Saturday, February 21, 2015

1 Melissa Kantor, author of BETTER THAN PERFECT, on writing what you want to read

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

I think this book forced me to see all the ways in which I have always done what I was told and what was expected of me. It was really liberating to write about a character who refused to be a good girl. At the same time, I think my personal history helped me see that there were some things Juliet would never do, no matter how outrageous or daring she wanted to be. So she feels like a realistic version of a good girl who's experimenting with being bad.

What do you hope readers will take away from BETTER THAN PERFECT?

I hope readers will feel that Juliet gives voice to some of their frustrations with what's expected of teenagers today. Juliet takes a ton of classes and she's doing a lot of extracurricular activities and she's very tense about getting into college, and at some point she realizes she has no idea why she's doing all of these things. I imagine there are a lot of teenagers out there who are feeling the same way Juliet does—that as soon as they get into the college of their dreams, they can relax and have fun. But they're so overworked and overwhelmed, they're not quite sure what relaxing and having fun would even look like.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

I always give writers the same advice: Write a book you would want to read. I think a lot of writers (both veteran and new) feel that there's a kind of book they're supposed to write. A literary book or a funny book or a serious book…whatever it is, it's not quite the right fit for their talents or their voice. Once you jettison the "should" from your writing, you're free to write what you want to write. And chances are, your book will be better for it.


Better Than Perfect
by Melissa Kantor
Released 2/17/2015

Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.

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Melissa KantorMelissa Kantor lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family. She is the author of several books for young readers including Better Than Perfect, Maybe One Day and Confessions of a Not It Girl. Visit her at her website,

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the interview and the overview.


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