Today we are very excited to share a special interview with author Sarah Lyu (I Will Find You Again)!
Read on to learn more about her, her book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Sarah Lyu
Sarah Lyu grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She loves a good hike and can often be found with a paintbrush in one hand and a cup of milky tea in the other. Sarah is the author of The Best Lies and I Will Find You Again. You can visit her at SarahLyu.com.
Website * Twitter * Instagram * Facebook * TikTok
About the Book: I Will Find You Again
All the Bright Places meets Ace of Spades in this smart, twisty teen thriller about a girl who can’t stop pushing herself to be the best—even after losing her best friend and the love of her life.
Welcome to Meadowlark, Long Island—expensive homes and good schools, ambition and loneliness. Meet Chase Ohara and Lia Vestiano: the driven overachiever and the impulsive wanderer, the future CEO and the free spirit. Best friends for years—weekend trips to Montauk, sleepovers on a yacht—and then, first love. True love.
But when Lia disappears, Chase’s life turns into a series of grim snapshots. Anger. Grief. Running. Pink pills in an Altoids tin. A cheating ring at school. Heartbreak and lies. A catastrophic secret.
And the shocking truth that will change everything about the way Chase sees Lia—and herself.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write I Will Find You Again?
Sometimes the inspiration for a book comes during the writing process because I’m often not sure what the story is about in the early drafts. Initially, I was inspired by the idea of writing about Asian-American overachievers and the setting of this affluent town in Long Island (fictional, but based on a real place). But the further I got in the process, the more I was drawn to the intensity of Chase and Lia’s relationship. They’re each other’s first loves, but because they have this huge, deep history as childhood best friends, their relationship feels much older in a sense, and I loved writing their conversations—about ambition and longing, about choosing between being successful or being happy, about the difficult compromises we sometimes have to make to sustain a romantic relationship. They loved and they fought; they fell apart and fell back together. They experienced the rare kind of love that feels like a conversation you never want to end.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in I Will Find You Again?
Lia Vestiano: tragic heroine, curious wanderer, and the love of Chase’s life. I could talk about Lia for days. What I love most about the way we come to understand her is how misunderstood she is at the beginning. Chase has this very specific view of Lia built through years and years of their history: that Lia is spoiled and rich, that Lia has never had to struggle, that Lia couldn’t possibly understand the pressure Chase is under. But Lia pushes back on this view and demands to be seen for who she really is—and we can see glimpses of it from the start, even if Chase can’t. Sometimes the way we see someone is so persistent, so insistent, that it blinds us to who they really are. Even though Lia isn’t present in every scene, the force of her character continues to challenge Chase throughout the book and by the end, Chase has gained a hard-fought understanding of not only who Lia was but also who she is herself—and who she could be.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
I have this terrible habit of coming up with a title for a book only to hate it a week later. My initial title was Perfect Rebels which is what the book is called in the contract, but almost immediately after I came up with it, I began lobbying to change it. For a long, long time, it was just untitled. But then I was really inspired by one of my favorite ice dance programs, “Find Me” by my favorite duo, Papadakis/Cizeron. It’s about two lovers who lose and find each other and it just felt perfect for Chase and Lia. I ended up taking a line from the spoken word piece in the program for the title.
YABC: What scene in I Will Find You Again are you most proud of, and why?
One of the reasons I love YA so much is that these young characters are often seeing their parents in a different light for the first time. I really love that because they’re recognizing the adults in their lives—the ones who’ve taken care of them (or should’ve), the ones who’ve held so much authority and power over them—as human beings. It’s also part of the process of discovering their own identities in contrast to these adults. I loved writing many scenes, particularly the ones between Chase and Lia, but I’m probably most proud of the ones where Chase begins to understand her father and their difficult relationship. For all of her life, she’s seen him as something between a hero and a monster but once she learns more about his past, she comes to understand that what’s driven him his whole life is this immense fear of failure and fear of not being enough. It’s a starting point for her to understand and examine what drives her and why—and if she wants to continue being driven by them.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
I used to think the most important things to learn about writing was the more technical stuff—plot and structure are particular nemeses of mine—but lately I’ve begun to think that the biggest lessons for me (and ones I’m still learning over and over) are patience and self-forgiveness. I’m pretty impatient by nature and I’m a really slow writer (not a recommended combo, ha). I’m constantly reminding myself as I work on my next book that these things take time and that I can’t force a story’s development. Sometimes ideas need space and the best work comes from letting them breathe.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
When my editor sent me the cover, I actually gasped because of how stunning it is. Laura Eckes, the designer, did a phenomenal job, and what I love most of all is the intensity she’s captured. Before seeing it, I wasn’t sure what to expect since the title is so long, which can be tricky, but she’s managed to take the lengthy title and use it to her advantage while creating something perfect for the book. I hope we see more photographic covers because I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I saw mine.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
I recently read and adored Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s adult but so much of it is set in the main characters’ youth that I think it’s a great read for fans of YA. I loved it so much I never wanted to leave the world Zevin had created.
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from I Will Find You Again?
This book is incredibly personal to me. For Chase and Lia, I excavated a lot of my own history: struggles with depression and mental illness, nursing big ambitions and the stress of college applications, not fitting in within my family, and the fear of losing control. I see teens still struggling with these issues today (maybe even more than when my generation were teens): that pressure of never making a mistake, of having to know exactly what you want to do in life, of getting into an elite college. When you’re seventeen or eighteen, everything seems so huge, like one wrong step could ruin your life, and I remember that fear so vividly. But being years removed from it, I can see how harmful those beliefs are, and how they’re not even true. I wanted to write a book that captured these feelings but also examined them. I wanted to offer hope for those who feel far from perfect, who make mistakes and worry they’ll never get another chance.
Title: I Will Find You Again
Author: Sarah Lyu
Release date: Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Ages: 14 and up, Grades 9 and up
~ Giveaway Details ~
Three (3) winners will receive a copy of I Will Find You Again (Sarah Lyu) ~US Only (No P.O Boxes)!
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
4 thoughts on “Author Chat With Sarah Lyu (I Will Find You Again), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only (No P.O. Boxes)!”
Adding this to my tbr! Sounds thrilling.
This looks like the perfect read
This sounds dark and I’m here for it!
My twin would love this!