The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin (Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway)



Welcome to my tour stop for Emily Martin's debut, The Year We Fell Apart! I'm welcoming Emily to my blog today as she's been nice enough to answer some questions. Check out her interview and enter the giveaway below...

The Year We Fell ApartThe Year We Fell Apart
YA Contemporary
Hardcover, paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
January 26th 2016 by Simon Pulse


Summary

In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.

   
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Interview

I'd like to welcome Emily Martin to my blog today to talk a little about her debut book. The Year We Fell Apart has been on my tbr for a while now because of its fun cover, but more for its interesting synopsis.

1. The main character, Harper, is trying to deal with her mom fighting cancer. What influenced this aspect of the story and how do you feel this developed Harper’s character, if at all?

This aspect of the story was influenced in part by my own experiences as a teen, when a close family member was battling a long-term illness. Harper shares a lot of the same insecurities I felt around that time, especially because her best friend, Declan, lost his mom a couple of years earlier. Harper has trouble separating that loss from what her mother is going through in the present, and though she desperately wants to seek comfort from Declan, it also brings some deep-rooted fears to the surface.

That's a tough experience to have gone through. I think the best books are the ones that draw on real experiences so that the story feels authentic.

2. What was your favorite part of writing this story?

My favorite part of writing this story was discovering the dynamic between Harper, Declan, and Cory. These three friends have a ton of history, and it was a blast writing scenes where they were all together, whether teasing each other or standing up for one another.

I love when there is some great camaraderie in stories!

3. What was the hardest part of writing this story?

The hardest thing for me was learning to let bad things happen to the characters I love. Starting out, I had a terrible habit of trying to protect Harper, both from herself and from other characters, which led to a rather boring first draft. What I wanted most was to tell an honest story, which meant allowing Harper to make mistakes—even when it was painful to write!

My favorite stories have characters who have to work through things or where there is some heartache. It makes the good stuff, the happy endings, even better and more rewarding.

4. What is your favorite scene, aspect, or line from the book?

One of my favorite aspects is Harper’s ability to stand up for other girls, even if she doesn’t particularly like or agree with them. This isn’t to say Harper is always nice—sometimes her internal dialogue can be downright mean. But for the most part she keeps these kinds of thoughts to herself, and when she sees another girl being targeted the way she has been in the past, her instinct is to protect them, which is something I love about her.

That's an awesome trait to have!

5. Does the friendship between Declan and Harper feel like the boy-next-door kind or something else?

This is a great question, especially because there is a boy-next-door in this book, and he’s not a love interest. The actual boy-next-door, Cory, is best friends with both Harper and Declan. The three of them have always been inseparable, and Declan does share that boy-next-door quality, in that he grew up with Harper and knows her better than just about anyone. Their long history and group dynamic is what makes Harper and Declan’s state of non-friendship at the beginning of the story particularly painful for everyone involved. 

Obviously I need to get this read already!

6. Can you share what you’re working on next?

Right now I’m working on a new story that takes place in my home state of Michigan. It has the kind of complicated relationships between characters that I love to write, and is focused on the multigenerational after-effects of family trauma. It’s told from the point of view of a young girl who is just starting to navigate relationships, as she questions whether her origin story defines who she is in real life.

It sounds like it's going to be a great story and another one I will be adding to my tbr. Thanks so much for stopping by, Emily!

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About the Author

Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. She has a penchant for impromptu dance parties, vintage clothing, and traveling to new places. When not writing, she can be found hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored.

Emily’s debut young adult novel, THE YEAR WE FELL APART, comes out January 26, 2016 from Simon Pulse.

Her work is represented by Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary.

   

Tour-Wide Giveaway


Win (1) hard copy of THE YEAR WE FELL APART by Emily Martin (US Only)



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