Three modern teens, a 200-year-old diary, a literary mystery to solve.
Twelve-year-old Hyperion Frances Keats, great-great grand niece of poet John Keats, hates tip-toeing around her older sister’s “medical diagnosis”. Why is Isabella so determined to turn her back on what makes her unique in a sea of wannabes? Is popularity more important than the truth?
The sisters and boy-next-door Will find themselves in the middle of a mystery after discovering a 200-year-old diary written by the girl who inspired the sonnet “To A Lady Seen For A Moment At Vauxhall.” The teens aren’t the only ones after the answers found in the pages from the past, though. The LBT Brotherhood – a secret society dedicated to preserving the Romantic Poets three creeds of love, beauty, and truth – want the secrets contained in the diary to remain lost to time and will stop at nothing to silence Hyperion, Isabella, and Will forever.
I barely crack the door open before Neighbor Boy launches into a spiel that may or may not be rehearsed—I can’t really tell because he’s talking too fast for me to guess one way or the other. “Hi, I’m not a stalker or anything so don’t get freaked out, okay? But I saw the historical marker in your front yard and had a couple of quick questions if you, uh, don’t mind me, uh, asking. You don’t mind me asking stuff, do you? I can go away if you do.” He blinks nervously a ton of times in anticipation of me either saying yes and waiting for his couple of supposedly quick questions or no and slamming the door in his face. Why would I say no? He’s the prettiest boy I’ve ever seen up close. Even if boys don’t like to be called pretty, with his huge blue eyes and unruly, anime character hair, that’s the only word that comes to mind. Pretty. My heart does this funny little fluttery jump like I’ve run a mile in under five minutes and I’m positive my palms are too sweaty to shut the door. Even if I wanted to, shutting the door means he’d go away and there’s no way I’m letting that happen. Especially not on my birthday.
“Go ahead. Ask your questions,” I whisper because I seriously doubt I can say it louder even if I wanted to right now.
“Great.” He flashes a lopsided grin that makes my heart fluttering turn into a hammering. “Is this really the George Keats House? Like the real George Keats, brother to the poet John Keats’ house, and you actually live here-live here and not keep it up like a museum or something? Do I have to buy admission because I’m, like, standing on your yard?”
“Um, yes, yes, no, and no,” I field his jumbled together questions in order.
“Really? Are you like direct descendants or did you just buy the house from someone else and decided the historical marker was a cool trick to attract fan boys like me?”
His rapid fire, excited delivery is getting easier to understand. For a second, I think about Isabella by the window seat with her natural light waiting to make her good first impression, and about how Mom always tells me not to talk to strangers because she reads way too much of Nancy Grace’s child snatching Headline News blog, but it’s like my mouth is on auto-pilot as my heart ratchets away in my chest and I answer anything Neighbor Boy asks. “Direct,” I say. “Or Dad is, which makes us too. Mom was just a Romantic Poets fan girl who lucked out by meeting Dad in some college class and marrying in. They both teach at the university. British Lit.”
Neighbor Boy pushes his sandy blond hair out of his face with one long-fingered hand and, I think, even if I don’t like to do manual labor on my birthday, I got the better deal by agreeing to open the front door. While Isabella is hanging out in the kitchen imaging what he’s like, I don’t have to imagine. I know.