Today on #CelebratingDebutantes2016, I am featuring Michelle Andreani, one of the authors of The Way Back to You! She will share the playlist she made for Cloudy (one of the main characters in THE WAY BACK TO YOU's). She's also giving away a pre-order of The Way Back to You to one lucky reader from Fragments of Life, so stick around!
The link to the playlist is here.
I know many writers create playlists to tell their characters' stories, but full disclosure: I started Cloudy's before I really knew her. Still, if we were going to do this together, it felt imperative that she had a set of songs meant just for her. (And I cannot lie, it let me put off figuring her out, because that was really, really, really hard!) So, I began collecting songs that I thought Cloudy would listen to and love, and, along the way, the songs that spoke to her story joined in. In a way, much of Cloudy's playlist isn't only where she's going, but who she always was.
(I also made a decision early on that Cloudy's playlist would be female artists only. It seemed very right!)
"Trouble" by Neon Jungle: This has Cloudy written aaaalllll over it. She would totally listen to this while getting ready for school, or cheer practice, or anything else. Such a fun, sassy, high-energy tune!
"I'm a Ruin" by Marina and the Diamonds: I should make this clear: Cloudy loves Marina and the Diamonds. Like A LOT. (And okay, sure, some of it's because I love Marina and the Diamonds, but that's neither here nor there!) Marina is so talented at delivering a strong message wrapped up in catchy, inventive arrangements. This song in particular reminds me of Cloudy's relationship with her ex-boyfriend. Loving him would be easy, but would it be truthful to either of them?
"Hostage" by Sia: These lyrics! "The secret life of us keeps me in handcuffs" is a total bullseye for Cloudy.
"Broken Over You" by Grace Mitchell: Cloudy would never admit this, but this song resonates so deeply for her, and maybe, possibly, reminds her of a certain boy it shouldn't. (Also! Grace Mitchell is an Oregon girl, just like Cloudy.)
"Long Live" by Taylor Swift: This is one of the first songs I added to Cloudy's playlist. It so perfectly articulates Cloudy's love for her best friend, Ashlyn; it was always them against the world. I listened to it all the time in the early days of writing THE WAY BACK TO YOU. And the lyrics, "if God forbid, fate should step in / And force us into a goodbye / If you have children someday / When they point to the pictures / Please tell them my name" made me cry on the subway! (And now, too, I guess??) There's a big kind of love in this song.
"Saturday Night" by Natalia Kills: Cloudy's unofficial theme song! Which is odd, because the (very serious) issues the song addresses are not Cloudy's. But there may not be more appropriate lyrics for her and her not-dealing ways than, "I know I'm gonna be just fine / And I'll put on my dancing shoes real tight / 'Cause it's just another Saturday night."
Thank you for sharing, Michelle!
Michelle Andreani was born and raised in New York City and has never lived anywhere else. (But she would like to try at some point.) She enjoys staying in, singing along, and stories with big hearts. The Way Back to You is her first novel.
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: May 3rd 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
In this witty, heart-tugging novel, two teens take a spontaneous road trip across the Southwest to meet three strangers who received the life-saving organs of their late best friend—charting a journey of loss, hope, and love along the way.
Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident.
Her best friend Cloudy is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.
Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.
As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they're barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot of out character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again. Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.
With hundreds of miles in front of them, a stowaway kitten, and a list of people who are alive because of Ashlyn, Cloudy and Kyle just may find their way to back to her...and to each other.
Thank you to Michelle for this giveaway!
What's up for grabs: Pre-order of The Way Back to You
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!