Sunday, January 6, 2013

Review and Author Interview: Impossible by Komal Lewis


     Picture Regina George from Mean Girls. Imagine her perfectly glossed lips saying something like, "You're so pathetic," or, "Get in, loser, we're going shopping." That's pretty much every single one of Ashton Summers' friends, and even Ashton herself in the beginning. While I don't know if I am personally a fan of Ashton's character right off the bat, but I readily admit that I admire the risk Komal took with that. Nowadays, the main female character is always somewhat shy, beautiful in an non-obvious way, a little hot tempered on occasion, but unfailingly nice--which is something that perky, popular, too-good for drama geeks, fatties, nerds, and emo band freaks Ashton, is most certainly not. She has put up so many masks showing people what they want to see and being who she needed to be in order to achieve something that she holds very, VERY dear to her heart: popularity. At times I got annoyed with her character, as Ashton's cattiness was so ridiculous I almost thought it far stretched. But again, I do like that the main character in Impossible doesn't seem to fit the main character mold. About halfway through the book, Ashton's childhood friend and neighbor, Luca Byron, starts to peel away the masks and reveal a more vulnerable, caring "Ashy". Though Ashton had shown signs of veering from her mean girl path, she didn't really revert from her mean ways until midway through the book. I like the nice version of Ashy wayyyy better. Speaking of Luca--I LOVE HIM! He is one of the sweetest, most loyal dudes you will ever read about. What I like most about him, a close second to his hotness, is the way he loves so unconditionally, be it Ashy or his Mama. That's right, bad boy Luca is an adorable Mama's boy. Overall, Ashton and Luca's relationship is rocky and a little confusing at times, since I didn't understand completely why he stuck with her through the drama, but Luca is just so loyal. He's an awesome character to read about. Throughout the entire book, the flow of the writing was great, and it's a good read for whenever, wherever. It seems shallow at first glance, but the themes of the struggles of life like dealing with death and bullying have an impeccable depth to them. At the same time, it doesn't seem like you're reading a bullying pamphlet. Impossible takes us into real life circumstances, and for that, it is a must-read!

Interview with Komal Lewis:

1. What is your favorite place to curl up and read?
I do most of my reading just before I fall asleep or when I’m curled up on the sofa. But I love reading so much that I’d curl up to read anywhere, like on a rock or a cactus.

2. What book are you currently reading?
I’m actually not reading anything at the moment which is weird for a book addict like me. I did finish reading FALLEN TOO FAR by Abbi Glines a few days ago, and I might read WALLBANGER by Alice Clayton next.

3. What book has most inspired you in your lifetime?
It’s really hard to name only one book so I’m going to mention a few that have inspired me throughout the years at specific ages. At 7-years-old, the Narnia Chronicles; at 10, The Lord of the Rings; at 11, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Deltora Quest; at 12, His Dark Materials; at 14, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, and Cat’s Cradle.

4. I find, when talking to authors, that they most always identify with at least one character in their book. What character in Impossible do you most identify with?
I think there are bits of me in a lot of the main characters. I can relate to the whole absent father thing that both Luca and Ashton deal with. I do see a lot of myself in Eddie because he gives great advice—the kind of advice that deserves an emotional soundtrack playing in the background.

5. Luca is awesome. Have you ever had a neighbor/ coworker/ friend who has the effect on you that Luca does on Ashton?
Thanks for saying that Luca is awesome! I have never known anyone in my life who is like Luca. It would be great to meet someone like Luca and be friends with him. I wrote Luca, wanting girls to see that you don’t need to be with a guy who’s possessive, obsessive, jealous or dangerous. Luca is different, but he’s genuinely a nice guy who cares about other people. He does screw up at the end of the book, but that was my way of saying that even Luca isn’t perfect. No one is perfect.

6. At times I felt like I was walking through Mean Girls when I was first reading Impossible. How did you come up with so many snarky one liners!?
Oh, awesome! I love Mean Girls and I was flattered when some reviewers compared Impossible to Mean Girls because I never made that connection. As I was writing, I was like, “I’m too old to mimic the teenage vernacular,” or “Would a teenager really say this?” even though I was a teenager, like, two years ago. My husband says that I have an endless fountain of witty one liners, so I guess I just channeled that into the story.

7. What's your favorite part of writing?
When I cry. I’m not much of a crier, but when I hit a particularly emotional scene, I just sit there and bawl my eyes out. My family thinks I am insane.

8. Bullying is a serious theme in Impossible. What message are you trying to put out there with your book?
Bullying is one of those sucky things that some people go through as they grow up, like measles or chicken pox. And there’s different levels of bullying. Some people don’t realise that they’re bullies and some people do it because they enjoy it. I guess the message I’m trying to send is: bullying sucks and if you’re doing it to someone, you need to take a good look at yourself and stop doing it. You don’t know how your words or your actions are going to affect another person and it could be to their detriment.

9. Have you ever changed your appearance like Luca does, first when his dad dies and then when he is with Ashton?
When I hit 14, I went through a huge punk rock phase. I had blue streaks through my hair, got a lot of piercings in my ears, dressed primarily in black, and was adamant on getting a tattoo when I turned 16. Thank God, I never got that tattoo. My first tattoo is going to have a lot more meaning than the initials of the lead singer of my favourite band.

10. How has publishing a book changed you?
Not a lot actually. I still sing 90’s songs out of tune until my husband politely asks me to stop embarrassing myself. I still think and talk like I’m a hormonal, teenage boy to get into the mindset of the male characters I write about. And I still spend 90% of the day conversing with my imaginary characters. So, yeah, everything’s still normal.

I want to thank you for interviewing me, Anna. The questions you asked were terrific! 

Check out more about Komal below:

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