The premise: Polly Pierce is a very popular girl, but in order to get where she is, she made some hard-to-swallow choices. For her, it's worth it. Most of the time. But when her best friend, the even more popular Kelsey, has a freak accident, Polly takes the challenge and becomes PlanMaster for her school's Groove It Up committee. She's hoping she can prove she's more than Plastic Polly.
What I loved: Polly's voice. Because even though everyone thinks Polly is fake, the way she tells this story lets readers know there's always more to a person than what you see and what you think you know.
I purposely kept my review super-short, which I plan to do from now on. My job is to hook you and tell you what I loved. Your job is to then read. :-) Now, the interview with Jenny Lundquist. My questions are in blue, her responses in black.
What do you love about writing?
There are so many things I love about writing. I love that I can play in my imagination for several hours a day and call it work. I love that I can consume novel after YA/MG novel and call it "studying my craft." I love that I can stare out the window and daydream and call it "brainstorming." I love that I can stare at images on Pinterest and call it "research." But mostly, I love taking an idea, or a character in my head, and weaving words together to try to help others "see" the things I see in my imagination. That's a real privilege, and I don't take it for granted.
What do you not love about writing?
For all the things I love about writing, there are definitely days when it feels like "a job." When my kids are sick, and my house is a mess, and the laundry is piled up, but I'm having a hard time dealing with any of it because I'm staring down a deadline, those are the days I'm not particularly fond of, when I feel like my entire life is on hold because of writing.
I also don't love how careful I have to be about guarding my own confidence, if that makes sense. When your work is out there for everyone to see and you read a bad or even just a mediocre review, it can really mess with your head and make you doubt yourself. Sometimes I've had to ban myself from Amazon, Goodreads, etc., because I knew I wasn't in the right frame of mind to hear criticism (no matter how constructive) without it affecting my ability to write that day. And when I'm staring down a deadline, I really need to be able to produce pages without believing I'm the worst writer in the entire universe. I don't think I ever imagined that so much of the writing life after you're published is about learning how to effectively manage your own negative emotions and make choices to keep yourself in a healthy place, emotionally and mentally.
Writing can certainly test one's confidence. It's nice to know published authors still struggle with that too. What is one fun or little-known fact about you (that you're willing to share)?
I secretly name my cars. The first car I ever bought was a metallic blue color which I named "Otter Pop." My current car is named "Callie" after the main character in Seeing Cinderella. But my all-time favorite is my husband's car, which I named, "Machine Gun Kelly." Any So I Married an Axe Murderer fans out there?
I love that! In college, a bunch of my friends named cars. The only one I remember is Morrie Mazda. Another little personal bit: Would you rather take a jaunty spin in a sports car or hike a mountain trail?
I would love to hike up a mountain trail, then let someone with their jaunty sports car ferry me back down. When it comes to hiking, I'm a wimp.
Thanks so much for having me!
Thank YOU for sharing with us, Jenny! As for the ARC giveaway: simply comment on this post by Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 8pm CDT and have a US mailing address. Blog followers will be entered twice. Winner announced March 25th.
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Happy middle grade reading!