Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: Your Destination is on the Left by Lauren Spieller-- Interview + Giveaway

Your Destination is on the Left

by Lauren Spieller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance. 

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?

Hi Lauren!!  We’re so excited to have your book in our FFBC Tours, and can’t wait to ask you a couple of questions about your debut book, YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT!


Favorite Book?

This is so hard, but right now I’m obsessed with BLOOD WATER PAINT by Joy McCullough. 

Favorite TV show?

I will always love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, forever and ever. 

Favorite movie?

Gah, it’s so hard to narrow this down to a favorite! I’m going to go with…Ratatouille! I’m a sucker for animated movies. 

Favorite Song?

I’ve had Shoshana Bean and Cynthia Erivo’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “I Did Something Bad” on repeat for months, so let’s go with that. 

Favorite Food?

I will always eat Cha siu bao. Anytime of day or night. 

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

Hogwarts, The Woodlands (from Laura Weymouth’s upcoming The Light Between Worlds), and the Shire. 

What were your favorite books growing up?

I absolutely loved Island of the Blue Dolphins and True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle when I was young, and then later I fell hard for the Harry Potter books (#GryffindorForLife, sorry haters). In high school I read a ton of Anne Rice and all those dark teen novels, like The Girl in the Box and Go Ask Alice. 

 Favorite Quote?

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Winnie the Pooh

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

Anything with a badass lady in it. I’m particularly excited for the all female Oceans 8, because I will watch women in blockbuster movie franchises until the day I die. I’m also obsessed with Black Panther, obviously.  

 What recent book would you recommend to our YA fans?

Oh gosh, that’s a long list. I’ve already mentioned Blood Water Paint and The Light Between Worlds, so I’ll say Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro, The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde, and anything by Corey Ann Haydu. 


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT?

Sure! Your Destination tells the story of Dessa Rhodes, a teen nomad who dreams of settling down and going to art school. But when she doesn’t get into college, she has to figure out: what do you do after you fail? Dessa’s also grappling with her feelings for Cyrus, the gorgeous guy she travels with….which was my favorite part of writing the book!

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT.)

#nomad #art #swoonyromance

Besides reading, writing, and blogging, I love fashion!!  What is Dessa’s style like?

Dessa’s style is part hippie, part comfy-casual, mostly because she spends a lot of time on the road and she wants to stay comfortable (I actually used this adorable girl as style inspiration). Dessa also has a tiny closet since she lives in an RV, so she has to be very choosey about what she wears.

If you could go on an RV trip with any book character or author, who would you pick?

Oh gosh, that’s a great question. If I was traveling with a  character, I’d want to go with Gansy from The Raven Boys. He’d probably know a bunch of local legends about anywhere we traveled, and we’d definitely end up on some kind of hunt for a magical king or forest or something.  

Tell us your favorite quote from YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT.

“You’re afraid. You’re afraid of failure, of not being good enough, of letting your family down. Right? But that’s the problem—you’re letting your fear of failure define you. That’s why you can’t pick up a paintbrush. You’re letting fear get in the way of your voice.” 

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

I loved writing every scene that involved Dessa and Cyrus falling for each other, but there’s this one scene in a pool that…well, let’s just say, it gets pretty sexy. 

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT (specific music, snacks…)? 

This is a perfect “sit by the pool with a fruity drink” book! 

What’s next for you? 

My next book is called She’s the Worst. It’s about two sisters spending one last day together before the older sister goes to college, but when secrets come out, they have to decide if their relationship is going to continue…or fall apart. I cannot wait to share it with readers! 

Thanks so much for chatting with us!!

Thank you for having me!

Michelle's Notes: 1st thing: a roadtrip with Gansey??? Count me in!!!  2nd, I MUST read SHE'S THE WORST asap!!!!  It sounds amazing!!!  3rd, I was also a big DARK Contemporary fan in HS and still am!!!  I guess I never grew out of my angst stage???

Lauren Spieller is a literary agent who lives in New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @laurenspieller.

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  1. great interview. I love anything with a badass lady in it too!!!!!

  2. I'm in the middle of reading this book, and I love it! I'd love the opportunity to travel around the US in a RV. For only a couple months to a year though, I don't think I'd be able to spend my entire life on the road.

  3. I love the premise of this book and all the emotional decisions this character faces. I've experienced summers traveling in campers and RVs so this book sounds so much fun to read.

  4. This sounds like a really good book. I'm not sure if I'll be reading it yet; there are just too many good books out there that I'm interested in at the moment, but I'll definitely think about it.

  5. You can never go wrong with Buffy!

    I really like the sound of that idea with Gansey. I expect that would be so much fun!

  6. Buffy forever! I really liked learning about the nomad life from this book, and my favorite parts were, of course, where the ones that focused on Cyrus and Dessa.