What's your favorite summer memory?
I have a very distinct memory of being in the ocean at Atlantic City with my grandfather. I held one of his hands; my sister held the other, and as each wave rolled towards us he’d holler, “JUMP!” and we’d ride it up and over. I can see the smile on his face, his bathing shorts straining over his massive belly… it’s a snapshot moment that feels like love. It always makes me achingly happy… “aching” because he died two weeks before my wedding. That was almost 15 years ago, and I still miss him.
Ice cream or popsicle? What's your favorite flavor?
Ice cream, no contest. Favorite flavor goes between Rocky Road and Pralines and Cream, depending on if I’m in the mood for chocolate or vanilla.
What will you be reading this summer?
Right now I’m reading Anne Lamott’s Some Assembly Required. I’m obsessed with Anne Lamott, not only because her fiction is pretty much my benchmark for great writing, but because her non-fiction is like holding a mirror to my own internal struggles with self-doubt, the search for spirituality, and the quest to live life to its fullest.
Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say. One of the Populazzi. It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.
When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.
The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment — a straight climb up — but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.
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