I’m so pleased to be the Los Angeles tour stop on the campaign trail for Jenn Marie Thorne’s THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT blog tour! Since this book is about a political campaign it is very fitting (and fun) that the blog tour takes the format of a political campaign tour. Hop along the blog tour road trip to learn more about the book and see the sights!
The Wrong Side of Right is about a girl who never knew her father. When her mother dies she discovers her long-lost father is a presidential candidate. Her life changes overnight when she’s asked to hit the campaign trail with her new father, stepmother, and half siblings.
Read on to find out more about the book, read an interview with Jenn and enter a great giveaway!
About the book:
Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.
Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?
Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.
Check out the book trailer:
Please welcome author Jenn Marie Thorne to the Los Angeles leg of the tour!
First off can you give a brief introductory summary of your book?
THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT is about sixteen-year-old Kate, who is grieving following the death of her mother when she learns from a mob of reporters that the father she never knew is the Republican nominee for President. When she’s invited along on the campaign trail, she jumps at the opportunity to get to know her new family. But complications ensue, including a boy she shouldn’t flirt with and a campaign issue she shouldn’t speak out about.
The political campaign setting really appealed to me, and you touch on topics that are very relevant today. What inspired you to write a political-themed YA book?
After a bunch of news reports about political scandals, I started to think about the kids who were at the center of the stories but were barely mentioned. It occurred to me that I didn’t know of any books from the perspective of the “love child.” And then I realized there weren’t many YA novels set in the world of politics, despite a setting that’s rich with conflict—public scrutiny, pressure to be perfect, the possibility of family tension and forbidden romance. So I decided to write that book.
I don’t know a ton about running a political campaign, but it seems to me like you’ve really done your research for this book. Can you tell us a little about your research process?
I had a little bit of a grounding because some of my friends had worked on the 2008 Obama campaign, but I delved in further by reading some political nonfiction and watching some documentaries, like The War Room, to really get a feel for the atmosphere of a campaign. And when in doubt, I googled like crazy.
I enjoy a good political TV drama, and was reminded of some favorite movies like The Princess Diaries and What a Girl Wants when reading your book. Do you have a favorite political drama TV show or movie?
I love how bonkers Scandal is, but I tend to yell and throw things at the TV whenever Fitz is on screen. He is the worst everything. Mellie for President, I say. In terms of movies, I’ve watched The American President at least ten times and I’m up for watching it several times more. It’s so charming and grounded and solid—at its heart, a movie about good, smart people falling in love.
Did you have input on the title of the book? I read that the first working title was SPIN- how did that evolve to THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT?
SPIN was my working title. It sort of signified both Kate’s mental space and what the campaign was doing to get past the senator’s scandal. But without knowing all of that up front, SPIN doesn’t really tell you a whole lot about the book. So we went with a longer title, THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, which again has multiple connotations—‘right’ as in correct or moral; ‘right’ in the romantic sense; rightwing, like the Republican Party—Kate has to find her place among all of those definitions of the word.
The main character Kate is from Los Angeles (my hometown!) If you were campaigning there what would your must-see stops be? (Favorite restaurant, bookstore, etc)
I heart LA! I lived there for three years and would dearly love to live there again. I always enjoyed day trips to Neptune’s Net on the PCH, and then an excursion to Point Dume. I lived in West Hollywood and ate at El Compadre at least every other week. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. There are loads of great independent bookstores in LA, but I must admit I was partial to the Barnes & Noble at the Grove, because of its proximity to dancing fountains and the Farmer’s Market.
What was your favorite scene to write? Any characters you particularly loved writing?
My favorite scene to write was the Kate and Andy scene in Kansas. There’s just so much repressed emotion finally coming to the surface in that scene and the way it ends was very fun to write. I also loved writing Elliott’s scenes. He’s the villain, but as the author, I really felt for him. He’s just trying to do his job and this teenager keeps popping up and ruining everything he’s put in place. It’s no wonder he’s such an ass to her all the time.
What kind of books do you like to read in your spare time? Give a shout-out to some of your recent favorites.
I read a lot of YA contemporary, obviously, but my reader’s heart really belongs to fantasy novels. In fact, my favorite contemporaries play with description and reality in the same way a fantasy might…so I’ll shout out I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson. I read it after everybody else in the world had already read it, but still felt like it belonged to me in some special way.
I had a blast reading this book and would love to read more about these characters. Any plans for a sequel?
No plans right now for a sequel, although I would love to write something from Andy’s perspective. I am working on a companion novel to THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, which has a few characters in common and a loosely shared theme of national politics, although from a completely different viewpoint.
Thanks for making Los Angeles a campaign stop, Jenn! I’m craving Mexican food since you mentioned El Compadre!
Check out some of the sights that Los Angeles has to offer!
Los Angeles campaign stop
Pictured: Santa Monica pier, Los Angeles City Hall, the famed Hollywood sign, The Rose Bowl, and the dancing fountain at The Grove- near the Barnes & Noble mentioned above!
Penguin Young Readers is offering 5 winners a signed copy of the book, a campaign button, and a bookmark. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. Good luck!
hit all the stops on the blog tour campaign trail!
3/17 – Candace’s Book Blog – WA
3/19 –The Reading Nook Reviews – Sacramento, CA
3/23 – The Reading Date – LA, CA (you’re here!)
3/25 – Mostly YA Book Obsessed – AZ
3/27 – Gone With the Words – Houston, TX
3/30 – YA Bibliophile (WI)
4/1 – Coming at YA – SC
4/3 – The Reader Bee – TN
4/6 – Into The Hall of Books (NC)
4/8 – Ticket to Anywhere – MA
4/10 – Lost in Literature – CT
4/13 – Effortlessly Reading – NYC
4/15 – No BS Book Reviews – Annapolis, MD
4/17 – Book Revels – DC