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Cover Reveal: ALWAYS ISN’T FOREVER by J.C. Cervantes

Cover reveal! From New York Times bestselling author J.C. Cervantes comes Always Isn’t Forever, a sparkling, unforgettable YA romance, perfect for fans of You’ve Reached Sam.

Best friends and soul mates since they were kids, Hart Augusto and Ruby Armenta were poised to take on senior year together when Hart tragically drowns in a boating accident. Absolutely shattered, Ruby struggles to move on from the person she knows was her forever love.

Hart can’t let go of Ruby either…. Due to some divine intervention, he’s offered a second chance. Only it won’t be as simple as bringing him back to life—instead, Hart’s soul is transferred to the body of local bad boy.

When Hart returns to town as Jameson, he realizes that winning Ruby back will be more challenging than he’d imagined. For one, he’s forbidden from telling Ruby the truth. And with each day he spends as Jameson, memories of his life as Hart begin to fade away.

Though Ruby still mourns Hart, she can’t deny that something is drawing her to Jameson. As much as she doesn’t understand the sudden pull, it can’t be ignored. And why does he remind her so much of Hart? Desperate to see if the connection she feels is real, Ruby begins to open her heart to Jameson—but will their love be enough to bridge the distance between them?

Illustrator credit: Karmen Loh; Designer: Kristie Radwilowicz


Two days before the end

We’re in Hart’s 1982 yellow Mustang, a car his dad gave him last year for his sixteenth birthday when it had no tires and only half an engine. It took six months of work in the shop to get Monster in gear –barely running on four wheels. I tried to help but ended up fumbling with the tools so Hart put me on DJ duty instead. Monster’s an old stick shift. Third gear locks up a lot, she doesn’t do hills, can only get up to fifty-seven miles per hour, and has enough scars to say she’s been through some stuff. And her floors are always, and I do mean always, coated with a thin layer of sand that no vacuum can get rid of. Hart’s tried. Believe me.

Monster’s engine churns as we loop down the hillside toward the ocean. We’ve got the windows down (she’s got no A/C) and the warm night air spills into the car.

Pretty soon we’re belting out the words to U2’s “It’s a Beautiful Day.” Hart’s an old soul, and his music choices only add to that vibe. I’m straining my voice so hard my already loose rubber band pops free and my hair whips around my face and all I can think is: I hope we never change.

“Hey, let’s skip the party,” I say.

Hart turns down the music. “You begged me to go and now you want to bail?”

I didn’t want to tell him earlier, but there’s this tension in the center of my solar plexus telling me something is wrong or about to be wrong. It’s a strange feeling, like thorny branches are growing inside of me. Mom says my great-grandmother had that kind of intuition too, a gift she called it. I call it a pain in the ass that only serves as a red flag, never giving any details that would actually affect the outcome.

Which is crazy because Hart’s the worrier.

When we were kids he wouldn’t climb the monkey bars or anything more than four feet off the ground, he started a petition for seatbelts on the school bus, and insisted on helmets whenever we rode bikes.

I tell Hart, “We could go down to the shore and . . .”

He squeezes my hand. “I promised you the party and you promised to let me surprise you. And tonight, we are both keeping those promises.”

Why does he have to be such a stickler for the rules? “Fine,” I say, turning the music back up, but the moment’s passed and I worry that everything is about to change.

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Penguin Teen