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Under 50 words:
Marti Leimbach is known for her bestsellers, Dying Young, made into a film starring Julia Roberts, and Daniel Isn’t Talking. Her interest in neurodiversity and the future of science influenced her latest work, the YA action/thriller, Dragonfly Girl.
Under 100 words:
Marti Leimbach is known for her bestsellers, Dying Young, made into a film starring Julia Roberts, and Daniel Isn’t Talking. She is interested in neurodiversity and has shared the stage with young inventors at the Human Genome Project (Toronto), the National Autistic Society, and the University of Oxford.
She teaches on the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. Dragonfly Girl is her eighth novel, but her first for young adults.
“A thrilling debut with a heroine to root for and an excellent story that will keep surprising readers.”– School Library Journal, December 2, 2020
Dragonfly Girl is a YA thriller about a troubled high school girl with a gift for science who discovers a “cure” for death and ends up embroiled in an international rivalry. It is published by Harper Collins in February 2021. Feel free to use the cover image below as well as any part of the synopsis or review blurbs.
…This is a compelling YA debut from the internationally bestselling Leimbach. All the characters have depth, especially Kira, whose growth will entice readers to invest in her struggles and cheer for her successes. Leimbach also handles the science well, explaining what is happening without letting it slow down the action, focusing more on the characters’ emotions than the scientific procedures. The book lends itself to upcoming volumes, which should be eagerly anticipated. Kira’s race isn’t specified, and there is a range of racial and ethnic diversity among secondary characters. VERDICT: A thrilling debut with a heroine to root for and an excellent story that will keep surprising readers.
–School Library Journal, Dec 2, 2020
… fast pace and high stakes are engaging … An exciting adventure about a girl in STEM
– Kirkus Reviews
Dragonfly Girl is a uniquely smart book. Readers will be challenged and delighted, as I was, by its originality. Invest some time in Dragonfly Girl and let author, Marti Leimbach, take you on a surprising and thrilling ride.
—Michael Grant, bestselling author of The Gone series
Dragonfly Girl is unlike any book I’ve ever read. The plot is taut and devilishly cunning, the science behind the story is brilliantly researched, and the writing pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the very last page.
You’ll find yourself aching for the heroine’s hardships at first, before suddenly being whisked off to a heart-thumping adventure that will leave you breathless. THIS BOOK SLAPS!
—Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of Dial A For Aunties & The Obsession
I loved Dragonfly Girl. Can there be a better way to nudge young people toward the sciences than to introduce them to Kira Adams…? Marti Leimbach has written an intriguing and thrilling novel that could very well entice young people to take a closer look at careers in science…
—Todd Strasser, bestselling author of The Wave and Fallout
Feel free to use part or all of this article in your write-ups about Dragonfly Girl.
A Dangerous Science: Dragonfly Girl
A timely YA thriller that shifts perceptions about who belongs in science
Marti Leimbach isn’t a scientist, but her novel, Dragonfly Girl, may fool you into thinking she is. The novel’s clever protagonist, Kira Adams, is fascinated by questions about how birds fly while sleeping, or why dragonflies are among the most deadly hunters, despite not possessing what we’d call a brain.
Not that being smart solves all of Kira’s problems. Her mother is sick, they are buried in debt, and she is bullied in school. But when Kira figures out how to bring back to life a lab rat that has died in her care she becomes known as the girl who unlocked the “cure for death.”
Suddenly, Kira’s fortunes change. She may have discovered a way of reviving the dead, but she’s also discovered that the world of science has a dark side. The one death she can’t prevent may be her own.
There aren’t many thrillers that feature a teen scientist, or handle the science in such a way that it adds to, rather than detracts, from the action, but Dragonfly Girl is an exception. The novel challenges the persistent image of mathematicians and scientists being male. It demonstrates how money and greed can hinder progress, and dramatizes both real, and imaginary dangers that scientists have faced over the years.
For fans of The Queen’s Gambit and Orphan Black.
Kira Adams has discovered a cure for death – and now her life is in danger.
Things aren’t going well for Kira. At home, she cares for her mother and fends off debt collectors. At school, she’s awkward and shy. Plus, she may flunk out of she doesn’t stop obsessing about science, her passion and the one thing she’s good at…very good at.
Desperate to bring in money, she enters a prestigious science contest with a big cash prize. At the awards, Kira draws the attention of celebrated professor, Dr. Gregory Munn (as well as his handsome assistant), eventually leading to a part time-job in a top-secret laboratory.
The job is mostly cleaning floors and equipment, but one night, while running her own experiment, she revives a lab rat that has died in her care.
One minute the rat is dead, the next it is not.
Suddenly, she’s the remarkable wunderkind, the girl who can bring back the dead. Everything is going her way. But it turns out that science can be a dangerous business, and Kira is swept up into a world of international rivalry with dark forces that threaten her life.
Feel free to download these images, courtesy of the author.