Friday, April 27, 2012

Apocalypsies Love! Book Review: Remarkable by Lizzie K Foley

Apocalypsies Love is all about me telling you what I loved about a 2012 debut book written by one of the amazing Apocalypsies. I also chat with the author to gain insight into their very favorite parts of their creation.

Today I'm featuring REMARKABLE, a sweet middle grade confection about an unremarkable girl named Jane in a town where nearly everyone else has a remarkable talent.

REMARKABLE is a remarkably fun read. It's written in a very exaggerated style that manages to be silly and utterly serious at the same time.  There were so many aspects I loved about the story, I don't even know where to begin.  So I'll make a list:

  • Jane can relate to Grandpa because both of them are constantly being forgotten.  They can't even get served at the ice cream parlor!  
  • Jane's brother's hapless courtship of a girl with perfect pitch.  The progression of this storyline is laugh out loud funny.
  • The pirates! There are fake pirates and real pirates and they all have such clever motivations.
  • The way all of the disparate elements come together perfectly at the end.  I adore when this happens - because you think "what could a dentist's aspirations possibly have to do with this story?" and then wham, bam, craft genius ma'am! 

So yeah, this'll be one of my go-to middle grade recommendations in the future, especially for fans of the whimsical. 

And now let's chat with Lizzie!

What is your favorite scene in the book?
My favorite scene is toward the end of the book, when the Grimlet twins (aged 10 and gifted at being criminal masterminds) are on their way to test out their "science fair project", and encounter the three members of the pirate crew who are searching for their missing captain. The pirates want the Grimlet twins to help them find the captain, and since the Grimlet twins never want to help anyone, they soon get into a dust-up which involves a lot of pirate swearing, some blackmail, a couple of lies, and everyone behaving very badly. It was very fun to write.

And so funny! What is your favorite line in the book?
My favorite line is "Sometimes when you don't follow your dreams, your dreams coming looking for you." It's written about Ms. Schnabel, Jane's teacher, who has turned away from her true gift because her parents don't approve of it. But she's miserable, and she really needs to get back to doing what she loves. And somehow, I just loved the idea that her destiny would come looking for her once it realized that she had chickened out on following it on her own.

What setting was most fun to write?
The absolute most fun setting for me to write was the Science Fair Dance. Science Fairs are not where I start when I think of romance, and there is (at least to me) something intrinsically funny about having a science fair that is taken so seriously that it gets it's own formal dance. When I started this scene, I thought the dance would end up being kind of grim and horrible, but somehow it didn't turn out that way. There are a lot of strangely beautiful and amazing things found in science. The double helix is really gorgeous. Models of the solar system have a lot of charm. There is something rather regal about the periodic table. And the Large Hadron Collider -- well, calling it "large" is an understatement, that thing is immense -- how much would you love to see that made out of ice? (okay, it would actually be very hard to make it out of ice in the proper proportions, but this is where suspension of disbelief comes in). Anyway, the setting came out weirdly romantic after all (with a heavy emphasis on weirdly).

Who is your favorite supporting character - one you could see getting a spin-off book - and why?
This is a tie between the Grimlet Twins and Ms. Schnabel. I would love to do a spin-off story about the Grimlet twins in Paris or London (perhaps after they mistakenly flee the country thinking they are about to be arrested for something). And I'd love to do a prequel about Ms. Schnabel's childhood, which took an unusual turn when she ran away from summer camp.

I would wholly support both of these books! What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
The BOOK PEOPLE!!!!! Seriously. I love hanging out with people who work in or near publishing. I love meeting other authors. I love editors, publishers, agents, publicists, book jacket designers, and the amazingly fun sales reps. I love book store owners and the people who work for them. I love librarians (okay, my mom is a librarian, so I've had a fondness for them for a long time). I love people who blog about books, talk about books, and enthusiastically read books. It's been really wonderful getting to know more and more of them.

Thank you Lizzie!

REMARKABLE is available now. Find out more about it at the author's website.

FTC disclosure: I was given a copy of the galley by a friend.


Sarvenaz Tash said...

I want to read both that sequel and that prequel RIGHT NOW! Great interview!

Christina said...

Book people are the best people. :)

I cannot wait to read this.

Liviania said...

Sounds like a good gift for my cousins.

Heidi said...

I love whimsical! I hadn't heard of this one at all, but I'm so happy you featured it and the review. I will certainly be checking this out.

Zibilee said...

Oh, this sounds so different than most of the YA for middle-graders out there that I am intrigued! And I love pirates as well, so this seems like it would be perfect for me! Great review and interview today, Lenore!