From lauded author Steven Salvatore comes a moving YA novel about twins whose incarcerated father dies and leaves behind a life-changing secret, perfect for fans of I'll Give You the Sun and Euphoria.
When their father went to prison last year for embezzlement, twins Alex and Olly Brucke lost everything: their house, their college funds, most of their friends, and even their mother, who's so focused on making ends meet that she's never around anymore. The only thing they can count on lately is each other.
But after their father dies unexpectedly in prison, the twins start to fracture. Alex is spiraling, skipping classes to spend all of her time drunk or high. And Olly is struggling with a secret his dad ordered him to keep: they have a secret half-brother named Tyler.
When Tyler shows up in their lakeside town for the summer, hoping to get to know his siblings, Olly hides the truth from Alex. But as Alex and Tyler start to form a friendship, the lies become harder to juggle. If they can't confront their father's past and fix their relationship, Olly and Alex each risk losing two siblings forever.
No Perfect Places is a thought-provoking novel about grief, family secrets, and figuring out how to belong against the odds.
Steven Salvatore is a gay, genderqueer author, writing professor, Mariah Carey lamb, and Star Wars fanatic with an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. They are the founder and CEO of Queerative Writers, a virtual creative workshop series for LGBTQ+ aspiring writers. They are the author of AND THEY LIVED…, CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY, and NO PERFECT PLACES: A Novel, and are represented by Jess Regel of Helm Literary Agency. As a native New Yorker, their heart belongs to the Adirondacks.
stevensalvatore.com | Twitter: @StevenSSWrites | Instagram: @StevenSalvatoreBooks
“With NO PERFECT PLACES, Steven Salvatore has gifted us a unique and deeply personal book that beautifully explores the different forms grief can take, the subtle ways secrets can pull us apart, and the unexpected joys that await us when we embrace imperfection.” —Abdi Nazemian, author of Stonewall Honor book Like a Love Story
“Steven Salvatore's NO PERFECT PLACES asks complex questions about family, grief, and identity. Intimate, vibrant, and emotional, this story is proof that we are more than the decisions of our parents, and more than the places we're from. A thoughtful exploration of spinning pain into something positive, confronting the darkness that exists within us, and making peace with the past as we forge our own future.” —Daniel Aleman, author of Indivisible and Brighter Than the Sun
“Salvatore's contemporary YA deals sensitively with heavy themes of grief, addiction, and mental health. This book will appeal to lovers of realistic contemporary fiction and will connect with any reader who has lost someone.” —Booklist
“Alex and Olly's distinct alternating perspectives add depth and intimacy, cultivating a kaleidoscopic narrative that shines brightest when focused on the twins' complex--and clearly loving--relationship.” —Publishers Weekly
“This intense, dramatic novel that explores complicated relationships, coping with adversity, and the fallout of keeping secrets will appeal to readers who enjoy character-driven stories. An emotional story of familial ties.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The dual points of view provided by Alex and Olly create a strong connection between their experiences as their lives were destroyed by their father's poor decisions...A valuable story.” —School Library Connection
“Steven Salvatore writes complicated love stories with such sincerity, thoughtfulness, and emotional resonance. My heart didn't stand a chance-I loved it from once upon a time all the way to its joyfully complex ever after.” —New York Times bestselling author Becky Albertalli on AND THEY LIVED
“A jolt of lightning to my soul. The characters are so bright, the emotion is so vibrant, and the love is exquisitely electric.” —Jason June, author of Jay's Gay Agenda, on AND THEY LIVED
“This charming, joyful story-about self-love, fighting for what's right, and the love to be found in chosen family-will make you want to put on a pair of red heels and blast Mariah Carey.” —Booklist, starred review, on CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY
“Filled with big emotions. . . as empowering as it is entertaining, Salvatore's debut novel hits all the right notes.” —BookPage on CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY