Today we have a blog take over by Alyssa Sheinmel, as part of The Beautiful Between blog tour.
If high school were a fairy-tale kingdom, Connelly Sternin would be Rapunzel, locked not in a tower by a wicked witch, but in a high-rise apartment building by the SATs and college applications—and by the secrets she keeps. Connelly’s few friends think that her parents are divorced—but they’re not. Connelly’s father died when she was two, and she doesn’t know how.
If Connelly is the Rapunzel of her school, Jeremy Cole is the crown prince, son of a great and rich New York City family. So when he sits down next to her at lunch one day, Connelly couldn’t be more surprised. But Jeremy has a tragic secret of his own, and Connelly is the only one he can turn to for help. Together they form a council of two, helping each other with their homework and sharing secrets. As the pair’s friendship grows, Connelly learns that it’s the truth, not the secrets, that one must guard and protect. And that between friends, the truth, however harsh, is also beautiful.
A Big Welcome to Alyssa Sheinmel and now for her take over.........
Connelly’s New York
The Beautiful Between wouldn’t be the same novel if it didn’t take place in New York City. In any other town, the coolest boy in school would have to drive the coolest car; anywhere else, and Jeremy’s habit of taking cabs would make him something of a loser. Practically the entire novel takes place within a few square miles; it should feel like a small space into which to fit a novel, but in Manhattan, a few blocks away can feel like a few worlds away.
When I wrote the book, although the characters were inventions, I definitely had certain corners and blocks in mind, particular buildings and restaurants where I pictured the scenes taking place. So I knew exactly where to go to take a few pictures of the key spaces and places in Connelly’s New York, starting with the spot outside Connelly’s building where she and Jeremy meet almost every night.
Early in the novel, Kate comes to the junior lounge looking for Jeremy; when he’s not there, she guesses that he’s left school to smoke a cigarette – and she knows exactly where he’d have gone to do it. It seems like every school has a place – maybe around the corner, across the street, or up the block – where the cool kids, or maybe the bad kids, sneak off to to smoke and hang out during their free periods. Behind a building near Connelly’s and Jeremy’s school there is a little garden where everyone knows to go.
Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the schools in New York City from the apartments and office buildings that surround them. Here is Connelly’s school, tucked in between some apartment buildings.
In one of the few scenes in The Beautiful Between during which Connelly confronts her mother with questions about her late father, the two are eating at a diner across the street from their apartment.
Connelly and Jeremy originally connect when Jeremy offers to help Connelly improve her physics grade. Connelly is so concerned over her grades because she has dreamed her whole life of attending Columbia. Sometimes, she even goes up to the school, and walks around the campus, imagining what life will be like when she’s a student. When she attends Columbia (I can assure you that she will get in!), Connelly’s New York will expand, west-ward and north-ward. Her world will become a little bigger – and it will continue to grow in the years to come.
Thank You Alyssa for more insight into the world of The Beautiful Between.
Take some time and go and check out Alyssa site HERE!
The Next Stop in the Tour is Jenn @ Books at Midnight (her site really is awesome)