Han, Jenny. 2006. Shug.
What is a twelve-year-old girl to do when she falls in love with her best friend who doesn’t even notice her in that way??? Jenny Han’s narrator, Annemarie Wilcox (aka Shug) is about to take such a journey. As the summer of her twelfth year comes to a close, she knows that her first kiss must be just around the corner. And she knows that her best friend, Mark, is just the boy to give it. But separating reality and fantasy are just some of the things our young and spirited narrator must learn as she begins to grow up....
Some girls are pretty, and it’s like they were destined for it. They were meant to be pretty, and as for the rest of us, well, we get to exist on the outer edges of life. It’s like moths. They’re the same as butterflies, aren’t they? They’re just gray. They can’t help being gray, they just are. But butterflies, they’re a million different colors, yellow and emerald and cerulean blue. They’re pretty. Who’d dare kill a butterfly? I don’t know of a single soul who’d lift a finger against a butterfly. But most anybody would swat at a moth like it was nothing, and all because it isn’t pretty. Doesn’t seem fair, not at all. p. 11-12
This is Mark Findley who knows my favorite ice cream flavor (Rocky Road) and how I like my pizza (extra cheese, pineapple, and mushroom); Mark who pulls splinters out of my feet when I go barefoot in the summer; Mark who helped me bury my gerbil, Benny, when he died. This is Mark who was sitting next to me on the bus that time I threw up in third grade. He didn’t even say a word when some splashed on him; he just wiped it off and asked if I was okay. p. 13
The whole time we were sitting there, my eyes kept sliding back to Mark. How is it possible to have known a boy for eight years and never have seen how special he was, how terribly, secretly wonderful? Everything about him seems special now. I can’t stop looking at him, and I keep wanting to touch his hair or squeeze his hand. It’s so distracting. If anyone else noticed, I’d die. Mark didn’t look at me once. I mean, he looked at me, but not once did he see me. p. 36