Julia Cape: A dedicated classical piano student just trying to get through her last semester of high school while waiting to hear from music conservatories.
Reed MacAllister: A slacker more likely to be found by the stoners’ tree than in class.
Julia and Reed might have graduated high school without ever speaking to each other…until, during a class discussion of Romeo and Juliet, Julia scoffs at the play’s theme of love at first sight, and Reed responds by arguing that feelings don’t always have to make sense. Julia tries to shake off Reed’s comment and forget about this boy who hangs with the stoner crowd—and who happens to have breathtaking blue eyes—but fate seems to bring the two together again and again. After they share an impulsive, passionate kiss, neither one can deny the chemistry between them. Yet as Julia gets closer to Reed, she also finds herself drawn into his dark world of drugs and violence. Then a horrific tragedy forces Julia’s and Reed’s families even farther apart…and Julia must decide whether she’s willing to give up everything for love.
Defy the Stars is written in an edgy free-verse style that will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins and Lisa Schroeder; however, the writing is accessible enough to speak to non-verse fans as well. The novel’s combination of steamy romance and raw emotion will appeal to fans of Gayle Forman, Simone Elkeles, Jennifer Echols, and Tammara Webber. With a story, language and form that both pay homage to and subvert Shakespeare’s play, Defy the Stars is much more than just another Romeo and Juliet story.
So first of all, Reed, can you tell us a little bit about yourself for those of us who don’t know you yet?
Uh, okay…I’m a senior at Fairvern High and…I don’t know…I’m just trying to get through high school, I guess. I live with my older brother right now, downtown. It’s kind of a dump, but it’s home.
You play the guitar, right?
Sort of—I mean, I fool around a little, but I’m not that good.
I think you’re being modest.
So who are some of your favorite guitarists?
Layne Staley, Kurt Cobain, and Billy Corgan. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade…or maybe just to the wrong family.
Speaking of family… can you tell us a bit more about your relationship with your brother?
No, not really.
You’re not very talkative, are you?
Sorry, it’s just…uh…a sensitive subject.
Well, I think readers really want to know why you stand by your brother, considering the way he acts sometimes.
Oh man. Look, you can’t understand unless you’ve been there…I can’t explain it, but…I just have this memory of Cary and me huddled under the covers together with a flashlight. I must have been about four, and Cary used to read me his comic books. He was so patient, and he’d answer all my dumb questions about why Batman was so sad, why Mary Jane couldn’t figure out that Spider-Man was also Peter Parker… It just felt so warm and safe, the two of us and those superhero stories at night. I can’t forget that. I know Cary can be an asshole, but…he was all I had for a long time. I don’t know. I just can’t explain it any better than that.
Okay, let’s talk about Julia. When did you first notice her?
Julia spent most of high school ignoring me, but to tell the truth, I had a thing for her right from the start. She always has this thoughtful, half-lost look in her eyes, like she’s listening to a song no one else can hear. I heard her playing piano a few times, and then I started to watch the way she moved her hands in class, in the halls—it’s like she’s always pressing invisible piano keys, playing some secret song. And after that kiss…oh man, after that kiss, I was gone. I’d do anything for her.
Well, Reed, it looks like you can be talkative about some things.
Uh, yeah, I guess. Look, I gotta…
Okay, I’ll let you get back to Julia, but thanks for taking the time to talk to me today!
Stephanie Parent is a YA author repped by Brenda Bowen of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major.
Find Stephanie Parent online: Blog | Goodreads | Twitter
-1st prize: $30 gift card from Amazon and a e-book copy of Defy the Stars.
-2nd place: 4 e-book copies of Defy the Stars.
-Additional Prize: A query letter critique by Stephanie Parent.
-All giveaways are open internationally!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Check out more stops on the Defy the Stars Blog Tour.|