Monday, April 30, 2012

ARC Review & Author Interview: This Is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott

This Is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott
Release Date: May 1st (TOMORROW!!!)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: ARC from Publisher
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
After their long summer apart, Ally and Jake were hoping for a drama free senior year. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things will work out that way...again. — It turns out that Chloe is pregnant and says that Jake is the father. Hammond is pissed at his best friend, but mostly can't believe that Ally would stay with Jake. But Ally is tired of being apart from Jake and is willing to make it work. But that is easier said than done when Jake starts blowing Ally off to go to doctor's appointments with Chloe and Ally joins the school play and meets a new cute guy.

But as graduation approaches, things get more complicated as new secrets come out and Ally realizes maybe Jake isn't the guy she thought he was. After everything they've been through can Ally and Jake get out of Orchard Hill with their relationship intact?

My thoughts:
I need more! This can't be the end for this series, it just can't. Haha with that said, this was a very satisfying conclusion to the He Said/She Said series, that I'm sure all fans of the series will enjoy and appreciate.

I personally think that Ally is a flippin saint- would you stick it out if you found out your boyfriend got another girl knocked up? But don't be so sure you know how this story will play out. Scott throws in a few curve balls that will have you gasping and pulling your hair out in frustration. 

I have always been a fan of Jake, and the way Scott writes him. I don't usually enjoy reading from a boy's point of view, but I really enjoy the authentic voice that Scott gives him. He's far from a saint (especially in this installment) but you can't help but love him because you know his heart is in the right place, he just has to stop letting his ego and pride control his actions.

Fans will enjoy the interaction and growth between Ally and Jake in TISNH. Their relationship and love are seriously put to the test. Kieran takes a realistic approach in the dialogue between these two.

This was a quick but very enjoyable read, I really hope Kieran continues with it in some way!

If you enjoy contemporary YA with quick and witty dialogue, you need to read the HE SAID/SHE SAID series!

Now please join me in welcoming Kieran to the blog today!

1. Jake's narration is always so believable, how do you write from a teenage boy's perspective so well?
I wanted him to be the type of guy who had a very black-and-white take on the world in the beginning of the series, but who evolved over the course of the books. In the first book I made sure his motivations were all about getting what he wanted as quickly as he wanted it, with no real thought about the future or the consequences. When I thought about him that way, it was easy to write a very simple, self-centered sort of voice. Then, the more he got to know Ally, the more that worldview was thrown into question. As he started to care, his thought process got more complex, so I was able to open him up a little more. I definitely worked harder on his speech patterns and vocabulary than I did on Ally’s. Ally talks a lot like I do, so I’d only read her sections over once or twice for voice. With Jake I’d keep going back, simplifying vocabulary and shortening sentence structure. It could be as simple as changing the word “beginning” to “starting” to make it sound more like him. Jake would never say “I was beginning to think.” He’d say “I was starting to think.” That part took a lot of effort and a lot of reading out loud. I also listened to my husband and his friends and the way they talked to each other when they got together. They all knew each other in high school and they sometimes revert to their teenage selves when they hang out.
2. The He Said/She Said series has taken a very dramatic turn in the last installment, did you always plan to take Ally and Jake down this path?
I did. In fact it was supposed to happen much earlier. I didn’t think it was realistic for a player like Jake to fall in love and just completely stop messing around in a snap, but if he was going to backslide, I wanted him to face the consequences of his behavior. Not so much because I wanted to preach some kind of lesson, but because I was curious to see how he’d react in the face of something like that. I realized as I was plotting that Jake, as he was in the first book, would react much differently than the Jake at the end of the second book. He’d matured a lot, come a long way, and I was more interested in seeing how the more mature, caring Jake would react, than the immature, oblivious one.
3. The ending to This Is So Not Happening is definitely bittersweet for He Said/She Said fans. Do you think you'd ever want to take this series further, like He Said/She Said the College Years? :)
As of right now, the three books are all I have planned, but I’d love to see what these crazy kids do in college. Never say “never!” Hmm . . . I actually never decided where Hammond and Shannen would go to college. What’s the biggest party school these days . . . ?
4. Of all the characters in this series, which is your favourite? Why?
Jake was definitely my favorite to write. I liked the challenge and I just loved him so much. I loved his simple views and how it all got turned on its head, and I loved how he stepped up so many times over the course of the series, doing things he never thought he could or would do. I also loved writing Annie and David. I missed David after the first book, but I unfortunately couldn’t think of a big role for him to play later on.
5. If you could pick one song as the soundtrack to This Is So Not Happening, what would it be?
I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
6. What advice would you give to those just starting out in the publishing industry?
The one thing I always say to people who want to become writers is to read as much as you possibly can, and don’t just read what you know you like. Read everything. Fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, biographies, essays, poems, magazines, newspapers, blogs . . . everything you can get your hands on. It will help you see the millions of different styles and voices out there and help you find your own. That’s the advice on the creativity front. On the practical front, it’s a huge help to get an internship or entry-level job at a publisher or agency. Meet people, let them get to know you, let them get to see how smart and creative you are. Then, a few years from now when you have your first manuscript, there will be plenty of people who are willing to read it for you and offer critique or even help you get published. The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” rings true across every industry. So work on your voice and your craft, but work on your connections, too!

Thank you so much Kieran for stopping by and for answering my questions with such thoughtful answers!

Happy Reading!!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading this book right now. What a fun series!!
    Thanks for the interview!