The Publishing Biz

Interview: Huffington Post

Over on the Huffington Post, the Book Doctors interviewed me about Bang, pizza, and writing books that teens read.

TBD: How did you learn to become a writer?

BL: I sort of figured it out on my own, really. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to tell stories, and I was manic in my reading. I read constantly. Every chance I had, I would have my nose in a book. So I sort of absorbed a lot of the lessons and the rhythms of writing and internalized them subconsciously. Which isn’t to say that I was a great writer the first time my fingers touched the keyboard! Hell, no! I still had to practice and hone my craft, which took literally decades. But no one ever really sat me down and taught me how to start — I figured that out on my own and then just kept iterating and trying until things started to click.

Read the complete interview on HuffPo!

Bang in the New York Times!

Bang coverThe New York Times Book Review has posted its review of Bang. Needless to say, I’m stoked:

Lyga captures the heartbreak of Sebastian’s situation with sensitivity and compassion, exploring how a life can be unfairly defined by just one action, how it’s tragically easy to ignore humanity in favor of a headline, and just what communication, love and sharing the truth can do, especially when it comes to forgiving oneself.

You can read the complete review at the Times website.

Amazon Picks Bang!

Hey, some more good news for Bang has come my way: the book has been included in the “Spring’s Best YA Fiction” list on Amazon’s Spring Reading Preview!

Amazon Spring Preview list BangBang joins nineteen other titles, including The Hate U Give and Strange the Dreamer. Check it out at this link (you’ll need to scroll down past the younger ages to the YA books).

Kirkus + Bang = Star

Kirkus logo

I’m thrilled to announce that Bang has received its second starred review, this time from the folks at Kirkus! (The first star was from School Library Journal.)

Here’s a snippet:

Rich characterization anchors this explosive novel, from white Sebastian’s likable, brainy, but at-times acerbic intensity to Aneesa’s upbeat, intelligent kindness. Aneesa is Muslim—her dad is Turkish-American—and she and Sebastian discuss everything from Islamophobia to their families to how to turn his pizza-making hobby into a YouTube Channel…. Readers will root for him to find some sort of peace.

Heartbreaking and brutally compelling.

Read the entire review over at Kirkus.

(You can read an excerpt of Bang at EW.com!)

A Star for BANG!


I’m thrilled to announce that School Library Journal has given Bang a starred review in its February 17 issue, saying, in part:

Lyga (I Hunt Killers) tackles a number of relevant issues in this heartbreaking novel, including gun control, suicide, and religious and racial prejudice. The pain and anguish Sebastian feels every day are raw and chafing, and the chemistry between Sebastian and Aneesa is tender and realistic. VERDICT With a number of sensitive issues addressed, along with frequent graphic language, this book may be best for a mature audience, who will fully appreciate the unwavering and stark realism.

Thanks, SLJ!

(You can read an excerpt from Bang at EW.com!)