Hachette Children’s Group will publish The Girls I’ve Been, a psychological YA thriller from US author Tess Sharpe.
Amina Youssef, assistant editor, fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada, Malaysia and Singapore) from Kim Ryan at Penguin Random House US. The title will be published on the Hodder Children’s Books imprint in February 2021.
The Girls I’ve Been will tell the story of ex-con artist Nora, who has always been able to get herself out of tricky situations – until she’s taken hostage in a bank heist with her ex-boyfriend and her secret new girlfriend. This time, Nora doesn’t have an escape plan. But her past is full of twists and turns, and with every new identity she's taken on, Nora has become better at handling the bad guys. She's determined to use her con artistry skills to get them out of the bank alive – but to do so she might have to reveal to the robbers who she really is. And that girl has been in hiding for a very long time.
The title has been optioned for film by Netflix, with "Stranger Things" actress Millie Bobby Brown to star and produce through PCMA Productions. Jason Bateman is also attached to produce.
Youssef said: "The Girls I’ve Been is edgy, intoxicating and an instant page-turner with an extremely well-formed queer protagonist. Nora’s voice is one of the slickest I’ve come across in the YA space and it’s impossible not to root for her. A book that has you on the edge of your seat in one moment and laughing out loud in the next is a rare thing. The Girls I’ve Been creates exhilarating, suspenseful moments amidst a thought-provoking psychological backdrop and we are completely thrilled to be publishing Tess Sharpe on the Hodder Children’s Books list."
Sharpe said: "I’m absolutely delighted that my work has made its way back to the UK, especially with such a firecracker of a character and such a lovely publisher and team behind it. I look forward to hearing everyone across the pond’s reactions to the twists, turns, and many incidents of arson that a reader should always expect in a book of mine."
Sharpe's debut novel, Far From You (Orion Children's Books, 2015), was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2015.