My So-Called Ruined Life by Melanie Bishop

My So-Called Ruined Life_MRTate McCoy Series Book 1

“The first book in Bishop’s Tate McCoy series will have readers eager to hear more from her pragmatic, sarcastic, yet sweet 16-year-old heroine…an introspective page-turner.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

After losing the previous summer to the shock and grief of her mother’s murder, Tate McCoy is putting her life back together, aiming to make the most of her seventeenth summer. Her self-rescue draws on several resources—an aunt who makes the best camping buddy, a vegan best friend named Kale, a crush on her swimming instructor, volunteer work, an encouraging English teacher, and an irreverent sense of humor. But a horrifying discovery about her mother’s death puts Tate’s resilience to the test yet again.

Watch the book trailer!


Available now: |Barnes and Noble|Amazon

ISBN: 9781937226213  | January 2014 | $14.95 | Trade Paper | 229 pp

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution: 1-800-283-3572

Press Kit
Author Photo
Author Website
A Conversation with Melanie Bishop
Book Club Discussion Guide


News, Reviews, & Interviews

CLMP’s Firecracker Awards Shortlist
Finalist, University of Binghamton’s John Gardner Award in Fiction
Huffington Post Books blog post by Melanie Bishop
Melanie Bishop on Simple Life Radio
BookPeople’s Teen Press Corps reviews My So-Called Ruined Life
“Crafting Memoir and Doing Grief”: Melanie Bishop in Vela Magazine
Tate McCoy makes front page news in The Wayne & Garfield County Insider
Interview on YA Lit blog Cynsations
Beth Ann Bauman interviews Melanie Bishop
Portage District Library “Girls on the Verge” reading list
Fun in the Sun Summer Reads, The Carmel Pine Cone
My So-Called Ruined Life 
in 32 Libraries in Singapore!
Melanie Bishop at Santa Margarita Library’s Teen Read Week celebration

Melanie Photos 045Melanie Bishop writes fiction, nonfiction and screenplays, and has taught all of these subjects for the past twenty-one years as a professor at Prescott College in Arizona. Her memoir, Some Glad Morning, will be published in 2014 by Outpost 19. Melanie has published short stories in numerous literary magazines, including Glimmer Train, Greensboro Review and Georgetown Review, and has a story forthcoming in Potomac Review. Melanie is founding editor and fiction and nonfiction editor of Alligator Juniper, Prescott College’s award-winning national literary magazine. My So-Called Ruined Life is her first Young Adult novel. Learn more about Melanie on her website, melaniebishopwriter.wordpress.com.

Praise for My So-Called Ruined Life

“Yet another tale of a plucky girl who overcomes the obstacles—but this one floats.”
 KIRKUS REVIEWS

“What a fine book! My So-Called Ruined Life takes you on a hard walk through a difficult subject, yet is full of sweetness and humor. Tate McCoy is a keeper, and so is her best friend, Kale. I felt like I was right there during their conversations and excursions, and found Tate’s reflections on her life and painful situation deeply meaningful. Tate is a kid who prevails, her humanity fully intact.”
Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson, author of Target and The Parallel Universe of Liars

“Readers will fall in love with brave and funny Tate McCoy in this powerful and heartfelt debut about human fallibility. One of the truest characters I’ve had the good luck to discover in YA recently.”
Beth Ann Bauman, author of Jersey Angel and Rosie and Skate

“Melanie Bishop is not afraid to address tough issues—from unspeakable violence to dysfunctional family relationships—with realistic details and hit-you-in-the-gut emotion. The plot gracefully unfolds to a stunning climax that forces the characters—and readers—to reconsider the nature of love, justice, and forgiveness.”
Christine Seifert, author of The Predicteds

“Melanie Bishop has crafted a wonderful leading lady in Tate McCoy…[and] perfectly captured the uniqueness and best qualities of Austin in this insightful and intriguing read.”
—Isaiah for BookPeople’s Teen Press Corps

“I opened My So-Called Ruined Life and was immediately hooked.  Even though Tate McCoy is in the midst of some rather horrific circumstances (mother murdered and dad accused!) she maintains a positive attitude.   Melanie’s dialogue and character development reminded me  of  John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.  Both stories feature teen girls facing heart-breakingly tough problems and rising above and beyond them with humor and grace.  I will recommend this book to my customers.”
— Elizabeth for River House Books, Carmel, CA

 “I want to be friends with Tate McCoy! Bright, funny and refreshingly pragmatic, Melanie Bishop’s 17-year-old protagonist is someone you’ll want to know better. Thank goodness Book 2 is on its way.”
Martha Baden, Library Manager, Prescott Public Library (on YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults Committee, 2009 and 2010, and Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2011)

“Melanie Bishop’s My So-Called Ruined Life is a page-turner with substance. Readers young and older will fall in love with smart and witty Tate McCoy as she struggles through more adversity than any one person should have, gaining strength and wisdom from what could have broken her.  This poignant and inspiring book will fly off the shelf.”
Susan Lang, Peregrine Book Co., Prescott, AZ

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