Jeff Zentner's picture

Jeff Zentner

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Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. Hes released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

He speaks fluent Portuguese, having lived in the Amazon region of Brazil for two years.

Genres: Young Adult Fiction
Jeff Zentner recommends
A Million Junes (2017)
Emily Henry
"A Million Junes is intricate, strange, ecstatic, and spellbinding. The sheer poetry and imagination of Emily Henry's writing won't take your breath away--you'll give it up willingly."
Dress Codes for Small Towns (2017)
Courtney C Stevens
"Courtney Stevens firmly reasserts herself as a master storyteller of young adult fiction; crafting stories bursting with humor, heart, and the deepest sort of empathy."
A Short History of the Girl Next Door (2017)
Jared Reck
"In the blink of an eye, A Short History of the Girl Next Door goes from hilarious to haunting to harrowing to heartbreaking to hopeful and back. You’ll never be sure exactly what kind of tears you’re crying. The riotously funny and achingly authentic voice of this gorgeous coming-of-age story will break your heart, but have no fear: it will piece it back together with the glue of love, hope, and humor, and it will be stronger than before."
Love, Hate & Other Filters (2018)
Samira Ahmed
"Love, Hate & Other Filters heralds a dazzling new talent. Samira Ahmed creates a masterful alchemy of heart, humor, profundity, poetry, romance, and humanity. Through the eyes of the richly drawn Maya Aziz, we get a powerful, timely-yet-timeless, and poignant story about the delicate dance of coming of age in two cultures."
After the Shot Drops (2018)
Randy Ribay
"This book isn't just an amazing read; its important."
The Beauty That Remains (2018)
Ashley Woodfolk
"The Beauty That Remains burns warm and bright with the fires of loss, love, and longing, and hums with poetry and song. This is the sort of book that pieces a broken heart back together, stronger than before."
Twelve Steps to Normal (2018)
Farrah Penn
"Step one: Pick up this compulsively readable book and fall in love with its richly drawn characters and deeply empathetic reminder that none of us are broken beyond repair. Step two: Repeat."
Tradition (2018)
Brendan Kiely
"Brendan Kiely's Tradition is a searing literary call-to-arms in the most powerful and just sense: it takes a sledgehammer to our rotten, dangerous, and deeply ingrained traditions, so that we can build something new and beautiful in their place."
The Looking Glass (2018)
Janet McNally
"Janet McNally’s writing glows like your best memory, sensuous and alive with moonlight and the smell of flowers."
See All the Stars (2018)
Kit Frick
"Kit Frick combines the hand of a consummate storyteller with the heart of a master poet to craft an intriguing, suspenseful, and compelling story of love, lies, and complicated friendship."
Damsel (2018)
Elana K Arnold
"Arnold is a master of writing the struggles of young women and the violence they endure. In Damsel, she gives us a suitably masterful, darkly gorgeous modern fairy tale of a young woman passing through fire to protect what is hers. You will not be able to look away."
A Breath Too Late (2019)
Rocky Callen
"An exquisitely played love song to life, in all of its hurts, wonders, memories, and loves. This book will remind you that you are needed, in this big and often messy world."
The Gravity of Us (2019)
Phil Stamper
"The Gravity of Us speaks poignantly of the things that will attend every human endeavor: family, struggle to know one's self, and the kind of love that makes you feel like you're hurtling to the stars."
A Sky for Us Alone (2019)
Kristin Russell
"A stirring, powerful, and heart-wrenching story of coming of age, falling in love, and trying to lead a life of dignity."
The Art of Losing (2019)
Lizzy Mason
"The Art of Losing is a lyrical and moving exploration of the fraught bonds of family, the suffocating bonds of addiction, and the warm, embracing bonds of love. This is a book you won't soon forget."
The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried (2019)
Shaun David Hutchinson
"Simultaneously hilarious and moving, weird and wonderful."
Sorry for Your Loss (2019)
Jessie Ann Foley
"Luminous, wise, lyrical, and hilarious. Pup Flanagan is the best sort of underdog hero. This book’s pages can barely contain the hugeness of its beating heart."
What I Carry (2020)
Jennifer Longo
"You will carry this book in your heart for a long, long time."
The Falling in Love Montage (2020)
Ciara Smyth
"A joyous, hilarious, big-hearted book with the kind of electric, rollicking voice that makes you want to live in its pages forever."
Ghost Wood Song (2020)
Erica Waters
"Ghost Wood Song sings a high and lonesome love song to family, to place, to music, and to love itself. It will make your heart dance."
Mayhem (2020)
Estelle Laure
"A beguiling, lyrical, beach-gothic page-turner."
Fadeaway (2021)
E B Vickers
"A compelling, propulsive read, filled with dark twists and turns and buried secrets. If you start reading, clear your schedule for the day."
Tell Me My Name (2021)
Amy Reed
"A harrowing, prescient vision of the near future. Amy Reed delivers a compelling and propulsive thriller with sentences that gleam like polished steel."
Indivisible (2021)
Daniel Aleman
"Indivisible is a heartbreakingly poignant and timely coming-of-age story of the human cost of a morally bankrupt immigration policy. This book is an unforgettable chronicle of the fiercest, indomitable love and devotion."
Indestructible Object (2021)
Mary McCoy
"A moving and masterfully drawn love letter to art, found family, and all of the messy but always wonderful shades of love, filled with as much soul as the city of its setting."
Smoke (2021)
Darcy Woods
"A compelling chronicle of a small-town American family navigating an economic hurricane in a rowboat filled with holes. You’ll cheer for them."
Paradise, WV (2021)
Rob Rufus
"Paradise, WV strikes like a copperhead, filled with dark hilarity, crackling Appalachian gothic mystery, and buzzsaw punk rock energy. Fans of Elmore Leonard, Harry Crews, and Daniel Woodrell, take note."
When We Were Strangers (2021)
Alex Richards
"When We Were Strangers is a sparkling, stirring ode to love, art, and unexpected human connection. It reminds us that while the valley of grief may be long, we can emerge from it into the light."
Take Me With You When You Go (2021)
David Levithan and Jennifer Niven
"What happens when you team up two unrivaled masters of storytelling at the height of their powers? You get a story glowing and triumphant with love and hope. You get 1 + 1 = 10. You get this book."
Hello (From Here) (2021)
Chandler Baker and Wesley King
"Years from now, when asked what lifeduring COVID was like, I’ll recommend Hello (From Here), because of what a witty, hilarious, heart-filled, and romantic reminder it is that love and light can emerge from the most trying times."
Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions (2022)
Navdeep Singh Dhillon
"This book, written in a voice that feels like the wind in your hair, is a love letter to the many Americas that make one country, to heritage, and to love itself. Reading Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions is the best decision you could make."
This Golden State (2022)
Marit Weisenberg
"This Golden State is that rarest combination of a page-turning, gripping plot that will keep you enthralled for hours, and a soul-stirring, coming-of-age story that will set your heart aflame."
The Words We Keep (2022)
Erin Stewart
"The Words We Keep is a luminous exploration into the restorative power of love and art. The only thing it contains more of than poetry is raw, unfiltered hope. This book is a healing balm to a wounded heart."
The Edge of Summer (2022)
Erica George
"Reading The Edge of Summer feels like spreading your arms wide and letting the summer sun warm your face and the wind off the ocean almost lift you off the ground. A gorgeous, evocative story of love, friendship, new beginnings, and navigating the valley of grief."
Dark Room Etiquette (2022)
Robin Roe
"DARK ROOM ETIQUETTE is an utterly harrowing, enthralling, and ultimately hopeful exploration of survival and the journey of recovery from trauma. This book will make you think, but more importantly, it will make you feel."
American Afterlife (2022)
Pedro Hoffmeister
"American Afterlife is a taut, gripping, and prescient exploration of survival and clinging to humanity in the wake of natural disaster, rendered to harrowing perfection by one of our finest writers."

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