Heartstrings (WATTYS 2017)
Kiara Williams was the type of South Jersey black girl that everyone was afraid to mess with. She was cold, angry, and blatantly hated the people around her to the point of exploding with bursts of physical violence if they so much as said the wrong thing.
And nobody could blame her.
School was a rough and tumble nightmare of avoiding the most illegal of drugs and warding off violent wannabe thugs. Home was no better, with her dad out of the picture and her mom addicted to heroin.
The only thing that was keeping Kiara going was her crazy best friend, Abigail. But when she showed up to school one day and found a teacher trying to hurt Abby in the girl's bathroom, her messed up world collapsed.
Kiara got expelled from school for extreme violence, and as a result, her mother gave up her custody rights and sent her overseas to live with her dad, who she hasn't seen since she was two.
Thrown headfirst into a foreign country with foreign customs and a father who isn't too thrilled to have her around, Kiara struggles as hard as she can to adjust to her new life.
Aside from being forced to wear a tacky uniform at school, not being able to read the lettering on her schoolwork, and not understanding the people around her... living in Japan doesn't really seem so bad in comparison to where she'd been.
At least, not until the day her new cat turns into a feral, beastly human boy and attacks her.