Sass and Serendipity
by Jennifer Ziegler
Sister – ('sĭs-tər) noun – a female sibling; someone who not only takes your clothes without asking, but looks better in them than you do; someone with whom you share blood, parents, possibly a bedroom, and, at times, secrets; someone who can be your biggest adversary … or best friend.
Daphne Rivera and her sister Gabby could not be more different.
For fifteen-year-old Daphne, the glass is always half full, a dab of lip-gloss can ward off a bad day, and the boy of her dreams—the one she's read about in all of her beloved romance novels—is waiting for her just around the corner.
But Daphne's older sister Gabby wishes Daphne would get real. In Gabby's world, everyone's out for themselves, wearing makeup is a waste of time, and boys only distract you from studying before they break your heart. The only boy Gabby trusts is her best friend, Mule, who has always been there for her.
Both Gabby and Daphne are still reeling from their parents' divorce, though in very different ways. While Gabby will never forgive her unreliable father for failing her mother, Daphne idolizes her daddy and is sure that everything would work out fine if her cranky mom would just let him back into their lives.
When a crisis leaves the girls and their mom homeless, help comes from an unexpected source, and both girls are courted by surprise suitors who shake up their views of the world. Suddenly the glass isn't so clearly half empty or half full… and love seems a lot more complicated than they ever could have imagined.
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Jennifer says …
This book is a tribute to two women: Jane Austen and my sister, Amanda.
Just like my characters Gabby and Daphne, Amanda and I grew up sharing a room, but not outlooks on life. Although we fought and professed our undying hatred to one another, we also had each other’s backs when it truly mattered.
Jane Austen neither borrowed my clothes nor defended me from neighborhood bullies. She did, however, write one of my favorite novels: Sense and Sensibility. Even though I lived in a completely different era, I could vividly relate to the Dashwood girls.
It is my hope that with Sass and Serendipity, I can likewise convey the ups and downs of sisterhood. My book is being released the same year as Sense and Sensibility’s 200th anniversary. I consider that quite … serendipitous.
Featured on NPR:
On NPR's "Tell Me More", host Michel Martin was joined by Loriene Roy—professor at UT Austin, School of Information and past ALA President—for a segment about last minute book gift ideas for children and young adults.
Jennifer Ziegler's SASS & SERENDIPITY was among the few titles recommended! Peek:
NPR: ...You have one more young adult book to tell us about. "Sass and Serendipity" — I think this is by Jennifer Ziegler.
LORIENE ROY: Yes, Jennifer Ziegler, one of our great Austin writers. I love "Sass and Serendipity," in part [because] I'm the oldest of eight and I have five sisters and so this is a story of sisters. In many ways, Daphne is my sister Della and I am the cranky older sister, Gabby, in this book.
...It's set in a little town outside of Austin, so I read it for the local connections and it's —you know, a family also, a family going through separation and divorce. So, you know, it isn't all sweet, but the girls learn a lot and they become closer.
Click here to read the full transcript and listen to the segment.