Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley  
Published by: Entangled Crush 
Publication date: September 14th 2015 
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult 

Synopsis ~

For “Perfect Paige” Westfeld, today is “D” Day. As in, she just got  one on her calculus test. With  her dreams of Stanford, her reputation,  and her parents’ expectations at stake, Paige needs to  find a way to  save face before everything she’s worked for goes up in flames. 
Ben Franklin (yes, he’s related) is from the wrong side of town, with  the wrong clothes and the  wrong kind of life. He also knows an  opportunity when he sees one, and he’ll be happy to tutor  Paige—if she  makes him into the kind of guy her best friend, the hottest girl in  school, will date. 
It’s the perfect arrangement. And Paige is determined not even the  inconvenient—and utterly imperfect—attraction simmering between her and  Ben will ruin it… 

Buy The Book ~

Amazon | B&N

Playlist ~

I’m one of those writers who has to have music in order to write. But it’s more than that—I have to have a playlist, specific to each book, complete with songs that the major characters. The playlist for this book was really important: Paige is all about her music, and Ben loves it, too. I needed songs that pointed to who they were, inside and out. So what did I listen to? Here’s fifteen songs from the list:

“Demons” by Imagine Dragons

“Radioactive” cover (Imagine Dragons) by William Joseph

“Here With Me” by Susie Suh and Robert Koch

“A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay

“Oblivion” by Bastille

“I Lived” by One Republic

“Stolen Dance” by Milky Chance

“Love Love Love” by Of Monsters and Men

“Wrapped Around Your Finger” by The Police

“Every Breaking Wave” by U2

“Heartlines” by Florence + Machine

“Iridescent” by Linkin Park

“Stay” by Rihanna (feat. Mikky Ekko)

“Fix You” by Coldplay

“With or Without You” by U2

Author's Favorite Teen Movies ~

Being a newbie to writing a contemporary YA romance, but a long-time fan of teen movies with a romantic bent, I thought I’d share my five favorite teen movies:

5 ~ 
Pride and Prejudice (The A&E version)
Does this really count? I think so, since Lizzie was only twenty when her epic romance with Mr. Darcy began. Plus, Lydia? Scandalous, silly Lydia? Only fifteen and proof that even two hundred years ago, some teen girls are seriously boy crazy. The angst and the tension and the miscues between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy are superb. It even made my 12 year old daughter sigh. Oh, and the pond. Collin Firth, I tip my hat, sir. Jennifer Ehle was delightful as Lizzie—lovely, sharp tongued, and independent.

4 ~
Based on this list, Michael Cera might be emerging as my unlikely favorite leading man. Truth is—he picks great movies. Juno is a unique and quirky love story about a girl who got pregnant by her friend the very first time they had sex. The love story comes into play with them becoming closer while they cope with this big change. Juno (a remarkable Ellen Page) also makes the decision to give her baby up for adoption and that’s a love story, too. The line, “She never really belonged to us,” makes me cry every single time.

3 ~ 
Some Kind of Wonderful
Okay, if you’ve only indulged in Say Anything as your 80s teen movie, you missed a few. One of my favorites isn’t one you usually see on lists, though. Some Kind of Wonderful is a crazy-amazing look at the divide between popular/rich and unpopular/working class. John Hughes wrote it, and his touch shines through. If you took Pretty in Pink , gender flipped it, and gave it the ending we really wanted—there you have it. It’s gloriously acted by Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Lea Thompson. Key line: “You look good wearing my future.” Swoon!

2 ~
Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist
This might be all about the casting, but the adventure of running around NYC, looking for a band leaving clues about where they’ll perform, is also an achingly sweet love story. The scene in the recording studio? Wow. Michael Cera and Kat Dennings are adorable together and the whole movie makes you feel like your greatest moment is right there, waiting.

1 ~
The Breakfast Club
This movie stands up. It’s amazing how well it stands up. I saw it first when I was 13. I remember it so clearly (I was home with strep and thoroughly miserable)— it made me feel like someone got me. Someone understood what school, what teens , were like. And, come on, Bender and Claire (Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald)? That chemistry oozed off the screen. It was the perfect opposites attract, rich girl/bad boy romance. I watched it recently and swooned all over again. Oh, sure, the kids don’t have iPhones and who does Saturday detention anymore, but the essence of it is still…perfect.

*** How about you? What are some of your favorites? ***

About The Author ~

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important cats. This, according to the cats, is her most crucial job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica. 

Author Links:

Giveaway ~

• $25 Amazon gift card 
   • Signed FINDING PERFECT and SIDELINED bookmarks 
   • Signed copy of SIDELINED