A Cigarette Lit Backwards: A Novel (Hardcover)
A Bustle Most-Anticipated Book of the Month
Kat is dying to be accepted by the North Carolina punks; she is totally desperate to seem cool. At a punk show, she ends up backstage with a rock star and gets noticed by a photojournalist. And then—a dream come true for Kat—her reputation as a groupie icon skyrockets. But to maintain this notoriety, Kat makes a series of devastating choices, and soon enough, she becomes unrecognizable to herself and others.
A Cigarette Lit Backwards is a sometimes funny, often brutally honest novel about ambition and self-discovery and how a world of glamour and cool exerts its bold and breathless pull. In prose that seduces, glitters, and exhilarates, Tea Hacic-Vlahovic has written a novel that is both a wild party and a somber reckoning, consolidating her status as a thrilling and essential new voice for our time.
“A perfect coming-of-age story—with a perfect soundtrack—that walks the fragile in-between of finding out who you are and trying not to let other people decide for you. Welcome to the party room.” —Brendan Jay Sullivan, author of Rivington was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives
“Hacic-Vlahovic’s writing is solid, inhabiting Kat’s voice with both hardness and humor . . . This is a self-assured sophomore effort from a writer to watch. Appropriately hardcore but deceptively sweet, too.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Almost everyone has an interesting story. Few of us have the ability or the courage to navigate those experiences, process them, then convert them into a narrative that can keep the rest of us on the edge of our seat. An even smaller number of us have the ability to carve out our own story in a way that helps us connect and care about each other a little bit more. Tea has checked all those boxes with A Cigarette Lit Backwards and maybe a few more.”
— Greg Attonito of The Bouncing Souls
“Tea Hacic-Vlahovic has written a perfect coming-of-age story—with a perfect soundtrack—that walks the fragile in-between of finding out who you are and trying not to let other people decide for you. Welcome to the party room.”
— Brendan Jay Sullivan, author of Rivington was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives
"Hacic-Vlahovic perfectly captures that clumsy era of teenage girlhood set in small town North Carolina. A time capsule of growing up in the noughties; a story of sixteen-year-old Kat beginning to grasp her powers. Punk, cut with tenderness, like all true street kids."
— Marlowe Granados, author of Happy Hour