Welcome to Day #8 of The Summer of Broken Things Blog Tour!
The scene: A train somewhere in France
The characters: Me at age 20, and two French guys I’ve just met, who are insisting that I absolutely have to hear this new band whose music is amazing and revolutionary and, they are certain, different from anything I’ve ever heard before
The action: French Guy #1 hands me his headphones. I put them on. Music blasts into my ears and… I struggle to muster my meager French skills to say, “Are you kidding me? ‘In a Big Country’ was out in the United States years ago!” without sounding like the ugliest of ugly Americans.
That moment, which occurred when I was studying in Europe during college more than thirty years ago, was my introduction to the idea that different songs are popular in different countries at different times. Since then, as I’ve traveled more, I’ve found it particularly whimsical to notice how songs that have mostly vanished from American playlists seem to live on and on in other countries. In Peru, my family and I began joking that there was a law that Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” had to play at least once every hour in every restaurant in the country. In South Africa, I heard more versions of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” than I had in probably the last decade in the United States.
And in Spain, what I heard, again and again, was eighties music, decades after the eighties had ended.
That makes it really easy for me to come up with a playlist for reading THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS, because I slipped some of that eighties music into this story of two girls’ life-changing summer in Spain. I put a dance club across the street from the apartment where my main characters—Kayla, Avery, and Avery’s dad—spend the summer. And I based it on a real dance club I saw in Madrid: one entirely dedicated to eighties music. Of course, this disgusts Avery, that she’s not getting to hear new music. But one of the eighties songs, in particular, becomes so much a part of Avery’s summer that it enters her dreams—and her nightmares.
So this playlist is a combination of songs Avery and Kayla hear, as well as songs I associate with my first trip to Europe, when I was thrilled by everything but also feeling a little homesick and missing my boyfriend (who’s now my husband). And then I threw in one song that I associate with a more recent trip to Europe. (You’ll be able to figure out which song that is—it’s the only one from this century. And it has something to do with Kayla’s summer as well…)
April 17th — The Book Rat
April 18th — Book Briefs
April 19th — Parajunkee
April 20th — A Dream Within a Dream
From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.
Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.
But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.
Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.
About the Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically acclaimed and popular series including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. acclaimed YA and middle-grade novels, including the
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