ADDRESSES: Home—New York, NY. Agent—c/o Atria Publicity Department, Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
Brave New Girl, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Crooked, MTV Books/Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Serious as a Heart Attack, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Louisa Luna's debut novel, Brave New Girl, features a hostile, alienated teenager named Doreen. Doreen narrates the story, and like the classic alienated teen narrator Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye, she is complex and sarcastic. Michael Cart noted in Booklist that despite its youthful narrator, the book "will best suit those readers mature enough to embrace its attitudes and edginess."
Luna took a look at what happens to convicts after they leave prison in her second novel, Crooked. Narrated by Melody Booth, who has just spent three years in prison, Crooked follows Melody's struggle to construct a decent life. There are many challenges in her way, however, including those that come from within herself. Melody bears the scars of an abusive past and struggles with drugs. The author shows the hardships and trauma Melody endured both in and out of prison and the ways in which these events continue to affect her. As Whitney Matheson reported in a USA Today review, "Luna is not afraid of presenting complex characters and brutal detail, which is both page-and stomach-turning." "Luna's second novel is a crisply written, incisive story," concluded Jeff Zaleski in Publishers Weekly.
In Serious as a Heart Attack Luna created a work with what Houston Chronicle reviewer P.G. Koch called a "high gross-out quotient." The story's central character, Queenie Sells, is a heavy drinker who nonetheless retains a keen mental edge as she makes her way through the seedy side of life in New York City. Although Queenie is now living on the fringe of society, she once attended a private school where she met wealthy Bostonian Hummer Fish. Encountering Fish later in life, Queenie undertakes the task of locating his underworld mistress while keeping it a secret from his fiancée. Koch found the plot thin, but added that Luna still "manages to reveal Queenie's vulnerabilities without once lowering her stubborn defenses of black humor, drunken binges and a caustic class consciousness."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2001, Michael Cart, review of Brave New Girl, p. 1547.
Houston Chronicle, July 4, 2004, P.G. Koch, review of Serious as a Heart Attack, p. 17.
Publishers Weekly, April 1, 2002, Jeff Zaleski, review of Crooked, p. 51.
USA Today, June 25, 2002, Whitney Matheson, review of Crooked, p. D5.
TeenReads.com, http://www.teenreads.com/ (January 20, 2006), biographical information about Louisa Luna.