Friday, April 13, 2012

SBBS: Day 20 ~ Joëlle Anthony

Spring Break Blog Spectacular ~ Joëlle Anthony interview & The Right & The Real review

Today's SBBS guest is Joëlle Anthony! I still have not read her first novel, Restoring Harmony (shame on me!), but since first finding out about her new novel The Right & The Real last fall I've been super excited about it - see? Lucky for me - and you - I received an arc so, while the book isn't out until the 26th, I also have a review for you as part of today's post :-)


Ideal spring break destination: ski chalet or tropical beach villa?
Definitely the beach. After cold, a damp winter reading in front of the woodstove at home, I’m ready for some sunshine. As Americans, we’re not allowed to go to Cuba, but once we become Canadian citizens (this year!), that’s a trip my husband and I would both like to make some winter…the music, the food, the sunshine! Sounds great!

In high school/college which was more likely spotting you on MTV’s Spring Break or just you and your friends savoring the week off?
I’d like to say I was cool and you might’ve seen me on MTV, but alas, I usually worked. At least, during college. Forty hours of retail might not seem like a break (and it wasn’t), but it certainly helped the coffers, which were pretty depleted by then.

What was your favorite Spring Break ever (where and/or why)? Or if you didn't go on Spring Break trips, where did you always want to go?
In high school, I did drama, and we rehearsed a LOT. I can be social, but I like my time alone, so my ideal spring break was a pile of books (which I never had time to read during the school year), and a lot of snacks. I would hole up in my room for the week, not talking to anyone. It sounds like Loserville, but actually, it was great fun.

Fly and have the fun be at the destination or road trip and have the journey be at least half the fun?
I used to fly without thinking much about it, but after driving from Oregon to Tennessee, and seeing how far it really was, I realized how unnatural it is to fly, and now it kind of freaks me out to be in one place in the morning and three thousand miles away by the evening. You lose all perspective when you fly and I don’t really like that. I actually avoid driving myself, but I’m great at shotgun, and my husband is happy to be the driver. I keep the snacks coming, and can even read a map if need be.

Do any of your characters take Spring Break trips?
Not so far. Restoring Harmony takes place in the summer, and Molly does do a road trip, but I wouldn’t call it fun and frivolous! And my second book is set in the winter. The one I’m working on now starts right after spring break, but you never know…maybe in the future I’ll write a great spring break book. My husband was more of the MTV spring break type, so he can fill me in on what I missed.

Where would their ideal Spring Break destination be? (Together or on their own.)
In the book I’m writing now, my character, Kiersten would probably want to go to London with her friends. Her family has the money, but her dad is a fanatic about the environment and forbids the family to fly (air travel’s a big contributor to global warming), so I think Kiersten would really like to go somewhere she doesn’t have to drive to, and the excitement of London would appeal to her.

Which of your characters (in your recent/upcoming novel or anything you’re working on) would you most have liked to have met on a Spring Break trip?
I think Jamie from my second novel, The Right & the Real. We would get along great. We’re not much alike, but we share the same dreams. Or rather, she has the same ones I had in high school – to move to New York City and become an actress. Jamie and I could have a lot of fun hitting the Broadway theatres and eating at swanky restaurants.

Best book to read on Spring Break or a road trip?
For a true spring break novel, Aimee Friedman wrote South Beach, which is fun. But I think I would choose Braless in Wonderland by Debbie Reed Fischer. It takes place in Florida, so it’s got that spring break flavour, but it’s got depth and an interesting story, too. As soon as I finished it, I was sure there would be a sequel, but alas, nothing yet! Also, you can’t go wrong with Eileen Cook for lighthearted fun with great characters and stories. I loved The Education of Hailey Kendrick.

Thank you!!



The Right & The Real
Putnam Juvenile
April 26, 2012
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Book Depository/or on Amazon

Jamie always knew something was off about the church of the Right & The Real but she never thought too much about it because she was only there in order to spend time with her boyfriend. Josh was a member but one who claimed to also see faults with the church. A church whose leader, Teacher, sees as, literally, Jesus Christ - as do his devout followers. But Josh, the oldest son of one Teacher's disciples is also one of the high school's most popular students and star athletes and Jamie's too enamored with him to full grasp just how wrong the church is . . . even when her father starts attending.

Even as he's marrying marrying Mira, a fanatical member of the Right & the Real, she still thinks she can get him out of it.

But then he kicks her out for refusing to sign a membership pledge. Seventeen-year-old Jamie is on her own. Her father, the one person she thought would never turn his back on her has abandoned her. And Josh, the person who got her (and her father involved with the church - a cult, really - in the first place) can only see her in secret now.

With her world crumbling around her will Jamie be able to survive? And will she ever get her father back? Will she want to?

I dare you to read the first chapter - or the first two chapters - of The Right & The Real and decide to put it down. If you do a) you're possibly crazy and/or b) you have much more willpower than I.

If you do make what I consider to be the wise choice and keep reading, you definitely won't be disappointed. Joëlle Anthony's second novel is a fantastic contemporary YA that's a just a bit darker - it's also perfect for older readers.

Jamie is put into an incredibly tough situation - or situations, really - the most major of is her father kicking her out (which leads to other things). I loved how nothing ever seemed melodramatic. There were incredibly dramatic things happening for sure, but things played out incredibly realistically (or what I imagine is realistically for the given situations). While Jamie was confused as to what decision to make, what to do, I found myself confused as well. I wasn't reading each page, all the while thinking, "Why doesn't she just ...."

I loved being so drawn into the story and also being so in sync with the choices that the author made while writing the story (or perhaps just lacking in anything obvious for the character to do).

If you're looking for a contemporary YA (with a bit of an edge) where the story just works and the plot doesn't take the easy way out, please read The Right & The Real when it's out April 26th!

Rating: 9/10

Thank you to Joelle Anthony and Stacey at Putnam for my arc of this title for review :D

Other books you might enjoy: Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin or The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams



Giveaway of The Right & The Real thanks to Penguin/Putnam and  Joëlle's amazing editor - open internationally as long as UPS ships to you. Giveaway of Postcard(s)/bookmark open internationally and sent by the author! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget:

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  1. wow never heard of this one. Sounds good!

  2. I recently read Family by Micol Ostow. It was based on the Manson murders. Verse novel. I've always been intrigued by cult novels. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams is fabulous.

  3. i haven't ever read a book about cults, but definitely sounds interesting : )

  4. Nope, haven't read any so far :)

  5. I don't think I've read/seen anything dealing with cults, but definitely intriguing.

  6. Cults...hmmm...I really can't remember? I don't think so :S But this one sounds so awesome<3

  7. I'm sure I've seen TV specials are real life cults. I just can't remember what they were about!

  8. No, but this book sure sounds interesting.

  9. The Covenant - fantastic movie :D

  10. Don't think I have watch any movies or read any books lately about cult but I'm really dying to read this book! It sounds really interesting!


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