Today we're excited to chat with Jessica Brody (The Geography Of Lost Things)
as part of YABC's Teen Read Week!
Read on for more about Jessica, her novel, plus a giveaway!
Meet Jessica Brody!
Jessica Brody is the author of several popular novels for teens and tweens, including The Geography of Lost Things, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, A Week of Mondays, Better You Than Me, and the Unremembered trilogy. She lives with her husband and four dogs near Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at JessicaBrody.com.
Meet The Geography Of Lost Things!
A lot can happen on the road from lost to found…
Ali Collins doesn’t have room in her life for clutter or complications. So when her estranged father passes away and leaves her his only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—Ali knows she won’t keep it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. And especially not when a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast is offering enough money for the car to save her childhood home from foreclosure. There’s only one problem, though. Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift.
But her ex-boyfriend, Nico, does.
The road trip gets off to a horrible start, filled with unexpected detours, roadblocks, and all the uncomfortable tension that comes with being trapped in a car with your ex. But when Nico starts collecting items from the quirky strangers they meet along the way, Ali starts to sense that these objects aren’t random. Somehow they seem to be leading her to an unknown truth about her father. A truth that will finally prove to Ali that some things—even broken things—are worth saving.
~ Interview for Teen Read Week ~
YABC: What book or books were your go-to choice when you were a teen?
Would you believe that I wasn’t a reader as a teen? I know, a writer who’s not a reader! WHAAAA???
I was what they now call a “reluctant reader.” It was hard for me to get into books (I still prefer audiobooks to this day!) and all the books they assigned me to read in school were booo-oooring. I think that turned me off reading all together.
That’s why I’m super conscious about making sure the books I write now are fast-paced short, punchy chapters. Basically the kind of book I might have gravitated toward as a teen.
But I will say there was one author who I did read a teenager and that was Christopher Pike. I loved his super warpy, out-there concepts. I mean, cults, and skulls that turn you into aliens, and being haunted by a Greek goddess? What’s not to love?
YABC: Was there a class in high school that you wished you had paid closer attention to and why?
Probably any English class. I was a total math nerd. (I know, another shocker.) I actually majored in Economics in college (see answer above about not being a reader!) But because I wasn’t a reader as teen, I feel like I missed out on a lot of great books (I shamefully read a lot of cliff notes. Sorry, Mr. Larson, my 10th Grade English Teacher!) I’m now discovering a lot of those books as an adult which is great (like, hello? I do not remember The Grapes of Wrath being this compelling as a teen!) But, I do believe we are all on our own journeys for a purpose, so clearly I was meant to be a late reader for some reason!
YABC: What advice would you give teens who might want to be a writer?
Don’t be afraid to write badly. All writers have awful first drafts. That’s why they’re called first drafts. Sometimes you have to just get through the story before you can make it pretty. I think a lot of new authors quit halfway through the book because they’re afraid that it’s not good. The first draft won’t be good. Accept that and keep going! Just finish it and fix it later. The hardest part about writing a book is getting to that last page. Or, like I always say, “Don't be afraid to write crap because crap makes great fertilizer.”
YABC: What 3 YA books would you love to recommend to our readers?
There are SO many books I love to recommend, but here are three that I don’t think get enough attention, for whatever reason. So you may not have heard of them…but you SHOULD!
Not After Everything by Michelle Levy (contemporary)
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure (contemporary)
Free to Fall by Lauren Miller (sci-fi)
The Geography Of Lost Things
By: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018