First off, YAY!!! Our first League release! Congratulations Julia! We all know this book is going to hit the world like gangbusters!
In anticipation of this release I got to thinking that one of the things that really struck me about XVI is how well Julia depicts the momentous experience of going from 15 to 16. There's something about that transition and our reaction to it that seems to form so much of who we are and who we come to be.
Who knows, maybe it's because 16 is when we start driving (at least here in the States) and we feel that first adrenaline rush of freedom and power, or maybe because we're finally rounding the corner into the last leg of High School and thinking more and more about college and beyond.
Whatever the reason, for me 16 felt like a major pivot point between being a kid and being an adult. From your place at 15 everything on the other side seems simultaneously thrilling and terrifying, like you're about to step into a whole new world. This is exactly what's happening to Nina in XVI, and it's so well expressed in the book.
So in the spirit of XVI, I'm wondering what all of you were like when you were just 16.
Yeah, this was me. Me and my glorious glorious mullet.
Beyond sporting the "business-in-front, party-in-back look," who was I? Musically I was moving out of my all Prince all the time mode and starting to discover 80's angst rock like REM, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order, XTC and others. I had just started to drive (my dad's old powder blue Chevy Malibu) and was dating a cute and spunky red head with a turned up nose who eventually completely broke my heart.
Most importantly, I was starting to get into theater in a big way. The above picture is from a production of Man of La Mancha. Ever since I was little I remember looking for what my thing was. I knew it wasn't sports or music or academics. I dabbled in drawing and writing, but for some reason when I got up on stage the first time, that's when I felt myself slide into something that felt right to me. I was more and more sure that this was the path for me in life. The funny thing is that in a way it actually was, acting lead to writing plays seriously which that lead to writing books so in a way I'm still on that path, it was just a bit twistier than I imagined.
Ok, so I went ahead and embarrassed myself a bit here, so how about all of you, in honor of the release of Julia Karr's XVI, tell us a little about yourself at 16. Who were you? What were you doing? What were you thinking? Did the 16 year old you lead directly to who you are now?
The Eleventh Plague
Coming from Scholastic, Fall 2011