Monday, June 27, 2016

Author Spotlight: Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten + Interview

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 11:00 AM


Teresa’s earliest and most fervent ambition was to grow up and take her rightful place among the other mermaids. When cruel and insensitive adults crushed that dream by insisting that mermaids did not exist, Teresa settled on the more mature aspiration of becoming an intergalactic astronaut. Then she realized that math would likely be involved. So, in the end, Teresa went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto where she got a BA and then an MA in Political Economy taking great care not to take a single English or Creative Writing class. The only thing Teresa knew for sure was that she was never ever going to be a writer. That would be silly, fanciful and well, unrealistic. For a full bio please go here.
Title: Beware That Girl
Author: Teresa Toten
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication: May 31st 2016
Cover Rating: 4/5

Let me first start off by saying that If you are a strict parent or just don't like reading about gruesome topics in young adult books then this book isn't for you. I would say this is for ages 16+ due to most of the content. But I do advise reading this book because, although the book is centered around rich people, this stuff can really happen and probably does happen every day. So this book is on the mature side of young adult and I do recommend reading it. With that said, on with the rest of the review!

I didn't like Kate. But I don't think I was supposed to. She had a pretty crappy childhood and she experienced some stuff no one should ever have to go through but instead of growing from that she turned into her father when you would think that would be the last person on this earth she would want to be like. She uses her excellent manipulation skills to get herself into the better things of life but this time, she was no match for what she found herself up against. Is Yale really worth all of this trouble?

Olivia is coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. Kate thinks that makes her an easy target but the kind of crazy Olivia is isn't anything near being easy. Sometimes it feels like Olivia is just stressed or misunderstood but as the book went on I started to see that she really had some issues that medication barely helped.

All the characters in this book were whacked-out. Mental issues flying all over the place. It gave the book this mysterious, don't know what to expect around the corner, feel. I really enjoy when books can keep me guessing. I am one of those people who can pretty much guess the plot of any movie or book. I guessed some things but other things were just too far out there even for my imagination.

For some reason this was one of those books where I felt like I was watching a movie. Every time I had to put the book down I kept thinking Oh boy, can't wait to go back and finish watching that movie. This would make one hell of a Lifetime Network movie!

This book is actually quite startling. People like Mark Redkin actually exist in this world. You probably pass someone like him every day. And people like Olivia exist everywhere too. Probably more than people like Mark. But, honestly, I wasn't exactly expecting the book to end the way it did. The book is a standalone and I didn't get a lot of answers. What happened with Kate? What happened with Johnny? Will Olivia get help? So many mysterious, unsolved answers. Dun, dun, dunnnnn.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.




1) Are you currently working on any new books?
I’m deep into the first draft stage of my next novel. The working title is Three on a Match and it’s turning out to be a rather unsettling mystery/thriller in tone and plot.

2) What was the inspiration behind Beware That Girl?
While I was working on the first draft of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13b, I read an elegant and disturbing book called The Silent Wife. It sort of crawled into me. I fell in love. I was so inspired by what AHA Harrison pulled off that it was the only thing I could think of to try to do next!

3) If you could recommend one book everyone should read before they die, what would that book be?
And especially if you want to write . . . it would be Tim O’brien’s The Things They Carried. It’s about young soldiers in Vietnam so it’s classic war fiction but it breaks a lot of rules. It’s certainly one of the most compelling books I’ve ever read, but I also use it in all my Writing Workshops when we’re tackling character development.

4) If you had to pitch your book to someone in a bookstore that didn't know you were the author what would you say?
Beware That Girl is a very dark and disturbing pathological thriller set in New York City. On the first page, we meet two beautiful blond girls in an Hospital ICU. One girl is in a coma and hooked up to machinery and the other is in a chair by her side covered in mud and blood and sweat. The rest of the novel is about which one is in which position and how they got there!

5) What is the best part about being an author?
The people. No really! Yes, a lot of a writer’s time is spent in utter solitude but a whole lot is also spent touring, going to conferences, high school auditoriums, bookstores events and festivals. Then there’s all of your publishing team, your fellow writers and most of all the readers that you get to meet. I can’t think of any other profession which offers up a better crop of fabulous people. Book people are the best people!!

6) What is your favorite food?
Popcorn! Hands down—popcorn.

7) Describe yourself in 5 words.
Passionate/joyful/anxious/curious/grateful!


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