Leah Raeder

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Leah Raeder

Goodreads Author


Born
April 06, 1982

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Member Since
March 2010

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LEAH RAEDER is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago.

(And she still writes pretentiously lyrical fiction.)

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Popular Answered Questions

Leah Raeder Hi Ksenia,

Yes, I will no longer be reviewing books. While most readers are respectful of others' opinions, and I've enjoyed some great conversations…more
Hi Ksenia,

Yes, I will no longer be reviewing books. While most readers are respectful of others' opinions, and I've enjoyed some great conversations here about books I've both loved and hated, ultimately the trolling became too much to deal with. People have one-starred my books in retaliation, attempted to sabotage my sales, stalked me on social media, and repeatedly harassed me because of my reviews. When reviewing begins to negatively impact your livelihood and peace of mind, you have to ask yourself whether it's worth it. For me, the answer is no. I prefer to put my energy into writing books rather than dealing with trolls.

There's a belief among some people that authors should never criticize books, and I find that disappointing and bizarre. A writer, someone who lives and breathes words, is in a unique position to comment on literature and illuminate it in ways that others may not see. Literature has a long tradition of writers critiquing writing, sometimes harshly. Criticism is vital to all arts. Without criticism, nothing improves and no one learns or grows as an artist.

Unfortunately, the climate here at GR--and on social media in general--is changing for the worse. When I first began using Goodreads as a reader six or so years ago, it was easy to stumble across intelligent, thoughtful discussions with others who were passionate about books. GR had an intimate book club atmosphere. Whether or not you agreed with someone, you knew you were both passionate about the same things: discovering great books, and chatting with fellow booklovers.

Now there's a distinct Us vs. Them mentality, where discussions often devolve into fans and haters attacking each other for liking or not liking a book. This cultivates a culture of fear where people are afraid to speak honestly, lest they face backlash from an angry mob. Every day I see reviewers I admire get trolled and attacked for daring to express their honest opinions, especially when those opinions are critical. I've watched too many great reviewers hang up their hats because of the backlash. And I've continually stood up for reviewers' rights, which to me seems totally absurd because those rights should be self-evident: everyone is entitled to express their opinion on art without fear of bullying or harassment. That means readers *and* writers. An arts culture that frightens and silences critical voices is essentially dead.

The fearmongering and harassment isn't for me. I talk about books because I love books, and I don't censor myself. But I've got too many kickass novels to write to waste my words on trolls.

To those of you who continue to review in the face of such hostility: you have my deepest respect. You are brave souls. Keep thinking critically, writing honestly, and talking passionately about books. Keep authors on their toes. Keep challenging other readers to see new things in books, and keep demanding better books. There'd be no literature without readers. Keep letting us know you're out there, reading, opining, liking and disliking, raging and squeeing--and please, above all, respect each others' right to express an opinion.(less)
Leah Raeder Wow. This is an excellent question.

My primary advice: don't be afraid. New Adult is, well, new, and that means it doesn't have to conform to the…more
Wow. This is an excellent question.

My primary advice: don't be afraid. New Adult is, well, new, and that means it doesn't have to conform to the expectations and conventions of long-established genres/categories of fiction.

HEAs aren't mandatory. Romance isn't mandatory. Sex isn't mandatory. (Though one of NA's strengths is that you can write gloriously graphic sex scenes, unlike in YA. And I think we should be seizing this opportunity better--like, you know, by showing gay sex.)

The majority of New Adult squeezes itself into boring molds: white, straight, beautiful people fucking. Bad boys seducing virgins. Sexual trauma as the default backstory for "damaged" girls. Misogyny, both from the so-called "heroes," and internalized misogyny from the heroines themselves (slut-shaming, girl-hating, why does no heroine ever have any female friends who are not competitors?, etc.).

We can do better than this. NA is a wild, untamed frontier. I've refused to conform to the emerging popular conventions of this subcategory, and I hope others join me in doing so.

Let's see some fucking queer characters already. Let's see characters of color. Let's see characters with disabilities. Let's see characters of limited economic means struggling to make it in an increasingly class-hostile world. Let's see characters who don't go to Ivy League schools, but rather community colleges--or who skip college entirely and enter the workforce.

Let's see moral grayness, in all forms. Flawed characters. Hard choices. Angry, diabolical, ruthless heroines. Antiheroines. Unlikable characters who eventually grow and change and win your heart.

Let's see reality in its whole rainbow spectrum, not the same fucking rich white boys banging naive disempowered virgin girls.

Be brave. Take a risk. Shape New Adult into the glorious thing it can be. Dare to be diverse, and I'll have your back. And so will my readers.

Bring it.(less)
Average rating: 3.8 · 24,839 ratings · 4,588 reviews · 5 distinct works
Unteachable

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3.81 avg rating — 19,643 ratings — published 2013 — 17 editions
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Black Iris

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3.76 avg rating — 3,125 ratings — published 2015 — 8 editions
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Cam Girl

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3.73 avg rating — 1,591 ratings — published 2015 — 6 editions
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Just a Touch: The Atria Ind...

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4.12 avg rating — 351 ratings — published 2014 — 5 editions
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Crave: The 2015 Atria Indie...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 89 ratings — published 2015 — 2 editions
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More books by Leah Raeder…
Two starred reviews for Bad Boy

Kirkus & Booklist Starred ReviewsI’m wildly excited to announce that my forthcoming novel Bad Boy—a thriller about a trans man struggling to define his masculinity in a toxic, misogynistic world—has gotten starred reviews from both Kirkus and Booklist. Woo!


Public appearances

That’s right. IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING.


In 2017, I’ll be appearing at events to talk about my writing and gender transition. De...

Read more of this blog post »
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Published on October 14, 2016 11:36 • 193 views

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Leah’s Recent Updates

Leah Raeder wrote a new blog post
Two starred reviews for Bad Boy
I’m wildly excited to announce that my forthcoming novel Bad Boy—a thriller about a trans man struggling to define h... Read more of this blog post »
Leah has read
Cam Girl by Elliot Wake
Cam Girl
by Elliot Wake (Goodreads Author)
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Update: November 20, 2015

Full blog post to come, but I had to share a sneak peek of this with you guys...

Cam Girl got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Along with Black Iris, that's two stars for me in one year.

Not bad, eh? brb losing my shit

[im
...more
4527753
" I have never been so utterly disgusted with this site.

Fuck that woman, and every single person who agreed and supported and liked her status. Fucking
...more "
Leah and 50 other people liked Baba 's status update
Baba
Baba is 30% done with Cam Girl:  photo oie_t7ErFTmRnUih_zpswrtq1bye.png
Beautiful writing. I wouldn't have expected anything less from Leah.
Leah and 51 other people liked Baba 's status update
Baba
Baba is starting Cam Girl:  photo oie_vGByVjo2OvuQ_zpscykfby2u.gif
Needless to say that I have high hopes. *fingers crossed*

P.S. I'm curious about the girl on girl action. :)
Leah has read
Bad Boy by Elliot Wake
Bad Boy
by Elliot Wake (Goodreads Author)
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[image]

The concept of this one has changed pretty damn drastically. It takes place in-universe with my three previous books. The hero is a member of the vigilante group Black Iris. You'll see a lot of familiar faces.

Get ready for some mindfucking. An
...more
Grey by E.L. James
" [image] "
" You are awesome and this is awesome. Writers: read this shit. "
"Hi, and welcome to my page of Resources for Writing Marginalized Perspectives! Representation is awesome, but is it awesome if done poorly? The answer may surprise you! (The answer is no. Did that surprise you? Lord, I hope not.) Before I kick off..." Read more of this blog post »
More of Leah's books…
“...You should love something while you have it, love it fully and without reservation, even if you know you'll lose it someday. We lose everything. If you're trying to avoid loss, there's no point in taking another breath, or letting your heart beat one more time. It all ends." His fingers curl around mine. "That's all life is. Breathing in, breathing out. The space between two breaths.”
Leah Raeder, Unteachable

“You can call it love, or you can call it freefall. They're pretty much the same thing.”
Leah Raeder, Unteachable

“There are moments, when you’re getting to know someone, when you realize something deep and buried in you is deep and buried in them, too. It feels like meeting a stranger you’ve known your whole life.”
Leah Raeder, Unteachable

Polls

What do you want to be our contemporary group read for October?

 
  37 votes, 22.6%

 
  23 votes, 14.0%

 
  19 votes, 11.6%

 
  16 votes, 9.8%

 
  15 votes, 9.1%

 
  15 votes, 9.1%

 
  11 votes, 6.7%

 
  8 votes, 4.9%

 
  5 votes, 3.0%

 
  5 votes, 3.0%

 
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  5 votes, 3.0%

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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Romance Readers R...: RRRC 5th Reading Tournament - Participants 58 277 Apr 20, 2014 06:12PM  
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The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Fall 2014 Completed Tasks: Do Not Delete Posts 4668 1079 Dec 01, 2014 08:53AM  
You'll love this ...: wolkenlos - 2014 Chunksters 25 59 Dec 12, 2014 01:24PM  
Fifty Shades of R...: ~~2014 A-Z AUTHOR CHALLENGE~~ 36 219 Dec 27, 2014 11:38AM  
Coffee & Books: 2014 Read the Alphabet 59 175 Jan 04, 2015 07:26PM  
“And the rest is rust and stardust.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, 'Consume me'.”
Virginia Woolf, The Waves

“I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and hardy, and free.”
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“Technology... the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it.”
Max Frisch, Homo Faber

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

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105814 Velvet Pony Press — 2 members — last activity Jun 08, 2013 05:50PM
A group for and about Velvet Pony Press authors and books. Author Q&As, discussions, giveaways, and more!
25x33 Ask Nenia Campbell — 31 members — last activity Mar 06, 2015 06:08PM
LET'S TALK ABOUT ME. LOL. JK. I'm not that egocentric. :D
220 Goodreads Librarians Group — 83746 members — last activity 0 minutes ago
A place where all Goodreads members can work together to improve the Goodreads book catalog. Non-librarians are welcome to join the group as well, to ...more
137151 Literary Fiction Dialogue — 164 members — last activity Jun 13, 2018 10:11AM
A place for literary fiction readers and writers to engage in an open dialogue concerning the state of literature today, book recommendations, discuss ...more
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Comments (showing 1-47)    post a comment »
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Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* Thank you for accepting my friendvite - especially in light of all the batshit going on with goodreads lately :)

Looking forward to chatting books with you!


message 46: by Bianca

Bianca I kinda had a mini heart attack when I found out that my local bookstore carries Unteachable. Too bad it doesn't come in the original cover. But who am I kidding, I'm going to pick it up anyway >__>


message 45: by Leah

Leah Aly∞ wrote: "Thank you for accepting my request! <3"

Girrrrrrrl. ♥


Aly's Bookish Wonderland Thank you for accepting my request! <3


message 43: by Leah

Leah Navessa wrote: "There's this Hozier song called Jackie and Wilson with the line:

"Me and my Isis growing black irises in the sunshine"

I THINK OF BLACK IRIS EVERY TIME I HEAR IT ^_^"


YESSSSSSSSS ME TOO. ♥♥♥


message 42: by Navessa

Navessa There's this Hozier song called Jackie and Wilson with the line:

"Me and my Isis growing black irises in the sunshine"

I THINK OF BLACK IRIS EVERY TIME I HEAR IT ^_^


message 41: by Leah

Leah No prob, Ksenia. Nice to meet you.


message 40: by Ksenia

Ksenia Lea, thanks for accepting my friend request.


message 39: by Leah

Leah Oh yes. It will be.


message 38: by Navessa

Navessa If you ever decide to kidnap me, let it be like this:




message 37: by Leah

Leah Brigid (is a massive coffee addict) wrote: "Thanks for the friendship, Leah.

My thoughts lately:


"


PRETTY MUCH.

Also Scar. <3


Brigid Thanks for the friendship, Leah.

My thoughts lately:





message 35: by Leah

Leah Thanks, guys. I have the utmost respect (and worry) for those of you who continue reviewing and braving the hostility. <3


message 34: by Navessa

Navessa Leah wrote: "@Navessa & Vane: I removed my reviews due to trolling, stalking, and backlash against me and my books, not just here but on all my social media accounts. As much as I wanted to stand firm in the fa..."

*inconsolable sobbing*


message 33: by Bonnie

Bonnie That's shit. I'm sorry people are such assholes, Leah. I loved your reviews and you were totally my go-to person if I was on the fence about a book.


message 32: by Vane (last edited Mar 11, 2015 11:29AM)

Vane J. Wow, Leah, I'm sorry you had to go through that. Given the things that have happened because of book reviews, I don't blame you for deleting your reviews. It's a sad thing people behave this way, though.


message 31: by Leah

Leah @Navessa & Vane: I removed my reviews due to trolling, stalking, and backlash against me and my books, not just here but on all my social media accounts. As much as I wanted to stand firm in the face of trolling, some seriously organized silencing tactics were being used. At the point where you start worrying if you need to alert your local police about online stalkers because someone is mad about a book review you wrote , it's just not worth it anymore.


message 30: by Vane

Vane J. @Navessa I asked myself the same thing.

@Leah WHERE ARE THEY? I loved them. :'(


message 29: by Navessa

Navessa WHERE DID ALL YOUR REVIEWS GO?

*sadface*


message 28: by Leah

Leah CamRebel wrote: "Thank you, tesoro. <3"

♥♥♥


message 27: by Camilla *tactile seeker* (last edited Feb 15, 2015 12:08PM)

Camilla *tactile seeker* Thank you, tesoro. <3


message 26: by Leah

Leah Navessa wrote: "OH, HAAAIIII."

HERRO. I DID NOT KNOW YOU ALSO WRITE. HOW COOL ARE YOU.


message 25: by Navessa

Navessa OH, HAAAIIII.


message 24: by Leah

Leah Ash Wednesday wrote: "Belated Birthday Wishes!!! <3

"


<3 <3 <3


Ash Wednesday Belated Birthday Wishes!!! <3




message 22: by Leah

Leah Cathryn wrote: "Got my signed copy of Unteachable with the original cover today. So happy! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

Haha, awesome gif. And you're very welcome. <3


message 21: by Cathryn

Cathryn Got my signed copy of Unteachable with the original cover today. So happy! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

 photo tumblr_inline_mg2d3c9ilL1rv1jfr_zps2b2ada6b.gif


message 20: by Leah

Leah Ash Wednesday wrote: "I FUCKING LOVE YOU, YOU FUCKING ROCKSTAR!!!

And yes, when does high school end, really?"


Ash! Insane <3 back at you, girl.

AND YES. THESE AND OTHER QUESTIONS WILL BE EXPLORED IN blah blah blah. :D


message 19: by Ash Wednesday (last edited Feb 15, 2014 06:09PM)

Ash Wednesday I FUCKING LOVE YOU, YOU FUCKING ROCKSTAR!!!

And yes, when does high school end, really?


message 18: by Leah

Leah Wendy Darling wrote: "FYI--your avatar always makes me laugh when I see it. CLEVER GIRL."

:D


Wendy Darling FYI--your avatar always makes me laugh when I see it. CLEVER GIRL.


message 16: by Leah

Leah Beatrix wrote: "Hi Leah,
Just to let you know that the interview's been posted on Way Too Hot Books blog! :)
http://waytoohotbooks.blogspot.com/20..."


Awesomesauce. Thank you! <3


message 15: by Beatrix

Beatrix Hi Leah,
Just to let you know that the interview's been posted on Way Too Hot Books blog! :)
http://waytoohotbooks.blogspot.com/20...


message 14: by Bianca

Bianca It was kind of a joke title. You know how so many NA..."

LOL I never really thought much of book titles but I admit I was curious to what Unteachable meant to the story. The title makes the book stick out somehow though ;D


message 13: by Leah

Leah Bianca wrote: "Leah, I was looking at GR's lists and I saw you voted for Unteachable for Worst Book Titles. You don't like your book title? :p"

It was kind of a joke title. You know how so many NA books are titled Un-something? I couldn't think of a better title, so I just called it Unteachable, but then it sorta stuck and I decided to keep it, even though it still sounds ridiculous to me. :D


message 12: by Bianca

Bianca Leah, I was looking at GR's lists and I saw you voted for Unteachable for Worst Book Titles. You don't like your book title? :p


message 11: by Leah

Leah Ana RiTa wrote: "This has got to be the best one yet

found it on BookLikes bwahahahaha"


#winning


message 10: by Leah

Leah Nenia wrote: "Yayyyyy! I'm friends with Leah the Awesome! <3"

Hullo. ♥


message 8: by Leah

Leah Baba ♥♥♥ Marcus, Tyler, Tate, Dan, Ty, & Hunter wrote: "I don't accept friend invites for the time being but I make an exception for you coz you are awesome too! Thanks for the friend invite. Look forward to chatting books with you. :)) <3"

Awww, thank you. <3


Baba  I don't accept friend invites for the time being but I make an exception for you coz you are awesome too! Thanks for the friend invite. Look forward to chatting books with you. :)) <3


message 6: by Leah

Leah Beatrix wrote: "Hi Leah :)
You're awesome ! :*"





Beatrix Hi Leah :)
You're awesome ! :*


message 4: by Leah

Leah Bianca wrote: "Thanks for accepting my friend invite! Obviously I loved Unteachable! I'm actually rereading some parts after thinking about Maise and Evan for a day :P

And I've been seeing your comments on All O..."


Awwww, I'm blushing. So glad you loved UT. <3


message 3: by Bianca (last edited Aug 16, 2013 06:51AM)

Bianca Thanks for accepting my friend invite! Obviously I loved Unteachable! I'm actually rereading some parts after thinking about Maise and Evan for a day :P

And I've been seeing your comments on All Our Pretty Songs. I must really love your writing since I find even your simplest thoughts amusing ;D


message 2: by Leah

Leah Georgia ♥ Team Dex ♥ wrote: "Hey Leah! Thank you for accepting my friendinvite! I fell in love with "Unteachable". Amazing job, exceptional writing style.

Nice meeting you! :D"


I LOVE your review. Thanks for reading and writing such a beautiful response. <3


Georgia ♥ Team Dex ♥ Hey Leah! Thank you for accepting my friendinvite! I fell in love with "Unteachable". Amazing job, exceptional writing style.

Nice meeting you! :D


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