Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE HALF-ORPHAN’S HANDBOOK! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Joan F. Smith 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 Half Orphan's Handbook by Joan F. Smith
Published by Imprint on April 6, 2021
Genres: YA, Contemporary
For fans of John Green and Emily X.R. Pan, The Half-Orphan's Handbook by Joan F. Smith is a coming-of-age story and an empathetic, authentic exploration of grief with a sharp sense of humor and a big heart.
It’s been three months since Lila lost her father to suicide. Since then, she’s learned to protect herself from pain by following two unbreakable rules:
1. The only people who can truly hurt you are the ones you love. Therefore, love no one.
2. Stay away from liars. Liars are the worst.
But when Lila’s mother sends her to a summer-long grief camp, it’s suddenly harder for Lila to follow these rules. Potential new friends and an unexpected crush threaten to drag her back into life for the first time since her dad’s death.
On top of everything, there’s more about what happened that Lila doesn’t know, and facing the truth about her family will be the hardest part of learning how a broken heart can love again.
What would you do if you spent the day with lila? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Oh, fun question! If I could spend the day with Lila, I’d a thousand percent spend it at the grief camp she’s at in Maine, especially on the field trip day. We’d swim, eat, take an art class, head to the downtown area of Kennebunkport, ME for excellent black coffee, and come back for a bonfire and s’mores.
If lila were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
Because of their experiences with grief and paths toward healing, Lila would get along with Leigh Chen Sanders from Emily X. R. Pan’s The Astonishing Color of After as well as Lila Reyes from Laura Taylor Namey’s A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow. Also, I think everyone deserves a friend like Lara Jean Song from Jenny Han’s trilogy.
Would you rather be a superhero or a supervillain? And what would your powers and name be?
I would pick superhero, because my six-year-old would absolutely pick supervillain and I would thus be able to embark on a long family saga journey. If I could pick any superpower, it would be to know the answers to everything. Every mystery, every unanswerable question. I think I would be The Inquisitor, because I am a curious human!
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
A letter to my future self/the future people opening the capsule, the orange travel journal I kept during my honeymoon, and a ticket stub to the Probowl I performed at as a halftime show dancer in Hawaii.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I am very interested in science and philosophy. I jumped down a sprawling internet rabbithole of information about the brain’s neurotransmitters, dopamine, norepinephrine, etc., and how different people process them in different ways. It wound up making it into the next book I wrote!
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Half-Orphan’s Handbook?
The entirety of Chapter 38, plus there’s a scene in the book set in the camp’s gymnasium pulled from experiences I had in my teen years, and anyone who was there with me will recognize it immediately! My favorite quote is something fairly basic I’ve learned, which is that “No matter what, life goes on.” Enormous things—both good and bad—happen in everyday life, and people still brush their teeth, the weather still changes, the news feed still updates.
What do you think about The Half-Orphan’s Handbook? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!