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by Emily Ziff Griffin

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: September 5th, 2017
Genre: Young Adult
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As a mysterious virus infects the world’s population, a girl embarks on a quest to find a cure in this thrilling debut from Emily Ziff Griffin.

Luisa is ready for her life to start. Five minutes ago. And she could be on her way, as her extraordinary coding skills have landed her a finalist spot for a fellowship sponsored by Thomas Bell, the world’s most brilliant and mercurial tech entrepreneur. Being chosen means funding, mentorship, and most importantly, freedom from her overbearing mother. Maybe Lu will even figure out how to control the rare condition that plagues her: whenever her emotions run high, her physical senses kick into overload, with waves of color, sound, taste, and touch flooding her body.

But Luisa’s life is thrust into chaos as a deadly virus sweeps across the globe, killing thousands and sending her father into quarantine. When Lu receives a cryptic message from someone who might hold the key to stopping the epidemic, she knows she must do something to save her family—and the world.

Suspenseful, lyrical, and thought-provoking, Light Years features a remarkable heroine on an intensely physical and emotional quest for hope and existential meaning.

QUESTION: Being a former coder myself, what really draws me to Luisa is her ability to code. Though, I’m sure she’s far better than I ever was. Haha! Still, coding isn’t something that’s talked about despite how it controls all the technology around us. How did you decide to make Luisa a coder?

The idea to make Luisa a coder came as an early suggestion from two women who packaged the book (Carey and Saira from In This Together Media). Their company mission is to tell smart stories about real girls and they saw that girls coding was becoming a thing, and we agreed that it should become more of a thing because obviously the more girls and women choose to push forward in male-dominated fields, the better the world becomes on multiple levels. So they asked me, what if Luisa is a coder? And that was one step on a long road to me discovering who Luisa is and what coding means to her.

I’m not particularly tech savvy myself, so I had to find ways to make Luisa’s talent and passion feel personal and accessible to me even while giving her this very specific skill that I don’t possess. Connecting her work to the quantification of human emotion was a way in. That is something I would be interested in doing if I had the computer chops to explore it. When that idea came to me I immediately reached out to my stepson who is a pretty brilliant coder himself and I asked him, “Would it be possible to do something like that?” And he told me it was something people were already trying to do, yes. And that felt exciting. It felt like I was on the right track with Luisa and the story.

Emily Ziff Griffin lives in LA where she writes, produces, teaches, daydreams, and mothers two young kids. When she was 25, she co-founded Cooper’s Town Productions with Philip Seymour Hoffman and produced the Academy Award-winning film, ‘Capote,’ along with Hoffman’s directorial debut ‘Jack Goes Boating,’ and John Slattery’s ‘God’s Pocket.’ She’s run three marathons, slowly, and holds a degree from Brown University in art-semiotics, the study of how images make meaning. She believes children are way more sophisticated than adults typically give them credit for and writes for the teenager who is ready to claim their own worldview and be grounded in their own power. ‘Light Years’ is her first novel. Find her at



Giveaway Details(US ONLY)
2 signed hardcover copies of LIGHT YEARS by Emily Ziff Griffin

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