An American writer of popular young adult novels, she is known for such works as the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Going Bovine, and The Diviners. Her debut work, A Great and Terrible Beauty, was a New York Times bestselling book.
She majored in theater at the University of Texas at Austin. She subsequently moved to New York with the intention of becoming a playwright.
Her 2009 novel, Going Bovine, won the annual Michael L. Printz Award, which recognizes literary excellence in young adult literature.
She grew up in Alabama. With her husband, Barry Goldblatt, she raised a son.
She and Suzanne Collins are both authors of young adult novels.