Mundie Moms

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount / Blog Tour: Author Guest Post , Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to the first stop in the, THE WAY IT HURTS blog tour, hosted by Barclay Publicity. I'm thrilled to have author Patty Blount on the blog today, to talk about  the importance of writing about social issues. Something we feel is extremely important in YA books. 

Just in case you've not heard of Patty's newest release, here's a little bit about her book from her publisher:

In Patty Blount's THE WAY IT HURTS, two teens’ quest for fame goes terribly wrong when a single tweet goes viral and the online backlash follows them into real life. Fans of Gayle Forman's If I Stay will like how main characters Elijah and Kristen bond over their music in this edgy, real world contemporary young adult read that examines the impact social media has on the lives of today's youth. (Barclay)

Below you'll find Patty's guest post, information about the book, an excerpt and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.


“It’s not fair!”

I remember hearing this a lot when my sons were young and I remember saying it constantly when I was a kid. Children spend a great deal of time deciding what’s fair and what’s not, but they don’t understand the concept – and they won’t until they’re older.

I’m Patty Blount, author of young adult novels that deal with tough issues like bullying, rape, and call-out culture. I think writing about issues is important in teen fiction for many reasons, chief among them, because adolescents and teens tend to see the world from a lens that’s me-centric -- which is how their ideal of fairness first emerges.

Teens – no matter what their generation – are facing issues for the first time. It’s part of growing up. It’s also terrifying, lonely, and epic. When I was a teen, the way I looked at the world, the way I looked at problems, was significantly shaped by me – my family, my position in that family, my economic and social aspects. The problem with all this me-thinking is that it’s damn near impossible to understand an issue unless it directly impacted me. So issues like racism, bathroom laws, or gay marriage didn’t matter to me because I wasn’t experiencing them.

That’s what any good novel does – it makes you experience emotion from the safety of your reading space. And if it’s exceptionally good, you emerge from that safe space a changed person, one with a new awareness of a problem you’d previously been ignorant of.

When I was writing SEND, a novel about a former bully trying to cope with the suicide he caused, I did an enormous amount of research into bullying both as a social issue as a family one. One of the most important conclusions I’d discovered during this research is that bullies are not bad kids. In fact, many don’t see themselves as bullies and when they’re told they are – it hurts and insults and completely mystifies them. Why? Because they didn’t start out intending to bully anybody.

That’s how I wrote SEND – from the point of view of a bully. When Dan, the hero in that book, learns that a dumb stunt caused a classmate’s suicide, he’s devastated. He’d only been trying to be funny for his friends. He never stopped to think about the subject he’d used for his stupid joke. He spends much of the novel trying to prevent another classmate from repeating his mistakes – because he now understands the impact of guilt and thinking about others.  

When I wrote SOME BOYS, it was because I wanted readers to stop punishing rape victims for the crime committed against them. I wanted them to experience the crushing humiliation of having an entire school, an entire community, blame them for something they couldn’t stop. This is the heart of rape culture – the dirty jokes, the street harrassment, the boys will be boys excuses that so many girls must learn to navigate. I wanted readers angry at the rapists, not the victim. I wanted readers angry enough to shut down the incidents of rape culture in their real lives – like calling somebody a slut, or not hearing them when they express fear at a situation.

In my latest novel, THE WAY IT HURTS, main character Elijah Hamilton has a tough time hearing the concerns expressed by Kristen Cartwright – until he experiences her fears for himself. Though she calls him out on his refusal to see her point of view more than once, Elijah remains firmly stuck in that me-centric thought cycle for most of the novel, and stands to lose more than Kristen because of it. 

It starts with a me-centric view of the world but with carefully crafted characters that model mature thinking, issues-based teen fiction expands readers’ thinking by letting them face tough issues without having to experience them first-hand. I think this is a crucial first step toward solving many of these issues.


By: Patty Blount
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Released On: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 352 pages
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes
Add it to  Goodreads

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there's only one way to set things right...

Music is Elijah's life. His band plays loud and hard, and he'll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he'd rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town...until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother's. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program--and being the star in her high school musical isn't going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can't take his eyes off of Kristen's performance, and snaps a photo of her in costume that he posts online with a comment that everybody misunderstands. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don't stay online...they follow them into real life.


"Blount writes authentically; both protagonists’ voices are distinct. The author explores the rapidly consuming world of social media and how it affects relationships online and in real life. A relevant read and must-have for all YA collections." – School Library Journal

"THE WAY IT HURTS draws our attention to the joy, heartache and confusing contradictions that arise as we try to find our place in the real world and the virtual one." – Kimberly Sabatini

Elijah and Kristen’s personal evolutions through the novel, along with their chemistry, feel as authentic as the conflicts they face. A genuine plot filled with steady tension that will keep readers hooked.” RT Book Reviews

“This book sensitively covers topics such as sexism, handicapping conditions, communication, and ageism. Agency is also shown when Kristen says she wants to pursue studying in a conservatory rather than continue in the band and the three young men acknowledge her wish. Talking about what bothers us rather than trying to guess another person’s feelings is demonstrated through the actions of the characters. The characters’ issues are eventually resolved through hard work and understanding, making this an interesting and informative read." School Library Connection


Elijah took my hands. “Okay, look. Maybe you’re right. Maybe these people are taking this whole battle thing way too seriously. If you’re scared, then we’ll stop. No more posts except for appearance information.”
“So no more battle of the sexes, no more make Kris scream?”
He held up his hand. “Swear to God.”
“Okay.” I sighed in relief. “You’d really do that?”
He leaned closer and repeated the vow. “I promise, Kris.”
And just like that, I forgot why I was mad at him. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t even blink because I was afraid he’d let go. This was the part of him I adored. I clung to him for a long moment, and when his gaze drifted to my mouth, I wondered if—hoped—prayed—he’d finally kiss me.
And then, Etta’s voice suddenly spoke inside my head. “Well, my God, darling, it’s the twenty-first century. What on earth are you waiting for? You can kiss him.”
I could. Yes. Yes, I could just lift my head and lean in and kiss Elijah Hamilton like it was a normal, ordinary occurrence.
Right. Like kissing Elijah Hamilton would ever be ordinary?
I’d watched him kiss that girl at the mall and was sure I’d memorized all the steps in his routine. He’d move in, grip my face between his hands, run his thumb along my jaw, and finally, glide his arm down around my body, pulling me against his own, all the while, peeking through his lashes to see if I enjoyed it.
I wasn’t sure when I decided—even what made me decide. I just touched my lips to his and waited.
It took a second or two. But then there was a sudden, tiny squeak from him, and I felt the pulse in his wrist leap under my fingertips.page149image47024
And then, his hands were in my hair, angling my head just the way he liked it, his tongue brushing against mine, so soft it might have been my imagination...except imaginary kisses were never so intense. He kissed me like I was a song he wrote, lips wrapped around every word until it hummed with hidden meaning and promise, and his hands held me the way they held his guitar—like the music would stop if he let me go.
Copyright © The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount 2017


Native New Yorker Patty Blount is the award-winning author of several critically acclaimed internet issues novels for teens as well as a few adult contemporary romances. She is inspired to write by such greats as Judy Blume, JK Rowling, and Gayle Forman. In fact, Judy Blume is the reason Patty elected to write under her real name…so she’d appear on shelves next to her idol. Patty adores writing; she’s written everything from technical manuals to song lyrics (see THE WAY IT HURTS, coming August 2017). Patty wants you to know she loves chocolate…really, really loves chocolate.

When not crushing on actors Gilles Marini or Sam Heughan, Patty can be found sitting in traffic somewhere on the Long Island Expressway, listening to audio books or talking wildly to herself about plots and characters. Prone to falling madly in love with fictional characters, Patty suffers frequent broken hearts when they all invariably prefer the heroine to her… go figure. When she’s not writing, Patty loves to watch bad sci-fi movies and live tweet the hilarity, and scour Pinterest for ideas on awesome bookcases. Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that, sadly, lacks bookcases.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub


Patty Blount is offering one (1) lucky winner a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below: