New Kids On The Block 2019 with Christine Lynn Herman

New Kids On The Block is a year-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader meant to welcome and celebrate new voices and debut authors in the literary community.

Are you a debut author whose book is being published in 2019? It’s not too late to sign-up! If you want to participate in New Kids On The Block this year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can send a tweet or DM on Twitter to @Pop_Reader or email me at Jen@PopGoesTheReader.com. I would love to collaborate with you!


About Christine Lynn Herman

Born in New York City but raised in Japan and Hong Kong, Christine Lynn Herman subscribes to the firm philosophy that home is where her books are. She returned to the United States to study at the University of Rochester, where she received the Dean’s Prize in fiction and an Honors English degree. Currently, Christine and her books reside in a Brooklyn apartment, along with her partner, many plants, and their extremely spoiled cat.​

Her debut YA novel, The Devouring Gray, will release from Disney-Hyperion on April 2, 2019, with a sequel to come the following year. She is represented by Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency,

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

I have always been fascinated by forests. I know I’m far from alone — a childhood spent reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales and listening to the Into The Woods cast recording semi-obsessively taught me that many of us feel the same pull I do. In so many stories, the woods seem to have a life of their own. They’re setting, sure, but they feel like characters too, and they often play an integral role in a story.

It helps, of course, that there’s a forest of my own embedded in my psyche, that it had just as big an impact on me as any of the people I grew up with. For six years of my childhood — the longest we stayed anywhere, by far — we lived on four acres of land that felt like it belonged to nature far more than it belonged to us. Trees peppered our lawn, thickening into a full forest that stretched around our house on all sides. Getting off the school bus felt like walking into one of the fairytales I loved so much, like the trees were waiting for me.

I spent most of my time outside during those years, roaming through the underbrush, and I had the scrapes and bruises to show for it. Several trees quickly became my favorites. There was the massive oak tree in the very center of our lawn, struck by lightning but still standing; once, I got stuck up there during a family party and had to shamefacedly climb a ladder down. A pine tree that had grown sideways, its branches twisted and gnarled into a perfect climbing structure for my siblings and I to play in. A red maple with leaves that shone crimson in the autumn light; a skinny white birch studded with knots that looked exactly like eyes. I wondered sometimes if they were watching my siblings and I grow up the same way we were watching them.

So when I started writing a book about a creepy forest, many years later, I always knew it would be far more than a backdrop. In The Devouring Gray, the forest is the thing that binds all my characters together; despite misgivings and familial histories, they are all drawn back to the woods, to the alternate dimension that stretches over the trees: a strange mirrored world called the Gray.

There is an honesty about a forest that felt inherently right for this story about hard truths coming to light, about the pretty lies we tell ourselves to cover up the ugliness of who we are or who we’ve been. I have wrapped my arms around a tree and whispered confessions into the trunk; I have cried and laughed and grown within the quiet embrace of its branches. I have stood knee-deep in the underbrush and tipped my head back to stare up at the canopy of branches stretching above me, leaves blotting out the sun, and felt an undeniable sense of belonging.

It’s not just that my characters in The Devouring Gray and the town they live in are tied to the forest — in my mind, they’re all part of it. The trees and the people and the buildings and their history are what make up the forest, one gigantic, complex organism, and for all they’ve lost to the woods, they’ve found themselves there, too.

Title The Devouring Gray
Author Christine Lynn Herman
Pages 368 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Fantasy, Suspense
Publication Date April 2nd 2019 by Disney-Hyperion
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersThe Book Depository

Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray — a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny – to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities…before the Gray devours them all.

2 responses to “New Kids On The Block 2019 with Christine Lynn Herman”

  1. This is such a great post! I was already excited for THE DEVOURING GRAY but now I don’t know if I can wait a week! Thanks for sharing Jen!
    Jamie @ Books and Ladders recently posted…ARC #Review: JUST ONE OF THE ROYALS by Leah Rooper and Kate RooperMy Profile

  2. I’m really looking forward to reading this book! Thanks so much for introducing us to it

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