A YALSA 2020 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers “Compelling.” —School Library Journal “Moving.” —Publishers Weekly “Poignant.” —Kirkus Reviews
A high school senior attempts to salvage her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates by writing their college admissions essays and in the process learns big truths about herself in this mesmerizing debut novel-in-verse, perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and Elizabeth Acevedo.
Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays.
But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral compass even points north anymore.
Provocative, brilliant, and achingly honest, 500 Words or Less explores the heartbreak and hope that marks the search for your truest self.
Juleah del Rosario is the author of 500 Words or Less and Turtle Under Ice. She wants you to know that she grew up outside of Seattle on the eastside. She currently lives in a book- and mountain-filled existence as a librarian in Colorado. She is Chamorro and Filipina. Most importantly, she wants you to know that you are loved and you are whole.
“This compelling novel in verse encourages deep thought and conversation. Fans of Perfect by Ellen Hopkins will devour this timely and addictive read.” —School Library Journal
“Del Rosario’s poems are accessible, and Nic proves herself a keen observer of the world around her, an adept interrogator of her own self, and a philosopher who considers how and why life happens the way it does.” —Publishers Weekly
“Thoughtfully introspective.” —Booklist
“In poignant verse, the moments of anguish, loneliness, and hope ring true.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Highly recommended."—School Library Connection
“Juleah Del Rosario is an important new voice in YA lit.” —Judy Zuckerman, Brooklyn Public Library