Welcome to the Who Needs a Hero Event! Each day during the event we are featuring heroes from young adult novels! Today we have Montana from Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu. Making Pretty is standalone contemporary novel. This novel released on May 12, 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books.
*Enter to win a signed copy of Making Pretty at the end of this post! Don’t forget to enter here for the Who Needs a Hero International giveaway!*
Meet Montana! She’s a New York City girl who only feels at home in Washington Square Park, drinking coffee, eating panini, people watching, hanging out with her best friend Roxanne and her sister Arizona. Her father has just ended his fourth marriage and her mother is nowhere to be found. But Montana wants to be better that where she came from– she wants to be herself. If she could just figure out who that is. It’s not easy to do– her plastic surgeon father sees her one way and her sister sees her another way. Even her new friend Karissa sees a side of Montana that she can’t see herself. But maybe falling in love could change all that? If only Montana knew if love– of someone else; of herself– was something she could even believe in.
Montana’s a hero because she’s searching. Heroes go on journeys, and that’s definitely what Montana’s doing. She’s looking for herself, which is maybe the rockiest, hardest, most dangerous journey of all. I also think she’s a hero because she’s not naturally brave but she takes chances anyway. She really aims to be the person she wants to be, and she get bruised along the way but doesn’t stop. She has a really incredible resilience. That might be her strongest quality– she won’t let things keep her from hoping or moving or discovering or loving or growing. I know how hard that is, so to me, that’s totally heroic.
Interview with Montana
DFT: Corey was sweet enough to already introduce you to us, but I want you to tell us 3 things that people wouldn’t know about you by looking at you?
Montana: I want to believe in love but I’m not sure I can. I’m scared of practically everything even though I try not to be. I am really good with toddlers.
DFT: Karissa is your new best friend and she has filled a need in your life at a critical time. What is the first thing that drew you to Karissa? What do you think is unique about your friendship with her?
Montana: Karissa is the most charismatic, fascinating person I’ve ever met. Every little thing she does is wonderful—from what she eats to how she wears her hair to how good an actress she is. I love the way other people respond to her, too. Everyone wants to be around her, and she chose me. She’s older, and I like that too—she has lived. She knows stuff. She’s wise but also dangerous and fun. If I were to picture the person I wish I could be but know I’ll never be, it would be her. Our friendship is unique because it’s so unexpected. I would never think someone like Karissa would want to be around someone like me. She challenges me to be more spontaneous and more brave. When I’m with her, I’m a new version of myself.
DFT: Your relationship with your father is very interesting. He probably isn’t the best father in the world, but he does love you. Ever since your mother left he has been through multiple divorces. What has been the hardest part for you watching your father go through so many women in such a short period of time?
Montana: All I really want is a family that looks more like other families. I want things to be settled and sure and comfortable and easy. But my father’s not like that. He falls in love really hard. Then he changes his mind. I try to get used to my new stepmoms, I try to envision a whole, real life with them, and then they get taken away and I have to start over. That’s the hardest part. I always have hope, and I’m always disappointed.
DFT: Arizona is your older sister and you have been very close until just recently. She left for college and came back a totally different person which has caused you to grow apart. What was the best part about your relationship before things became strained between you two?
Montana: What I used to love most about me and Arizona was the way we were always on the same page. We saw everything the same way, and were on the same team. Now… I’m not so sure.
DFT: Bernardo is your fun and spontaneous boyfriend. He is one of the only people in your life that makes you feel appreciated and loved for who you are. Will you tell us one of your favorite moments you have spent with Bernardo?
Montana: My favorite moment with Bernardo was meeting him. We met in a super cute way—in Washington Square Park, after checking each other out for MONTHS. I loved that long lead up—I feel like I got to know him without ever talking to him, just through glances. I like that he’ll do anything for me. Like Karissa, he’s totally fearless and spontaneous and intoxicating.
DFT: Your journey hasn’t been an easy one, but you have learned a lot about yourself. What is one piece of advice you would give to other girls that find themselves in a similar situation to yours?
Montana: Find what you love about yourself, and focus on that. Keep hoping. If you want to dye your hair pink, dye your hair pink. Reach deep down and figure out what in the world you actually feel; act from that.
Corey Ann Haydu is the author of OCD LOVE STORY, LIFE BY COMMITTEE, MAKING PRETTY and her upcoming middle grade debut, RULES FOR STEALING STARS. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Corey has been working in children’s publishing since 2009.
In 2013, Corey was chosen as one of Publisher Weekly’s Flying Starts. Her books have been Junior Library Guild Selections, Indie Next Selections, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Selections. Corey also teaches YA Novel Writing with Mediabistro and is adapting her debut novel, OCD LOVE STORY into a high school play, which will have its first run in Fall 2015. Corey lives in Brooklyn with her dog, her boyfriend, and a wide selection of cheese.
Want to read more from Corey Ann Haydu?
This contest is provided by Corey Ann Haydu!
One lucky reader will win a signed copy of Making Pretty!
Available May 12, 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
About this Book:
Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.
With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.
In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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