Coming September 5, 2017 from Simon & Schuster/Atheneum Books
“Proof positive that Calla Devlin’s masterful first book was not beginner’s luck. This is a powerful, assured, lyrical, soaring coming-of-age story.” —Jeff Zentner, author of Goodbye Days and The Serpent King, winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award
After Charlotte’s father is kidnapped, she and her mother must overcome their differences and find a way to rescue him in this eloquent, moving portrayal of family.
Charlotte’s father specializes in nature’s acts of violence. In search of the perfect story for his newspaper, one that can put a human face on tragedy, he will fly into the eye of the storm. And now he’s heading to Ukraine, straight into the aftermath of a deadly earthquake. Charlotte doesn’t want him to go, leaving her alone in a silent house with her mother, whose classically Russian reserve has built a wall that neither of them knows how to tear down. But she’s holding it together okay—until the FBI comes knocking on their door. The quake has left many orphans, but Charlotte refuses to be counted among them. Whatever it takes to get her dad back, she’ll do it. Even if it means breaking a promise . . . or the law.
"Where other people flee the death and destruction of a natural disaster, Charlotte’s dad packs his bags to head toward the epicenter of the crisis. Her father is a journalist who covers the world’s worst catastrophes. He is also the glue that holds their small family together. Whenever he leaves for an assignment, the distance between Charlotte and her stoic Russian mother becomes an uncrossable chasm. During these absences, the teen depends on her friendships to help distract and comfort her. When Charlotte’s father disappears while covering an earthquake in Ukraine, Charlotte and her mother are forced to break down their emotional walls in order to cope with the possibility of losing the person they both love. Devlin writes a compelling story filled with complex characters. Russian folklore is sprinkled throughout, adding another layer of depth to an already engrossing story. The highly descriptive passages and adept use of imagery will leave readers feeling as though they are walking the colorful San Francisco streets and tasting the delicious Russian pastries cooked in Charlotte’s mother’s bakery. While the ending is a little too neatly pulled together, this is a well written novel overall that older teens are sure to enjoy." —School Library Journal
"Devlin, a finalist for the William C. Morris Award, enters ripped-from-the-headlines territory in her sophomore novel. High-school senior Charlotte has always had a closer relationship with her father, a reporter for the San Francisco Tribune, than her Russian immigrant mother. Mom has kept her at a distance, Charlotte believes, because she’s still grieving Charlotte’s older sister, who died as a baby. Rightfully worried when her father goes missing in the aftermath of an earthquake in Ukraine, Charlotte is terrified to learn that he’s actually been captured by rebels and is being held hostage. A photojournalist for her school’s paper, she’s always dreamed of following in his footsteps, but now? All she wants is him home safe, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes. Devlin beautifully weaves in Russian folktales, illuminating Charlotte’s complex feelings about her mother… it’s these moving moments of a mother and daughter finally bridging the gap that make the novel shine. A thought-provoking examination of familial love." —Booklist
"Few YA writers stand out quite like Calla Devlin. With a unique and authentic voice she delivers characters that feel like they are in the room telling their stories. In Right Where You Left Me, Charlotte is navigating the precarious limbo of identity, buried grief and home while awaiting college acceptances when her father is kidnapped during a journalist assignment abroad. With page turning writing that is saturated in talent, Devlin holds us in both suspense and heartache alongside the close knit community that surrounds Charlotte setting the bar even higher for the entire YA genre!" —Jesica Sweedler DeHart, Wandering Bookseller