Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the THE GOOD FOR NOTHINGS blog tour! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Danielle Banas 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!
The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas
Published on August 4, 2020 by Swoon Reads
Genres: YA, Science Fiction
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They're only good at being bad.Cora Saros is just trying her best to join the family business of theft and intergalactic smuggling. Unfortunately, she's a total disaster.
After landing herself in prison following an attempted heist gone very wrong, she strikes a bargain with the prison warden: He'll expunge her record if she brings back a long-lost treasure rumored to grant immortality.
Cora is skeptical, but with no other way out of prison (and back in her family's good graces), she has no choice but to assemble a crew from her collection of misfit cellmates—a disgraced warrior from an alien planet; a cocky pirate who claims to have the largest ship in the galaxy; and a glitch-prone robot with a penchant for baking—and take off after the fabled prize.
But the ragtag group soon discovers that not only is the too-good-to-be-true treasure very real, but they're also not the only crew on the hunt for it. And it's definitely a prize worth killing for.
Whip-smart and utterly charming, this irreverent sci-fi adventure is perfect for fans of Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lunar Chronicles, and Firefly.
If you could trade lives with any YA character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
Most YA characters have some seriously awful things happen to them, so I should probably choose wisely here. Just for a day, I’m going to go with Nina Zenik so that I could have Grisha powers (and eat a ton of waffles, obviously). Any longer than a day and I’d probably get myself killed. I’m too much of a Hufflepuff to hang out with the Dregs. For a week, or maybe even for a month, I’d trade with Elle from Geekerella. I attended San Diego Comic-Con last year and was planning to go this year before COVID happened, so getting to visit ExcelsiCon would be awesome! And for a year or forever, I think I’ll say Mia Thermopolis. That seems like a safe choice. Or maybe Lilly Moscovitz. I don’t think I could handle the pressures of being a princess, but I could be BFFs with one.
What would you do if you spent the day with Cora and her crew? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Out of all the planets featured in this story, Cora’s home planet of Condor would probably be the best one to visit. The citizens there aren’t as violent as some on the other planets in the book. Condor’s food also isn’t too weird. Cora eats fried jellyfish in one scene, which is better than Anders’s favorite food, which is basically an alien version of Spam that’s called pon. Half of Condor is pretty commercialized, but outside the city they have beaches so that’s where we’d probably hang out. The only downside is that Condor doesn’t get any sunlight, so I’d never get a tan.
If Cora and the crew came to Earth for the day instead, I would definitely drag them all to Walt Disney World. Wren and Elio would love it. They would both buy mouse ears and take selfies in front of the castle. Cora and Anders would hate the crowds, but I think all of them would like Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. They’re always eating on their ship and Elio thinks that he’s the best cook ever (spoiler: he’s not), so that would be a good choice.
If Cora and the crew were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
Cora, Anders, Wren, and Elio would get along spectacularly well with the crew from The Aurora Cycle series. Ragtag groups tend to stick together, I guess. Cora and Fin are both techies, which would be very fun and very dangerous. I’m thinking of all the hacking computer systems and criminal trespassing that could go on there, and they would make a good team. Anders would probably hang out with Kal, but then again he might decide to hang out with none of them and just stand in a corner silently judging everyone. Wren is most similar to Scarlett in personality, but I feel like she would make it her mission to befriend Zila and force her out of her shell. As for Elio, he’s an android – so basically Magellan but with a body. He loves to bake (poorly) and make movie references, so there would definitely be a lot of that on the ship.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
This isn’t necessarily research, but the first draft had two odd characters in it that ended up getting cut. Their names were Bordas and Buck, and they were these bumbling identical twins that Wren was friends with. She dragged them on board to be ship mechanics, but they didn’t do much except eat a lot of food and occasionally finish each other’s sentences. During the first draft, I was really attached to them. They were like the overly enthusiastic little mascots on the spaceship. I was bummed when my editor suggested that they needed to go, but honestly I completely forgot they even existed until this exact moment, so clearly cutting them was the right choice. Sorry, Bordas and Buck.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Good for Nothings?
I love the first scene where Cora and Elio are involved in a bank heist. Actually, fun fact: if this book were to get made into a TV show/movie, I would want “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood to play during that scene. There’s also a gigantic spaceship chase in the second half of the book that would be awesome to see on screen. As for favorite quotes, there are so many snarky one-liners that I love, but one of my favorites – and basically the motto for this entire book – is when Wren says, “Together we will accomplish great things. Great, but possibly not legal, things.”
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
This is hard because I don’t want to give too much away about the ending, but I always planned to have the climax take place during a giant Gatsbyesque party in a mansion. I ended up switching the location of the party from one character’s home planet to another, but most things stayed the same. When I first started working on this book, I wrote a five page outline (single-spaced) and had thirty-five pages of random scene ideas, chunks of dialogue, and notes about the characters that I pieced together to form the plot. So trust me when I say that I thought of everything before typing even one word of the first draft. And for the record, making thirty-five pages of random notes that are in no chronological order is an outlining method that I would NEVER recommend because it’s so frustrating to organize them all. But of course I’m doing the exact same thing for the story that I’m currently working on, so I’ve learned nothing.
Danielle Banas is the author of THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME and THE GOOD FOR NOTHINGS. She earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University, where she spent slightly too much time daydreaming about new characters instead of paying attention in class. When she isn’t writing, Danielle can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. She lives in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Have you added this fantastic book to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!