Hi guys, today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Me (and) Me by Alice Kuipers! This is a Canadian book that deals with an impossible choice: if two people you love are drowning, who do you save? The novel looks, in parallel, at what happens to protagonist Lark after each choice.
Read on for more about the book, Alice’s own decision that changed her life (it’s REALLY good), and a chance to win a signed copy of Me (and) Me!
Me and Me Buy It: Indigo.ca | Amazon.com | The Book Depository | Google Books
It’s Lark’s seventeenth birthday, and although she’s hated to be reminded of the day ever since her mom’s death three years ago, it’s off to a great start. Lark has written a killer song to perform with her band, the weather is stunning and she’s got a date with gorgeous Alec. The two take a canoe out on the lake, and everything is perfect—until Lark hears the screams. Annabelle, a little girl she used to babysit, is drowning in the nearby reeds while Annabelle’s mom tries desperately to reach her. Lark and Alec are closer, and they both dive in. But Alec hits his head on a rock in the water and begins to flail.
Alec and Annabelle are drowning. And Lark can save only one of them.
Lark chooses, and in that moment her world splits into two distinct lives. She must live with the consequences of both choices. As Lark finds herself going down more than one path, she has to decide: Which life is the right one?
Alice Kuipers, the award-winning author of 40 Things I Want to Tell You and Life on the Refrigerator Door, is an expert chronicler of the teenage heart, and she takes her work to new heights here. A riveting, high-concept novel with heart, Me and Me is about what it feels like to be torn in pieces, and about finally finding out who you really are.
Please welcome Alice Kuipers to Mostly YA Lit!
“What is your one moment and one decision that you feel changed your life? Where would you be if you made a different decision? And how much did thinking of that influence Me and Me?”
These are great questions. As I think about how to answer it, it seems to me that a lot of the ideas behind my new book Me (and) Me probably do come from one huge deciding moment in my life. And that the writing of this novel has helped me let go of my desire to see what life would have been like if I’d picked the other option.
When I was 24, I fell in love with a Canadian writer. He was touring in the UK when we first met. Nothing happened that first day—April 3rd 2003—at The Cheltenham Festival. We met again when he was doing a talk in Manchester where I was studying my MA in Creative Writing. We stayed in touch, quickly falling for each other.
Then came the choice: he suggested we live together in Saskatoon, the city where he was going to be working as Writer-in-Residence. I’d never heard of the place.
The same day, The Cheltenham Festival suggested I apply for a job in their main office.
It was a day when I shut the door. I turned off my phone (it was a landline so actually, I unplugged it). And then I weighed up my options—both great. My head said to go for the job. My heart was 95 percent sure I needed to see if my relationship might work.
Making a choice means closing doors as you open them. Without knowing it, as I got on the plane on October 3rd 2003, after having spent a total of five weeks with my Canadian writer in person, I left the UK behind. Homesickness is a painful emotion. Actually painful—it hurts the stomach like a wound. But the life I have with Yann, and our four children, a life of writing and great community in our small prairie city, is my life now—full of opened doors.
If I hadn’t moved to Canada I might be with my mum and baby nephew right now, drinking tea. Or picking up a different set of children from a small school in London. Or I’d be lonely and miserable on a wet, windy British afternoon, wondering why I’d never moved to Canada to be with the one man I truly loved. I don’t know—and that’s what I learned while writing Me (and) Me. We never get to see the life we didn’t choose. But, as Lark—the main character in the book discovers—making a choice is far more empowering than doing nothing.
The idea of having to make a choice like Lark does interested me long before I decided to move to Canada. I actually wrote a novel about a girl splitting into two when I was eighteen. But the book didn’t work—I didn’t have the right main character. Lark came to me fully formed and, after publishing four other YA novels, I felt ready to start her story. When I’m writing, I’m immersed in the worlds of my characters. It is only when I reflect on a project later that I see what I was trying to do, and why. Me (and) Me is about making a choice. It’s about accepting that although it’s not easy to know which is the right choice, when an opportunity is presented, accept that it means some doors have to be closed while others swing open.
I really appreciate you making me think about my novel Me (and) Me in a new way, and thank you for letting me guest post today.
Thanks so much, Alice, for this really thoughtful post. I really don’t know what I’d do in Lark’s position, but the idea of action vs. inaction being more important than what’s right is fascinating to me. I’m looking forward to delving into it deeper through Me (and) Me!
Alice is generously offering a signed copy of Me (and) Me to one lucky reader in Canada or the US. Sign up in the Rafflecopter below, and don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops!
April 10: Girl Plus Book – http://girlplusbook.com
April 11: CanLit for Little Canadians – https://
April 12: Library of Pacific Tranquility – http://pacifictranquility.
April 13: A Cupcake and a Latte – http://acupcakeandalatte.com/
April 14: Stuck in YA Books – http://lovesbooksreview.
April 17: Jaime D’s World – http://www.jaimedsworld.
April 19: Our Collective Muse – http://www.ourcollectivemuse.
April 20: Book Store Finds – https://www.instagram.com/
April 21: Mostly YA Lit – https://www.mostlyyalit.com/
April 25: Rosie & the Riveters – http://www.
April 28: BookCatPin – http://bookcatpin.blogspot.ca/