I owe a lot to a great group of people at Alloy Entertainment. I’ve known them for years and without them, this book could never have happened. Josh Bank, for being hilarious, magnetic, and brilliant…and for giving me a chance years ago despite the fact that I so rudely crashed his company Christmas party. Ben Schrank, for encouraging me to do this project in the first place and for his invaluable writing advice. Of course Les Morgenstein, for believing in me. And my fantastic editor, Sara Shandler, for her friendship and dedicated help in shaping this novel.
I’m grateful to Elise Howard and Kristin Marang at HarperCollins for their support, insight, and enthusiasm. And huge thanks to Jennifer Rudolph Walsh at William Morris for all the magical things she made happen.
Thanks also to Doug and Fran Wilkens for a great summer in Pennsylvania. I’m grateful to Colleen McGarry, for reminding me of our junior high and high school inside jokes, especially those about our fictitious band whose name I won’t mention. Thanks to my parents, Bob and Mindy Shepard, for their help with sticky plot points and for encouraging me to be myself, however weird that might be. And I don’t know what I’d do without my sister, Ali, who agrees that Icelandic boys are pussies who ride small, gay horses and is okay with a certain character in this book being named after her.
And finally, thanks to my husband, Joel, for being loving, silly, and patient, and also for reading every draft of this book (happily!) and offering good advice—proof that boys might just understand more about girls’ inner struggles than we think.