July 19, 2024
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New Jersey Teen Releases Debut YA Novel

Reviewing: “The Gossip Games” by Allie Sarah. SnowRidge Press. 2023. English. Paperback. 280 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1958412114.

Allie Beckerman has always loved to read and write. As a kid growing up in New Jersey, she eagerly consumed novels from her favorite authors and wrote stories of her own during her free time. Beckerman says she became known by her friends for her book recommendations and dreamed of one day publishing a book of her own. Now that dream is coming true with the release of Beckerman’s debut novel, “The Gossip Games.” The book is a Young Adult novel published by SnowRidge Press and was released on April 18.

The Gossip Games is the first in a trilogy that will each follow different characters within Beckerman’s universe. Beckerman said she came up with the characters and ideas in between her high school classes—she is now 18 and in her first year of college—and would spend her free periods brainstorming and writing out scenes.

“Reading and writing have been my passion for as long as I can remember,” Beckerman shared with The Jewish Link. “With writing, I started out with fan fiction, which gave me a lot of practice so that when I wrote a book for real it’s not like I was going in blind. I was able to use the things I learned through trial and error to put together a strong narrative and characters that were interesting and fun to follow.”

“The Gossip Games” tells the story of Gracie Adams and Dean Ashcroft, two boarding school students who become linked together after rumors spread of them being a couple. In true YA fashion, there’s plenty of drama, flirting and romance.

“The story is pure YA,” Beckerman continued. “It’s the sort of book I wish I could pick up off the shelves and read. It’s got all the twists and turns I’ve come to love from the genre, with a few extra ideas I’ve thrown into it as well. I’ve been working on the book for a while now, and I’m really excited for people to finally read it.”

For her writing career, Beckerman goes by the pen name Allie Sarah—Sarah being her middle name. Beckerman said she began using the pen name on her social media accounts, and decided to keep it for her career as a published author. She has grown a small following across the different platforms, and often shares videos about the various books she is reading.

“I’ve really grown fond of the social media side of reading,” Beckerman continued. “There is a whole community on Instagram and TikTok that love talking about the books they’re reading or the stories they’re writing. They’ve been very supportive of me and are very excited about the book finally being released.”

Since Beckerman is Jewish, she has also incorporated Jewish characters into her stories. There are frequent references to Jewish concepts, such as a character remarking on kosher food in a school cafeteria, and Beckerman promises there will be even more prominent Jewish players in her future books.

“The thing about my Jewish characters is that their Jewish identity is just another part of them,” Beckerman continued. “It’s not their whole personality. The last thing I wanted is for them to be caricatures. I wanted to show that Jews are just like anyone else, and the other characters don’t treat it as any big deal. In fact they go out of their way to be accommodating regarding Shabbat and kosher food.”

Beckerman is putting together events and book signings that will take place in the coming days and weeks. You can keep up with all updates by following her on social media.

“Being an author is a dream come true,” Beckerman went on to say. “I hope to go into publishing after graduation, and I am so lucky to have my family and online community supporting me. It really makes me feel good about what the coming years hold, and I am so excited to keep writing new stories for people to read and hopefully enjoy.”

“The Gossip Games” is available for purchase on Amazon. If you would like to keep up with Beckerman you can do so by following her on Instagram at @authoralliesarah, and on TikTok at @the.book.princess.


Adam Samuel is a journalist from Teaneck. He blogs at www.adamssoapbox.com.

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