We’re so excited to be kicking off our A Better Bad Idea tour, and we hope you’re just as excited as we are to celebrate this awesome book. If you haven’t already, make sure to follow our hosts, add this book to your TBR, and check the giveaway out below!
A Better Bad Idea
by Laurie Devore
Published by Imprint
Releasing on March 16th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION–Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
Laurie Devore’s new YA novel is a searing look at a forgotten girl who has no good choices left, but one better bad idea…
Evelyn Peters is desperate. Desperate for a way out of McNair Falls, the dying southern town that’s held her captive since the day she was born. Desperate to protect her little sister from her mother’s terrifying and abusive boyfriend. And desperate to connect with anyone, even fallen golden boy Ashton Harper, longtime boyfriend of the girl Evelyn can never stop thinking about ― beautiful, volatile, tragically dead Reid Brewer.
Until a single night sends Evelyn and Ashton on a collision course that starts something neither of them can stop. With one struck match, their whole world goes up in flames. The only thing left to do is run―but leaving McNair Falls isn’t as easy as just putting distance between here and there and some secrets refuse to stay left behind.
A reckoning is coming… and not everyone is getting out alive.
Laurie Devore was born and raised in small town South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University. After four years in the balmy Midwest, she returned to her home in the south, where she now lives and works in Charleston. In her spare time, she reluctantly runs marathons, watches too much TV, and works a “y’all” into every conversation. She is the author of Winner Take All and How to Break a Boy.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your book?
I am a 30-something author slash advertising professional living in Charleston, South Carolina. I have a dog named Wrigley (after spending four years living in Chicago, it seemed right) and in my spare time, I watch an obnoxious amount of television and enjoy cooking and working out (not necessarily in that order).
My new book, A BETTER BAD IDEA, follows two girls named Evelyn and Reid and their fight for survival in their rural Southern town. Across two timelines, both are desperate to escape in their own way. When Evelyn sets a fire in an attempt to kill her mother’s abusive boyfriend, she goes on the run with the now-deceased Reid’s boyfriend. Things devolve from there.
How was writing A Better Bad Idea different than your previous releases?
A BETTER BAD IDEA is easily the most structurally complicated book I’ve ever written so it took much longer to develop than my previous books. Each section is built around certain events in the girl’s lives so scenes build up to that moment in specific ways. So while I always try to bring intention to my books, in this one I had to spend so much time thinking about why I was making every scene choice while also trying to maintain a pace and keeping this book much shorter and tighter than my previous books (which I accomplished – this book is under 300 pages!)
When it’s safe to have in-person events again, what bookstores would you like to visit?
There’s quite a few! I’d love to visit Itinerant Literate Books here in Charleston as well as have a glass of wine at the Book Cellar in Chicago. I’d also just love to sit at the Barnes and Noble café and have something they keep in stock from a local bakery while I work on a new book.
Out of all of the characters in A Better Bad Idea, which one was the most difficult to develop?
Ashton was probably the hardest character to understand and develop because I spend the novel inside both Reid’s and Evelyn’s heads but you really only see Ashton from their points-of-view and he’s deeply insecure in who he is, which made the whole thing all the more difficult to untangle. Ashton was a character that both the girls’ projected their own hopes onto, so I really had to take a step back to understand exactly what made him tick and what made him so susceptible to a certain type of manipulation that is inflicted on him.
If you could have one celebrity read A Better Bad Idea, who would it be?
Probably Miranda Lambert? A couple of her songs inspired the book so I think it’d be cool for her to read (each act of the book is named after a Miranda Lambert song!).
What is something you hope readers learn/take away after reading your book?
I don’t ever really want readers to go into my books with the mindset of learning a lesson; mostly I want them to be transported and maybe even have a good time (even if they’re not sure if they SHOULD be having a good time). If readers do take anything away from this book, though, I think it’s about the injustice many girls suffer daily. Not just the threat of violence but the lack of agency they often have in their own lives.
In all my books, I’m always hoping to help readers empathize with characters across the board who maybe they didn’t empathize with before so if you find yourself relating to someone while also wondering if they’re a good or bad person, my mission is accomplished.
Were there any characters who were influenced by/based on people you know?
I don’t think so! I usually put some fun nods to people I know in my books but this book just felt a little too dark for it. I did dedicate the book to my brother since it was a book that really centered around an older sister’s love for her younger sibling.
Are you currently working on anything else, and if so, can you give any hints or details?
Yes! There aren’t many details to share yet and because I haven’t sold this book, I cannot promise that it will ever actually exist. But! It’s about an unlikeable girl at a boarding school who does crime! And then is accused of a murder she didn’t commit but probably wanted to. I’ve been circling around this book idea for about 15 years from a Dateline episode I saw way back when so hopefully I can do it justice.
Up for grabs, we have one (1) finished copy of A Better Bad Idea by Laurie Devore! This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from March 15th to March 22nd at 12 AM CST. To enter, click the button below!