Six Months Later

Six Months Later

by Natalie D. Richards


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She Has Everything She Ever Wanted. But Not Her Memory...

When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life.

Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402285516
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 52,496
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: HL640L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

After years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her second novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I'm sitting next to the fire alarm, and my best friend is going down in flames. Irony or divine intervention? I can practically feel the metal handle under my fingers. It might as well be whispering my name.

Tempting. One strategic arm stretch and I could send this whole school into an evacuation frenzy.

I could end Maggie's nightmare right now.

At the front of the classroom, she swallows hard. She is as pale and shaky as the paper in her hands.

"The social p-pressures and isolation encountered b-by male n-n-"

I can't let her suffer like this.

Maggie shakes her head and tries to shrug it off with a sheepish grin. "S-sorry."

"It's all right," Mrs. Corwin says, playing with the cat pendant around her neck. "There's no reason to be scared."

She thinks stuttering is a fear problem? Aren't teachers supposed to know about speech issues and all that crap? Then again, what can I expect from a woman who has professionally framed pictures of her beloved Siamese, Mr. Whiskers, on her desk?

Maggie takes a breath. "The p-pressures and isolation encountered by male n-nurses in a predominantly f-female occupation is a compelling argument f-f-f-" She trails off, going crimson.

Someone snickers from the front.

"Go on, Maggie," Mrs. Corwin says. Again.

I'm going to do it.

Beside me, Blake Tanner shifts in his chair. I know this partly because I have good peripheral vision, but mostly because I have freakishly sensitive Blake radar. I hesitate, breathing in the clean hint of his cologne, watching him softly drum a thumb on his desktop.

My face goes hot. I can't do this with him sitting here. I'm completely invisible to this guy. And now I'm finally going to get his attention by, what? By pulling a fire alarm? Yes, I'm sure that will send a great message. To the guy who's been on the student council since the eighth grade.

Maggie tosses her hair back, forging on. "It's a compelling argument f-for s-s-sexism against men. In most modern contexts, concerns about s-s-s-s-"

Maggie goes pink and then red. Tyler and Shannon laugh in the back, and my eyes start to well up. Screw it. I can't sit here for one more second of one more minute.

I sink down as far as I can in my chair and start sliding my arm back along the wall. I reach up, but I'm grasping blind. It kind of hurts. I touch something cool and metal. Bingo. Two seconds and this misery is over.

Blake clears his throat and I bite my lip. Is he watching me?

What's wrong with me? Of course he's not watching me. I'm invisible.

I turn my head because I'm sure I feel someone's eyes on me. I do.

Adam Reed. He's slouched low in his seat, his dark hair in desperate need of the business end of a pair of scissors.

Adam arches one of his brows at me. The half smile on his lips asks me what I'm waiting for. I don't really have an answer, so I curl my fingers over the alarm handle and pull hard. And then I kiss my detention-free junior year good-bye.


Maggie is waiting outside the principal's office. She's got a couple of notebooks clutched in her arms and a pencil securing her strawberry blond waves into a bun.

The office door is barely closed when she starts in on me. "What were you thinking? You c-could have been expelled."

I sling my backpack over my shoulder and offer our school secretary, Mrs. Love, a wave. Maggie takes the cue and follows me briskly back into the hallway. Students are slamming locker doors and texting madly in the few minutes between periods.

Someone whistles, and across the hall, Connor holds two thumbs up. "Let's hear it for fire safety!"

The hallway bursts into a smattering of applause and wolf calls. I blush but give a little bow with a flourish of my hand.

We make our way to the stairs, climbing them two at a time.

"So what happened, Chloe? How b-bad is it?"

"I got a week of detention and a lecture about applying my interest in psychology to evaluating my episodes of acting out."

Maggie looks away, and I can tell she's biting her tongue.

I know that look. It means she's working hard to say something in a way that won't offend the hell out of me.

"Spit it out. You're obviously dying to insert commentary."

She sighs. "Look, I know you w-wanted to help me, but you've got to start thinking about yourself, Chloe. Sometimes it's like you're running away from everything you want."

I try not to look as hurt as I feel. "It's not like I'm afraid of being good, Mags."

She just laughs and takes my arm. "You jumped off the Third Street Bridge on a dare, which proves you're not afraid of anything. It also proves you're insane."

"Watch it."

I take a breath as we pass the drinking fountains, heading close to the last stretch of lockers in the hall. An otherwise unremarkable place in this building except for the fact that it's the Blake Zone.

As if on cue, he closes his locker door and appears, the tall, popular king of this lonely hallway. He laughs at a joke I don't hear. It's a perfect laugh that matches his perfect teeth and his perfect everything else.

I sigh. "Did Blake seem...disappointed?"

She blows out an impatient breath and rolls her eyes at me. "I didn't really think to dissect Blake's expression in the chaos and p-panic of the fire evacuation."

Blake laughs again, and I turn away, my cheeks burning. "Right. Sorry."

She gives me a sly grin. "Want me to go ask him?"

I slump back against the wall with a sigh. "How is it that I'm not the one who talks to boys? I'm the bridge jumper, the alarm puller-"

"The streaker," Maggie adds.

"That was one time! And technically, I was in my undies, but yes. How is it that you, High Queen of the Honor Roll, are better at this than me?"

"The stutter makes me a wild card," she says, winking. "No one ever sees me coming. And you talk t-to plenty of guys."

My gaze lingers on the stretch of Blake's polo across his shoulders, the ends of his hair curling over his collar. "Yeah, well. Not that one."

"I've got to g-get to class," Maggie says. "Speaking of which, did you remember to pick up your GPA at the office this morning?"

I feign a big, carefree smile. "Gosh, I must have completely forgotten. But I totally signed up for the SAT study group you told me about."

"And somehow forgot t-to ask for your GPA?" she asks, clearly unconvinced.

"Oh, who cares about a GPA anyway?"

She blinks at me, arms crossed. "Uh, every college you'll be applying to."

"Right. Well, finals aren't until next week. I can fix it."

Her eyes go dark. "Fix it? How bad is it?"

"Um, I-" The warning bell rings, saving me from another lie. "Gotta dash. Study hall and all. Yep, that's me. Study, study, study."

I slip inside the door and hear her calling after me. "You're running out of time, Chloe!"

She's got a point. I have exactly six days left of my junior year to turn my GPA into something that won't doom me to serving bad eggs at Trixie's Diner for the rest of my life. The urgency should inspire me to use every minute of my study hall period. It really should.

I pick up my biology notes, but it's all cellular this and genetic that, and my eyelids feel heavy after two lines. Why can't I get my act together?

Everyone around me is in full-force cram mode. Of course they are. Even Alexis, who spent the whole year reading Vogue behind her textbooks, is flipping through a stack of note cards. I'm officially the last slacker standing.

Maybe I could make a waitressing gig awesome. Except I don't want a waitressing gig. I only want one gig, and it doesn't involve rushing baskets of fries to hungry truckers.

It involves a doctorate degree in psychology.

How am I going to get through twelve years of college if I can't even stay awake in study hall?

Too bad I can't make a career out of sleeping in class undetected. I could tutor people in that. It's all about the posture. Chin in palm says bored. Chin on knuckles says deeply in thought.

And that sunbeam drifting through the window next to my desk? It says, Go to sleep, Chloe.

I tilt my head, watching the late May sunshine stroke my arms with soft, golden fingers. I do have all weekend to study. And I've got that stupid study group tonight, so I'm taking steps in the right direction. How much harm could one teeny little catnap do?

I give into the warmth and let my eyes slip closed. I'll worry about my lack of self-discipline after the bell rings.

But the bell doesn't ring.

There's no sound at all to wake me, just a cold sinking feeling in my middle. The hair on the back of my neck prickles, and my heart changes rhythm. Skips one beat. Then another.

And I know something is horribly wrong.

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Six Months Later 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay, so truth in advertising: Yes, I blog with this author. Yes, we're friends. I'm sure some people will think that's going to make me crazy biased, but I don't review books unless I LOVED them and this one? I loved it. Truly. Okay. So disclaimer aside, let's get to the good stuff. I won't bother with a synopsis because y'all know I can't summarize for crap so I'll stick to what I liked. Chloe. She's a great heroine and so so so human. Here's a girl who wakes up to a whole new life and, after the initial freak out, pulls herself together and moves forward. And I think that's the beauty of Richards's premise. It actually seems like this really cool fairy tale (the girl wakes up to a perfect new life with a perfect boyfriend and perfect future--who wouldn't want that?) and then it starts to decay. Chloe has to make a choice between what everyone is telling her is the right thing and what she knows is the right thing. That's crazy pressure. Hmmm. What else? OH!! Adam. If you like your heroes skewed toward bad boy (think The Perfect Chemistry series' heroes), you'll love Adam. I think the best part about him is how he sees Chloe differently than other people see her. Yeah, we've read that before. I know. But it's WHY he sees her differently that makes this so perfect for me. Adam's used to being dismissed and marginalized. He knows firsthand what can live underneath a person's facade and I love that about him. Then there's the suspense. I read SIX MONTHS LATER in one sitting. Considering my ADD and general nervous energy, this is unusual. But I could not stop turning pages. I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. So, yeah, in summary? It was a great read. You need to pick this one up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the YA genre, and/or suspense/thrillers. The author does a wonderful job of pulling the reader into the story, and building interest in her characters. I loved how the suspense of the plot kept me turning the pages! The main character, and heroine is Chloe. She is intelligent, snarky, funny, and has such strength. She's a character that is so easy to relate to. You feel as if you know her, and you want to go with her on this scary, intense journey for the truth. It's a thrill ride! Plus, there's unexpected romance - and sizzling chemistry to boot! A great debut novel, and an engrossing read.
PHDunn More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. For so many reasons. First of all, the writing is just gorgeous. This book is filled with lines like this: "I lean closer to the window, but the snow refuses to be anything other than what it is. It falls thickly on the brown grass, clinging to the spindly branches of barren trees." I love it when words roll around my tongue like a mouthful of jewels -- and Richards manages to create this sensation without distracting one bit from the story. Then, there's the suspense. The way Richards tells the story had me glued to the pages. I HAD to find out why, why, why, and I could not put down the book until I found out! Truth be told, I don't really like to be scared. And this book is darn creepy. But Richards mixes so much intrigue with the "creep" factor that I didn't even mind the chills running up my spine. From lines like, "Boyfriend is my job, not yours," to pillars of the community who suddenly disappear, to psychiatrists who don't tell the truth, I was hooked from beginning to end. And finally, there are the characters. Funny, irreverent, loving, and real. They're the kind of characters you wish were real so you could hang out with them all afternoon. All in all, this book is a must-read!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Read, Got a Chance to read the ARC, The Beginning is just creepy, I can't imagine falling asleep in class, and waking up 6 months later with all new friends and a whole new life. The Plot keeps you riveted, and just when you think you have figured it out, Richards throws you a new curve. The writing style is very witty, and the Dialog is so natural, I was not just reading the conversations I was hearing them. Great characters, once it got going, I couldn't put it down. I read it in 2 days, very unusual for me to finish a book this quickly
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful YA Thriller I really enjoyed Six Months Later.  Imagine a row of books that are all in similar shades of pastel, nothing wrong with pastel mind you, but then imagine one that just pops out like a neon light....well that is what Six Months Later was like for me.  It just stood out among the many books I have read lately providing such a refreshing and much needed change of pace.  Six Months Later is a YA thriller that had the feel of reading a movie to me.  One day in study hall, Chloe falls asleep.  When she awakens, it is no longer May, but wintertime. There is snow on the ground, it's cold, and it's dark outside.  Chloe as a major WTH has happened moment, knowing something is terribly wrong.  She has dirt under her fingernails, she isn't wearing the same clothes, and when she checks her cell phone she finds that it is November, six months later than the last thing she remembers.  To say she is freaked out is putting it mildly.  When she fell asleep, she was your average student, not really too popular, but not in the unpopular crowd either.  Now, she finds that not only is she in the popular crowd, she's aced her SAT, her best friend Maggie won't even speak to her, and she's supposedly dating the high school jock Blake, who she has crushed on what seems like forever.  Yet when she is around Blake, when he touches her, she can't understand why it totally creeps her out, and why when she sees or is around hottie bad boy Adam Reed, she wants to just melt in a puddle, and feels like he is the only one she can trust.    Desperate to find out what has happened, but not wanting to give too much away for fear of being labeled totally nuts and wind up institutionalized, she reveals just enough to her parents to let them know she's having a "memory issue," and begins to try to find out what's happened to her, trying to figure out who she can trust, and who she can't.  As she digs deeper into this mystery it seems that for every answer she finds, she has just as many if not more questions.  Chloe knows something is terribly wrong, even dangerous, as she gets closer to finding the truth she seeks.   Six Months Later is filled with mystery, suspense, and yes, romance.  I totally loved Chloe's character.  She is snarky, determined, and her inner dialogue had me laughing so many times.  I also really liked hottie bad boy Adam.  There was a lot more to him that meets the eye, and the chemistry between he and Chloe was electric.  Maggie, Chloe's best friend was really great to, but Blake definitely had the creeper vibe going on.  The story is fast paced and kept me turning the pages to see what happened next.  I don't want to give too much away, because the mystery is what makes the story so good.  I was able to figure out somethings, and other things were surprising as the truth began to unravel.  Six Months Later is filled with mystery, suspense, danger, romance, and just the right amount of humor, and has that thriller feel that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and most definitely would recommend it.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me wondering and guessing until the very end!  The beginning sucked me right in - I loved Chloe, the main character, from the start and the other characters in the story all seem real and compelling.  I kept wondering about the mystery, which kept me turning the pages, and more than once I got chills from being creeped out.   If you like a mystery story where it's hard to figure out the ending, read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! It grabs you from the very beginning and doesn't let go to the very end. For anyone who feels the pressure of trying to do it all and be it all in high school--you will completely relate the problems Chloe faces. But the part you won't guess is how creepy and twisted it gets for her. You'll be thinking, "Wow, be careful what you wish for!" I can't say enough good stuff about this book. It's an absolute MUST READ!
Anonymous 4 months ago
The first few chapters are awesome i cant wait till i finish it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am addicted to this author's mind!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness I love this book!!!! The seed of the story is really good and I mean good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this book. Natalie Richards was able to keep my attention the whole time. So much so, that I couldn't put it down the day I bought it and stayed up most of the night and ended up finishing it in 2 days. It was able to get into my head and felt I was living the story with Chloe. I've also read "Gone Too Far" and can't wait to read Natalie's last book "My Secret To Tell".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding contemporary, ya novel! As an older adult, I haven't read a lot of ya stories. I was hooked on this one. Skillfully written, full of suspense, angst, & romance with just the right amount of sizzle. Chloe, the seventeen year old heroine, despite suffering from anxiety attacks, is funny, feisty, tenacious, & courageous. She wakes up not remembering anything of the past six months. In her search for the truth, she uncovers greed, evil, & tragedy. On the romance side, she struggles to understand why she is the girlfriend of the most popular boy in high school since she never ran in his circle & would never been under his radar. But also what is this overwhelming chemistry between her & the gorgeous bad boy, adam?
quibecca More than 1 year ago
4.5 STARS ACTUALLY!!! Man....oh man....oh man..... This was such a great book. It messed with my head and made me crazy, in all the right ways :). Chloe fell asleep in school one day and when she wakes up six months has gone by. She has the boyfriend she has always dreamed of having, she all of the sudden is at the top of her class, has new friends. She seems to have it all. There is something missing though. All of the sudden she isn't best friends with her life long friend Maggie, and she is having weird lapses in memory. Chloe spends time with her new (well new to her memory) boyfriend Blake, but doesn't feel like it's right. Everything seems to be off. Chloe keeps having dreams and glimpses of memories back and none of them seem to coincide with what is going on in her life. Chloe is trying to maker her parents understand there is something more going on than just memories being gone. She's seeing a counselor, and making things up because she doesn't want everyone to think she has gone crazy. She runs into Adam, the local bad boy, and when he touches Chloe, a memory comes to her. That is what starts Chloe's journey to find out what is going on. I cannot imagine loosing my memories. I already don't' have a fantastic memory. I can look at pictures though and remember where we were, and even remember the feelings that went along with the day. Chloe couldn't even do that with anything involving the last six months. She is determined to make up with Maggie, or at least find out what happened between them. There really is so much going on in this book. It is so fantastic. It was so exciting. It made my head spin and gasp a few time :). In Chloe's search to find out what is going on with her, she realizes there is something much more disturbing going on. It's a wonderfully spun web of lies and deceit. Get ready for a page turning, bumpy, intense, at some times scary, emotionally charged ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved every minute of it. I couldn't stop reading it. It's one of those stories you stay up late to finish, even when you have to get up at five in the morning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't even finished the book yet. But at the moment it really doesn't interest me. When I read the sample I couldn't wait to buy it and when I finially did...well right now I kind of wish I didn't. And I love reading so that's not the problem. I hope by the end of this book I enjoy it but if your comparing this book to another on which one to get don't get this one.
KristiHulsey More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book from the very first sentence. I enjoy books where the characters loses their memory and then later discover what happened and why the lost it. This book was so, so good. I don't understand why its not more hyped up. It was EXTREMELY GOOD.  The suspense was just amazing. I thouroughly enjoyed this whole story from start to finish. The romance was really good. The romance was really good. I really enjoyed it. I am really big romance junkie. Its this really intense, suspense story with romance and alot of drama. Everything I enjoyed in this story was just so amazing. I really loved Adam from the beginning. I didn't understand the whole Blake ordeal. I didn't too much care for him. Maggie was this super sweet character too. You just had to love her.  I enjoyed the psychological aspect to this book. It really had me thinking the whole time. Like who was behind this? I went through everyone in my head. I did come up with a few people but it turned out some were true but not for the reasons I thought.  Please read this YA Mystery, Romance story it is just Phenomenal. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. Great characters, even if the plot was slightly predictable .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! I connected with all the charcters and i truly felt for Chloe in her worst momrnts. I was hooked from the first page all the way till the end. Literally i finished this book in one sitting and it's 3:00 am and my dad's telling me to sleep...if you're into mysteries, this is for you. C:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From start to finish, I felt as if I were in a headlong tumble down a steep hill. I could scarcely put it down. A GREAT read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever and i enjoyed gone too far as well
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven’t read a lot of books in this genre, but if this is typical I’ll be reading a lot more! The story is fast paced and the characters interesting. The premise is a new take on the classic time travel story. In this case Chloe takes a one way trip into her own future, with no idea how or what has happened. Disorientated she stumbles through answering her many questions as we follow her through a roller coaster ride of discovery. The ending will surprise you. A real page turner!
voldemort More than 1 year ago
This sounds really cool.