Friday, April 27, 2018

Author Spotlight: Missing at 17 by Christine Conradt + Interview

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM

As a YA author, Christine’s first thriller novel in the ‘at 17’ series, Missing at 17, will hit bookshelves on May 1, 2018. Her second book, Pregnant at 17 will be available on June 5, 2018. And her third, Murdered at 17 will be available July 3, 2018. All three books are novelizations of the popular ‘at 17’ franchise on Lifetime Network. The series is published by HarperCollins.

Title: Missing at 17
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Author: Christine Conradt
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: May 1st 2018
Cover Rating: 4/5
Reading format: Provided ARC

Missing at 17 by Christine Conradt is the story of Candace and Toby. This book is a novelization of a Lifetime TV show. By the title, I was expecting a mystery/thriller book. While there were some mysterious things in this book, it wasn't as thrilling as I was hoping. The book was definitely not bad, just not was I was expecting.

Candace is at school in class when her teacher says something that changed her life. Parents with X and X eyes cannot have a child with Y eyes. This confused Candace so much that she raced home to confront her mother. It turns out that her mother has been "lying" to her for her entire life. This leads Candace to flee from her home and straight into the arms of a stranger... Toby.

Toby was a wild card and distraction for Candace while she was in a very vulnerable state. This leads to a lot of bad decisions and illegal activity. Toby doesn't exactly lead the most legal lifestyle to begin with. I can't say that I hated Toby but he wasn't a very good person. Yes, he was trying to figure out who he is while dealing with some crappy circumstances but he did kind of cause a lot of this on his own.

Together, Candace and Toby make a really unlikely and volatile pair. Both trying to figure out who they are while fighting to be together when they really shouldn't be together at all. But soon enough Candace finds out who she can really trust out of all of this.

In the end, reading this book made me really want to hunt down the Lifetime TV show. The book was really good, I was just expecting a little bit more mystery than there was. Especially with the title "Missing" at 17. If you like Pretty Little Liars or other teenage thriller dramas then you would probably enjoy this book very much! I can't wait to read the other books in the series.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

1) Have you always wanted to be an author?
As long as I can remember. You know how some people freak out when they don't have their phone? That's how I feel when I don't have a pen. I usually carry about three in my purse just in case I lose one. I just need to be ready to write down an idea whenever that may come, and they come at the strangest times. 

I wrote my first novel when I was 9 (it was more like a short story but I thought it was a novel). It was written in blue marker which was perfect because it was about a dolphin. Writing in blue marker actually helped me feel the blues in the story-- the color of the dolphin and the water and sky.  And then I won my first writing competition when I was in elementary school. I've won several since, but that was the first time I realized that my writing was good enough for other people to read. In my spare time I would read a ton of books and was always writing poems and short stories. Back then, I gravitated to horror books. I was a huge Stephen King fan. It wasn't until I was a junior in high school that I found out some universities actually give degrees in screenwriting and that was when I shifted my focus to writing movies. I applied to the University of Southern California and got in. For a long time after that I wrote only screenplays and didn't get back into writing prose until a few years ago.

2) If you had to pitch Missing at 17 to a potential buyer at a bookstore and the buying didn't know you were the author what would you say?
I'd say, 'Missing at 17 is about a teen girl named Candance who finds out she's adopted. Upset that her parents never told her, she decides to run away from home, just get into her car and drive, and she ends up meeting an attractive bad-boy at a gas station. Throwing caution to the wind, she goes home with him and they both realize they're each others' soulmate. But the guy, Toby, has some pretty dark secrets. He's trying to change his life for the better, and Candace inspires him, but he gets sucked back into a dangerous lifestyle and winds up taking Candace with him. The book has danger and romance and it's a fast read. It's perfect for busy teens because they can read it in a day.

3) Where did the inspiration for Missing at 17 come from?
I was a lot like Candace when I was 17. I wasn't adopted, but I was pretty angst-ridden and always searching for something else. I was drawn to bad-boy types who didn't follow the rules. I think a lot of teen girls will be able to relate to her. She's at a crossroads in her life, wanting to know who she is because she thinks it'll help her figure out why she's so unhappy. She believes that by finding her biological mother, she'll shake that feeling that she doesn't belong and everythign will fall into place. But like we all eventually realize, it doesn't work like that. You have to look within to figure out who you are and what you want. When she falls in love with Toby, she's able to start doing that.

4) If you could only eat 1 food for the rest of your life what would you pick and why?
Sushi! First of all, it's freaking amazing. If you've never had a great rainbow roll, you're missing out. I actually crave it if I go for more than a week without it. And it's healthy. I tend to, for the most part, try to stay on a Paleo diet and raw fish fits into that. 

5) Are you currently working on and new books?
I am. I'm working on a thriller for the adult market and another one for the teen market. In addition, I have a few TV movies coming out later this year. Hallmark and Lifetime. So it's pretty busy right now.


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