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ALIKA TANAKA YARNELLSLATE & ARROW
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SLATE & ARROW

Go ahead. Take the plunge into the black.
Aren't you curious?

Book Cover

Quirky high-school loner Sable Daigo is so desperate for a friend that she talks to a stone pendant she finds buried in the garage—and the stone talks back. As if Sable isn’t awkward enough, now she’s known as the crazy girl with the pet rock. But it’s no ordinary stone: it carries a piece of Sable’s soul.

Sure, it might be fun for Sable to have a chat with her soul if it could tell her what Mom is hiding, or who’s setting fires in town, or what’s up with this message-in-a-bottle that reads “die soon.” But instead, the stone tells Sable to crash her crush’s party—and oh yeah, don’t worry about death because the afterlife afterparty is pretty great. Except the part where you have to die to get there.

Then Sable meets a boy in a skeleton costume who makes her question her purpose on the planet. Just when Sable needs a guide more than ever to make sense of her brand new love life, the stone pendant is stolen from her, severing the connection with her soul. Now Sable must choose between living a lie or letting herself die.

SLATE & ARROW explores the idea of a world beyond the physical plane, where “magic” is sometimes more real than “reality.” It questions the idea of “purpose” while embracing elements of mystery and plenty of romance. SLATE & ARROW is a currently unpublished, dual-POV YA novel for anyone who has ever wanted to hear what their soul has to tell them while trying to survive senior year—literally.

Author Photo

Alika is a bit of a weirdo.

When she’s not writing, reading, or dancing in her PJs, she makes themed playlists of her favorite tracks (eleven songs on the eleventh day of each month), and takes local pictures of those sacred places between abandoned beauty and rotten treasure. She also collects rocks.

Alika received her MFA from the University of San Francisco and won first place in the Backwards City Review fiction contest for her short story, “S.” Some of her other work has been published in literary journals such as Pax Americana, Syntax, Thieves Jargon, Switchback, and Cipactli. She is a member of SCBWI and is Asian American writing books with diverse characters. SLATE & ARROW is her first novel: a young adult contemporary with magical elements, blending dark mystery and edge with light quirk and hope.

She currently lives in San Diego and is working on her next books, which include some familiar characters in addition to a whole new cast of oddities. Contact her via email, social media, or telepathy.