Chapters 1–15

Willow Chance is an offbeat genius whose life is thrown off course when her adoptive parents die in a tragic accident.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. obsess
    be preoccupied with something
    And if I do, I obsess in such a precise way as to prevent even a drop of disorder.
  2. foreclosure
    proceedings initiated to repossess the collateral for a loan
    The neighbors to the south of us moved out and their place is in foreclosure.
  3. correlation
    a reciprocal connection between two or more things
    The correlation between expectation and delivery of desire could no doubt be quantified into some kind of mathematical formula.
  4. abdomen
    the region of the body between the thorax and the pelvis
    And while I have a passion for all things medical, the idea of them doing that, especially with any kind of regularity and enthusiasm, makes me feel nauseated (as medically defined, an unpleasant sensation in the abdomen).
  5. ethnic
    distinctive of the ways of living of a group of people
    If you could see me, you would say that I don't fit into an easily identifiable ethnic category.
  6. syndrome
    a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease
    I remember distinctly a boy named Miles twice peeing his pants, and, with the exception of a kid named Garrison (who I'm certain had some sort of restless leg syndrome), everyone else in the room seemed to actually enjoy the horizontal break.
  7. myopia
    eyesight abnormality in which distant objects appear blurred
    So I congratulated myself on this achievement because I had been hoping for some form of myopia, and now I had it.
  8. intensity
    the amount of energy transmitted
    I could see her talking to two girls next to a row of lockers and she didn't have the same intensity.
  9. rigor
    the quality of being strictly valid
    While my teachers labored over the rigors of their chosen subject, I sat in the back, pretty much bored out of my mind.
  10. attire
    clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
    The average teenager was willing to wear very uncomfortable attire.
  11. aptitude
    inherent ability
    Your file shows that you were identified several years ago as having high aptitude.
  12. deception
    a misleading falsehood
    The principal, unable to prove the deception, but certain that it had happened, finally let me go.
  13. compassion
    a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering
    He lacked true compassion and he had no stomach for their health problems.
  14. bogus
    fraudulent; having a misleading appearance
    Dell sent out literally hundreds of resumes, and after three years working as a bar-back, carrying tubs of used glasses to the surly dishwashers, he finally added some bogus counseling work experience to his resume and got a bite.
  15. ironic
    displaying incongruity between what is expected and what is
    It struck Dell as ironic that there were kids who didn't go to school, and they would be punished for not attending with the threat of being kicked out altogether.
  16. deficiency
    lack of an adequate quantity or number
    Counselor Winkleman had elaborate notes and wrote up painstakingly detailed reports where he made an effort to quantify his students' abilities and deficiencies.
  17. longevity
    the property of having lived for a considerable time
    The combination of olive oil, hearty vegetables, and cheese that comes from goat's milk, mixed with decent servings of fish and meat, had been shown in numerous studies to promote longevity.
  18. psychosis
    severe mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost
    I once played for twenty hours straight and experienced signs of mild psychosis.
  19. colossal
    so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe
    If I didn't want a colossal stomachache, I had to use a version of the truth.
  20. mute
    expressed without speech
    He talked and talked and talked and she just sat there, mute, staring at him, but he could tell that she was listening.
  21. drone
    talk in a monotonous voice
    She appeared to exhibit patience (she had listened to him drone on for the first half of the appointment).
  22. hostile
    characterized by enmity or ill will
    The boy shot the girl a hostile look, but returned to his feverish coloring.
  23. peripheral
    related to the key issue but not of central importance
    With this closer, peripheral examination, I suddenly wondered if the girl was a Native American.
  24. intimidate
    make timid or fearful
    Adults didn't intimidate her, and neither did strangers of any age.
  25. outcast
    a person who is rejected (from society or home)
    Because of this, Mai's mother, who was named Dung, had been an outcast.
  26. obliterate
    do away with completely, without leaving a trace
    It was there, in the small, stuffy trailer on the edge of the baking-hot blacktop of the Bakersfield school district parking lot, that I found an older girl who was disappointing only in her failure to speak the language of the mostly obliterated Cahuilla people.
  27. saunter
    walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
    We all watched as Cheddar sauntered across the desktop, rubbing his freakishly big body against the three shelves of the in-and-out box (where Dell Duke had piled official-looking paperwork that I suddenly felt certain he later simply dumped unread in the large storage closet that was behind his desk).
  28. incentive
    a positive motivational influence
    I believe that economic incentive is crucial as a motivator, especially in a consumer-driven society.
  29. amateur
    lacking professional skill or expertise
    Or perhaps Mai's family had an apartment with a roof-deck that housed an amateur self-constructed observatory with a shockingly powerful reflecting telescope.
  30. intriguing
    capable of arousing interest or curiosity
    Sitting in the backseat, I wanted to exchange vital contact information with this older and intriguing girl named Mai.
  31. genome
    the full DNA sequence of an organism
    In a blink of pure fantasy, I suddenly saw myself walking away from Dell Duke's grimy car with a tiny glass vial of her blood sample for genome sequencing.
  32. chaise longue
    a long chair for reclining
    He was surprised people didn't realize that a decent chaise longue was much easier to move, yet still as comfortable as a couch.
  33. compliance
    acting according to certain accepted standards
    “I would like the number of your taxi license and to see proof of your compliance with brake and headlight adjustment requirements."
  34. fluent
    expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively
    He didn't realize that I am fluent in Spanish, as it was the language I learned after English.
  35. ambush
    hunt by stalking and attacking by surprise
    If a kid can ambush you outside of a middle school, what's next?
  36. sibling
    a person's brother or sister
    And I got the idea that maybe he wanted to push the Nguyen siblings right down the stairs.
  37. spontaneous
    happening or arising without apparent external cause
    I knew that the nurse, Miss Judi, liked me because we discussed things like flu outbreaks and the statistics behind spontaneous nosebleeds.
  38. asymmetrical
    irregular in shape or outline
    It had, in my opinion, the signs of trouble: It was asymmetrical and it had flecks of red and blue on the broken edges.
  39. pathology
    the branch of medical science that studies diseases
    If it is not too much of an invasion of your privacy, I would very much like to look at the pathology report.
  40. navigate
    direct carefully and safely
    Drivers were cranky as they navigated through congested streets, not giving an inch.
Created on August 21, 2014 (updated September 4, 2018)

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