by Patty Blount
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Best friends don’t lie.
Best friends don’t ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don’t post your deepest, darkest secrets online.
Bailey’s falling head-over-high-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she’s never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn’t trust smooth-talking Ryder. He’s just a picture-less profile.
When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it’s time to prove Ryder’s a phony.
But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question:
Who is Ryder West?
Meg and Bailey, Best Friends For Life – or Until Boyfriends?
When I started writing TMI, I knew I wanted to have two characters who were best friends so I could test that friendship, see what it would take to break it. Megan Farrell is an only child. Her dad died – suicide – when she was hardly out of kindergarten and she has always blamed herself for that. Money was tight – still is. Her few memories of her dad are of him drilling into her the importance of having a plan for her future and letting nothing sway her from it. Even at five years old, Meg knew that she had been the reason her father didn’t meet his own goals. Neither had her mother and today, she has to work two jobs just to keep their little house.
As a result, Meg is fiercely independent, super-determined to succeed, and also frustrated by her inability to develop her artistic abilities any further. Meg sticks to the letter of her dad’s plan not because she believes in its worth but because she doesn’t want him to have died for nothing. This is the only thing she can do to earn his love.
Love… funny how she keeps pushing Chase away when he’s already half in love with her. But it shows how devoted Meg is to her father’s legacy – flawed as it is. Her interest in art developed when her dad gave her a paint kit when she was about four. He’d ooo’d and ah’d over her work and she wanted to make him happy.
That was all she’d ever wanted.
Bailey never knew her dad. Her mom was sixteen when she was born and won’t tell her about her dad. Bailey doesn’t even know his name. While Meg had art and her promise to her dad, Bailey had nothing. Just giant gaping holes where her dad would have been, or the bitter expression on her mother’s face whenever Bailey does something that reminds her mother of her dad. That’s all she has to go on, so Bailey keeps trying new activities, hoping to find something that connects her to her dad. She finds it hard to live without knowing half of who she is. Her attempts to find her dad are really attempts to find herself. By the end of the story, we know Bailey’s taken some big steps in that direction.
When the girls meet in elementary school, they bond over their missing dads and only-child status. They have a lot in common but they also have a lot of differences but become fast friends anyway. The things about themselves that frustrate the other are also the things that bind them. Secretly, Meg respects Bailey’s eternal optimism and her fearless ability to try new things – whether it’s the latest fashion trend or a new hobby. And secretly, Bailey respects Meg’s steady determination to succeed. As they grow up, those same strengths become the girls’ downfall – Bailey can’t stop reinventing herself for every guy she meets and Meg can’t deviate from her plan even for the best of reasons – love.
This is why I gave Bailey an online boyfriend… I knew the practical side of Meg would twist into a knot over Bailey’s gullibility. And I knew Bailey wouldn’t be able to resist another shot at what she truly wants – love. It’s been fun seeing how the girls’ friendship survived this test.
Patty Blount writes instruction guides by day and novels by night. On a dare by her oldest son, she wrote her first novel in an ice rink. Though never published, Penalty Killer was the subject of so many seventh grade book reports, the English teacher requested a copy and later returned it, covered in red ink. Patty is always looking for great story ideas. Her debut novel, Send, was conceived after her boss suggested she learn about social networks. Patty lives on Long Island with her family, a fish, and lots of books. (www.pattyblount.com).
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