“Please don’t apologize for being inquisitive or for having opinions. Be proud that you’re curious and clever. It’s good to have thoughts & questions.” Yes, yes, a million times yes.
In my inboxes I see so many questions that start with a phrase meant to apologize for asking the question in the message. They start with some version of “sorry to bother you” or “This is probably a silly question” etc. I’d say that almost 100% of those are from girls & women.
In daily life I…
Anonymous asked: Im such a nobody. And theres nothing I can even do about it. I realky relate to Nix and Claire.
When I sign copies of NOBODY, the inscription I write on the inside always reads: “YOU ARE SEEN.”
So. You, dear reader, are seen.
In high school, I held a secret, but very firm belief that I was somehow inherently unlikable and annoying—that no matter how hard I tried or how nice I was or what I did, I would never be someone that other people would want around. Whatever evidence I received to the contrary, from friends outside of my high school or from my family, I attributed to their awesomeness, not my own. I genuinely believed that, by and large, the most I could hope for was to be tolerated, and that people who tolerated me were doing me a favor (and that it wasn’t their fault if they were sometimes cruel, because I just brought that out in people).
It couldn’t be everyone else, I told myself. It had to be me.
But as it turned out… it really was not me. I went on to college and found a place where I felt like I belonged. I slowly became more comfortable in my own skin. I found more and more people I loved who loved me back, not in spite of who I was, but because of who I was.
So to all of you out there who feel like no one sees you, or like there’s something wrong with you, or like you’ll never find your place, I send you hugs and love and the promise that when my mother told me it would get better, I never believed her.
But she was right.
These titles appear on both the 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers lists.
Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. The Naturals. Disney, 2013; 9781423168232; $17.99.
The FBI wants Cassie to join a secret team of profilers and a serial killer wants her as his next victim.
I find these overlapping titles to be fascinating. These are the books I always want to make sure I have in my library since they’re excellent books and have strong appeal for your eager and less-than-eager readers.
I am so ecstatic that THE NATURALS made both the Best Fiction for Young Adults list and the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list. I’ve now put all of these other books on my To Read list! (Except, of course, for the ones I’ve already read!)
I caught myself, after the first day of class this semester, thinking, “I hope I didn’t come off sounding like I think too highly of myself, like I’m such an expert.” And then I realized… I am an expert. I’m THE PROFESSOR. And not only that, but I’m teaching classes in my specific area of expertise. I caught myself. But too often, I do not.
One of the first things I did when stuff started falling into place with my writing career was talk about it with people like it was all this questionable accident. “Yeah, I wrote a book and it’s being published,” I’d say, like it was nothing—not like it was easy, but like it was literally nothing. It was amazing how quickly I was willing to let go of the hard work and sacrifices I’d made in hopes the thing I wanted to happen would. When it did, I did not want anyone to be uncomfortable or, God forbid, like me less for my accomplishments. Before I gave anyone a chance to be proud of me, to celebrate with me, I wanted them to know I was so sorry first.
Eventually a friend emailed me and told me I could work that angle less and when she did, I realized how truly scared I was of claiming my part in what I made happen for me. It’s so sad so many of the accomplished, hardworking women I know struggle with owning their success. How immediately they will tear themselves out of that part of the picture because it just doesn’t look as nice with them in it.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say here is: that’s enough of that. Let’s stop.
So many women I know do this. I’ve done it myself.
COVER REVEAL for the second book in the NATURALS series. What do you guys think?
About the Book:
Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.
But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?
With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.
Look! I wrote an essay about how the factions in Divergent correspond to the Big 5 Personality traits! Bonus points to whoever can guess which faction I said was associated with which trait!
From Jennifer Lynn Barnes' essay “Divergent Psychology” in Divergent Thinking: YA Authors on Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy
Learn more and get a free excerpt at www.smartpopbooks.com/divergent
For me, one of the most appealing themes in all of fiction is what I would generally describe as “finding your people.” I think that, especially in our teen years, but often as adults as well, it is so easy to feel like we just do not fit anywhere, to feel deeply, fundamentally different, even though everyone else is feeling deeply, fundamentally different at the exact same time. But then one day, you meet someone, a friend or group of people or someone you fall for, and all of a sudden, you do fit. You are all misfits. You have found your people.
Eight years after writing The Squad, I still believe this to be true.