Tuesday, May 5, 2015

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer) by Michelle Dalton

Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer)
by Michelle Dalton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 5th 2015
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Beachfront love blossoms in this refreshing summer romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer and Seventeenth Summer.

Mandy Sullivan isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer months as tourists invade her seaside hometown on the coast of Maine. Her best friend, Cynthia, has abandoned her for camp and her older brother just announced he’ll be staying at college taking classes for the summer, leaving Mandy with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Hoping to keep herself busy, Mandy takes a volunteer job at the Rocky Pointe Lighthouse. On her very first day, Oliver Farmingham asks for a private tour. A new—and incredibly cute—face in Rocky Pointe, Oliver seems more interested in Mandy than the lighthouse and its history.

Without her best friend at her side, Mandy is scrambling to act the right way and say the right things when Oliver is around. Cynthia—not Mandy—has always been the confident, flirtatious girl that everyone wanted to be around. As Mandy and Oliver spend more time together exploring the coast, biking through the woods, and attending the local summer festivals, their budding friendship becomes much more. But with Mandy’s insecurities creeping to the surface, can she open her heart to someone who will only be in town for three months?

How can I choose just one?!?!?!! 

Some I’ve loved that I read (or reread) recently are David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing; Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America; Room by Emma Donoghue; Zone One by Colin Whitehead. They couldn’t be more different from each other, but all pretty intense in one way or another.

Of all time? Buffy the Vampire Slayer – which I still watch, thanks to the cable universe.

Currently – The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.

Again, no fair making me pick!!!! I’m woefully behind in my movies. I just watched District 9 (I told you I’m behind!) and thought it was really great. I enjoyed Big Hero Six, and if I want to cry, all I have to do is channel surf and find Kathy’s death scene in Wuthuring Heights with Laurence Olivier.

At the moment, an oldie-but-goodie, “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by Cake. I’m also listening to a lot of Ed Sheeran and Vance Joy. Though I have to confess I sometimes break out singing “Everything is Awesome” from The Legos Movie.

Sweet potato fries.

I’m a native New Yorker and can’t imagine EVER moving out of the city. So I think what I’d really like is to have a Tardis so I can visit places in different times and different universes, but only temporarily. First stop: Rocky Point, Maine, of course!

Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is probably TMI about me! And not a guy I’d ever recommend to my readers…

Leap and the net will appear.

To be totally honest – I don’t have a Fangirl gene. I like stuff, I even love stuff, but I’m not a “completist” like Oliver, don’t see movies multiple times, and have no need to be the first to own, see, or experience something.

Living: I’d love to meet Emma Donoghue who wrote Room to discuss her amazing book. It’s quite a writing achievement. 

Dead: Jane Austen. I think she’d be smart and funny, and we could people-watch and make up stories together about everyone who walks by.

As a fellow Book Addict myself, I say, surrender to your addiction!

Hello Michelle/Carla! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

It’s the story of a romance that develops between Mandy, a sixteen-year-old girl living in the small town of Rocky Point, Maine, and Oliver, who is visiting from California. Mandy is expecting to have a boring summer, with her best friend away and a job her mom insisted on, but because of Oliver, things turn out very differently.

The best thing about them also makes them a good couple: they share a love of stories, and although for Oliver those stories come from history and Mandy’s from her own imagination, they complement one another. And they have such good hearts. 

Of course, they aren’t perfect -- who is? Oliver can definitely be stubborn, a bit on the obsessive side, and has trouble compromising. Mandy’s insecurity leads her to hide her real feelings, which results in arguments. They’re a perfect YA couple because it’s by falling in love that they learn about themselves and these flaws begin to be addressed. In some ways, that’s what love is all about – a way to discover yourself.

The one I had… :)

A few things percolated in my mind that seemed to go together. I’d been thinking about my time in Stonington, Maine (hoping to make a return trip!) and how the tiny fishing community expanded because of summer visitors. It occurred to me that some residents would find their little town too small, and others love it. Then I had houseguests who had never been to New York City. Their visit made me see my own city differently, the way Oliver changes Mandy’s perception of Rocky Point.

I think the most romantic is also kinda the most heartbreaking – a note Oliver writes to Mandy. But I won’t tell you what it says – that’d be a spoiler!

The contest Mandy and Oliver have trying to top each other with the best stories about the lighthouse exhibits. I got to mix crazy stories with quirky facts!

Firework by Katy Perry

Get in a hammock with your fried clams, your potato chips, and a tall glass of lemonade – but none for me! I share Mandy’s complete aversion to seafood. So what I’d have is iced coffee and a blueberry muffin. Set your music to shuffle -- let yourself be surprised!

I just finished writing a really fun “choose-your-own-adventure” style book for Disney, based on an upcoming movie, which I’m not allowed to talk about yet! And I’m about to go back to writing a YA fantasy I’ve had in mind for a long time that I’m dying to finish. It’s based on an old Scottish folktale, so I get to combine my love of history and research with contemporary YA issues!

Thank you so much for everything, Michelle/Carla!

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Michelle Dalton is one of the many names Carla Jablonski uses when writing. Her two YAs written as Carla Jablonski (published by Razorbill/Penguin), Thicker than Water and Silent Echoes, were included on the NYPL Books for the Teen Age list, and her graphic novel trilogy Resistance (illustrated by Leland Purvis, published by :01 Books) has won several awards, including the Sydney Taylor Silver Medal. In addition to writing novels she is an actor, playwright, and former trapeze artist. A native New Yorker, she is eternally grateful to her friends who invite her to their beach houses.

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