Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Wrong Side of Right Launch Party (+ Giveaway)

Yesterday night, I made my way over to The Astoria Bookshop, a cute little indie that's not so far from where I live, to be at the launch party for The Wrong Side of Right, the debut novel from Jenn Marie Thorne. I had only started reading it the night before the event, but I was hooked on Kate's story. It is a read similar to The Princess Diaries-slash-All American Girl-slash-What A Girl Wants; translation: it's just the kind of story I would enjoy. So you can imagine how eager I was to get to meet Jenn (and to finish her book post-event)!

cupcakes! 
Jenn reading from her novel!

The event was delightful, with cupcakes (designed to mimic the book cover) + wine, a short reading of a particularly pivotal scene from the book, and a conversation between Jenn and author/editor Leila Sales. I've included a few highlights below.

Leila & Jen
  • Where did she get the idea for the book? Jenn was inspired by stories like Arnold Schwarzenegger's son, and observing how they would talk around the kids the way most politicians do in order to protect their children. She wondered what it would be like to be an adolescent, to be trying to determine your own identity while having the country tell you it's scandalous. She's always been interested in politics and campaigns too, because she had friends involved in presidential campaigns.
  • How involved is she in politics and how did it inform the way she wrote her book? Jenn is mostly an observer. She likes watching the machinations of politics, but like most of America, she watches it like it's a sporting event - which can be dangerous. She feels like it gets treated as a "your team versus my team", instead of the complex, nuanced set of messages and end directions for the country. She didn't necessarily campaign herself, but her friends did.
  • How did you decide to include immigration as an issue in the book? Jenn says the larger theme is how politics can be impersonal, where politics doesn't necessarily consider the people involved. She feels like illegal immigration is a hot button issue that doesn't necessarily get the same amount of attention as other issues.
  • Jenn says Kate is the kind of girl who doesn't need to be a certain way, and she doesn't question her abilities. As Leila puts it, Kate has a quiet confidence. (Blogger's Note: I agree. Kate does have a quiet confidence to her.)

signing books like a pro
I also got the chance to sit with Jenn afterwards to chat for a bit, and here are some of the highlights from our conversation:
  • Do you know someone personally affected by the immigration issues? She does know people who are personally affected by the immigration issue, and she tried her best to make sure to handle it as impartially and fairly as possible. To quote her, "there's always a point when you're drafting or imagining a scene where your brain fills with cliches, and it's important to make sure to deepen or change the cliche to make it feel like an actual human experience." (Blogger's Note: She did an excellent job, in my humble opinion.)
  • What made you decide you wanted to write and not act? She's always been imaginative, and she thought that meant she was meant to be an actress. It took her time to realize that she didn't actually like to have people watch her act. She did work as an actress, and even moved to LA to pursue it. While there, she joined a writer's group, and continued to pursue writing until she drafted The Wrong Side of Right.
  • Is she just sticking to contemporaries? Jenn says she's not going to stick to just contemporaries. She's going to be jumping around genres. (Particularly, she's thinking about a magical realism story. And a high fantasy!)
  • What books would she recommend to readers? City of Savages by Lee Kelly is one of her favorite books this year. She feels it's a personal story within a dystopian setting. She also recommends This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales, which she loved. She is obsessed with I Capture the Castle, and says that it's the best example of voice, "it's so true to life, and so beautiful". Also, she would recommend Margaret Atwood (particularly The Blind Assassin) and Sarah Dessen!
  • If Kate were going to be put into a dystopian, fantasy, or paranormal world, which one would it be? There were a few options (the Grisha universe, Hogwarts, the world of Divergent), but her final choice? Westeros. Jenn thinks she would play the game so well, since she would be a lot like Sansa (who she says is underrated, because she's smart and evolves so much). (Blogger's Note: I think that's actually a good comparison.)
  • Which fictional character would Kate be friends with? Lindsay suggested Sam from All-American Girl (who is an excellent choice, since they have similar circumstances). But Jenn says Elise from This Song Will Save Your Life would be friends with Kate, because they both are careful about how they communicate and have rich inner lives.

with lovely Jenn
Jen & Lindsay (+ Jen's husband)

I hope you guys enjoyed getting the opportunity to see what went down at the launch party, and the mini-interview I conducted with Jenn! The whole night was just a lot of fun, and I most definitely think YOU need to check out The Wrong Side of Right. I'm including the book information, and below that, enter to win a giveaway for my ARC!

The Wrong Side of Right book cover

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: March 17, 2015

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?




15 comments:

  1. This looks like it was so much fun! I love that there were coordinating cupcakes. I wish I had known about the event!

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  2. I am amazed by that cupcake display! Soo cute! That's really special that you got to go to a book reading and have a chat with the author, and the space looks really intimate.

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  3. This book sounds so cute-- right up my alley too. Particularly glad to hear that she handles the immigration in the book well. And the launch party sounds like so much fun!

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  4. I adore the cupcake display! I like that they chose colors to match the book. I'm hungry now! =D

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  5. The MC is like Sansa? Well now I want to read this book even more! I've always been really interested in politics and electioneering so this seriously sounds like the perfect book for me. I definitely need to pick up a copy!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. She's definitely like Sansa in a subtle way - intellectual, stubborn and born to survive basically. But I hope you enjoy it!

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  6. Ahhh I was so excited for this book months ago when I saw it! I'm so happy to see it's out now. I have to get a copy.
    (PS, my comment is working! I fixed my Google issues like I mentioned on Twitter lol)

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    1. I'm glad you can comment again, Lauren! And yes, definitely grab a copy of The Wrong Side of Right. It's sooooo good!

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  7. The Wrong Side of Right sounds so fantastic. I'm excited to read about all the political aspects and how Kate deals with this big change. I love Game of Thrones and I really like Sansa (who is under-rated) and does evolve a LOT throughout the series. <3 The launch party looked fun. :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy The Wrong Side of Right when you get a chance to read it! Jenn handled all the aspects of the story really well, and I think you'll enjoy it ;)

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  8. Oh, very nice. Jenn is very pretty and I love those cupcakes! And I do like The Princess Diaries and What A Girl Wants. Sounds like fun.

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  9. Aw, that's SO awesome you got to meet Jenn!! I was able to interview her for my blog, and she was one of the sweetest authors I've interacted with. And I CANNOT wait to read this book!! :)

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    1. She's definitely just as sweet in real life! I loved getting to sit and chat with her for a bit.

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  10. Lovely recap, Alexa! I'm dying to read Jenn's book because one of my fave PH bloggers highly recommended it and it sounds so much like a contemporary that would be right in my alley. I love that Jenn rec'd TSWSYL and that makes me more excited about her book for some reason! :D

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    1. I think you'd really like her book, Hazel! It's really, really good - a very solid YA contemporary debut for this year.

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