Author Interview · Blog Tour · Book reviews

Foreverland

SYNOPSIS:

Margaret is tired of everything always changing. Middle school has gone from bad to worse. Her best friend is becoming a stranger. And her family—well, it’s not even a family anymore.

So Margaret is running away to Foreverland, her favorite amusement park. Hiding out there is trickier than she expects–until she meets Jaime, a thrill-seeking, fast-thinking runaway who teaches Margaret how to stay one step ahead of the captain of security. At first, this after-hours, all-access pass to the park is a dream come true: sleepovers in the Haunted House, nonstop junk food, and an unlimited ticket to ride. But as the runaways learn each other’s secrets, they must face the reasons they left their normal lives behind. With the Captain closing in and Jaime’s future on the line, can Margaret finally take control?

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog post for Foreverland by Nicole C. Kear! And I would like to thank the author and Turn The Page Tours for giving me a chance to read this amazing novel and giving me a free e-copy of the same! Today I bring to y’all Author Interview and Review!

Author Interview

  1. When did you realize first that you wanted to be an author?

In some ways, I realized I wanted to be an author when I was a kid, filling composition notebooks with poems and stories written in my super bubbly script. But the first time I made the decision to really do it, actually write a book for publication, was after I had my first child. I had been reading Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions and lots of other great and funny books about parenting and I thought, I’d like to add my unique voice and experience into the mix. That’s when I decided to write a memoir.

  1. Is there a particular time in the day that you prefer to write? Why?

Nope, not really. Before Covid, I did almost all my writing during normal business hours, when my kids were in school, and that tends to work well because I’m at my most alert. But since the pandemic, at least some of my kids have been remote learning all the time and I’ve had to grab time to write whenever there’s an opening – morning, afternoon, evening, and often late at night. The one time I don’t ever write is early morning – I’m just not built that way.

  1. Which types of stories do you associate with yourself the most? Does any particular story come to your mind?

The type of stories I associate with myself are laugh-out-loud funny stories that also make you cry. I have written for children of all ages – elementary and middle school aged – as well as adults, and my books are all very different from each other because of that. But one thing readers agree on about all my books is that they’re humorous as well as moving. These are the kind of stories I most enjoy read, so I’m not surprised they are the kind I write. If a book takes itself too seriously, I find I grow bored before too long, and if a book only makes me laugh, without making me care about the characters, I don’t want to keep reading. It’s a delicate balance between drama and comedy, but I love striking that balance! 

  1. What message do you wish to convey to your readers with your books?

While every book of mine have different themes and slightly different messages, the main message that all of them communicate (I hope) is that we humans are resilient, and stronger than the challenges life throws at us. Another message common among all my books is that through friendship and love, we can find the strength to do things that might otherwise feel impossible.

  1. When did you first start writing books? Have you stuck to one genre or do you like to experience with other genres?

I started writing books in 2011, and my first book was a memoir for adults, titled Now I See You. From there, I felt drawn to writing a chapter book series for upper elementary kids, called The Fix-It Friends, about a group of friends who help kids in their community with common socio-emotional challenges (and have a ton of fun and adventures in the process). After that, I wrote a middle grade novel, Foreverland, and co-write a middle-grade fictional trilogy, The Startup Squad, with Brian Weisfeld. The book I’ve just finished, also middle grade, is part mystery/ part drama. So, yes, absolutely, I love experimenting with different genres and styles and audiences.

  1. What do you feel is the most important out of character development, story setting and plot twists?

For me, character comes first, and everything else follows from that. Character development is where I usually start, and it’s what I keep coming back to. Getting to know unique and unforgettable characters is the part of both writing and reading I love the most. If I don’t feel drawn to the characters, I don’t really care about plot – and conversely, if I’m hooked on the characters, I’ll come along for the ride, even if all they’re doing is shopping for persimmons. That said, setting and plot are essential ingredients in the Great Book recipe, and to cut any of them leaves the book ruined.

***

Review

I am pretty sure now that all the Middle Grade novels out there are purposely built in a way that will make me cry. There’s no other option apart from the inevitability of this whole scheme. And while we are on this topic, can someone explain me HOW IN THE WORLD do all of them somewhere kind of have the same basic structure but pop out so differently and so touching? I will never understand this beauty honestly.

Foreverland was a lot of things – different, touching, adventurous, fun, emotional, scary (in some aspects, yes it was scary) and most of all MAGICAL. They way it ended was also magical… especially the way it ended. Margaret and Jamie were one of a kind, both facing inexplicable changes and troubles in there lives and hence coming to foreverland to spend their time, to have FUN that seems to be missing from their life. There was a hint of mystery laced through the plot because it wasn’t ever explicitly made clear why both of them ran away from their home, their thoughts, feelings and what further they sought from their little runaway adventure (refuge most of all).

The thing that I liked the most about this book was how open-ended it was. The characters somehow never voiced out how they were feeling, it was through their actions that one could understood what was happening to them. And furthermore, it had mental health rep too – ADHD and it wasn’t ever explicitly mentioned but one of the characters did show some symptoms of OCD. Although as it wasn’t directly mentioned anywhere, I cannot draw my conclusion on the subject.

All in all, I really reaallllyyy enjoyed reading this book, and despite the fact that I loved the ending, I did not want to leave the characters and their story behind. This book was very well character driven which I loved with whole my heart ❤ ❤

Trigger Warnings*: Divorce, Death

***

Author Info

Nicole C. Kear is the author of the memoir Now I See You (St. Martin’s Press), chosen as a Must-Read by People, Amazon, Martha Stewart Living, Parade, Redbook, and Marie Claire UK among others. Her books for children include the middle grade novel Foreverland, the chapter series The Fix-It Friends, and the middle grade series The Startup Squad, co-written with Brian Weisfeld (all published by Macmillan Kids’ Imprint). Her essays appear in the New York Times, Good Housekeeping, New York, Psychology Today, Parents, as well as Salon, the Huffington Post and xoJane. She teaches non-fiction writing at Columbia University and the NYU School of Professional Studies. A native of New York, she received a BA from Yale, a MA from Columbia, and a red nose from the San Francisco School of Circus Arts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, three children and two teddy bear hamsters.

Giveaway

Up for grabs, we have THREE (3) paperback copies of Foreverland by Nicole C. Kear & ONE (1) K’NEX Thrill Rides Shark Attack Roller Coaster Building Set. This giveaway will run from April 26th to May 3rd at 11:59 PM CST and is open to US residents only.

GIVEAWAY LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d26/?

2 thoughts on “Foreverland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s