Author Spotlight – Sylvain Neuvel

Sylvain Neuvel is the type of author I wish I could be. After dropping out of high school at age 15 and working various types of jobs across different countries, he received his B.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics. He then wrote his first book, Sleeping Giants, which combined his love of science fiction with his love of robots. That series, The Themis Files came out right as I was getting back into reading, and is one of the series I credit with reigniting my love for science fiction, and for journal/epistolary formats.

Now, Neuvel has written all three novels in The Themis Files, as well as four novellas in the universe. All of these books have heartwarming characters, realistic relationships that don’t feel made from convenience, and the type of science fiction that I absolutely adore. Neuvel also wrote a novella last year titled The Test, a short dystopian about a citizenship test in Britain that feels like watching an episode of Black Mirror.

As a person, I look up to Neuvel so much. He’s family driven, likes sharing things that he thinks are cool and interesting, and writes as a passion. I admire his dedication to his family as much as his work, and how he shows that anyone can write.

Neuvel has a new series announced online, but that doesn’t yet have confirmed cover art or a release date other than 2020. The series is supposedly titled Take Them to the Stars, with the first book in the series listed as A History of What Comes Next. I’m really excited for this new series, and I’ve been watching his website and twitter closely to see if there’s any news about it. Hopefully we get some more information soon, but I know that I’ll read anything that he writes.

-Siobhan

Author Spotlight – Francesca Zappia

I touched upon this in my review of her most recent book Now Entering Addamsville, but Francesca Zappia is a very interesting author to me. Since I finished that book so recently, and since I’ve read all of her books now, she was a natural choice for my second author spotlight. She’s published three books traditionally, and one through Wattpad, which I admittedly have not yet read.

Her first book, Made You Up tackles a heavy subject matter in schizophrenia, and is a book that I find myself thinking about still. I first read it in August of 2015, while on a trip to Texas. I flew through the book, and thought that Zappia tackled the unreliable narrator very well. My heart still breaks at the thought of the major “twist” in this book, because it was something that I didn’t see coming at all. This was honestly one of the books that got me back into reading right as I was going into my last year of college.

In May of 2017, she published her second book, titled Eliza and her Monsters. This book was a huge deal to me when I read it. I thought the way it portrayed anxiety and perfectionism was absolutely incredible, and I loved the characters and the story it told.

I went over most of my thoughts about Now Entering Addamsville in my review already, but I will say that I’m glad that she did branch out into another genre, but I wish that she had stuck with having a heavier subject matter.

Zappia herself is just a very interesting person to me. I’ve read a lot of her answers to questions on Tumblr, and I find it fascinating how long she’s been working on her books and her characters. I could definitely feel that love and that care put into her first two books, and I’m hoping that she has more of this to share in the future.

Though I’m reading less and less YA these days, I think that Zappia is one that I’ll continue to keep an eye on as she publishes, because I really appreciate her work and her emotional connection to the novels she’s crafted so far.

-Siobhan