Seventeen years is a long time to keep secrets, and Xander Fife has gotten very good at it. Everyone believes Xander has a rmal life and a rmal family. If he can just get through this summer, he'll start his real life in college with a clean slate-- risk, drama, fear. Even better, his plans for summer are awesome: lots of pick-up soccer, relaxing afterons with friends, and an epic road trip. Xander is banking on some long-overdue nights with his ideal girlfriend, the amazing Gretchen Taylor. Instead of kicking off what had promised to be an amazing summer, however, graduation day brings terror. His family's secrets are thrust out into the open, and Xander must confront his greatest fear. And survive doing so. Armed with a fake ID, cash, and a knife, Xander skips town and assumes a new identity. Hundreds of miles from home and in danger, one thing is clear: Xander's real life is already in progress and just getting through it isn't eugh.
Michele Bacon writes contemporary fiction for adults and young adults. Most of her stories begin as ideas scrawled on random scraps of paper, stuffed into pockets or joining her computer-bag detritus. Life Before is her debut novel. Michele lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and three small children.