What to Read Next from Literary Agent Jennifer Johnson-Blalock


Hi folks, today we have a special guest bringing you some #FridayReads suggestions: Awesome Agent Jennifer Johnson-Blalock! Be warned: your To-Be-Read pile is about to get a little taller LOL.

Jennifer Johnson-Blalock joined Liza Dawson Associates as an associate agent in 2015, having previously interned at LDA in 2013 before working as an agent's assistant at Trident Media Group. Jennifer graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in English and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Before interning at LDA, she practiced entertainment law and taught high school English and debate. Follow her on Twitter @JJohnsonBlalock, and visit her website: www.jjohnsonblalock.com.

What to Read Next

I’m so excited that my first two client books, from Rebecca Barrow and Kristin Rockaway, will be debuting in summer 2017—but we still have a year to wait, and we certainly need books to read in the meantime. Ever since I became an agent, I’ve been more careful than before to balance my reading amongst the different categories and genres I represent. Here are a few books—some recent releases and old favorites—in similar veins as my clients’ upcoming works.

I hope you enjoy these reads for now and check out Rebecca and Kristin’s books next summer! You can add them to your Goodreads shelf today, and keep an eye out for cover reveals in the next few months.

My client Rebecca Barrow's YOU DON'T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU

(HarperTeen) is a lovely contemporary YA about a girl who receives an unexpected letter from her birth mother as she and her boyfriend struggle to decide what to do about an accidental pregnancy--all while facing a growing distance with her best friend, who's keeping secrets of her own. It’s an incredibly thoughtful book that deals with big questions and issues without melodrama. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29008379-you-don-t-know-me-but-i-know-you

EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour features Emi, a talented set designer just out of high school, who finds a mysterious letter at a Hollywood estate sale, which leads her to Ava in this story about film, friendship, and love. Barrow’s lyrical writing and deeply felt emotion reminds me of LaCour’s. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18667779-everything-leads-to-you

EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR by E.K. Johnston is the powerful story of how Hermione Winters moves forward after being raped at cheerleading camp. I admire how Barrow and Johnston both handle serious issues in a mature, straightforward, realistic fashion.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25528801-exit-pursued-by-a-bear

SMALL DAMAGES by Beth Kephart deals with teen pregnancy in a very different way than Barrow’s work—Kenzie is sent to Spain until she gives birth. But both works are evocative and poignant.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12849260-small-damages

My client Kristin Rockaway's THE WILD WOMAN'S GUIDE TO TRAVELING THE WORLD (Center Street) is incredibly fun commercial women's fiction about a twenty-something New Yorker with a severe case of wanderlust who questions her prestigious consulting career and perfectly ordered life after meeting a free-spirited American artist in Hong Kong. It's smart and sexy and the perfect beach read.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30325444-the-wild-woman-s-guide-to-traveling-the-world

WHAT I WAS DOING WHILE YOU WERE BREEDING by Kristin Newman is a hilarious, relatable memoir about her global, often solo travels in her twenties and thirties. It inspires the same wanderlust that Rockaway’s book will.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18373272-what-i-was-doing-while-you-were-breeding

THE ONE AND ONLY by Emily Giffin, reminiscent of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, is the story of a thirty-something football obsessed woman who changes her life after a tragedy hits her small college town in Texas. It’s one of my favorite examples of commercial women’s fiction, full of romance but also strong emotion, and I’m thrilled for Rockaway’s book to be added to this genre.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18465657-the-one-only

LIFE AND OTHER NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES by Camille Pagán tells of Libby Miller, who runs away to the Caribbean after receiving heartbreaking news about both her marriage and her health. The focus on travel and the romance that can be found in faraway places can also be found in Rockaway’s novel.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26583370-life-and-other-near-death-experiences

Happy reading! To keep up with the latest from Jennifer's two fabulous clients and their upcoming books, you can follow Rebecca (@RebeccaKBarrow) and Kristin (@KristinRockaway) on Twitter, and check out their websites: http://www.rebecca-barrow.com and http://kristinrockaway.com.

All content © 2015 by C.L. McCollum unless otherwise noted.

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