A “ticking-clock” plot keeps readers of all ages engaged in a story. The premises of two 2021 debut young adult novels sound similar at first glance: an unknown bully broadcasts the protagonists’ personal, private “to-do” lists to the entire school with mortifying and surprising results. Each story has a suspenseful countdown and themes of identity, intersectionality, and navigating a first romance, but with very different settings and characters. Teen readers will cheer them on and relate to their discoveries.

Author Bio

Kristin Bartley Lenz, LMSW, is the author of the young adult novel, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, which was a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Great Lakes Great Books Award honor book. She teaches creative writing workshops for teens and adults and writes freelance for Detroit area nonprofits. She can be reached at kristinbartleylenz@gmail.com or through her website at www.kristinbartleylenz.com.



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