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Tell Me My Name
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Tell Me My Name
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For fans of The Grace Year and We Were Liars comes a mesmerizing, can't-put-it-down psychological thriller—a gender-flipped YA Great Gatsby that will linger long after the final lineOn...
For fans of The Grace Year and We Were Liars comes a mesmerizing, can't-put-it-down psychological thriller—a gender-flipped YA Great Gatsby that will linger long after the final lineOn...
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  • For fans of The Grace Year and We Were Liars comes a mesmerizing, can't-put-it-down psychological thriller—a gender-flipped YA Great Gatsby that will linger long after the final line
    On wealthy Commodore Island, Fern is watching and waiting—for summer, for college, for her childhood best friend to decide he loves her. Then Ivy Avila lands on the island like a falling star. When Ivy shines on her, Fern feels seen. When they're together, Fern has purpose. She glimpses the secrets Ivy hides behind her fame, her fortune, the lavish parties she throws at her great glass house, and understands that Ivy hurts in ways Fern can't fathom. And soon, it's clear Ivy wants someone Fern can help her get. But as the two pull closer, Fern's cozy life on Commodore unravels: drought descends, fires burn, and a reckless night spins out of control. Everything Fern thought she understood—about her home, herself, the boy she loved, about Ivy Avila—twists and bends into something new. And Fern won't emerge the same person she was.
    An enthralling, mind-altering fever dream, Tell Me My Name is about the cost of being a girl in a world that takes so much, and the enormity of what is regained when we take it back.
    New York Times: "13 Y.A. Books to Add to Your Reading List This Spring"
    "A lush, gorgeously crafted page-turner."
    —Jennifer Mathieu, author of Moxie

    “Absolutely took my breath away.”
    —Geek Mom
    ★ "As much Hitchcockian suspense as Fitzgerald’s tarnished glitz."
    BCCB (starred review)
    “A kaleidoscope of light and shadow that will keep you flipping page after page.” —Amber Smith, author of The Way We Used to Be
    “Only Amy Reed could write a novel this dark, this gorgeous, this forward-looking while speaking to our present moment.” —Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home

    "The best kind of literary thriller—one with as much conscience as pulse."
    —Brendan Kiely, co-author of All American Boys

    “I haven’t felt this way since reading We Were Liars—mind blown.”
    —Jaye Robin Brown, author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

    "Immersive [and] smartly written.”SLJ (starred review)

    "This novel is amazing . . . A pulsating, hypnotic retelling.”
    —Lilliam Rivera, author of The Education of Margot Sanchez

    “Relentlessly compelling . . . Reed's latest is a literary thrill ride.”
    —Kelly Jensen, author of (Don’t) Call Me Crazy and editor at BookRiot

    "Takes the unreliable narrator to new levels . . . Mesmerizing."
    SLC
    “[A] harrowing tale of personal trauma in a violently polarized society.”
    Kirkus

    “A compelling and propulsive thriller.”
    —Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King

    "I barely breathed the last 100 pages. Simply stunning.”
    —Megan Shepherd, author of The Madman's Daughter

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    1

    Ferns are older than dinosaurs. They’ve survived by growing under things, made hearty by their place in the shadows. Sucking up mud.

    Fern.

    Barely even a plant. Ferns don’t make seeds, don’t flower. They propagate with spores knocked off their fronds by passing creatures or strong winds.

    They sit there, forest deep, waiting to be touched.

    Papa said Daddy could have any house he wanted, so he picked an old abandoned church at the end of a gravel road in the middle of the forest on an island.

    Papa says it’s a money pit. Daddy says it’s a work in progress.

    Papa says it was Daddy’s revenge for making them move for his career.

    Papa says Daddy likes to make things hard for no reason. Daddy says it builds character.

    Papa says I probably have brain damage from all the sawdust and paint fumes I inhaled as a baby. Daddy sometimes calls the house his other child.

    Their bickering soothes me. That they argue about such little things reminds me we have nothing big to worry about. We’re the opposite of dysfunctional. We’re real live unicorns.

    Commodore Island is nine miles long and five miles wide. In the summer, it’s overrun with tourists. Day-trippers from Seattle with their itineraries of the famous bakery and fish restaurant, the little boutiques and artisan cheese shop, all the old buildings preserved like a retro, small-town time capsule of family-owned businesses. You can barely see the tiny A-Corp logo on their signs.

    Sometimes the tourists rent kayaks. Sometimes they go for hikes in the nature preserve at the center of the island. They walk around the muddy lake and take home photos and mosquito bites as souvenirs. They drive Olympic Road in its lumpy oval circuit, the mansions and luxury condos rising over them from the shore and stacking up the hill, each with its own view of the Sound, before the island’s middle gives way to forest.

    The tourists slow at the gates of our more famous residents, stopping traffic to take pictures of the rare wild deer crossing the road. They get their little taste of quaint, of our tiny, unscathed bubble where you can almost believe the rest of the world isn’t falling apart, then they return to their gated communities in the city. There have been no deer in Seattle for a long time.

    People can afford beauty here. The rich always get to keep a little of what they destroy.

    Papa had a dream of becoming a fashion designer a long time ago, but he somehow ended up at A-Corp like everyone else on the island. Except he’s not some big fancy executive like most of the parents here. Papa’s the artistic director of the Children’s Division of Consumer Protective Apparel.

    Instead of high fashion and runway shows, he’s in charge of making bulletproof vests for kids. It’s not glamorous, but somebody’s got to do it.

    The tourists always end up at my work at some point on their trip: Island Home & Garden. They buy our signature T-shirts with the otters holding hands. Everyone loves otters holding hands. Even though otters haven’t been spotted here in a couple decades, not since the big oil spill off the coast of Vancouver Island.

    My fathers are some of the few parents on the island who believe that a work ethic must be built; it is not something that can be inherited like wealth. I am the only person I know with a part-time summer job. I’m also the only person who works on this island who actually lives on this island. Everyone who lives here either works for A-Corp headquarters in Seattle, or doesn’t work. Everyone who works here...

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from January 1, 2021

    Gr 9 Up-For her whole life Fern has lived quietly with her two fathers, only sporadically interacting with the wealthy on Commodore Island. Then, with one word from the radiant recovering actress Ivy, her "origin story" begins. As her life intertwines with that of Ivy, the irresponsible Ash, and the twisted Tami, her Cinderella story rots until it collapses due to Fern and Ivy's harmful desires. Fern craves worth given by "special" people, consequently devaluing herself, and Ivy wants real bonds, but can't form them because she's been crafted into an "object." Despite their contrary qualities, their connection at the end will stun readers. Fern recounts her story mostly through internal monologue, and, like thoughts, she flits around and speaks in imagery. This gives the narrative a dreamlike quality, thoroughly saturating readers in the themes of identity and mental trauma. In this near-future story, climate change has led to migrations and environmental disasters, class gaps have widened, and corporations govern. But more notably, this book is about that desperate yearning to find one's true self, be acknowledged, and to not be shaped by another's designs. While Reed takes inspiration from The Great Gatsby, this story is her own and will likely resonate with teens-especially young women-even more than the classic. Fern's ethnicity is not specified. VERDICT An immersive, smartly written view into the mind of a young woman coping with her identity and trauma; a distinct perspective to add to the mental health fiction selection.-Rachel Forbes, Oakville P.L., Ont.

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2021
    The toll of exploitative fame is explored against a dystopian backdrop in this psychological thriller. Eighteen-year-old Fern is the cherished daughter of her loving fathers on picturesque Commodore Island just outside Seattle in the latter half of the 21st century. The nightmarish outside world, in which crises due to poverty, xenophobia, and climate disaster are ever present, is held somewhat at bay for her. When Ivy, a teen celebrity who publicly self-destructed in a sadly familiar haze of substance use and mental health disorders, arrives on the island, Fern is drawn to her. At the same time, she also is suddenly befriended by Tami, the cruel, wealthy girlfriend of her childhood friend Ash, the boy on whom Fern also nurses a crush. A winding, sometimes confusing narrative from Fern's first-person point of view devolves as her character does, and she is inextricably drawn further into complicated relationship drama and heavy alcohol and drug use. Situating the trope of the lonely, emotionally unfulfilling experience of extreme wealth and excess in a vividly imagined near future rife with recognizable details, such as calling a Seattle-based corporate oligarchy A-Corp, makes for a compelling setting, though an overarching plot device may be spotted by readers a long way off. The cast features naturally integrated ethnic diversity. A complicated, harrowing tale of personal trauma in a violently polarized society. (author's note, resources) (Thriller. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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