Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for JUST PRETEND! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Terri Sharp to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it!
Just Pretend by Tori Sharp
Published on May 18, 2021 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram
Fans of Real Friends and Be Prepared will love this energetic, affecting debut graphic memoir, in which a young Tori uses her active imagination to navigate middle school as well as the fallout from her parents' divorce.
Tori has never lived in just one world.
Since her parents' divorce, she's lived in both her mom's house and her dad's new apartment. And in both places, no matter how hard she tries, her family still treats her like a little kid. Then there's school, where friendships old and new are starting to feel more and more out ofher hands.
Thankfully, she has books-and writing. And now the stories she makes up in her head just might save her when everything else around her friendships, school, family-is falling apart.
Author Tori Sharp us with her on a journey through the many commonplace but complex issues of fractured families, as well as the beautiful fantasy narrative that helps her cope, gorgeously illustrated and full of magic, fairies, witches and lost and found friendships.
If Tori were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
She would totally hang out with Meggie from Inkheart! Many readers have correctly guessed that the “Inksoul” book that Tori loves is a nod to Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Tori would also love to hang out with Kirinmala from the Kirinmala and the Kingdom Beyond series. Kirinmala is clever and bold, and Tori and Kirinmala are both from New Jersey, so they could totally hang out between adventures.
Would you rather be a superhero or a supervillain? What would your powers and name be and why?
I would definitely rather be a superhero! Unfortunately I am neither dastardly or devious enough to be a supervillain. I’ve thought a lot about this, and my powers would all be sleep-related! I used to have insomnia and there was one time a stranger asked what my superpower would be, and I replied that I would want the ability to fall asleep on command. I don’t have as many sleep issues anymore, but I think it would be fun to have the power to make people fall asleep (so I don’t have to fistfight villains—I can just give them a nap) or even let me travel through people’s dreams! Or I could be like Dreamer from the CW’s Supergirl—she’s one of my favorite superheroes. I suppose my superhero name could be Somniac.
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
I love this question, and I spent way too long wondering about the parameters. Is this time capsule for me to dig up, or someone else? In the near future, or in thousands of years? How big is it? So in the absence of parameters, I will bury a magic crystal of my own just like Talia and Penny’s from Just Pretend, a dragon egg, and a pair of socks that give me the power of teleportation, and I will dig it all up next week!
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Since Just Pretend is a memoir, it didn’t take quite as much research as many other projects would. Most of my “research” came down to long phone calls with friends and loved ones where we reminisced about things that happened a long time ago! I did, however, do a lot of reading about some mental health-related topics that didn’t end up being relevant to the final story. There was a throughline about mental health in an early draft of Just Pretend that just didn’t quite work because there wasn’t space to really address or resolve it, so my editor and I agreed that that topic deserved a whole book of its own at some point. Even though I didn’t end up talking about mental illness very directly in Just Pretend, I am absolutely a closet psychology nerd so it was fascinating to learn more about certain conditions, and that sort of research can often help you understand your own brain or other people’s experiences much better.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Just Pretend?
The answer to this question changes all the time, since I love so many moments in the book. Today I’m thinking about the moment where Tori pretends to be a mannequin at the mall. To me, that scene has layers of symbolism, and even though I’m not sure how readers will interpret it, I think there’s lot of room in that scene for readers to project their own thoughts and feelings onto the characters. In general terms, that scene has a lot to do with feeling different or removed from other people, and how there are all these barriers that (like the glass display window) made Tori feel separated from the world around her.
What do you think about Just Pretend? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!