Category Archives: friendship break-ups

Nothing Compares 2 U

TeamTeen(1)

Today’s theme for the TeamTEENAuthor group post is Break-Ups.  But since it’s been a loooong time since I’ve had one of those (1997, to be exact) I’ve decided to write about friendship break-ups, which is a huge part of my book, REUNITED.

Though if you’ve recently had your heart broken, go put on a pair of comfy PJs, open up the Ben and Jerry’s, and see my recommendations for the best break-up albums and movies at the end of this article.

Divorcing Our Friends: When Friendships Fall Apart

I got dumped freshman year of high school. Not by my boyfriend, because, sadly, I didn’t have one, but by Shannon*, the girl who had been my best friend since age ten. Shannon and I had spent the past five years practically living at each other’s houses. We went of our first double date together, attended the same summer camps. In fifth grade we wore matching Van Halen baseball shirts to school once a week.

Then high school came and something shifted. For reasons I couldn’t explain, Shannon started spending more time with Chrissy* and Megan*, two pony-tailed blondes from our soccer team. Each weekend, the three of them would go off to cool upperclassmen parties, while I sat at home, pining for the carefree days of sleepovers, riding bikes, and making prank phone calls. Sure, I wouldn’t have been opposed to tagging along for a keg party or two, or making out with any number of cute boys from the varsity soccer team. The problem was, Shannon never asked me along.

Then one winter night, a few months into the school year, I was trying to coordinate plans for Shannon and I to attend a hockey game, when she simply stopped answering my calls. After ten or twenty desperate attempts to get her to click over to the other line, she finally picked up, only to tell me that she’d already made plans to go to the game. With Chrissy.

“Fine,” I told her, not getting the message, “I’ll meet you guys there.”

“No,” Shannon said, her voice oddly distant. “Chrissy and I don’t want you to come.”

So, it was very healing, twenty-five years later, when I managed to land my first book deal because of that painful experience. Reunited, my debut young adult novel, tells the story of three ex-best friends who take a road trip from Boston to Austin to attend the one-night-only reunion show of the band they all once loved. And though I’ve never had the pleasure of driving cross-country with my ex-best friends, thanks to Shannon, I was able to connect with the complicated feelings of a friendship gone south.

But whether or not we’ve gone through a traumatic split like mine, we’ve all had the experience of losing a friend. Usually, we don’t mean for it happen. But over time things change—we move, we get involved in romantic relationships, we spend more time on our careers, our marriages, and our kids.

Sometimes, friendships crumble simply because our lifestyles have become too different. It seems like everyone has at least one friend who never quite managed to grow up. Back in college; you two partied like it was 1999. Hell, it was 1999. But a decade later, you’re busy attending school plays and shopping for lawnmowers, while your old pal is still out hitting the bars five nights a week.

Then there are friendships that break up due to some act of transgression, jealousy, or deceit. Angry words are exchanged Real Housewives-style, eventually culminating in a dramatic, and usually permanent, parting of ways. I don’t think this phenomenon is all that common, at least among the rational, self-aware women I know, though it seems to be one of the few kinds of female “friendship” portrayed on reality TV.

So, what’s the real culprit? Why do some friendships fall apart while others stay together?

I think it all centers around our ability to be open—not just to intimacy, which of course, is a big part of any meaningful relationship, but also to having people in our lives who may not be exactly like us. The older we get, the more we figure out who we are, which is mostly a wonderful thing, but can also be limiting, if we’re not careful. Understandably, I prefer to spend my time with people who share my values, interests, and my undying, irrational love for Pa Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. But over the years, I’ve learned that connecting with people is about more than just that. It’s about building a special world together that only you share, a secret clubhouse of sorts, only without the “No Boys Allowed” sign tacked to the door. Though it’s strongly implied.

Personally, I am lucky enough to have remained close with a big group of old friends who date back to my childhood. Some of us still have a lot in common. Others, it’s doubtful we’d strike up a friendship had we met today. But even though our lives may be quite different, there’s something quite great about sharing a history with someone, a comfort, and even a vulnerability, in knowing that this friend understands the person you used to be—and still are, at your core.

I am also blessed to have lots of “new” friends who I share a lot in common with and who live close by. For the past three years, this group of women and I have spent every Tuesday night together, barring a snowstorm or a kid with a high fever. Together, we put a lot of energy into nurturing our friendship, making sure to prioritize it in our hectic daily lives, because keeping a friendship alive takes work, just like a marriage does.

Unfortunately, the busy twenty-first century world we live in is too often a killer of friendships. We’re always juggling a million things at once, so friends are squeezed in like an afterthought, in between romantic partners, kids, and work. It doesn’t help that with the advent of Facebook, the very definition of word “friend” has been trivialized to include “that kid you once sat next to in Calculus class.”

Sure, our friendships as women might take some effort to maintain. And they’ll never have the same intensity they did when we were girls, back when our best friends were our everything. But the laughter, wisdom, and emotional support my friends and I give each other gives back to each of us in profound and significant ways. Because of my Tuesday nights out, I’m a better wife, a better mother, and a happier me. And if I ever have an overwhelming desire to discuss Pa Ingall’s sex appeal, I know I’m not alone.

*Names have been changed for privacy.

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And now, a little something for the lovelorn…

Hilary’s List of “Best Break-Up Movies”

Weirdly, Zooey Deschanel’s in two of them.

  • 500 DAYS OF SUMMER
  • CELESTE & JESSIE FOREVER
  • ALL THE REAL GIRLS
  • ANNIE HALL
  • HIGH FIDELITY

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Hilary’s List of “Best Break-Up Albums”

Not weirdly,  two of them are by Joni Mitchell.

  • JONI MITCHELL – BLUE
  • JONI MITCHELL – COURT & SPARK
  • NICK CAVE – THE BOATMAN’S CALL
  • THE CURE – DISINTEGRATION
  • RICHARD & LINDA THOMPSON – SHOOT THE LIGHTS OUT
  • ALANIS MORRISSETTE – JAGGED LITTLE PILL

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Oh, and the all-time best break-up song ever… Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”

For more teamTEENauthor posts about break-ups, check out these:

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, friends, friendship, friendship break-ups, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, teenage girls, young adult

Win big at the REUNITED Spread This Book Trailer Everywhere Contest

First off, can I just say how much I loved hearing about all your favorite libraries?  And from every corner of the country, too!  If there was one common thread to your testimonies, it’s that our local libraries hold a very special place in our communities and in our hearts.  I want to visit them all!

Big congrats to the winner of the Love Your Library giveaway, Linda L., who will receive a copy of REUNITED for herself, and one for The Linda Vista Public Library of San Diego.

But on to this week’s giveaway.  And it’s a whopper. ;)

It’s hard to believe, but REUNITED’s release date is only one week away. [Squeal!]  To celebrate the end of my month-long giveaway extravaganza, I’m offering the biggest, baddest collection of loot yet:  a REUNITED Road Trip Prize Pack!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • A $15 Amazon gift card
  • A $10 iTunes gift card
  • A REUNITED t-shirt
  • An assortment of REUNITED-themed road-trip snacks
  • A mini replica of the Pea Pod (the nickname for the van the girls drive cross-country)
  • Signed REUNITED bookmarks
  • A REUNITED magnet
  • And, last but not least, a signed copy of REUNITED

Behold the glory of the Prize Pack! (bedspread not included)

To enter, all you need to do post the link for the Official REUNITED Book Trailer to any or all of these places:

  • your Facebook page
  • Tweet it
  • your blog/Tumblr/Pinterest

Here’s the link to the trailer on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3mmS6nA0Ls&feature=plcp

The trailer’s also on my Facebook page if you want to share it from there:  http://www.facebook.com/HilaryWeismanGraham

Then just post a comment on this blog telling me where you shared it.  If you share it all three places, you’ll be entered to win three times! (Contest ends 6/19/12 and is open to U.S. residents only.  Sorry UK and Canada.)   And thanks so much to all of you who’ve entered my giveaways and to those of you who’ve shared kind words about REUNITED.  It means a lot. –Hilary

And if you haven’t seen the book trailer yet, you can watch it here:

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, favorite books, friendship break-ups, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, young adult

Level3’s summer tour poster

Coming soon, to a library near YOU!

 

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, friendship, friendship break-ups, music, pop music, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, young adult

Giveaway Tuesday: Road Trips Rock!

In just one month from today, REUNITED hits the shelves!  So, in celebration of the final countdown, I’m offering four straight weeks of giveaways, either with a music theme, a road trip theme, or both!

“The Pea Pod” – the ’76 V.W. camper van in REUNITED.

Level3, jammin’ at rehearsal.

Since Level3’s reunion show is the thing that motivates Alice, Summer, and Tiernan (ex-best friends) to hop into a van together and drive 2,000 miles cross-country, this week’s contest takes place on Level3’s website.  All you need to do is head on over to Level3theband.com and answer this question in the COMMENTS SECTION (of their blog or mine):   If you were on a road trip, what band would provide your soundtrack?

One winner (selected at random)  will receive their very own REUNITED T-SHIRT, available in your custom size, plus signed REUNITED bookmarks and a Road-Trip Mix CD.  Two runners up will also win signed REUNITED bookmarks and a Road-Trip Mix CD.

Winners will be announced here on May 22nd, when I reveal the next giveaway. Good luck!  And while you’re at Level3’s site, don’t forget to download three free chapters from REUNITED and TWO FREE SONGS from Level3!

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, friendship break-ups, music, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, rock bands, Uncategorized, writing, young adult

The YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes 2: Electric Boogaloo

Welcome to Stop #1 in the “Laser-Eyed Iguana” leg of the YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes 2:  Electric Boogaloo.   In case you missed the first one, the YAmazing Race is the coolest blog hop ever, featuring over 50 debut authors and a veritable smorgasbord of booty including: ARCs, gift certificates, swag, and a bottle of perfume made from lilacs, the scent of fresh-baked blueberry muffins, and Katniss Everdeen’s sweat.

Okay, I made up that last one.

The race officially begins at noon EST on Wednesday, May 2, so if you’re reading this before that time, you may want to amuse yourself by checking out REUNITED’s book trailer.  And if you haven’t yet been to the Apocalypsies website, CLICK HERE to start from the beginning and read the complete rules.  Now on to the race!

REUNITED by Hilary Weisman Graham  (Simon & Schuster – June 12, 2012)

1 Concert.    2,000 Miles.     3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.  Back in middle school, the girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.  But when the band broke up, so did their friendship.  Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.  Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show. Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse.  And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town.  But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Now tuck that away in your clever, little brain for the quiz at the end.

Plus, I’m also hosting a bonus contest where I’ll be giving away a limited edition pea pod necklace.  Why a pea pod, you ask?  Because the “Pea Pod” happens to be the name of the 1976 pea green VW camper bus Alice, Summer, & Tiernan take on their 2,000 mile road-trip.

Enter to win this pea pod necklace!

The "Pea Pod," from the REUNITED book trailer.

Do any of the following six things and you’ll be entered to WIN the pea pod necklace.  Or, do all six and you’ll be entered six times!  And don’t forget to tell me how many times you entered in the comments section of my blog.

Ready to move on?  Then CLICK here to link to the site of Anne Nesbet, author of 2012 Kind’s Indie Next List book, CABINET OF EARTHS   And good luck!

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Filed under book blog, books, movies, YA, writing, favorite books, friendship, friendship break-ups, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, teenage girls, young adult

My Simon & Schuster author video

It’s official.  I am in the Simon & Schuster “Author Portal.”  (At least the link works on AOL.)  And I love how much Level3 footage they used!

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Want to win an advance reader copy of REUNITED?

I know of a website for an adorable indie-rock trio from Austin where you can enter to win.

Oh, and while you're there, you may want to download some songs. For free!

Or enter here, on Goodreads.

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Filed under book blog, books, movies, YA, writing, favorite books, friendship break-ups, pop music, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, rock bands, young adult