Last spring, Goldy Moldavsky thrilled us with her crackling debut, Kill the Boy Band, a YA novel about a group of teen fangirls who kidnap the lamest member of their favorite boy band. In her next book, No Good Deed, Moldavsky brings her cutting wit to the realm of teen and celebrity activism.
“I’m fascinated by young celebrities who speak out for a cause and the reaction that gets from the public, especially on social media,” Moldavsky tells EW. “I wanted to explore what would happen if that character ended up at a camp for teen activists. When the head counselor announces a prize for the ‘best activist,’ the causes turn into competitions. Told from the perspective of Gregor Maravilla, a camper who takes his activism very seriously, No Good Deed asks the question: What does it mean to be ‘good’?”
In advance of the book’s May 30 publication, EW is excited to reveal No Good Deed’s cover and an exclusive sneak peek inside. Below, check out a scene from Chapter 7 where the camp’s strange dynamics are laid bare:
Excerpt from No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky
“So who are you?”
“My name’s Gregor Maravilla.”
“I don’t mean your name, man. Your cause. What are you here for?”
Right, I’d almost forgotten that no one here had names. “Feed the Children.”
“So why are you sitting at this table?” he said.
I looked around, worried that there would be someone whose seat I had taken, but it was just the two of us. “You belong at the Hunger and Poverty Table,” Unity said. “Or maybe the International Causes Table. Sometimes campaigns overlap.”
“Wait, everyone has grouped up into categories? When did that happen?”
“Today at lunch.”
Which I’d skipped for my useless visit with Nurse Patrosian. “What are the categories?”
“There’s the Environmental Table, the Socioeconomic Table, Culture and Humanities, Education, Health and Disease, Human and Civil Rights, and Hunger and Poverty. Animals and International Causes got grouped together because there aren’t enough people in each cause to fill up a table. Then there’s the Miscellaneous Table, or as I like to call them, the weirdos.”
“They’re the people who don’t belong at any table or in any category because their campaigns are total jokes.”
The Miscellaneous Table was only a couple of tables away from ours. I didn’t know most of the kids at the table, but I was suddenly curious about what their campaigns could possibly be. There was the girl I’d seen earlier today with the S.P.E.W. T-shirt (ever a mystery) and the kid who was protesting the camp itself, and another kid taking bites of his dinner in between bouts of strumming the guitar balancing on his lap.
“And then there’s the Cool Table.” Unity pointed to the center of the room, at the table that every other table in the mess hall seemed to face. “The Cool Table defies categorization. If anyone at the Cool Table even has a campaign, I don’t know what it is. They are not known by their campaign names. They are the few and blessed among us who can walk around and answer to their given birth names.”
Poe and Win were sitting at the Cool Table. Unity was right—nobody called Win End Hunger or Poe QUILTBAG. For some reason even the thought of calling them by their campaign names seemed ridiculous. Even Balthazar-Adriano, who had the audacity of having two first names, wasn’t called by his campaign. He was sitting right next to Poe, and I could almost read his full name on her lips as she talked to him. I mean, the guy couldn’t even be bothered to have a nickname. I made a mental note to not introduce myself as Feed the Children, and only introduce myself as Gregor.
“If you wanna switch tables I’d pick the International Table over the Hunger and Poverty Table,” Unity said. “That way I have an excuse to go over there, since we know each other now.”
“Why do you want to go to the International Table?”
“Because I want World Peace.”
“We all want world peace.”
“Yeah, well, I got dibs.”