Meanwhile, back to our scheduled programming. Following is a guest post written by the amazing and talented Jennifer Hubbard, author of THE SECRET YEAR, which I got to read an ARC of and can comfortably say it's great: beautiful writing, and truly does evoke this Outsiders meets Romeo & Juliet thing we keep hearing. It's out now; here's a link to buy it! And here's Jenn:
The topic of “fish out of water” is interesting because there are so many characters in The Secret Year who use labels on themselves and each other, who say that certain people only “belong” in one part of town. And yet, individual characters keep breaking out of those boxes as people do in real life. The fish keep flying out of the water.In The Secret Year, the dividing line is based on socioeconomic classes, but in other places it could play out along racial, ethnic, or religious differences. The main characters—Colt and Julia—actually use their respective labels to enhance their own secret relationship. Defying expectations, stomping all over the boundary that is supposed to divide them, excites them. They even play up that dividing line, joking about it, needling each other over it, exaggerating its importance. And yet it affects them more deeply in ways they don’t understand and don’t fully acknowledge. Several times, they find the ground slipping from beneath them when they’re suddenly confronted with what they believe about themselves and each other. Colt has to face a lot of his own self-deceptions: about his emotional involvement with Julia, about how secrecy affects relationships, and about the ways he is and isn’t a fish out of water.
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