Starting from Here

Starting from Here
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“A winner of a first novel.”

Nancy Garden, author of Annie on My Mind

“Compulsively readable.”

Laura Ruby, author of Bone Gap

2013 Rainbow List Top Ten Book

A young adult novel from Skyscape
Published September 2012
ISBN: 9780761462330
Buy it: IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Colby Bingham’s heart has been broken too many times. Her mother is dead, her truck driver father is always away, and her almost girlfriend just dumped her for a guy. When an injured stray dog lands at her feet, she decides to care for it, against her better judgment.

But new connections mean new opportunities for heartbreak. Terrified of another loss, Colby bolts at the first sign of trouble, managing to alienate her best friend, her father, the cute girl pursuing her, and even her dog’s vet, who’s taken Colby under her wing. Colby can’t start over, but can she learn how to move on?


“Here’s a winner of a first novel, vivid and honest, with a fast-moving plot and a cast (including a lovable dog) that leaps off the page and is headed by an appealing and realistically flawed protagonist whose struggles lead her to growth, understanding, and hope.”
Nancy Garden, author of Annie on My Mind and Endgame

“Colby is an original—you’ll root for her as she tries to outrun her fears. Bigelow’s book takes a poignant look at moving on after loss.”
Ellen Wittlinger, author of Parrotfish and Hard Love

“Can saving a dog’s life make you want to save your own? Wry, sad, and subtly, sweetly sexy, Starting from Here is a breath of fresh air in a storm of vampires and zombies, the kind of compulsively readable, realistic story of love lost and love found you’ll want to read over and over again.”
Laura Ruby, author of Bone Gap and Good Girls

Starting from Here is full of heart. There’s romance, pain, and humor, characters you’ll quickly care about, and an ending that feels perfect. I didn’t want to stop reading. Don’t miss this one!”
Cheryl Rainfield, author of Scars and Stained


“Debut author Bigelow capably captures a teen’s fears of abandonment and judgment. A relatable glimpse at the value of honesty in relationships and of showing one’s authentic self to the world.”
Publishers Weekly

“Colby’s personal journey…unfolds in a haze of hormones, awkwardness, and sweetness. The story explores real-life problems with humor, warmth, and nuance. Any animal lover will be moved by the life and companionship Mo brings to Colby’s empty house.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Bigelow effectively shapes a narrative of a girl adrift in her own loneliness.”

“A lovely story that will touch readers’ hearts.”

“[Starting from Here] captures the heartbreak, humor, and hope of Colby’s world. Mo the dog is a definite scene stealer. Likeable characters, with plenty of insights for both adults and teens to ponder.”
Windy City Times

Blog Love

“All the characters in this debut novel wriggled their way into my heart, and deep. This is one of those reads I could sink back into again and again.”

“Everything about this story is charming and true, and Colby’s voice is extremely memorable—it’s difficult to let go of all of these wonderful characters at the close of the novel. Lisa Jenn Bigelow definitely needs to be on your author radar.”
The Compulsive Reader

“[Starting from Here is] a fantastic contemporary that delves deep into the life of its protagonist. It deals with grief and heartbreak, but it’s ultimately optimistic. I suspect it will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson.”
In Bed with Books

“I read Starting From Here in a day, hooked on Colby’s roller coaster of a story, cheering her on and chastising her in turn. Starting From Here is definitely now on my list of favorite teen lesbian books, and one I would happily recommend.”
The Lesbrary

“Overall, I loved [Starting from Here] to death. Colby reminded me of D. J. Schwenk from Dairy Queen, and really, there is no higher praise.”

“If you just want a tender, enjoyable read, Starting From Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow is where you should start. I’m already looking forward to her next book.”
Two Heads Together


2013 Rainbow List Top Ten book


November 12, 2012 – Jumping the Candlestick

January 9, 2013 – Cynsations

March 11, 2013 – MLive Book Club