Maria Padian

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Maria Padian

Goodreads Author

in New York City, The United States



Member Since
February 2012

I'm a reader and an author: not a critic or a reviewer! I believe in the power of stories. So while I definitely have my opinions about the things I read, my primary goal is to share great books and promote literature, which is one of my great, abiding passions.

That said, I'm no longer going to affix stars to the books I read. I'll offer a comment or two, and maybe if I'm deliriously in love and can't contain my excitement I color in five of those stars ... but as a creator of stories I well know what goes into writing a book, and can't possible assign a "number" to anyone's work. I'm in awe of anyone brave enough to put it out there. Carry on!

To learn more about the books I've written, visit my website at

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Popular Answered Questions

Maria Padian Goodness, I hope I never write a scathing review! Honestly, if I read something I don't like I'll simply forego commenting on social media. This…moreGoodness, I hope I never write a scathing review! Honestly, if I read something I don't like I'll simply forego commenting on social media. This business is too tough for us to be taking pot shots at each other. As an author, I really try to use my online presence to promote and support other writers and their work.

That said, I'm often surprised and dismayed by the tone of many reviews in the "blogosphere." They seem like/feel like mean girls on the middle school playground instead of professionals discussing literature. At worst, they read like the comments section of a local newspaper.

I remember once getting upset over a review which ripped one of my books, and my editor at the time (a very experienced, smart person at Knopf) said to me, "Maria, don't you think I know what I'm doing? I'm a pro. If I thought those things were lacking in your book I would have flagged them and we would have worked through them during revision"

So true! It was the reminder I needed that a traditionally published book has gone through MULTIPLE revision passes, not only at the agenting stage but at the editorial stage and copy editing. And wow, copy editors are STICKLERS. Talk about tough love. But ... I am always so very, very grateful to my copy editors.

Reviewing is not creative writing, but I do think it is an art in itself. I enjoy reading great literary criticism and there are definitely reviewers whose work falls in that category. But in the Wild West of Goodreads you encounter ... well, let's be kind and call it The Wide Range of Reviewing Talent and Abilities. As an author you learn how to parse the useful feedback from the ... useless.

Thanks for your interest in my work and taking the time to read my books .(less)
Maria Padian Invest in a good chair. I wrote my last book in a cheap folding chair and my back is still killing me.
Honestly, though, the best writing advice I ever…more
Invest in a good chair. I wrote my last book in a cheap folding chair and my back is still killing me.
Honestly, though, the best writing advice I ever got was from my college advisor, a very successful published poet. He told his students, “Most art isn’t very good and most art doesn’t last.”
Not what an aspiring twenty-something novelist wants to hear, right? But it was empowering. Because it liberated me from the burden of greatness. I didn’t need to write perfect poems or bestselling novels or prize-winning short story collections. I simply needed to write my best, truest, most authentic stories without worrying about how my work “measured up.”
So write from your heart, then rewrite as if your life depended on it. Not because you want to be famous or make a lot of money or get great reviews, but because you care about it, deeply. Sherman Alexie says he writes in blood because he knows how it feels to bleed. So that’s it, really: write in blood.
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Average rating: 3.85 · 2,581 ratings · 660 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors

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Out of Nowhere

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Jersey Tomatoes are the Best

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3.73 avg rating — 188 ratings — published 2008 — 10 editions
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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2013
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Wrecked: Special Preview - ...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings2 editions
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More books by Maria Padian…
If our books are our babies, then I’m definitely feeling like the mother in a house full of adolescents this week: pulled in multiple directions, plenty of drama to contend with, and struggling to stay on task.

The youngest child, WRECKED, got some nice news yesterday: it’s going to be the Common Read this fall at South Dakota State University. Go Jackrabbits!
My publisher, Algonquin Young Read... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on April 11, 2018 07:32 • 13 views

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Grit by Gillian French
by Gillian French (Goodreads Author)
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Hang on, YA world: here comes Gillian French.

This young Mainer is writing fast and writing well. Her books will have you turning pages quickly, her descriptions will make sentence-lovers smile, and her characters will pop off your pages. Most importa
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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
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So, this book was listed for the National Book Award AND got slammed by Kirkus. Hmmm ...

I liked this book. A lot. There are laugh-out-loud moments, interesting characters, terrific peeks into the world of a Mexican-American family living in Chicago,
Maria has read
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
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As Toni Morrison showed us with "Beloved," Colson Whitehead shows us with "The Underground Railroad" that magical realism may be the only authentic way to even approach writing about slavery. This book is a must-read. Whitehead said he made the consc ...more
Maria entered a giveaway
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys (Goodreads Author)
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Maria has read
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
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Although ostensibly a memoir about Attorney Bryan Stevenson's work defending death row inmates, "Just Mercy" is a vitally important book about much, much more. It's about justice and our common humanity; about faith and redemption; about our nation's ...more
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Green Plate Special by Christine Burns Rudalevige
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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas (Goodreads Author)
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I don't do "stars" but if I did ... there aren't enough for this DEBUT novel (yes, can you believe this is a first??)
Angie Thomas manages to create very real, complex characters who speak with authentic teen voices while following a story arc that co
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Captivate by Carrie Jones
Captivate (Need, #2)
by Carrie Jones (Goodreads Author)
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More of Maria's books…
“If Im so brave, why do I feel like I might just ...
Maria Padian, Jersey Tomatoes are the Best

“I wish we could start over. I wish we were meeting for the first time. Clean slate.’

Haley considers this. It’s such a little-kid term. ‘Do-over!’ they’d shriek on the four-square court. The kickball field. Back when there was no mistake you couldn’t fix, no hurt you couldn’t heal with Band-Aids, hugs, and snacks. She’d love a do-over as well.”
Maria Padian, Wrecked

“The instant the words are out of his mouth, he realizes his mistake. It’s like getting smacked in the back of the head with a snowball: a thud, followed by glass-sharp prickles of dread melting down your neck.”
Maria Padian, Wrecked

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