Why do authors write? YA author Alex Flinn gives her reasons

November 24, 2008 at 3:21 am Leave a comment

One of the cool things about being a librarian is sometimes you get to meet authors. Last week, I went to a conference for YA librarians, and the guest speaker was Alex Flinn, the author of several YA novels, including two that we have in our teen section: Breathing Underwater and Beastly.

Breathing Underwater is about an abusive dating relationship, told from the abuser’s point-of-view. Beastly is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. However, Breathing Underwater is more typical of Alex’s usually serious subject matter. Her other books include Breaking Point, a novel about bullying and school violence, and Nothing to Lose, a novel about a boy who runs away to join the carnival and returns to find his mom on trial for murder.

Because these books have such heavy themes, I expected Alex to have a crazy life story. However, Alex claimed to have had an uneventful childhood. She explained that she has been “writing for people trying to get through their own boring suburban childhoods.”

Alex’s stories certainly can be captivating even without having had similar experiences to those happening to the characters. That said, her books may be helpful to teens who have struggled with the same problems as Alex’s main characters. For example, Alex said that 27% of high school and college girls have been hit or abused by a boyfriend. Alex hopes that her novel about dating abuse, Breathing Underwater, can help teenagers recognize warning signs in potentially abusive relationships so that they can find the strength to leave them. In fact, she claimed that she visited a school where students read this book and afterwards a bunch of girls dumped their boyfriends! 

It’s not often that a book will make its reader want to change his or her life. Therefore, I think it’s necessary to give you this warning: Alex Flinn’s novels may be those rare books that make an impact on the way that you live. 



Entry filed under: Book review.

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This blog aims to offer local teens:

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