Friday, August 4, 2017

Author Spotlight: Love is Both Wave and Particle by Paul Cody + Interview

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM

Paul Cody was born in Newton, Massachusetts, graduated from Newton North High School, and from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Magna Cum Laude, With Distinction in English, and Senior Honors in Creative Writing. He worked at the Perkins School for the Blind for three years, and earned an M.F.A. from Cornell University, where he was twice co-winner of the Arthur Lynn Prize in Fiction. He has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Saltonstall Foundation, and was awarded a Stegner Fellowship by Stanford University (declined). He has worked as a housepainter, teacher, editor and journalist, was associate editor and staff writer at Cornell Magazine, where he twice won CASE awards for articles; and has taught at Cornell, Ithaca College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Colgate Writing Seminars, and in Auburn Prison. His four published novels include The Stolen Child (Baskerville, 1995), Eyes Like Mine(Baskerville, 1996), So Far Gone (Picador USA, 1998), Shooting the Heart (Viking, 2004), and the forthcoming Love Is Both Wave and Particle (Roaring Brook, 2017), as well as a memoir, The Last Next Time (Irving Place Editions, 2013). His work has appeared in various periodicals, including Harper’s, Epoch, The Quarterly, Story, the Boston Globe Magazine, and Cornell Magazine, and he has appeared on Voice of America as a Critic’s Choice. He lives with his wife and two sons in Ithaca, New York.

Title: Love is Both Wave and Particle
Genre: YA Intellectual Contemporary
Author: Paul Cody
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication: August 1st 2017
Cover Rating: 4/5

If the title didn't give it away, Love is Both Wave and Particle is one of those intellectual Young Adult contemporary reads that you don't come across too often.

Normally, in my reviews, I will start by telling my readers who the main character is, whether I liked them and then move on to side characters until I get to the plot. This review is going to start off with me telling you about the setting of the book. The book takes place, for the majority, in and around this school in Ithaca, NY, that has been deemed The Clock School. This school is for special needs students who are intellectually gifted. And, in this case, special needs means kids that can be categorized within the DSM-5(The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Basically, kids that are crazy smart. Get it?

Now, on to the characters. We have Levon and Sam. These two are paired up to do this extremely interesting year long school project. Basically, you document your daily life, I guess like a journal, and then share it with your partner. Problem is, neither of them are very social. So getting this project done was bound to have some interesting turn of events. I liked both of the characters. Sam was a tad prickly at first but after a bit it seemed to settle down or maybe she just grew on me. 

On top of this project, people who know Levon and Sam are asked to submit letters just saying how they know them, where they met, and giving their insight to their lives. So, an outsider looking in opinion. I found this to be entirely fascinating. I really loved the letter from Sam's roommate at the mental hospital. 

So, these two end up spending a lot of time together doing this project which leads to some form of romance. I love how the book is showing us a love story from such a different point of view. It is showing us just how much that love story can alter someones life, hopefully for the better. But, aside from the project and this love story there are some pretty deep and hard topics in this book that make you wonder who you can truly trust at all times. 

In the end, this book found its way into my heart and onto my favorites shelf. Not everyone will like this book. Hell, most people I know would probably get bored after the first few pages. But if you want a book that makes you stop and wonder, then this is the book for you.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.



1. What/who is your favorite book/author?
My favorite authors among so-called adult writers are Shakespeare, Henry James and James Joyce. Among young adult writers, I’m a big fan of Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time; Katherine Paterson’s A Bridge to Terabithia; and recently, Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me.

2. What was the inspiration behind Love is Both Wave and Particle?
I’ve always been drawn to odd or eccentric characters, who seem hard to figure out. When I sat down to write Love Is Both Wave and Particle, I wanted to take two kids, Levon and Sam, who had been stuck with various psychiatric labels, throw them together, and see how they might influence and possibly change each other.

3. If you had to choose between never writing again or never reading again, which would you pick and why?
The choice between never reading again or never writing again is almost diabolically difficult. I guess I’d have to give up reading, because the need to write for me is so huge, so fundamental, that it’s unbearable to consider. It’s how I know both myself and the world. But thereto, I’d almost rather give up eating than give up reading.

4. Why did you choose to to write Young Adult books? And what do you think the importance of Young Adult books is/are?
I didn’t realize I was writing a Y/A book when I wrote Love Is Both Wave and Particle. I thought I was writing a book with teenagers as my main characters. But my agent sold it as a Y/A book, and I like the idea of having an audience of young people. Teens are so bright and alive, and full of possibility; they’re on the cusp of adulthood. And for those same reasons, Y/A books seem crucial as an aid to teens, struggling through those incredibly difficult adolescent years.
They can provide solace and guidance and light on that painful journey.

5. Are you currently working on any new books?
I’m currently working on two novels: one about a girl whose mother died of cancer, and who’s trying to get through her teen years, dealing with grief, and trying hard to just grow up. The second book is a murder/mystery for adults, though much of the book is set among high school students. More than the question of who-done- it, I’m far more interested in what this crime does to the community, and the people in the community—parents, teachers, students, friends of the victim. — I’ve finished drafts of both books, and I currently revising the books, one at a time.

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