Hodder swoops for 'haunting' Gothic YA from Grace

Hodder swoops for 'haunting' Gothic YA from Grace

Hodder & Stoughton has acquired a "haunting" Gothic-infused romantic young adult fantasy from Adalyn Grace, author of All the Stars and Teeth (Titan Books).

Molly Powell, senior commissioning editor, bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to Belladonna and one other book from Janelle DeLuise at Little, Brown Young Readers. It will publish in August 2022 in conjunction with Little, Brown.

Belladonna follows 19-year-old Signa Farrow, who must confront Death – and her own deathly powers – to solve a murder. 

Grace said: "I’m not sure how I could ever love a book as much as I love Belladonna. While my previous books have all felt like embarking on an adventure, to me, Belladonna feels like coming home and curling up on the couch with a hot cup of tea. It’s my favourite story I’ve ever written, filled with everything I love – Gothic tones, dark and forbidden romance, mystery, glittering masquerade balls... It’s very 'Bridgerton' meets Crimson Peak, about a 19-year-old girl named Signa Farrow who can see Death, and who believes herself cursed by him when those around her begin to die.

"The story takes place in a Victorian-inspired society, where Signa is forced to confront being a woman in a society with very rigid societal and gender expectations, while being thrust into the depths of this murder mystery that will require her to team up with Death, who she hates more than anyone in the world. Writing a romance with Death as the love interest was an exciting challenge, and one with which I was extremely lucky to have the help of an incredible team behind me. Hodder & Stoughton have been a key part of helping develop this story from its earliest stages, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with an absolute powerhouse team that loves Signa and Death’s story as much as I do."

Powell added: "Haunting, beautiful and packed full of romantic, Gothic atmosphere, Belladonna is an absolutely gorgeous book from start to finish. With a stellar mystery at its heart, every second of this triumphant fantasy will leave your heart yearning, your goosebumps prickling, and your fingers itching to turn to the next page."