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Release Day: AFTER THE FALL by Kate Hart!!!

The day has finally arrived. The day we have ALL been waiting for. Kate Hart's AFTER THE FALL is out today. If, somehow, you do not yet know what this book is about, here it is:

Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn't want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat of her family’s eviction, and the dream of college slipping quickly out of reach. Matt tries to help, but he doesn’t really get it… and he’d never understand why she’s fallen into a secret relationship with his brother. The friendships are a precarious balance, and when tragedy strikes, everything falls apart. Raychel has to decide which pieces she can pick up – and which ones are worth putting back together.

We wanted to do something special for Kate's release day, so we wrote her a letter. Here it is:

Our most beloved Kate,

Your first guest post on YA Highway was December 16, 2009. We asked you to officially join within a couple weeks after that, and it was the best decision we could have made. For years, you hosted our Field Trip Friday feature and you did it weekly, without fail. You did more behind-the-scenes things than we could possibly count. You made the brilliant publishing road map, updated our site's template multiple times, put in so much work upkeeping our tumblr and our twitter and seriously a million other things. Not only is YA Highway better because of you, but the entire YA community. You have been a wonderful and supportive voice in this community for years and years now. As the community evolved from forums to blogs to twitter, YA authors new and old have continued to benefit from your support & the way you never forget to lift the voices of others. We are so glad that your release day is finally here, and so proud of you for the beautiful book you have written in AFTER THE FALL. You have made all of our lives better in so many ways, and we - current AND former members of YA Highway - wanted to make sure you know:

Kristin H: It is a delight and honor to celebrate Kate's debut. Not only does this release mean so much to me because she's one of my best friends and favorite people on earth, but also because I have been inspired by how much heart, sweat, and tears she has put into this project--and every one of her projects. Kate is a force. She is a Badass Lady, a great human, a compassionate soul, and a promoter of positivity and change-for-good within young adult publishing and reading. She also wields a mean table saw blade. For all these reasons and more, I'm so excited to celebrate with Kate today!

Kaitlin: I'm sitting here thinking back over the past 7+ years of our friendship and I don't know what to say to do it justice. You are a person who makes other people's lives better just by existing. You are tirelessly caring and genuine and such an intelligent, thoughtful person. Writing this honestly made me cry, just thinking about how much you mean to me. I hope that you never forget how much good you bring into the lives of those who are lucky enough to call you their friend - or even those who have just been in your vicinity. You have been such an important part of my support system for such a long time, a best friend and a person I can always count on. If I'm having a thought or a fear or news (good or bad) or something I just want to vent about, I know I can always send you an email or a text. I'm so beyond proud of you for this book (and for everything else you have done), and so glad that other people are finally going to get to read it. You have worked hard and you have written such an important and heartbreaking book. I love you & I wish you the happiest of release days <3

Kirsten: I noticed your humor first. My crush developed soon thereafter, and I knew I'd do everything in my power to convince the other YA Highwayers we needed you (they took no convincing), and to convince you that you wanted us (you did! you did!).

So began seven (!?) years of sharing our homes, hotel beds, retreat houses, laughter, tears and deepest secrets. When I think back on the wisdom, support & love you've given me – not just across publishing's rocky trajectory, but through the most guttingly difficult times in my own life – it brings me to actual tears. You're YA Highway's greatest asset. Your beautiful writing, intelligence and generosity are among our industry's most incredible gifts. We're all so lucky, but I think I'm the luckiest – because you're one of the best friends I have ever had.

Sarah: Kate F Hart, it feels almost impossible to sum up the impact that you've had on making the world of Young Adult feel like a true community. All the way back to the Absolute Write and blog days, your efforts to make hilarious graphics, gather and organize an insane amount of data and content (the Twitter roundups! Field Trip Friday! Cover stats! Badass Ladies! various Twilight spoofs!) brought hundreds, maybe thousands, of people into this world. You gave us things to share, laugh about, think about, and learn from. I don't believe the YA world as I understand it would exist today without you.

But that's the broad stuff, the "almost impossible" stuff. I have to say that summing up all that you've meant to me as a writing partner, cheerleader, and friend IS impossible to express. I wouldn't be a writer without Kate Hart - that's just true. You've always made me feel supported, loved, and heard. And it meant the world coming from someone so smart, so talented, and so no-bullshit. I'm so proud of this book (GOD is it a beautiful book), but more than that I am proud of you, and proud to be able to say I'm your friend. You deserve every good thing, and I know this is just another step in your journey of spreading thoughtful, interesting, and beautiful words and art into the world.

Leila: Kate Hart is one of the kindest, funniest and smartest people I know, but at the same time she has zero time for bullshit and she conquers the shit out of pretty much everything she does, whether it is making graphics, creating amazing crafts, or interviewing badass women, to name but a few. Her books are, without a doubt, going to change the world and you should go buy After the Fall immediately, if you haven't done so already.

Amy: Before I even became friends with Kate Hart, it was obvious from her presence online that she was insightful, sharp, and rad as hell. Little did I know just how tremendously kind, generous, and thoughtful of a person she really is. She's the kind of friend everyone should have, but aside from that, she does incredible, important work and also does so very much in her endless support of female artists. Knowing her has made me a better person.

Deb: My first memories of Kate revolve around Twi-hard jokes, scary Photoshops, and jazz hands. She's been such a great cheerleader for so many YA authors, and I am thrilled that the time has come to cheer her on. I read an early version of AFTER THE FALL and loved it so much that I passed it on to my husband (who does not read YA), and he loved it, too. AFTER THE FALL is an honest and important story that lends itself to important conversations. Here's to Kate for all she does, and for her amazing book that is being released into the world! <3

Steph: I first met Kate at the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles almost seven years ago and was immediately struck by her intelligence, her intensity, her integrity, and the endearing fact that she boldly wears her heart on her sleeve. It wasn’t long before I was also lucky enough to learn how talented and brilliant she is as a writer and how wonderful, supportive, and thoughtful she is as a friend. I am so excited that her beautiful debut is being released into the world. Congratulations, Kate!

Somaiya: I’ve known you for so many years now and before I knew you I respected the hell out of you and was very much in awe. Those two things are still very true, but I’m so so happy that I now call you friend. More than that, I’m so psyched that this day is finally here, that we can welcome your book into the wide world! AFTER THE FALL is a much needed book and you’re a much needed author! Congratulations!

Lee: Kate is one of those people that is always encouraging and lifting everyone around her up. She is an amazing voice for the YA community and has always given 110%, in her time, in her support and I'm so very glad that I've known her for all these years and that she is celebrating this milestone that has been long overdue.

Michelle: Not to sound like a sappy and vaguely misogynistic narrator, but Kate Hart has no idea just how amazing and important she is to me. She is without a doubt one of the strongest and most intelligent women I've ever met. No matter what challenges the universe sets her with, she takes them on with courage and grace, and it never fails to inspire me. It's unreasonable that someone with so many talents should also be able to write a book that leaves you weeping and nodding vehemently and rending your various garments, and yet! Kate, I'm so grateful to call you my friend, and so happy AFTER THE FALL is (finally!) out in the world.

Kody: It dawned on me just now that I've known you for over seven years, Kate.  And in that time, you've always been fearless and funny. You've always been there to cheer all of us on and make us laugh. And I'm thrilled that, today, I get to be the one cheering you on. After the Fall is awesome and you are amazing.  I'm so glad I'm able to call you my friend.

Phoebe: kate fucking hart is fucking awesome, and not just for all she's done for the YA community. Her books are beautiful, powerful, and impactful. They are sorely needed by teens.

Kristin O: It's been a long time coming for this book baby of yours. I remember the first time you told me that it wasn't going to happen, that publishers didn't know what to do with Raychel and her story; I felt as devastated as if this was my book. I wanted the world to read this; I wanted the world to talk about all the important and difficult things that your book talks about. I wanted girls like me to be validated, to be able to read about Raychel and say, "I've been here, I understand now, I was wronged and I didn't deserve it."

I love that I get to watch this book finally, finally, finally find its place in the world, on bookshelves, in people's homes. I'm so proud of your perseverance and your optimism as you kept writing and submitting and editing and re-writing and re-submitting.
As a writer and a person and a friend, you have been an inspiration to me for seven years now, and I'm so grateful. <3

Emilia: I feel so lucky to count Kate as a friend, co-conspirator, and celebrity connection! When Kate and I met, I was an insecure high schooler only a couple chapters into my first novel. I was super unsure of myself, but Kate made me feel understood and supported in the scary wilds of the writing world. Plus, we shared the same slightly twisted sense of humor, so of course I had to keep her around! I obsessively admire her to this day... and I am so excited to see AFTER THE FALL released in bookstores. Go Kate!



And just for fun, we also decided what we would do 'after the fall...'

After the fall...well, if it's Steph who has fallen--she tries to laugh because it's usually pretty funny.

After the fall...Deb is usually groaning at one of her kids for telling her, "Smooth move, Ace!"

After the fall...Somaiya lost control of her book buying habits.

After the fall...Kristin curls up under a blanket with her pup and crochets.

After the fall...Kaitlin drinks so much hot chocolate that she runs out of whipped cream (which is very upsetting).

After the fall...Amy gets back up again...with a little help from her friends (wine, books, and pajama hoodies).

After the fall...Sarah's cat Hammer pours himself a glass!

Kaitlin Ward

Kaitlin Ward is the author of Bleeding Earth, Adaptive Books 2016, and The Farm, coming 2017 from Scholastic.

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Item Reviewed: Release Day: AFTER THE FALL by Kate Hart!!! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kaitlin Ward