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Read an Excerpt From Evergreen

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Read an Excerpt From Evergreen

All seventeen-year-old Quill wants is a break from the family business.

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Published on December 4, 2023

All seventeen-year-old Quill wants is a break from the family business.

We’re thrilled to share an excerpt from Evergreen by Devin Greenlee, an urban fairytale about a dryad who risks immortality for love—out from Entangled Teen on January 16, 2024.

All seventeen-year-old Quill wants is a break from the family business. Flowers, plants, the generations-old garden. What he wouldn’t give for a taste of the outside world. Normalcy. But his mom won’t let him out of the house, telling him he’s just not ready…

All because he’s a dryad. Well, not just any dryad, but a male dryad—the first ever. And unlike everyone else in his family, he hasn’t a lick of magic. Just a shock of green hair, matching green eyes, and a growing frustration that there’s an entire world out there waiting to be discovered. Until the night when the outside world—specifically his new neighbor—discovers him.

Liam Watson lives in a culture filled with electronics, mobile devices, and social media—where there is no magic or even the belief in it. And as much as Quill finds Liam irritating (he’s so cute it’s annoying), he can’t help himself.

Now Quill’s getting a taste of the outside world and of Liam… and he wants more. But all is not well in this magical, urban garden, and someone—or something—is changing the very essence of it.

And wherever Quill goes, the danger grows…


 

 

“Listen to me,” I say through gritted teeth, pointing at him and walking toward him. “I’ve had it. I’m done with all of it.” He’s taking steps backward on the creaking walkway, but I’m cornering him. “Take a fucking hint. Stay. Out. Of. My. House.”

He stops in his tracks and his face twists in confusion. “What are you talking about? I’ve never been inside your house.”

“Bullshit.” I’m so angry that my limbs are shaking. It’s almost hard to keep my balance, but my vision is zeroed on to him. “I know you crawled through my window the other night and you tried to do it again now.”

“Wait, you think I broke in?”

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Evergreen
Evergreen

Evergreen

“Yeah, and you make a really shitty thief.” It’s taking all of my self-control to not scream at him.

He holds up his hands. “Quill, I hate to break it to you, but I’m not a criminal and your house reeks of flowers. I’m allergic. Honestly, I was closing your window because the smell keeps getting into mine. Except I didn’t want to be rude the first time I met you.”

I stop moving and narrow my eyes as my thoughts freeze. That’s one thing I never expected. “You’re allergic to flowers?”

“Horribly. My eyes were burning out of my skull. You would’ve heard me coughing and sneezing way before I could make it out of your room.”

I pause. It doesn’t make sense. The tension in my chest relaxes. “But if it wasn’t you, who was—”

Suddenly the fire escape jolts, and my hands clutch the railing as it breaks off of the brick wall. An instantaneous jolt of panic rushes through my body as I grip the bar, holding on for dear life. Holy fuck, this cannot be happening right now. My feet slip from beneath me, falling to one knee as the metal digs into my leg. Pain shoots through my shin.

 

After all these years of wear and tear, this much weight finally made it give way. The whole walkway swings to the side, throwing me to my knees. I scramble to get my balance, but my fear is making me flail.

I roll and slide to the edge where I climbed out of my room, holding onto anything I can get my hands on. I’m thinking as fast as I can for a way to save myself, but I can’t process fast enough to make a plan. I’m just reacting as quickly as I can, breath catching in my throat. I get my grip on the metal right as I’m about to fall off the second story. The scaffolding halts, leaving me dangling above the ground.

“Quill! Are you okay?” Liam shouts. I can’t see him, but I hear his footsteps edging toward me.

“I’m gonna fall!” My breath is rasping and I’m desperately looking for some way, any way, to get back up. Please dear nature, this can’t be how it ends. I’m twenty feet off the ground with nothing but hard concrete below me. Holy shit, I’m gonna fall and break my neck.

He appears above me and reaches down. “Grab my hand!”

My sweaty hands are slipping. If I let go right now, I don’t know if I can hang on. I don’t even know if he’s strong enough to pull me back up. My pulse is racing and my muscles are losing strength more and more by the second. I will fall if I don’t at least try to reach for him. As soon as I let go to take hold of him, the bar holding me up breaks. He manages to catch my arm just in time.

“Hold on to me!” Liam says, gripping my hand as tight as he can.

My skin is stretching as it presses against his. His muscles feel like they’re doing everything they can to pull me up, but he’s shaking. I don’t think he can do it. He’s trying to save me, and it’s gonna end up pulling us both over the edge.

I’m not worried for myself anymore—I’m worried for him. It doesn’t last long, though. More screeching and cracking metal rings through the night. The railing he’s clinging to comes unhinged, and we go flying toward the pavement, panels of steel tumbling after.

 

Excerpted from Evergreen, copyright © 2024 by Devin Greenlee.

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Devin Greenlee

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