When you have a book coming out, one of the questions you get most often is: “So, what’s it about?”
I have a lot of answers: OPEN ROAD SUMMER is about best friends, about summer and travel and music. It’s about setting who are against who you want to be and trying to close that gap. It’s about all kinds of love–family and friends and yourself and the flirtation that might just become something more one day.
But, if we’re going behind-the-scenes here…the truth is, for me, this book is mostly about forgiveness.
It’s strange to me that forgiveness rarely gets talked about. No one ever says, “I like that girl. She’s really good at forgiving people.” But how and when and why to forgive? That’s one of the hardest, best things I’ve had to learn in my 20-something years.
So, OPEN ROAD SUMMER is about forgiving your family for not being perfect. Of course they’re not perfect. It doesn’t matter. They’re yours.
It’s about forgiving your best friend because, in some ways, she has what you want. It’s okay to wish that you could trade lives sometimes. She feels the same way about you. I promise.
It’s about forgiving the people in your life who bailed on or betrayed you. They hurt you. It wasn’t your choice, and that sucks. But the choice you do have? Who you’re going to be from here on out.
It’s about forgiving the girls who were bitches to you in junior high. Holding on to that bitterness doesn’t change what happened. And becoming a bitch yourself? That makes you the same as them.
Most of all, it’s about forgiving yourself. So you made a bad choice or six. Maybe you were reckless, with your choices or with others’ feelings or even with yourself. Being a teen and human is not about whether or not you’ll mess up. You will. It’s about you DO with that mess.
So, reader, thanks for taking a summer road trip with Dee, Reagan and me. I hope you see the concerts and the American landscape and the fireworks, and I hope you see yourself in one or two of the characters. But mostly, I hope it reminds you that, as our girl Taylor Swift would say, today is never too late to brand new.
Excited about OPEN ROAD SUMMER? Find out more when Emery drops by to fill out the Behind the Bill questionnaire next week! In the meantime, check out this awesome video: