book news: breaking hearts since 2007

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It is a little less than eight weeks until the publication of Gem & Dixie, and nearly four years since my last solo book, The Lucy Variations, was published. Four! In YA time that's like twenty years.

The latest Gem & Dixie news:

The book has been well-reviewed thus far, receiving starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist. Matt de la Peña calls it "heartbreaking and honest and beautifully rendered." Sarah Dessen says it broke her heart. Aaron Starmer said it will...break your heart. Hmm, I'm detecting a theme here. You can safely assume from these blurbs that it isn't a breezy romp.

It's been named a Junior Library Guild selection, and will also be published in Turkey! 

Here is a profile and interview Publisher's Weekly did about me and the book, in which you can learn some of the backstory. (They had asked me for a non-headshot candid, and since there are very few pictures of me in my archives other than goofy selfies with my husband or friends, there I am hanging out on the Seine with awkwardly growing-out bangs.)

I'll be touring in April with authors Katie Cotugno and Becky Albertalli. Details to come very soon as everything goes through final confirmation! Meanwhile, feel free to pre-order the book if that's the sort of thing you like to do.

If you're in or near Santa Barbara, I'll be there next week doing some stuff with Westmont College, including a reading and signing that's free and open to the public on Thursday Feb 16th.

And May I Recommend

  • For a good read and cathartic cry, Nina LaCour's new YA novel, We Are Okay
  • To learn about a lesser known civil rights activist and all around inspiring woman, Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams
  • To feed your disturbing obsession with cults, if you have one like mine: Hulu's The Path
  • To feed your disturbing obsession with potatoes, if you have one like mine: Cheesy Hasselback Potato Gratin. I made this on Thanksgiving and it was super good and made great hashbrowns on subsequent mornings (and noons and evenings). Especially recommended if you have a mandolin slicer because it's a lot of dang potatoes to cut. 

A favorite Elton circa 1980s song, Breaking Hearts (Ain't What it Used to Be):