For fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick comes this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of The West Wing.
Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?
Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.
"A real page-turner, full of romance and intrigue" —Chicago Tribune
"Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Meg Cabot, and Huntley Fitzpatrick" —Glitter.com
"Both intelligent and heartfelt" —Booklist, starred review
"Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will appreciate this well-crafted story about love and family" —SLJ
"Smart, fresh, [with] a delicious, secret romance" —Publishers Weekly
"Fast-paced...will keep the reader coming back for more"—SLC
"High-stakes...a compulsively readable debut" —The Horn Book Guide
"A 'can't put down' book" —San Jose Mercury News
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
They didn't seem at all snooty like I'd worried they would be, given their prestigious school and the pedigrees of their families. And if they knew anything about me from the news, they made a really good show of pretending otherwise. Tonight, I wasn't the top story. I was just the new girl that their friend Andy wouldn't shut up about.
I stole glances at him over dinner, noticing the way his fingers grazed mine as he passed me plates of food, how he made a point of including me in the conversation—and yeah, okay, I might have also noticed that he was weirdly handsome, sort of rakish when he grinned and probably still as athletic as that US Weekly photo underneath his preppy blazer. He caught me looking once and I thought for a horrifying second he'd tease me, but he just kind of flushed and Lucy, the girl sitting opposite, smiled at us like we were a basket of kittens.
Did she think we were on a date? Did he?
Once the meal was cleared and the party seemed to be dwindling, I wished red-haired Jake a happy birthday and thanked him sincerely for including me.
He glanced at Andy. "Isn't she coming?"
"Hopefully," Andy said.
Jake grinned appreciatively. "Badass."
"Coming to what?" I asked.
"I was getting to that." Andy stuck his hands in his pockets. "So there's this concert. Kudzu Giants. Do you know them?"
I laughed. "Uh, yeah!"
Everyone knew them. They were huge, in constant rotation on the radio but still completely indie in their sensibility. Penny and I were both obsessed with them, but our parents had never let us see them play live.
Andy grinned. "Wanna come?"
We hopped in an armored SUV with four others, including Secret Service. A guy with a camera ran out of the restaurant after us and Andy just managed to slam the car door before he could snap a shot.
And, like that, I realized what a stupid idea this was.
That photographer had missed his chance of landing the front page of tomorrow's tabloids by less than a second. I could picture the headline now:
"Bipartisan Partying: Andy and Kate Hit the Town."
If this got out, it would be humiliating—not just for me, but for the senator and his staffers, whose jobs revolved around demonstrating how different I was from the president's son.
Sensing my mood shift, Andy squeezed my arm. "I won't let them take a picture of us. I'd be in bigger shit than you, trust me."
That should have been comforting. But somehow I sensed that Andy didn't really care how much trouble he got into. He was courting it just by calling me, inviting me out. Was that the real reason I was here? So Andy could feel the thrill of rebellion?
The thought hit me dully. It felt uncomfortably like truth.
The car was moving, and I wasn't dramatic enough to open the door at a stoplight and bolt, especially given the security detail surrounding us. But as we drove, I forged a plan. Once we got to the concert, I would call a cab and head straight back to the Coopers' house, no matter how much I was dying to hear Kudzu Giants—see them, live, in person . . .
No. Whatever game Andy was playing, I didn't want any part of it.
As the car pulled into the back alley of the concert venue, I slid my hand into my bag. My fingers scrambled around my wallet, my set of house keys, a tube of Cherry Chapstick. Where was my cell phone?
Andy held the car door open for me and I reluctantly climbed out, scanning the building for its name, location, any tidbit I could tell the taxi company so they'd know where to get me. Finally my eyes landed on a sign—a red, white, and blue one.
"Reelect Lawrence ~ Benefit Concert."
My bag dropped to the ground.
Everyone had piled happily out of the two cars behind me, but I let them pass, staring up at the campaign poster on the VIP door. Andy doubled back, his hand extended.
I picked up my bag and clutched it to me. Backed away. "Why did you bring me here?"
He grinned, all innocence. "I told you. For the band." His friends waited impatiently at the back entrance, waving for us to join them. "Come on, Quinn, I snuck out of the White House for this."
I relaxed. A little. "You're not supposed to be here either?"
"No, I told you. House arrest until they can figure out how to spin me for the campaign. We're gonna watch from the wings—I've got a buddy that fundraises for my dad, he's hooking us up. Secret Service won't tell my folks unless they ask, which they won't. They won't even come in this way. They'll never know."
I made one more attempt to find my phone, and then I pictured it—sitting on my bedside table back at the Coopers', still attached to its charger. And like that, the charge got sapped right out of me. In my nervousness about coming out tonight, I'd forgotten my cell phone. How could I be so stupid?
Behind me, the alley was empty, the cars that brought us already gone. As Andy glanced over his shoulder, I pressed my hand to my forehead. I could borrow a phone—call a taxi and bribe the driver not to say where he'd picked me up, but I didn't like the odds that he'd keep quiet, given how much Nancy had told me tabloids paid for scoops. And this was a scoop.
I could walk away. Find a payphone on the street. Did street payphones even exist in neighborhoods like this?
A low rumble rose up from the building—a thrumming bass line, and then drums. They were starting.
"Nobody will know we're here." I declared it more than asked it. Willed it to be true. "You promise."
Andy pressed his hands against my shoulders like he was holding me together.
There was something solid about the way he said it, like his feet were rooted into the ground. I decided to trust him. For now. Just this once.
What People are Saying About This
Praise for The Wrong Side of Right
"Both intelligent and heartfelt, as Kate finds unexpected love as well as unimagined courage. . . . Not only does Thorne give readers a moving coming-of-age story, but casts a critical eye on the state of American politics."—Booklist, starred review
"Absorbing and timely."—Kirkus
"Smart and well-executed . . . It is easy to like strong, intelligent Kate . . . and the adults in her life are realistically complicated. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will appreciate this well-crafted story about love and family."—School Library Journal