Probably the most exciting time for authors is the day their debut novel launches. You might have heard of Bridget Zinn, whose debut novel POISON was released this month, but if you haven't, you can read more about her on her website.
2009 was an eventful year for Bridget--she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, found a fabulous literary agent after years of writing, and got married. Sadly, she lost her cancer battle in 2011 and isn't here to celebrate her book's publication.
But she has tons of friends and fans who are spreading the word about POISON. Publishers Weekly has a great article about Bridget and how people are helping to launch the book, and The Chicago Tribune just ran an article about her yesterday.
Since POISON was originally planned to be a 2012 release and Bridget was a member of The Apocalypsies, we had a recent post on the blog for her release date, "One Last Apocalypsies Debut," written by her friend E.M. Kokie.
Here's a description of the novel from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
I got my copy of POISON as soon as it was released and wasn't sure I'd have time to read the whole thing before doing this post, but I couldn't put it down. I like to sleep in whenever I can, but one morning I woke up at 5:30 and after a few minutes of trying to get back to sleep I thought, "Ooh, I can read more!" and read in bed until I got to the end of the book. And then I might have hugged it. It must be really difficult to write a book that's funny and suspenseful at the same time, but Bridget pulled it off. I adored the characters and had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen to them. (I kept doing that "just one more chapter...ok, I'll read one more chapter" thing).
Young adult novels are often considered either "upper YA" or "lower YA," since what's age-appropriate for a 17-year-old might not be age-appropriate for a 13-year-old, and the book that a 13-year-old loves might not be of interest to an older teen. But POISON is a book I'd give to a young adult fan of any age. Kyra's a strong and clever heroine, and the storyline is exciting enough to keep readers turning the pages. There's some pining but no wallowing for the love interest, Fred (and some admiring of his abs).
One sign of a great story is that you still think about the characters after you've closed the book. Days after reading, I'm wondering how Kyra, Fred, and even Rosie the pig are doing, and I'm sure I'll be thinking about them for a long time. I wish we could look forward to more books from Bridget, but I'm thankful that this one made it out into the world.