The girls' final installment of the Boomerang series, Bounce, comes out today, and for the first time in the trilogy, they navigate new territory: that of the enigmatic younger man.
Skyler Canby is a 22-year-old cellist trying to make her way in Los Angeles as a musician when she lands the starring role in a hot new romance film. Grey Blackwood is her audition partner — a fellow musician and general go-to guy for his brother the film executive, Adam.
When Skyler and Grey kiss as part of the audition, sparks fly, but Grey is only 19. Skyler can't have a romantic attachment to an immature younger guy, can she? No matter how sexy he is.
Bounce is part of a super popular genre, hot right now, called New Adult. Rossi explained, "The genre focuses on the stage of life that occurs after high school, into the early 20s. Characters are often in college and have more independence than in Young Adult novels, but they're still trying to find their way in the world."
Oberweger said, "Writing about characters who are more fully entering the adult world, engaging in love relationships with greater acknowledgment of its physical expression, dealing with who they want to be — creatively and professionally — is truly compelling."
She's right. Skyler and Grey are both just growing up, really. Skyler, for instance, feels the pressures of being thinner and thinner to make it in Hollywood. Grey feels the pressure of trying to live up to his family's (and his self-imposed) expectations.
Rossi admits she didn't want to make the body image stuff too heavy-handed. Instead, her intentions with taking on Hollywood were further-reaching. She said, "If the story was meant to 'teach' something, it would really be about being enough — realizing that your beauty is not dictated by outside constructs unless you buy into that. And realizing that your worth isn't dictated by your acts, only, but by who you are. And that who you are is perfect and enough."
What's perfect about Bounce? The sexual tension. With the Young Adult genre, authors have to tiptoe around steamy content. According to Oberweger, not so in New Adult. "Veronica and I agree on the basics of treating sex with candor and sensitivity, making sure a sex scene does as much work as any other scene in the story, and focusing those scenes on character emotions, first and foremost. We want readers to think the scenes are hot and also to be moved."
Speaking of hot, let's take a moment to admire Grey Blackwood, our young male lead. He's a hard rocker, but he's a vulnerable disaster, too. "For me," Rossi said, "his real sexiness stems from his passion. He lives hard; he does everything full-tilt. I admire that. I find that kind of energy and confidence really attractive. People like that make you pay attention."
Oberweger continued, "I responded so much to Grey because he was a bit more of a mess than the others, because he did more stumbling — and, as Veronica remarked, he did it with gusto."
Although the ladies worked together to write Bounce, they didn't have the chance to hang out often during the course of writing. They wrote together from across the country, emails flying. However, they did have time to invent a drink while developing Bounce, called the Maverick, which, in Rossi's words, is "highly memorable."
Now that the Boomerang series has come to a close, Rossi has a two-book Young Adult series coming up, with the first book, Riders, launching in February. She said, "It's a modern-day fantasy about four teens who unwittingly become incarnations of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It's got action, romance and general hilarity." Oberweger will continue to do what she does and rock life like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.
Now, enjoy a tease from Bounce, out today (reprinted courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers).
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