Hi guys! I’m so excited to be here to help promote When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington. I had the chance to be part of the street team for this book, and it was so much fun!
Title: When Summer Ends
Author: Jessica Pennington
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Published by: Tor Teen/Macmillan
Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.
Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?
Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.
Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.
Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a B.A. in public relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than on a beach.
Hi, Jessica! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions and for being here today. I can’t wait to discuss your next book as I loved the first one so much!
How about starting off by describing your book in emojis?
We get to see a more in-depth appearance of Riverton this time! I love how you based it off your own West Michigan town. What was your favorite part about fleshing out this world? Did you include anything from your own town in Riverton?
Yes, I was so excited to explore Riverton further, after it made its appearance in Love Songs & Other Lies. Riverton is a mash-up of three Michigan beach towns—the one I grew up in, the own I currently live in (very close by) and one further North, where I vacationed for a week every summer with my family. All three towns are somewhat similar, but I mixed and matched pieces of them to create my ultimate Michigan beach town. Almost every location in When Summer Ends—from the beach scenes and River Depot, where they work, to the dunes they climb—is inspired by a real-life place.
This book is an ode to summer jobs and ruined plans. How did your own experiences influence your writing of Olivia and Aiden?
The real-life place that inspired River Depot, where Aiden and Olivia work, is one of my favorite places, and I always thought it would have been a really cool summer job. Much cooler than the one I had.
Did you have a summer job? If so, what did you like about it?
Not much? Okay, a little! I worked at a garden center during the summer, and mostly I was covered in dirt, and out in the hot sun (it had that in common with River Depot) and it was pretty miserable. But like Olivia, I lived in a small town and my options were limited. I would have given anything to have somewhere great like River Depot to work! But we did sell bulk candy in the gift shop, and I got to work with some of my best friends, so that was by far the best part!
When Summer Ends also includes disability rep. Why was it important for you to include this? How were you able to accurately capture this experience?
The visual impairment rep in When Summer Ends is 100% based on my own experiences in high school being diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease. This isn’t a book ABOUT visual impairment, but it was important to me to write a character that shared that experience with me, because it had a huge impact on my high school experience, and into adulthood. As far as his vision goes, everything that happens to Aiden was pulled from my own experience. Minus being a star pitcher. I was a very mediocre pitcher LOL.
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Prize: Win one (1) of two finished copies of When Summer Ends plus swag!
Ends: April 18, 2019