|pub 5/3/16 by Simon & Schuster |
Books for Young Readers
YA - Contemporary
Invisible Fault Lines tells Callie's story as she tries to make sense of the sudden disappearance of her father. One day she and her parents were a normal family and the next, her dad was gone without a trace and no one can give her or her mom any answers. It takes Callie some time but eventually she decides to investigate, along with the help of her friends, because she knows her dad would never leave them voluntarily. The search leads her down many roads and to some pretty out-there theories. But ultimately, it wasn't about the outcome. At least not for me. It was about Callie, her journey through all these overwhelming emotions and the people in her life like her mother, her best friend Beckett and a guy she connects with during this crazy time. As always, Madonia's depiction of Callie as she spirals from grief to denial to acceptance is spot-on and so very realistic. I loved Callie's narration immediately and just everything about her (cool thing to note: she's a drummer in a band!). I thought the entire book was such a honest take on showing how someone copes with a loss they can't explain and I really liked that it stuck to being ambiguous and open-ended. It allowed both Callie (and the reader) to decide what's next.
Do I recommend? Obviously the answer is yes! I really admire when an author makes each book they release different and a unique reading experience. That's definitely the case here and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next!
Now, time for the interview!
Thank you so much for having me! It has been exciting – and overwhelming and terrifying, too. I had hoped that publishing the second novel would be easier somehow, less emotional maybe, but I actually feel more vulnerable this time around since this book is more experimental in form. The whole concept of “ignorance is bliss” certainly comes into play. The first time around there was so much I didn’t know, so I was constantly learning. Each time something positive happened, it was a beautiful surprise. But this time I know what to expect, so some of they mystique gone, some of the romanticism. That can be good and bad. I feel more prepared and more intentional about where I’ll be putting my time and energy in terms of promotion, so that has made the process less stressful. But it’s also a bit harder the second time around because I know how difficult it can be to read a negative review, to not be included on the line-up for a festival you were hoping for, or to not be nominated for an award you had set your sights on. Since publishing Fingerprints of You, I’ve become a mother, so that certainly changes everything, too! I have a wider perspective now and a new set of priorities to manage. I don’t have time to obsess over the small things because my time is split between my son and my career, and I think that’s a good thing. I feel more balanced this time, more grounded, and I’m very grateful for that.
Invisible Fault Lines is about the disappearance of a young girl’s father and how she deals with the aftermath. I feel like it’s a story not often seen in YA and the way you approached Callie’s emotions felt so real to me. What was the inspiration?
Thank you! I’m so glad to hear her emotions rang true for you. I always write from a place of curiosity – with Fingerprints of You I was curious about the various ways we define family, and with this novel my curiosity was rooted in the modes we use to cope with grief and loss. But I wanted to write about ambiguous loss – loss when a death cannot be confirmed. It’s a different kind of grief because essentially there is no closure. And that was really interesting to me. How can you move forward when you don’t have closure? How can you process your loss and your grief while simultaneously hoping and maintaining faith that the person who has disappeared might one day reappear? That balance between grief and hope, between loss and faith, was what drove the storyline for me.
San Francisco is such a vibrant and unique city, isn’t it? I lived there for three years after grad-school, and even though that was some time ago, I still feel very connected to that time and setting. The artistic energy of the city is such a rich background for a young adult novel, for a story of a young person coming-of-age and experimenting with his or her own independence. The novel is set in 2006, which was the last year I lived there, so it was fun to draw from my own memories and to revisit photo albums from that time. And to also remember the impact of the 1906 earthquake; 2006, of course, marked the 100th anniversary of the quake, and being in the city during that time was both wonderful and difficult. I’d never lived in a place marked by such a traumatic event, by such destruction. I was fascinated by the strong element of hope present during the anniversary -- the feeling of, “Look how far we’ve come, look what we’ve rebuilt” -- but also by that inevitable thought, “It could happen again any moment.” I wanted that dichotomy to mirror Callie’s experience, again, focusing on that balance between hope and fear.
I enjoyed all the characters and the different relationships portrayed in the book. But I have to admit, it was definitely Callie’s voice and narration that hit home with me, especially when she described her parents (I’m an only child too!). Which of the characters are you most like?
That’s such an impossible question! Beckett became the scene-stealer early on, and I felt like every time he showed up, I simply couldn’t write away from him. I think some of his humor comes from my own personality. And the mistakes he’s making, too. His bad choices are rooted in his tendency to get wrapped up in the moment, in his emotions and his craving to be a part of life in every way possible -- I could certainly empathize with that kind of passion. But I suppose I’m most like Callie. Her love of music mirrors my own, her reliance on art to heal, and her tendency to lean on her friends when she struggles – those are all my own traits as well.
Last question! Let’s make it a fun one. Music is a big part of Callie’s life and I wanted to know — what’s your favorite song and/or band?
These days I’m mostly listening to Bob Marley because that’s my son’s favorite musician. He’s two and a half and is obsessed with anything musical, which makes me ridiculously happy! We also listen to a lot of Grateful Dead in our house, and classical music, too. Classical in the morning, Bob Marley in the afternoon when my son is in charge of the stereo, and the Grateful Dead while my husband and I unwind with a glass of wine at night. That’s a pretty typical soundtrack, these days.
Thanks to Kristen-Paige, I'm hosting a giveaway for a signed copy of Invisible Fault Lines, bookmark and sticker. It's US only and will be running until Friday, May 20th. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you again Kristen-Paige for joining me!
I hope you all check out Invisible Fault Lines!