Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Brittany Cavallaro

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-nine authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Brittany Cavallaro

Brittany Cavallaro is the author of A Study In Charlotte (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins), an IndieNext and Junior Library Guild pick, and the first in a trilogy. She is the author of the poetry collection GIRL-KING and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, cat, and collection of deerstalker caps.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterTumblrFacebookGoodreads

I still don’t know the name of the woman who changed my life.

I was a headstrong kid in a small, Catholic town, dissatisfied with the drab world around me. How could I be anything else, when, by day, I sat in a school that taught me that girls should be quiet and obedient, ‘pure’ and pliable, that homosexuality was a sin, that provocative clothing provoked assault?

And the rest of our town seemed to agree, even if my parents didn’t. I spent my school years pushing my willful, messy self into a box that I only opened up at night. That’s when I got to wrap myself up in bed and read about dragons and girl-knights and magic. I’d burned through every Tamora Pierce and Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey novel when my mother asked a coworker for book recommendations.

The next day, she brought in a stack of hardcovers as tall as I was. Here, she told my mom. Your daughter might like these.

That was an understatement. I loved the Valdemar series, Mercedes Lackey’s books about a world with a strong, intelligent female queen, where girls and boys were chosen by magical horses (yep) to be Heralds, their country’s lawbringers. Valdemar, a country whose most tragic hero was a gay man (I reread Vanyel’s story, The Last Herald-Mage series, until the pages began falling out) and whose fiercest mercenary captain was a woman named Kerowyn.

By my rough count, there are fifty-three Valdemar books (and counting), almost all of them in trilogies, but I still like By The Sword, Kerowyn’s story, the best. Kerowyn, too, was willful and messy, a girl who worries that she’s all wrong. She’d rather be outside, hunting and riding and practicing knife-work, than helping in the kitchen. Then, at her brother’s wedding feast, raiders attack, killing or disabling all the men and stealing away her brother’s bride. Kerowyn is the only one left to save her. She rides to her mysterious grandmother’s house for help, and with the help of her magic sword, rescues her sister-in-law.

Sound familiar? Maybe. But what struck me at thirteen was what happened after. Kerowyn arrives home, a hero — except no one else agrees. Women don’t do what Kerowyn did. People laugh at her. They’re afraid of her. Against all odds, she proves that she was brave and smart and strong, and now she’s being punished for it.

So she leaves. Goes to train with her grandmother and her swordswoman partner, where the only other student is a handsome prince. Sound familiar? Well, maybe — but the two have unsatisfying, fumbling sex until the prince, smitten, asks Kerowyn to marry him, and she decides actually, this isn’t for me either. Which is when she sets off to climb the ranks in a mercenary company.

Sure, maybe a magic horse shows up at one point. Maybe she does find true love (of a less princely variety). She remains a badass the whole way through. What By The Sword taught me was that, despite what the world wants from you or the way the world reacts, you can make your own decisions. You don’t have to say yes to the prince. You can have casual sex and still be a good person. You can save the day and still be vilified for it. You can only do the things that are right for you, that make sense for you, and damn the world’s opinion. You can be your messy, willful self no matter what anyone else thinks.

I left that small town at sixteen to go off on my own adventure — to a performing arts boarding school to study creative writing on scholarship. I brought By The Sword with me; I’ve brought it everywhere with me since, and I reread it every year. My magic horse might have never shown up, but part of me lives in Valdemar, even now.

Title A Study In Charlotte
Author Brittany Cavallaro
Pages 321 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Mystery, Re-Telling
Published March 1st, 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

The first book in a witty, suspenseful new trilogy about a brilliant new crime-solving duo: the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This clever page-turner will appeal to fans of Maureen Johnson and Ally Carter.

Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends.

But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Jenny Bardsley

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-nine authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Jenny Bardsley

Jennifer Bardsley writes the parenting column “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. Her debut YA novel, Genesis Girl will be published by Month9Books on June 14, 2016, with the sequel releasing in 2017. Genesis Girl is about a teenager who has never been on the Internet. Jennifer however, is on the web all the time as “The YA Gal” with over 19,800 followers on Facebook, and 12,600 followers on Instagram. On Facebook, she hosts the weekly instant book club called #TakeALookTuesday where YA Gal friends geek out, share pictures of what they are reading, and chat about books

Jennifer is a member of SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens debut author group, and is founder of Sixteen To Read. An alumna of Stanford University, Jennifer lives near Seattle, WA where she enjoys spending time with her family and her poodle, Merlin.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

Give some credit to Rose Wilder Lane.

Canadian readers, please excuse me. I know your prairies are just as good as the ones we have in the United States. But when I was little there was only one prairie I cared about and it was the place Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family lived in her iconic Little House On The Prairie series.

Every time I read any of the Little House books I always came away with the feeling that the Ingalls were the ideal family. All they needed was each other. Add a cow and 160 acres, and they were entirely self-sufficient.

I must have read the series at least ten times. I thought I knew all about the Ingalls family, but I didn’t. I thought I knew why they succeeded and why they failed, but I was wrong. I didn’t even know who really crafted the books.

The Ghost In The Little House by William Holtz, claims that Laura’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, was the true genius behind the series. He points to primary source documents that show that Laura would write a pretty basic rough draft, and then Rose would heavily rewrite it for publication.

Shock! Gasp! Horror! The tween in me cried when I read Holtz’s book, but I couldn’t explain away the evidence. I wanted to believe that Laura was the one-and-only true author, but the more I learned about Rose, the clearer it became that it was probably a collaborative effort.

Rose Wilder Lane was a genius in her own right. Today with our modern IQ tests, we would probably identify Rose as highly gifted. As a child she suffered through incompetent teachers in a one-room school house. It’s no wonder that as an adult Rose hated the small town in Arkansas where she grew up.

An only child who was reared in poverty, Rose left the Ozarks as soon as possible. She carved out a fabulous life for herself and became famous in her own right. Rose traveled all over the world, wrote best sellers, championed orphans, and became the mother of the Libertarian party along with Ayn Rand. But there was one thing holding Rose back — her parents.

After a lifetime of hard work, Laura and Almanzo Wilder were close to destitute. All they had was their farm and a history of hardship. This was before President Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced the American Social Security System. It was up to Rose to provide for her parents in retirement.

Rose resented the burden of taking care of her parents. She was bitter about the poverty she suffered as a child, and blamed her poor teeth on lack of proper nutrition when she was little. But she took her duty seriously, and that’s why she encouraged Laura to write up a juvenile fiction story based on her childhood. Rose saw book publishing as an easy way to make money, and hoped that if Laura was successful then the Wilder’s financial problems would be solved.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Kind of…

Rose’s political views had influence. That’s probably why major instances of the Ingalls family receiving government assistance were downplayed. The biggest example of this is in Little Town on the Prairie. In real life Laura’s teaching salary didn’t pay for her sister Mary to go to college for the blind; the government did. Laura helped fund Mary’s transportation and incidental costs. That’s still a meaningful contribution, but it’s not nearly as dramatic.

Sacrifice, love, loss, and family; The Little House on the Prairie series has it all. Does it really matter who wrote the words and who heavily edited them? I’m still not sure. Let me listen to Pa play the fiddle while I think about it.

Title Genesis Girl
Author Jennifer Bardsley
Pages 280 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Science Fiction, Dystopian
To Be Published June 14th, 2016 by Month9Books, LLC
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet. Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint has made her extremely valuable and upon graduation Blanca, and those like her, are sold to the highest bidders.

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable.

By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.

Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-nine authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance journalist who has worked with Marie Claire, ELLE, and InStyle in the U.K. Her debut novel, The Square Root Of Summer, was inspired by her German mathematician grandfather and her lifelong obsession with YA romance, which includes an MA thesis on Dawson’s Creek from London College of Fashion, and a dissertation on romantic comedies at Newcastle University. She lives in Brighton, England.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramTumblrGoodreads

I wanted to write a concise, lucid essay on Lennie Walker from Jandy Nelson’s 2010 debut, The Sky Is Everywhere. Summing up my admiration in a clear argument, neatly structured. Then, like Lennie’s clarinet faceplant, where she honks out all her emotions “in one mad bleating typhoon of a note”, my thoughts sprawled on the page, as foggy and elliptical as grief.

Maybe I love her too much to be coherent.

Maybe she’s me – the sidekick, the companion pony, the one with words and dreams locked inside her.

Or maybe it’s that grief is incoherent, and I spend the most time with Lennie whenever I have been, as she puts it, “a wee bit preoccupied with the bat in my belfry”. (Lennie is grieving for the death of her older sister Bailey, an electric-charismatic-beautiful actress who dies of sudden heart arrhythmia, pregnant, at nineteen.) I read this book, crawl into Lennie’s poetic world, whenever I am “out of my tree and running through the park”.

So maybe I can’t untangle my thoughts about Lennie – soulful, funny, poetry-writing Lennie, who lies down on forest floors and hollers out of attic windows, dubs her orange bedroom The Inner Pumpkin Sanctum and has a thing for saints and miracles – from my crazy spaghetti-brain emotions.

Lennie reads Wuthering Heights so often it cleaves to her body, sand in its dog-eared pages, covers tattered and falling off. And I read Lennie’s story over and over, a comfort blanket. I picked it up on a whim in a WHSmith in south London, based on the title, the cover, the softback elastic-bound edition from Walker Books. Interspersed between chapters are poems that Lennie writes and discards, and this edition has them illustrated in full colour. That was the year my grandmother had a stroke, and I fell into Lennie’s world rather than live in my own.

I read it again when my grandmother died in 2012, falling in love with lilacs and clarinets and sunsets and northern California. I read it again-again a few months after that, when I got dumped by Twitter DM, howling over Bailey’s death and their missing mother and sad, skateboarding Toby. And again two weeks later, when a private, terrible thing happened. It is solace, it is medicine, it is a book about rediscovering the world, and yourself, when you no longer know who you are.

I like Lennie’s brain. How she describes her surroundings – the sun has “burst into millions of pieces, which have landed all over Main Street”. I like the prosaic (a summer job lasagne-making at the deli, chemistry homework with the scent of Grams’ chicken fricassee and mmm, books with food) and the extraordinary (her sister Bailey’s word, but Lennie claims it, her grief vast as a continent and she pinballing inside it, behaving badly).

And oh boy, does Lennie behave badly.

She cheats on her miraculously eyelashed boyfriend Joe Fontaine. With her dead sister’s fiancé! She’s not the best of friends to Sarah, who mourns for Bailey herself, reads books on grief, and stays in constant contact with Lennie despite rejection. Lennie is hateful to Grams. Rude and silent, she chops down her beloved roses and says things like, “I’ll do it, Gram [pack up Bailey’s things], if you stop stalking me and leave me alone”. Ouch.

I can’t judge her – grief is isolating, makes you behave strangely – but I should note her imperfections. Flaws that make her a real 17-year-old. Her band rival Rachel is unpleasant, sure, but the shades of slut-shaming in her description of Rachel leaving boys as “band-kill in her wake” or the unfeminist nickname “Bitchzilla” aren’t kind. Once, she uses the word “retard”; casually, dismissively, a blink of an eye. An accurate depiction of a teenager, uncomfortable to read, I hope she regrets her use of it, grows up.

Even so, I adore her. Writing her thoughts on her jeans with a finger. Calling Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights a “total freaking boner boy”. Playing clarinet endlessly. Chopping up her favourite book with garden shears. On idiot duty stuffing cannolis. Running with “private raucous happiness”, rediscovering the world and that there can be happiness, joy, life, even after pain.

I said I read this book whenever I am out of my tree, whenever there are bats in my belfry. The last such time I read it was no exception. I didn’t have my colourfully illustrated beautiful copy; all my books were hastily packed into expensive, yet damp, storage; for reasons both complicated and mundane and all-too-common, and which I am not yet brave enough to detail. So it was a not-that-good Kindle edition, formatted with errors, that I wrapped myself up in – and I’ve never found ebooks lending themselves well to poetry. But the formatting didn’t matter.

Because an extraordinary girl, Lennon “Lennie” Walker, saved me – with love, with joy, with a belief in the world still being dazzling after pain, a raw-honest-wide-open heart and optimism about love. She saved me with lasagnes and music and pot plants and hilarity. (And, yeah, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.) Made me feel like maybe, I could fly.

I mentioned this essay would be incoherent, right?

Title The Square Root Of Summer
Author Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Pages 304 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Romance, Time Travel
Published May 3rd, 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is…seventeen. Motherless. A math genius. And she’s losing time. Literally.

When the fabric of the universe surrounding Gottie’s sleepy seaside town begins to fray, she is hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died.

To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral.

To the day her childhood best friend Thomas moved to Canada, leaving her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, this summer Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide – and be changed forever.

With time travel, quantum physics, and world-stopping kisses, this stunning YA debut is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and figuring it all out.

Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Lauren Magaziner

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-nine authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Lauren Magaziner

Lauren Magaziner is the author of humorous middle grade books: Pilfer Academy (2016), The Only Thing Worse Than Witches (2014), and the upcoming Wizardmatch (2017), all published with Penguin Books for Young Readers. She is a proud graduate of Hamilton College and spent two years working in the magazine world (a serendipitous job considering her last name). Lauren is originally from New Hope, Pennsylvania, though she currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes full-time.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

Hermione Granger is my jam.

“But Lauren,” you’re probably saying to yourself, “literally every human in the world loves Hermione”.

“Come on, Lauren,” you say, “how could you be so unoriginally dullfully monotonous in your blog post choice?”

“Seriously, Lauren,” you say, “there’s nothing you can say about Hermione that someone else hasn’t already said a thousand times.”

Then you pelt tomatoes at me. Which is cool because I love free groceries, thanks.

It’s like this: everyone knows the story of Hermione, the little smartypants that could. She is unabashedly, unapologetically smart. She is the real hero of the story — she saves Harry and Ron’s sorry butts every single time. And they barely even thank her for it.

But Hermione herself isn’t what inspires me — it’s her growth.

Let’s start from the beginning: I picked up Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone when I was 8 years old. I was 100% the target audience for the book, solidly middle grade, and part of what I like to call “The Harry Potter Generation.” The books came out once every year — or once every two years, when we got to the later ones. And by the time the Deathly Hallows came out, I was 17 — Hermione Granger’s exact age.

So not only did I get to witness a character grow over time, but I also got to change with her. She starts off as bookish and intelligent-beyond-her-years. But somewhere during the course of series — with more life experience — Hermione becomes different. She learns about the world she’s inherited: one with racism, classism, slavery, hate. And Hermione Freaking Granger DOES NOT ACCEPT THAT. And herein lies what is so fantastic about Hermione Granger — and the thing that nobody really talks about: she is an activist.

We see how much Harry and Ron make fun of SPEW, since the book filters through Harry’s lens. But despite the terrible acronym acumen, there is nothing to laugh at here. Hermione sees inequality, and she steps up to change it. That’s more than any other character in the series can say. She is loud, smart, and just as bold as she was in her early years, but now with the goal of changing the world. She will accept nothing less than complete and total equality, and that is something to admire, not scoff at (*looking at you, Harry and Ron*).

With the upcoming election in the United States and with all the turmoil that’s been happening in my country — and my world — lately, Hermione has been on my mind more often than not. I’ve been told that authors should stay out of “politics” on social media, lest one alienates a potential reader. “Talk less, smile more,” to quote Aaron Burr in the hit musical Hamilton.

But then I think of Hermione Granger, who didn’t give a hippogriff’s tailfeather what people thought of her, so long as she was standing up for the right thing. Hermione — with her house-elf activism and her unyielding championship for equal rights — gives me the bravery to tweet, Facebook, and shout from the rooftops of my Brooklyn apartment about sexism, homophobia, racism, and public health and safety issues. After all, peace and equality aren’t “political” issues — they’re universal human rights issues.

Even my writing, lately, touches upon the ideals of equality that Hermione held so dear (see my third book!). Since my teens, Hermione has been inspiring me to become active and engaged, and so I’ll debate, I’ll write, I’ll dream my way into a better future. I’ll do it for as long as it takes — for forever.

And like my girl, I’m going to work hard, even when the Harrys and Rons of the world tell me that one person’s efforts don’t matter — and that no one person can change the system.

Like Hermione, I won’t give up. We are Gryffindors, hear us roar!

Title Pilfer Academy
Author Lauren Magaziner
Pages 272 Pages
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Genre Humor, Absurd, School, Thieves
Published February 16th, 2016 by Dial Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Fans of Spy SchoolEscape From Mr. Lemencello’s Library and Roald Dahl will gobble up this hilarious story about a secret boarding school for thieves-in-training!

Troublemaking George has never heard of Pilfer Academy, a top-secret school for cultivating young crooks, until he’s kidnapped as its newest student. The teachers are kooky at best, and naughty does not even begin to describe his sneaky, smart, and morally bankrupt new classmates. Between disguise classes, cracking safes, and DIY gadgets, George becomes an expert bandit and finds true friendship with Tabitha, his new partner-in-crime. But everything is ruined when George comes to a shocking realization: He is just too good-hearted to be a thief! 

Unfortunately, not thieving is not an option at Pilfer Academy, and “misbehaving” students face Dean Deanbugle’s favorite punishment — the Whirlyblerg! In order to gain their freedom, George and Tabitha must pull the biggest heist the school has ever seen and reveal their true colors not as thieves, but as kind (and, okay, mischievous) kids.

Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-nine authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. She is a proud member of the SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2k16. Her young adult novel Arrows is available now from Delacorte Press. She is represented by agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

Decisions have never come easy to me.

That’s one of the reasons I love Mia from Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. Imagine being in her place, forced to choose between life or death. Either way she’ll feel pain, which is sometimes the story of our choices, too.

For Mia, living will mean having to face feeling hollow. Snow will remind her of the car accident when it’s billowing from the sky like thick pixie dust. The smoke of pipe tobacco will remind her that her father is never coming back.

Life has no guarantees, which makes choosing so hard.

Life or death.

Funny how so many choices can feel that way, even when they’re not.

Looking at pros and cons, making lists, wondering about every possible outcome before it happens, and mostly won’t — that’s me. I guess it’s called anxiety, something I’ve had my whole life, a part of who I am, who I hate.

I’ve had to face this me and admit my insecurities. I’ve had to fight through feeling that I’m not good enough, smart enough, worthy enough, ever enough. Maybe you know the feeling.

Mia found strength in knowing she was not alone; knowing she was loved, which is for all of us. Love. Something we can hold onto.

No matter how small or uncertain you’re feeling, there are people who love you, and they’ll be there to say you are smart.

You are worthy.

You are a good writer.

You should come back.

You are a good friend.

You are my favorite.

You are, and that is enough.

Title Arrows
Author Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Pages 240 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Romance, Mythology, Fantasy
Published January 26th, 2016 by Delacorte Press
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV’s Teen Mom.

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him…and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.

Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault…but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal and external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny – perfect for fans of Katie McGarry’s novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.