Kirstin's Blog Posts

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Kirstin Odegaard

Kirstin Odegaard . . . has loved Jane Austen since that first high school reading of Pride and Prejudice and that first viewing of Colin Firth emerging dripping from the lake.  She also loves YA—because there’s nothing more romantic than a hundred-year-old vampire wooing a high school student.  Or those awkward first stages of love teens dance through while slaughtering their peers.  She combines her loves by penning YA versions of Austen classics, translating Regency struggles into modern, teen problems.  (She likes reading and writing about adults falling in love too.)

When she’s not writing, Kirstin runs a tutoring center, where she advises students on solving for X and on which date to take to prom.  She enjoys going for a long run, practicing yoga, savoring a hot cup of tea, and consuming large quantities of cheese.  She lives with her husband, three children, and small dog in California.

Emily: a YA Spin on Jane Austen's Emma
Emily Holzhaus, beautiful, clever, and popular, had lived nearly ten and seven years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.

…Except, with her sister moving out and getting married, how can Emily apply to UCLA? Her father dreads an empty house, and he expects Emily to stay close.

…And then there’s Blake, who persists in his frowny face disapproval of what will be Emily’s matchmaking triumph: the sweet and zany Harryet with the smooth yet vulnerable Elton. Blake tells Emily to stop meddling, but he can’t see the magic like Emily can.

…Ooh, and perfect Jane Santiago, who’s hiding a secret boyfriend. Who wouldn’t be distressed or vexed (or, okay, intrigued) by that? “Just leave it alone, Em,” Blake says, but flawless, thousand point GPA Jane has a clandestine romance? As if there’s anyone in the world who can leave that alone.

But when Emily’s matchmaking and sleuthing reveal unexpected truths, she is forced to reevaluate what is most important in a friend—and what to do with longstanding friendships that are rancid beneath the surface. Humorous, smart, and fun, Emily is a YA spin on Austen’s Emma about what happens when plans unravel, friendships evolve, and secrets explode.
Elle Oh Elle!
After a bad break up, Elle moves back to her hometown with a secret. She’s pregnant—and she’s absolutely, definitely going to tell her mother and friends right away. But then she reconnects with Henry, who’s also getting over a break up and harboring a secret of his own—the growing certainty that he’s gay. For sure they should tell their secrets eventually, but, Henry argues, what if for now Elle moves in and pretends to be his girlfriend? That will give Henry some time to figure out his sexuality, and Elle can take a break from worrying about her mother’s disapproval and focus on preparing for her baby and opening her tea shop. Plus, a fake boyfriend will be the excuse she needs to keep her from throwing herself at Jared, her ex who broke her heart and is definitely not a good match for the New Elle Who Makes Good Relationship Decisions—after this non-relationship with Henry, lol.

But things get complicated when Elle’s mother starts receiving threatening letters demanding some mysterious jewels—jewels that her mom is awfully cagey about—even after the threats escalate to action. Apparently Elle and Henry aren’t the only ones with secrets.

Witty, funny, sexy, and a little crazy sometimes, Elle Oh Elle! takes a peek at how much love and trust we can put into (and take from!) our most difficult relationships.
First Impressions: a YA Twist on Pride and Prejudice (YA Austen Love)
On Libby Bennet’s To Do list:
•Put that arrogant Will Fitz in his place. He bet Libby $50 that she couldn’t find a date to prom. Maybe Libby wasn’t interested in prom before, but now, it’s on.
•Help her heartbroken sister, Jane. Teo’s been in love with her for years, and now, when Jane’s finally interested, he blows her off. Jane insists Teo has moved on, but Libby knows there is no way he could have forgotten her sister so easily.
•Figure out what to do about Jeremiah, the new guy in school that her mother invited to LIVE WITH THEM. Every day he’s the star of his own personal play–is there any way to convince him that he can’t go out in public dressed as the Rat King from The Nutcracker?
•Spend more time with George Moreland, with his tattoos, dimples, and rebel streak that make Libby’s insides go all liquidy. He’s not into prom, but when he’s around, maybe Libby isn’t either.
•Wait, no. Find a date to prom. Focus, Libby.

Hilarious, witty, and fun, First Impressions is a YA twist on Pride and Prejudice about what happens when To Do lists fail, longstanding judgments crumble, and people no longer fit into the boxes we made for them.