Publication Date: March 5, 2015 by Lerner Books / Carolrhoda Lab

Sephora Golding lives in the shadow of her unbelievably beautiful mother. Even though they scrape by in the seedier part of Venice Beach, she’s always felt lucky. As a child, she imagined she was a minor but beloved character in her mother’s fairy tale. But now, at sixteen, the fairy tale is less Disney and more Grimm. And she wants the story to be her own. Then she meets Felix, and the fairy tale takes a turn she never imagined. Sometimes, a story is just a way to hide the unspeakable in plain sight.

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  • 2016 Westchester Fiction Award Winner

  • Gold Medalist, Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, 2015

  • CYBILS Finalist, 2016

  • Amelia Bloomer Project book (Feminist books for young readers), 2016

  • Kirkus: “9 Teen Novels Adults Shouldn’t Miss”

  • “A coming-of-age story consciously reminiscent of Lolita, this multifaceted portrayal of family bonds surprises with its nuanced and sometimes searing emotional gravity.” (Kirkus, Starred review)

  • “Clocking in at just 200 pages, this is a story that packs no less of a punch for its brevity. Sephora’s grim reimaginings of fairy tales are the anti-Disney in the extreme… The strands are worked so surely into the narrative that they feel powerful instead of tired. Sephora herself is a narrator who defies convention, and her story, harsh and spare, is unforgettable.” (Booklist, Starred review)

  • “Sephora’s painful journey and lack of easy answers will stick with readers, as will its razor-sharp commentaries on sexual and societal double standards.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

  • “This book is dagger-sharp, and fearless—a modern teenage girl fairytale that stands up exquisitely to the older tales it draws from.” (Rookie Magazine)

  • “Interspersed with stories from mythology and classic fairy tales, Arnold’s novel feels authentic; teens will relate to Sephora’s brutally honest, well-rendered voice.” (The Horn Book)