It’s February 28th and it’s the FINAL DAY of our Black History Month series of diverse author book recommendations that inspired their work!  I’m already thinking of expanding this series next year and making it a year-long series since Black Excellence shouldn’t be marginalized to 28 days. I have loved all the authors and been inspired by their recommendations, which is why today is definitely bittersweet.
Today we welcome Rebecca Barrow, author of 2017’s You Don’t Know Me But I Know You and the upcoming This Is What It Feels Like (her cover reveal appeared on Pop! Goes the Reader earlier this month!).  A book about adoption, pregnancy, choice, love and family, YDKMBIKY is a contemporary YA that breaks down tropes and explores these themes lovingly and with achingly beautiful prose. Find out what books inspired this poignant YA contemporary.

YOU DON’T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 29th 2017
Harper Teen

You Don't Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time.

There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about.

Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother she’s never met, handed to her by the woman she’s called Mom her whole life. Being adopted, though, is just one piece in the puzzle of Audrey’s life—the picture painstakingly put together by Audrey herself, full of all the people and pursuits that make her who she is.

But when Audrey realizes that she’s pregnant, she feels something—a tightly sealed box in the closet corners of her heart—crack open, spilling her dormant fears and unanswered questions all over the life she loves.

Almost two decades ago, a girl in Audrey’s situation made a choice, one that started Audrey’s entire story. Now Audrey is paralyzed by her own what-ifs and terrified by the distance she feels growing between her and her best friend Rose. Down every possible path is a different unfamiliar version of her life, and as she weighs the options in her mind, she starts to wonder—what does it even mean to be Audrey Spencer?

 

ABOUT REBECCA BARROW

Rebecca Barrow.jpg

Rebecca Barrow writes stories about girls and all the wonders they can be. A lipstick obsessive with the ability to quote the entirety of Mean Girls, she lives in England, where it rains a considerable amount more than in the fictional worlds of her characters. She collects tattoos, cats, and more books than she could ever possibly read. YOU DON’T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU is her first novel.

 

REBECCA’S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

This is a phenomenal book about a girl coming to terms with trauma, and was really the first book I’d read as a writer that made me feel like there was a place for my books, too. People often want to put black characters (black people) into easy little boxes and authors like Brandy Colbert show them that’s not possible, that black people can be a thousand different, complex things. (You only have to read her second book, LITTLE & LION, to see her masterfully demonstrating this all over again.)
I could recommend all of Stephanie Kuehn‘s books: they’re these twisty, intensely gripping rides where just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, you turn the page and find you’ve actually been looking at it all upside down. I like DELICATE MONSTERS particularly because of Sadie Su: she is not a nice girl, and she does a lot of not-nice things, and she is not at all apologetic about who she is. I don’t know that I like her, but I don’t believe you have to like characters. She fascinates me, and that’s enough.
High five from across the pond, Rebecca, and thank you for participating! I now know that Black History Month is in October in England.
Please give some love to ALL our participating authors. Buy their books, check them out from the library, encourage your friends to read their books–not just this month, but every month and every day–keep publishing diverse! You can find our full schedule of authors here.
2018 Banner #2
~Carmen
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