October 5, 2018

The Geography of Lost Things Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


The Geography of Lost Things
Author: Jessica Brody
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Simon Pulse
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In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.

After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.
Why Contemporary Fiction is Just as Dramatic as Genre Fiction
By Jessica Brody

I recently had a conversation with a good friend who is a young adult sci-fi/fantasy author and she said, “I don’t know how you write contemporary. How do you create for a character when there are no life or death stakes?”

This question made me laugh because I do write both contemporary and sci-fi and I enjoy writing both (I have a sci-fi reimagining of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, called Sky Without Stars, releasing in March). So I know what she means by “life or death stakes.”

When you’re writing sci-fi or fantasy or thrillers, it’s fun to put your characters in situations where every move or decision they make can mean the difference between life and death. But that’s not exactly realistic, is it? It’s not what most of us deal with on a daily basis. For most of us, real life is not an episode of The Americans. But that certainly doesn’t mean us “normal people” don’t experience drama and conflict on a daily basis. (Anyone who has experienced middle school knows that.)

For most us, real life is not about making choices that mean the difference between a literal life or death, but instead, our choices mean the difference between a metaphorical life or death. The life or death of a friendship, a relationship, a good grade, a job, a sense of security, the future you thought you wanted. These stakes can be just as compelling and exciting. And, as a writer, they challenge you to dive deep into the heart and soul of the character and figure out who they are as people. What do they want? And what do they fear losing? Because those are the stakes that turn them from fictional characters into real people.

I think this is why keep coming back to contemporary time and time again. The Geography of Lost Things will be my eighth contemporary YA novel. In this story, Ali Collins wants to save her childhood home from foreclosure by the bank. If she fails, it will feel like the death of something. She wants to sell the classic car her estranged father left for her when he died, because the last thing she needs in her life is a reminder of the father who abandoned her as a child. When she finds out there’s might be more to the story of her father’s absence, that, too, is a death of something. The death of an idea of who her father was. The idea she’d been holding onto for years. And finally, Ali wants to avoid her ex-boyfriend Nico because she can’t bear to relive that horrible night when they broke up. But when she finds herself on a road trip with him up the coast of California to sell her father’s car, she also finds herself reliving (and reexamining) the death of their relationship with new eyes.

The truth is, we deal with life or death stakes every day of our lives. Because we’re always changing, always letting old things and old ideas and old ways of thinking “die” so that new thing and new ideas and new ways of thinking can be “born.” And contemporary fiction shows us that we are not alone in these “life or death” stakes. And that is why I keep writing it.
Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Summer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves.

Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets” series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. (Click here for a full list of foreign sales and publishers.) She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.
(2) Finished Copies of The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody (USA only) 
Starts: 10/1/18
Ends: 10/10/18


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