Welcome to the Who Needs a Hero Event! Each day during the event we are featuring heroes from young adult novels! Today we have Miles from Until the Beginning by Amy Plum. Until the Beginning is the second book in the dystopian series After the End. Check out Kaitlin’s review of the first book After the End here! This novel released on May 5, 2015 by HarperTeen.
*Enter to win a signed copy of After the End and Until The Beginning! Don’t forget to enter here for the Who Needs a Hero International giveaway!*
Eighteen-year-old Miles Blackwell was the son of a pharmaceutical magnate and lived a cushy life in Los Angeles. A few months before graduating, he was expelled from high school. His father forced him to work in the mailroom of his company to prove that he could be serious enough to go to Yale. When Miles heard that his father was searching for a girl who holds a valuable secret, he decided to find her himself to win his father’s favor.
Why Amy thinks Miles is a Hero:
Miles follows his heart, even when he doubts his sanity in doing so. He isn’t afraid to make a fool of himself in order to do the right thing. He’s ready to go far out of his comfort zone if he has to. And most importantly, he’s willing to go up against his father and give up a very comfortable future to follow the girl he loves.
Interview with Miles
DFT: The lovely Amy was kind enough to introduce you to us, but for those of us who haven’t had the pleasure of reading your story yet will you please tell us 3 unique things about yourself that most people don’t know?
Miles: Hi! Thanks for having me here.
Let’s see, three unique things. Well, I can recite Star Wars episodes IV, V and VI by heart. I can stick my entire fist in my mouth. And I have mad video game skills. But I have a feeling that Juneau would say that was avoiding the point, so…just for you…I’ll spill.
1. I got kicked out of high school for cheating on an exam. This was after I had already been suspended for bringing pot and beer to school. To be honest, getting in trouble provided a distraction to some shitty things that happened to me recently. For example…
2. My mom left my dad and me two years ago, after she had a breakdown and almost killed herself. Now it’s just me and my dad. Which sucks. Massively.
3. The one thing I want in life—and this is between you and me—is to find someone who accepts me like I am. Who makes me feel like being a better person. I wouldn’t have even known this about myself, except I think I’ve met that person. If you don’t catch my drift, it’s the kick-ass Alaskan girl with the crossbow and pet raven.
DFT: Meeting Juneau completely changed your life, but mostly in a good way. You have been able to learn a lot from Juneau and I was wondering out of all the things she has taught you what do you think has been the most useful during your journey together?
Miles: Well, I could say make a fire, shoot a crossbow, roast roadkill on a spit, and read the future in water. But I think the thing she taught me that’s more important is to be open to things that might not make sense. To have an open mind and accept the fact that everything isn’t always as it seems, and that much more exists in this world than what we can see.
DFT: I’m a sucker for romance and I love your relationship with Juneau! Can you tell me what has been one of your favorite moments that you have shared with her so far?
Miles: Looking back on our wild ride, I have to admit that even though I was a hundred percent convinced that Juneau was insane from day one, every moment I’ve spent with her has made me feel more alive than I ever did before.
But if I had to choose a favorite moment, there was this one time when Juneau and I had a picnic on this cliff overlooking a beautiful landscape. We kissed and, well, I’m not sure who your public is, so I’ll just skip a few steps and say that afterward Juneau stood up, as naked as the day she was born, and walked through the woods back to our site. No inhibitions. No self-doubt. Walking with her back straight and her chin up looking like royalty. Like some kind of earth goddess. I can’t even tell you how much I felt for her right then. My heart felt like it was going to explode. And I couldn’t believe that I was lucky enough to be with her. That she had chosen me…literally, if you know our story. It’s an image that is burned into my mind, and the emotion still shakes me.
DFT: Now I want to ask a few fun hero questions since this whole event is featuring heroes! Every good hero needs a home base. What would be your ideal secret lair if you happened to be a superhero?
Miles: I was going to say the Statue of Liberty, but I’m not sure Juneau would enjoy living in New York City. I think I’d have to lean more Isolated-Desert-Lair-With-Lots-Of-Underground-Tunnels. How about Devil’s Tower – that weird mountain formation in Close Encounters? I can see building a high-tech superhero lair inside that!
DFT: If you could choose to have any type of superhero powers what would they be and why?
Miles: Well, I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but…I may already have an advantage or two by the end of the books. I wouldn’t say no to super-strength, though. At least it would give me a slight advantage over Juneau’s ability to excel in practically everything she tries.
DFT: Your story is full of adventure, danger, and love. Throughout your journey what is one of the most important life lessons you learned?
Miles: That once someone has earned your love and trust, you’ve got to be ready to go the distance for them—to love and trust them no matter how crazy things seem. And if you want them to love you back? Believe in them and support them fully. Their response will be your greatest reward.
Amy Plum is the author of DIE FOR ME, a YA series set in Paris. The first three books—DIE FOR ME, UNTIL I DIE, and IF I SHOULD DIE—are international bestsellers, and have been translated into thirteen languages. The fourth and fifth books are digital novellas, entitled DIE FOR HER and DIE ONCE MORE. Amy’s newest series is a duology: AFTER THE END and UNTIL THE BEGINNING.
Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café.
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Available May 5, 2015 by HarperTeen
About this Book:
When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people’s gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.
Juneau and her new companion Miles’s cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau’s people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people – and herself – Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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