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Foreign Exchange by Denise Jaden


Product Description

Jamie Monroe has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. 

Sawyer and Tristan have been neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets—not only from her, but from each other. As she sinks deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one person she was starting to trust—Sawyer.

14+ due to sexuality, language, adult situations




“Hi,” I say when I find Sawyer at his locker. My face is beaming like someone plugged me into a wall socket.

“Jamie.” He smiles back, but his eyes are rimmed with red like he's really tired. “Have you heard from my sister again?”

Not exactly the topic of conversation I'd hoped for. I nod. “I got another email. She got to Milan fine and is settling in.”

Sawyer pulls out his phone. He looks at me, then at his phone, then back at me again.

“She's...everything's okay with the exchange program?” he asks. His words are tentative.

“Tristan's fine, Sawyer. She says the schoolwork is going to be harder than expected because of not speaking Italian, but otherwise she's great. She loves Europe.” He looks at his phone again. I put my hand out. “Here, you want me to show you the email?”

He hands me his phone. It takes me a minute to figure out how to log in through his browser, but I hope I can put his mind at rest. My email is coming up on the screen when the first bell rings. I have English first class and my teacher's a real stickler about tardiness. I glance down the hall toward my locker.

“You go,” Sawyer says, his palm open for his phone. “I'll look it over and see you in class later. Okay?”

“I—” I’m not sure what to say. Tristan’s been talking about finding my dad in her emails. It’s our big secret and she’d been adamant about not sharing it with anybody. But I think I can trust Sawyer. And, after all, it is my secret to keep. If I’m making a mistake it’ll only hurt me. “Okay,” I say, finally, passing his phone back to him. Our fingers brush against each other, but we don’t have time to let them linger.

By the time I get to English, I'm thinking of another problem. Tristan hadn't wanted me to tell anyone about her modeling over there. I’ll have to tell Sawyer not to mention it.

When I dash into class later, Sawyer’s already seated in his usual seat with his head down. He's flipping through something on his phone, and again I think about signing him into my email earlier. Instead of feeling nervous, after having some time to think about it, trusting him makes me feel closer to him. Like we share our private emails with each other all the time.

“Hey.” I sit down beside him.

He finishes typing something, and then shoves his phone away before Mr. Echols catches sight of it. “Hey,” he says finally, smiling over at me. He still looks really tired.

“Everything okay?” I ask.

He blinks a few times, looking down, and I wonder if he isn't okay. Is something really wrong? “Do you...” he trails off and seems to rethink what he's saying. “Do you think with the program... do you think everything's okay about that? I don't know what's going on, but maybe...I mean, I think maybe Tristan’s over there trying to model.”

I swallow hard. This is the moment of truth, where I have to decide how much I can trust him.

But his pause is barely long enough for me to open my mouth. “I need to get on that class trip, Jamie. I need to stop my sister from doing anything stupid.”

A host of emotions rush through me. Fear, anger, betrayal.

“Wait, what?” I ask him. “You're going to try to get on the class trip so you can interfere with Tristan's dream?” Tristan’s told me how jealous he can be. How he’s done this before.

Sawyer looks over at me with wide eyes, like he can't believe I'm calling him out on it.

Mr. Echols interrupts us, starting class, but I'm too upset to pay attention to a single word he's saying.

Sawyer passes me a note halfway through class.

I’m seriously worried about my sister, Jamie. I have to tell you more about the program. Just hear me out. Please?

I keep my eyes from Sawyer for the rest of class. I'm sure he knows I'm angry, but he doesn't try to talk to me again, at least for now. I'm even angry at myself for getting so caught up in my feelings for him and not noticing all the things that Tristan's warned me about. 


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Product Reviews

Previous | Showing reviews 11-13 of 13

  1. I loved... 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 13th Oct 2014

    I loved the well-drawn relationships in Foreign Exchange –the tension between Jamie and her mother, Jamie’s tenderness with disabled brother Eddy and especially the intense chemistry between Jamie and Sawyer. Their off-limits attraction and the increasingly dangerous hunt for his sister had me racing through the final chapters.

  2. Jamie will stop at nothing to save her best friend Tristan who has gone missing 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 13th Oct 2014

    Foreign Exchange takes you on a thrilling ride through the exotic streets of Europe into the dark side of the fashion world. Jamie will stop at nothing to save her best friend Tristan who has gone missing. A sweet dose of romance with Tristan's do-not-touch brother, keeps it light.

  3. It begins with Jamie’s best friend Tristan heading off to Italy for an exchange 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 13th Oct 2014

    I’m a big fan of Denise Jaden and was so honored when she asked me to beta read her latest YA a while back. I’m even more honored now to have read the published novel and be able share my thoughts with you all!

    Foreign Exchange is a YA contemp/mystery with a European road trip mixed in that creates a very compelling and interesting story. It begins with Jamie’s best friend Tristan heading off to Italy for an exchange program, leaving Jamie alone with Tristan’s off-limits but hot brother, Sawyer. Tristan has made it clear throughout her and Jamie’s friendship that Sawyer is a player and she doesn’t want Jamie falling for him…but of course, she does. With Tristan gone, the two can now start exploring a relationship that has the potential to turn into something else. Only now Tristan has gone MIA and Jamie and Sawyer embark on a trip of their own to find Tristan and bring her back.

    I’m a sucker for a book set in different locations around the world (especially Europe) so I loved that aspect of Foreign Exchange. The story includes Michigan, Canada, Rome, Venice, and Barcelona, and you get to see a bit of culture from each place. Not only are the settings vibrant, but the main character speaks a bunch of different languages–gotta love an intelligent girl!

    I also loved how the book showcased different relationships: Jamie and her special needs brother, Jamie and her absentee mom, Jamie and Tristan’s sometimes toxic friendship, and Jamie and Sawyer’s newfound love. It really makes you think about your own relationships and how the good relationships can outweigh the bad ones. My favorite was watching Jamie and Sawyer bond over their common interest in finding Tristan and seeing their emotions that had been buried for years come to life. And I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed how it played out.

Previous | Showing reviews 11-13 of 13

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