Cover image for Final draft / Riley Redgate.
Final draft / Riley Redgate.
Publication Information:
New York : Amulet Books, 2018.

Physical Description:
262 pages ; 22 cm
Eighteen-year-old Laila Piedra is a biracial aspiring author whose creative writing teacher always told her she has a special talent, so when he suddenly dies and is replaced by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman's approval and is led to believe she must choose between perfection and sanity, but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.


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RED Book Teen Collection

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Laila Piedra doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and definitely doesn't sneak into the 21-and-over clubs on the Lower East Side. 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 graduation, Laila's number one fan is replaced by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who sees nothing at all special about Laila's writing.

A growing obsession with gaining Nazarenko's approval--and fixing her first-ever failing grade--leads to a series of unexpected adventures. Soon Laila is discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, and the beauty of temporary flings and ambiguity. But with her sanity and happiness on the line, Laila must figure out if enduring the unendurable really is the only way to greatness.

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 1

Horn Book Review

From cult TV shows to epic book sagas, Brooklyn high schooler Laila is obsessed with science fiction. She's an aspiring author but faces unexpectedly harsh criticism from her new creative writing teacher. Laila seeks out new experiences to inspire her writing; it's a familiar trope, but halfFrench Canadian, half-Ecuadorian Laila's distinctive characterization--including nascent pansexuality--and densely loquacious, stylized narration set this teen-novelist story apart. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.