on October 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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A teen pursues her dream of becoming a radio DJ, while struggling with her brother's epilepsy, her mother's alcoholism, and her own broken heart. High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around. That is, until her brother Danny's latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she's back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother's booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny's future. Then she meets Wes. He's the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep Jasmine from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her. Jasmine can't control everything, not who wins the internship, not her mother's addiction, not her brother's health, not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but Jasmine may just discover that what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.
INTERVIEW with the lovely Jennifer Walkup
1. What inspired you to write a story about seizures and epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and my family, as a few members of my family suffer from the disorder. I wanted to write a book that shows a little bit more about epilepsy, but even more importantly, a book that shows that these characters having epilepsy is secondary to them just being regular teens who like to do teen stuff. Epilepsy is a part of their life, but certainly not what defines them.
2. Describe your idea of an extraordinary day.
I think in general, life is full of ordinary moments that add up and into a pretty extraordinary life. My idea of an extraordinary day would start in a lazy way, where I’m NOT woken up by an alarm clock. It would be a day with nothing on my family’s schedule or calendar, where we would spend the whole day lounging around, on a beach, maybe, building sand castles, reading books, and collecting sea shells, until the sun lost its strength and went into that perfect early-evening feeling that only summer has. We’d be sun-happy and rested, relaxed and together.
3. Do you have a day job, besides being an author?
I’m a mom to two very active boys, which keeps me really busy. I also teach creative writing and work as a freelance editor.
4. What was the hardest part about writing this book?
The mother was probably the most difficult character for me to write. As a mother myself, I can’t imagine making some of the choices Jasmine and Danny’s mom made. It was necessary for the story, but man did I get mad at her in some of those scenes.
5. If you could co-write a book with an author, who would it be and why?
Oh my gosh, there are so many authors I admire and would love to co-write with. I’m going with Jandy Nelson on this one. I absolutely love her intricate and beautiful books.
And now, time for some personal short questions
Current book favorite that you would recommend to everyone? I have read so many great books just in the last few weeks alone, so this is tough to answer! I recently read SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli. I’d highly recommend it – terrific YA contemporary.
Favorite song of all time? Oh wow, that’s impossible! No way I can pick just one. Most likely it would be something by Red Hot Chili Peppers .:)
If you were to get to celebrate your birthday with a celebrity, who would it be? John Lennon or Anthony Kiedis.
Chris Evans or Liam Hemsworth? Liam!
Three words, to describe yourself best. Empathetic, optimistic, silly