Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Street Team: What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi {Guest Post+Giveaway}

The lovely Nori @ReadWriteLove hosts Sunday Street Team which is basically a combination between a blog tour, book meme, and street team of one author/book every month. 

What You Left BehindWhat You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
320 Pages 
Release Date: August 4th, 2015 
Publisher: Sourcebooks

Goodreads Summary: 
It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past? 

Thanks for having me on your blog, Taherah!

Guest Post Idea:
Male characters (and their role) in YA (especially the contemporary genre):

What You Left Behind is my first book from the POV of a boy. I absolutely fell in love with Ryden as I was writing, and I felt like I really knew him. I think, because he's a boy and I'm not, I may have subconsciously felt more freedom to just take his character wherever it needed to go, because, since we were already so different, there was no element of "me" clinging to him. No "Well, I would or wouldn't do that," etc. 

I'm glad to have written a book from the POV of a boy because there are plenty of boy readers out there who need to see themselves represented in literature, and as something more than just the love interest of the female main character. (Not that there’s anything wrong with a good, juicy romance!) There just seems to be a shortage of male narrators in YA lately, and that may or may not be related to the fallacy that “boys don’t read.” Boys absolutely read, and they need to see themselves on the page just as much as the rest of us do. I love that there’s a boy (and only a boy) on the cover of the book, and I'm hopeful boy readers will pick it up and find Ryden interesting and identifiable. 

-Jessica Verdi

Jessica Verdi


Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.

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