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Book Birthday


Happy Book Birthday, For The Record!

Guys! It’s time for our LAST debut of the year – FOR THE RECORD by Charlotte Huang!! We’re so thrilled to see her addictive, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the music industry is out on shelves now!

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About the Book

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything.

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

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Critical Praise

“For teens who dream of a glamorous lifestyle.”
Kirkus Reviews

“An absorbing behind-the-scenes look at life on tour.”
Publishers Weekly

“Original and fresh.”
School Library Journal

“There’s a lot to enjoy.”
Booklist

“Whip-smart, romantic, and so perfectly cool. Welcome to your new obsession.”
Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

“Going on tour with Chelsea and the Melbourne guys made me feel like I was on the best summer break of my life. Once you start reading For the Record, you won’t want to stop!”
Leila Sales, author of This Song Will Save Your Life

“A fresh look at teenage stardom and the music industry that avoids gimmicks and clichéd plotlines in favor of realistic characters and a heartfelt love of the subject. I adored hanging out with Chelsea and the boys of Melbourne—when they felt the music, I felt it, and when they were off their game, so was I. Fun, fast, and colorful, this book isn’t just for music lovers, it’s for anyone who ever looked at a band onstage and thought, ‘I wonder what that would be like.’”
Francesca Zappia, author of Made You Up

“A pitch-perfect and utterly addictive debut. Pure escapist fun!”
Michelle Krys, author of Hexed 

“Charlotte Huang is an author to watch! This fast-paced and funny debut had me hooked from page one. Like your new favorite song, this is a story that stays with you!”
Morgan Matson, author of Since You’ve Been Gone

 

Congratulations, Charlotte, on an addictively awesome debut!


Happy Book Birthday, NONE OF THE ABOVE!

April brings more debuts for Class of 2K15! Today marks the launch of I.W. Gregorio’s groundbreaking YA contemporary debut, NONE OF THE ABOVE!

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About the Book

Middlesex meets Mean Girls in this one-of-a-kind YA debut.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s world completely unravels. With everything she thought she knew thrown into question, can she come to terms with her new self?

Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

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Critical Praise

“[R]emarkable…Eye-opening and important.”
Booklist

“…a compelling and touching narrative…NONE OF THE ABOVE rises above most young adult fiction because it has potential to evoke significant change.”
—VOYA (5Q rating)

“Engaging and well-paced, with smart characters.”
School Library Journal

“Sensitive, informative and a valuable resource”
Kirkus Reviews

“Noble, daring and necessary—I.W. Gregorio’s groundbreaking debut is a bittersweet, painful and ultimately life-affirming voyage of identity.”
Elizabeth Wein, award-winning & NYT bestselling author of Code Name Verity

“I couldn’t put this book down—it opened my mind in ways that few books have done before.”
Jacqueline Woodson, award-winning & NYT bestselling author of Brown Girl Dreaming

“Like the beloved physician that she is, I.W. Gregorio brings rare knowledge and acute empathy to the illumination of an anatomical difference—and to the teens who discover, in the nick of time, the saving grace of knowing and being one’s truest self. A book unlike any other.”
Beth Kephart, award-winning author of Small Damages and Going Over

None of the Above is a sensitive, beautifully written story, told with heart (break) and humor. Gregorio deftly explores the isolation of being ‘other’ in a highly relatable way. Bravo!!”
Kristin Elizabeth Clark, acclaimed author of Freakboy

“This beautifully written and moving novel chronicles Kristin Lattimer’s discovery of her AIS diagnosis, and the fallout that occurs when her “secret’ is revealed…The universal theme of rising above a difficult situation is one everyone can relate to, and Kristin’s courage will be a source of inspiration to all those who read this exceptional book.”
Heather Hebert, Haverford Children’s Book World

“Both deeply moving and triumphant, I.W. Gregorio’s None of the Above explores the adolescent pains of discovering one’s self and embracing both the good and bad. Full of heartbreaking believability that resonates with readers, she explores the important topics of learning to love yourself in ways that too few YA novels explore.”
Bonnie Lynn Wagner, Barnes & Noble Neshaminy Mall, PA

“Smartly and compassionately written for a young adult audience, None of the Above puts a new twist on the theme of adolescent difference and acceptance.”
Arlene Baratz MD (Moderator,  Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome- Differences of Sex Development Parents Group www.aisdsd.org)

Congratulations, Ilene, on a thought-provoking debut!


Happy Book Birthday, UNDER A PAINTED SKY!

Our second March debut is Stacey Lee’s UNDER A PAINTED SKY, a diverse YA western with a beautiful friendship at its heart!

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About the Book

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life.

With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

An unforgettable story of friendship and sacrifice—perfect for fans of Code Name Verity.

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Critical Praise

“A vivid, nontraditional western…with plenty of twists…Growing romantic undertones with hints of uncertain sexuality add bonus interest to a story that distinguishes itself by integrating strands of Chinese lore and wisdom, Christianity, and music with themes of friendship, diversity, and survival.”
Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

“Well-crafted and suspenseful, with more flow than ebb to the tension that stretches like taut wires across plotlines, Lee’s tale ingeniously incorporates Chinese philosophy and healing, music, art and religion, as well as issues of race and discrimination (including abolitionist views and examples of cruel slave treatment)…Emotionally resonant and not without humor, this impressive debut about survival and connection, resourcefulness and perseverance will keep readers on the very edges of their seats.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“High drama, tension, romantic longings, and touches of humor will entice historical fiction fans, and will be a perfect tie-in to social studies curriculum.”
School Library Journal

“You’re going to love this book. It has heroines that will fill your heart with courage, a plot that will keep your blood rushing, and a love story that will take your breath away.”
Francisco X. Stork, award-winning author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD

“Under a Painted Sky shines light on an underserved corner of American History in the Wild West with beauty, grace and humor, while deftly addressing race, class and gender politics. Gorgeously imagined, told with wit, insight and characters you grow quickly to love, Stacey Lee brings us a romance adventure of the best order.”
Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of FLYGIRL and ORLEANS

“Under a Painted Sky is a charming read: funny, poignant, and full of heart. Stacey Lee’s tale of unconventional romance in the West is sure to win fans for her intrepid heroines and their adventures.”
Elizabeth C. Bunce, author of William C. Morris Award-winning A CURSE DARK AS GOLD

“With seasoned confidence, a perfect sense of setting, and gorgeous prose, author Stacey Lee has created one of the most thrilling, compelling, and heartbreaking stories of female friendship and survival.”
Stephanie Keuhn, author of William C. Morris Award-winning CHARM & STRANGE

“A sweeping journey into the heart of the west and the glowing souls of two fugitive heroines. A tale so rich, so captivating, so real you’ll be shaking sand out of your boots.”
Barbara Stuber, author of William C. Morris Award finalist CROSSING THE TRACKS

“Deftly researched, Under a Painted Sky propels readers into the lawless west and life on the Oregon Trail. With a diverse cast, timeless themes, and an addictive plot, this is the YA western I’ve been waiting for.”
Erin Bowman, author of the TAKEN trilogy

“At its heart, UNDER A PAINTED SKY is a classic western full of stampedes, close calls, and saddle sores, but Stacey Lee enhances this familiar landscape and adds new depth and vigor with her unforgettable characters. Sammy reminds us how American it is to keep the best parts of your past while making the most of the present and building toward the future. UNDER A PAINTED SKY is an exciting new journey into the old west, packed with humor, adventure, and enduring friendships.”
J. Anderson Coats, award-winning author of THE WICKED AND THE JUST

“UNDER A PAINTED SKY left me speechless. Hopeful. Smiling. Stacey Lee’s debut is a powerful tale of loss, adventure, and sisterhood. Completely captivating.”
Jodi Meadows, award winning author of  INCARNATE series

“I didn’t know I needed this book until I fell passionately in love with it. I read it feverishly late at night and into the wee hours of the morning and then reread the entire book the very next day. I have always been a huge fan of westerns. But an American western about a Chinese girl and a Black girl who learn to become cowboys and survive the west? Where have you been all my life? Stacey Lee has now become my new favorite author. I’ll read anything she writes!”
Ellen Oh, Founder WeNeedDiverseBooks and author of the PROPHECY series

 

Congratulations, Stacey, on a beautiful, moving debut!


Happy Book Birthday, EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU!

March brings us two class debuts, both releasing today! First up, is Moriah McStay’s fabulous EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU. If you’ve ever wondered how a different choice might have altered your life, you must check out this book!

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About the Book

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

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Critical Praise

“In this thought-provoking first novel, McStay tackles questions of fate, coincidence and the impact of experience…Entertaining and intellectually stimulating.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“McStay entertainingly weaves similar characters and circumstances throughout their worlds…the debut explores the theme of choices and how those choices become the framework for the person who makes them.”
School Library Journal

Congratulations, Moriah, on a fascinating debut!


Happy Book Birthday, MONSTROUS!

Also out in the wild today is MarcyKate Connolly’s MONSTROUS! We can’t wait for you to read it too! *releases balloons*

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About the Book

The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.

Reminiscent of Frankenstein and the tales of the Brothers Grimm, this debut novel by MarcyKate Connolly stands out as a compelling, original story that has the feel of a classic.

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Critical Praise

“Like a literary mad scientist, MarcyKate Connolly takes bits from classic fairy tales and legends and uses them to assemble a creation that is wholly original and wonderfully strange. Subversive, bewitching, and whip-smart, Monstrous is a marvel of storytelling alchemy.”
—ANNE URSU, author of Breadcrumbs

“A likely read-aloud that has its share of guts, blood, and grim reality within this fantasy land, Monstrous will keep young readers thinking about trust, good and evil, friendship and loyalty, and devotion to community.”
—Booklist

“Magic, fantastic creatures, mythology, and a bit of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein combine here for an exciting…tale.”
—School Library Journal

“Connolly invokes fairy-tale elements with ease, and… the formidable theme of sacrifice resonates far beyond the final page.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Kym’s bravery shines, as she fights against the menacing forces in Bryre and also struggles to figure out where she, a self-described monster of a girl, belongs. This remarkable, absorbing debut will enchant readers.”
REBECCA BEHRENS, author of When Audrey Met Alice

“Pays tribute to classic fairy tales while turning the tradition on its head. A smart, ambitious adventure, led by a heroine whose differences only enhance her humanity.”
EMMA TREVAYNE, author of Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times

“Brave, refreshing, and entirely enchanting, Monstrous is a book that will stand the tests of time.”
CLAIRE LEGRAND, author of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and The Year of Shadows

“This is a dazzling and unique once-upon-a-time about a girl who is part dragon, part bird, part cat, all hero.”
NATALIE LLOYD, author of A Snicker of Magic


Happy Book Birthday, WHEN REASON BREAKS!

The second week of February brings….MORE BOOKS! We’re so excited that everyone can now read Cindy L. Rodriguez’s incredible WHEN REASON BREAKS! *confetti*

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About the Book

13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.

Add WHEN REASON BREAKS on Goodreads

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Critical Praise

“When Reason Breaks is infused with a rare blend of suspense and sensitivity, despair and hope. The poetic spirit of Emily Dickinson shines through the gloom of daily struggles faced by modern teens, as they discover the possibilities where they dwell.”
MARGARITA ENGLE, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree

“A sharply drawn, emotionally resonant tale.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Rodriguez cleverly represents Emily Dickinson’s dark side and her reclusive tendencies through the two distinct personalities of her teenage heroines . . . gripping.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Dickinson fans will love the focus on her life and poetry.”
—Booklist

“Latino culture, and bicultural and gay family relationships are woven easily into the story; popular culture references and some romance will also resonate with adolescents. Overall, this text provides important insights into the various stressors that can lead to depression and suicide, as well as the type of support required to move toward potential healing.”
School Library Journal

Congratulations, Cindy, on a beautiful, moving debut!


Happy Book Birthday, SHUTTER!

Class 2K15 has not one, not two, but FIVE books hitting shelves in February! It’s going to be a crazy (awesome) month. First up, is the delightfully scary SHUTTER by Courtney Alameda!

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About the Book

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat — a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

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Critical Praise

“This debut novel features a dark, compelling story and more than enough gore to please the most demanding horror reader.”
—VOYA

“A paranormal ghost-hunting story that is a standout in the genre . . . Frightening from the first page, this is sure to please horror fans, particularly those familiar with ghost and vampire legends.”
—School Library Journal

“Alameda keeps the fear dripping from the walls as she plunges headlong into this full-scale thriller . . . A page-turner for thriller fans.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Alameda succeeds at creating hideous creatures that are the stuff of nightmare. The rapid pacing, advanced technology, and limitless weapons just add appeal for readers seeking a supernatural thriller.”
—Booklist

“Alameda’s worldbuilding is strong—this alternate version of San Francisco is dangerous and unpredictable— and her characters evoke shows like Buffy and Supernatural.”
—Publishers Weekly

 

Congratulations, Courtney, on a fantastic, terrifying debut!


Happy Book Birthday, CITY OF SAVAGES!

We’ve got two books hitting shelves today (double the celebration!), and the next one is the intense CITY OF SAVAGES by Lee Kelly!

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About the Book

After the Red Allies turn New York City into a POW camp, two sisters must decipher the past in order to protect the future in this action-packed thriller with a dual narrative.

It’s been nearly two decades since the Red Allies first attacked New York, and Manhattan is now a prisoner-of-war camp, ruled by Rolladin and her brutal, impulsive warlords. For Skyler Miller, Manhattan is a cage that keeps her from the world beyond the city’s borders. But for Sky’s younger sister, Phee, the POW camp is a dangerous playground of possibility, and the only home she’d ever want.

When Sky and Phee discover their mom’s hidden journal from the war’s outbreak, they both realize there’s more to Manhattan—and their mother—than either of them had ever imagined. And after a group of strangers arrives at the annual POW census, the girls begin to uncover the island’s long-kept secrets. The strangers hail from England, a country supposedly destroyed by the Red Allies, and Rolladin’s lies about Manhattan’s captivity begin to unravel.

Hungry for the truth, the sisters set a series of events in motion that end in the death of one of Rolladin’s guards. Now they’re outlaws, forced to join the strange Englishmen on an escape mission through Manhattan. Their flight takes them into subways haunted by cannibals, into the arms of a sadistic cult in the city’s Meatpacking District and, through the pages of their mom’s old journal, into the island’s dark and shocking past.

Add CITY OF SAVAGES on Goodreads

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Critical Praise

“There are plenty of heart-pounding moments in Kelly’s debut, and an abundance of vividly imagined details bring post-apocalyptic New York City to searing life. But the biggest risk is not one that the characters take–it’s Kelly’s bold spotlighting of the bonds between women…  Phee and Sky’s alternation of first-person, present-tense narration is unusual and effective… This bold choice for Saga’s launch lineup puts both the imprint and the author on track for idiosyncratic success.”
—Publishers Weekly

“In Kelly’s debut dystopian fantasy, Red Dawn meets Escape from New York and The Hunger Games.  Kelly obviously knows her way around Manhattan, and her use of the subway (home to cannibals!) and other landmarks helps her create a setting that is all the more bleak and creepy for its being familiar. Expect to hear more from the talented Kelly.”
Booklist

“Gripping stuff.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Kelly’s prose is gorgeous and brilliant as she seamlessly tells a satisfyingly dark tale through alternating the sisters’ points of view. The two voices of the strong female leads are perfect for showcasing the story of human nature, self-preservation, and the strength of the familial bond. The surprising plot layers will keep readers invested through every twist and turn until the last page. Very dark and violent in places, the story is extremely intense but keeps the shining bond of the two sisters in the forefront. This is one of the best and most original dystopian stories available…an absolute must-have.”
VOYA, starred review

“Intriguing, exciting and unusual.”
—S.M. STIRLING, author of the Change series

“There are plenty of heart-pounding moments in Kelly’s debut, and an abundance of vividly imagined details bring post-apocalyptic New York City to searing life.”
Publishers Weekly

Congratulations, Lee, on an extraordinary debut!


Happy Book Birthday, LOVE & OTHER THEORIES!

GUYS. The very first Class of 2K15 book is out in the world TODAY!  That’s right, LOVE & OTHER THEORIES by Alexis Bass is on the shelves in your local bookstore. Right. Now.

*launches confetti & cupcake cannons*

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ABOUT THE BOOK

If you want more, you have to give less.

That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.

So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.

Love-and-Other-Theories-Quote

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Critical Praise for LOVE & OTHER THEORIES

We’ve had the chance to read this book behind the scenes, and can vouch for its utter, gut-wrenching awesomeness. The critics agree!

“Careful, subtle and aching. ”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In her debut novel, Bass provides honest, incisive, and sometimes uncomfortable insights into the complicated intersections of friendship and romance, the ways sex can be wielded as a weapon, and the measures some teens take to protect themselves from pain.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Bass’s debut is an entertaining perspective on the battlefield of the teen dating world.”
—Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

 

Congratulations, Alexis, on a wonderful debut!

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