Letters from Readers

 


The rewards of writing for young adults and children can never be measured in dollars and cents (which is why I eat gruel three times a week). I'm honored to have the opportunity to share my work with young readers, and readers young at heart. There's extraordinary pleasure in knowing my work reaches and touches the lives of so many people. Just as I reveal my innermost thoughts, feelings, dreams and desires, my readers open up to me. I treasure every letter I receive, and, for as long as possible, I promise to write back.

 

On IT’S OUR PROM (SO DEAL WITH IT)

I just finished devouring your newest novel and want to express gratitude for something. Thank you so much for incorporating a positive perspective about religion through your portrayal of Azure and her place of worship. Like her, I’m often misunderstood by others (e.g. “Doesn’t God hate you?” “How do you do it?”), so it was nice to have some evidence that I’m not completely alone. ~ Amy

It is 10,000 megawatts of cuteness. I absolutely loved it from start to finish J. #stephieet via Twitter

I freaking loved it. I couldn't put it down. ~ Amanda

On SHE LOVES YOU, SHE LOVES YOU NOT. . .

Julie Anne Peters' new book, She Loves You, She Loves You Not, is something else. It is a beautiful book that anyone and everyone can bond with in some way. She draws you in just enough to bond with the characters in the beginning, but you don't really know them yet. She alternates between the main character, Alyssa's reality, and also her memory of months in the past. As you learn more and more about Alyssa and the characters, you fall in love with them, a must for any good book. You feel Alyssa's pain, and pain is something all humans can bond over. Twists in the book are slightly hinted at, but you don't expect them until they happen. The characters are so broad, and there are things you don't know about them, even at the end, but it's the perfect balance. She Loves You, She Loves You Not is an incredible book that everyone should check out! ~ Cassie

I picked the book up and began reading it, and simply could not put it down. From the first page, I felt for Alyssa and knew the pain she was feeling. The journey through finding out the love, betrayal, pain, and rejection made me call back painful memories of my own, but I felt happy for it. Through Alyssa's eyes you saw things unravel and eventually get better. Through losing everything she'd ever known, she gains a relationship she never had with her mother and meets people that change her life. This book reaffirms my love for the works of Julie Anne Peters and it joins the list of books I'll reread a million times. I loved it. ~ Becci

A heartbreaking tale of two lovers and the rejection coming out mixed with the passion of new love. With impeccable detail the characters came to life and you felt their pain and love. She Loves you, she loves you not… is a refreshing novel shining light to issues of coming out and family acceptance that have never been touched before. A must read! Another great young adult novel by an inspiring author. Again, thank you so much for being daring enough to create novels for young gay youth like myself to latch onto and hold as hope. You have no idea how much they have helped and inspired me to continue my days! Love, Brooke

She Loves You, She Loves You Not… was my favorite book by Julie Anne Peters so far, which is saying a lot, because I absolutely fell in love with Keeping You a Secret! But from the very first page, I felt a connection with Alyssa. Her narrative was so real that it just draws you in and makes you feel as though you’re the one going through it. This novel shows the very real possibility of what could happen when you come out to your parents, but it also shows that it’s better once you do, even if you are disowned. When one door closes, another opens, and I feel like this book is a great depiction of that saying. I was totally enraptured with this book, cover to cover, and I was sad when I’d reached the last page. But through this book I have gained the courage to come out to my family, and that’s something I’m proud to be doing, because I’m proud of who I am. Julie Anne Peters’ books never fail to inspire me and give me comfort. This book is yet another by her that I will read again and again! Love, Cadie J

On BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I’LL BE DEAD

Your books are inspiring. I have just finished reading By The Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead, and all I can say is WOW. Very powerful. My daughter was the one that picked it out, as the story line is one that she can relate to. She is 14 and going to be a freshman in high school this next school year, but when she was in the 7th grade, she was bullied everyday. It got so bad, and I wasn’t aware of it because she hid it so well, that she attempted to take her life. The fact the she is bisexual played quite a role in the bullying that she received. Fortunately, she failed. It was a wake up call for myself and her step-father, as well as for her. I knew that she had been having some issues in school, but until this occurred I had no idea just how bad things had gotten. Since this has all happened, we have both become very active in anything that has to do with helping to STOP bullying. It has become such an epidemic everywhere, and books such as this one help shed a light on it. I thank you for that.

I just had to write you and tell you that this book was one of the best that I have read in quite some time. It broke my heart, as I could feel the pain that Daelyn was going through, and it made me feel the pain that my daughter had been feeling as well. We ALL need to do something to stop all the bullying, and the things that come from it...The self-mutilation, the suicides, etc.

Thank you again.
Sincerely,
~Erika Irick

I just finished BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS I’LL BE DEAD I felt so connected with Daelyn I know what it’s like to be bullyed from a very young age to present day I am 25 I also know what it’s like to want to die to try and fail and fail. I am gay. My name is Michael I also live in Colorado it’s amazing I have made it this far. Thank you for writing this book and spreading the word about bullying and the damage it does and the lives that are lost because of it. I really feel that books like this will be found somewhere somehow by people who need them. So many are lost but some can be saved and I believe you are part of the saving. Some can be saved and some can’t. Some are too broken and damaged too shattered to pick up the pieces, but it is preventable some of the bleeding can be stopped. I don’t know how long I will make it, but I guess no one does. I never thought I would make it to 25. Once again thank you for fight the good fight. ~ Michael

Hey Julie..I bought your book a few hours ago, and finished it. I love it, it was haunting..I was honestly scared at the end. It felt as if I was her, it was beautiful. Thank you.

~ Jackie

I would have to say By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead was amazing. I read it in 4 hours. Haha. I never read a book that fast unless it really intrigues me. I would actually cheer Daelyn on to getting to know Santana more and I'm not big on straight couple pairings but I was super excited for this one. But I absolutely loved it. Thank you for the books you put out. This one specifically made me more aware of peoples’ feelings. That’s what makes your books so special to me because there is always a lesson to be learned. Thank you again and continue your fantabulous work. ~ Jessica

Okay. You did it again. AMAZING book. I have wicked social anxiety but wednesday I caught a cab to the barnes and noble and had all intentions of grabbing a coffee and sitting and reading it. Needless to say that did not happen. I came home and made dinner for my grandma and mom and finally at 8pm I was able to sit in my room and read.

I'm not a quick reader but I get by. At 130am I was at two days left to find out what happens to daelyn and Santana and I decided I should go to bed because I had to wake up in the morning and drive for driving school. Btw, Maryland driving laws are horrible. Finally, I got to finish the book after two hours of being told to slow down over and over again. And I have to say it was awesome. I cried, of course… It's not always as easy to get over, what people like to think of as, the small stuff. Thank you for another incredible read can't want for the next one. ~ Nickie

On RAGE: A LOVE STORY

I really just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated you writing this novel. It really... made me realize a lot. I recently made a year with my girlfriend, which was the weekend this book was released. My Barnes & Noble, oddly enough, had a copy of RAGE a day before it was ACTUALLY scheduled to be released. One copy on the shelves. I got it. When I finished the book, I had to put it down and think for a few hours. I evaluated my life. I am, almost exactly, Johanna. And my girlfriend, unfortunately, was almost exactly Reeve. Except, instead of physical abuse, I suffered from verbal abuse. And it took that book to make me realize it. I realized I hated myself, and I was giving my girlfriend my entire self and she was making me forget about

I broke up with her this past Tuesday.

I can't even begin to thank you for publishing this book, nor can I begin to thank to person that asked you to write it. It saved me life, and my happiness. I'm honestly so touched by Johanna's situation, and the need she had to love Reeve and keep loving her no matter what Reeve did. Thank you for saving my life. You really will never understand how much this means to me. ~ Your really, truly dedicated reader and admirer

I want to tell you how much I appreciate this book. It made me realize so much that I didnt know before when I never thought abuse existed in lesbian relationships. I dont know why but it's just something I thought… Rage made me appreciate my girlfriend a lot more, not that I dont respect her or didnt before, I just feel as though she deserves it. I dont know why, it just sort of opened up a lot of doors and made me realize things in my own life. Like anyone of my friends could be going through what Reeve or Johanna went through and I might never know. I try my best to treat everyone with the utmost respect, because no one deserves that shitty life of abuse, verbal or physical. ~ Sheena

I just had to write to tell you that I read RAGE and it was phenomenal!!!!! I couldn't stop reading. I teach a YA class at West Chester Univ. in PA and I wish it would have come out earlier so I could have assigned it. It is such an important topic and you covered it with such grace and style!! Thank you - domestic violence, no matter who or what circumstance, is an epidemic that our society has shoved into a closet. Thank you for bringing it out into the open- among other things. ~Laura

Desire, need, fear, rage. There’s a place where these all meet- Julie Anne Peter’s newest novel, Rage: A Love Story. Joanna, the story’s main character, is madly infatuated with a girl named Reeve, who she’s never spoken to. (Who among us hasn’t been there before?) As chance encounters become more frequent, Joanna sees more facets of Reeves life than she ever could’ve imagined in her fantasies. All the while, Joanna is dealing with her own family problems.

Julie has written a plethora of books for young adults, almost all dealing with LGBT and life issues ranging from first love to divorce to coming out, from suicide to transitioning to the infamous crush on a heterosexual. In Rage, the waters tested in her earlier books are jumped into headfirst. Joanna and Reeve collide in a world of death, abuse, self-destruction, complicated pregnancies, abandonment and terror, and we as readers are ripped from the stable ground we live on and thrown straight into the fray…

A good number of foundations are shaken, and there are pure truths that hit me right between the eyes. There was one that stood out as a theme in the book. A character has a black eye and is asked about who did it: “What’s his name?” The next line reads “because only guys smack girls around?” The breath just flew out of me when I read that.

Rage is a book that reaches out, grabs you, and forces you to look a few new things in their ugly faces. I couldn’t put it down, and even when I finished, I was still in the story’s grasp. Joanna’s original judgments and thoughts about Reeve are proven completely wrong, and I haven’t yet shaken the feeling of realizing nobody is just a pretty face and there are some things you can never guess just by looking at someone. ~Hilde, 16

I bought Rage earlier today before work and practically devoured it when I got off (just finished it at 1:14 AM). Gotta' say your work was awesome as usual. I've never been in any sort of abusive relationship, but after reading it it seems like I've felt everything Joho experienced. I'm really glad that she grew stronger by it all in the end. ~Lexie

On GRL2GRL: SHORT FICTIONS

I got Grl2Grl 3days ago. I didn't get anytime to read it. Until today! I stayed home sick today =/ and i didn't have anything to do and watching tv gets boring. So remembering i got Grl2Grl, i started reading. i could not book the book down! i love so many of the stories!!!!!!!!!!! you have to make Passengers, Can't Stop the Feelings, On the Floor, and Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder into books! i really want to know what happens between Tam and Andi! i want to know what happens # 14 and the main person. and what about Aimee and Peyton, what happens there? u shud make those three into books! i'd love to read them!!! i finished grl2grl in 6hours! i need more! ~I Wish You Knew

What is there to say about Julie’s new book Grl2Grl? It goes there, fits quite nicely. From coming out, to dealing with hate, violence, discrimination, self destructive behaviors and abuse. It goes there. Julie managed to hit home on a few topics for me, in just one book! The relationships feel real, as do the situations. It’s an amazingly insightful book into the world of gay, lesbian and transsexual teens, that would be good for LGBT youth and their friends and family, to show what we really go through. Talk about a good read, the fact that this book is a compilation of short stories is good as well because you don’t have to read everything at once and you can pick up in the middle of a book at a new chapter and there you go! You’ve got a story to read that will captivate you and keep you happily busy. My favorite short in this collection is “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” but they were all so good. Second on my list of faves from this collection is “TIAD.” But in general Julie did a great job and I’ll love this book forever it will always be in my home library. ~Casey Anne

First of all, I want to say that I laughed, cried, sobbed, laughed some more, and absolutely loved Grl 2 Grl. It is by far the best writing you have done ever. It has officially replaced Keeping You a Secret as my favorite YA novel. I especially liked “Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder ("asstard" is totally MY word :) ) and “Stone Cold Butch,” which made me curl up into a fetal position and ball my eyes out. The only one I really did not like was the txt msg one but only because I've had SO many friends who have come up to me with "OMG WE'RE IN LUVVVV" and it's some kid online that is probably a forty year old stalker and/or a creepy pathological liar...It struck too close to home. As far as the best written, I really loved "Boi". I thought you handled the subject matter very well, and you could feel the intensity of the story as you were reading it. I especially liked the end. The beginning story (the title slips my exam-ridden memory) was also very good. ~Allie

In this collection of short stories Julie Anne Peters has most certianly defied all odds and will open each of her reader's eyes in a different way.The book will do so because of its capability of reaching out to absolutly every person in one way or another.Those who are lost can seek refuge within the pages she has written.People who feel no one could ever understand how they feel or what they are going through,will see that in no way are they alone.Those who feel indifferent and seperate from what others may percieve to be the steriotypical'norm' will finally have a better understanding of themselves and realize that they are in fact just like everyone else. This author will take her reader's deepest fears and provide simple comfort.By doing so,Julie helps a different person each day conquer their fears and answer their questions.She tackles subjects that some refuse to even speak of.That is why all of her young adult literature,including Grl2Grl,has such an impact on so many out there.Whether pre-teens,young adults,or even adults themselves...there is something for everyone in this newest addition to the Julie Anne Peters collection. ~Aimee

In grl2grl YA author Julie Anne Peters breaks out of the novel genre for something, well, novel. If you're a fan of Peters' other works, this collection of short fictions, and I'm putting faith in the author in believing that's an actual genre, will speak to you no matter what, because it's representative of all the girls out there who are or may be gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, questioning, or differently oriented. No matter what you've gone through, abuse, breakups, volatile relationships, the confusion of cyberspace, clicking with somebody, or hiding who you really are, there's something in grl2grl for you.

From Passengers, where two girls have seen each other every day for years but never speak finally recognize their mutual affection, and Outside/Inside when you realize that you were not, in fact, the only one to like somebody out of the norm, on down to Boi with a painful to read scene of violence that occurs only because of the homophobia in our society and Stone Cold Bitch, where abuse literally absorbs the protagonists life, Peters' isn't afraid to tackle tricky subjects.

Like her previous novel Between Mom and Jo, grl2grl may not make you smile the whole time; it is acknowledged that growing up a teen that isn't straight isn't all rainbows and pride parades. There are the same volatile relationships, confusing signals, and rumors that go around, just like anywhere else. And that, in and of itself, is a good message: straight, gay, or the ever prevalent and popular "other," the same pain, confusion, and periods of total bliss are there. It's a human thing. ~Angela C., 19

On BETWEEN MOM AND JO

When I first started reading Between Mom and Jo I was ready for something, I wasn't sure what. I certainly didn't get what I was expecting. I was blown off my feet, my eyebrows set as I started reading it on my way home from the bookstore. At first it made me laugh, mostly mom and Jo, I know people like them, and adore them, of course! The day I got Between Mom and Jo my nose was buried, my eyebrow was furrowed as I read. I loved every minute of it. At 2:00 A.M. I finally put down the book, tears filled my eyes as I slipped into sleep. Between Mom and Jo was, like Luna, earth shattering, and awe inspiring. ~Kris

Nick's reaction [in the book] made me think about how people react to helplessness. It's very hard to be mature and mentally healthy when you're held powerless… It made me think about how parents handle discrimination, and how my parents explained or failed to explain racism to me as a child. I think parents have a desire to shield their children-- my mom didn't tell me until two years later that I'd been hearing racial slurs, not new-kid hazing, as an eight-yr.-old. And children have a desire to shield their parents, to not make their parents feel sorry. I didn't tell my mom for years about how un-innocent I'd become about racism and homophobia. Something in me wanted to uphold that innocent child image, except nobody's totally innocent, just in different ways… ~Elizabeth, 18

When I started this book, I wasn't expecting anything that came out of it. I was amazed by it. Growing up with two straight parents, it was a flight from anything I'd ever read before. I finished it as fast as I could. I cried in the middle of study hall when I finished it. It was a story everyone should read, about love, acceptance, trust, growing up, and so much more. ~Alex, 14

Julie Anne Peters novel "BETWEEN MOM AND JOE" was a great book. The feelings of the characters drew me into how they were feeling. It came to the point where i was about to cry, it was so realistic. I couldnt put this novel down. Jo was my favorite in the story because she was out there, she wasnt afrid to hide herself from anyone which made her a great character in the story. When i finished the story i was actually upset with myself for reading it too quickly, but no worries, i have it above my bed and im garenteed to read it again! ~Cherry

I loved this book so much I couldn’t put it down and ended up finishing it in three hours. It made me laugh, cry, laugh some more, and weep some more. Everyone thinks I’m crazy now, thanks to you! I loved how you weren’t afraid to back down on topics like lesbian and straight sex and teenage hormones. It’s really refreshing to have an author out there who is not afraid to say things exactly how they are without leaving out the parts not everyone agrees with. The writing style is excellent for the story because it really makes you feel the book. ~Allie, 15

I just finished "between mom and jo" and omg it was awesome. I think it was your best yet ( of course I'll always like "keeping you a secret" the best because it's really close to home). I really love how you made Kerri seem at first. I like Jo the best I can prolly relate to her the most plus she’s just such a cool character! You can really feel what Nick is feeling all the time and wow it's cool lol! When I opened it I just wanted to read the first page and ended up reading the whole book ( being the genius I am it was a school night and I was up all night reading it instead of doing homework and now I'm really tired lol). ~kt

It's not what I expected, some little part of me hoped it would be a book with a happy everyone loves each other ending. It didn't end like that but had it, I would have been disappointed because I'd expected it. The tension throughout is palpable and hard to deal with, to see this family that so obviously loved each other at one point falling apart. I liked Jo best from the beginning, she reminded me of myself, well sort of… The emotion you can evoke in your reader is astounding. When Jo came to Nick's party… It was like those scenes in a movie when you want to grab the character and tell them something before they do something incredibly stupid… The best part of the book was that you didn't expect us to stay at an intense emotional level through the whole thing. You wrote in funny parts and lighthearted passages. It was so nice to get to those parts as a break from the intensity. But the intensity was real, nothing was covered up, but nothing was exploited either. Another amazing, intense, portrayal of real life. ~Ruth

One of the things that bugs me most in the world are inconsistent authors who deliver awesome books one time and horrible mangled pieces of snot the next. Luckily, Julie Anne Peters always delivers books that are awesome. In "Between Mom and Jo" Ms. Peters once again shatters the walls that surround taboo topics and delivers an excellent novel, this time about two lesbians trying to raise their teenage boy the only way they know how. In a bold and touching account of the boy's struggles through his parents' divorce, Peters creates a powerful statement about the bonds between parents and children… As always, I am delighted to say that Julie Anne Peters' new book is an exquisite masterpiece as rich and full-bodied as her previous. Also, Luna is out in paperback now :) ~Robert, 16, http://www.bookmobile.cjb.net

On FAR FROM XANADU

Far From Xanadu (also known as FFX) is the story of a teenage lesbian with a gay best friend, a sick mother, a complex brother, a dead father and a crush on a straight girl. Mike is a softball star and one of the best plumbers in her town. But when Xanandu comes along she crushes HARD. It seems just so much like life, like my life, with slightly different details. This is another amazing work by Julie Anne Peters. Again she’s seen the world of a gay teen whose life is hectic and confusing, and who will do anything for that one friend they know will always be there for them. I loved this book as much as I did Julie’s other books. And I’m getting all of my friends to read it.

~Casey Anne

May I Say That Was The Best Book I Have Ever Read In My entire Life!!!!!!!!!! My heart cried my heart raced I smiled I cried I laughed through the entire book. I have never read a book that has connected so much to me in my whole life…

~Nicole

I just had to write you because the book [FFX] was incredible. It mirrors my life. I read it around four times since I got it. I had to give it to one of my friends today because I keep talking about it. The book is really about our life. She’s my Xanadu, sort of. Write more so I can add to my rapidly growing Julie Anne Peters collection.

~Allie

I think [FFX] will deliver a painful, yet very true message to young readers. While I was reading the part where Mike thought Xanadu was finally hers after the kiss, I was thinking, “No, how delirious has Mike become?! Xanadu is obviously straight despite the kiss!” But then I remembered some experiences I had similar to that, and I realized that I was in the same state of mind as Mike during those times. Your book perfectly showed how a strong hunger can take over and consume the fulfillment before you have even been fulfilled.

~Erin

Instead of studying for my AP Bio and Technical Theater exams, I read your book (don’t worry I have tons of coffee and chocolate to help me get all the studying I need done). …Wow!! I am like speechless right now…the feelings, the emotions, the wants and needs. Knowing that the love is there but can never really be expressed…wanting someone…like yearning for them to be near you…then to have them close just once and never again… I loved the small town setting… I love how the book wasn’t focused on society excepting gays but on homosexual teens accepting themselves beyond just acknowledging that they are gay. I really liked Mike. Not many books betray a “butch” girl as like…just an athletic girl you know…a teen trying to survive, not trying to be a man or take the mans role in life but just being who you are and what comes natural. Xanadu was so real to me…that one friend you connect with beyond belief; one that you love…and then its like thrown back in your face…like they completely forget the times they looked into your eyes and saw your soul. OK. I think I’ll go attempt to study now.

~N.C.L.

Mike was such a believable character…she really came to life in your words. Xanadu was so mysteriously beautiful, I loved her, even though I wanted to hate her for what she did to Mike. The message the book sent was awesome. I thought it was great that the town loved Mike and Jamie, despite their gaiety and quirks. It’s great that they were so…accepting. I wish every town, city, neighborhood, etc. could be like that.

~Virginia, 14

All I can say about this book is that it took my breath away. I literally had to remind myself to breathe after I finished. I was so deep into the story that by the end of the book, I felt. Mike was me and I was Mike. My life is nothing like hers, but somehow I identified with her; I lived her story... This book is not so much about being gay as it is about life. Not just about life, but life and death and love and hate and friendship and family and living. If the purpose of writing is to touch your life, transport you to another world, let you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, and return to earth questioning what you have always accepted as reality, Far From Xanadu is a true piece of literature. It is not a pleasant book to read; there is too much of a feeling of impending doom that the reader can see Mike walking blindly into. Yet it is a book that cannot be put down because you know that everything will be wrapped up in the end. Not a happily-ever-after ending, but a true-to-life ending: bittersweet. You know that the hard times have been worth it so you could learn and grow, but life is not suddenly perfect just because the story has ended. The story continues as reality always will. This book was real. It was about truth, to one’s self and to others.

~Elizabeth

I am currently visiting here in the states…I will leave soon bound for home in the Philippines, the province of Negros Occidental. I looked for a bookstore and bought your books, Keeping You a Secret and Far from Xanadu. I couldn’t help but cry and thought deeply that I could relate to the stories. I loved Holland and Cece and Mike especially. Now I will be able to accept myself fully and stand up with confidence, with a strong character, be on stage three and be myself with a smile.

~Kaile

On LUNA





I have a confession to make. This has to be the worst thing, but I judge books by their covers! I am one of those people that only reads a book if there is an interesting title and cover. So naturally, when I picked up your book Luna, I had no idea of the plot line or what was in store for me! I placed it in my book bag, and brought it home, where my mother scrutinized each one for “bad content.” She eyed me warily as she finished the book jacket to Luna, and said, “did you even read this?” I told her that I hadn’t and she said that she didn’t approve of the subject matter. And it is sad, at first I only read your book to spite my mom, but then I realized how insensitive and unfeeling we were both trained to be on the unfamiliar, the unknown. I feel so bad that I had no idea what was going on in these tortured souls, but I judged them without knowing anything about them! Thank you for opening my eyes to something so foreign to me, and thank you for doing it in such a way that appeals to all ages of readers, any gender, any walk of life. I have always wanted to be a writer. I can only hope I can reach people with the same clarity as you have, bringing all readers to tears, and making them look at themselves in a different way.

~Caitlin, 15

I got [Luna] last night and I could barely put it down to sleep. The way you described all of Regan’s and Luna’s emotions were so accurate that I felt as though I was there watching from a distance as an invisible friend. So much of the problems Regan has with her self-esteem almost describe my self-esteem problems. Will you please tell me what happens with Luna and her SRS, and Regan and Chris? I am dying to know…

~Richard, 14

I had seen info on your book in a magazine, and it immediately caught my attention. “Wow, finally something I like reading” was my first thought. So, of course, I went through all the stores searching, searching for your book, Luna. I swear, everywhere I went it was sold out! I did finally get it, grabbed the last copy. Well, I rushed home to read, and from the first page on I was completely enthralled. You book was so realistic it brought me to tears more than once while reading. I was cursing Regan most of the time, for the most part, because she didn’t try to understand and was acting selfish… So many people don’t understand and are scared, like Aly. And you brought it out in the light. Maybe young readers who read this book will begin to understand, and perhaps accept transgendered people.

~Ashleigh a.k.a. Marron-chan, 14

I am a 16 yr old girl! I’ve just finished reading your newest book ‘Luna.’ Oh my God did u open up my mind!

~Aida!

Thank you for your beautiful “novel,” Luna. “Novel” in quotes because it was so terrifyingly authentic, so lovingly narrated by sweet Regan, and so very much real-life for me. I wept copious tears as I read each page and was so thankful for your perfect humor throughout the book that provided a needed breathing space for me (…oh yes, how I identified with Luna!). If only such a book had been available to me when I was Luna’s age. I am so glad that Luna insisted that you tell her story. Regan exemplified that vital and essential support we who are transgender/transsexual must have (especially when young)… I look forward to the day in the future when no one has to transition late in life, but those of us who can do nothing by make this major life-affirming change can do it when we must, as Luna did.

~Kimberly Joy

I just read your essay about the story behind the story of your writing Luna. I wanted to find out who this author was who got it so right. I’m 41 years old. I was 32 before I transitioned. I can only dream about having been able to transition as early as Luna did… There were at least three times when I had to stop reading. I couldn’t even touch the book for a while. I had to tell myself, out loud, “It’s only a book,” before I could go back to it. Some memories are more than a little difficult to relive. But I wanted to thank you. I think that Luna fills a niche that has been empty, and is going to make a lot of difference to a lot of people. Adults as well as kids.

~Beth

Once again you have created a masterpiece with your latest novel, Luna. I must say it was stunning. But you have a way with making me want a sequel to see what happens next. I had been searching for that book for weeks and finally had gotten it yet I finished in a day, see? Addictive.

~Phoebe

I am currently reading Luna and it is a wonderful book! I love the way that Regan cares for her sister/brother. It is truly inspiring.

~Jasmine

I read your book Luna, and lemme say, it was great. I’ve never finished a book in under 24 hours before, no matter how addicted to it I was. It’s written in such a human way…I love it.

~Jaime

On KEEPING YOU A SECRET

I just finished your book, “Keeping You a Secret.” The book was AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING. I have read tons of books in my life and I have never felt the impact of one like I am experiencing now. Every detail of coming out to yourself by seeing that one person who makes you wobbly in the knees is so perfect. That book was my life experience…

I am 14 years of age, about to be 15. I have just finished reading your book, "Keeping You A Secret", and I must say that it was absolutely fantastic! I've never read a book that made me want to read it all over again as soon as i finished! I think that you are a great, inspirational writer. I hope that you'll continue writing books like, "Keeping You A Secret". I wanted to be in the book, be one of the characters, or know someone like CeCe.

I was sitting down in this little corner of Barnes and Noble just looking at really lame made-for-teen girl-books when I saw yours. I picked it up and started reading it, not knowing that the main character was a girl. I just thought it was in a boy’s perspective. But when it said something about the t-shirt “IMRU,” I was like DUDE!!! SHE’S GAY!!!!! I rushed to the check out, sped home, sat down in my room, and read until I was done. I can’t tell you how I feel. This book is incredible… I just want to thank you. Not only writing a book for me (and all the other little lesbians out there) to relate to, but to also teach tolerance. All those staight kids will read it, and realize that Gays and Lesbians are JUST like them. We can love too. THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!!!!!!!!!! I just got through reading KYAS. Oh My Gosh. That is a complete sentence when it comes to this book. I see things through a WHOLE new light now. I was not exactly sure what I was reading at first. Even though I am straight, I felt this book. I have never read a book that makes you feel so (i cant even decribe it) funny inside. I really want to meet Cece and Holland. I guess I have been really sheltered my whole life! Wow! Everything I know about LGBT's...I have learned from you. I never knew things like that happen. When Holland and Cece first kissed at the battle of the bands, I was so scared that Holland would change her mind. I was reading on your site that you do not write sequels....but if you were to ever start...this book would be awesome to start with. I sooo want to know what happens with Cece and Holland. I only have one regret from reading this book...and that was finishing it! KYAS was the first book I have read of yours. I am -DYING- to read another one to find out if I get captured in it the same way. I love that feeling.

I just finished Keeping You a Secret. What an incredible book! I’m a 24-year-old lesbian and your book brought me back to the most painful parts of my life, in an amazing way. I’m always looking for good queer-themed young adult books, as I run a youth group, and this is the best I have read. The love story, the build up, the first kiss, and first time…was all so beautifully written. It made me ache to have it back, and it made my stomach do that thing that it does when you’re a kid and in love. I felt it. I really did. I found myself stuck at sixteen, even though I now have a beautiful home and partner and life.

I read KYAS so fast that after I finished I had to read over it again. I really respect the honesty you put in to all of your books; it makes your readers (I’d say probably mostly teens) more comfortable. It was cool, reading that book, because I understood more about lesbianism. And being a straight person, I feel like now I know so much more than I did before (which was basically zip). Hating someone for what they are and judging them (instead of embracing them) is considered an act of racism to me.

OMG I just finished Keeping You a Secret and OH MY GOD I LOVED IT!!! After I read parts of it, it’s like, my day gets 100% better. I owe you 100,000,000 thanks for writing it, writing ME.

I read ur “keeping you a secret” and loved it, mostly because it reminds me a lot of what me and my girlfriend are going through. I love the book, but on one page u say “This is the Venus symbol, two females linked together for all eternity.” I would love to get this for my girlfriend, for our year anniversary, since we’ve been through a lot. …Could you show me a picture or something, so I can either make it for her or buy a charm?

Author’s note: Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, has come to symbolize the love between two women. I took a little creative license in extending the love for all eternity. I like to think eternal love is possible.

I have a lot of respect for you cuz you are not afraid! When it comes to me, I am afraid. My whole life I have been made fun of cuz like I dress like a boy. I just wish I wuz a boy so I didn’t have to go through all the hurt. When I go 2 school people are soooo cruel!!! But the thing that’s good is that I am proud to be who I am.

THANK U 4… ACTUALLY LISTENING!!!!

I finished "Keeping You a Secret" in no time at all. I was so thrown back to all the gut feelings and inner conversations I had as I first began my journey out of the closet. I think I felt every butterfly and inner squeal of delight right along with Holland. I wish I had had something this wonderful to read when I was going through it all for the first time to know that I wasn't alone in all the wonder and terror I was going through. Your words paint a beautiful and incredibly honest picture. Thank you so much for sharing your vision of young love with all of us out here.

I'm 17 (soon to be 18!) and am in the last three or four weeks of my senior year in high school. I'm also bisexual, and open about it. I was extremely surprised and concerned when I read what happened to Holland when her mom found out she was a lesbian. When I told my mom, the worst thing she said was that she thought I was too young to know. At the time I was 16, and had a girlfriend, plus I've known since I was about 13. …By the time I got to that part in the book, I had already thought about talking to a friend who is in the Student Coucil at my school to see if I could set up a lesbigaytransgender awareness club where lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders could go to have a place to talk, and where straight people could go to learn about these "types" of people, maybe try and fight hate. I actually have a friend who is homophobic, and we were discussing it one night. She said homophobia is when you're just afraid they'll hit on you, but when someone actually tries to hurt someone else, it's just pure hate, and I was hoping to get that message out there in my school...

On DEFINE “NORMAL”

Before anything I would like to tell you how much Define “Normal” affected and helped me as a person… The way that Jazz and Tone are [in the book] really inspired me to try and fix my own problems. It has worked and you really reached me and made my life a better one.

Hey, Julie. I bought your book Define “Normal” at my school’s book fair… I got real bored one night and picked it up and I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN!!!! You write so true to life, Julie. Define “Normal” is true to life about how punks and preps are different, but the same. I should know, being a punk, I am discriminated against by some preps. But when they get to know me, and I get to know them, we become great friends. Your book made me cry (in a good way, of course) and I think you’re the best author out there, Julie!!!!!!

Could you PPPPPLLLLLLLEEEEEEEAAAAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEEE make a sequel to Define “Normal.” It is the best book ever.

Oh my gosh! I loved your book Define “Normal.” I am, like Jazz, a punk rocker who’s family doesn’t really understand her or her need for black lipstick and green hair dye! But anyway, your book really touched home! I mean, I felt like Jazz was me and I was Jazz! I could relate so much to this book from Jazz’s point of view. It’s going on my “best books” shelf as soon as I buy one for myself. My teacher introduced me to the book because she said the girl, Jazz, reminded her of me.

I am in 7th grade and I have just finished reading Define “Normal” for the 4th time. It’s one of my favorites. I am researching you and your book and wanted to find out more. Is there any little intersing spigits of information I should know that isn’t on your website, and if you had to give advice to a young writer (like me) what would you say? Thanx for your wonderful books and your precious time. One of your fans for always…

I just finished Define "Normal." I loved it. I finished this book in less than a week and I couldn't put it down. I couldn't stop reading it. I hadn't read anything for such a long time and it put me in the mood to read again.

Thank you for autographing my copy of Define "Normal." It's the best book I have ever read. I really, truly enjoyed it. The story is definitely a lot like my life at the moment. A weirdo punch chick not fitting in; teachers giving her problems.

Will you ever come out with some more books like Define “Normal?” I really thought that book was awesome! My friend started to read the first few pages and she was hooked. She wanted me to take it back to the library so she could read it!

Hi! I just recently finished reading your book Define "Normal." I wanted to let you know that it is a GREAT book! I loved it and have recommended it to all my friends. Well, thanks for reading this. I just wanted to drop you a line or two to let you know you have written a terrific book and I can't wait to read more of your work.

I am dying to read your Snob Squad series because I hate to read and I am so picky about books, but I loved Define "Normal." You are my favorite author.

On THE SNOB SQUAD series

I love to write and your talk made me want to write even more. I love your books, especially the series, Snob Squad. I'm quickly anticipating the moment when I can read Define "Normal." I've been to your website many times and I really enjoy it! Keep on writing and speaking to kids. Good luck on your next book. (Hope your publisher doesn't give you too hard of a time!!)

I like to read your Snob Squad series. I was wondering if you could write more books about them. The book I enjoyed most was Revenge of the Snob Squad. It cracked me up! I was laughing sooo hard I started to cry!

My name is Samantha, I’m french. I read all your books about Snob Squad, traduced in french… I want to know if you wrote the 4st book or if you will write it. And will it be traduce in french? Thank you. I love your books.

On LOVE ME, LOVE MY BROCCOLI

Your book Love Me, Love My Broccoli is one of the reasons that I want to be an activist like Chloe.

Your book Love Me, Love My Broccoli was really awesome. What I really enjoyed about it was Chloe and what she believed in. You're probably thinking, "The things people write!" I am sorry for bothering you. Please write back if you can.

I chose to read your book Love Me, Love My Broccoli because of the title. I thought it would be a funny book and it was. It gave me lots of good facts about animal rights. I didn't want Brett and Chloe to break up because they made a really good couple. If I could change the ending, I would have them kiss, get back together and have a good relationship.

On HOW DO YOU SPELL GEEK?

I love your books! I only started reading your books a couple of days ago, but I really do love them. I love the Snob Squad series especially. Also, I really think you should write a sequel to How Do You Spell Geek? I loved that book, but what happens when Ann goes to the nationals? Don't leave me hanging! I have to know! Please help me!

First of all I would like to congratulate you on making such an interesting novel {How Do You Spell Geek?} The quote, "Too easy. Give me a harder word." I would say, "What do you think I am, a 2nd grader? Give me some competition." Also, "She's a horrible speller, Ann." I would say, "Come on, Ann. She spells like a 1st grader."

On THE STINKY SNEAKERS CONTEST

I liked reading the book called The Stinky Sneakers Contest. That book was so cool that I want it for my house to read over and over again.

Your book, The Stinky Sneakers Contest, can really relate to me. I have the stinkiest feet ever in history.

On B.J.’S BILLION-DOLLAR BET

Since I had to write my favorite author I chose you. I have never heard of you until my best friend recommended your book to me and ever since then I have loved your books. I loved B.J.'s Billion-Dollar Bet but I personally think that the setting should have been in more places than just their houses. You can still have some of the setting in the house because they do need to trade their belongings and he would need to trade the lottery ticket, but if they weren't in the house, B.J.'s parents would be a billion dollars richer. How come you didn't talk about the mother? I'm sure she was doing much more than just sitting sobbing and searching. My mother would go crazy. I understand that the main characters are B.J. and Mavis Mae, but talk more about their families. The plot was good, but it should be longer because I'm dying to read more. Maybe you can write a second copy.

On RISKY FRIENDS

I read your book about three times {Risky Friends}. I'm not a person to sit down and read, but your book is wonderful. I went to the two public libraries by me and they didn't have any books you wrote. So I wonder if you have any more books out. If you do, they probably won't come out in the library for a long time. Maybe if you have books out you could send me an order form.

On LOVE AND LIFE, READING AND WRITING

I really appreciate your comments about choosing a career. You are right in what you say that I have my whole life to search for it. It's really interesting that you started writing as therapy. Sometimes when I feel sad I write and I begin to feel better. I also love drawing and painting. In fact, I still don't know whether to dedicate my life to painting or writing, or maybe both of them.

Hi!!!! I'm a Mexican high school student and I love to read. I read your biography and found it really interesting, the fact that overcoming failure was the hardest lesson you've ever learned. You should be a very strong person because a lot of strength is required in order to do that. I've never talked to a writer in my life, this is the first time, and since I want to be a writer someday I would like to talk to you by email. You seem to be a very nice person.

I loved your book so much my eyes burst. Sometimes I read your books and I go crazy. How does it feel to be an altar?

Thank you for getting some time off to visit our class. I learned that even if you're not good at anything you can still write a book.

Thank you so much for coming to our school to talk about your amazing books. You probably don't know that I don't like to read, but your books really get me going. I think you're an amazing and very beautiful person and I can't wait to go to your cats' web page.

Telling the process of how a book is formed was incredible. 5 years must take a lot of willpower (I can't even stay on a diet). Your talent for public speaking is very amazing.

I thought it was very interesting how many steps and revisions writing one book had to go through. It must take a whallop out of you.

I thought it was outrageous that you got paid $25 for your first published story. It is my dream to be a children's wrighter when I grow up.

Sorry, but I don't even want to think about becoming an author. A lawyer is more my kind of thing. I argue well and have very good manners.

One of my career choices that I would love to pursue is to be an author. I really enjoy writing and I know that I really am good at it. My mom says I should write a book right now (I'm 11 years old), but I don't know how to get started with all the activities I have.

Currently, I myself am writing a book called "The Time Matrix." It's a short story for adults about a man named Irving O'Smith who invents a time machine and crash-lands it in medieval England. Can you suggest a publishing company?

Thank you for showing us how to make books. I learned that you don't write the books, you type them.

I'm like you, I hate to read, but you inspired me to start. Thank you very much.

Thank you for sharing your books with us. I hope you enjoyed having us as an audience.

I hope you had a great time at our school. We all sure did. You're a very funny person. I don't mean that the way it sounds. I have always hated books until I read your book. Up to that point my parents always forced me.

I think that you are a very great person to have not even cared about books before and then all of a sudden want to write. I find it interesting though, why do you get 10% if you were the one who wrote the book?

I think it's cool that you can write books over and over without ever complaining.

You are a very cool dudette.

I feel bad about when you get all those stories back and have to revise and take all your time to fix them. Hope that never happens again. (Author’s note: I wish.)