When I got the invite to participate in the blog tour for Smash It! by Francina Simone, I couldn’t resist. I love the synopsis (hello, Othello retelling) and the cover, and I’m super eager to get to the story…
Before we get to my interview with Francina, let’s check out the book!
Olivia “Liv” James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does…
After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts—why, God, why?—she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list—a F*ck-It list.
1. Be bold—do the thing that scares me.
2. Learn to take a compliment.
3. Stand out instead of back.
She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv’s heart is interested in three different guys—and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she’s not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?
In Liv’s own words, “F*ck it. What’s the worst that can happen?”
A lot, apparently.
Sounds good, right?
1. Please give the elevator pitch for Smash It!
Olivia James, is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her, does what any self-respecting hot-mess-of-a-girl who wants to SMASH junior year does—she makes a F*ck It list.
2. Which came first: the characters or the plot line?
They came at the same time, a moment between the three characters that I’ll never forget. I won’t mention it here because it’s very spoilery. But one day it just played in my mind on loop, and I needed to know how this thing that happened between them had gotten that far and how they could go on from there. The event is really one of those world ending things that you just don’t know how people are going to come back from. From there it was about listening to the story as Olivia told it.
3. What do you love about Liv and why should readers root for her?
Liv is unapologetically herself. She’s not a cookie cutter you can copy and paste yourself into. She’s a person who can teach us all empathy and how to see the world from another perspective. She shows us how you can be aware and still not know right from wrong simply because life is skewed in as many ways as there are people breathing. Root for her because in doing so you’re rooting for yourself.
4. What was your last 5-star read?
I’m very much into graphic novels these days and the Awkward, Brave, Crush series by Svetlana Chmakova is a FAVORITE. I love the stories of everyday contemporary life, the emotional punches, the art, and the diversity. Honestly, her art is so moving I wish I could spend a day in her sketchbooks.
5. What is one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?What inspired you to write this story?
Truth be told, I’m a curious person and researched via the internet, my author friends, agent, anyone who could give me an answer about all things publishing. I think a piece of advice I would give though is, know who you’re writing your story for, and stand in that proudly. If you know, then you’ll never make compromises unless it serves the story. That’s important.
Francina Simone believes in one thing: authenticity. She writes YA stories full of humor and hard life lessons with sprinkles of truth that make us all feel understood. Her craft focuses on stories about girls throwing caution to the wind to discover exactly who they are and what it means to love. Francina is also known for her BookTube channel, where she discusses controversial topics in books.
Huge thanks to Inkyard Press for the invite and to Francina for taking the time. Smash It releases on September 22, 2020 and pre-order links are above.
Have you ever made a f*ck it list? Have you read this book?