I have great news today!
Penguin/Putman has contacted me to share an excerpt and the gorgeous cover of White Lines by Jennifer Banash!! Penguin US is also generously sponsoring an international giveaway of this novel. You only have to fill the rafflecopter at the end of this post =D. Yay! In addition, I had the pleasure to interview Jennifer Banash to know a bit more about her novel and about herself.
I am very excited about this upcoming release. It sounds like a very intense coming-of-age novel, plus is set in the 80's!! I was proudly born in the 80's and I'm eager to read a YA novel set during those years. :) Now,enough talking and let's see the gorgeous cover! TAAAAAADAAAAAAA!!!
Coming out on April 2013 by by G.P.Putnam's Sons/Penguin
Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream—she has her own apartment on New York’s Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when her real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream.
The sounds of the city grate against Cat’s nerves, she shrinks away from human touch, and can barely think the words “I love you” even when she feels them. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father who’s found happiness in another woman, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But then someone comes along who makes her want to stop escaping her life and actually live it, only she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control. Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.
Read an excerpt!
I’M SITTING ON THE STONE STEPS at school, pretending to enjoy an apple that I bought from an Asian grocery a few blocks over, when all I’m really thinking about is how long I have left until I can go home and start getting ready for the club, every stroke of makeup on my skin sliding me further from daylight. I tongue the white flesh and sink my teeth in, wishing the ripe fruit was the tanned blond head of one of the salad girls.
Since Manhattan Prep is housed in a brownstone and has a population of only one hundred students or fewer in the entire school, we don’t have a cafeteria. Or a prom. Or dances. Or phys ed. Instead, the Park Avenue girls buy salads at a cafeteria next door and sit in the glass atrium picking at their wilted greens, retouching their lip gloss with sticky pink wands. Even though we are all essentially weird in some way— after all, this is a school for kids who have gotten into some kind of trouble—it’s not enough to banish cliques completely. We still have the same bullshit categories as any other school: the jocks, the popular girls, the nerds. And the untouchables.
Like me. It goes without saying that nobody wants to have lunch with the weirdo who goes to clubs all the way downtown every night, so I sit on the steps and try to pretend that it doesn’t matter, when really, I’d do just about anything to have a friend here. This silent admission makes my cheeks flush with shame. How can I be so weak? Even at Nightingale, I only ever really had Sara, her blond curls hanging over my shoulder, elaborately folded notes tossed at my feet during study hall. Somehow, it was almost enough. But here, with no one to talk to day after day, the loneliness creeps in like an old friend I no longer want to know. Worse yet, it wants to make small talk. Oh, it’s you again? How’ve you been?
Across the street, Julian, the new kid, sits on the curb in front of Ray’s Pizza, a slice dangling from one hand. As he brings the pizza to his lips, the cheese falls off in one giant greasy slide to his lap. Julian has long dark hair that hangs to his shoulders and looks as if it hasn’t made friends with soap or water in days. His skin is the color of café au lait, and there’s something about the tilt of his eyes that makes me think he’s vaguely Asian. He wears jeans so tight that I’m sure years from now he’ll be sitting in some clinic with his frosty blond wife, stammering that he has no idea WHY they’ve had such a difficult time starting a family. All I know about Julian is that (a) he sits right across the aisle from me in history class, and (b) he transferred from Dalton last week after some kind of scandal involving his ex-girlfriend, and (c) he’s totally into the Ramones. He doesn’t talk to anyone, and never raises his hand in class, just stares down at his binder and scribbles what looks like pictures of Transformers on the cover with a black pen.
Julian finishes scraping melted cheese off his jeans and looks up, an irritated expression clouding his face. When his eyes meet mine, I feel a rough shock of recognition between us and raise my apple core in a kind of demented greeting, the air suddenly as thick as pudding. Julian tosses me a curt nod and promptly goes back to stuffing the rest of the slice into his mouth, gnawing hungrily at the edges of the crust, watching me all the while. Even though I love staring, and I think that generally other people’s lives are way more interesting than TV, I feel uneasy as Julian’s eyes lock on to mine. My face burns as he chews the last bite and brushes his hands against his black jeans before walking toward me. I turn the apple core over and over between my palms, my heart careening in my chest as he approaches, glad that my hands have something to do even if the core is damp, sticky, and turning browner by the minute. As Julian moves closer, I can’t help but notice how he shakes the hair from his eyes with one expert, jagged motion, how his hazel eyes change from green to brown in the light His skin is smooth and slightly bronzed, as if he’s just returned from some exotic locale. He tilts his chin in my direction defiantly, his eyes flicking coolly over my body, taking me in.
“See something you like?” He raises one dark eyebrow, and I feel like I’m going to spontaneously combust, which is what always happens when someone potentially interesting talks to me in the real world—especially if that person happens to be a guy. And up close, Julian is definitely interesting—though it makes my stomach churn spasmodically to even think the word to myself. People are dangerous, unpredictable. I know this implicitly, and every time I come into contact with them, I become a caged animal, a panther pacing back and forth behind steel bars, wary and agitated.
“Yeah,” I stammer, turning redder by the second and wishing that a manhole would just open up and swallow me whole. I look down at my black boots and scramble for something to say, my brain a jumble of images, none that entirely make sense. “Your pizza—I was just . . . hungry.”
The minute the words leave my lips, I know they are the truth. My stomach begins to growl loudly as if in agreement, and I look up into Julian’s amused face and laugh, my voice echoing in the street, too loud, even with the noise of a passing bus belching a thick cloud of black smoke. As the sound vibrates through me, jolting me into the present, I realize that it’s been forever since I’ve laughed at something legitimately funny or awkward without being prompted by the ingestion of some mind-altering substance. Still, I can’t quite turn off that ever-present voice inside my head, the one that holds up an invisible hand to stop me from going further, from moving closer.
People are dangerous . . .
“Well,” Julian says, laughing along with me and holding out a hand, “that’s remedied easily enough. C’mon.”
About the Author
I am the author of the Young Adult novel, WHITE LINES, forthcoming from G.P Putnam and Sons in April, 2013, as well as the three-book series THE ELITE, published by Berkley Jam and which includes the titles THE ELITE, IN TOO DEEP, and SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE.
You can contact me at email@example.com
Interview with Jennifer Banash
Interview with Jennifer Banash
1. What inspired you to write this novel?
My own experience of growing up in New York in the 1980's. During my high school years, I worked as a club kid briefly, which is someone who gets paid to throw parties in different clubs around town--also known as a party promoter, and I thought it would be a cool story to tell--especially in the YA genre. I also wanted to write a much more serious, darker book than the ones I'd published previously, and WHITE LINES certainly is that!
2. I read the excerpt and I must confess that I'm absolutely intrigued with the characters of Cat (who seems very complex) and Julian (who is now a complete mystery to me). Could you please tell us a little bit more about them?
well, I can't tell you TOO much or you won't read the book! But I will say that Cat is incredibly damaged emotionally--she's gone through much of her life at the hands of a physically and emotionally abusive mother and an absent father, so at the point you meet her in chapter three, she has a real fear of getting too close to people. Julian has his own issues, though they are very different that Cat's, but they are, in their own way, both outcasts.
3. Why did you choose to set the story during the 80's?
Because it's the decade in which I came of age, and it was just a magical time to be in New York City! It was a lot grimier and grittier and the city had real character. Now it just looks like a set from the movie Blade Rummer!
4. You have previously published The Elite trilogy. Could you tell us a little bit about it?
It was a series I did with Penguin about a small town girl who moves to the Upper East Side of Manhattan to live with her grandmother, and has a pretty rough time fitting into the world of "The elite" she finds there. The series dealt with serious issues like cutting, parental neglect, and drug use, but in a much more lighthearted way than WHITE LINES, which, frankly, bothered me. I always wanted to write books that were dark, intense, and realistic, so I was happy when I got the chance to move away from THE ELITE and do just that.
5. What are your favorite YA novels/series?
The WEETZIE BAT books are my all-time favorites, and I love Francesca Lia Block--she could write the phone book and I would read it. Barry Lyga's I HUNT KILLERS and BOY TOY are also amazing. And I like a lot of old-school classics like the novels of Lois Duncan--SUMMER OF FEAR is a personal fav, and Judy Blume. I have scoliosis, and reading DEENIE as a kid just about saved my life. I'm not a big series person--I tend to read the first book and then get bored with the rest . . .
6. While you are not writing or reading, what do you like to do?
When am I NOT writing or reading, lol? I'm an English teacher, so if I'm not reading for pleasure, I'm reading for my classes, or reading student papers. But when I do have some downtime, I love going to the movies or watching movies with my dogs and boyfriend (not necessarily in that order), or having my friends over for a big dinner around the table. I don't have much family to speak of, so my friends fill that space for me.
❤Thank you so much dear Jennifer! it's been a pleasure to have you here at Dazzling Reads ❤
This Giveaway is international (as long as UPS ships to your location) and is generously sponsored by Penguin Books for Young Readers!
Thank you so much Penguin!a Rafflecopter giveaway