Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review/Q&A: Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Forever, Interrupted

 “Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.”

Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist living in Los Angeles. Before becoming a writer, she worked in entertainment and education. Her essays have appeared on The Hairpin, The Billfold, xoJane, and Good.

Her first novel, FOREVER, INTERRUPTED, is out now from Atria/Simon & Schuster.

Did you ever read the first sentence of a book and know right then and there that this was a 5 stars book?  Well that happened with me and FOREVER INTERRUPTED.  I felt connected to the characters immediately, I was part of their world from that first sentence and stayed connected through the whole book.

  This story is a sad/happy story.  You know from the back cover that Elsie faces the death of her new husband, Ben, shortly after they are married.  You are also told that she is to face her mother in law, who was never informed of her son's relationship with Elsie, let alone their marriage.  What unfolds in this story is the stinging truth of loss and grief, so honestly portrayed that it breaks your heart and a love story that is so uplifting, powerful and unforgettable.  This story is about loss, finding peace within life's harsh circumstances and loving with your heart each and every moment.  This is an amazing debut novel from a writer who knows how to write characters that you are instantly attached to, with compelling and rich story line.  I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed this book and like the front cover says "this is not your average love story".  
5 stars!!!!   

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  For me, stories come from trying to capture a particular feeling. When I feel something or see someone feeling something that I’m drawn to, I think, “How can I talk about this in the course of a story?” and then I draw backward from there.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A.  Those moments when you look up at the time and realize you’ve been lost in another world for hours is absolutely the best part. You stop being yourself for a little while and start connecting to all of these people you’ve made up in your head. It sounds crazy but when it’s going well, it’s so fun.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A.  Staring a blank page is really difficult. As is continuing on when you don’t know what happens next. You have to just believe in yourself and push through it but it’s hard!

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. Excellent question to which my answer always changes. Sometimes I fantasize about running a bakery but I’m not sure I’m well suited to be around sweets all day.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.  Is McDonald’s Still Serving Breakfast?: A Memoir

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  Such a hard one but I’m going to have to go with The Great Gatsby. I don’t know of another book that I can read over and over and still get something from. There are so many layers to the themes and characters that I find it thought provoking on a regular basis.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  This is sort of cheating but I will say that even though she’s not in a book, the character I am most likened to is Liz Lemon of 30 Rock. I’ve been called Liz Lemon more times than I can count. But in terms of books, I’d say I’m somewhere in the Perks of Being a Wallflower. I’m just sure exactly which character.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A. It’s hard to choose but I will say that if I could grow up to be like one person, it would be Mr. Callahan in Forever, Interrupted. To me, that’s a man who understands what’s sacred.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A. I love this question! If I could go to one of Gatsby’s parties, I’d jump at the chance. But to spend a whole week, I’d have to go with Maggie Shipstead’s Seating Arrangements. A nice house on a picturesque New England island with a view of the water. I didn’t want to put down the book because I wanted to stay there. I’d just have to resolve to ignore all the subtext and internal crises going on around me.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. For most of my life I would have told you summer, and I do still really love summer. But lately, fall has taken on a lot of significance for me. I love the idea of apple harvests, big sweaters, and cozy nights.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. I really love the cover of Forever, Interrupted. The wonderfully talented Connie Gabbert at Simon & Schuster designed it and the minute I saw it I fell in love.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. The book’s release date was July 9th and a week or two before the book came out, Amazon sent out an email to people who had pre-ordered it saying it was not coming out until July 11th. Within a few minutes of that email going out, I must have had it forwarded to my inbox by ten or fifteen different people asking what was going on. And then when Amazon sent out another email saying they made a mistake and it was coming out July 9th, I got another ten or fifteen emails going “Never mind!” I was glad to know my friends and family are so vigilant about getting my book!

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  I just finished my second book for Atria. It’s called After I Do. Its about a married couple who are no longer happy together and hope that spending a year part might teach them how to fall back in love.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  I love to talk to readers and book lovers! I’m on Twitter at @tjenkinsreid, come say hello! 

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