CLAUDIA: This is me. I’m 12 years old, I live in New York City, and my goal in life is to either become a world-famous singer-songwriter OR the President of the United States. Or hopefully both, if I have time.
REESE: My sister’s kind of uptight.
CLAUDIA: I’m NOT uptight! I just think it’s VERY important to have goals in life. And also to aim high and be the absolutely best person you can be.
REESE: See what I mean? Totally uptight.
CLAUDIA: This is my brother. We’re twins. Which is weird, because we are not twin-like AT ALL. For example, Reese has no goals in life.
REESE: That’s totally not true! I’m going to play center mid for Barcelona!
CLAUDIA: You realize that’s completely delusional, right?
REESE: I have no clue what that word means.
CLAUDIA: What? “Delusional?”
REESE: Yeah. Does it mean “TOTALLY BEAST AT SOCCER”?
CLAUDIA: It does not.
REESE: Well, it should. ’CAUSE I AM! High five!
CLAUDIA: Sophie is my absolutely best friend on the planet. Sophie’s big goal in life is to be a bestselling author like Allegra Bane. Which I think is totally doable. Because Sophie’s a VERY good writer. And Allegra Bane’s books are terrible.
REESE: I don’t think Sophie likes me.
CLAUDIA: Yes, she does! She just thinks you’re gross. Which tbh, you kind of are. I mean, when’s the last time you washed that sweatshirt?
REESE: I dunno. Never?
CLAUDIA: Xander Billington is one of Reese’s best friends. He’s also completely evil, and possibly the worst person on earth.
REESE: That’s cray! Xander’s pretty cool once you get to know him.
CLAUDIA: That is DEFINITELY not true. I’ve known Xander since kindergarten. When he put gum in my hair. And he’s only gotten worse since then.
REESE: That gum thing was an accident! No, wait…actually, I guess it wasn’t.
CLAUDIA: Seriously, WHY are you friends with him?
REESE: I dunno. We’ve been friends for so long, I kind of forgot. But I think it had something to do with Pokemon. I was pretty into that in kindergarten.
CLAUDIA: Akash Gupta is the older brother of my second-best friend, Parvati. He’s also the admin of Planet Amigo, which is my brother’s favorite MetaWorld video game server.
REESE: Planet Amigo’s beast! You can play deathmatches 24/7. And Akash is CRAZY smart—he programmed the whole thing!
CLAUDIA: Actually, I think he used a template.
REESE: I don’t know what that is.
CLAUDIA: I don’t, either. But Akash is awesome.
CLAUDIA: When I said Xander was “possibly the worst person on earth,” I forgot about the Fembots. They’re this group of super-rich—or just wannabe-rich—girls at our school who think they’re all that and hate on everybody. Sophie and I call them “Fembots” because they all dress and act the same way and have no idea how to think for themselves.
REESE: I don’t really have a problem with those girls. But all they talk about is clothes. And they’re always giving people nicknames and stuff.
CLAUDIA: Ugh! The nicknames. They’re SO mean.
REESE: Mine’s not that mean.
CLAUDIA: What do they call you?
CLAUDIA: Well, I guess that makes sense.
MOM & DAD
CLAUDIA: These are our parents. They love us very much. They also have VERY demanding jobs. So they work about 100 hours a week.
REESE: Dad works more like 200 hours a week.
CLAUDIA: Okay, that is not even mathematically possible.
REESE: It’s true, though! That’s why he always falls asleep when he tries to watch TV with us. And he looks miserable all the time.
CLAUDIA: Dad’s not miserable because he’s tired. Dad’s miserable because he’s a lawyer. Mom’s always tired, too. But she’s not miserable at all. Because she works at an Internet company.
REESE: Her company’s pretty cool. They have a foosball table! And a TON of awesome snacks. But the snacks are kind of wasted on Mom, because she doesn’t eat Froot Loops.
CLAUDIA: Ashley is our after-school sitter. Although “sitter” is not really the right word for what she does. Ashley handles all the stuff Mom and Dad can’t do because they’re working—like cooking us dinner, or yelling at Reese to do his homework, or being there for us when we need them.
REESE: Ashley’s the best. And she lets us get away with a TON of stuff.
CLAUDIA: Not on purpose, though. It’s just because she’s not paying attention. She’s too busy staring at her phone.
REESE: Totally. I think Ashley’s addicted to her phone. Is that a thing?
CLAUDIA: It is for Ashley. But she’s REALLY sweet. And she’s a very good listener. At least, during the 10% of her life when she’s not staring at her phone.