Monthly Archives: November 2013

paperback charm

It’s mid-November and I’ve had my head down in all-consuming work for the past few weeks. But now that I’ve completed two big projects, I’m finally sitting back, looking around, and the trees are bare and my in-laws are coming and the holidays will be here soon-soon-soon and everything feels surreal. How did I get here?

Quite a few nice bookish things have happened in that stretch of time. St. Martin’s finalized the cover of my forthcoming novel, COMPLICIT, and I love it more than anything. CHARM & STRANGE received a beautiful review in the Nov/Dec issue of The Horn Book Magazine, which concludes with “This wrenching novel is as difficult to read as it is to put down.” I also found out that CHARM & STRANGE was nominated for YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list, as well as the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Those nominations are both such special honors and I’m really still wrapping my head around it all. More than anything, I feel very fortunate, and I also feel a great deal of gratitude to everyone who has cared about this book.

The beneficence of others, I suppose. That’s how I got here.

One last thing: CHARM & STRANGE is getting a gorgeous new cover for the paperback release on June 10, 2014. The copy is slightly different, too. I hope you like it as much as I do.


Charm and StrangeExiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy, sixteen-year-old Andrew Winston Winters means to forget everything about his past—his dead siblings, his estranged parents, his own explosive rage. Even his name.

It’s for the best. 

But forgetting doesn’t come easy for Win. Not when what matters has been the source of so much pain. Not when there are people who care about him whether he wants them to or not. How far will he go to protect himself? Will he surrender his sanity to the darkness inside his mind? Or will he learn to make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

Alternating between Win’s tragic past and the isolation of his present, Charm & Strange weaves a haunting, unforgettable portrait of grief, madness, and ultimate resilience.