Monday, June 5, 2017

Welcome to the FFBC: Be True to ME by Adele Griffin

Be True to Me

by Adele Griffin
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Historical
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It's the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, where feathered hair and the Bicentennial celebration reign. Jean, a sometimes cruel, often insecure, and always envious rich girl, is accustomed to living in her glamorous older sister’s shadow. So when Gil Burke, a handsome newcomer with uncertain ties to one of the most powerful families in the exclusive enclave of Sunken Haven, notices Jean—not her sister—Jean is smitten. Then Fritz, a girl from outside the gilded gates who humiliated Jean in the Island’s tennis championship last year, falls for Gil herself. Soon the girls are competing for much more than a tennis trophy, with higher stakes than either of them can imagine.
Told through the alternating perspectives of Jean and Fritz, as they experience feeling like an outsider and first love.

Hello Adele! We are super excited for BE TRUE TO ME and to have you in our FFBC tours. 


Favorite Book?

Too many favorites. I am going to pick THE GREAT GATSBY, because it I think I felt a lot of its inspiration in BE TRUE TO ME.

Favorite TV show?

Game of Thrones

Favorite movie?

The Notebook (romance)
Mean Girls (comedy)
8 Mile (Indie)
Life of Pi (of last 5 years)
Hidden Figures (of last year)

Favorite Song?

I’ve played Love on the Brain by Rihanna about 6000 times this week. When I have a favorite song, it’s the only song I want to hear.

Favorite Food?

Oh I bet I could eat grilled cheese sandwich every day for the rest of my life.

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Thornfield Hall, where Jane Eyre worked, had those lovely gardens and moors. Marmoreal, where the White Queen lives in Wonderland is really beautiful. I’d go there, maybe more as an airbnb than to live.
Sunnydale where Buffy lived is a charming, pretty town as long as the vampire population is mostly under control.

What were your favorite books growing up? (I was a Fear Street girl!)

My dad was in the Army and we moved around a lot, so I loved series books because they gave me a sense of continuity. There was a time when I was addicted to Agatha Christie. I learned later that Agatha Christies were really formulaic and obvious but not to me! Every single one of them stumped me. I never solved one single crime ahead of Miss Marple.

Favorite Quote?

“I’m beginning to think it’s not just how much you love someone. Maybe what matters is who you are when you’re with them.” —Anne Tyler

What are your fandoms?

I’m a sucker for the nostalgia of old Disney movies. I can watch them endlessly with my little girl. Those little bluebirds dressing Cinderella for the ball? What’s better than that?

Who is your favorite fictional boyfriend (or girlfriend)?

I am, and will always be, a Mr. Darcy girl.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about BE TRUE TO ME?

Sure! This book doesn’t have traditional jacket flap copy, so I will now write some:

Every summer for the past 6 years, free-spirited Jean Custis (17) heads out to Sunken Haven as the guest of her friend, Julia. Among the families who make up this privileged beachy set is Fritz’s longtime rival, the standoffish Jean Custis. There’s no love lost between these two girls, but tensions rise when startling, sexy Gil Burke comes on the scene. For Fritz and Jean, their desire is as intense as it is bewildering. But who is Gil, really, and what does he want? Set against one wild, steamy summer of ’76, Be True to Me is a story of longing, friendship and rivalry, and how far we will go to keep what we think we deserve.

I love retro TV/Movies/Books, and since your book is set in the 1970’s— what TV shows/Movies/Books from that era are your faves?

Any kid who grew up in that early 80s era remembers The Love Boat and Fantasy Island in a one-two punch of deliciously terrible TV. The sets, plots, acting were all so overdone and silly. But we all watched, from 8 PM – 10 PM, every Friday night!

Besides reading, writing, and blogging, I love fashion!! Can you tell us a little about the 70’s style that Jean and Fritz would wear?

I ordered a bunch of teen fashion magazines from the 70s off EBay to get into the spirit of fashion—and something I noticed was the amount of homemade touches girls enjoyed creating back then. They were very into braiding their own bracelets and headbands or ironing on patches, and the magazines also had plenty of sewing tips. That’s why I have a scene where Julia and Fritz go buy rickrack so that Julia can “do-over” a dress.

Jean’s family has more money, but in those days it came through not as quantity, but more in the whole careful, fancy department store shopping experience. I have another scene where Jean’s peach silk dress for the party is sent from “Miss Delaney’s Fine Alterations.” So posh!

My Aunt (also named Adele) was my babysitter in the ’70s and she remembered tube tops, that one favorite “best” pair of jeans, and wrap skirts were all big that summer that she was 16 years old. It was fun to dress everyone!

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

We used to go out to Fire Island with our babysitter, Ashley, and she sometimes gave us the fun gossip whenever she went out with other young kids from the community. It seemed like such a great, beachy, energized setting—with lots of intrigue!

Tell us your favorite quote from BE TRUE TO ME.

“I wanted Gil to be my first so Bertie never could be.” It’s not poetry, but this is Jean trying to figure out why she wants to lose her virginity—and I think it’s really Jean speaking her truth!

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write? Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

It was a huge surprise to me to love to write that Fritz versus Jean tennis scene. I don’t even play tennis, and it’s not a long scene—but I felt like I caught her in that section, that slight exhibitionist element to her. I hadn’t realized it, and so I went back and revised her more to that idea.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for BE TRUE TO ME– Which one would you pick?

Maybe the acoustic of Little Wing that Gil plays on the beach? I always think it’s generally acoustic guitar, James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac and Doobie Brothers covers that kids might play during sundowners.

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read BE TRUE TO ME(specific music, snacks…)?

This is a warm weather book! And a lot of it takes place outside, on decks, on the beach, on a rooftop, on the boardwalk. So if you have a lawn chair or a beach chair or can get your toes in the sand, with some sweet tea or a lemonade? That’s the perfect moment for BE TRUE.

What’s next for you?

I’m finishing a book set in 1988. It’ a totally different book set in Philadelphia, and all, different characters, but Jean is an art teacher. Cameo appearance!

Thank you so much for everything, Adele!  We can't wait for your next book-- 80's + we love when characters from other books make cameos!  Can we get a Lincoln Reed show up again somewhere???  Pretty please!

Adele Griffin is the highly acclaimed author of almost thirty books for Young Adult and middle grade readers.

Her works include the National Book Award Finalists Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, as well as the popular Oodlethunks series for younger readers. Her latest novel The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was a YALSA Best Book of 2015, an Amazon Best YA Book of the Year, a Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Romantic Times Finalist for Book of the Year, and a School Library Journal Top Fiction pick. Her latest novel Be True to Me is publishing in June 2017 with Algonquin Books.

  • 1 copy of BE TRUE TO ME
  • 1 BE TRUE TO ME patch (see picture)
  • U.S. only
  • Please read the Rules & Regs before entering
  • Giveaway runs until 6/14

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  1. I love interviews. Yayyy another Mr. Darcy lover! lol! I reread P&P once a year and rewatch the movie all the time. lol! I can't get enough Darcy.

    1. I LOVE hearing about the fandoms authors are into!! And songs and TV shows and books they like!! It's so interesting.