NEARLY GONE blog tour

I'm excited to be a part of the NEARLY GONE.

My YA Books Center review:

Teaser: The mystery behind who was plotting the murders and why they seem to point toward Nearly had me wondering. I liked that when the final reveal came it took me by surprise. The math and science part of the mystery was very intriguing. Loved how clues were woven into personal ads and how they all added up. Once the bodies started piling up, I couldn't put this book down! I had to see if my suspect had in fact done the deed. (It wasn't!) Great pacing, action, and suspense that kept me turning the pages.

Welcome to the NEARLY GONE blog tour. We at Penguin are especially excited about Elle Cosimano’s smart, but scary debut (caution: avoid reading this one before bedtime!). Over the next three weeks, Elle will share the secrets behind NEARLY GONE on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday basis, so be sure to be on the lookout for new posts!

Elle’s Guest Post

My main character’s name is Nearly Boswell.

Everyone asks me “why?”

She didn’t start out with a name like Nearly. Scratchy outlines of my original drafts contain long lists of other possibilities, all of them more normal and less… adverb-y.

But the more I fleshed her out on the page, and the deeper I dug around inside her, the more I started to see a pattern. Words like almost, nearly, and not quite kept popping up in my notes, over and over again. And I realized that this kick-ass, confident math-whiz is a girl who feels differently inside. Like she’s not enough. In her case, not enough to hold her family together.

Nearly had a beautiful and heartbreaking connotation to it, and it stuck. Her mother had her own reasons for naming her daughter Nearly, but that didn’t matter. The name would reflect all of her own self-doubts back at her, a constant reminder of what she perceived to be her own inadequacies.

And so it was settled.

I knew her name. But I also knew her strength of character. And that strong face she wore on the outside would never be content with a name like Nearly. It made sense to me that she would adopt a nick-name. One that was more empowering. One that was self-claimed. And so, at her best-friend’s suggestion, Nearly took the adverb out of her own name, and began calling herself “Leigh”.

I guess you could say Nearly’s name turned out to be the key to the development of her entire character. Once I figured out her name, I knew exactly who she wanted to be.


Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school--a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon--she'll be next.
About Elle Cosimano

Elle Cosimano grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, the daughter of a prison warden and an elementary school teacher who rides a Harley. She majored in psychology at St. Mary's College, Maryland, and set aside a successful real-estate career to pursue writing. She lives with her husband and two sons. Nearly Gone is her first novel.


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