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Ariel Kaplan Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

We Regret to Inform You (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
We Are the Perfect Girl (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Ariel Kaplan was born in California, and was an imperfect baby before she grew into an imperfect adult. At times, she makes perfect chocolate cupcake, and her trick is to leave out the eggs, which only get in the way of the great chocolate flavor.

Two of her favorite movies from childhood are “Harvey” (the movie where Jimmy Stewart’s BFF is a six foot tall rabbit only he can see) and “The Empire Strikes Back”. She feels that this is probably as much as you need to know about her.

When she was seven years old, her family moved to Virginia, where she spent as much of her childhood as possible playing in the woods and read all of the folklore she was able to get a hold of.

Ariel has her BA in religious studies and history from the College of William and Mary, she also has an MLS from Florida State University. She lives in Virginia with her family, where she has lived for over thirty years of her life.

Kaplan worked for many years as a statistical programmer, where she mostly helped scientists work on a big cancer screening trial. She was pretty good at it, but is not entirely sure how she was able to get the job. This job is one she had after getting her BA, and before getting her MLS.

Kaplan likes tea, cats, young people, in between people, old people, coffee, books. She also likes folktales, sci-fi tales, re-imagined folktales, fantasy tales, as well as other stories that know how to whistle a tune. Being a warm-weather person, she has always been fond of the month of May.

While writing, she eats a lot of oatmeal. She prefers hot, preferably caffeinated, drinks while she writes, ones that are breakfast related, as she writes a lot in the mornings.

While working on one of her books, her husband caught her researching sperm banks. It forced her to have to talk really fast.

She writes young adult fiction, and her debut novel, “Grendel’s Guide to Love and War” was published in the year 2017. She also uses the pen name of A E Kaplan.

“Grendel’s Guide to Love and War” is the first stand alone novel, which was released in the year 2017. Tom Grendel lives a quiet life, mowing lawns for his elderly neighbors, writing in notebooks, and pining for Willow, the girl next door that rejects the “manic-pixie-dream” label.

When Rex, Willow’s brother and the bro-iest bro that ever wore a jockstrap, begins throwing some wild parties, the idyllic senior’s community where they live is turned into a war zone. Tom is pissed and rightfully so, his father is an Iraq vet, and the noise from these parties triggers his PTSD. He devises a plan to end the parties forever. Of course, it isn’t that easy.

One retaliation leads to another, and things soon get out of control, driving Willow and Tom apart, even while the parties continue unchanged. Add in an angsty existential crisis that is born after he reads from his sister’s Philosophy 101 homework, a decade of unresolved bagged that stems from his mom’s death, and a botched break-in at someone’s artisanal pig farm. The question is not so much whether Tom is going to win the day and get the girl, but if he is going to survive it all whole.

The book is a fun and quirky read with some sharp and witty writing and the teenage characters engage in some conversations that are often very hilarious. Both Grendel and Ed are superb characters. For some, the book is a refreshing book that is powered by a wonderful narrative.

“We Regret to Inform You” is the second stand alone novel, which was released in the year 2018. Mischa Abramavicius is a talking, walking, top scoring, and perfectly well-rounded college application in human form. She gets rejected by both the Ivies, as well as her awful safety school, and is shocked and devastated. Each of the sacrifices her mom made to send her off to prep school, the blatant resume-padding extracurriculars (like Students for Sober Driving), late nights spent cramming for tests, and feelings of burnout. All of it for nothing.

Mischa struggles with the prospect of having an uncertain future, and wonders how this could have happened to begin with. Could it be possible her transcript was hacked? She gets the help of her sometimes crush and best friend, Nate, as well as a group of eccentric techies called “The Ophelia Syndicate”. Mischa begins an investigation that is going to shake the quiet community of Blanchard Prep to its brick foundations.

This book does a great job at talking about heavy themes such as the relentless search for the perfect school as well as overachieving. Kaplan delivers an often times hilarious senior year woe, and takes a serious look at the weight of expectations as well as the pressures a lot of high school students will face.

“We Are the Perfect Girl” is the third stand alone novel, which was released in the year 2019. Aphra Brown is outgoing and bold. Bethany, her best friend, is achingly gorgeous. They both could do a little with self-esteem, but together they could win over Greg D’Agostino. He is a proverbial ten that can speak six languages, well, seven if smoldering gazes count as a language.

What starts as just an honest mistake turns into an elaborate deception, where Bethany goes out on dates with Greg. Aphra coaches her on what she has to say, and texts him, pretending to be Bethany. The whole time, she tries and fails to tramp down her hopeless crush. It is all just a matter of time before it all comes crashing down. The question is: What is going to happen when Greg finds it all out? Will Bethany and Aphra’s relationship survive the results?

The book features a stellar romance and the entire story is really funny, too. It is a humorous and clever retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac story, it also does a great job of exploring topics such as family, self-worth, mental health, and friendship.

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