18-year-old Laila Piedra doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and doesn't sneak into the over-21s club on Canal Street. The only sort of risk Laila enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he dies suddenly - and is replaced by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who sees nothing at all special about Laila's writing. Sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed, Dr. Nazarenko thinks that to write anything worthwhile requires suffering. At first, Nazarenko's eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman's approval. She walks the extra mile in every assignment until at last Nazarenko notices her. Soon Laila is hiking through the Catskills during a thunderstorm in March; she's discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, and the beauty of temporary flings and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity--that enduring the unendurable is the way to greatness. But happiness is its own herculean task with its own rewards...and rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.
- Hardback | 336 pages
- 140 x 210 x 27.94mm | 408.23g
- 12 Jun 2018
- Amulet Books
- New York, United States
"This book packs a lot in to its pages and you get swept along with Laila's dizzying voyage to adulthood very quickly. It seems like no 'issue' is left off a YA writer's tick sheet, but it really works." -- The School Librarian "Perfect for teens and young adults who struggle to meet the impossible standards set for them, Final Draft asks the question: is it worth sacrificing your happiness in the quest for perfection?" -- Happiful "18-year-old fat, pansexual, Ecuadorian American Laila is an accomplished sci fi writer whose final semester of high school is ruined when her favorite creative writing teacher is replaced. Her new instructor is critical of and unenthusiastic about her work, leading her to push herself out of her comfort zone - but how far is too far?" -- Autostraddle, 50 of the Best LGBT Books of 2018 "Writing is never easy, and Final Draft delves fully into the darker side of a creative life. Ultimately, however, it's a hopeful reminder that words, imagination and creativity can change the world." -- Bustle
About Riley Redgate
Riley Redgate is a recent graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where she was an economics major. Her first two novels, Noteworthy and Seven Ways We Lie, earned critical acclaim. She currently lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY.