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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Blogger YA Novelist Barbara Ehrentreu


Today, novelist Barbara Ehrentreu, author of If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, joins us as part of the Summer Teen Reading Party. She chose to interview the main character from her novel, a teen girl struggling with some tough, realistic problems.


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LATE ADDITION! NEWS FLASH! Barabara Ehrentreu has just agreed to do a giveaway to one lucky commenter! Post a comment at the end of this post, and you'll have a chance to win If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor.

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An Interview with Jennifer Taylor from If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor
Welcome, Jennifer. I know you have a very busy schedule and I’m so glad you could take a few minutes to talk with us.
Jennifer: Well, I thought it was important I get my side of the story out there. After all, Carolyn has been going on all these blogs and bad mouthing me. So I figured, well, we figured, that is Brad and I figured I better get on here and tell my story. Who is Brad, you ask? He’s my boyfriend and he’s the number one quarterback on the Mill Valley Vikings. 
That’s my school’s team. I’m a freshman at Mill Valley High School and if everything goes right I’ll be in the Olympics in a couple of years. My coach says I have a really good chance if I continue to practice. I’m the best on the team, but I have a problem.
What is your problem, Jennifer?
Jennifer: It’s hard to explain, but it started when I really wanted to be in the Olympics. I had to be a certain weight to stay on the team. I mean the coach weighed us every day and if we gained any weight he gave us a few days to lose it or he would make us sit on the bench during practice. So, in middle school I liked to eat and I kept gaining weight. One day I had enough of not practicing so I decided to stop eating. Oh that worked great! I got all mean and yes, that is when I started bothering poor little Carolyn about her stupid breathing. That day I started it was a big joke, but then it was so much fun to keep bothering her. She’s like a scared little mouse. Maura, she’s my best friend, and I had so much fun deciding where I should get her next. Meanwhile, I got so hungry I would stuff myself with food and feel so guilty. One night I just got rid of it, you know how. After that it was easy and I stayed at the right weight, except sometimes I stop eating again. No one knows about this, not even Maura or my parents. No one from my school will see this, right?
No, of course not. 
Why did you decide to help Carolyn?
Jennifer: Now I can’t really say why I did and maybe it’s best if I don’t tell you about that.   
Maybe the girl just got to me. How pathetically she dressed and how she only hung out with her two friends Becky and Janie. I mean when we did the food survey she only knew those two. But it might be something else and you know I would rather not say, it’s kind of private.
Do you think you are a “mean girl”?
Jennifer: If you go to Mill Valley High School you will see I am the most popular girl in the whole school. I have the best looking guy as a boy friend and people really like me. Is that the profile of a mean girl? Maybe if I were Carolyn Samuels I might think of myself as a mean girl. I have been pretty mean to her. But she really deserved it with her dweeby friends and her breathing problem. So, no, I don’t think of myself as a “mean girl’. 
Jennifer, it has been very interesting talking with you and I’m glad you got to tell your side of the story. 

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You can buy If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor at the Muse Bookstore, at Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble.
You can visit Barbara Ehrentreu at her blog and on Facebook.

19 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. This is brilliant, Anne.

    And Jennifer, please tell Ms. Ehrentreu that she "does" teen girl voice amazingly well.

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  2. Nice to hear more about you Jennifer!!! I've read the book and love it!!! It is a great teen read with engrossing characters and a fresh story! Kudos to the author!!!

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  3. Ooh, I want to hear more from Jennifer. (Great interview, Anne, and thanks, Barbara, for letting Jennifer speak to us ... Of course, I understand that nobody can 'let' Jennifer speak to anyone if she doesn't want to.) That 'problem' she mentioned is really tough for many teens to talk about. So I'm glad she opened up.

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  4. Oh Jennifer, you sound just like me when I was your age. Me and my best friend picked on a girl so bad and thought it was so funny! That is until we grew up and realized how mean we were to her. Now I'm just ashamed of myself. So, before you do anymore teasing, you might want to think about how you'll feel later. It's really not being a "popular and nice" girl when you make others feel bad. But now I'm really curious to read the book and learn more about you!

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    1. Allyn, I am sure you will see quite a few things you both had in common at this age. However, you have been able to rethink your own behavior and I hope you didn't have Jennifer's problem too. Thank you for visiting. I hope you win the free book!

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  5. First of all, thank you to Anne for my first blog visit for Summer Teen Reading Fest! I am so happy to be your guest. You know I am from Brooklyn too! I was born there and lived there for 14 years!!

    Marie Elena, thank you so much! Jennifer gave me an exclusive interview and allowed me to let Anne post it.:)

    Jan, so happy to hear you enjoyed my book! Thank you!!

    Claudine, I hope you will read the book to read more about Jennifer. She and Carolyn are both in it. It has taken Jennifer a long time to open up about her "problem". But she gave me the interview as I told Marie Elena.

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  6. My pleasure having you here, Barbara (and Jennifer too, of course). I did not know you were from Brooklyn. I grew up in Wisconsin, but have lived in NYC for 20 years.

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  7. Yes, born and lived there in the '50s. Brooklyn when I left was very different than it is today. We must talk about this. Maybe when you are my guest.:)

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  8. One more thing, Anne. I am giving away a free copy of my book to the lucky commenter here on your blog. Please let everyone know.

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  9. Very nice interview.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. I'm reading your book right now and really enjoying it. When I was in college I had my own Jennifer. My one roommate who was 'perfect' and I swear looked exactly like Marie Osmond. Then I noticed my ice cream went 'missing'. I confronted her and she blamed it on me! She said if I didn't have the good stuff around she wouldn't have been tempted. Then I heard the noises and found out about her bulimia. So sad.

    I really love how you are able to address this topic in your book.

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    1. Kim, this is the reason I wrote this book. My own daughter was starting to be bulimic and I tried to find a book that would address the issue in a more objective way. All the books I found were from the bulimic's POV. So glad it rang true for you. I did a lot of research with bulimics who told me stuff anonymously. Living with a bulimic is difficult. Thankfully, my own daughter was able to overcome the physical part of it, but the mental part never really goes away even with therapy.

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  11. Great character voice and such a subject that I think every teen girl can relate to. And every woman as well.

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  12. Thank you very much!! Jennifer actually arrived completely formed. I had a lot of experience with popular perfect girls who were mean girls. I think every woman has known someone like Jennifer. So glad you can relate to the character.

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  13. The expression on the girl's face and the title tell so much! Love it. This is something that will really speak to teens.

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Kelly. I do love the expression on the cover too! It's so enigmatic.:)

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  14. Great to see you here in person, Jennifer - loved your story in the book! Barbara - apologies for not getting that review up yet and I'll get on to it. This is a great book for teens.

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    1. Hi Rosemary! So happy you loved the story! I understand about not getting to review things. Our lives are filled up and whenever you get it there is fine. :)

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