Blog Tour: Joyride by Anna Banks

Today I'm really excited to be part of the blog tour for Anna Banks' upcoming novel Joyride, which is out this Tuesday! Keep reading to learn  more about the book, a standalone contemporary romance (!!!), check out my interview with Anna, and enter the giveaway for a hardcover copy. Thanks to Macmillan and Fierce Reads for letting me be part of the tour!

Pub Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Standalone: Book 2 of the Wait For You companion series
Summary: A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Book Buy Links:
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Interview with Anna Banks:
Hi, Anna! Thanks for joining me on Mary Had a Little Book Blog today to answer some questions about your upcoming book Joyride.

Anna: Thanks so much for having me today and for hosting me on the Joyride blog tour. ☺
Q1. Joyride is a departure from your previous work in that it's a realistic contemporary and a standalone. Was it difficult to write because of those differences? Did your process change at all?

AB: It was difficult to leave my fantasy roots behind, simply because everything in Joyride is real world stuff, and the real world can be scary and heartbreaking at times whereas in fantasy, you can take the reader out of the real world for a while, and give them a break.

Still, writing a standalone was fantabulous. It felt very weird to reach the end of the book and not have to worry about leaving open plot points for Book 2 and 3. Though, between me and you, I’ve got some ideas for short stories to continue Carly and Arden’s journey. ☺

Q2. You jumped right in to realistic fiction by tackling a really sensitive subject and current hot topic, one that I think many teen readers will relate to (as a Texas librarian, I definitely believe Joyride will resonate with some of my teen patrons). Why immigration?

AB: A lot of people ask me what my political standpoint on immigration is. My answer is that I don’t have a political standpoint, just a human one. Immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, are humans, real people who deserve their chance at happiness and well-being. I wanted readers to relate to that concept, and see the human side of immigration. I want people to know that there are many Carly’s out there, and that they could sit right next to her (or him) in class. I want all the Carly’s and Julio’s to have a voice. I want readers to know what it’s like to be them, to know their struggles.  

Q3. One thing I liked about Joyride was that you balanced the emotional rawness of Carly's family's story with the silliness and escape of Arden's pranks, and that just hits the surface of the differences between the two. Were Carly and Arden intentionally created as foils of one another or did they evolve throughout your process?

AB: I definitely created them that way. I had Carly, and I wanted an anti-Carly. I wanted two people from the opposite ends of the spectrum to meet in the middle and find a common ground—I wanted to prove that it could be done, that their story is not impossible. Also, it was fun to create the push and pull between them. It was like playing romantic tug o’ war.

Q4. Sadly, one thing Arden and Carly have in common is somewhat less-than-fully-supportive families, but they also share a pretty fantastic mentor: Cletus. I thought his scenes were some of funniest and the most heartwarming. Was he always such a big part of the story?

AB: Cletus wasn’t meant to be a main character but the guy wouldn’t shut his face, so I kept writing him and writing him until at one point I realized that Carly and Arden needed him in so many ways, that I couldn’t take him away from them. They needed an ally, even if it was a meddling wealthy old drunk turned philosopher who happened to have issues with urinating in public.

Q5. I remember you asked Twitter for fun prank ideas, but did you use any other sources to find practical jokes? (I'm imagining your Google history must be really fun!) Were there any favorite pranks that didn't make their way into the finished manuscript?

AB: I asked Twitter for prank ideas for a short story I was writing. Confession: I’ve pulled every single one of the pranks in Joyride, including grand theft auto. You can read the full article about THAT in USA Today’s HEA blog. You could say I’ll go to a lot of trouble to entertain myself. I’m still a prankster today. I’d give it up, but I’m no quitter.

And this isn't a question, I just think the romance between Carly and Arden is adorable and swoony. I love how it builds throughout Joyride and really sucks the reader in! Thanks again for taking the time to talk Joyride with me. Best of luck with the book and on your upcoming tour!

AB: Thanks again for having me! These were great questions!
About the Author:
Anna Banks is a young adult author whose primary goal is to entertain smart, funny gals like herself. You can expect her works to be centered around a love story, freckled with humor, and seasoned with sarcasm.
Anna grew up in a small town called Niceville (yes, really) in the Florida Panhandle. She now lives with her husband and daughter close to her hometown. The youngest of seven children, she was spoiled beyond comprehension growing up. Before she started writing, Anna worked as a banker and a waitress. She loves old movies, fried chicken, and Simon Cowell, but loathes exercise, licorice, and haters.
She also spews sarcastic, romantic fiction under pen name Anna Scarlett.

Author Links:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of Joyride.
US/Canada only. Must be 13+ to enter.

*Prize will be supplied by Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends
Winner will be notified by me, Mary, and their address will
be given to the publisher for the shipment of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. During slumber parties, my friends and I used to call boys we liked and play songs or movie clips for them over the phone and then hang up. Not the best prank, but funny at the time.

  2. At my old job, we played pranks on our boss all the time. A lot of them involved his keys or his phone, but putting bubble wrap under his rug and then paging him to the phone was the best one. Because he was a heavy walker. ;) Thanks!

  3. I used to work summers at a campground and part of out duties was cleaning the washrooms. We would rig a bucket of water over the door so that it would tip over and soak the cleaner who opened the door. To this day I let doors swing open before I walk through them!

  4. Water balloon fight every summer. It's always been a tradition :)

  5. Friends and I would draw on the first person who fell asleep first at a sleepover! haha :)

  6. I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I've read other books by Anna Banks, and I've loved them, so it's going to be really interesting to see how she tackles realistic contemporary.

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