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Penguin: Young Readers Group Summer 2019

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Girl Gone Viral
By (author): Arvin Ahmadi
9780425289907 Hardcover English Young Adult : Age (years) from 12, Grade (US) from 7 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Science Fiction / General May 21, 2019
$23.99 CAD
Active 5.88 x 8.56 x 1.28 in 416 pages Viking Children's Books Viking Books for Young Readers
“Smart, timely and riveting.”—The New York Times Book Review

Perfect for fans of Warcross and Black Mirror, Girl Gone Viral is the inventive and timely story of a seventeen-year-old coder’s catapult to stardom.


For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch: Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires.

But she can’t code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her tenth birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget.

Until now. Because WAVE, the world’s biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal’s dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him.

What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers—or is it the attention—she’s wanted for years?

Story Locale: Palo Alto, California

Critically acclaimed debut: Down and Across garnered overwhelming accolades, including multiple starred reviews, praise from major media like USA Today, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly, and love from authors as varied as Khaled Hosseini and Adam Silvera. With its more commercial story, Girl Gone Viral is the perfect opportunity to take Arvin’s career to the next level.

Grounded science fiction: With his experience working in the tech industry, Arvin brings depth and nuance to the issues his tech-obsessed protagonists face. And the angst of competitive, high-achieving teens, so authentically captured in Down and Across, is similarly present at Opal’s prestigious Palo Alto Academy of Science and Technology.

Completely convincing future world: Much like Her or Black Mirror, Girl Gone Viral creates a near-future world that seems like it could actually happen. There are no silver jumpsuits or dystopian regimes; rather, it’s a believable extension of where technology could take us in our living memory. (In fact, [an older] Jimmy Fallon is still on late night in the book!)

High-stakes mystery: Opal’s relentless search for answers about her father’s disappearance brings her into the depths of a megalithic corporation with hints of Dave Eggers’s The Circle…or where our own tech giants could be a couple decades from now.

All-too-timely subject: When Opal is thrust, Mark Zuckerberg-like, into the spotlight, she finds herself in the middle of a national debate about data, privacy, and the frightening implications of our information getting into the wrong hands.

Dream author: Arvin is everything we dream of in an author: gracious, professional, great at public speaking, hardworking, cooperative, and an effortless connector!

Arvin Ahmadi grew up outside Washington, DC. He graduated from Columbia University and has worked in the tech industry. When he’s not reading or writing books, he can be found watching late-night talk show interviews and editing Wikipedia pages. Down and Across is his first novel, followed by Girl Gone Viral.

Author Residence: Brooklyn, New York

Author Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia

Marketing: Major pre-publication buzz campaign

National author tour

National media campaign

Consumer advertising campaign

Extensive online promotion and social media outreach

Promotion at select consumer festivals

Blogger outreach

Promotion at national school and library conferences

Librarian and educator outreach



Author Website: arvinahmadi.com

Author Social Media: @arvinahmadi

Praise for Girl Gone Viral!

“Tense, twisty, and oh-so-timely, Girl Gone Viral is the perfect thriller for the virtual reality era. Don’t start this book unless you can finish in one sitting. I loved it!”—Brendan Reichs, New York Times bestselling author of Nemesis

“In Opal’s story, Arvin Ahmadi has crafted a timely and gripping sci-fi tale, grounded in the technology that links us, and what finding ourselves within it can cost.”—Alex London, bestselling author of Proxy and Black Wings Beating

“Compulsively readable…Ahmadi raises thought-provoking questions about the role and influence of social media in our lives…. Smart, timely and riveting.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Constantly engaging.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A fast-paced Black Mirror episode with an endearing teenage protagonist.”—Marie Claire Magazine

Readers loved Arvin’s debut, Down and Across!

“A lively first novel…This humorous, deeply human coming-of-age story will connect with teens.”—The Washington Post

“John Green fans will appreciate this tale…[Ahmadi] successfully fashions a universal story of discovering one’s true self through the honest eyes of another.”—USA Today

“Lovely.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Quirky and charming, wise and unpredictable.”—Khaled Hosseini, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner

* “Witty, smart, and inspiring, the novel celebrates life’s big and little surprises and the connections made between people that lead to profound changes.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

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