Title: The Geography of Lost Things
Author: Jessica Brody
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: October 2nd 2018 from Simon Pulse
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
About the Author
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.
From reviews, other Q&A’s, creative posts and a giveaway, please go check out the other stops on this wonderful tour. The ladies at the FFBC do such amazing tours and this one is awesome to celebrate this cute contemporary novel 🙂
Happy Saturday everyone! Welcome to my stop of the Fantastic Flying Book Club’s blog tour for the new YA contemporary The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody! I had the awesome privilege to ask Jessica a few questions about writing and road trips to celebrate her new book 🙂
Amanda: Hi Jessica! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
Jessica: Hi Amanda! Thank you for having me on your blog!
1. I love that this book is a road trip story. Was there a road trip experience that inspired this novel?
Jessica: I’ve always loved road trips and road trip stories. There’s just something magical and nostalgic about being on the road to unknown places. But for this story, I wanted to put a little twist on the classic road trip and make the two people in the car ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend. Not so magical, is it? Haha. At least, not at first!
When I decided upon the location of my road trip (up the coast of California and Oregon), my husband and I actually drove the very same route that Ali and Nico take in the book (for research) and we stopped at many of the same places they stopped at. Several of the things we experienced on that road trip did inspire parts of the story (not the break up part, thankfully!!!) For instance: the story of the road block that Ali and Nico hit on their first day was based on an actual road block that my husband and I hit, forcing us to turn around and lose about 4 hours of driving time.
2. If you could go anywhere in the world and do a road trip, where would you go and why?
Jessica: Well, this isn’t a “traditional” road trip, but I’ve always wanted to do one of those “inn to inn” walk through Ireland. You walk from small town to small town, staying at cute little B&B’s along the way. It’s about 7-10 miles of walking a day and a car takes your luggage from place to place. I love Ireland and I think this would be such a cool way to experience some its countryside.
3. If your younger self could read this book, what’s one lesson that you hope your younger self would take away from the story?
Jessica: Probably the same lesson that Ali learns from the story: Don’t be too quick to judge people. Because you probably don’t know the full story. If can stick around long enough to let people in, they’ll often surprise the crap out of you.
4. What are three things you want readers to take away from the novel?
- I want readers to laugh
- I want readers to second guess assumptions they’ve might have had about people in the past.
- I want readers to crave coffee (there’s a LOT of coffee drinking in this book. It is a road trip, after all)
- BONUS: I want readers to Google pictures of a “1968 Firebird Convertible” (real thing in the book) and the 1990’s post grunge band “Fear Epidemic” (fictional thing in the book)
5. What is one thing that you are proud of with this novel? (ex: how the plot developed, character growth, etc.)
Jessica: The stamina it took to finish it. I rewrote this novel-no joke- 6 times. I just couldn’t get it right. It probably didn’t help that I was in a strange life limbo while I was writing it. Over the course of writing and rewriting 6 times, we: put our house up for sale, sold our house, designed and built a new house, packed up, moved across three states, lived in a rental house while our new house was being built, and finally moved into the new house. I never realized how much stability helps with writing a novel!
Thank goodness my editor is a dream and has the patience of a saint. She worked with me relentlessly to get this book right. This is my 14th novel to be released and it probably required the most revisions of any book I’ve ever written. I guess that’s why they say “every novel is a first novel” because you just never know what new challenges each story and/or character is going to bring.
6. What are some new books/projects we can anticipate from you in the coming future?
Jessica: Ooh ooh!! I’m so excited!!! I’m writing a new sci-fi trilogy starting in March 2019! The first book is called SKY WITHOUT STARS and it’s a sci-fi re-imaginging of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables! I co-wrote it with one of my best friends Joanne Rendell, and I simply can’t wait for everyone to read it. Here’s a link to the description and the stunning cover!
Additionally, this month, I’m releasing my first non-fiction book, all about how to write a novel! It’s called SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL (based on a popular screenwriting plotting method called “Save the Cat!”) and it basically breaks down every great story ever told into the same 15 “beats” or “plot points” and then teaches you how to do the same. More info is here:
Again, thank you Jessica for the awesome answers and fun upcoming projects that we can get excited for! Her new book is out now and I highly recommend getting it from a nearby book store or library if you love road trips and YA contemporaries! 🙂
This giveaway is for 2 finished copies of The Geography of Lost Things. It is USA only and it runs from 10/1/18 to 10/10/18. The link for the giveaway is down below. Good luck everyone!
Have you read this book? What did you think of the questions and answers? Are there any other YA road trip books that you would recommend?