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Sixteen-year-old Ebony Jones is devastated when both of her parents lose their jobs, and her family moves from Houston to her grandmother’s house in the country. There’s nothing for Ebony in Alula Lake, Texas. So She Thinks. What She Missed is a rich and emotional novel that celebrates change, nature, friendship, growing up, and love, for readers of Sarah Dessen’s The Rest of the Story and Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land.
When Ebony and her parents move from Houston to her grandmother’s house in a small lake town, Ebony is sure that her life is doomed. And to make matters worse, the ghost of Ebony’s beloved grandmother—a strong swimmer who tragically drowned in the lake—is everywhere. Alula Lake does offer one perk: reconnecting Ebony with her childhood friend, Jalen.
But as Ebony settles into life, she finds herself drifting away from Jalen and gravitating to his older sister, Lena. Lena is chaotic, disorderly, and rebellious, yet she offers a reprieve from the anger and sadness Ebony feels over losing so much.
An ode to nature, art, friendship, history, family, and love, this lyrical coming-of-age story explores one girl’s summer of self-discovery as she reimagines the world and her place in it.
Liara Tamani lives in Houston, Texas. She is the author of the acclaimed young adult novels Calling My Name, All the Things We Never Knew, and What She Missed. Her words have appeared in Time Magazine, NPR, and The New York Times. And her work has been featured by Good Morning America, Buzzfeed, Essence Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more. Before becoming a writer, she attended Harvard Law School and worked as a marketing coordinator for the Houston Rockets & Comets, production assistant for Girlfriends (TV show), home accessories designer, floral designer, and yoga and dance teacher. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA from Duke University. www.liaratamani.com
J. Elle is the New York Times bestselling author of young adult and middle-grade fantasy fiction and a 2022 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth and Teens. Her work is being translated and distributed in over fifteen countries. The former educator credits her nomadic lifestyle and humble inner-city beginnings as inspiration for her novels. When she’s not writing, Elle can be found on the hunt for desserts without chocolate, looking for any excuse to get dressed up, and road-tripping her way across the country with her family of six plus four pets in tow.