Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the GIRL ON THE FERRIS WHEEL blog tour! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Girl on the Ferris Wheel by Julie Halpern, Len Vlahos
Published on January 12, 2021 by Feiwel & Friends
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
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In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell.
Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He's an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, and a movie buff who is living with depression.
Dmitri quite literally falls for Eliana when he sees her in gym class and slams into a classmate. The pair then navigate the ins and outs of first love. Exciting, scary, unexpected, and so much more difficult than they ever imagined. They say opposites attract, but they soon realize that there is so much they just don’t understand about each other. It begs the question: How long can first love possibly last when you’re so different?
What was your favorite piece of research you didn’t end up using?
Hmmm… I don’t think there was a juicy piece of research I didn’t use. My favorite that made it into the book was the Greek tradition, in certain parts of Greece, to put up asparagus to ward off evil spirits.
I’m a second generation Greek-American, so our household was much more suburban American than it was Greek immigrant, but a lot of my extended family were first generation Greek-Americans, so I was witness to a lot of Greek culture. However, I NEVER saw anyone use asparagus in quite that way. When I found it in my research, I had to include it.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Poisoned?
I’m partial to the scene where Eliana and Dmitri go on a dinner date at a Harry Potter-themed restaurant. The whole scene is meant to make the reader cringe, and to show just how clueless Dmitri is, I hope it works.
Runner up is Eliana meeting Dmitri’s Aunt Maxine. I had a real life Aunt Maxine who had some sort of condition that caused her eyes to bulge out of their sockets. She always wore sunglasses, and as a little kid, I was terrified of her. In truth, she was a loving and lovely person; facts I came to understand as I got older.
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
We pretty much always knew where the story was headed. Though we would love to hear readers’ ideas for alternate endings.
Julie Halpern is the award-winning author of seven young adult novels, one novel for adults, and one picture book for young readers. In her imaginary spare time she enjoys traveling, making cosplay for her kids, and eating baked goods. Julie lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Caldecott-winning author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, and their two children.
Len Vlahos dropped out of NYU film school in the mid ’80s to play guitar and write songs for Woofing Cookies, a punk-pop four piece that toured up and down the East Coast, and had two singles and one full-length LP on Midnight Records. After the band broke up, he followed his other passion, books. He is the author of The Scar Boys, a William C. Morris Award finalist and a #1 Indie Next pick, and Scar Girl, the book’s sequel. Len lives in Denver with his wife and two young sons, where he owns the Tattered Cover Book Store.
Have you added this book to your tbr? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!