Claire does not want to spend her summer before her senior year of high school caring for her sick Grammy. But, as her mother drives her from the big city of Houston to the small coastal town of Indianola she realizes she has no choice. With nothing to do except cook, clean, and make sure that her Grammy takes her very important medication. Claire is bored out of her mind. She befriends a girl named Audrey, an overly nice and robotic, blonde cheerleader who gives her a weird vibe, so Claire isn’t trying to spend too much time with her. But, then she meets the wonderful Julie, under weird circumstances. And by weird circumstances, I mean having Julie come out to the house to exterminate a bizarre creature. Where did this creature come from? And why are people acting like it’s not a big deal that it exists? As Claire and Julie begin to investigate the town and the creatures, they make some shocking discoveries.
Thank you very much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Holiday House for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. To see the rest of the tour schedule click here! Also, stay tuned towards the end of the post to receive info about our giveaway!
I do not normally read science fiction or mystery books. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I am always drawn to another book in the fantasy genre and then I sometimes low-key forget there are other genres out there (I need to do better haha). But, boy was this a great re-introduction to the science fiction genre for me! This story was so rich and really unlike anything I had ever read before. I enjoyed Claire and Julie’s romp through the town in order to uncover the mysteries about the monsters that co-exist with them. I was having fun myself trying to figure things out before the plot revealed them. The friendship and romance between the two girls was also very sweet and refreshing. It was effortless to picture the two girls together having fun, sharing secrets, and dealing with their feelings for one another. The monsters in this book were also very original. The author does a wonderful job of describing her monsters and how different they are too humans, it was eerie in a good way. The way that the world and events were described also helped with the pacing of the book. There was not a dull moment for me while I was reading. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to friends who want to get into the science fiction with this wonderful story full of friendship, mystery, and first loves.
Interview with Cassandra Rose Clarke
1. What inspired you to take up the mantle as a writer?
I’ve always loved to read, and as a kid, I would constantly tell stories to myself and write epics for my creative writing school assignments. However, there was one moment when I realized that I could actually be a writer. In elementary school, I met Joan Lowery Nixon, a YA author who gave a talk in my hometown. I’d never met a professional writer before and it cemented in my head that it was a job you could actually do.
2. Is there a certain book that inspired you to start writing Young Adult Fiction?
I’m not sure I could point to one specific book, but I’ve read YA fiction my entire life, so it’s always been a part of my literary landscape.
3. When you were writing the character Claire, did she remind you of anyone in your life?
Yes: Me, lol! Claire was definitely inspired by my own experiences in high school of being bookish and shy and not knowing how to let the cool alternative types (like Julie) know I totally liked the same music and movies as them. Plus, like Claire, I’m bi, so in telling Claire’s story, I was kind of telling the story of how I wish I’d been able to explore my sexuality in high school.
4. When did the idea for Forget This Ever Happened come to you?
I was in the mood to write a book similar to the ‘80s YA horror books I used to read when I was younger. They usually had a group of cool teens in a cool setting getting terrorized by some monster. However, I wanted to update that basic premise for the 21 st century, and add my own twist. The result was Forget This Ever Happened.
5. Do you have an advice for aspiring writers?
The best piece of advice I ever got was to separate dreams and goals. Basically, a dream is something that depends on other people to happen (ie, getting published). A goal is something that depends ONLY on you to happen (ie, finishing a novel). Focus on setting goals that will help you achieve your dreams, whatever they are. For a lot of aspiring writers, that means learning to finish a novel and not get distracted by new projects. (I speak from experience!)
6. What was your favorite scene to write in Forget This Ever Happened?
I really loved writing the scenes with the monsters. It was a lot of fun figuring out ways to make the monsters feel genuinely alien and creepy. I’ve always loved horror and those scenes were a chance to flex my horror muscles (without anything truly terrible happening to the characters).
7. If you could choose one character from your book to spend a day with, who would you
choose and why?
When I was younger, the answer would be Julie, without a doubt. But as an adult, I’m going to have to go with Aldraa, the de facto leader of the monsters. I’d love to know more about the monsters and where they come from, what their world was like, all that good stuff.
Meet the Author
Cassandra Rose Clarke’s work has placed in the Rhysling Awards and been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Pushcart Prize, and YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults. She grew up in south Texas and currently lives in Houston, where she writes and serves as the associate director for Writespace, a literary arts nonprofit. She holds an M.A. in creative writing from The University of Texas at Austin, and in 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in Seattle. Her latest novel is Halo: Battle Born, out now from Scholastic.