Hostile Questions: Brenna Yovanoff

Brenna Yovanoff HQ

Brenna’s skin is feeling a bit leathery.

Brenna Yovanoff is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in name that sounds like an 1840s Russian seafaring vessel that got frozen in arctic waters only to be discovered a century later with its crew, those who hadn’t been cannibalized by their former friends, mummified by the salt air, trapped forever in wracked postures of eternal agony. (She ought to write that; I get 25% of profits, Yovanoff.)

Her books are just as enigmatic. Whether you try to tag them as dark fantasy (The Replacement) or paranormal romance (The Space Between) or slasher (Paper Valentine) or horror (Fiendish) or god-even-knows-what (Places No One Knows), the pages are coated in a layer of post-Weetzie Bat fairy dust—except the dust is ash-black and leaves a bloody smear.

In short, you can’t trust Brenna Yovanoff. Don’t worry. Leave it to me. I’ll get to her to pick a genre already.

Just who do you think you are?

Abstraction and chaos. Smoke and vapor. The steam on the bathroom mirror. The cricket that lives in your closet and waits to start singing until you’re almost asleep.

Also, one time I thought I was an electrician—but it was only that one time, which is good. Because it was kind of dangerous.

PNOK Final Cover 101515.inddWhere do you get off?

Well, it’s usually supposed to be 18th and California, and I know this, I know it. And yet, the number of times I’ve gotten off at the Performing Arts Center instead because I got confused is really just a lot.

What’s the big idea?

Oh, for sure those scrubby gloves from TV that let you peel potatoes in two seconds. I think if I had a whole bunch of those, I’d be in pretty good shape. Also, what about barbecue sauce? Because that stuff is really good.

What’s your problem, man?

Where to even begin, Daniel! The plural of goose is geese, but the plural of sheep is still sheep, light is both a wave and a particle, the sky gets dark at night even though the universe is full of a hundred billion suns, a cat can be dead and alive at the same time as long as it’s in a box, I don’t know how magnets works, and a day has 24 hours, but a clock has 12!

Also, I’m only wearing one sock but I don’t know why.

Haven’t you done enough?

I’d like to answer this question, but I don’t really understand the premise.



About the Author:

Dan Kraus was Booklist's Editor of Books for Youth. He is also the producer and director of numerous feature films, most notably the documentary Work Series, and the author of several YA novels, including Rotters and Scowler, both of which won the Odyssey Award. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielDKraus.

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