Angelo Surmelis wears many different hats, and every single one of them fits him to perfection. Not only is he a visual designer with an eye that can transform a college dorm room into a palace overnight, but he’s also one of the most powerful voices in young adult literature today. If you haven’t read his debut novel, THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN, then you absolutely MUST snag yourself a copy as soon as possible. It’s a powerful coming-of-age story based loosely on events in the author’s own life, in which a seventeen-year-old boy named Evan attempts to navigate the harsh views and the daily abuse of his strict, Greek immigrant mother who has no intention of allowing her son to follow his heart or to choose his own love interests. But Evan soon finds his light in Henry, a young man who believes Evan deserves more in life than what his mother insists on dishing out. It is a novel that is at once poignant, funny, and wise, and that walks a tightrope between what is a timely story and what will prove to be a timeless work of young adult literature.
It’s no wonder I was completely floored when Angelo, one of my favorite authors (and people in general), agreed to read an advance copy of my upcoming YA novel, ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND. And, my goodness, did he ever come back to me with the absolute perfect string of words to capture the central message I was attempting to deliver through my teen protagonist, Cordy Wheaton:
“Listening to and believing in our fears keeps us away from a life we wish for. On the Way to Birdland shows us what’s possible when we listen to something else.”
—Angelo Surmelis, author of THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN
I want to send a big batch of thank you out to my friend (and one of my secret heroes), Angelo Surmelis, for providing me with the kind of feedback that makes the author of a soon-to-be-released novel rest easy at night, knowing his words will hit all the right notes when they finally reach his readers.
And, please, do yourself a massive favor and pick up a copy of THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN. You won’t be sorry you did. Happy reading!