This summer on Penguin Teen, we’re celebrating all the amazing debut books hitting shelves and the incredible authors who wrote them! This week we’re reading Laura Sibson’s The Art of Breaking Things. But, instead of us telling you about Laura Sibson’s gorgeous debut, we’re going to let author tell you herself!
My debut young adult novel, The Art of Breaking Things, follows 17-year old Skye Murray who can’t wait to graduate and head off to art school. But when her mother’s ex-boyfriend re-enters their lives, Skye is forced to face a secret she’s kept for years: that he crossed her boundaries in a terrible way. And now, Skye’s little sister is the same age that Skye was when it happened.
I started writing fiction a little more than ten years ago. Before that, I worked for years as a career counselor in colleges and universities in and around Philadelphia, connecting students to the resources that would help them be successful after college. The Art of Breaking Things is the third manuscript I’ve written, but the first to be published.
My debut is about secrets and the healing power of art. It’s about the fierce loyalty of sisters and the complicated love between teen girls and their mothers. Mostly, it’s about letting go of shame. Skye might be a party girl and the school slut, but there’s more to her than those labels. Sure, she makes questionable choices, but she helps us remember that we’re not bad girls or good girls. We’re all just girls.
After realizing how much I loved writing for teens, I attended Vermont College of Fine Arts, graduating with my MFA in July 2012. I’m grateful to have landed at Viking. My editor, Maggie Rosenthal, and the whole Penguin team have been incredibly supportive of my debut novel.