The Art of Saving the World

<p>Five blond teenage girls - identical but for minor differences - stride forward alongside each other. Large, decorative text saying The Art of Saving the World covers part of the illustration. The color scheme is teal and muted pink.</p>


impossible to put down
Kirkus Reviews
a provocative, genre-bending
look at exploring identity
Publishers Weekly
a zippy sci-fi plot that barrels
along at a breathless pace
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
an authentic exploration of
[what makes us who we are]
Booklist

One girl and her doppelgangers try to stop the end of the world in this YA sci-fi adventure.

When Hazel Stanczak was born, an interdimensional rift tore open near her family’s home, which prompted immediate government attention. They soon learned that if Hazel strayed too far, the rift would become volatile and fling things from other dimensions onto their front lawn — or it could swallow up their whole town. As a result, Hazel has never left her small Pennsylvania town, and the government agents garrisoned on her lawn make sure it stays that way. On her sixteenth birthday, though, the rift spins completely out of control. Hazel comes face-to-face with a surprise: a second Hazel. Then another. And another. Three other Hazels from three different dimensions! Now, for the first time, Hazel has to step into the world to learn about her connection to the rift — and how to close it. But is Hazel — even more than one of her — really capable of saving the world?

Amulet Books (ABRAMS)
(release date: September 15, 2020)

The night Hazel Stanczak was born, an interdimensional rift tore open in the backyard. Sixteen years later, she finds out why.Publisher: Amulet Books (ABRAMS)
Genre: young adult fantasy
Release date: September 15, 2020
ISBN hardcover: 978-1419736872
ISBN ebook: 978-1683356448
Pages: 390
Cover: Owen Freeman (illustration), Hana Anouk Nakamura (design)

The representation of mental health issues is at times so painfully accurate that the novel becomes difficult to read but at the same time, impossible to put down. Refreshingly, Duyvis finds time to discuss painful periods and what an endometriosis diagnosis means for a teenager. A midnovel twist takes the standard chosen-one plot formula and tips it on its head, then wrings what’s left for all the angst and existential crises it’s worth.
A compelling narrative based around the subversion of generic fantasy and science fiction fodder.

Duyvis’ rich, layered character development — grounded in Hazel’s raw, first-person perspective — offers an authentic exploration of questioning sexuality and asexuality, what makes us who we are, and what our responsibilities are to ourselves and to others.

Even if sci-fi isn’t your favourite genre, The Art of Saving the World by Corinne Duyvis will win you over with its intricate plot and relatable heroine.

Duyvis subverts the Chosen One trope, with a hero thoroughly unprepared for her burden … [A] provocative, genre-bending look at exploring identity.

Duyvis capably balances a zippy sci-fi plot that barrels along at a breathless pace with an intriguing look at how one girl in five different worlds could be both the same and different; Hazel multiplied is Hazel and un-Hazel in satisfying, thought-provoking ways.

The main characters are unique and empowering, and sure to entertain. … This is a fast-paced adventure story with the perfect mix of fantasy and coming-of-age realistic fiction.

This was a fun read with touches of interesting real world insight. … It’s a wild ride, without a doubt. And such a unique concept. … [Duyvis] takes an opportunity to enrich this story with lots of depth, including introducing a character who identifies as asexual, talking realistically about mental health, and providing the first character that I am aware of in YA lit that struggles with endometriosis and painful periods.

Also, there is a dragon. I feel like everyone should know there is a dragon. And the dragon is really cool.

This was a unique concept with strong characters and some insightful discussion. It’s interesting to see how different Hazel and her life is in different dimensions and yet how alike it is in many ways. Like most teens Hazel is trying to figure out who she is and what her place is in this world, she just has to do it with several different versions of herself while literally trying to save the world from a dimensional rift that somehow seems tied to her. It’s a wild ride that I really recommend.

  • Perhaps! Contact my publisher; they’re in charge of these decisions. If you contact me directly, I probably won’t be able to help. I only get a limited amount of copies for personal use, and sending them abroad (which is nearly always the case) costs an awful lot of money. I’d have to spend easily €30-50 of my own money for each requested book, which I can’t afford. Sorry!
  • If an edition isn’t listed in the “editions” section of the book’s individual page (or if no such section exists), it either means that no translation is forthcoming, or that I’m not yet supposed to talk about it.

    Either way, the page will have all the information I’m able/allowed to give you.

    If you’d like to see a book translated in your language, the best approach is to reach out to local publishers to bring the book to their attention and express interest in a local edition.

  • Thank you for asking. Although I never want to dictate reviews or articles, a lot of people seem unsure about what words are or aren’t okay to use, especially with regards to disability or autism.

    Autism: For both Denise and myself, feel free to use “autistic” or “with autism.” I’m fine with either term. That said, I prefer the former, so please don’t go out of your way to use person-first language. There’s also no need whatsoever to correct anyone else who uses person-first language to refer to either Denise or myself.

    Disability: The same applies. Either “disabled” or “with a disability” is acceptable. I lean toward the former even more strongly in this case.

    Other phrasing: I’d appreciate it if you avoided inherently negative phrasing like “suffers from autism” or “afflicted with autism.” Depending on context, phrases like “struggles with autism” may be fine, as Denise does in fact struggle with her autism throughout the book – just like she struggles with people’s reactions to her autism.

    Conversely, seemingly positive phrases like “overcoming autism,” “inspiring,” and “high-functioning” are loaded terms within the disability community. I would ask people to consider those terms carefully and read up on the context.

    The diagnosis of “Asperger’s” is no longer in use at the moment, and certainly wouldn’t be in 2035, which is the year the book is set. That means Denise should not be referred to as such. I do not use the term for myself, either.

    If you’ve already used these terms, please don’t worry; I’m not trying to call people out. I’m delighted about anyone choosing to talk about the book in the first place! But since a lot of people have asked me about terminology, I thought I’d have my thoughts out in the open.

  • As of this moment, all my books are standalones; there is zero overlap in world or characters.

    There are currently no sequels planned, either. I’m always open to the possibility of sequels or companion novels if I get an idea that works, but it’s not something I’m currently pursuing.

    I have written a companion short story to On the Edge of Gone, however, which was released in the Defying Doomsday anthology in 2016 and reprinted in the Wastelands: The New Apocalypse anthology in 2019. The story, titled “And the Rest of Us Wait,” is set in a temporary shelter in the Netherlands and takes place during the same time period as On the Edge of Gone. The novel/story be read independently of each other, and any order.

If you need content warnings about potentially triggering or otherwise upsetting content before reading (or choosing whether to read) The Art of Saving the World, I’ve listed the ones I can think of below.

Includes spoilers.

  • government surveillance
  • panic attacks
  • leaps/falls from tall buildings
  • car crashes
  • citywide destruction
  • violent death
  • near-drowning of a loved one
  • gun use and injuries
  • teenager held at gunpoint