9781616957773 | Trade Paperback | Soho Teen

It Wasn't Always Like This

In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging – as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder. When their families are massacred, Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.


On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the Church of Light and their descendants. She becomes a private investigator when a series of murders – whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her – indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma’s hope for finding the boy she’s certain is still out there…


Part thriller, part murder mystery, part fairy tale in the vein of Tuck Everlasting comes a story of accidental immortality, star-crossed romance, and a forever-seventeen-year-old girl who won’t give up the search for the boy she loves.

“Epic and addictive—a story with the soul of a romance and the pacing of a thriller.”

—Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures


“Not since Veronica Mars has there been such a wry and captivating teen detective. This wonderful novel is fun, romantic, and impossible to put down. Joy Preble has crafted a mesmerizing story that will thrill you while it melts your heart.”

—Margo Rabb, bestselling author of Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak


“A high-speed love story with an electric mystery at its center. Immortality hasn’t been this haunting, romantic, and thrilling in a long time.”

—Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not


“Immortality, first love, murder, and mystery come together in It Wasn’t Always Like This, an electrifying young adult novel.”



“A thrilling tale of a fountain of youth, a murderous Church of Light and Emma O’Neill and Charlie Ryan, in love and eternally 17, forced to separate and stay on the run…[A] great summer read.”

—Buffalo News


“Preble adeptly weaves together snippets of Emma’s past and present, gradually outlining her transformation from an optimistic, winsome teen to a hardened, lone-wolf type, albeit one whose heart still flutters for a certain eternal boy…[Readers] will be equally charmed by Emma’s noir-inflected narrative and her decades-long romance.”



“A captivating plot with some twists, an aura of time travel, and an array of vivid settings…[Readers] who relished the classic Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt will revel in this tale.”

—School Library Journal


“[Captures] the loneliness, isolation, and even regret that accompanies the secrecy required by eternal youth… A modern Tuck Everlasting with a thriller twist.”

—Kirkus Reviews


“Part paranormal mystery and romance with a strong female character searching for her long lost love.”

—School Library Connection


“While the murder mystery keeps readers hooked, the longing and heartache of Emma’s circumstances makes the fantasy feel very realistic, and together, these elements weave a strikingly gripping and enjoyable tale.”



“With its exciting plot and well-wrought characters, this novel emerges as a suspenseful treat with a gooey romantic center. The narrative alternates between scenes of Emma’s distant past with Charlie and her murder-mystery present, building to a final showdown that is both surprising and satisfying.”

—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

9780062321305 | Hardcover | Balzer + Bray

Finding Paris

A page-turning, evocative novel for fans of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and SPEAK, about a girl who must follow a trail of mysterious clues to discover what happened to her sister.


Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind – going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love.


But Leo isn’t going anywhere yet…until Paris ditches her at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris – a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared?


When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is a not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold tightly.

“An intricate guessing game of sisterly devotion, romance, and quiet desperation.” -School Library Journal

“A compelling page turner—the perfect mix of heart-stopping plot and memorable characters—fully formed, flawed, and worth cheering for. A road trip story, a mystery, and a romance, along with Preble’s pitch perfect descriptions of place and you’ve got a real winner. I couldn’t put it down.” -Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice

“Joy Preble’s signature style-breakneck pace, whip-sharp dialogue and sly humor—is the perfect fit for this ride-or-die novel of Leonora and Max. An inspiring story of lost souls, and the hope and compassion that must piece together a family long exiled and devastated by secrets.” -Adele Griffin, author of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

“Fast-paced with intriguing teen characters, a budding relationship and a bit of mystery—curiosity will keep those pages turning.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Preble skillfully paces the quest as her character development gently unfolds along the desert highway.” -Booklist

“Readers who appreciate adventure with a dose of romance will certainly enjoy…Finding Paris.” -Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

9781616954895 | Trade Paperback | Soho Teen

The A-Word: A Sweet Dead Life Novel

Jenna Samuels is about to turn fifteen. It’s been almost a year since her stoner brother, Casey, bit the dust. Almost a year since he returned as her guardian angel, along with his “angel boss,” Amber Velasco, the hot twenty-something former EMT. Almost a year since Casey and Amber used up their one-time-only angel power of flight to save Jenna from the evil Dr. Renfroe, swooping down to catch her as she tumbled off the balcony at the Houston Galleria. In short, a lot of A-word shenanigans and a mostly happy ending.


Except now Casey’s begun to wonder why he’s still hanging around – not that he minds protecting Jenna. She’s a handful, but there’s got to be a bigger picture, right? Something to distract him from his on again/off again, doomed relationship with cheerleader Lanie Phelps, who has no idea her boyfriend is, well, dead. After all, he can’t use his angel wings anymore. Neither can Amber.


Enter Bo Shivers, Amber’s “angel boss” – a mysterious A-word guy Jenna and Casey didn’t even know existed. Whiskey-guzzling. Handsome in a grizzled way. Unpredictable. Okay, make that crazy. Bo lost his angel wings in an earthly flight a long, long, long time back – and he’s been a thorn in Angel Management’s side ever since. But Bo knows something is coming. Something big. Something that was worth forfeiting wings for Jenna… something that might just change everything for everyone.


“Light, snarky, and heartfelt… The A-Word rolls along cheerfully through Halloween pranks, high school football, investigative reporting, angel-powered action, and a very realistic amount of aimless driving around.”

—School Library Journal


“Sassy, smart-mouthed, cowboy-boot fan Jenna Samuels is back once again, fighting evildoers with the aid of her angelic cohorts….. has many of the elements that made its predecessor, [The Sweet Dead Life], so much fun.”

—Kirkus Reviews


“[The Sweet Dead Life series] presents a fresh and humorous look at angels, sibling relationships, romance and the paranormal.”

—The Woodlands Online


“The earthbound angels are as authentic as the down-to-earth people in The A-Word, but where the book really spreads its wings is in the interaction between the two. Resourceful teens and heavenly beings team up to get to the roots of a very modern mystery, and the big questions of the universe share space with first dates and football games. The result: a smart, original (and slightly celestial) mystery with a distinctly Texan flavor.”

—Michael Northrop, author of Trapped and Surrounded by Sharks


“Joy Preble gives it all! Humor, wit, emotion, and romance! Fabulous fun!”

—New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan

9781616953683 | Trade Paperback | Soho Teen

The Sweet Dead Life

14-year-old Jenna Samuels is being poisoned. So she does the unthinkable: gets in a car with her stoner brother Casey. They crash rushing to the hospital, and Jenna awakes in the ER to find that Casey has died – and come back as her guardian angel. He’s now nauseatingly attractive to everyone and even more annoying to her, but they must work together to uncover the shocking truth about her poisoning and what it has to do with their father’s disappearance.

“A smart, sassy, supernatural mystery chock-full of heart, hope and fun.”

—New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith


“The Sweet Dead Life is mischief and mayhem, zippy one-liners, mystery and a tiny bit of tragedy. A-word: Awesome.”

—E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars


“There’s a whole lot going on here: poisonings, blackmail, sibling relationships, romance, and abandonment, in addition to angels, but the unifying thread is Jenna’s clever, bitter, self-aware, and loving voice…Preble’s lively descriptions and unusually well-drawn, caring sibling relationship (a topic not usually explored in teen fiction) are especially noteworthy.”



“A snarky, sarcastic murder mystery that I absolutely couldn’t put down!”

—Jack and Jill Magazine


“Bizarre? Yes, very. Fun to read? Yes, very.”

—The Examiner

9781402268755 | Trade Paperback | Sourcebooks Fire 

Anastasia Forever

Secrets within secrets. Truths within lies.


She was the darling of the glittering Winter Palace while her half brother Viktor was relegated to the shadows. Now he’s ready to take his turn in the spotlight… and revenge on the world that shunned him.



The visions won’t stop. One minute she’s in her bedroom on her cell phone. And the next she’s in the past witness to the private moments of the royal Romanov family.



He’s been eighteen for nearly century and finding Anne is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. But the magic in his blood is turning darker, forcing him to wonder whether he’s the most dangerous threat of all.


History Doesn’t Tell Us Everything…

“Bittersweet, beautiful, and absolutely breathtaking.” – Saundra Mitchell


“If you enjoy a little magic and mystery and Russian Folk tales in your reading then I highly recommend you check out this series.” – Sarah’s Books and Life

9781402244681 | Trade Paperback | Sourcebooks Fire


Anne Michaelson’s world turned upside down last fall when a handsome, blue-eyed and temporarily immortal Russian named Ethan informed her that she had a destiny to save the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, held captive for decades by the witch Baba Yaga. But Anastasia had her own thoughts about destiny. And Anne and Ethan discovered that some things aren’t so easily undone. Now, six months later, the craziness in Anne’s world hasn’t gone away. Neither have her feelings for Ethan. Anne still has powers she doesn’t fully understand. She’s still dreaming about Baba Yaga’s forest. And she’s got a new boyfriend – very normal and very sweet lifeguard, Ben Logan. As for Ethan, well, he hasn’t quite gotten over the events of last fall, either. And he definitely hasn’t gotten over Anne. In short, everyone’s haunted by something – or someone.


Enter the rusalka – a Russian folklore mermaid with a malevolent streak – and a particular interest in Anne. When Ethan suddenly returns from Europe, Anne’s world collides with the paranormal once again. Her heart torn between Ben and Ethan, Anne’s search for the rusalka’s identity reveals deep and startling secrets – including the true source of Anne’s powers.

“Even without having read the preceding book in this series, Dreaming Anastasia, I was able to not just follow along, but thoroughly enjoy Haunted. Ms. Preble has a masterful way of weaving a story that is not just romantic, but exciting and magical. You’ll be loath to leave Anne and Ethan behind when the book closes. Haunted is a wonderful and imaginative story for both older teens and adults alike. Entertaining and magical to the very last page.” – Long and Short Reviews


“…enjoyable, good for lazy afternoon reading.” – Night Owl Reviews


“”Haunted” is a fast and enjoyable read… Kudos to Joy for crafting an impressive second novel.” – Cracking the Cover


“Haunted is a nice follow-up to Dreaming Anastasia – it feaures the same sweet romance, stunning cover, and creepy, Russian villains. Preble does a great job of mixing history with fantasy into Anne’s crazy world. She also has a real gift for creating great bad guys… The Russian folklore elements make it unique, and Preble’s storytelling keeps you turning the page.” – One Page At A Time


“…all the fantasy, comedy and romance you could ever want but I think their genius is in the choice of villainesses… you will love it!” – Beauty Crazed


“Joy Preble has a knack for picking such intriguing creatures to act as her villains! …I will definitely be eager to continue the story when the third book comes along!” – Sweets and Stories


“Haunted packed quite a punch. I thought I knew what was going on – and I was right – sort of. Lots of mystery to this tale. Lots of stories within stories. The part of me that craves intricate layered fantasy loved this aspect… I also really enjoyed Joy’s writing. She’s on my radar now and I’ll defiantly be picking up her next work – whatever it may be.” – Red House Books


“…action packed and gripping from the start. Upon conclusion it is obvious that there is more to come from this intense story. I look forward to seeing if there is more to come from this journey.” – The Book Whisperer


“…an exciting sequel to Dreaming Anastasia… The Russian folklore was fascinating and I loved how masterfully Joy weaves it through the story. I also absolutely adored Anne’s best friend, Tess, who encourages Anne and has her back. Finally, I enjoyed the book’s fast-pace and the extraordinary ending that left me breathless and wanting more.” – Eating YA Books


“I have to say that there isn’t much to Haunted that I didn’t like…Preble has yet again crafted a fun and imaginative story that borders on the realistic. Yea, there are killer mermaids. Sure, there is a magical old witch. Uh-huh, there are loads of additional other-worldly type of events as well. But that’s what works so well. It’s perfect for the lover of paranormal fiction but also not so over the top that those who aren’t as fond of those elements will want to shy away. If you haven’t read Dreaming Anastasia pick it up, but make sure you have Haunted on hand too because you’ll want to start it right after.” – GalleySmith

9781402218170 | Trade Paperback | Sourcebooks Fire

Dreaming Anastasia

Sixteen year old Anne thinks her life is pretty ordinary – until she smacks into handsome, mysterious, and okay, annoying Ethan on her way to chemistry class. Now Anne has powers she doesn’t understand, a history altering mission she may not want, and a growing attraction to this blue-eyed stranger. And Ethan – who at eighteen made some choices he’s starting to regret – realizes that Anne is the girl for whom he’s been searching – for a very, very long time. Stir in doomed Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia – who is definitely not quite as dead as the history books say – and Baba Yaga, the legendary witch from Russian folklore, and you’ve got DREAMING ANASTASIA, a contemporary YA fantasy that alternates between the voices of Anne, Ethan, and Anastasia as Anne and Ethan join forces to battle the bad guys and save Anastasia. Only problem is – no one’s quite sure who’s really bad and who’s good. And everyone has some secrets.

“A very entertaining and original story. ” – The Book Lush


“The novel is cleverly written in alternating points of view (Anastasia, Anne, and Ethan) and takes you on a ride of paranormal fantasy, contemporary and historical fiction, with a little bit of romance. It’s the perfect blend that will attract a variety of readers.” – Examiner.com


“I really enjoyed this book. It made me want to research the Romanov family and the fairy tale character of Baba Yaga… DREAMING ANASTASIA is easy to read and an enjoyable story. Thank you, Ms. Preble, for a great read.” – TeensReadToo.com

“Dreaming Anastasia is a story of love and loss on many different levels. It was a wild, fun and sweetly romantic ride.” – Galleysmith.com


“Dreaming Anastasia is a fun young adult fantasy that takes the reader back and forth from current-day Chicago to the time of the Romanovs, and throws in elements of a Russian folktale for added chills.” – MsBookish.com


“Joy Preble has given readers an intriguing tale of magic, tragedy, love, and betrayal… Be prepared to fall into this story; your heart will ache for the characters and what they’ve suffered, especially Anastasia. Lovers of fantasy and romance will not be disappointed, and a sudden twist at the end will leave readers eyes wide and mouths agape… Dreaming Anastasia will most definitely be gracing my shelves from now on. ” – YABooksCentral.com