Egmont acquires extraordinary, unflinching YA from Sera Milano

Defiance in the face of terror and hatred sears across Milano’s timely and heart-wrenching multi-protagonist YA debut. This Can Never Not Be Real is an account of the hope and humanity inherent in us even at the darkest of times, a book for teens facing the barrage of bleak reports that fill our newsfeeds – and for anyone who needs to see that behind the hate that makes the headlines, there is always love.

The two-book deal for exclusive UK/Commonwealth rights was secured by Sarah Levison, Egmont Senior Editor, with Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency. This Can Never Not Be Real will publish in Spring 2021. A second stand-alone YA title will follow in Spring 2021.

In the unremarkable town of Amberside, the unthinkable has happened: Terrorists have attacked a local festival. No one knows why, and no one knows who the attackers are, but that doesn’t matter. What matters first is survival. And what matters after that is survival, too. Milano’s novel is a powerful reminder for teens facing the barrage of bleak reports that fill our newsfeeds that, behind the hate that makes the headlines, there is always love.

Levison, Fiction Senior Editor, said ‘This Can Never Not Be Real is the rarest of books; it makes you cry, it makes you laugh, it makes you think again about what it means to be human. Told through the voices of five teenage characters – who are both brilliantly ordinary and utterly extraordinary – Sera creates a compelling and terrifyingly familiar scenario that will resonate with every reader. I cannot wait to publish This Can Never Not Be Real and share its heart-breaking, heart-racing and ultimately hopeful message with the world.’

Sera Milano

Sera Milano has previously written two novels for younger readers, Boy Meets Hamster and Boy Meets Ghoul, under the name Birdie Milano. She earned a first-class honours degree in creative writing from St Mary’s University, London, before completing her MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University, where she won the 2015 United Agents Prize for Most Promising Writing for Young People. This Can Never Not Be Real is her first young adult novel. She lives in Guildford, Surrey.

This Can Never Not Be Real publishes Spring 2021 in paperback

£7.99 for readers aged 14+

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