Cassie O'Malley has spent the past two and a half years in a mental institution--dumped there by her mother, against her will. Now, at 18, Cassie emancipates herself, determined to start over and reclaim her life. But when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie's childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is the truth, and whose life must she save?
TEEN VOGUE listed as "One of the best books you need to know now."
PASTE MAGAZINE lists it as "one of their most anticipated debuts of 2016" and as "one of the best books of the year so far."
ALA BOOKLIST names it to their "Top 10 First Novels for Youth" list
Included in B&N Teen Blog's Best Young Adult Books of 2016
More praise for The First Time She Drowned
"Lyrical, emotional...resonant." --Entertainment Weekly
"Beautiful and passionate . . . Kletter is] a writer of great distinction and infinite promise." --Pat Conroy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad
." . . An incredible read. Be warned though--you will want to read Cassie's story, start to finish, in one sitting. And then you will want to race to put it in the hands (and hearts) of everyone you know and love." --Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places
"The First Time She Drowned is an exquisite and masterful dive, a brave exploration into the complexities of family, and the saving grace of friendship. Kletter's writing is hypnotic, her characters alive, her story tragic, beautiful, hopeful. Simply put, this book is stunning." --David Arnold, critically acclaimed author of Mosquitoland and Kids of Appetite
" A] beautiful, gut-wrenching ache of a story. If you are at all interested in books, this is required reading." --Becky Albertalli, author of the Morris Award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
"The best writers are able to tell the most difficult stories with the most empathy, and that's just what Kletter does in this haunting debut about a girl lost in the depths of her family's secrets and shame. Complex, affirming, and beautifully written." --Stephanie Kuehn, author of the Morris Award-winning Charm & Strange
"Gorgeous, sumptuously lyrical, luminous...a feast for lovers of language. The First Time She Drowned singlehandedly shatters every argument that YA books aren't fit fare for adults." --Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King