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First cousins Laura and Miles grew up like sisters. Miles thought of Laura as the golden one – smart, beautiful, rich, and popular, while Miles considered herself the unwanted one – an unattractive, underachieving outcast. Laura’s suicide shatters Miles, leaving her feeling completely alone, and setting Miles on a dangerous, downward spiral. But in the strength Miles finds in herself and in those she didn’t believe cared about her, she is able to rebuild her life in unexpected ways.
Rachel Cohn’s emotionally powerful new novel views serious issues such as depression, suicide, prescription-drug abuse, and alternative family configurations through the lens of family love and survival.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

When people ask me what You Know Where to Find Me is about, I often say that it’s a “warm, uplifting book about grief, suicide, depression and DC statehood.”

When I was a teenager, my mother taught English literature at Georgetown University, and I would often go to that area after school to hang out. I was fascinated by the old streets and beautiful architecture, but also by the realization that this posh, historic neighborhood was a small enclave of white privilege and power in an otherwise poor, black city whose Congressional representative was just a token figure with no real authority to vote for their interests. I always knew that I would one day want to write a book set in Georgetown, and which addressed the issue, however tangentially, of DC statehood. You Know Where to Find Me turned out to be that story for me. Although it’s much more a story about loss, it was important to me to frame it within the city where I grew up.

The story began for me when I was thinking about the idea of nature versus nurture. I was curious how I could delve into that idea by contrasting two related teenage girls who shared a genetic background, but were raised very differently. I hoped to explore whether their differing upbringings could or would affect their shared genetic disposition toward depression. This notion sounds very lofty when I type it out, but that was not my intent. I simply wanted to explore, from a character standpoint, two girls who were essentially two sides of the same coin, and see what would happen. Miles’s and Laura’s stories developed from that starting point for me.

I’ve also always wanted to write a book purely about loss. The kind of loss that Miles experiences in You Know Where to Find Me is not based on my own experience, but her voice is the closest to my own that I’ve ever written. I’m often asked why this book is so different in tone from my other books, and my answer is that I don’t think of You Know Where to Find Me as “different” so much as a natural evolution of dark tinges that have been in everything I’ve written, but never so fully explored before.

Q: Where can I get help for issues like depression and suicide?

I am not a trained therapist, but just speaking from experience, I’d say the single most important thing you can do if you need help is, simply, to seek it. Help is there for you, in so many forms – all you need to do is ask. The first step is talking to someone you trust, whether that’s a friend or a parent or a relative, or any counselor. Reach out.

If you’re not sure whom to turn to, this site is an excellent resource if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, or you want to find out more information about how to get help dealing with depression and suicide issues. Youth Suicide Prevention Resources is also an excellent resource for seeking help. For help anytime, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE/1-800-784-2433.

Q: Can you recommend some similar books?

Please check out this link.

Very LeFreak has a problem: she’s a crazed technology addict. Very can’t get enough of her iPhone, laptop, IMs, text messages, whatever. If there’s a chance the incoming message, call, text, or photo might be from her super-secret online crush, she’s going to answer, no matter what. Nothing is too important: sleep, friends in mid-conversation, class, a meeting with the dean about academic probation. Soon enough, though, this obsession costs Very everything and everyone. Can she learn to block out the noise so she can finally hear her heart?
From acclaimed author Rachel Cohn comes a funny, touching, and surely recognizable story about a girl and the technology habit that threatens everything.

Q:  What inspired you to write this book?

Very LeFreak evolved out of the very first novel I wrote many years ago (never published), about an online bon vivant/advice columnist whose personal life was very lonely and hollow.  Eventually, her technology addiction necessitated professional intervention.  The book sat undeveloped for a long time, but as cell phones proliferated into our everyday lives, I decided I was finally game to pursue the idea.   It’s partly personal, in the sense that I am an epic procrastinator who will do anything to put off writing, which often means I spend way too much time online.  Very LeFreak came from this tendency.  I wondered what it would be like if a person had to go to rehab for online addiction.  The novel was meant to be gentle satire of what such a scenario might be like – but with some serious issues to deal with at the same time.

When fifteen-year-old Wonder Blake is plucked from her job at the Dairy Queen and given the chance to become a teen idol, it seems like a dream come true – even if it wasn’t her dream, but her older sister Lucky’s. Lucky was on her way to becoming a pop star when she died, and Wonder and her family are still trying to recover from their loss. Offered a recording contract, Wonder jumps at the chance to escape from a dead-end town, her fractured family, and worst of all, high school. Suddenly she has it all: a hot new look, a chart-busting hit single, a tour opening up for superstar Kayla. But stardom isn’t all glamour it’s also lots of work. And maybe what Wonder really wants is as simple as a guy who likes her for herself.
With spark and humor Rachel Cohn captures the struggles and glories of an ordinary teenage girl’s climb to celebrity. As Wonder rises through the pop-princess star-making machine, she also learns the price – and that maybe being an ordinary teenage girl isn’t so bad after all.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

Here’s the truth. I am almost always listening to music – my iPod basically only gets to rest at night when I recharge it. But in the age before the iPod (yes, there was such a time), I went through a stage where TV-watching won the battle for my soul. (You’re not surprised, are you?) I was madly addicted to TRL when it first debuted, circa the Britney/Backstreet Boys era, and I might have lost a lot of couch potato time to Behind the Music/E! True Hollywood Story-type TV shows.

While watching programs featuring pop princesses like Britney or Christina or Beyoncé, I was struck by how hard these performers had to work, and from a really young age. These girls knew they wanted to be famous from the time they were children, and they had families who pushed and propelled them to achieve this goal. I wondered: What would it be like for a regular girl who didn’t aspire to fame to suddenly have it thrust upon her? Why would she chose that path if it hadn’t even interested her that much? How would a teenager deal with the pressures of fame and its accompanying demands on her time, body image and family and social life? From these questions, the character of Wonder Blake evolved, demanding her true story behind the music be told.

Q: Can you recommend some similar books?

This is a very unscientific list, but if you liked Pop Princess, some of the titles I’d suggest you check out would be: Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning, Backstage Pass by Gaby Triana, Rock Star, Superstar by Blake Nelson, and Teen Idol by Meg Cabot.

Or, please check out this link.

Annabel has a bazillion step- and half-siblings that she could do without. What she really wants is for her father to return to her and her mother. There is that problem of his new wife and children in Australia… but Annabel is sure that during her vacation in Sydney, she can convince him to come home. When she sees how happy he actually is, though, Annabel begins to consider whether she can share her father without losing him entirely.

Four stepsiblings from two opposite sides of the world are sharing a summer together in one strange city: Los Angeles.
Annabel: This NYC fashionista girl is determined to hate LA, where her dad and his family have relocated. But just when Annabel thinks her summer is beyond ruined, she gets a surprise from Down Under… and let’s just say he’s a good kisser.
Lucy: Surfer girl Lucy misses her home country, Australia, but thinks LA isn’t so bad after all. If she could only get her stepsister Annabel on board to loving LA too – and get that weird Wheaties boy to stop staring at her!
Wheaties: Genius boy doesn’t mind where he’s spending the summer, so long as lovable Lucy is nearby. He’ll try hard not to worry about how his dad and stepmother’s marriage problems will affect his living situation. And he’d really like to know the secret of that Ben dude’s swoony appeal to the girls.
Ben: The Aussie athlete god would rather be spending his school break playing footy with his mates back in Melbourne. He’d also really rather not have his dad’s loud girlfriend sharing their American vacation. And he’d definitely like to know how he got interested in the pretty Annabel girl all over again.

Q: What inspired you to write these books?

I come from quite an extended family. My mother is one of ten children, I have a total of twenty-nine first cousins (last time I counted, and not including steps), with family members located all over the world (including Poland, Lebanon, Israel, England). I also have two wonderful half-sisters who are British. I’ve always been familiar with what it’s like to have a complicated family situation, and so it seemed a natural fit to write a novel about a blended, cross-cultural family.

The Steps was the first kids’ novel I ever tried writing. I wrote it immediately after I’d returned from living in Melbourne, Australia for two months, which is how the Australian influence got in there – I wanted to remember the place. I also wanted to remember the people – the characters Jack, Nell and Ben are named after the children of an Australian friend of mine.

Two Steps Forward was inspired by wanting to see what would happen to the characters from The Steps if they were a little older, and living in the U.S. instead of Australia. Just as the city setting of Sydney was important to The Steps, I chose Los Angeles for the setting because although I live in New York City, I tend to spend a lot of time in LA, and I was eager to write about the place. I was also intrigued to write a novel from different characters’ perspectives; Two Steps Forward is my first novel told from differing points-of-view, and using boy voices, too.

Q: Can you recommend some similar books?

This is a very unscientific list, but if you enjoyed The Steps or Two Steps Forward, I would suggest you check out books by authors like Sharon Creech, Joan Bauer, Lisa Yee, D. Anne Love, James Howe, Taylor Morris, PG Kain, Rachel Vail, Jacqueline Wilson, Louise Rennison, Sonya Sones, Wendy Mass and Wendelin Van Draanen.

For more books about complicated families, please check out this link.