Monday, May 18, 2015

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Kissing in America
by Margo Rabb
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 26th 2015
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I loved romances because when you opened the first page, you knew the story would end well. Your heart wouldn't be broken. I loved that security, that guaranteed love.

In real life, you never knew the ending. I hated that.

Sixteen-year-old Eva has never been in love. But when she meets Will, everything changes. With him, her grief over her father's death fades, and she can escape from her difficult relationship with her mother. Then, without any warning, Will picks up and moves to California. So Eva—with the help of her best friend, Annie—concocts a plan to travel across the country to see him again. As they leave New York City for the first time and road-trip across America, they encounter cowboys, kudzu, and tiny towns without stoplights. Along the way, Eva and Annie learn the truth about love and all its complexities.

“Wonderful . . . Margo Rabb has created nothing less than a women’s map of American mythologies, navigating from Emily Dickinson to Barbara Cartland, from the cowboys of the rodeos to the makeup studios of Hollywood, and from the bottom of the Atlantic to the spacious skies of the USA.” — E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars

“A wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence and the inner lives of girls. Margo Rabb writes with compassion and clarity about lives that are worth telling, journeys that need to be taken, peace that needs to be reached. I loved it.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray Love

“That Margo Rabb can write a story so gorgeous, funny, and joyous that is also unsentimental and honest is a testament to her skill and to her heart. I loved everything about Eva and the supporting cast in this beautiful novel.” — Sara Zarr, author of The Lucy Variations

“Rabb eloquently gets grief right in this compassionate, perceptive, and poignant story, deftly leavened with irreverent humor, of a girl in conflict with her mother. Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting-not to be missed.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“With a full cast of multidimensional characters, this novel explores the complex nature of relationships and the many faces of grief and love with equal parts humor and poignancy.” — School Library Journal

“A smart teen’s novel. [The] characters are authentic and complex. Rabb knows the perfect point to interject humor to diffuse a potentially devastating situation—a leavening of sorts to the reality that death and love inexplicitly alter the landscape of a person’s life.” — Booklist (starred review)

“In this indelible coming-of-age story, Rabb seamlessly weaves together multiple narratives. Sprinkled with the poetry Eva reads and writes, this story makes for a hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Humor and depth . . . Often entertainingly snarky” — The Horn Book

“It is a marvel and I love every word of it: the carefully structured plot, the memorable characters, the wholly apposite style and tone. It is funny, sad, wistful, wise, and altogether memorable.” — Michael Cart

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

Gilmore Girls (I own all 7 seasons on DVD)

Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn


Prince Edward Island, Canada

Paris, France

The Cotswolds, England

There’s an old movie I love called Christmas in Connecticut starring Barbara Stanwyck, and I love the male lead in that movie, played by the actor Dennis Morgan. His character is funny, honest, warm, and so charming. In a fictional world, I’d marry him.

“All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story.” —Isak Denisen

Edward Carey wrote an amazing trilogy of books called the Iremonger Trilogy—the individual titles are Heap House, Foulsham, and Lungdon—the second and third will be out this summer and fall, and I got to read early copies of them. They’re absolutely incredible and everyone must read them!

I’d love to meet Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the Anne of Green Gables books.

Thank you for having me as part of the FFBC tour—I’m so honored to be here!

Hello Margo! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

When I was a teen, I thought that great love would change everything. If only I could meet and fall in love with Rob Lowe (or, if he was otherwise occupied, then my high school crush might suffice), then all the sorrows I felt so deeply—grief over my mother, who had died very suddenly, and then over my father, who died seven years later—would disappear. I’d finally be truly happy.

In many ways, Kissing in America is a love letter to who I was as a teen—a scared and grief-filled girl who desperately wanted to find love, and even more than that, to understand it. Writing the novel was a long process—I started the first draft in 2008—and a labor of love. Eva, the narrator, finds solace in many of the things that comforted and helped me when I was her age: poetry, which I loved to write and read; travel (I spent half of my teen years on buses and trains); and feminism, which I first learned about as a teen, and which changed the way I thought of myself and what I dreamed my life could be.

Toward the end of the novel, Eva asks, “How do you walk through the world, how do you continue, when you know what a dark place it is?” I hope that, like Eva, Kissing in America will help readers find their own answers to that question. 

I loved writing the scene at the rodeo! Going to the rodeo every year was one of my favorite things about living in Texas.

The Littlest Birds by the Be Good Tanyas (same as my favorite song above!)

Chocolate and popcorn! Or even better, chocolate-covered popcorn.

I’m at work on a new young adult novel and lots of new essays, which I’m excited to share soon.

Thank you so much for everything, Margo!

Thank you!

Follow the Kissing in America AUDIO TOUR that Epic Reads is hosting. You can win lots of prizes and hear excerpts from Margo Rabb's book. Click on the banner below to start following the AUDIO TOUR!

Follow the Kissing in America by Margo Rabb Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Margo Rabb's stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope: All Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, New England Review, One Story, and elsewhere, and have been broadcast on National Public Radio. She received grand prize in the Zoetrope short story contest, first prize in The Atlantic Monthly fiction contest, first prize in the American Fiction contest, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award. She grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two children. A complete list of her published work can be found here.

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1 comment:

  1. I feel as though I have found a kindred spirit in Margo Rabb. Old movies and Anne are the best. =)