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Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Writing fiction pieces can prove to be a humbling endeavor. Writers must not only have a strong grasp on the nature of their characters, but they must also create a believable, comprehensive plot that challenges their developments. Autumn Cornwell says that what readers would be must surprised to learn about her first novel, Carpe Diem, is that eighty percent of the occurrences within the story are taken from personal experience.

Vassar Spore is in one word a planner. Determined to be valedictorian of her class in the Seattle Academy of Academic Excellence, she strives to outdo and overachieve in everything in everything she does. The sophomore of sixteen lives a life of meticulous strategy, yet all is altered when her grandmother bribes Vassar’s parents to send Vassar backpacking through Southeast Asia in the summer’s unforgiving heat. In Asia, Vassar embarks on a life-changing adventure with free-spirited Grandma Gerd. Nestled in the breathtaking views and appalling accommodations, Vassar uncovers a family secret and finds first love.

Readers will enjoy Cornwell’s honest humor as they explore Asia through the eyes of a satisfying narrator. Pieces of Latin embellish the fast-paced novel with relevance, as the title Carpe Diem translates to “seize the day.” Unlike many young adult novels, Carpe Diem refreshes readers with hints of cleverness and overall clarity to otherwise foreign concepts and locations. Overall, Cornwell makes a lasting first impression on her audience, leaving all cheering for her inevitable success as a notable modern young adult author.



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