Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Pretty Amy Blog Tour and Guest Post

Today I have the lucky opportunity of having the lovely Lisa Burstein on The Readers Den as part of the Pretty Amy blog tour. For today's guest post Lisa will be sharing with us some of her inspirations behind her debut novel Pretty Amy.

I was always a girl who loved words. When I was in high school I wrote in a diary and spewed out terrible poetry. Very melodramatic stuff that rhymed. Mostly because I had all these feelings of inadequacy and defectiveness inside me that I didn't know how else to get out. So I wrote poems with titles like Pain and my parents read them and asked me if I was okay. And, I always said yes, because how could I explain?

How could I tell them that their little girl who used to love reading and horseback riding was finding it hard to find things she loved anymore? How could I tell them that being thrust into the world of high school had turned me into a shy, scared, loser? I couldn't.

But that girl who loved words and knew she had things to say about the world, her world, even though she was afraid no one was listening, is the one who was inside me when I was writing PRETTY AMY.

High school was not easy for me. When I was a freshman there were a lot of days I came home crying. Not because I was bullied, but because I was ignored. Made to feel like it didn't matter if I existed or not. That is its own kind of mental bullying. When you keep being ignored, it starts to turn you into someone who just feels need all the time. Who just feels lost all the time. You just want validation that you are normal. It's a scary place to be.

Because of that, you try so desperately to be friends with someone, anyone. You feel yourself just wanting a friend to pick you. To say, yes, I like you, let’s sit together at lunch, like a puppy looking through glass just wanting to be taken home and hugged.

You walk through the halls at school and try to find anyone willing to give you a chance, but chances are hard to come by in high school. That was all I wanted back then, someone to give me a chance. And, in PRETTY AMY it's all that Amy wants.

It was a book I knew I had to write, certainly for all the girls out there who feel and felt like me, but also for myself. I knew I had to make those years of hopelessness and emptiness into something. I knew I had to take all those feelings and put them somewhere and I guess I was lucky enough to be able to put them in a novel.

The thing is I know there are so many girls like Amy, so many girls who just want someone, anyone to listen to them. Who try so hard to make sense of their lives that it hurts.

I know what it is like to be this kind of girl and I also know that all you want is a place to spill all your feelings like a bucket full of dirty mop water, which is why I created The Pretty Amy Project. I am asking teens and adults who used to be teens to Read PRETTY AMY and tell their story.

As Amy says:
"I’d wanted the words to be perfect. It seemed like they should be profound or something for as long as everyone had been waiting to hear them, but all I could say was yes. I guess sometimes saying what you mean is enough."

I know there are a lot of Amy's out there. I was an Amy and I had no one who really understood. I understand. I want to listen. I want other people to listen. I am asking readers to tell us how you've felt like Amy. How you got over it. How you are getting over it. How you are embracing it. Tell us anything you've been too afraid to tell before.

I know sometimes that just saying and reading the scary and hard things can make you feel better. I know that because that's what finally did it for me.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your inspirations with us Lisa! There are still a few more tour stops left in this blog tour, you can check the rest out here. And also read what I thought about Pretty Amy in my review here.


  1. It sounds as though Lisa put a lot of her personal experiences into her writing. It makes me wonder if I could relate to Amy myself... I guess I will have to read the book and find out. ;) Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this lovely and powerful post! :)

  3. Such a fantastic post! Though I didn't experience loneliness in high school to this degree, I did often feel I was on the outside looking in because I competed in horse shows (yay horseback riding!) and that took up so much of my time after school and on weekends that I was just out of the loop. I wouldn't trade it because I loved it, but I understand the feeling completely.

  4. Such a beautiful guest post! This post alone makes me dying to read Pretty Amy. Ah, I still remember clearly my high school years. There were hard times when I cried a lot, but overall I had great moments. Thankfully I have amazing friends to help me cope with school stuffs! I understand how hard high school could be, and Amy seriously has my sympathy! Now I just want to hug her. <3

    Thank you for sharing this amazing post! Makes me feel very nostalgic and a bit solemn hehe. x) <3

  5. Great post! I'm always curious about the inspirations of an author and this one really hits close to home. I hated high school and had a hard time feeling like I fit in so I can definitely relate. I read Pretty Amy a few weeks ago and it's a good book and very profound - more than I thought it would be for sure. Glad you made something good out of it, Lisa!

  6. Haha, I think we all spewed up terrible poetry at some point in our lives! The absolute best thing there is is when an author writes what he/she knows. I was already determined to read Pretty Amy, but now that I know where it's coming from, I'm absolutely sure I will like it and relate to it.
    Wonderful post!

  7. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful and inspiring post! I'm not the best poet in the world either but I love that you finally found your forte in writing YA novels like Pretty Amy with messages that are just as inspriring as your experiences. I'm in high school right now and I actually kind of love it, but at the beginning when you're new and trying to fit in, it can be TERRIFYING. I'm glad you tried to capture that in your novel!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Lisa! Now that I know the inspiration behind the book, I think I'll enjoy it more! :) <3

  8. This was such an inspiring post <3 It's so great that Lisa managed to bring all of that out in Pretty Amy! I remember my search for validation in high school as well. I had good friends but sometimes I'd feel so terribly alone. I love the premise of Pretty Amy, it's heartbreaking but so real.

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing guest post, Jasprit and Lisa :)

  9. What a fantastic post, Lisa. It was interesting to hear your thoughts on high school and now I see where Amy gets that voice. That chapter where Amy is in the bathroom in the orange pants with the girl like her, both just wanting to be noticed. Growing up isn't easy, hopefully now you look back and realize the experience made you stronger.

  10. I'm so glad you decided to put this guest post today Jasprit! Thanks Lisa for writing a book that represents your true feelings during high school. I understNd that sometimes Everyone feels sad for some reason. Wonderful guest post on a wonderful book's blog tour!

  11. Love this post!!!!!!! I am in high school and I can totally relate to Lisa and I need to read her book because I think the concept she chose is very inspiring! Wonderful!


  12. Great post!! I think the Pretty Amy Project sounds amazing. I wrote in a journal all the time when I was younger. It really is hard to voice how you feel about things...and figuring out if what you feel is normal or something bigger.


  13. Thank you Lisa for sharing your moving and very personal story with us! I'm sure a lot of girls who share these feelings feel better just by knowing someone else went through the same thing.


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