Italy, the 2000s. What does it take to be happy? Not a man, like disillusioned nineteen-year-old Leda Balni was raised to believe… Strong-headed, sarcastic Leda enrolls into a Biotech major. A crush on a sexy genius makes her forget her restlessness but not for long. Can you apply the scientific method to happiness? Figure out what it is and how to get it?
Her rationality is put to the test when she stumbles into an irresistible, brooding man from her past, and she fights her instincts to protect her hard-found happiness from the bad choice she did not make yet…
In a whirlwind of Vespa adventures, college exams, rock, philosophy, science, and chemistry—both the inorganic and the sizzling kind—Leda establishes her own rules to life. Landscapes from Florence, Milan, Padua, and Garda Lake add to this witty, introspective novel, part romance, part self-help, inspiring independent women of all ages to be their strong and brave true selves.
** “Finding Leda” is the first book in “The Sonder Series”. It is self-standing and directed at an adult audience, though suitable for teens, but there are references to Leda’s previous adventures narrated in “The Italian Saga”, a 4-novel YA series about Leda’s childhood. **
** The books are a fictionalized memoir based on the life of author GB Amman, a novelist and molecular biologist born and raised in Italy. The science in the book is explained in lay terms but accurate.**
“Amman’s writing is addictive, candid, hilarious, and evocative as she describes the powerful conflict between irresistible attraction and common sense.”—Renni Acre, author of “His Huntress” ★★★★★
“One of the best—and definitely the worst—thing about this book is it is SO HARD to put down! Sometimes in life, you just can’t wait to see what happens… it’s the same with Leda. Well written, engaging, some really good insight and tips for life. FANTASTIC!”—Susan Byrde, author of “Bruce’s Fall” ★★★★★
“I really loved this book. It appears this is going to be a series and I’m anxious to see how it goes. I loved the setting, the time period, and the characters. I felt this was beautifully and truthfully written. The author captures the 90’s feel very well. I think that Leda’s list for happiness transcends time and is just as applicable now. Leda is a smart, strong character who is learning not to be afraid of being herself.”—Autumn Friedli, Librarian ★★★★★
“I see this book like the intimate journey of a strong young woman into an academic world usually ruled by men. This story felt real and relatable from the very beginning. I loved it.” Claudia, Goodreads review ★★★★★
Gaia B. Amman was born and raised in Italy. She moved to the United States in her twenties to pursue her Ph.D. in molecular biology. She’s currently a professor of biology at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, where she was voted “the professor of the month” by her students. Her research and commentaries have been published in prestigious, international, peer-reviewed journals, including Nature.
A bookworm from birth, she wrote throughout her childhood and won two short story competitions in Italy in her teens. Gaia is an avid traveler, and many of her adventures are an inspiration for her fiction. Mostly she is passionate about people and the struggles they face to embrace life. Her highest hope is to reach and help as many as she can through her writing and her teaching. She authored the Indie Author Guide, the LGBTQ sci-fi fantasy Linked—Will Empathy Save the United Terrestrial Democracy?, The Italian Saga, a series of four novels that follows Leda’s adventures from childhood through the end of high school, and the Sonder Series, of which you just read volume one. The books, light-hearted and funny at first sight, deal with issues like sexuality, divorce, friendship, abuse, first love, and self discovery.
Among Amman’s favorite authors are J.K. Rowling, Jandy Nelson, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Antoine de Saint Exupèry.