Alex Flinn

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Alex Flinn
Born (1966-10-23) October 23, 1966 (age 53)
Glen Cove, New York, United States
Alma materUniversity of Miami
GenreFantasy, Romance, Fiction
SpouseEugene Flinn
ChildrenKatherine Flinn
Meredith Flinn

Alexandra Flinn (born October 23, 1966) is an American writer of novels for young adults. To date, she has written twelve books and one original e-book, that have been published with another due in 2017. Her books have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists and have been translated into over twenty foreign languages.

Personal life[edit]

Flinn was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in Syosset, New York and Miami, Florida. At the age of five she started thinking about being a writer and submitted early efforts to magazines like Highlights, which did not publish them. At twelve, she moved to Palmetto Bay, Florida, a suburb of Miami, where she still lives. She had a hard time making friends at her new school, and she has said that this experience inspired much of her writing for young adults, particularly her book, Breaking Point. She graduated from Miami-Palmetto High School and was in a magnet performing arts program called PAVAC (Performing And Visual Arts Center), which inspired some of her book, Diva. She graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in vocal performance (opera) then went to law school at Nova Southeastern University[1] and practiced law for 10 years before quitting her day job to devote herself full-time to writing, following the acceptance of her third book.

She is married to Eugene Flinn and has two daughters, Katherine and Meredith.


Breathing Underwater and Diva[edit]

Breathing Underwater was Flinn's first novel. It was originally published in 2001 and was chosen a Top 10 ALA Best Books for Young Adults for that year. It tells the story of 16-year-old Nicholas Andreas, a wealthy Miami teen who is sent to anger management because his girlfriend, Caitlin, takes out a restraining order against him. Ordered by the judge to write about his relationship, Nick tells of falling in love with her, and the eventual time when his anger took over and he hit her. Flinn based the book in part on her experience as a lawyer working with domestic violence cases. The book is set in Miami and Key West, Florida. An excerpt from the book was included in Liz Claiborne, Inc's Love is Not Abuse curriculum, which was formulated to teach students about dating violence. Diva, a sequel to Breathing Underwater was released in 2006. It tells the story of Caitlin attending performing arts school as she gets over what happened between her and Nick and learns to be her own person while bonding with her often-flighty mother.[2][3][4][5]

Breaking Point[edit]

Breaking Point, Flinn's second novel, was published in 2002. It was a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. It deals with school violence and bullying. In it, Paul Richmond, who has trouble fitting in at a private school where his mother works as a secretary. People at school pick on him. Then, Paul meets Charlie, a more popular boy who seems to be Paul's ticket to fitting in. However, Charlie pressures Paul to commit acts of vandalism and break into the school and change his grade. Then, he asks him to do something more shocking.[6][7]

Nothing to Lose[edit]

Nothing to Lose (2004) is about Michael Daye, a 17-year-old boy, who runs away from home before his stepfather is killed. Michael finds refuge at a traveling carnival and also falls in love with a fellow carny, Kirstie. When Michael finds out his mother is on trial for murder, he must decide whether to stay with the carnival and Kirstie, or come back to Miami to try to help his mother. The book was chosen as a Booklist Top 10 Youth Mystery, and American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and an American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.[8]

Fade to Black[edit]

Fade to Black (2005) is perhaps Flinn's second-best known realistic novel and a frequent high school required read. Alex Crusan, a 16-year-old HIV positive high school junior, is attacked in his car early one morning and sent to the hospital. The novel is written in the perspective of three people: Alex Crusan, the victim; Clinton Cole, the suspect; and the witness, Daria Bickel, a young woman with Down's syndrome.[9]


Beastly is a 2007 novel by Alex Flinn. It was chosen as a VOYA Review Editor's Choice and was nominated for numerous reader-selected awards, winning the Detroit Public Library's Author Day Award. It was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. It is a retelling of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast set in modern-day New York City from the view of the beast. Flinn researched many versions of the Beauty and the Beast story to write her book. Many of these are playfully alluded to in portions of the book, particularly the chat room transcripts in which the character of Kyle talks to other teens who have been transformed into creatures.

Kyle Kingsbury, rich, handsome and popular, plays a mean practical joke on an outcast girl in his class, who is really a witch named Kendra in disguise. The witch then curses him for his cruelty. He starts to turn into a beast; however, because he performed a small act of kindness shortly before his transformation when he gave an unwanted rose corsage to a girl working a ticket booth, she gives him two years to break the spell, or remain a beast forever. The only way he can turn back to normal is if he truly loves a girl and gets her to love him in return, proving the love with a kiss. Kendra later offers Kyle further aid by giving him a magic mirror that shows him whomever he wishes to see. He is locked in a mansion-like apartment by his shallow, image-obsessed father. His only company is his housekeeper, Magda, and, at his request, a blind tutor named Will. After a year of being in this state, and trying and failing to find love, Kyle changes his name to Adrian to reflect his feelings of being a completely different person from the conceited, materialistic boy he used to be. When a robber stumbles into his garden Adrian offers him a deal; he won't report the robber to the police if the robber brings Adrian his daughter, Linda. She is Adrian's last chance to break the spell before his two years are up. Adrian realizes that Linda is the same girl to whom he gave the rose corsage. He fixes up a room for her, leaving roses and books for her to amuse herself with. When she arrives, she at first wants nothing to do with him as she feels he kidnapped her. As time passes, she slowly warms up to him and he finds himself falling in love with her. The two begin to have tutoring sessions together and during winter they go to a lodge. Shortly before the last year is up, Linda wishes to see her father once more. Adrian lets her see him with the magic mirror and she finds that he has become sick through drug use. Adrian quickly lets her go to him and offers for her to return to the apartment in the spring if she desires, this time as a friend and not a prisoner. On the last day of the second year, Adrian looks for Linda in the mirror and sees her being dragged into a building by a man. He rushes to her rescue and is shot in the process. As he lays dying, he asks Linda for a kiss. She kisses him, breaking the spell and turns him back to normal. He explains everything to Linda and the two go back and live in the apartment together. Adrian had also made a deal with Kendra, and because of which, Will regains his sight and Magda is allowed to return to her family. Kendra reveals that she is Magda, punished to remain a servant forever because of her careless spellwork but she can now return home as well. This story gives an exquisite moral lesson that,"Love doesn't have eyes for external ugliness,it only seeks internal beauty" [10][11]

Beastly: Lindy's Diary[edit]

This book is written as a diary showing the events of Beastly from Lindy's perspective, along with a few extra things. This was an original e-book and was also published as part of a special edition of Beastly in 2011.[12][13]


Bewitching, published in 2012 is another story involving Beastly's witch, Kendra. It begins with Kendra's original family and we get to see when she found out she was a witch. Then we see the story of Emma and follow her as we learn about her stepsister, who turns out to be manipulative. Kendra tries to help, but as usual, magic can sometimes be unpredictable.[14]

A Kiss in Time[edit]

A Kiss in Time was released in 2009. A Junior Library Guild selection for 2009, the novel is a modern version of Sleeping Beauty,[15] in which Talia, princess of Euphrasia, touches a spindle, falling into a deep sleep for three-hundred years. She wakes to the kiss of an American boy named Jack, on a tour of Europe. Since everyone in her kingdom is angry at her for touching the spindle, she persuades Jack to take her back to his Miami home, where she enters a modern world, replete with South Beach models and Jell-O shots. A humorous fish-out-of-water romance, Booklist magazine said in their review that "fans of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries and Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted (1997) will embrace this charming, lightweight fantasy." Publishers Weekly called the book, "clever and humorous," while Horn Book Magazine called it "satisfying." [16][17]


Is a melange of several fairy tales, including The Frog Prince, The Shoemaker and the Elves, and The Six Swans. Set in Miami, it tells the story of a teen who works at the shoe repair counter at a posh South Beach hotel until he is sent on a quest by a princess, whose brother has been turned into a frog by a witch and set loose in the Florida Keys. He goes on a long journey to find the frog but he finds the frog It was released on January 26, 2011.[18]


Towering is a retelling of Rapunzel, set in frozen Upstate New York. It is in two viewpoints, Wyatt, a teen who moves from Long Island after a tragedy, only to hear a strange voice, calling him into the wilderness, and Rachel, a girl who is locked in a tower. When the two meet, they begin to solve the mystery of why each is there. It was released in 2013.[19]


Flinn's Mirrored is a retelling of Snow White,[20] set in Miami Florida in the 1980s and the present day. It begins with the tale of Violet, a friendless, homely girl who discovers she has magic powers and uses these powers to acquire beauty. The tale continues in the present day with Celine, Violet's stepdaughter, who is more beautiful than she and the object of Violet's envy and wrath. The third viewpoint character is Goose, a little person who falls in love with Celine and tries to help her. Like Flinn's previous books, Beastly and Bewitching, Mirrored features the witch, Kendra. It was published on September 15, 2015.[21]


Flinn's Beheld was published in 2017. Like Bewitching, it deals with the witch, Kendra. It includes stories based upon several fairy tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling. All the stories are set in different historical eras and locations, such as the Salem Witch Trials, World War II London, and the present day. It follows the love affair between Kendra and a wizard named James, whom she met in Salem.[22]


Many of her books have made the American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults lists, as well as Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. They have also received such teen-selected honors as the International Reading Association Young Adult Choices list (Breathing Underwater, Nothing to Lose, and Fade to Black). Flinn's books seem to appeal to teens who might otherwise prefer not to read, which is the charge of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list.[23] Her books has also been nominated for numerous state awards. Breathing Underwater won the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award in 2004. Beastly was nominated for the 2009 Lone Star State (Texas) Award and recently won the teen-selected Detroit Public Library Author Day Award.


  1. ^ Flinn, Alex. "About the Author". HarperTeen. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  2. ^ Breathing Underwater (novel) by Alex Flinn
  3. ^ Diva (novel) by Alex Flinn
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Spring, 2001 Flying Starts: Alex Flinn". Publisher's Weekly. 2001-06-21. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  6. ^ Breaking Point (novel) by Alex Flinn
  7. ^
  8. ^ Nothing to Lose (novel) by Alex Flinn
  9. ^ Fade to Black (novel) by Alex Flinn
  10. ^
  11. ^ Beastly (novel) by Alex Flinn
  12. ^ Beastly: Lindy's Diary (novel) by Alex Flinn
  13. ^
  14. ^ Bewitching (novel) by Alex Flinn
  15. ^ Arias, Jacqueline (2016-04-19). "Is It a Good Idea to Remake 'Pride and Prejudice' to Suit Modern Times?". Preen. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  16. ^ A Kiss in Time (novel) by Alex Flinn
  17. ^
  18. ^ Cloaked (novel) by Alex Flinn
  19. ^ Towering (novel) by Alex Flinn
  20. ^ Ruse, Gary Alan (2015-10-06). "Alex Flinn's latest book is new take on Snow White". Miami's Community News. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  21. ^ Mirrored (novel) by Alex Flinn
  22. ^ Beheld (novel) by Alex Flinn
  23. ^ "2005 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). American Library Association. 2005. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2011.

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