Print Length: 301 pages
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
All The Things We Do In The Dark by Saundra Mitchell
There’s no such thing as a secret.
SOMETHING happened to Ava. The curving scar on her face is proof. But Ava would rather keep that something hidden—buried deep in her heart and her Ava was raped and assaulted when she 9 leaving her scared both physically and emotionally.
She has her best friend Syd,—and now, suddenly, she has Hailey. Beautiful, sweet Hailey, who seems to like Ava as much as she likes her..
In the woods on the outskirts of town, she finds traces of someone else’s secrets lie frozen, Ava’s discovery threatens to tear open the perfectly stitched normalcy that she’s spent years creating.
Will Ava be able to ignore the truth and walk away?
This is a most read, emotional raw book with a little magical realism.
Told In first person in such away that makes the reader feel the main protagonist is speaking just to them alone. A phenomenal creepy and edgy read. I definitely including some warnings::CW: sexual assault, rape, PTSD involving sexual assault and rape, anxiety
the creepy October season. A creative thought provoking storyline that Sucks you in, but what really stood out to me was the enthralling writing style
LGBTQIA+ rep in this book, our main character ends up in a f/f romance
To me this didn’t feel forced or included on purpose. It complimented the storytelling very well.
I want to thank this amazing author for having the courage to write a book surrounded by truth alongside contemporary realism.
The author writes in the afterword that she tells her story so others out there don’t have to. She didn’t want to make up something to damage this character that would just be another fictional happenstance that we would read about and then close the book and set it all aside.
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Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture-deliverer, and a layout waxer. She’s dodged trains, endured basic training, and hitchhiked from Montana to California. The author of fifteen books for tweens and teens, her work includes SHADOWED SUMMER, THE VESPERTINE series, the non-fiction THEY DID WHAT!? series, and two anthologies for teens, DEFY THE DARK and ALL OUT. She always picks truth; dares are too easy.
We had the pleasure of chatting to Saundra about her upcoming emotional thriller, All The Things We Do In The Dark, which is described to be “Sadie meets Girl in Pieces”. Saundra talks of what readers can expect, which includes trigger warnings, along with book recommendations, her dream cast, and more!
Hi Saundra! Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi there, thank you for having me! I’m an author and editor of young adult and middle grade fiction. I love writing for young adults, and it’s a real honor to get to share stories with them. (And when I go on the road, it’s an absolute pleasure when they choose to share their stories with me!) When I’m not writing, or reading books, there’s a good chance I’m writing or reading fan fiction. It’s kind of an obsession.
Where did your love of writing come from?
The matriarchs of my family. When I was a little kid, I’d go garage sale-ing with my grandmother, and we’d buy all the ten cent paperbacks we could carry. My mother took me to the library every single Saturday when I was growing up. And my Auntie M used to come to my house, just to read to me. I’ve been surrounded my whole life by books and the women who love them. Big surprise that I grew up to love books—and women who love them. My wife is a librarian!
Your new novel, All the Things We Do in the Dark, publishes on October 29th. If you could only use five words to describe it, what would they be?
None of us are alone.
Now, let’s hear a little more! What can readers expect?
This is a hard book, and I want to offer trigger warnings in advance. This book discusses sexual violence, violence, rape, PTSD and anxiety. It’s the hardest book I’ve ever written, but everything in my blood and bones made me write it.
In this book, Ava is a 17-year-old rape survivor. She has a best friend, and her mother, and a nice regimented life that disguises her PTSD. She thinks she’s doing fine, until she starts to fall for a cop’s daughter, and her best friend suddenly runs hot and cold. That knocks Ava out of her safe, carefully constructed orbit. Then, already uncentered, she stumbles over the body of a murdered woman in the woods. Rather than let anyone else violate the woman’s body, Ava decides to solve the murder on her own—and crashes into another damaged soul with motives of his own.
There’s darkness and light; a mystery and a romance, but most of all, there’s a survivor who does what she has to do to keep moving forward.
Where did the inspiration for All the Things We Do in the Dark come from?
From my own life, from my own lifelong obsession with true crime, from all the readers I’ve met in the last ten years who have shared their secrets with me, from all the people who survive and all the ways they make it through the day.
Was there a certain aspect of the novel, such as a scene or character, that you really enjoyed writing?
This was a tough book, but I think I really enjoyed developing Ava’s relationship with the dead Jane. It was an interesting push and pull, between what’s real and what’s not—while still maintaining a very real world, and a very real story in a real place. I couldn’t have done it without my editor, Kristen Pettit. She helped me find my way.
If All the Things We Do in The Dark was adapted, is there anyone that would be part of your dreamcast?
Oh man this is hard I think Arden Cho from Teen Wolf is perfect for Hailey—she’s a truly enthusiastic fangirl, just like Hailey. Maya Hawke from Stranger Things or Cierra Ramirez from The Fosters/Good Trouble have the perfect edge for Syd. Aria Shahghasemi from Legacies or Tom Holland from Spider-Man would be a great Nick.
I always hate to cast the protagonist, because I want her to be whoever the reader wants her to be. I like Amandla Stenberg and Sophia Lillis and Zendaya and Maisie Williams and Jenna Ortega and Lyrica Okano… any of them would be extraordinary.
What’s next for you?
Next is my next anthology, OUT NOW—featuring seventeen more amazing YA stories about queer protagonists, by sixteen incredible queer YA authors and me (I’m in no position to say whether I’m incredible or not!) I also have CAMP MURDERFACE coming. I wrote it with Josh Berk, and it’s a middle-grade horror comedy set in a summer camp. Those are coming in 2020! Also in 2020, I have an essay in Janet Gurtler’s YOU TOO anthology.
Lastly, do you have any book recommendations for us?
Yes, always! WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE by Tehlor Kay Mejia is a stunner of a debut, and I love Julian Winters’ HOW TO BE REMY CAMERON. If people want to read more like ATT, then I recommend Joy McCollough’s BLOOD WATER PAINT, Cheryl Rainfield’s SCARS, Courtney Summers’ SADIE, and Laurie Halse Anderson’s SHOUT.