The Compulsive Reader: Entangled Blog Tour: Amy Rose Capetta On Angry Girls (Plus a Giveaway!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Entangled Blog Tour: Amy Rose Capetta On Angry Girls (Plus a Giveaway!)

Amy Rose Capetta's novel Entangled is a high-stakes, science-y, adventurous sci-fi novel that I adored when it first came out last fall. It's out in paperback TODAY, just in time for you to add it to your Christmas wish list if you haven't already. Whether you've read Entangled or are eagerly awaiting the sequel, Unmade, check out what Amy Rose has to say about angry girl characters in YA fiction, and her inspiration for her protagonist, Cade! Plus, a fun video excerpt and a giveaway!

About the book:

Entangled is the story of seventeen-year-old Cade, a fierce survivor who lives solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar until she finds out she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan. Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.

The rest of Cade’s story is coming in Unmade, which hits shelves January 13, 2015!

(For my review of Entangled, click here!)

Here's Amy Rose!

I love angry girls. 
Let me explain. 
The main character of my first two novels—Entangled, and its soon-to-come sequel Unmade—is an angry girl. Cade has plenty of reasons to be unhappy. She lives in a hostile universe where humans are treated like space trash. Her planet is a glorified sand trap. The bar where she has a standing gig is filled with less than savory types, run by an alien who would love to feel Cade up with one of his MANY hands. On top of that, there’s no refuge from this terrible world in some sort of inner life. Cade’s head is filled with The Noise—a glorified static that’s with her every minute. She can only chase it away by playing her guitar as loud as humanly possible. 
When I first started writing about Cade, the words raced each other to reach the page. The emotions felt true. The story formed as I went. The whole thing thrilled me.

The whole thing terrified me, too. 
I was so worried that Cade’s story wouldn’t do well if I sent it out into the world. 
Because we don’t love for girls to be angry, do we? It’s…well. It’s UNCOMFORTABLE. It means that girls aren’t always brave and pretty and perfect and giving and good. Our society doesn’t really want them to step outside of those boxes.

So we dismiss them. There are so many ways that girls are dismissed on a daily basis, so many words we have for how they act that we don’t apply with the same freedom to boys. We call girls emotional, hysterical, silly, bossy, crazy. We act like everything they think and feel is out of proportion. We call them hormonal and bitchy and whiny and… 
The list goes on. 
I’ve always wanted to write angry girl characters. I think some people look at me now, with my optimism and my enthusiasm and my knitted hats, and figure that I’ve always been this way. But when I went to a recent party with people from my high school, no one knew who I was. The kids on my bus? The ones I sat in homeroom and English with and ate glorious cafeteria fries with and endured terrible tests and pep rallies with? They literally did not recognize me. Because the girl I used to be was awkward and acerbic and, yes, angry. People at that party were confused that I was standing in a social group and speaking to them because teenage Amy would rather have stepped on a cactus. Intentionally. For fun.   
Cade is the closest character I’ve written to my own teenage experience.

My life at seventeen was infinitely better than Cade’s. I had a loving family, one amazing friend—she’s the one I dedicated Entangled to—and I lived in a relatively safe environment. (Although the school system that seemed so idyllic at the time was recently the site of the Newtown school shootings. Which, yes, made me angry. Angrier than anything has in years.) Despite my nice upbringing, in some ways, I still lived in a hostile universe. Everywhere I turned, I was hit with information about how terrible the world actually was—how many people were being hurt. All the time. How many of those people were girls and women. Sometimes it felt like there were less than savory types waiting for me everywhere—and it was my job to avoid them. On top of that, I had no refuge inside of my own head. It was filled with a kind of interference, too—the grey blanket of depression. I could only rip it away for a little while by writing as much as humanly possible. (And, yes, long drives with loudloud music helped.)
I was an angry girl. 
That girl is still with me. She’s not all of who I am anymore, but I still respect the hell out of the teenager I used to be. She was the first fully awake version of me. She wasn’t engaged with the world, not yet. Engagement looked too hard, too painful, and not really worth it. But that’s what Entangled is about, too—about giving Cade the choice that I had, the choice that we all have, to step outside of ourselves and risk too much to find other people who will understand.

So I had my manuscript and my truths clenched in my fist and I thought I would have an impossible time finding a home for them. I thought I would have to defend every word. I was ready for a fight.

But when I let Cade out into the world, she started to make friends right away. Agents were intrigued by her story. Editors didn’t seem scared away. And one amazing editor—Kate O’Sullivan at HMH—became Cade’s biggest champion. Maybe the universe was ready for this girl’s anger. Maybe it helped that I grounded it so much in my own teenage feelings. Maybe I just got monumentally lucky.

It was probably all of these things.

I’m glad that I didn’t keep myself away from this story. I’m a writer. I’m supposed to face the UNCOMFORTABLE. If this was about selling you something pretty and nicely packaged, I would be in another business. The world is always trying to sell girls something. Usually it’s the story of who we’re supposed to be. Happy and easy and pretty. Satisfied and strong and sexy and smart (but not too smart.) In a word: Perfect. 
And there’s no room for angry in perfect. 
But girls aren’t perfect. We have shitty days and sex drives and selfish moments. We swear and make enormous mistakes and then make them again. And we are brave and generous and funny and strange and completely amazing.

Denying someone’s full humanity because it makes you uncomfortable? 
That makes ME uncomfortable. 
(And, yes. Angry.)

For an exclusive excerpt of Cade and her angry girl ways, watch below!

Fill out the form below for a chance to win a signed, personalized paperback copy of Entangled!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want a signed copy right away? Order from Amy Rose's local indie bookstore and she'll sign and personalize the book for you! 

1 comment:

ChristasBooks said...

This is such a great post. Long live the angry girls!