I have been lucky enough to take part in the Blog Book Tour for Lisa Burstein's Pretty Amy, with Entangled Publishing. Check out the blurb for the book, and an interview with the author, and be warned: Pretty Amy goes much deeper than just that beautiful cover; it's beautiful through and through.
Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.
Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over."
LB (Lisa Burstein): I write YA because I felt like I still had all these things to say from when I was a teenager that I never got a chance to say. I also feel like teens need books in a way adults don't. At least I know I did, I looked to books to help me make sense of what I was feeling. I guess I hope teens will use PRETTY AMY in the same way. In terms of a book that influenced in the writing of PRETTY AMY, I would have to say Catcher in the Rye. Not that I would even compare PRETTY AMY to the masterpiece that is Catcher in the Rye, but I wanted to write a book about a girl that *might* be a modern, funnier Holden Caufield. Writers I read today are: Courtney Summers, Sara Zarr, John Green and Deb Caletti, any author who is willing to be raw and real.
BW: How does your writing process work? Some authors like to listen to music while writing – does that work for you?
LB: No way! I need total silence. Also I write with my laptop on my lap.
BW: How does it feel to have a blog tour for your book? When you started Pretty Amy, did you ever think you’d be in this place someday?
LB: It is surreal and I am so thankful. I hoped I'd be here some day, but I had no idea I really would.
BW: I noticed something called Project Amy on your website – how does that work?
LB: Basically I wanted to provide a safe place where teens who had read PRETTY AMY could share their feelings about the book and how they feel it relates to their lives and their experiences. I am asking them to tell me how they've felt like Amy. How they got over it. How they are getting over it. How they are embracing it. I am inviting them to tell anything they've been too afraid to tell before. I will be creating a blog to showcase the stories, teens can decide whether they want to be anonymous and or have their names listed. I am hoping it will let teen girls know they are not alone. That a lot of people feel what they feel: the desire to belong, to fit in, to have people who understand them. I was a lot like Amy. Just like her I had such adesire to belong, to fit in, to have people who understood me. I wanted that so badly and I guess I never felt like adults understood that. It was most of the reason I wrote PRETTY AMY. If I'd had it when I was in high school I feel like I would have been able to understand my feelings better. I wouldn't have felt so alone. That feeling was something I never admitted to anyone, not even my friends and I wanted to let teens know it's okay to feel lonely even surrounded by friends and family.
BW: We’re just a little under a week of the (original) official publication date for Pretty Amy. How are you feeling?
LB: Excited, stressed, excited. :)
Thank you, Lisa, for taking the time to answer my questions, and all of you -- don't forget to buy yourself a copy of Pretty Amy!
And if any of you want to check out Lisa's next blog stops, or the ones that came before me, she has the entire list up on her website.