Chapters 20–30

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.
Copy this list to... Buy the Book

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!
  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, unite!
  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. interject
    speak abruptly, especially as an interruption
    “Hey, that's my name, too!" the real Kay interjects from her wheelchair.
  2. glower
    look angry or sullen as if to signal disapproval
    “The plot thickens," Sienna says, glowering at me.
  3. brace
    prepare for something unpleasant or difficult
    I follow Dad to the living room like a lamb to slaughter, bracing myself for a scathing lecture with lots of yelling, but instead he collapses into his armchair and stares into the space in front of him with unfocused eyes.
  4. scathing
    marked by harshly abusive criticism
    I follow Dad to the living room like a lamb to slaughter, bracing myself for a scathing lecture with lots of yelling, but instead he collapses into his armchair and stares into the space in front of him with unfocused eyes.
  5. quaver
    give off unsteady sounds
    I don't have enough courage to lift my eyes when his voice quavers.
  6. petty
    small and of little importance
    Pretty soon she'll be halfway around the world doing stuff that's way more important than me. She won't be able to pick up the phone and help me with my petty problems then.
  7. nape
    the back side of the neck
    My whole body flares up, and suddenly there are creepy crawly sensations all over my body. I swear I feel tarantula hairs skittering across the nape of my neck.
  8. allure
    the power to entice or attract
    For once, the allure of shaved ice has no hold on me.
  9. subside
    wear off or die down
    Nabi wags her fluffy little tail as I leash her up. The summer sun is finally starting to set, and the heat is subsiding.
  10. defiantly
    in a rebellious manner
    She makes a whining sound and defiantly plants her butt down, letting me know she's had enough exercise for the day.
  11. diligently
    in a hard-working manner
    "As you know, today concludes our Test Prep 101 class. You've all grown so much during our time together. I've pushed you, and you've studied diligently, and I hope that you'll continue to pursue excellence beyond these walls. I expect to hear lots of good news soon."
  12. endeavor
    a purposeful or industrious undertaking
    Mrs. Pak, who I didn't think was capable of blushing, lifts one hand for silence.
    "Thank you for all your hard work this summer, students. Good luck in your future academic endeavors."
  13. waft
    be driven or carried along, as by the air
    I need to take a break, and the savory aroma of dumplings sizzling in sesame oil wafting in from the kitchen is calling my name.
  14. placate
    cause to be more favorably inclined
    Mom takes off her apron and points back upstairs. "After you eat, I want you to clean your room. Cannot concentrate on your work in that mess!"
    "Okay." I relent, doing what I can to placate her.
  15. devolve
    grow worse
    It's been so hectic these days, I haven't noticed that my room has slowly devolved into a hazardous waste zone unfit for human habitation.
  16. miscellany
    a collection containing a variety of sorts of things
    "How's it going?" Mom asks, edging around the mound of miscellany. This is the first time she's set foot in my room since I got in trouble, which is part of the reason why it's in its current state.
  17. rile
    disturb, especially by minor irritations
    Her hair comment hits the wrong chord, and suddenly I'm all riled up.
  18. gusto
    vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment
    "In just few minutes, we will open and have a new beginning at Chung's Barbecue. Thank you for all your hard work to prepare for today. Let's give best service to our guests," he says with the gusto of a game show host.
  19. tantalizing
    very pleasantly inviting
    It must have worked, because just a little bit later, the air is smoky with the tantalizing smell of grilled meat, and we're busy serving the tables and tables of guests.
  20. ferment
    go sour or spoil
    So we wait, and it's painfully slow. Like watching soybean paste ferment.
  21. disheveled
    in disarray; extremely disorderly
    Dad, with disheveled hair and fraught bloodshot eyes, isn't exactly the picture of welcoming hospitality he was earlier.
  22. fraught
    marked by distress
    Dad, with disheveled hair and fraught bloodshot eyes, isn't exactly the picture of welcoming hospitality he was earlier.
  23. feasible
    capable of being done with means at hand
    "Completely feasible!" he shouts from the other couch.
  24. jut
    extend out or project in space
    Sienna's lip juts out in sympathy. "Aww, Yumi. We forgive you. Right, Felipe?"
    "Right," he echoes.
  25. erratic
    having no fixed course
    Sienna sings, her frizzy hair bouncing erratically as she shimmies around Felipe's living room.
  26. meek
    evidencing little spirit or courage
    "I guess at the heart of it, I was afraid that you'd be disappointed. Maybe it was easier for me to go along with things than stand up to set things straight," I say meekly.
  27. bolster
    support and strengthen
    I look up, and I’m immediately bolstered by the sea of faces from every corner of my life coming together to support me and my family.
  28. upstage
    draw attention to oneself away from someone else
    "So my big sister is a genius. Aced the SATs on her first try before she hit her teens. Yeah, not intimidating at all. Did I mention she’s also gorgeous? My entire life has been one upstage after another, and to be completely honest, it's hard to hear any advice she has for me...."
  29. abalone
    a large edible marine gastropod with an ear-shaped shell
    The tension in the room is as thick as abalone porridge as Mom, Yuri, Manuel, and I gather around him in front of the computer.
  30. pandemonium
    a state of extreme confusion and disorder
    Pandemonium breaks out, and we're all screaming and hugging and jumping and hugging some more.
Created on June 28, 2020 (updated July 14, 2020)

Sign up now (it’s free!)

Whether you’re a teacher or a learner, Vocabulary.com can put you or your class on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.