Eighteen-year-old Rory Quinn-Morelli doesn’t want to die; she wants refuge from reality for even a minute: the reality where she survived the car crash eight months ago, and her best friend, Liv, didn’t. Yet her exasperating mother won’t believe the Xanax incident was an accident, and her therapist is making it increasingly hard to maintain the detached, impenetrable “cold girl” façade she adopted from Liv. After she unintentionally reconnects with Liv’s parents, Rory must decide: will she keep Liv’s and her secrets inside, or will she finally allow herself to break? And if she breaks, what will she unearth amid the pieces?
Page Count: 352
Trim Size: 5.25 x 8
Rights Territory: Worldwide
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Death, Grief, Bereavement
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Friendship
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Coming of Age
Maxine Rae attended Tulane University where she was taught and singled out for commendation by two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward. While working on Cold Girls, Maxine received feedback and mentorship from National Book Award Finalist Charles Baxter. She later revised and workshopped the manuscript in the selective Novel-In-a-Year program at StoryStudio Chicago, whose artistic director is Pulitzer Prize in Fiction Finalist and Andrew Carnegie Medal winner Rebecca Makkai. As a young, queer woman from the Chicago area, Maxine has written a debut molded by personal experience and emotional truth.
“[A] poignant, deeply moving portrait of friendship and grief. . . . Reading like a next-generation Perks of Being a Wallflower, this is the perfect what’s-next for readers who cried their way through Benway’s A Year to the Day and Thao’s You’ve Reached Sam, or those who appreciate the power of a life-changing friendship.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A heart-wrenching story of friendship, grief, and identity. . . .The heart of Liv and Rory’s story, the painstaking confrontation of loss, and the unconditional embrace of a parent’s love are deftly threaded through the pristine prose. However, it is Rory’s teetering between then and now that tethers all this unbearable beauty as she tackles the exquisiteness of healing, acceptance, and love. A vibrant and poignant must-read.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Deftly crafted . . . . Cold Girls is unreservedly recommended for middle school, high school, and community library YA Fiction & LGBTQ collections.” — Midwest Book Review