I'm excited to welcome J.A. Yang the author of Exclusively Chloe! Check out the rest of the tour stops here!
J.A.Yang has slummed it in the valley with the Wakefield twins; slumber partied with Huey, Dewey and Louie; joined Krakow in stalking Angela; and climbed every mountain with the Von Trapps.
Originally from San Diego, he's lived and traveled the world (okay, not all of it) in pursuit of that most elusive of targets -- inspiration.
He's authored and published a book, written for online and offline publications, and maintained a variety of popular blogs on subjects ranging from movies and technology to personal stories and amateur musings. He's just wrapped up his second book, a fiction novel for teens, and is hard at work on his third one.
Chloe-Grace can’t help it—she’s spectacular. How could she not be with celebrity parents who have been the queen and king of Hollywood for years? And Chloe is a celebrity all unto herself as well— she’s the first celebrity-adopted kid in Hollywood. But now Chloe’s sixteen, and she is tired of every undesired moment of the world’s attention. She wonders what it would be like to be a “normal” kid in a regular school. To really understand it, though, she would need to go undercover. So after getting a “make-under” at the hands of her mother’s fabulous stylist, she enters the “real” world. But she soon finds out that there is just as much drama there as there is in Hollywood….
I really really liked Exclusively Chloe. At first glance it might appear to be all glitz and glamor, the Hollywood Lifestyle and while that's part of it there is so much more going on than the blurb leads you to believe. For as much as Hollywood and fame don't equal a realistic life for 99% of the population, I found this story to be really believable and understandable. When is comes down to it, it's about a girl trying to find her place in the world with people that get her and like her for her and not who her adoptive parents are.
My favorite parts of the story were when Chloe-Grace (aka Lilly while at public school) is trying out this other lifestyle in public school. Her clothes aren't designer, she drives a old car, and is just a regular girl at school. Those were the most interesting parts of the story to me, all the layers of excess are stripped off and Chloe's personality shines through. One of my favorite things in the book is the real reason she decides to start at a public school, and I'm totally not spoiling it for you, you'll have to read the book to find out! I'll only say by the end of the book I had a few tears in my eyes. What a great story!
I will admit that the story wraps up with a nice big bow on top and some people don't like those kinds of endings, but me, I loved it! It made me feel so good! I am excited to see what author J.A. Yang comes up with next!
Exclusively Chloe was released May 14th!
ARC provided by publisher for blog tour
And here's an interview with J.A. Yang!
1. What sort of research did you do to prepare for Exclusively Chloe?
I read a lot of magazines. A lot. Us Weekly, InStyle, Star, InTouch, basically anything that had to do with celebrities I at least checked out once. On top of that, I kept my TV trained on E! all the time too. Plus blogs of course, lots and lots of celebrity blogs.
A lot of the research was for clothes, styles, and accessories but also just to get an idea of what was happening in Hollywood at the moment. To be honest, these are all things I did anyway (I love gossip), but keeping notes and using stickies made it "research!"
2. You have explored a lot of career paths (including graphic design- yay!). How did you settle on writing or have you?
Haha, yeah, I've done a lot of things, nothing really as a career though. I tend to go where my interests take me, whether it be film, graphic design, video games, whatnot. I'm interested in a ton of things and whenever an opportunity pops up I tend to jump at it.
Writing is something that I didn't think I could ever do even though it was always a life goal -- and a dream fulfilled. Now that I'm doing it, I hope it can be a career. After writing this book and working on my next one, it's something I'm so excited to continue exploring. I feel like I'm just getting started so that's really awesome.
3. Do you prefer writing fiction over non-fiction or vice versa? What's the main difference between them writing wise?
Oh I think I definitely like writing fiction. Writing non-fiction was a lot about what I knew and just organizing the information and getting it on paper, and there's sort of a nice and easy logic to it (especially when doing a reference type book like my blogging one). But writing fiction, it's scary to be able to go any way you want. Especially when you set about creating a world, it's like just your imagination and that's it. There are so many possibilities and the first few steps you're constantly going "Whoa, should I have gone that way? Should I backtrack and try that way?" That's what makes fiction really challenging and exciting for me right now.
4. What is grabbing your attention right now in the world of pop culture?
As I'm answering your fantastic questions, I just finished watching the pilot episode of "Glee" on Hulu. I've been reading about how great the pilot is and it was definitely pretty smart and funny. It's about a high school glee club and is being described as "a satirical dramedy about the cutthroat social environment of high school." I hope it's the next great show (even if new episodes won't be on for awhile)!
5. What is one of your recent favorite movies that no one has heard of?
I've been obsessing over this Japanese romantic comedy called, "Nana." It's about two girls who are total opposites but share the same name. They become roommates and learn to rely on each other as they struggle with boys, jobs, and life in the big city. The actresses who play the Nana's have so much on-screen charisma and their chemistry really pushes the fast moving story along.
The movie was a huge hit in Japan but is only available on DVD now. It's definitely worth checking out because it's sweet, touching, and also hilarious (intentionally and unintentionally).