The author of The Right and The Real - Joelle Anthony - has kindly agreed to do an interview for her new novel with I HEART BOOKS! :)
SUMMARY: From the author of "Restoring Harmony." Kicked out for refusing to join a cult, 17-year-old Jamie must find a way to survive on her own.
Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right and the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn’t just an ordinary spiritual leader, but Jesus Christ, himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church’s disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh is the most popular boy at school too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her Dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad’s marriage to the fanatic Mira, or getting kicked out, or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata.
Jamie’s life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won’t be easy, but when her Dad gets himself into serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?
- Hi Joëlle! First of all, would you tell us a bit about yourself?
Thanks for having me here. Aside from writing, I am also into cooking, reading (of course!), listening to baseball, and playing with my cats. I’m really lucky in that my husband is a fantastic musician (http://www.victoranthony.ca/) and so there’s lots of live music around the house, and we laugh a lot, so it’s a pretty great life.
- How did you come up with the idea of The Right and The Real?
I get this question a lot, as do so many writers (not about my book, but ideas in general) and I love Tim Wynne Jones’ story about how he answers this. He told a group of kids he got his ideas at the Idea Store. One little kid raised his hand and said, “Oh, my mom loves that store. That’s where we got my bed and desk.” Or something like that. The truth is, that like all book ideas (for me anyway), The Right & the Real came about when a whole lot of little ideas, things I’ve heard, read, and thought about, collided and created a what if question in my head. What if a teen from a middle class family is suddenly homeless? It grew from there.
- Is there any of yourself in Jamie?
We both have a passion for theatre. She does musical theatre, which I can only dream about, and she’s more of the leading lady type, where I am the comic sidekick, but we love performing. Also, even when she’s acting brave, she’s kind of a chicken. That’s me for sure.
- Are you currently working on anything?
Of course! If I said no, my agent would be calling me up, “What? What do you mean, no?” Actually, I do have a first draft of something too new to talk about. It’s sitting for a while so that when I come back to it in May, I can tackle it with fresh eyes.
- What do you want readers to take away from The Right and The Real?
I really just want them to enjoy themselves. My intention is to tell a story that pulls you in and takes you away from your own life for a while.
- Do you think you will write a sequel to this novel? Or a completely new book with the same characters?
This story is complete, so no sequel. However, two of the characters have made an appearance in my new work in progress, much to my surprise! I set my books in Portland, and the neighbourhood for the next one is the same as Jamie’s, so the Coffee Klatch features in the next book too.
- Well thanks for your time Joëlle! Before you go, is there anything else you'd like to say to readers?
Keep reading! And support your libraries. Oh, and thank you!
Review: Well first, I'd just like to say thank you so much to Penguin/Putnam for sending an ARC of this book to me because otherwise, I would have missed out on a seriously great read! The Right and The Real has a totally unique idea and Anthony was able to keep it interesting and filled with fun the whole way through! I wasn't ever bored... there was never a section where I was like"can something just happen already??" like I've done with so many other books. No, The Right and The Real always had something happening! It was so realistic that it was kind of scary!
Jamie, the main character, although she was a really awesome heroine - when it came to her and Josh, she was really frustrating me! No one should put up with that kind of crap and I couldn't believe some of the things she did for him! When Trent came in to the picture, I was like "finally!" but even then, she was stuck on Josh. Personally, I just loved Trent's personality. He was sweet, funny, flirty, and jus an overall great person! I loved all the scenes between him and Jamie - they were so cute and fun that more than once I found mysef giggling away while people in the grocery store looked at me oddly. hehe :)
I also really enjoyed the part of LaVon. He really helped Jamie while she was kicked out of her house - he was almost like the father she needed, in a weird way, while her real one was being brainwashed.
All the characters just had really uniqu personalities and you couldn't help but love every one of them! They each brought something special to the novel.
The church was way creepy. I mean honestly, a Teacher who believes he's Christ risen again and hundreds of people who blindly follow him no matter what... CREEPY! It was actually kind of hard to read the sections on how they were treating Jamie's dad... it just seemed SO realistic that it made you want to cry in sorrow or scream in rage!
Overall, Joelle Anthony has written an amazing book and I absolutely cannot wait for her next novel!