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  • Writer's picturePJ Gardner Switzer

The Books that Made Me: Kelly deVos

Today we meet respected and delightful author, Kelly deVos. Get to know her better through the books that made her.

The books that made me love reading.

Trixie Belden!! Trixie Belden books are a series of middle grade mysteries. Trixie is a girl detective, like Nancy Drew, and she’s the first character where I really felt like I saw myself on the page. She isn’t specifically called “fat” but she is definitely coded in that direction. She’s routinely referred to as “round” and “plump.” She had experiences I could relate to, like having a sleepover at her friend, Honey’s, house and having trouble borrowing clothes that fit. But she has a boyfriend and is totally smart and solves mysteries and just generally kind of kicks butt.

The books that made me stay up all night

Maybe it’s cliché but I stayed up all night reading Wuthering Heights when I was in the sixth or seventh grade. I know it’s unhealthy but I do have a thing for Heathcliff.

The books that made me laugh out loud

My friend, Dusti Bowling, writes Middle Grade and most of her books have LOL moments in them. Definitely check out Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus!

The books that made me want to write

I always loved to write, even as a kid. I studied Creative Writing in college but I think it was Twilight that made me feel like I wanted to give publishing a real shot. I read that Stephenie Meyer was a mom from Arizona and it gave me a lot of inspiration and hope. Like if she could carve out time in her day to write, I could do it too.

The books that made me angry

I recently tried to reread Atlas Shrugged and wanted to throw it at the wall. Does that count?

The books that made me cry

The very ending of How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow (more on her below). If you’ve read that book, you probably know what I mean. That last page made be bawl my face off.

The books that made me swoon

Divergent. Looking at you Four!

The books that made me excited to read right now

Currently, I am reading several things. The first is Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren which comes out in February. It is inspired by the Cecil Hotel in L.A. which I’m super interested in and the book is all kinds of creep and spooky. I just started You’d Be Home By Now by the amazing Kathleen Glasgow. It’s an update of Our Town and I would read anything Kathleen writes. And finally, The Falling Girls by Hayley Krischer. I’ve heard it described as a Sapphic take on The Heathers so I am excited to read.

The books that made me like a new genre

A few years ago, I read Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I hadn’t read any science fiction in quite a while at that point and the book really reminded me why that can be a really cool genre.

Bonus: You are allowed to ask any author, living or dead, one specific question. Who is the author and what is the question?

Maybe Charles Dickens? Do Pip and Estella end up together?


Kelly deVos is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection.

Kelly’s work has been featured in the New York Times as well as on Vulture, Salon, Bustle and SheKnows. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, was named one of the “50 Best Summer Reads of All Time” by Reader’s Digest magazine. Her latest book, Eat Your Heart Out, is available now from Razorbill/PenguinTeen.


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