Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Marcy Beller Paul

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 twenty-four 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 Marcy Beller Paul

Marcy Beller Paul is a young adult author, former editor, and full-time mom who still has all the notes she passed in seventh grade (and knows how to fold them). She graduated from Harvard University and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Underneath Everything will be published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, in Fall 2015. It is her first novel.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramGoodreads




It’s not often I find myself at a loss for words (my first nickname was motormouth) but Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap rendered me speechless. I finished the book and stared off into space so that I could spend more time in those corn fields, with that magic, and those characters. Oh, the characters. It’s hard to pick just one. But in the end, for me, it has to be Petey.

In a story with slips of magic and cursed beauty, Petey was solid and self-possessed. She was the ugly one in town, yes, she’d heard that. She’d also heard them, under their breath, wanting her if they could have her. And she took all of this in, and she didn’t give herself to them. Not to the Rude boys. Not to the town. Not even to Finn, at first. She protected herself.

The same way I had to in high school when my best friend spread an ugly rumor about me; when I walked through the halls with a sunburn so bad it looked like I’d been in a fire; when I showed up at flagpole early that summercamp morning so I could be alone after a break up, only to encounter a small group of six playing spin the bottle, my ex-boyfriend included. Those are the times I forced a shell around myself: when I smiled like I was fine; when I pretended my skin wasn’t crinkly brown or bright pink; when I sat there in my spot on the pavement listening to my ex kiss someone else. I protected myself.

I’d never seen a character do that in a book, though. Not when I was in high school. And I’d definitely never seen the other kind of strength Petey possessed, the strength to crack her shell — even when all the danger was still staring her in the face — and let someone in.

It gave me hope that no matter how hard I had to make myself, there would always be something left of me to give to the right person.

Roza may appear to be the beauty at the core of this story, but for me, it will always be Petey.

Title Underneath Everything
Author Marcy Beller Paul
Pages 304 Pages
Genre Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ
Publisher Balzer + Bray
To Be Published October 27th, 2015
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.

But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.

And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.

But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.

Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone – she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.

Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating — and toxic — relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.


One response to “Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Marcy Beller Paul”

  1. Pamela B. says:

    I absolutely LOVED “Bone Gap”!!! I was on the edge of my seat for every word on every page! I devoured said words in 3 days!!! I completely agree with Marcy when she said “Roza may appear to be the beauty at the core of this story, but for me, it will always be Petey.”

    Her book is now on my “To buy” list! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge