It’s the first day of August, and my fifth book is out today! WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU follows eight teens from a high school orienteering club who set out on a backpacking trip in the remote Trinity Alps. Pretty much everything goes wrong, and the book’s narrator Ben earnestly recounts the terrible events of this trip, the group’s fight for survival, and ultimately, his role in the death of his beloved girlfriend Rose.
This book has meant a lot to me, right from the start. The story is undeniably dark and often sad, but where a lot of … read the rest
The first half of 2017 has been both a whirlwind and a grind. In March, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong for the annual Hong Kong International Young Readers Festival. I spent an amazing week exploring the city, visiting schools, and speaking to students about empathy, mental health, and the art of crafting suspense. On the flip side of all that fun, however, I also put in countless solitary hours studying and preparing for the national licensing exam for professional practice in psychology (which I passed, phew).
With so much going on, … read the rest
Today’s my day to join in the Morris Award finalist interview tradition, which is one of my favorite things. If you missed yesterday’s interview with Becky Albertalli and Jeff Zentner, you can read it here.
So let’s get right to it: I was blown away by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s gorgeous debut, THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES, which felt so different from anything I’ve read in YA in a long time–and I loved that. It’s the intertwining stories of four different teenagers growing up in 1970 Fairbanks, Alaska. These teens are dealing with loss, poverty, racism, abuse, and abandonment, but … read the rest
I flew from Oakland, CA to Charleston, S.C. last week for YALLFEST, two days after the presidential election. Having never visited South Carolina, I’m not sure what I expected. Was I leaving my bubble or was I entering someone else’s? The answer was both yes and yes, but in a way, the unknown was just what I needed. Because I want to understand what I can’t possibly know and I also want desperately to hold on to my faith that most people–most of the time–are doing the best that they can.
The morning after I arrived, I … read the rest