How do you forgive yourself—and the people you love—when a shocking discovery leads to a huge mistake? Acclaimed author Christine Heppermann’s novel-in-verse tackles betrayals and redemption among family and friends with her signature unflinching—but always sharply witty—style. For fans of Elana K. Arnold, Laura Ruby, and A. S. King.
When Jorie wakes up in the loft bed of a college boy she doesn’t recognize, she’s instantly filled with regret. What happened the night before? What led her to this place? Was it her father’s infidelity? Her mother’s seemingly weak acceptance? Her recent breakup with Ian, the boy who loved her art and supported her through the hardest time of her life?
As Jorie tries to reconstruct the events that led her to this point, free verse poems lead the reader through the current morning, as well as flashbacks to her relationships with her parents, her friends, her boyfriend, and the previous night.
With Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty and Ask Me How I Got Here, Christine Heppermann established herself as a vital voice in thought-provoking and powerful feminist writing for teens. Her poetry is surprising, wry, emotional, and searing. What Goes Up is by turns a scorchingly funny and a deeply emotional story that asks whether it’s possible to support and love someone despite the risk of being hurt. Readers of Laura Ruby, E. K. Johnston, Elana K. Arnold, and Laurie Halse Anderson will find a complicated heroine they won’t soon forget.
Christine Heppermann is the author of Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty, which received five starred reviews and was named to five best of the year lists in 2014, and Ask Me How I Got Here. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Highland, New York.
“Like the mycelial networks growing for miles underground, this sharply observed, often slyly funny free-verse novel runs deep, tackling the secrets that break through the surface of our lives, threatening to poison everything.” — Laura Ruby, two-time National Book Award finalist and author of Bone Gap
“Intricately wrought yet deceptively simple, Christine Heppermann’s What Goes Up is a tender, heartbreaking investigation of the long-reaching effects of betrayal.” — Elana K. Arnold, author of the Printz Honor book Damsel
“Visceral and poignant, What Goes Up examines the fallout of bad decisions, while avoiding judgement.” — Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Heroine
"Heppermann uses verse to deconstruct and build up plot points in a skilled manner and keeps the pacing interesting and unpredictable. . . . A quick and engaging read." — Kirkus Reviews
“Heppermann's verse is clear and accessible, laced with humor and teen self-deprecation. Jorie is a delight. . . . At times, she makes her point with delicious subtlety, while at others, she gets right in the reader's face. . . . [An] engaging, provocative narrative." — Booklist
“Heppermann’s spare, short verses, with precise attention to line length and spacing, smoothly weave together art and biology . . . [A] story about pain, connection, and forgiveness.” — Horn Book Magazine
“Framed by the aftermath of a momentous party . . . this novel in verse traces the origins of Jorie’s problems, showing readers how they mushroom into more than she can handle alone. Jorie tells her story through short, light poetry that often plays with form. . . . Nuanced and thought-provoking . . . Suitable for . . . readers drawn to the intersection of science and art.” — School Library Journal