Get ready! The #ADSOMreadalong is almost here!

#ADSOMreadalong (2)

So if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me tweet about this a few times, but I wanted to share it here just in case some of you haven’t seen it.

Victoria Schwab reached out to readers about putting together a readalong (or in my case, rereadalong) for ADSOM. If you haven’t read A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC or want to reread it before A GATHERING OF SHADOWS, this is your chance! It starts tomorrow, February 1, and we’ll be chatting about certain parts of the book every Monday at 9 p.m. EST on Twitter using the hashtag #ADSOMreadalong! The best part is that we’ll be finishing ADSOM before A GATHERING OF SHADOWS releases on February 23!

And if you’re on Goodreads, you can join the Goodreads group for the readalong HERE.

Plus, for your convenience, here’s the readalong schedule so you can add it to your planners/calendars/phone reminders.

  • Monday, February 1st, 9pm: Intro Chat! Come tell us who you are! We’ll discuss what the plan is and talk all things ADSOM!
  • Monday, February 8th, 9pm: We’ll Discuss Parts 1-5
  • Monday, February 15th, 9pm: We’ll Discuss Parts 6-10
  • Monday, February 22nd, 9pm: Discuss final chapters and talk about our theories for A Gathering of Shadows!

Don’t forget that the hashtag we’re using is #ADSOMreadalong, so check that for updates and reminders for the chat!

Are any of you planning to join in?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Wink Poppy MidnightPublisher: Dial Books

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Release date: March 22, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The intrigue of The Virgin Suicides and the “supernatural or not” question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Raven Boys, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced.

Why I’m excited: Other than the fact that this says it’s for fans of Holly Black and THE RAVEN BOYS, this synopsis sounds fantastic. I don’t even really know what this book is about but I know that I NEED TO READ IT. The cover is gorgeous, there’s a strange, wild girl, a sweet boy, and a manipulative queen bee. Mixing all of those together sounds like a wonderfully odd story with beautiful or terrible consequences. I really liked Tucholke’s story in Slasher Girls and Monster Boys because the writing was so beautiful, so I’m looking forward to reading a longer story by her.

ARC Review: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Shallow Graves by Kali WallaceAuthor: Kali Wallace
Genre: Young adult, paranormal, horror
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
368 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for letting me read this!

I needed a few days after I finished this one to fully process my thoughts on it. The concept and the magic caught my attention right away, but Shallow Graves was not really what I was expecting. I didn’t really feel connected to any of the characters, even though I did think that Breezy’s situation was intriguing. But honestly, that might be the only thing I liked about her. She was just…okay. Being dead was the best thing she had going for her.

But I finished the book. I think it’s for 2 reasons. 1. Kali Wallace’s writing is easy to read, flows well, and was pretty straightforward, and 2. The beginning was SO good and I wanted to know the end. So that’s a good thing – I was interested enough in the characters and the magic to see it through to the end. I mean, the first line is “The first time I killed a man it was an accident.” And you’re immediately drawn into this story. The first bit of the book is really cool and you’re trying to figure out what happened to Breezy and what’s going to happen to her. But the middle part? I just got a bit bored. There’s eventually a conflict and she finds something to fight for, but I almost don’t understand why. No spoilers or anything but I don’t get why she had to get involved to the extent she did.

And as much as I liked the end – the end was COOL – I didn’t really feel satisfied with the answers we were given, which weren’t many.

The bottom line: Super cool concept, good writing, but overall, not a satisfying story for me. I liked it enough to continue to the end, but I feel like there’s a little something lacking here.

Rating: 5 – Take it or leave it

Blog Tour | The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker | Review, Interview, & Giveaway

Hi, everyone! I am so excited to be part of THE GIRL WHO FELL blog tour! Today I’m going to be sharing my review of TGWF as well as an interview with Shannon M. Parker, who wrote this dark, wonderful story. But first, some information about the book!

The Girl who Fell by Shannon M. ParkerABOUT THE BOOK

The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse | March 1, 2016

Synopsis:

His obsession.

Her fall.

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble Book Depository | Kobo

MY REVIEW

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse (plus the lovely Brittany from Brittany’s Book Rambles for inviting me to participate in the tour) for letting me read this.

Yikes. This book. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time I read The Girl Who Fell. From the very beginning, it’s like your gut clenched (the beginning is terrifying and mesmerizing in the best/worst way). You know from the beginning that something is wrong, that the person Zephyr is falling for is just wrong, so you’re terrified to find out how Zephyr will get from falling in love to being hurt.

Spongebob anxiety GIF

Alec is bloody terrifying and creepy and it’s so hard to understand him – though I don’t think I really want to. Even though I wanted to reach into the book and just SLAP Zephyr, I could see why she fell and why she let her guard down. And Zephyr is such a great character. She finds herself throughout the story and realizes she’s someone to fight for. I just loved her, especially in the end. I loved how despite everything she’d been through, there was a hope for a better future. It’s never too late to move forward.

Shannon did such a fantastic job with this topic, which is so so important. Physical and emotional abuse is scary, but Shannon handled it so well. Alec is believably manipulative and I liked seeing how this relationship affected Zephyr but also how it affected her friends and family.

My one complaint is that it’s a bit insta-lovey and they just move so fast, but that’s really part of the point of the book, so even though you guys know I am NOT an insta-love fan, it didn’t really hinder my experience.

The bottom line: The Girl Who Fell is a well-written, fast-paced novel about an important topic. Zephyr (and all of the characters, really) are well developed and distinctive. It’s easy to understand what happens to Zephyr even as you are wishing she’d realize what’s happening to her and put a stop to it. You’ll feel like you’re breathing for the first time in hours when you turn the last page.

THE INTERVIEW

Hi Stefani! It’s so nice to be here!! Thank you for inviting me today and thank you for your incredible blog! *fangirls a bit* Okay, a lot.

Describe yourself in three words: Lover of love.

Describe your book in three words: Dark kissing book.

I saw on your website that you’ve been to a TON of places around the world. If you had to choose, what is your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world is standing next to my husband. Especially when he’s in Queensland, Australia.

What would you say is Zephyr’s motto?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?
When my teen son said, “Mom, I’m so proud of you. You worked really hard for this.” That made me cry. A. Lot.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?
There are so many, this is impossible to answer! But I will say that one of my all-time favorite books is The Secret Life of Bees. So, Lily Owens. She’s spunky, clever and filled with pure love (and loss).

I also made several graphics with quotes from the books for the tour, and I’m really excited to share two of them here (the second of which is my favorite quote from the book). Make sure you check out the rest of the tour to see the others!

The Girl Who Fell Quote     The Girl Who Fell Quote

ABOUT SHANNON

Shannon M. ParkerShannon Parker lives on the Atlantic coast with a house full of boys. She’s traveled to over three dozen countries and has a few dozen more to go. She works in education and can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Shannon has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally, at the same time. The Girl Who Fell is her first novel. Find her at www.shannonmparker.com

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

THE GIVEAWAY
One signed hardcover of THE GIRL WHO FELL and swag

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

blog tour banner - the girl who fell

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR

Tuesday, Jan 12: Blessie @ Mischievous Reads Dreamcast
Wednesday, Jan 13: Emily @  Emily Reads Everything Review
Thursday, Jan 14: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Tour Group’s Favorite Quotes
Friday, Jan 15: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions Movie Playlist
Saturday, Jan 16: Kristen @ My Friends Are Fiction Review
Sunday, Jan 17: Melanie @ One Less Lonely Blog Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 18: Cyra @ Rattle The Pages Review + 5 Reasons You Need to Read TGWF
Tuesday, Jan 19: Jocelyn @ Novels and Necklaces Interview
Wednesday, Jan 20: Cat @ Let the Pages Reign Review
Thursday, Jan 21: Aentee @ Read at Midnight 5 Ways TGWF Destroyed YA Tropes + iPhone wallpapers
Friday, Jan 22: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Review + Interview
Saturday, Jan 23: Joey @ Another After Thought Review
Sunday, Jan 24Stefani @ Caught Read Handed Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 25Hanna @ Two Sister’s Blogging Review
Tuesday, Jan 26Michella @ YA Books Girl Review + Playlist
Wednesday, Jan 27Michelle @ Dreaming of Alba Review
Thursday, Jan 28Jamie @ Books and Ladders Review + Interview
Friday, Jan 29Eileen @ BookCatPin Review
Saturday, Jan 30Brian @ Brian’s Book Thoughts Review
Sunday, Jan 31Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler Review + Interview

ARC Review: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World by Emily HenryAuthor:  Emily Henry
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary (ALL the genres!)
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
400 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Shout out to the wonderful Little Shop of Stories for letting me take this ARC! Check them out if you’re ever in Decatur, GA!

Lovely, beautifully written, unique, fantastic, wonderful. Okay, real review, Stefani.

In THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD, Natalie starts seeing her world but not quite. She sees a preschool where a garden store usually is, an extra wing on the local church, a red door instead of a green one, a field full of grazing buffalo where her town used to be. And then, after a visit from the apparition she’s seen off and on her whole life (named Grandmother) when she’s told she has 3 months to save “him”, Natalie sees a mysterious and beautiful boy named Beau in the middle of her high school football stadium. And now all of the stories that Grandmother told her in the middle of the night start to make sense. But who is she supposed to save? And how?

I really don’t have the proper words to talk about this book. The writing is splendid, saccharine and soulful and aching and lovely. This book is full of life, stories, love, and sadness, and it is absolutely beautiful. I was immediately pulled into the story through Grandmother’s myths and legends (tales of gods and humans, bravery and love) and was kept completely mesmerized until the last word.

I want to go down to the filed, to stand with this boy between the sky and the grass until every part of me touches every part of the world. – ARC page 32

There were a few times in the middle when the story felt a bit drawn out, but I didn’t really lose interest. Mostly I wanted the story to focus a bit more on what was happening to Natalie (as the sci-fi/fantasy aspects were super intriguing) rather than the romance, though the book is called The LOVE That Split the World so I should’ve known. Plus, Matt got on my NERVES. But I swear, if I die without ever having a friendship like Natalie and Megan, I’m going to be super disappointed. Seriously – best friendship in a book EVER.

Also, this:

And when you see those good things–and I promise you, there are so many good things–they’re going to be so much brighter for you than they are for other people, just like the abyss always seems deeper and bigger when you stare at it. If you stick it out, it’s all going to feel worth it in the end. Every moment you live, every darkness you face, they’ll all feel worth it when you’re staring light in the face. – ARC page 205

The bottom line: A lovely, unique, spellbinding story of love, humanity, bravery, and passion. Emily Henry’s writing is GORGEOUS and full of a wonderful new voice that I can’t wait to get more of. The middle part dragged just a bit, but not too much. Also, BEST FRIENDSHIP EVER.

Rating: 8 – Freaking fantastic

Reread/Audiobook Review through Tweets: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I recently reread Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda as an audiobook, and of course, I loved it again. When I was almost done with the reread, I was…inspired, I suppose, to tweet a bit about how much I love the book and why I think Becky is just so good at what she does. And I thought it’d be fun if I just shared those tweets here as a kind of Reread Review through Tweets. 🙂

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Narrator: Michael Crouch

Audiobook length: 6 hours and 45 minutes

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (book) / Blackstone Audio (Audiobook)

Find it on Goodreads.

 

Before I start with the tweets, I want to talk about the audiobook for a second. I need to mention just how FREAKING perfect Michael Crouch is as a narrator. I mean, his voice fits Simon SO well, and I really just want to listen to every single one of his audiobooks and have him narrate everything forever. So if the universe could just get on that, that’d be great. Thanks.

So this was harder than I thought it was going to be because Twitter or WordPress likes to put the previous tweet as well if it is a conversation like this one. But I got it.

The bottom line: Just in case I wasn’t clear, you need to read this book. Get on it.

Find it on Goodreads. Or just go ahead and order the book – B&N | Amazon | IndieBound

Waiting on Wednesday: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

A Drop of NightPublisher: Greenwillow Books

Author: Stefan Bachmann

Release date: March 15, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she’s been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.

You cannot escape the palace.

You cannot guess its secrets.

Why I’m excited: I’m sorry for the language but HOLY SHIT YES PLEASE CAN I HAVE THIS NOW??? This sounds freaking awesome, and I can’t wait for it to scare the crap out of me. It sounds like it’s going to be a bit of a psychological thriller and probably mess with your mind a bit, and I can’t wait – those are my favorite kinds of movies, so I’m looking forward to having one in book form. Sounds like it’s going to be FREAKY.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Recently Added to My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

These are the last ten books I marked as “to read” on Goodreads:

Have you read any of these or do you have them on your TBR too?

Blog Tour | We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson & Giveaway

We Are the Ants Tour Banner

Today I am really excited to be a part of the blog tour for Shaun David Hutchinson’s WE ARE THE ANTS, which is one of my most anticipated books for 2016! Before we get to Shaun’s guest post (and the GIVEAWAY!), let me tell you about the book.

ABOUT WE ARE THE ANTS

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse // January 19, 2016

Henry Denton doesn’t know why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

Since the suicide of his boyfriend, Jesse, Henry has been adrift. He’s become estranged from his best friend, started hooking up with his sworn enemy, and his family is oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. As far as Henry is concerned, a world without Jesse is a world he isn’t sure is worth saving. Until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

 So as Henry only has 144 days to decide the fate of the world, I asked Shaun what he would do if the world was ending in 144 days.

Top ten things I would do if the world was ending in 144 days

  1. Track down my 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Everard, and tell her I’m sorry for being such a pain in her butt.
  2. Spend a week living in the Louvre.
  3. Sample every kind of weird food I could get my hands on.
  4. Travel to the highest point on Earth I could realistically reach and stare at the stars.
  5. Fly a plane.
  6. See Hamilton…even if I had to sell a kidney for a ticket.
  7. Smile more.
  8. Spend time with strangers, listening to their stories.
  9. Swim in a giant pool of Jell-O.
  10. Spend as much time with my loved ones as possible.

ABOUT SHAUN DAVID HUTCHINSON

Shaun David Hutchinson author photoShaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of The Deathday Letter, fml, and the forthcoming The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. He can be reached at shaun@shaundavidhutchinson.com. He currently lives in South Florida with his partner and dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

GIVEAWAY
3 Finished Copies of WE ARE THE ANTS

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

FOLLOW THE REST OF THE TOUR

1/19: Bookish Antics – Review
1/20: Reading Is Better With Cupcakes – Pocket Note
1/21: Reads All the Books – Review
1/22: Read Write Love – Q&A
1/25: Tina the Bookworm – Review
1/26: The Hardcover Lover – Guest Post
1/27: The Innocent Smiley – Review
1/28: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
1/29: Don’t Fold the Page – Review

Guest Post | Kerry Kletter, The First Time She Drowned

Today I am so so excited to be hosting Kerry Kletter, author of one of my most anticipated debuts of 2016 – THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED, as well as her MC Cassie for an interview. I cannot wait to read her book, and this interview just made me even more excited for its publication date: March 15! Read the interview, learn more about the book and Kerry, and then add it to your Goodreads TBR/pre-order it!

———————————————-

ABOUT THE BOOK
The First Time She Drowned by Kerry KletterPublisher: Philomel Books // March 15, 2016

The beautiful struggle of a girl desperate for the one relationship that has caused her the most pain 

Cassie O’Malley has spent the past two and a half years in a mental institution—dumped there by her mother, against her will. Now, at 18, Cassie emancipates herself, determined to start over. She attends college, forms new friendships, and even attempts to start fresh with her mother. But before long, their unhealthy relationship threatens to pull Cassie under once again. As Cassie struggles to reclaim her life, childhood memories persist and confuse, and Cassie must consider whose version of history is real, and more important, whose life she must save.

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

Goodreads | Amazon | Books-a-Million |Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository
[FYI: None of these are affiliate links]

Describe yourself in 6 words.
Cassie: Barbed wire & broken glass & love-seeking eyes
Kerry: loyal, cheerful, emotional, empathetic, determined, worrier

Describe where you live in 6 words.
Cassie: Trapped inside walls in every way
Kerry: In my bed writing, mostly. J

What is your greatest fear?
Cassie: That I am unlovable
Kerry: Losing someone I love

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Cassie: Salem witches
Kerry: You know, I think I feel entirely too ordinary to identify with any specifically! But more generally, the women I resonate most with in history were the rule-breakers. I’ve never been terribly good at following rules— particularly ones I find unfair, unjust or unnecessary.

What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
Cassie: I stand up for myself and my friends
Kerry: Same.

What is your motto?
Cassie: The truth shall set you free
Kerry: Leap and the net will appear.

 Name 3 of your favorite songs.
Cassie:
1) Someone Save My Life Tonight – Elton John
2) Freebird – Lynard Skynard
3) Try – Colbie Caillat

Kerry:
Hmm, how to choose?
1) In the Garden – Van Morrison
2) My Sweet Carolina – Ryan Adams
3) Jersey Girl – Bruce Springsteen (shout out to my roots!)

Who are your favorite writers?
Cassie: JD Salinger
Kerry: Well Cassie doesn’t read much but I do!

In adult literary fiction I love: Elizabeth Strout, Donna Tartt, Jo Ann Beard, Tobias Wolff, Mary Karr, Jennifer Egan, Jumpha Lahiri, Dave Eggers, Pat Conroy, Nicole Krauss, Emily St John Mandel etc.

In YA I love: Jennifer Niven, David Arnold, Nicola Yoon, Charlotte Huang, Sabaa Tahir, Stacey Lee, Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, Stephanie Kuehn, Lance Rubin, Moriah Mcstay, Laurie Halse Anderson, Marcus Zusak and Ruta Sepetys. That’s off the top of my head so I’m sure I will kick myself as soon as I hit send because I’ve forgotten ten people.

I’ve also been lucky enough to read some 2016 debuts as well that I’m so excited to talk about more during the year but for brevity’s sake I will say here that my number one new author obsession is Jeff Zentner whose The Serpent King (March 2016) is one of the most perfect books I’ve ever read.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Cassie: to feel different inside, to feel worthy of love.
Kerry: I’m not a big fan of anxiety so I’d probably nix that tendency in myself. Or maybe impatience.

Describe your book in 6 words:
Language, loss, hopefulness, courage, complexity, friendship

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ABOUT KERRY
Kerry KletterKerry Kletter has had a lifelong passion for story. She holds a degree in literature and has an extensive background in theater, having appeared in film, television, and onstage. When not writing, Kerry can be found surfing, running, working with animals, or singing loudly in her car while stuck in LA traffic. A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Kerry now lives in Santa Monica, California, with her partner, screenwriter David Zorn. The First Time She Drowned is her debut novel.
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