Happy Saturday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for EVERYTHING WITHIN AND IN BETWEEN! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Nikki Barthelmess to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!
Everything Within and In Between by Nikki Barthelmess
Published on October 5, 2021 by HarperTeen
Genres: Contemporary, YA
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram
For Ri Fernández’s entire life, she’s been told, “We live in America and we speak English.” Raised by her strict Mexican grandma, Ri has never been allowed to learn Spanish. What’s more, her grandma has always pushed Ri away from the neighborhood they call home and toward her best friend’s world of mansions and country clubs in the hopes that it’ll bring Ri closer to achieving the “American Dream."
In her most private thoughts, Ri has always believed that her mother, who disappeared when she was young, would accept her exactly how she is. So when Ri finds a secret unanswered letter from her mom begging for a visit, Ri decides to reclaim what her grandma kept from her: a language and a mother. But nothing goes as planned. Her mom isn’t who Ri imagined she would be. And Ri’s struggling to navigate the different interweaving threads of her mixed heritage that make her who she is. Nobody has any idea of who Ri really is—not even Ri, herself.
What would you do if you spent the day with Ri? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Ri and I both live in Santa Barbara and we like to do a lot of the same things, so that’s an easy one. We’d get burgers at Shoreline Cafe and sit out at the beach. If it was on a Sunday, we might stroll by Stearns Wharf and check out the Art Walk, an arts and crafts show where local artisans show off and sell their work.
If Ri were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I was recently lucky enough to be able read an advance copy of WHEN WE WERE THEM by Laura Taylor Namey. Ri would want to hang out with Willa, Luz, and Britton of that story because they live in San Diego, which I think is similar to Santa Barbara, only it’s a lot bigger. Ri would like Willa and her friends because they spend a lot of time at the beach, and, because she’d appreciate their love and loyalty for one another.
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
There are so many fun places I would want to go that it’s difficult to choose! How about I say anywhere with magic? Also, there’s always a lot of conflict in stories to make them interesting, but in real life, I wouldn’t want to be in danger all the time (or ever!).
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
If the time capsule is to signify what I have going on in life right now, I’d put a copy of my book, Everything Within and In Between, since I’m working on promoting it a lot with it coming out so soon (yay!). I’d also put a photo album with family pictures from the last few months or year. And I’d put a mask in there, to signify all the changes brought on by the pandemic.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Although half of my family is Mexican or Mexican American, I didn’t grow up celebrating Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. In more recent years, even before writing Everything Within and In Between, I became more interested in the holiday that honors the dead by allowing family members to remember those who have passed on. The celebration involves parades, parties, and dancing, and includes welcoming spirits by making offerings of food, family photos, candles and more on altars in homes. I enjoyed researching the traditions of Day of the Dead for EWIB, so much so that I think I’ll celebrating it myself in November, but the mentions of the holiday were mostly cut from the book.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Everything Within and In Between?
My favorite scene is the last one, but I don’t want to spoil anything. So, you’ll have to read the book to find out what it’s about!
What do you think about Everything Within and In Between? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!