May 17, 2022
"A must for teens who can handle sexually explicit material, and who are interested in wrestling, feminism, and challenging stereotypes."
-School Library Journal, starred review
"A powerful, poignant story about a girl rewriting her story on her own terms. Jo Beckett's journey of sexual and emotional agency is at once tender, painful, hilarious, and courageous."
—Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
A YALSA 2023 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
An emotional and empowering novel about reputation and double standards, perfect for fans of Katie Cotugno and Sarah Dessen.
Jo Beckett is looking for love. She's fallen for a few boys, but for some reason, they've never fallen for her. One night, at a party she didn't even want to go to, she finds out the truth. Those boys, who are on the wrestling team she manages, consider her just a “practice girl”—the popular term for girl who’s good enough to hook up with but not to date. With this crushing revelation, Jo feels so many things--heartsick, ashamed, betrayed, and angry. But she refuses to let that label define her. In piecing her life back together, Jo is forced to unpack more uncomfortable truths about all her relationships--from her best friend to the boy she likes--that help her understand her real worth.
From the author of the acclaimed This Raging Light, Practice Girl is a heart-wrenching, relatable, and ultimately triumphant story about a girl who rejects her label and decides for herself who she is to the world.
March 22, 2022
Inspired by The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the story follows Blue, who rediscovers herself while on a mission to recover the troubling memories she has had erased in order to avoid her heartbreak.
"With a deft hand, Estelle Laure explores the rabbit hole of memory in this poignant, thought-provoking YA novel set in the near future. Blue's determination, courage, and eventual anguish as she journeys into the once-known kept me absolutely riveted."--Susan Mihalic, critically-acclaimed author of Dark Horses
"Difficult themes of relationships and grief are tackled with a science-fiction bent in this tender and satisfying read....A novel worth remembering."--Kirkus Reviews
"Bold, provocative, and ambitious, Remember Me is a searing interrogation of the intersection between memory, pain, and love. I couldn't put it down."--Jasmine Warga, Newbery award-winning author of Other Words For Home
"...an excellent combination of mystery and science fiction storytelling."--School Library Connection
"A compelling addition to high school shelves."--School Library Journal
City Of Villains
January 26, 2021
Disney’s Villains meet Gotham in this gritty fairy tale-inspired crime series from Disney Hyperion.
Mary Elizabeth Heart is a high school senior by day, but by night she’s an intern at the Monarch City police department. She watches with envy from behind a desk as detectives come and go, trying to contain the city’s growing crime rate. For years, tension has simmered between the city’s wealthy elite, and their plans to gentrify the decaying neighborhood called the Scar—once upon a time the epicenter of all things magic.
"A glimpse of the dark side of Disney with a tenacious heroine and fast-paced suspense." --School Library Journal
October 13, 2020
"'[I]gnorance doesn’t have a zip code,' explains Shae Carys in the contributor write-ups at the back of this story collection, a sentiment that perfectly captures the frustration felt by the fictional characters. Every story in this collection tackles life in small-town America and asks the reader to consider the multiplicity of factors that comprise the identities of the characters, whether they are bisexual and Catholic in a poverty-stricken region of Texas, a dreamer who aims to become the first Puerto Rican Rodeo Queen in Utah, or a young Black man lacking class privilege and unsure of how to make his dreams a reality. These stories peel off the layers of the characters through short prose pieces, poetry, and graphic novel panels. The stories span a range of tones, from funny, to heart-breaking, to one that readers will not want to experience alone at night. Fifteen award-winning authors contributed to this collection, including David Bowles, David Macinnis Gill, and Ashley Hope Peréz. The writers bring authentic voices to their work in addition to their biographies, shared at the back of the book. This collection will be a high-interest read for middle and high school students. The stories could also be used in the classroom to inspire a journaling assignment so that students can introspect on the layers of their own identity, or as jumping-off points to examine the power and privilege reflected in some works of classic literature. This book is a must-purchase for libraries serving middle and high school readers."--School Library Journal, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection
"The strength of the collection is how well it demonstrates the universality of themes such as belonging, family struggles, grief, the desire for individual growth, the meaning of home, and challenging injustice. At the same time, cultural specificity is highlighted and celebrated. The compilation successfully meets the challenge of serving as a cohesive whole while providing readers with enough variety of tone, pace, and voice to keep the reading experience interesting. A fresh and highly accessible contribution."--Kirkus
July 14, 2020
The Lost Boys meets Wilder Girls in this supernatural feminist YA novel.
It's 1987 and unfortunately it's not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy's constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem's own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren't like everyone else.
But when May's stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem's questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.
But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.
From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.
Nerdist, "3 Chilling Gothic Novels for Your Summer Reading"
“A vivid tale that deftly explores pain and empowerment. A compelling, unrelenting work of magical realism that will enthrall fans of nuanced feminist revenge fantasies.” – School Library Journal
"Laure has crafted the genre-busting, 80s romp-of-a-read we need right now. A sweeping generational story, Mayhem comes with all the trappings I’ve come to expect from Laure’s writing―flawed characters, gorgeous prose, rich settings―only this time, infused with a dose of gothic fairytale. Mayhem is full of magic."- David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of The Strange Fascination of Noah Hypnotik and Mosquitoland
"With Mayhem, Estelle Laure offers a beguiling, lyrical, beach-gothic page-turner. I loved every twist and turn of this story about the darkness that lurks beneath paradise. Mayhem is her best book yet." - Jeff Zentner, acclaimed author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days
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But Then I Came Back
Gayle Forman meets Francesca Lia Block in this dazzling story about two coma girls and the boy who connects their lives. From the author of This Raging Light, a debut that New York Times bestselling author Morgan Matson calls “remarkable.”
“Something does exist. I saw. It’s a place. Like this but different.”
“Okay, so let’s say we do reach her, that something like that is even possible. Then what?”
“Then we ask her to come back.”
Eden: As far as coma patients go, Eden’s lucky. She woke up. But still, she can’t shake the feeling that she might have dragged something back from the near-afterlife.
Joe: Joe visits the hospital every day, hoping that Jaz, his lifelong friend, will wake up. More than anything, he wants to hear her voice again. But he’s not sure anyone can reach her.
Eden & Joe: Even though she knows it sounds crazy, Eden tells Joe that they might be able to talk to Jaz. Opening themselves up to the great unknown—and each other—Eden and Joe experience life: mysterious and scary, beautiful and bright.
"Rendered with insight and compassion, Eden's struggles to make peace with the human condition add up to a riveting coming-of-age story."
—Kirkus, starred review
"Laure creates an intriguing blend of realism and the unknowable in her sophomore novel. . . . Eden is simultaneously tough and fragile, and her struggle to figure out what her life should look like is compelling."
"The romantic and thoughtful story of Eden Jones, a 17-year-old dancer. . . . the appeal lies in Eden’s original, creative, and thought-provoking first-person (mostly) narrative. Fans of the first title will be happy to see Lucille through Eden’s eyes, but this companion novel stands solidly alone." —Booklist
"Hand this to readers who like angst, romance, and a touch of otherworldliness..." —VOYA
“But Then I Came Back is a hauntingly beautiful dreamscape of sense, memory, fate, magic, and love. If you love mystical stories with sumptuously lyrical writing and characters who take up residence in your heart, this book is for you. In prose that shimmers like sunlight on water and sings like a ballad, Estelle Laure weaves a devastatingly beautiful tale of memory, fate, friendship, and love. Fans of Jandy Nelson and A.S. King take note.”
—Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King
“But Then I Came Back is magical and illuminating, lovely and lyrical. Laure's examination of loss and longing, of saying goodbye to the past so you can say hello to the future, is a story you don't want to miss.”
—Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
“Much like Laure’s writing, Eden’s story is haunting and raw. You will root for her as she struggles through her new reality and fall with her as she finds love.”
—Goldy Moldavsky, author of Kill the Boy Band
This Raging Light
For fans of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell comes a gorgeous debut novel about family, friends, and first love.
Lucille Bennett is pushed into adulthood after her mom decides to “take a break”…from parenting, from responsibility, from Lucille and her little sister, Wren. Left to cover for her absentee parents, Lucille thinks, “Wren and Lucille. Lucille and Wren. I will do whatever I have to. No one will pull us apart.”
Now is not the time for level-headed Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.
Winter 2015-2016 Kids’ Indie Next Pick!
“Her first-person narration is lyrical, akin to that of a Francesca Lia Block character, but there's an undercurrent of roughness in her voice… heartbreakingly hopeful, lyrically told..." —Kirkus
"Estelle Laure’s prose is utterly gorgeous, even as it lays out the story of a girl dealing with the failings of her parents, death, and her own insecurities." —BookRiot
“Estelle Laure’s This Raging Light might be YA, but it’s got plenty of grown-up appeal.” —entertainmentweekly.com
"Laure’s debut stands out for her keen understanding of the spectrum of human emotions, and her ability to put tough feelings into beautiful prose."
“In an assured debut, Laure gives Lucille a fierce stubbornness that keeps her going. . . The characters are well drawn, and Laure effectively depicts the adrenaline rush of love.” —Publishers Weekly
“This Raging Light is a funny, heartwrenching, and soulful read as Lucille develops her own personal family, bloodline or not. It's not one you'll soon forget.” —Bustle
“Lucille's fresh, first-person voice spills over with metaphor, poetically capturing her emotional landscape with force and fury, frantic love and absolute exhaustion.” —Shelf Awareness
“Laure’s debut is brilliant and not to be missed.” —RT Book Reviews
“Lucille may not take down a beast or assassinate any super bads, but she’s what heroines look like and love like in real life.” —Justine Magazine
“[a] poetic, heartbreaking read that will resonate with teens.” —BookPage online
“The narrative rings authentic, especially as Lucille wrestles with romantic pangs. Thankfully, there’s enough wry humor to balance the worry and poignancy. Above all, you’ll love steadfast Lucille and keep caring about what comes next.” —Atlanta Journal Constitution
“Lucille is a steel-strong, deeply human heroine fighting against impossible odds.” —BNTEENblog
“Readers will be seduced by the love affair budding between Digby and Lucille as much as she is. The characters are believably flawed, but eminently likeable, leaving the reader with hope for humanity.” —Montana Public Radio
"Bursting with feeling, like a seventies pop song, Estelle Laure’s This Raging Light should be read at a feverish clip and then passed on to your favorite friend." —Campus Circle
“I loved this book. I was torn between wanting to devour it in one breathless read and needing to stop and savor each gorgeous turn of phrase. This is a remarkable debut." —Morgan Matson, author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Since You’ve Been Gone
"This Raging Light is a funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise sometimes." —Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and The Geography of You and Me
“Estelle Laure writes with power and lyricism—but more than that, she writes honestly from the heart. Definitely a writer to watch!” —A.M. Jenkins, Printz Honor winning author of Repossessed
"With This Raging Light, Estelle Laure establishes herself as a literary heavyweight. Laure’s characters mimic her writing, at once visceral and brave, unafraid to confront love in its every facet—surprising, surpassing, flawed. This book is a thick quilt in a cold room, and I want to wrap myself in it." —David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland
“[Laure] has a raw, authentic voice and a passion for storytelling.” —Matt de la Peña, Pura Belprée honoree and award-winning YA novelist of The Living and Mexican WhiteBoy