Titan Books Teaser Tour - This SECRET Song

Stop 5

Welcome to Stop 5 on Titan Books Teaser Tour for This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab. Six Days, Six Different Excerpts. Today we at /Garbage-file want to share a SECRET...

“Rough night?” asked Kate, climbing the bleachers.

Freddie’s head was bowed over a book, but she could see the shadows under his eyes, the tension in his jaw.

He didn’t look up. “That obvious?”

She dropped her bag. “You look like hell.”

“Why, thank you,” he said dryly, raking a hand through still-damp hair.

He kept his eyes on the book, but never turned the page.

Questions swam through her mind, each one trying to surface, but she held them under. She started rapping her fingers, then remembered Dr. Landry’s observations and forced herself to stop. She was going to bring up the violin, but he didn’t have it with him today. She tried to see what he was reading, or pretending to read, but the words were too small, so she sat there, trying to re-create the feeling she’d had the day before, the comfortable quiet they’d shared.

But she couldn’t sit still. Exasperated, she dug her earbuds out and had them halfway to her head when Freddie spoke.

“What did you do?” he asked, turning the page.

Kate tensed a fraction, glad he couldn’t see. “What do you mean?”

Finally, he put the book aside. Plato. What kind of junior read philosophy for fun? “To get kicked out of another gym class.”

“Oh,” she said, touching her abdomen. “I have a terrible stomachache.”

Amusement flickered in his pale gray eyes. “Is that so?”

“Yeah, I hope I’m not coming down with something,” she said, slumping back against the bleachers with a smirk. “But you know what they say.”

“What do they say?”

“Fresh air is the best medicine.”

It would be too generous to call his expression a smile, but it was warm enough. She tucked her hair behind her ear and felt his gaze go straight to the scar. It wasn’t the first time he’d noticed, but it was the first time he asked. “What happened?”

Weakness invites a knife. But the words rose up before she could stop them. “Car accident.”

Freddie didn’t automatically say sorry, as if it were his fault. (She hated when people did that). He only nodded and ran a thumb over the black lines on his wrist. “I guess we all have our marks.”

She reached out and brushed her fingers over the nearest tally, feeling him tense under the touch. “How many days sober?”

He pulled gently free. “Enough,” he said, tugging the cuff down to cover the skin.

The questions rattled in her head.

Who are you?

What are you hiding?

Why are you hiding it?

They were trying to get out, and she was about to let them, when Freddie spoke.

“Can I tell you a secret?”

Kate sat forward. “Yes.” The word had come out faster than she’d planned, but he didn’t seem to notice. His eyes found hers, and there was something heavy about his gaze. Like she could feel it weighing on her. “What is it?” she pressed.

He leaned in. “I’ve never seen a forest up close.” And then, before she could say anything, he was pulling her down the bleacher steps and toward the trees.


If you enjoyed this excerpt, please read Romeo Kennedy's review of the book and visit the other websites on the tour (click on the banner picture above to see where they are). This Savage Song is published on June 7th by Titan Books and can be pre-ordered now.

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