Cover Reveal: JUST DO THIS ONE THING FOR ME by Laura Zimmermann
Cover reveal! Hilarious, heartbreaking, and sneaky suspenseful, Just Do This One Thing for Me is a timely novel about a rule-following daughter trying to hold her family together after her scammer mother disappears.
“Just do this one thing for me.” Drew’s mother says it more often than good morning. Heidi Hill has been juggling shady side hustles for all of Drew’s seventeen years, and Drew knows that “one thing” really means all the necessary things her mother thinks are boring, including taking care of her fifteen-year-old sister and eight-year-old brother. In fact, Drew is the closest thing to a responsible adult they’ve ever known. When their mother disappears on the way to a New Year’s Eve concert in Mexico and her schemes start unraveling, Drew is faced with a choice: Follow the rules, do the responsible thing, and walk away–alone–from her mother’s mess. Or hope the weather stays cold, keep the cons going, and just maybe hold her family together.
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The thing about being raised (“raised”) by someone like Heidi Hill is that you could end up with a very slippery relationship with the rules (“rules”). Like my sister.
But I am a born rule follower, a truth teller, a doer of homework, and a dotter and crosser of all letters and symbols and punctuation that require dots and crosses. And I don’t dot them with hearts or open circles. Just dots, like they are supposed to be dotted.
I meet deadlines. I set alarms. I make lists. I check them. Twice. I never cheat on anything (or anyone). I don’t round corners. I don’t round up. If it was only twenty-one hours since I’d had a fever, I would insist on waiting three more before going back to school, even if there was a class party that day.
Case in point, fourth grade:
“Aren’t you getting on the bus?”
“I can’t go until 10:07. That’s when I checked yesterday and I didn’t have a fever anymore. You have to drive me at 10:07.”
“It’s fricking freezing out. I don’t want to wrap up the baby. Just stay home if you don’t want to go.”
“It’s the Valentine’s party!” I held up my sack of valentines: hearts, cut out of Post-it notes, each stuck to a Tootsie Pop. Heidi had not gotten any even though I’d put them on the list, because she hadn’t remembered to take my list. So I’d improvised. I’d written each name in my best writing, double-checked everyone’s spelling, and added what I thought was an appropriate sticker—dinosaurs for the dinosaur boys, soccer balls for the soccer girls, pencils or books for the ones I wasn’t sure about. “Britelle’s mom is organizing the party.”
Heidi gagged. She gagged whenever Brenda Olziewski or any of the other do-everything mothers came up.
“Either get on the bus now or bring them in tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?! No one saves valentines for the next day.”
“Then you’d better get moving.”
“It won’t be twenty-four hours till 10:07.”
“Maybe your fever was already gone at 10:02 but you didn’t take your temperature until 10:07. Or maybe it was 9:41. Did you think about that?”
I hadn’t, but I didn’t think you were supposed to guess about something as important as a fever. The policy was twenty-four hours.
“If she’s not going, I’m not going,” piped in a perfectly healthy Carna.
I might have gotten over the valentine exchange, but the idea that Carna would miss a day of school for nothing was just too much for me. I tied my scarf around my face to cover my germs during the bus ride, then hid in the school bathroom until ten, checking my head with my arm in case it got hot before I reported to class.
That’s what kind of person I am. Or was, until I couldn’t be anymore.
Before New Year’s Eve, no one would have thought I was capable of doing anything besides exactly what I was supposed to do. And no one, including me, thought I was any good at lying. But maybe it was there in my genes all along, dormant, because once I got started, I caught on quickly.