Chapters 8–12

Shy Yumi Chung dreams of being a stand-up comedian — and when a mix-up gives her access to a summer comedy camp, she might finally get her chance to shine.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. gouge
    make a groove in
    I'm a mere moment away from gouging the creep in the eye sockets with my two stiff fingers when it registers in my brain who it is.
  2. flair
    distinctive and stylish elegance
    "I took tae kwon do for a few years, you know...Just for kicks." I kick my foot up for flair. It feels like something Kay would do.
  3. banshee
    a female spirit who wails to warn of impending death
    "Pshh. I wasn't scared." I shrug teasingly. "You're the one who screamed like a banshee."
  4. incapacitate
    injure permanently
    In a deep voice, he says, "I can shatter objects, level skyscrapers, and incapacitate my enemies using the power of my supersonic scream."
  5. intently
    with strained or eager attention
    I inhale deeply as I stare intently at the mirror again.
  6. beckon
    summon with a wave, nod, or some other gesture
    "Yeah, c'mon, Kay,” she says, beckoning me with both arms.
  7. expectant
    marked by eager anticipation
    She looks up expectantly. "Now, who wants to start?"
  8. titter
    a nervous restrained laugh
    A tittering of laughter comes from the audience.
  9. full-fledged
    having gained complete status
    If I don't say something now, I'm going to have a full-fledged panic attack in front of everyone.
  10. hilarity
    great merriment
    Sienna's slapping her thigh. "That was..." She wipes the corner of her eye with one finger. "Peak hilarity."
  11. indignant
    angered at something unjust or wrong
    Felipe is indignant. "Uh. Why are you selling them short? They're the masterminds behind the entire Dark Squad franchise!"
  12. loom
    hang over, as of something threatening, dark, or menacing
    As we're exchanging numbers, the challenge looms heavy on my mind. It's going to be hard to convince my parents. Nearly impossible, even.
  13. pang
    a sudden sharp feeling
    Pangs of paranoia surge through me.
  14. foray
    an initial attempt
    There's no way he could possibly know about my forays to the Haha Club, is there?
  15. abysmal
    exceptionally bad or displeasing
    "That's abysmal." She closes the financial report. "Enough about that."
  16. grueling
    characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion
    No matter how beat Mom is after a grueling day at the restaurant, if she hears us utter the word hungry, the stove will be fired up in ten seconds flat.
  17. gaunt
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    I take a second glance at her. My sister's always been on the petite side, but my mom's right. She looks a little gaunt, and her collarbones are extra pointy through her silk tank top.
  18. incredulous
    not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving
    "What are you talking about?" Yuri says, incredulous.
    I can't tell if my sister is playing dumb or if she's really clueless that we're onto her. We've been onto her.
  19. brim
    fill as much as possible
    His eyes brim with hope as he looks over at the dark corner of the restaurant where dusty calligraphy scrolls and bamboo fans hang on the walls alongside stacked boxes of soy sauce and cooking oil.
  20. chastise
    censure severely
    "Yumi, please. This is adult talk." Mom chastises me as she reaches to point at the middle section of the restaurant.
  21. cadaver
    the dead body of a human being
    Yuri exhales long and slow. "No, no. It's not that. My grades are perfect. I'm—I'm not happy. I just don't want to be there. I hate the blood. The cadavers. The guts. The organs."
  22. relentless
    never-ceasing
    My parents have been relentless trying to get her to reconsider.
  23. vegan
    a person who does not eat any animal products
    "I'm getting the mango. It's dairy-free.” Ginny sifts through her zebra-print backpack for her wallet. "You know, because I'm vegan now," she reminds me.
  24. stimulate
    cause to act in a specified manner
    I remember her telling me how they had her drinking this expensive mystery tea from a Chinese medicine herbalist—until she found out it was made from ground deer antlers—to stimulate her growth plates or something like that.
  25. squabble
    argue over petty things
    She's been squabbling with them about it nonstop ever since.
    "My mom said if I bring up veganism one more time, I'm grounded."
  26. alias
    a name that has been assumed temporarily
    “Kay?" I chuckle nervously. I go with the first thing that pops into my head. “Oh, that? Kay is, uh...It's my English name."
    I'm hot under my skin.
    "You mean, like an alias? Like Clark Kent?” Felipe suggests.
  27. divert
    send on a course different from the planned or intended one
    So much for my attempt to divert the conversation. At this rate, Ginny's going to make me blow my cover in front of Felipe before my boba is done. I need to get out of here.
  28. avert
    prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
    Crisis averted...for now.
  29. authentic
    conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief
    “See, when you share something authentic about yourself, people connect to you. And chances are, you're not the only person who has felt the way you're feeling."
  30. demure
    shy or modest, often in a playful or provocative way
    I'd tell some killer jokes, and they'd be so funny my parents wouldn't be able to hold it in. Mom would try to be demure by holding her hand over her mouth, and Dad would let his laugh-bark rip.
Created on June 28, 2020 (updated July 14, 2020)

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