"The first book in Bishop's Tate McCoy series will have readers eager to hear more from her pragmatic, sarcastic, yet sweet 16-year-old heroine. Tate's ability to compartmentalize her fears and emotions, her attempts to preserve her optimism through small gestures, and the tension and mystery surrounding the crime make Bishop's debut an introspective page-turner."
— Publishers Weekly
"Yet another tale of a plucky girl who overcomes the obstaclesbut this one floats."
"What a fine book! My So-Called Ruined Life takes you on a hard walk through a difficult subject, yet is full of sweetness and humor. Tate McCoy is a keeper, and so is her best friend, Kale. I felt like I was right there during their conversations and excursions, and found Tate’s reflections on her life and painful situation deeply meaningful. Tate is a kid who prevails , her humanity fully intact."
Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson , author of Target , and The Parallel Universe of Liars
"Readers will fall in love with brave and funny Tate McCoy in this powerful and heartfelt debut about human fallibility. One of the truest characters I've had the good luck to discover in YA recently."
Beth Ann Bauman , author of Jersey Angel and Rosie and Skate
“Melanie Bishop is not afraid to address tough issuesfrom unspeakable violence to dysfunctional family relationshipswith realistic details and hit-you-in-the-gut emotion. The plot gracefully unfolds to a stunning climax that forces the charactersand readersto reconsider the nature of love, justice, and forgiveness.”
Christine Seifert , author of The Predicteds
Tate McCoy has not spoken to her alcoholic mother in two years when her mom is murdered. If this were not enough to endure at age sixteen, Tate has to face the fact that her father is the prime suspect. Convinced of his innocence, and of her own resilience, she sets out to prove her life is not ruined. Amid this life-shattering tragedy, Tate takes up swimming and finds solace in her best friend Kale, volunteer work, the great outdoors, and a new crush. But after discovering a horrible secret, Tate questions everything she thought she knew about her parents. This is the first book in the Tate McCoy series.
Melanie Bishop writes fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays, and has taught all of these subjects for the past twenty-one years at Prescott College in Arizona where she is founding editor of Alligator Juniper , Prescott's award-winning national literary magazine. Bishop divides her time between Prescott, Arizona, and Carmel, California.
About the Author
Melanie Bishop writes fiction, nonfiction and screenplays, and has taught all of these subjects for the past twenty-one years as a professor at Prescott College in Arizona. Her memoir, Some Glad Morning , will be published in 2013 by Outpost 19 . Melanie has published short stories in numerous literary magazines, including Glimmer Train , Greensboro Review and Georgetown Review , and has a story forthcoming in Potomac Review . Melanie is founding editor and fiction and nonfiction editor of Alligator Juniper , Prescott College’s award-winning national literary magazine. My So-Called Ruined Life is her first Young Adult novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book speaks to today's culture of strange news & unexpected violence. I have often wondered 'what about the kids' and your book makes it so real. Tate McCoy and her friends are in that surreal world of the unthinkable AND they are still teenagers, trying to figure out who they are. This is an important book.
This book is fantastic and hold a passion that makes yo want to keep reading
In My So-Called Ruined Life, protagonist Tate McCoy struggles to find buoyancy, "that place right below the surface" where she can float enough to swim tirelessly. Her alcoholic mother has been murdered, her doting father is being charged for the crime, yet Tate doesn't allow herself to drown in self-pity. She has a list of plans, a saucy best friend, an adventurous aunt, and a dreamy boy giving her swimming lessons. In short, in an age when so many narratives revolve around damaged protagonists making horrible decisions, Tate McCoy is a welcome anomaly—a wise, resilient young woman whom readers will not only root for, but admire. Unlike Tate, whose buoyancy is so hard-won, readers will be immersed and swept up in the first few pages. So deeply engrossed are we in the tightly-plotted story, so happy to be carried through Tate's difficult yet inspiring journey, when we reach the end of Bishop's streamlined, graceful novel we hardly notice that we never wanted to come up for air. Lucky for us, My So-Called Ruined Life is only the first book in an on-going Tate McCoy series forthcoming from Torrey House Press, and writer and educator Melanie Bishop is at the top of her game.
A great read! Meant to be for young adults but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I have young adult grandchildren. Great writing, awesome characters and a can't put it down kind of a mystery for a plot. ENJOY!