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Zero O’Clock


For sixteen-year-old Geth Montego, zero o’clock begins on March 12, 2020. By June, she wonders if it will ever end.

Now available for preorder. All preorders will ship on or before September 7, 2021.

Preorder on Amazon
Preorder on Bookshop
Preorder on Barnes & Noble

Forthcoming: 9/7/21

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

“An insightful, eye-opening, and inventive story. C.J. Farley has penned a novel that sheds an important light on real issues facing young people today.”
—Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give

Zero O’Clock is a beautiful and timely YA novel that is both heartbreaking and whip smart, a glimpse into the world of virtual friendship, classrooms, and pop stardom.”
—Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, author of The Nine

“Thoughtful, provocative, and pounding with the fast-paced beat of a sharp-witted adolescent mind, Zero O’Clock is the story of a Jamaican-American teen girl at the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Rochelle, New York. C.J. Farley has created an irresistible heroine in Geth Montego. Simmering with justifiable anger at everything from the cancellation of her senior prom to racial injustices and police brutality, Geth manages to overcome grief, anxiety, and confusion to discover a new sense of herself and her ability to create change.”
—Karen Dukess, author of The Last Book Party

Zero O’Clock seems to have a direct line into the mindset of a modern teenager. I enjoyed it immensely!”
Alex Wheatle, author of Cane Warriors

Critical praise for Around Harvard Square:

“[A] smart, satirical novel about surviving the racial and cultural tensions ratcheted up in the elite Harvard hothouse. Farley has created a marvelously engaging and diverse set of characters, at the center of which is a nerdy Jamaican American with a philosophical bent and his cohort of oddballs struggling to win a spot on Harvard’s brainy humor magazine.”
National Book Review, included in Monday’s 5 Hot Books

“Wry, sly, and ferociously funny, Around Harvard Square is not just the satire Ivy League college life deserves, but the one it’s been waiting for.”
Marlon James, Man Booker Prize–winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

Around Harvard Square [is] C.J. Farley’s fun novel about an exceptional Jamaican student-athlete facing class and race issues to get a spot on an elite Harvard University humor magazine.”
New York Daily News

“Brimming with humor and heart, Around Harvard Square is a delight.”
—Andy Borowitz, creator of the New Yorker‘s “The Borowitz Report”

“This former [Harvard] Lampoon editor, journalist, and now satirical novelist, has lots of insight into the discrepancies around race and gender that remain present in the comedy industry.”
CityLine (ABC-TV, Boston)

“The first year of college can feel as dramatic as the first moon landing and somehow C.J. Farley also turns it into a painfully funny adventure. Around Harvard Square is a coming-of-age tale that blends J.D. Salinger’s rueful tones with Paul Beatty’s biting humor and becomes something entirely its own. I had so much fun running around with these kids, it felt like seeing old friends: laughing and crying and laughing some more.”
—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

“This coming-of-age novel, set in the ’90s, follows Jamaican-American Tosh Livingston and his group of friends—Lao, Meera, and Zippa—on their quest to land coveted spots on the staff of the Harvard Harpoon, Harvard’s humor magazine . . . The characters’ clever dialogue challenges privileged and stereotypical thinking.”
Publishers Weekly

“In this throwback coming-of-age novel, an ensemble of freshmen on the margins struggle for self-definition amid the race and class complexities of Harvard . . . Through the whirlwind of their journey, they begin to question the purpose of jokes and the consequences of laughter—when it’s not just about the joke, but also about who’s making it and why (a significant, timely exploration as comedy culture today struggles to demarcate ethical boundaries) . . . The diverse ensemble of core characters defy and refuse reductive stereotypes . . . For those who would like to take a trip through the hallowed Harvard halls of the past, this goes out to you . . .”
Kirkus Reviews

“Farley, a Harvard alumnus himself, pulls no punches in lampooning the elitist, entitled culture that pervades the campuses of schools like Harvard. Many of his jabs are painfully spot on, and I applaud his efforts to address the experiences of the non-white, non-wealthy, and incredibly smart students who find themselves dropped into that kind of toxic atmosphere every fall.”

“C.J. Farley’s Around Harvard Square is a witty and artful narrative of a society on the crossroads of change . . . A must read.”
The Gleaner (Jamaica)


Now available for preorder. All preorders will ship on or before September 7, 2021.

Part of our Black Sheep imprint for young readers.

In early March 2020 in New Rochelle, New York, teen Geth Montego is fumbling with the present and uncertain about her future. She only has three friends: her best friend Tovah, who’s been acting weird ever since they started applying to the same colleges; Diego, who she wants to ask to prom, but if she does it could ruin everything; and then there’s the K-pop band BTS. She’s never actually met any of them, but she’s pretty sure each member of the group would step up to be her BFF if she ever really needed them.

Then, she really needs them. Geth’s small city becomes ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the first US containment zones. In the span of three chaotic and relentless months—as her community is upended by the virus and the onset of Black Lives Matter protests—Geth faces a choice and a question: Is she willing to risk everything to fight for her beliefs? And if so, what exactly does she believe in?

With microscopic detail, bountiful empathy, and—somehow—laugh-out-loud humor, C.J. Farley breathlessly captures a moment in time no teenagers who experienced it will soon forget: Every day felt like a fight for our humanity, and some new truths were impossible to believe.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 9/7/21
  • IBSN: 9781617759758
  • e-IBSN: 9781617759925


C.J. FARLEY was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and lives in New Rochelle, NY. A graduate of Harvard University, Farley is the author of the acclaimed fantasy adventure novel Game World and the best-selling biography Aaliyah: More Than a Woman, which was adapted into a hit Lifetime movie. Farley’s young adult novel Around Harvard Square won an NAACP Image Award and was named a 2020 Honor Book by the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. His latest novel is Zero O’Clock.

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