A New York Times Modern Love essay by journalist and author Lisa Selin Davis served as the inspiration for her young adult novel, Lost Stars (HNH Books for Young Readers). The coming of age story set in upstate New York in the 1980s deals with all that is agonizing and exhilarating about being a teenager, with plenty of references to ‘80s music and pop culture.
Sixteen-year-old Carrie is struggling to cope with the loss of her older sister, Ginny in a tragic accident, and its impact on her surviving family members. Carrie leans on Ginny’s friends to cope, but their tendencies to party hard and skip school lead Carrie’s father to send her to a summer work camp at a state park in upstate New York. Once there, Carrie meets Dean, a guy who sees Carrie for who she really is, and helps her become the person she ultimately wants to be.
Davis’ essay, What Lou Reed Taught Me About Love, recalls her own experience as a troubled sixteen-year-old working at Saratoga Spa State Park. It was there that Davis met a boy who helped her realize her own beauty, and carved a special place in her heart for Lou Reed’s classic song, “I’ll Be Your Mirror.” But it is there, as Davis points out, that the similarities between Carrie and herself end. “Carrie is way smarter, cooler, and more talented than I am,” Davis says.
Lost Stars is Lisa Selin Davis’ second novel. She has also written the adult novel, Belly. Her articles have appeared in several prominent publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.