I am so excited to announce that my new book, TELL ME MY NAME, officially releases into the world TODAY! The hardcover, ebook, and audiobook are available at all the book places, including my local indie Malaprop’s (if you order from them, I can sign and personalize your copy), Indiebound, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Amazon, and others. You should also be able to find it at your local bookstores and libraries, and you can always request that they order it if they don’t have a copy. I would be incredibly grateful if you’d leave a positive review on Amazon and Goodreads. It really helps!
I’d also be honored if you’d come to my virtual launch event tonight at 6:00-7:00 pm EST, hosted by Malaprop’s and in conversation with my awesome YA author friend Jeff Zentner. The event is free, but make sure you register beforehand so Malaprop’s can send you the link.
You can find a lot more info about the book below, but first I wanted to share a little about why I wrote it.
I remember reading The Great Gatsby in high school and being told it was the Great American Novel. Like most of the books I was assigned to read in school, I tried really hard to understand it, or at least sound like I understood it. At the same time, I had a vague distrust of it. Who was deeming it so important? And why?
Even though I had a hard time relating to Gatsby’s decadent world of rich white men and vacuous women, I loved the themes it explored—the dark side of the American Dream, how greed and delusion can destroy a person. I remember being intrigued by what I perceived to be the homoerotic undertones of narrator Nick Carraway’s obsessive friendship with Jay Gatsby, which none of my classmates seemed to notice, which intrigued me even more.
When I read the book as an adult two decades later, it was a completely different experience. It was the middle of the Trump presidency. I was terrified of climate change and heartbroken over social and economic injustice. I was also eleven years sober and a good distance from the mental health challenges and trauma of my teen and young adult years. I wondered:
Where was I in this story? What would happen if it was told from the perspective of a teen girl? How would the themes in Gatsby translate to a young woman’s life? And what if I set it fifty years from now, in a world where all of the excesses of capitalism and industrialization had reached their breaking point?
Interesting things happened when I starting answering these questions. I began to ask even more: What are the stories of the people the American Dream leaves behind? What about the people who keep chasing it anyway? How does the craving to be seen and valued affect us on a deeper level? Where does that craving come from? How is craving itself the underlying cause of all the suffering we experience and the harm we inflict?
The world is literally on fire in Tell Me My Name. Parts of the southern U.S. and East Coast are completely underwater. The divide between rich and poor is even more extreme than it is now. And yet Fern and Ivy keep fighting to salvage themselves in the ruins of the world around them. Still, they manage to forge connection to something good and pure inside themselves. Still, redemption and justice are possible.
I needed this story to both explore my fear of the future and find my way out of that fear. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think many teens—and adults—feel this way. We will not move forward by ignoring what scares us. Ultimately, that is what Fern and Ivy learn, and it’s what I learned by telling their stories.
My wish is that you will find hope in these pages. My wish is that Tell Me My Name will touch the part of you that can love and be brave even when you are terrified, even when it feels like the world is on fire.
Thank you so much for your support, and I hope you love Fern and Ivy as much as I do.
TELL ME MY NAME
by Amy Reed
We Were Liars meets Speak in this haunting, mesmerizing psychological thriller—a gender-flipped YA Great Gatsby—that will linger long after the final line
On wealthy Commodore Island, Fern is watching and waiting—for summer, for college, for her childhood best friend to decide he loves her. Then Ivy Avila lands on the island like a falling star. When Ivy shines on her, Fern feels seen. When they’re together, Fern has purpose. She glimpses the secrets Ivy hides behind her fame, her fortune, the lavish parties she throws at her great glass house, and understands that Ivy hurts in ways Fern can’t fathom. And soon, it’s clear Ivy wants someone Fern can help her get. But as the two pull closer, Fern’s cozy life on Commodore unravels: drought descends, fires burn, and a reckless night spins out of control. Everything Fern thought she understood—about her home, herself, the boy she loved, about Ivy Avila—twists and bends into something new. And Fern won’t emerge the same person she was.
An enthralling, mind-altering psychological thriller, Tell Me My Name is about the cost of being a girl in a world that takes so much, and the enormity of what is regained when we take it back.
The New York Times: “13 Y.A. Books to Add to Your Reading List This Spring”
“A lush, gorgeously crafted page-turner.” —Jennifer Mathieu, author of Moxie
“A kaleidoscope of light and shadow that will keep you flipping page after page.” —Amber Smith, author of The Way We Used to Be
★ “Immersive [and] smartly written.” —SLJ (starred review)
“Only Amy Reed could write a novel this dark, this gorgeous, this forward-looking while speaking to our present moment.” —Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home
“The best kind of literary thriller—one with as much conscience as pulse.” —Brendan Kiely, co-author of All American Boys
“I haven’t felt this way since reading We Were Liars—mind blown.” —Jaye Robin Brown, author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
★ “As much Hitchcockian suspense as Fitzgerald’s tarnished glitz.” —BCCB (starred review)
“This novel is amazing . . . A pulsating, hypnotic retelling.” —Lilliam Rivera, author of The Education of Margot Sanchez
“Relentlessly compelling . . . Reed’s latest is a literary thrill ride.” —Kelly Jensen, author of (Don’t) Call Me Crazy and editor at BookRiot
“[A] harrowing tale of personal trauma in a violently polarized society.” —Kirkus
“A compelling and propulsive thriller.” —Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King
“I barely breathed the last 100 pages. Simply stunning.” —Megan Shepherd, author of The Madman’s Daughter