Then Everything Happens at Once (Hardcover)
From the Lambda Award-winning author of Girl Mans Up comes an empowering, sex-positive coming-of-age story about a teen exploring first love and desire, as her rocky relationship with her own body and a pandemic threaten to sabotage everything. Perfect for fans of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and Cool for the Summer.
Baylee has never been kissed but she wants to do way more than that. She’s had a huge crush on her gorgeous best friend and neighbor Freddie for years, but since she doesn’t look like his usual type, the judgmental voice in her head tells her he’ll never see her as more than a friend. It feels like she’ll spend the rest of high school fantasizing on the sidelines while everyone else dates and hooks up.
Then Baylee meets Alex online and she starts to fall for this sweet, funny barista who likes her just as she is. It’s new, electric, and all-consuming to be around Alex. But when Freddie makes a move on Baylee and a virus shuts the world down, Baylee finds herself torn.
Everything is happening at once, and she is left navigating the messy waters of love and desire. It helps that she’s observed her friends’ relationship drama, so she knows exactly what mistakes not to make . . . right?
This sophomore novel from M-E Girard centers a fat, confident girl going after what she wants and learning to love herself along the way.
M-E Girard’s debut, Girl Mans Up, won the Lambda Literary Award and was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award. She lives just outside of Toronto, Canada, where she splits her time between writing YA fiction, being a mom to a toddler, and working as a registered nurse. M-E dedicated the bulk of her nursing career to working with special-needs kids, and more recently she was an ER and ICU nurse during the first waves of the pandemic. A 2013 and 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow, M-E is a proud feminist who is endlessly fascinated with what it means to be a girl—especially a queer, fat girl. You can find her online at www.megirard.com.
Girard (Girl Mans Up) portrays Baylee’s mistakes and triumphs with nuance while tackling negative self-talk and anti-fat rhetoric amid unprecedented crisis in this honest and believable portrait of a teen navigating her sexual awakening. — Publishers Weekly
"Girard's strength as a writer is in giving Baylee voice as an outwardly stronger person whose inner thoughts exist in a state of turmoil. The character and story are highly relatable and potentially validating for readers who are figuring out their identities or those who could benefit from their own tumultuous teenage experiences—especially during the pandemic—being externally validated." — Horn Book Magazine
Give to high school readers seeking stories about finding your self-worth. — School Library Journal
"Achingly relatable and gloriously messy, Then Everything Happens nails the all-important journey of learning how to get out of your own way. Girard writes capital-F Feelings with true mastery." — Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer
"M-E Girard gifts us with a complex heroine who is vulnerable, funny, passionate, and always curious. This novel asks all the tough questions we must grapple with as we come of age and reminds us beautifully that the answers start to come when we learn to love ourselves.” — Abdi Nazemian, author of Stonewall Honor Book Like a Love Story and The Chandler Legacies
“An honest and compelling tour de force about finding yourself and your first love—in more than one person—and questioning yourself every step of the way.” — Mindy McGinnis, award-winning author of The Female of the Species
“Baylee’s witty, down-to-earth voice, oscillating between self-confidence and self-loathing, is utterly real and compelling. She’s someone who thinks a lot about rules and risks, and Girard’s astute choice to set the novel as the coronavirus pandemic begins to unfold means that the stakes for Baylee’s choices about what rules to follow and what risks to take are extremely high. I read this book in one sitting—I had to find out where Baylee’s choices would take her!” — Sara Ryan, author of Lambda Literary Award finalist Empress of the World