When something is described as enviable (in this case Steve Brezenoff’s prose) your next question is naturally, who’s doing the envying? Sara Zarr, that’s who. Here’s what she said:

Brezenoff’s enviable prose captures four distinct, compelling characters as they struggle through the often heartbreaking work of becoming adults. Readers will identify with Suzanne, Lily, Noah and Simon as they try to reconcile their longing for connection with their need to break free.

It’s generally been an enviable week for me and for author Steve Brezenoff. Sara Zarr was kind enough to read and then very generously blurb Steve’s YA debut, The Absolute Value of –1 (or |-1| for short), and we launched into a very exciting cover creation process for the book with the help of a local YALSA Galley Group called Teens Know Best. Steve goes into detail about that process on his blog. As an editor, though, I can say that any time you get to work directly with teenagers on a book project, it’s exciting. Quite simply, there is no better, more engaged audience than teens, and I expect the feedback we get will help us with covers for many YA novels, not just Steve’s. And there will be many more YA novels in Carolrhoda’s future. You can depend on that.

Speaking of enviable YA novels, I have to give a little nod to Maggie Stiefvater, whose first books I acquired and edited a couple years ago at my old job. She also has a book with Scholastic called Shiver that is recently out and is literally tearing up the charts. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than seeing an author I’ve worked with richly rewarded with a rapidly expanding audience. Congratulations, Maggie!