Trust Falls (Wessex Papers #1)

Trust Falls (Wessex Papers #1)

by Daniel Parker


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Hey man,

This place is crazy. They (I'm not exactly sure who "they" are, but that oaf of a dorm counselor I told you about is at the top of the list for sure) actually planted chewing tobacco in some kid's bag so that they could expel him. And I thought all I'd have to put up with this year was a bunch of spoiled brats with platinum cards.

James, an evil stench is wafting through the air here at Wessex Academy, and it smells just like a conspiracy.

Gotta go,


Alumni brat Sunday Winthrop and new student Fred Bushmill's pranks lead to their uncovering a sinister blackmail ring — one that will stop at nothing to incriminate one of their friends

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064408066
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/28/2002
Series: Wessex Papers Series , #1
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Daniel Parker is the author of over twenty books for children and young adults. He lives in New York City with his wife, a dog, and a psychotic cat named Bootsie. He is a Leo. When he isn't writing, he is tirelessly traveling the world on a doomed mission to achieve rock-and-roll stardom. As of this date, his musical credits include the composition of bluegrass sound-track numbers for the film The Grave (starring a bloated Anthony Michael Hall) and a brief stint performing live rap music to baffled Filipino audiences in Hong Kong. Mr. Parker once worked in a cheese shop. He was fired.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I should be wearing a dominatrix outfit. With stiletto heels. And a clown nose.

These were Sunday Winthrop's first thoughts as Mom and Dad hustled her out of the afternoon sunshine and into the dark foyer of Headmaster Olsen's mansion.

Well actually that wasn't quite true. These were her second thoughts. Her first thought was that somebody should finally suggest to Headmaster Olsen that he give up on the comb-over. Gently, of course. The poor guy. She tried to smile as she shook his hand. Oh, the humanity. She'd watched him fight a desperate battle with male pattern baldness for — what, now? Fifteen years?

"How are you, Sunday?"

"Fine, thanks, Mr. Olsen. And you?"

"Oh, same as always. Heh, heh, heh."

He wasn't lying. Sunday had been barely two years old when Dad brought her here for the first time — for his fifteenth reunion. (Yikes. That meant Dad's thirtieth reunion was this fall. Which meant another alumni bash from hell. Was it too late to apply for an exchange program in Siberia?) In the intervening years, Dad had matured into a happy-go-lucky, graying, Richard Gere–type. Mom had discovered hobbies, like watercolor painting. Sunday herself had become a young woman, complete with cleavage. But Olsen hadn't changed a bit, except for the loss of a few more hairs. He still had that ruddy face. That bow tie. Those beige slacks. Not pants. Slacks. That wide-wale corduroy jacket...

But back to the stilettos and clown nose.

The problem was this: The moment Sunday walked in the door, she saw that Allison was wearing the exact same Lily Pulitzer dress as she was. Now normally Sunday wouldlaugh at this kind of snafu. ("Oh, look," somebody was sure to say. "How cute. Sunday and Allison are wearing the same outfit. Just like when they were kids!") But Allison had called Sunday the night before, for the express purpose of avoiding such a coincidence:

Allison: "So what are you going to wear at Olsen's tomorrow?"

Sunday: "Not sure yet. I was thinking about that Lily Pulitzer dress."

Allison: "The one I have?"

Sunday: "Yeah? Why? Are you going to wear it?"

Allison: "Oh, no. Too conservative."

Sunday: "You think so?"

Allison: "Definitely. I want to make a splash. It is the first day of senior year."

Yet there Allison was, in Olsen's living room — standing solo among the plates of hors d'oeuvres and the shelves full of leather-bound the Lily Pulitzer. Right by the rolltop desk. On the first day of senior year. Classic. Sunday shook her head. Splash, my ass. She knew exactly what Allison had been thinking. Oh, yes. She knew the Allison strategy from a lifetime of experience. Allison had been planning on wearing the Lily Pulitzer from the get-go. So she'd made a preemptive strike. She wanted Sunday to doubt the Lily Pulitzer. To make Sunday think that it was a little too conservative. To play on Sunday's fashion insecurities. And when Sunday went with the splash herself, Allison would counterstrike with the Lily....

Whatever. It was funny. It was ridiculous, actually. Sunday knew she shouldn't get angry, because getting angry was something Allison would do. She should appreciate the silliness of it all. Hey, at least she didn't look like Nicole Kidman. At least she had her own thing going: skinny frame, long dark hair, no immediate celebrity resemblances. Allison's resemblance to Nicole Kidman was terrifying, right down to that little button nose. She was a full-fledged clone. (Oddly enough, though, Allison spoke like Madonna, post-elocution lessons — thanks to years of etiquette camp. Her accent fell somewhere between JFK and the Queen of England.)

"Aren't you going to go say hi to Allison, honey?" Dad asked.

No, thanks.

"She's standing all by herself," Mom said.

Maybe she forgot to wear deodorant.

"Oh, look!" Headmaster Olsen exclaimed. "You two have the same dress. How cute!"Sunday smiled. "It is cute, isn't it?" she said.Allison pretended not to notice them. This was a fairly difficult feat, considering that she was less than fifteen feet away — and alone. But she doggedly chewed on a stuffed mushroom and stared at a spot on the wall just above Olsen's antique globe. The "lost-in-thought" look, Sunday supposed. God help them all. Where was Mackenzie, anyway?

"The party's out back," Olsen said. "Come, come. Let's have a drink, shall we?"

"Is Mackenzie out there?" Sunday asked.

"No, I'm afraid the Wildes aren't here yet," Olsen said. He whisked Mom and Dad into the living room, heading for the back door. "Oh, that reminds me. Thanks for your timely submission for the time capsule! Mackenzie hasn't sent hers in yet. . . ."

"Hi, Allison!" Mom called.

Sunday's smile became strained.

"Oh, hi, Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop!" Allison shook her head and smiled as they hurried past her. "I didn't see you."

Dad jerked his head toward Sunday before disappearing around the corner. "Look who's here," he cried jovially. "Roomie number two!"

Thanks, Dad. Thanks for reminding me. Allison turned to her. Her own fake smile faltered — just for an instant. Then she started grinding her teeth.

"Hey, what do you know?" Sunday said. "We wore the same dress. Maybe Mackenzie will, too. Then we'll be like sisters. Triplets."

"Right," Allison said. She seemed confused.

Sunday swallowed. Now came the hard part.

Did they do the "hello hug," or didn't they?

There was really no reason to do the hello hug. Sunday had seen Allison only a week ago, out in East Hampton. The hello hug was usually reserved for seeing a dear friend after a long time. A month or more. On the other hand, they had done the hello hug every year so far at Olsen's annual AB Welcome Party. It was a ritual. It was formal. And that was the kicker: Allison was big on formalities. So she'd probably go for it....

Wessex Papers #1: Trust Falls. Copyright © by Daniel Parker. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Trust Falls (Wessex Papers #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
At the beginning it is confusing to know who is who and who did what in the book but gets good in the middle and end. Be sure you are ready and awake to read the beginning parts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...By far one of the best teen books. it gives just the right amount of detail and consistant character flow. the naration jumps from each individual student that it's focusing on for that chapter. i think the main thing that captivates our attention and interest, is the fact that it's so real, yet at the same time, fun and exciting enough to be more than mediocre. it's a definate 'page turner'. as the plot thickens into the climax, you end up biting your nails in anticipation, wondering if Fred and Sunday are going to get together, and think about what the headmaster and the spoiled student are conspiring about. there are so many different mysteries and self-discoveries, that you find so interesting, that you dont even realize that you've read the whole book and find yourself wanting more of this series. i definatly recommend this book to pretty much anybody who loves to read teen series that push it to the next level.. because it's not just some teen fiction, but it's more for 'young adults', and yes, there's a difference.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the Wessex trilogy last year, and I have read the three books many times over. I really want the books to be made into a movie, because that's how they move. The characters are well developed, and so is the storyline.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book today and I have to say it was really good. I wasn't expecting much from it, but I was pleasantly surprised. It drew me in and I couldn't put it down. It was hilarious too and sometimes it's hard to find a book that actually makes you laugh out loud and this one did. I also have to say that I love the Hobson/Mackenzie thing. That chapter (15, I think) cracked me up. Too bad Allison will probably get in the way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wessex Papers were totally exciting - read them all straight through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read all three of the "Wessex" books!! Everyone should definitly read them!! They keep you guessing until the very end!! You won't want to put them down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book, because it talks about what life is like in a place not all that many people get to go to. (Boarding school) And the characters are really cool. (Hobson rox!) The series is basically about these kids who think there's a scheme that the headmaster is leading, and they try to find out what it is. Meanwhile, they're also trying not to get suspended. Makes sense.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book. I just couldn't put it down. It's a a litte bit of everything: mystery, drama, romance. I would highly recomnd it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book and have wanted to get it for some while. This book explains about kids in a boarding school and how weird they can be(no offense to anyone).This is a really good book.