About the Book
Title: How to Be Brave
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date published: November 3, 2015
An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.
Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.
Honestly, I didn't know what I was getting into when I signed up to review this book. I signed up for a YA Debut tour and was matched up with this one, so I decided to give it a go and read it. I rarely read synopses for reviews anymore, but I gave it a quick glance over and it looked like it would be interesting.
And it was.
This was a heavy read for me. Not that it was depressing or what have you, but Georgia, the main character, is going through a lot after her mom's death. This wasn't something I could read in one sitting because of the content. Still, I found myself drawn to the story and wanting to know what was going to happen next.
Reading this felt... real. As if I was actually looking in to Georgia's life... struggles and all.
I don't want to give out spoilers, but for a good portion of second half of the book I could feel this huge bubble of loneliness growing inside of me. I wanted so badly to just... I don't know... give her a hug? She needed one. Especially after it was discovered that she was carrying something as heavy as she was.
Hell, after reading through that part, I need a hug.
Anyway, slight spoiler: it ends on a positive note, which helped my heart to stop breaking. Because, my gawd, she really did NOT need more stuff thrown at her.
Good book, I enjoyed it. Recommended to people who like realistic stories.
About the Author
Her debut YA contemporary novel, HOW TO BE BRAVE, is forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press (November 3, 2015). Her second book is tentatively set for a 2016 release.
If you have questions or would like to contact her directly, please visit her at ekatwrites.com.
Must I choose? Usually chocolate chip, but my childhood BFF’s oatmeal raisin cookies are like none other on this planet.
Do you ever write characters you hate?
Yes! I started a book a few years ago, and the narrator was annoying me so much, I couldn’t stay with her any longer. Of course, then there are antagonists who I hate as well, but I try to find the humanity in them so I can understand what drives them.
What's your favorite pie?
Anything with rhubarb.
What do you enjoy, outside of writing?
I like to cook and eat, practice and teach yoga, ride my one-speed bike at low speeds, and decorate for Halloween. Yes, that last one takes all year.
Were there any scenes in it that were difficult for you to write?
Yes. I don’t want to give away the end, but there was one in particular that I still have a difficult time reading. I cried while writing it.
Do you prefer your books in print or e-book format?
Usually print, but I own an e-book reader, and I like to use it when I travel.
Batman or Superman?
Christopher Nolan’s Batman.
What is your favorite book?
This is so hard to answer! There are too many to choose! If I have to pick one, it would be Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya.
How do you get over writer's block?
I take a break - I’ll go for walks, do a yoga practice, try something new, meet up with friends, go to a concert - anything to get me out of the spiral of doubt and fear, which is really what writer’s block is for me.
Who is your favorite character that you've written?
I loved writing Georgia. She’s far from perfect - she’s sometimes cynical, sometimes critical - but she also yearns for better, for herself and for her life.
What song do you sing in the shower?
Singing in the Rain, of course! (It’s also my all-time favorite movie.)
Who is your favorite author?
Do you ever feel frustrated with your work?
Yes! Frustration is part of the process, though! It’s not fun, but it’s necessary. Moving past those frustrations by finding solutions for creative problems gives the work worth.
How do you handle negative reviews of your books?
I remind myself of the fact that not everyone has to like it.
What's something about you that most people don't know?
For the longest time, it was that I write! When I announced that I’d signed with an agent, everyone I knew was shocked because I’d hid the fact that I write for so long. Now, there’s not much else I keep to myself. Maybe my addiction to 30 Rock? (I’ve watched the series three times...am about to watch it again.)
What are you currently reading?
Catherine Linka’s A Girl Called Fearless
Do you have a favorite genre to write?
Is there a type of genre you refuse to write?
Not at all! I love to read all genres, and I’ve written fantasy and dystopian.
There's a lot of distractions around, especially with social media, how do you block it all out and write?
I set word count deadlines, like mini-NanoWriMos, for myself. I also find cafes where the Wifi doesn’t work, and I’ll sit for hours and focus.
Humor me, because this is my favorite (mythical) animal: Would you ever consider putting a platypire in one of your books?
YES! Though it might have to battle my favorite animal: the zombie squirrel. Who do you think would win?