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The Quiet Part Out Loud



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About The Book

A Good Morning America Buzz Pick

For fans of You’ve Reached Sam and A Heart in a Body in the World, this “moving and powerful” (Laura Namey Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow) teen novel follows an ex-couple as they struggle to reunite in the wake of a devastating earthquake.

High school sweethearts Mia Clementine and Alfie Thanasis had a plan to escape their town for college in the east. Mia would leave her hard-core evangelical home for Sarah Lawrence College, and Alfie would have a new place to pursue his three loves: baseball, poetry, and Mia. But when Alfie got offered a scholarship to the University of San Francisco the same week the entire town found out about Mia’s mom’s affair with their church’s pastor, Mia’s world imploded and she pushed everyone away…including Alfie.

Five months after the worst summer ever, Mia is crashing at her best friend’s dorm at San Francisco State, just a few miles away from the University of San Francisco, praying she never runs into the boy whose heart she broke. And Alfie is trying to make the most of his freshman year while struggling to reconcile with the abrupt ending of his first love.

When Mia and Alfie’s paths cross for the briefest of moments, Mia realizes she never should have let him go and Alfie’s suppressed memories and feelings boil to the surface. But their reunion is cut short when a massive earthquake rocks San Francisco, leaving them to stumble desperately across the rubble in search of the ex they still love before the city crumbles—taking one, or both, of them with it.


1. Alfie Alfie
I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU’RE here in San Francisco and not in New York like you planned, or why it hurts so much that you didn’t tell me.

After last summer, I don’t know a lot of things.

I can’t tell you what the weather was like that day when I first noticed you in sophomore gym. I can’t remember everything about the way you made the required uniform shorts and T-shirt your own or exactly how you wore your brown curls. But I do know how brave you were when you helped that girl. Everyone laughed and pointed as she stood there frozen. Then you ripped off your hoodie and wrapped it around her waist, covering the back of her shorts. The whole time, you kept your expression so deliberate and your voice so matter-of-fact.

“Girls bleed. Get over yourself.”

If I say the way you looked at me as you ushered her into the locker room—daring me to laugh or feel sorry—caused tiny electric shocks to prickle my cheeks and shoulders and arms, you’d roll your eyes and tell me to quit being so dramatic.

You never saw it, but you were always so fierce, bearing witness to everyone and everything around you—everyone but yourself. You buried everything. Your emotions twisted so deep, they made a tornado of intentions. For me, it was always easy to get lost in the storm.

I’d hoped maybe after all this time, that would have changed.

But you brushed past me at the coffee shop today, as easily as you brushed aside everything we’d become. Seeing you after so long—feeling the electricity that tingled on my skin when your eyes met mine—I realized I would still happily weather all of it for you.

Your only-child life seemed so sterile next to my big, messy family, yet you carried so much more around. I never understood how you could live with all that noise in your head.

The entire year we were together, we were sprinting toward an end, never realizing what existed beyond the finish line.

But even then, we both knew we couldn’t keep up the race forever.

And if seeing you today in that crowded coffee shop is the last time, it’ll be enough to know you’ve found another path to explore.

About The Author

Photograph © Heather Jean Photography

Deborah Crossland teaches English and mythology at her local community college, studies mythology and depth psychology in her PhD program, and writes myth-based, contemporary novels for young adults. She is also a founding board member of the nonprofit Fernweh Collective, which focuses on cultural education through experiential learning. You can find her talking all things myth on Fernweh Collective’s happy hour video on YouTube. She lives in Northern California with her husband and her daughter’s very spoiled retired service dog.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 27, 2023)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665927123
  • Grades: 7 and up
  • Ages: 12 - 99

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Raves and Reviews

The Quiet Part Out Loud brilliantly navigates an emotional journey through the stages of love and forgiveness, heartbreak and hope. The kind of book that lingers beyond its pages. Moving and powerful.

– Laura Taylor Namey, New York Times bestselling author of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

"Emotions enhanced by terror run high, leading to a draining, heartbreaking conclusion. Readers will undoubtedly love or hate the ending, indicating the depth and power of the narrative and the characters."

– Booklist

"The fully realized, intersectionally diverse supporting cast and fervent discussions about religion imbue this surreal-feeling character study with intensity."

– Publishers Weekly

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