam with the heroine.”
âMidwest Book Review
“The perfect mix of real life, romance, and magic.”
âWendy Mass, author of
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
“For readers who like just a bit of fantasy with their reality . . . Even if you have no hair issues, you are sure to find this book well worth your reading time. I highly recommend it.”
“This is a funny, smart book that readers are sure to love!”
praise for the novels of marÐ§rose Wood
“Irresistible . . . hers is a voice that is way plugged in.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“proariously funny . . . strong, pitch-perfect narration will easily win readers.”
“Will provide hours of laughter and empathetic nods from readers.”
School Library Journal
Berkley JAM titles by Maryrose Wood
WHY I LET MY HAIR GROW OUT
HOW I FOUND THE PERFECT DRESS
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
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Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright Â© 2008 by Maryrose Wood.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
BERKLEYÂ® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
BERKLEYÂ® JAM and the JAM design are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Berkley JAM trade paperback edition / May 2008
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
How I found the perfect dress / Maryrose Wood.âBerkley JAM trade paperback ed. p. cm
Summary: Sixteen-year-old half-goddess Morgan is wrapped up in normal concerns, such as junior prom and parental problems, when she learns that Colin, her Irish love, is the victim of a fairy curse and she must make a deal with a leprechaun to save him.
eISBN : 978-0-425-21939-3
[1. PromsâFiction. 2. LeprechaunsâFiction. 3. GnomesâFiction. 4. FairiesâFiction. 5. Space and timeâFiction. 6. Family problemsâFiction. 7. ConnecticutâFiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.W8524How 2008 [Fic]âdc22
For all my BFFs, but especially Laury and Mana, who have shopped with me the longest.
As ever, I am supremely grateful to my editor, Jessica Wade, and to my agent, Elizabeth Kaplan, for nurturing this book from start to finish. They are both very fashionable women and can frequently be seen wearing perfect outfits, if not always dresses.
Special thanks to illustrator Sarah Howell and designer Monica Benalcazar for another gorgeous cover. Thank you (two words, no hyphen), to copyeditor Jenny Brown for saving my butt countless times, to Heather Connor in publicity, Nicole Rodriguez in copy, and to all the wonderful staff at The Berkley Publishing Group.
To my loved ones who read and offer helpful comments (or sometimes just puzzled looks), and to my friends and colleagues who provide encouragement in other ways large and small, thank you for your patience and goodwillâespecially Beatrix and Harry, Rita Wood, E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, Wendy Mass, Andrew Gerle, Joe Gilford, Laury Berger, Mana Allen, Ann Morrison and Dave Shine.
Big hugs and a magical thank-you to the awesome readers of
Why I Let My Hair Grow Out
. Your notes and e-mails are fantastic, and you are all my BFFs.
ammÐ§ Was the happiest girl in the world. “Look, Morgan! Look what Santa brung me!”
“That's âbrought,' Tammy. Look what Santa
me.” Even on four hours' sleep, my mom could hear bad grammar coming a mile away. It was Christmas morning, six a.m. Mom was catatonic on the sofa in her bathrobe, dark circles under her eyes, mumbling about verbs. I was in a similarly groggy condition, except I was on the floor and couldn't care less about verbs. My dad was in the kitchen, making coffee with the desperation of a bomb-squad guy dismantling a detonator that was already ticking: fiveâfourâthreeâtwoâ
!” Tammy shrieked. “A Snow White
Mom and Dad and I were basically trashed, in a festive, ho-ho-ho kind of way. But Tammy was happy and hyper and the living room was a blizzard of torn wrapping paper and ribbon and presents from the mall, and isn't that what Christmas is all about?
I admit, I wasn't feeling much holiday spirit this year. I'd still been stubbornly awake at one a.m., reading in the living room, when Mom tippy-toed down to the basement and hauled all the hidden presents upstairs, gently sliding each one under the tree without making the slightest crinkly paper sound. When I went to the kitchen to get some juice and made an accidental
with the glass, she shushed me like a maniac.
“Don't wake Tammy!” she mouthed. Trust me, waking Tammy was the last thing I wanted to do. For weeks the kid had been threatening to sleep under the tree on Christmas Eve so she could catch Santa in the act. It took meâ
magical big sister Morganâan hour and a half to persuade her to go to bed in her room, and that's only because I promised I'd wait up in her place and take a photo of jolly old Saint Nick himself, delivering his sack of loot.
I knew this was kind of a sucky lie to tell your sister on Christmas Eve, but it was the only way to shut her up. I figured the Christmas morning present-mania would make her forget all about the dumb Santa picture anyway, and so far I was right.
“Look! It's Belle! It's Belle from
Beauty and the Beast
!” Tammy clawed the wrapping paper off one of the smaller packages. “Maybe it's a movie or a computer game! Oh, a book. Well, Belle likes books, I guess. . . .”
“Books are a wonderful present, honey.” Mom clutched her head in agony. “Not so loud, 'kay?” Mom's always been a freak about Christmas, especially the Santa aspect. The old gal has it all figured out: Presents from Mom and Dad come in one kind of wrapping paper, presents from Santa come in another. She switches pens and even her handwriting, so the tags that read “from Santa” are written in this big curly script in red marker. It makes you wonder if the woman has ever considered a life of crime.
!” Tammy twirled around the room, as my dad stumbled out of the kitchen holding two mugs of coffee. Black for him, a splash of milk for me. Mom switched to green tea a while back on the advice of some health magazine, but you could bet she was regretting that now.
“Cinderella's Fashion Board Game! Daddy, will you play it with me? Willyouwillyouwillyou?”
“After breakfast,” Dad said, leaning heavily against the wall. “After Daddy takes his”â
â“nap.” Mom executed the sneaky middle-of-the-night present drop, but it was Dad's job to take a man-sized bite out of the Santa cookie. He wouldn't drink the milk, though. He just poured half of it down the sink. Dad's commitment to putting on the annual Santa-is-real show stopped where his lactose intolerance began.
! Disney Princesses on Ice! We're going to see the shoooooooooow!” Tammy started skating around the living room in her socks. “How does Ariel know how to ice skate? She's a mermaid.”
I thought, feeling a fresh wave of cranky wash over me. No doubt there were some presents for me under the tree too, but not the one I wanted: about six feet tall, with heart-stopping cornflower blue eyes and a tendency to use off-color Irish slang when excited. His name was Colin. I'd fallen for him like a ton of shamrocks last summer when I was in Ireland, but he was twenty and I was sixteen and
no fekkin' way
was his attitude about that. Plus he lived on the other side of the ocean, and not even Kris Kringle could swing that kind of Christmas surprise.
had to give
n exhausting amount of planning and effort, lying and deceit went into Christmas at the Rawlinson family's Connecticut abode, all designed to pull the wool over the eyes of a seven-year-old girl whose grip on reality was pretty woolly to begin with. What my parents didn't seem to understand was that even Tammy was starting to get sick of it.