In Which I Give Away My Last ARC to Someone Who Really Wants It

Happy 2013, everyone!

If you’re impatient and don’t want to read through this post, this, my friends, is a giveaway.

If you want to win a signed and personalized ARC of my March 2013 book 17 & Gone plus a bunch of bookmarks, just leave a comment on this post telling me why you want the ARC… or fill out this entry form  and it could be yours.

If you have a little more patience, I’ll tell you more about the book first before you throw your name in the hat to win an ARC.



17 & Gone comes out in less than three months. I am really not sure how to promote my book and myself online beyond simply telling you that it comes out on March 21 and I hope you’ll want to buy it or grab it from the library on that day. Because how to convince you? How to explain the ways this book haunted me, during the writing and also in the years before setting its first words down on the page? How to explain that the themes found in this book (disappearing girls; danger like a hand grabbing you in the darkness; visions felt in your bones, visions you can’t trust; and the desire, the need, to try to save someone else even when you’re not so sure you can save yourself), these things have been following me for years?


I’ve been writing about disappearing girls for a long time. Girls who vanish. Girls who run away. Girls who are gone. My early short stories—written fifteen, twenty years ago—often touched on this, and a novel I never got published is all about a runaway trying to discover who she was and is and is meant to be.

But it wasn’t until 17 & Gone that I really embraced this theme and followed where it led. It led me somewhere surprising. Here are the opening lines of the book:

Girls go missing every day. They slip out bedroom windows and into strange cars. They leave good-bye notes or they don’t get a chance to tell anyone. They cross borders. They hitch rides, squeezing themselves into overcrowded backseats, sitting on willing laps. They curl up and crouch down, or they shove their bodies out of sunroofs and give off victory shouts. Girls make plans to go, but they also vanish without meaning to, and sometimes people confuse one for the other. Some girls go kicking and screaming and clawing out the eyes of whoever won’t let them stay. And then there are the girls who never reach where they’re going. Who disappear. Their ends are endless, their stories unknown. These girls are lost, and I’m the only one who’s seen them.

(You can read a longer excerpt of 17 & Gone here, in PenguinTeen’s Spring 2013 preview.)

Because, yes, this is a story about a haunting and about lost girls—but it turned out to be about so much more than that. It turned out to be a book about something deeper than I realized, something I’ve been afraid of and fascinated by, something I care about deeply, which emerged during the writing of this draft, like a light came on in a dark hallway and I knew the way. I’d like to talk about this, but I can’t until you’ve read the book and see what I mean. I realize that sounds cryptic, but maybe by now I’ve enticed you enough to want to enter this giveaway or—better—buy the book when it comes out on March 21 or ask your local library to order it.



Yes, a giveaway! I have one more ARC left to give out. I’ll send it—signed and personalized—along with some bookmarks to someone who wants to read this book.


• Leave a comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to read 17 & Gone—or who you’d send this signed ARC to, and why. This is the last ARC I’ll be giving away before the book is published, so I’d love to give it to someone who really wants it or will make good use of it somehow.

• Giveaway open in the US and Canada only.


Or, if you’d like your entry kept private, just fill out this entry form:

(Go here for the form if the embedded form won’t load.)

Thank you for entering!


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