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We reviewed popular YA author (and former Orlando high school teacher) Jenny Torres Sanchez’s first novel, The Downside of Being Charlie, last year, but with Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia, Sanchez has hit her stride. (OK, acknowledgment of bias: Maybe we just prefer female protagonists.) Death tells the tale of Frenchie Garcia, who is haunted by the shade of her crush after he kills himself, and it manages to pull off quite a trick – it’s a novel about suicide, but it isn’t a downer. In fact, it’s really funny, and (hint) we’re hoping that Sanchez will publish an associated-songs playlist like she did with Charlie. So, is the “strange and demented” Frenchie Garcia a stand-in for Sanchez herself? That name sounds pretty similar, but you’ll have to ask her that question yourself. (We’ll just note that Sanchez’s website says, “I have that kind of pissed-off look teenagers everywhere have perfected” – although not in the picture above – and Kirkus Reviews described Frenchie as “sullen and anxious”). To celebrate the release and the great reviews it’s been getting, Sanchez will read from and sign copies of her new novel Saturday afternoon. – Jessica Bryce Young
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