ORPHAN QUEEN is a YA fantasy that has captured my heart more than anything else Jodi has written--and that's saying a lot, because she's a gifted writer (and I've read a lot of her stuff--things the world has never seen!). If you're a fan of Kristin Cashore or Rae Carson, you will love this book.
I've had the privilege of watching Jodi's career blossom from angst-filled, when-will-I-ever-find-an-agent days, to the day she called me, squealing, when her first series was sold at auction, to today, when she is in NYC with a gaggle of other authors, celebrating the release of Orphan Queen. Books and words are her life, and her stories are infused with this passion.
I wouldn't be the writer I am today without Jodi. Though I've tried to tell her, probably she will never know how profoundly her investment in me as a writer--and as a friend--has affected my life and my writing. She is as hard-nosed as she is edifying; as much task mistress as encourager. She helped me believe in myself, and she taught me more than a single human being should be capable of teaching.
One of the things that's keeping my head above water during my current round of submissions is that Jodi loves the novel in an "I'll blurb the heck out of this!" sort of way. Jodi's love-for-a-novel is not easily won, so her words have infused me with a sense of, "Well, okay, then. I'm confident that I've got a winner here." Even if, yanno, nothing happens.
Her support means that much. And her talent? It speaks for itself.
If you're not a fan of YA fantasy, buy the book for someone who is. Or request that your local library buy it. Or buy it because Authoress loves it, and you want to cut loose and try something new. Or borrow a copy, read it, and then tell all your friends what a great story it is.
Happy book birthday, Jodi. My heart is with you today! I am so proud.