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Freakish, thought Lily. That was the word for her family. Not freaks exactly, but getting there. Sometimes Lily wishes she weren’t so sensible. If she were less reliable, then perhaps she’d have more fun. As it is, her hardworking but flaky mom and her dreamy older brother count on her to run the house. She wishes things could be different, but how can she change her responsible ways? Perhaps, she thinks, she should fall in love!
Meanwhile, her scheming grandmother is planning a family party and, as is typical, Lily worries. Her fears are not entirely unfounded. Her grandfather has recently disowned her brother, and her brother has a new girlfriend who might not fit in. Her mother will probably bring the loony Mrs. Nightingale from the adult day care center where she works. And these are only the predictable complications.
Lily is beginning to understand how easily unimaginable things can happen, too. Back to the question of love, what is this new feeling Lily experiences when Daniel Steadman is near? Could it be the cure?
Neema and her best friend, Kate, are freshmen at Wentworth High. In English class they have the notorious Ms. “Bride of Dracula” Dallimore for a teacher. “Learn to fly!” she urges her students. But what are they supposed to write for their essay, “Who Am I?”
At home, Neema’s great-grandmother, Kalpana, has come for an extended visit all the way to Australia from India. At night she dreams of flying; during the day she cooks Indian food and watches the same Indian video again and again. It should be great having her there, but Neema doesn’t speak Hindi, Kalpana doesn’t speak English, and Neema’s mother can’t always be there to translate.
Meanwhile, Gull Oliver, the good-looking new boy at school, seems familiar to Neema. At night he flies past her house…[more]