Kidnapping in Kaua’i
by Ava Easter
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Danger lurks in paradise…
Leilani Leia lives on Kaua’i with her Auntie Rita, a GMO-protesting organic farmer. Lani’s biggest worry is about starting high school, until she stumbles upon a secret field in the mountains, and bites into a strange, new fruit.
Suddenly, the island’s ancient gods and legends come alive for her. A waking giant causes a landslide, a beautiful woman sets fire to her hair, and Hawai’i’s mythical ancestors, the menehunes, leave mysterious clues for Lani to find.
Thinking she’s going lōlō — Hawaiian for crazy — Lani decides to ignore these strange visions. But, when Auntie Rita is kidnapped, everything changes.
Lani knows the kidnapping is connected to her visions, and only the ancients can help her figure out who committed this crime. She can’t ignore her new powers any longer — without her help, Auntie Rita might be gone forever.
Ava, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
While visiting Hawaii, I was inspired to write a YA mystery series featuring each island. The sequels to Kidnapping in Kaua’i are titled Nightmarchers on Ni’ihau and Orchids on O’ahu. Each book features unique aspects of that particular island.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Leilani Leia is my favorite character. Curious and smart, she enjoys extreme sports and never shies away from an adventure. Even though she has problems controlling her temper, she loves deeply, and would do anything to protect her friends.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
The underlying message is that family can be defined by love. As an orphan, Lani feels like she’s forced to figure out the world on her own. Eventually, she learns to value the love of those close to her, and she realizes she was never alone.
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
They could tell me they’re crazy about the original concept of the book, and they never realized there’s so much more to the islands than surfing and suntan oil. Also, that they want to follow the series and join me for the endless exciting legends and undiscovered adventures ahead!
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“Haven’t read or taught any YA this good since Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”
Where can people learn more about your writing?