YOUNG ADULT BOOKS
January 18, 2022
Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this poignant coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their journals and comes to better understand her fraught relationship with her mother.
Mimi’s relationship with her mother has always been difficult. But lately, her mother has been acting more withdrawn than usual, leaving Mimi to navigate the tricky world of turning sixteen alone. What she doesn’t expect is her mother’s advice to start journaling—just like all the woman in her family before her. It’s a tradition, she says. Expected.
But Mimi takes to poetry and with it, a way to write down the realities of growing into a woman, the pains of online bullying, and the new experiences of having a boyfriend. And all in the shadows of a sexual assault case that is everywhere on the news—a case that seems to specifically rattle her mother.
Trying to understand her place in the world, Mimi dives into the uncovered journals of her grandmother, great-grandmother, and beyond. She immerses herself in each of their lives, learns of their painful stories and their beautiful sprits. And as Mimi grows closer to each of these women, she starts to forge her own path. But it isn’t until her mother’s story comes to light that Mimi learns about the unyielding bonds of family and the relentless spirit of womanhood.
*A Kirkus Best of 2022 Selection
*A RISE Feminist Book Project 2023 Selection
*A Chicago Public Library Best of 2022 Selection
*A Junior Library Guild Selection
*“powerfully told verse novel… Haydu’s adept use of verse and structure add a sense of intimacy to the contemporarily resonant narrative, vividly conjuring the story and the women at its heart.”
-Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
*“By turns fragile, tough as nails, halting, and determined, these characters’ voices command attention….A compelling feminist tale.”
-Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
July 28, 2020
Damsel meets A Heart in a Body in the World in this incisive and lyrical feminist fairy tale about a princess determined to save her sisters from a curse, even if it means allying herself with the very witch who cast it.
The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired.
Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box.
But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family.
Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.
* “Haydu peppers the novel, told in alternating perspectives by Jane and Reagan, with familiar fairy tale symbols and tropes made fresh through attention to the inventive history of the witches that protect Ever. Affecting scenes showcase the threat of sexual violence that the kingdom’s females face from powerful princes and kings who deem resistors hysterical, and a breathless stream-of-consciousness style echoes the feelings of the two young women contending with Ever’s history, outdated beliefs about princesses and witches, and the way forward in a broken kingdom.”
-Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“A fiercely feminist #MeToo fairytale.”
“…the girl’s growing solidarity enables them, and by extension readers, to imagine a radically changed, beautifully imperfect world…unusual fairytale for the #MeToo era.”
THE CAREFUL UNDRESSING OF LOVE
January 31, 2017
The girls of Devonairre Street have always been told they’re cursed. Any boy they love is certain to die too soon. But this is Brooklyn in 2008, and the curse is less a terror and more a lifestyle accessory—something funky and quaint that makes the girls from the shortest street in Brooklyn special. They wear their hair long and keys around their necks. People give them a second look and whisper “Devonairre” to their friends. But it’s not real. It won’t affect their futures.
Then Jack—their Jack, the one boy everyone loved—dies suddenly and violently. And now the curse seems not only real, but like the only thing that matters. All their bright futures have suddenly gone dark.
The Careful Undressing of Love is a disturbing and sensual story of the power of youth and the boundless mysteries of love set against the backdrop of Haydu’s brilliantly reimagined New York City.
* A Romantic Times Top Pick
“Heartbreakingly beautiful and haunting, Haydu holds your heart in her hands as you travel through the pages of this story.”
“This is an often lyrical reflection on love, sexuality, death, mourning, and how human beings attempt to rationalize and control tragic events. The elements of magical realism and the beautifully detailed descriptions of an alternate version of New York City make this a standout. VERDICT This complex novel would be a good choice for a book discussion group or for those looking for a substantive, poetic YA read.”
-School Library Journal
“(the) lushly written first-person narrative is sensuous and rich, perfectly capturing the conflicting feelings of joy and fear that often accompany true love and meticulously laying out the peculiar terms of life on Devonairre Street… it’s the subtle yet powerful way that the novel addresses Lorna’s struggle to find herself when others have defined her for so long that will especially appeal to teen readers grappling with their own issues of identity. A carefully layered exploration of the age-old question, “Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?” ”
“The Careful Undressing of Love is sad and strange and beautiful. I will be marveling over Corey Ann Haydu’s writing for days to come.”
-Johanna Albrecht, bookseller at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.
With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.
In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?
*A Junior Library Guild Selection
“This summer read has the ubiquitous quirkiness that has become a marker of contemporary adolescent realism and will appeal to fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell.”
“Haydu’s dialogue shines.”
“In a breathy first-person narrative, Montana describes what it’s like to be lost and to finally find herself again, but she is not the only lost one: her father obsessively remakes all of his wives to be physically perfect, which ultimately distorts Montana’s understanding of love and acceptance. It’s a lot to let go of, and the addictive intensity of her relationship with her boyfriend doesn’t help matters, but with the help of friends and some self-reflection, she learns how to be herself on her own terms. Fans of Sarah Dessen’s character-driven novels will appreciate Montana’s journey of self discovery.”
“Montana’s fast-moving love affair with Bernardo is delicious but also troubling, as she realizes she’s emulating her father’s speed to the altar. Readers will vicariously thrill to the drama, but they’ll also feel for Montana’s struggle to find stability in the face of her ever-transforming family. ”
LIFE BY COMMITTEE
Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.
Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.
Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe. Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.
But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?
“An authentic, heartfelt read about the power of truth and the beauty of self-discovery.”
-Sarah Ockler, author of #scandal and Twenty Boy Summer
“Life by Committee is a fun, smart, and moving read with every delicious ingredient—romance, secrets, and unexpected twists. Assignment: Read this one.”
-Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist and author of Honey, Baby, Sweetheart and The Last Forever
“(Not so) Secret: I immediately fell in love with Corey Ann Haydu’s wonderful, fresh story about truth, love, and bravery. Your assignment: Read Life by Committee immediately!”
-Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Better off Friends
“This book is brilliant, thrumming with honesty and surprising truths.”
-Terra Elan McVoy, author of Pure and The Summer of Firsts and Lasts
*An American Book Association Summer 2014 Indie Next Selection
“Haydu captures in deft strokes the teenaged girl who’s being slut-shamed mostly for becoming sexually attractive, and who struggles to negotiate her resentment at the unfair characterization (Tabitha’s actually a virgin whose main joy is reading old books) with her interest in male attention. Her engagement with the website is utterly plausible for a girl with her love of a good story, and the book effectively sets up both the site’s appeal and its manipulative nature. Ultimately, though, the book’s target is secrets and their power, and it understands both the thrilling ability to have something to yourself and the way we hide and disguise our realities. This would therefore make an excellent partner with an exploration of the PostSecret project, as well as a thoughtful standalone with much insight about perception and truth.”
“There’s much to enjoy in Haydu’s (OCD Love Story, rev. 9/13) second novel: a quirky cast of secret-hiding secondary characters including Tab’s sharp, opinionated not-yet-out lesbian best friend; Tab’s café-owning early-thirties parents, ultra-hip while still supportive in the ways they need to be; and the depiction of her small-town-Vermont “crunchy” private school. Tab’s narrative voice is arresting, even as readers wonder at her poor decisions and cringe as creepy, cult-y LBC’s influence overrides her sense of self—and her conscience.”
“Fans of Haydu’s OCD Love Story will once again bear witness to a female protagonist hurling herself headfirst into a social train wreck of her own creation….Looking for a book to read and discuss? This is it.”
“Haydu captures the wild emotions of adolescence: the surging hormones, the power of getting people to pay attention because of your body, and the confusion over how that makes you feel….Readers who are avidly involved in social media communities will relate to the thrill of confessing secrets to strangers, rather than friends and family.”
-School Library Journal
“Haydu gets at the push-pull between wanting to keep and to divulge secrets, as well as the way that anatomy can feel like destiny.”
OCD LOVE STORY
When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.
But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic… and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a ton about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.
Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control, but this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down… and she might end up breaking her own heart.
*A Junior Library Guild Selection
*A BCCB Blue Ribbon Selection
*A YASLA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee
“Debut novelist Haydu doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of OCD or reduce her characters to a symptom list. . .to build a relationship with someone who’s seen them as they really are, to move past shame into intimacy, makes the story that much more touching.”
-Publishers Weekly, Starred Review ★
“Haydu explores a sweet, unconventional romance alongside her characters’ well-known (but little-understood) disorder. Heartwarming, frequently funny, and wholly honest, this debut novel is, well, compulsively readable.”
-Horn Book, Starred Review ★
“witty, affecting, and ferociously individual”
-BCCB, Starred Review ★
“Haydu is a masterful wordsmith…A raw and well-crafted alternative to run-of-the-mill teen romances that also addresses tough mental health issues head-on.”
“Readers will easily accept what might, in the hands of a less skillful writer, seem like plot conveniences and connect with the well-drawn Bea and Beck. A compelling portrait of teen behavioral disorders and the struggle to overcome or, at the very least, balance them.”