Book Review and Interview: Resilient by Patricia Vanasse

Resilient book cover finalSynopsis:
Livia has never felt like she fits in. As normal as it sounds, Livia is anything but ordinary. She can feel every emotion of every single person around her, and it’s maddening. In pursuit of some psychic quiet, she moves with her family from New York City to Whidbey Island in the lush and sleepy Pacific Northwest. But when a horseback riding accident in her new home gives her a broken leg that heals in a day, she finds that another unexplainable ability has manifested, and her life isn’t about to get any easier.

Adam has no problem fitting in and making friends. In fact, he’s the top of the school, the boy everyone knows and loves. However, people only see what he allows them to. No one knows what Adam is truly capable of. After witnessing Livia’s accident, Adam sees something intriguing in her quick recovery, something that gives him hope that he’s not alone.
Adam is the only one whose emotions Livia can’t read. Afraid of not knowing what goes on behind his dark eyes, Livia decides to keep him at a distance. Yet the more she tries to ignore him, the more alluring he becomes, and while their personal quests for identity will inevitably bring them closer together, it is the confirmation of what they really are that threatens to tear them apart.

Resilient, told in alternating point of views, is a gripping story of survival and romance, in which two teenagers face the consequences of being anything but normal.

About the author: Patricia head shot

Patricia Vanasse was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now she lives on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two adorable children, and two crazy dogs. She has been trough Culinary Arts, Psychology, Law School, and now has finally found her passion in creative writing. She also loves traveling, cooking, and is an avid reader. Her strength- believes that everything is possible. Her weakness- an obsessive relationship with caffeine.


Tell us about your publishing journey.
I started writing Resilient July 2011. I took it slow in the beginning. I was just messing around. I had never written anything before, I was just testing it out, wondering if could do it. When I reached page 50. I decided to ask for outside opinions, and I found this amazing freelancer editor, Sarah Cypher, who gave me great feedback and helped me polish Resilient.  I attended my first writer’s conference and loved it. I learned so much. Also, I learned that I needed an agent in order to reach a publishing house. 
I researched for hours and days reading about the average 20-30 rejections author get before finding an agent. I knew how important it was to have an agent for many different reasons, but I was not excited about rejections and didn’t want that experience. However, I met a couple agents at a conference. I liked them and I decided to send them a query. I learned that rejection stings and that I had enough. I wanted to send Resilient straight to a publishing house, but they didn’t take unsolicited queries. I research some more and found out that I could query smaller publishers. I remembered hearing authors praising small presses. They loved working with small publishers because they felt like part of the family. May 2012,  I sent Resilient to five small publishers. Three requested a full, two offered a contract. I went with Pants on Fire Press because I felt like we connected better. I’m glad I did, they’re amazing and very approachable. It was the right house for Resilient. 
Who are your favorite authors and why?
I have many favorite authors, but to name three in the YA world. I’d say Simone Elkeles- She made me fall in love with YA. I love the way her characters feel so real.
Katie McGarry- She writes with so much emotion I feel like I’m in the book. I cry and laugh then I think about her stories for days. 
Jenny Han, I just can’t put her books down. 
What was the last book you read?
Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith
What advice would you give to inspiring writers?
Read, read, and read. Attend conferences, workshops, research, connect, learn, and believe in yourself. 
What made you pick the genre you write in?
I love everything YA. When you are young, you are constantly changing, learning, and growing.  Your life is full of possibilities, and you can change everything in the blink of an eye. You’re free, not rooted, and your emotions are running high. I believe that with YA, anything can happen. 
Which of your characters in Resilient is most like you?
I try not to portrait myself into my characters, I don’t want to be the book. But I’d say Livia. She cares about people around her, she’s thankful for the good things she has in life, like her family.  She’s determined when she knows what she wants. I think I’m like that too. 
Which character would you not like to meet in a dark alley?
I would not like to meet Aaron anywhere. In Awakened, the sequel of Resilient, we’ll see more into his psych, but it’s safe to say, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere around him. 
What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you?
I don’t like the second round of edits and revisions. The more I read, the more I change, and then I don’t like it anymore. 
You write in present tense – was this difficult to maintain?
No, I find it easier than past tense. 
If you had a super power – what would you like it to be?
Teleportation- the ability to instantly move between two locations.
My Review:
I found Resilient a really interesting book. It was incredibly well written and thought-out. The characters draw you in and it gives readers a real YA book that doesn’t simply revolve around a doomed love triangle. It’s told from both the girl’s and boy’s point of views so gives the author more opportunity for depth of both characters and intrigue for the readers.
From a writer’s perspective I was impressed that present tense is used well and consistently throughout. Most books tend to be past tense, but writing in presence really gives it an air of tension that past wouldn’t give. The plot was a little slow in places, but very believable – even though it deals with some sci-fi style themes.
The front cover is ok, but I feel it really doesn’t do the book justice. It really should have had both main characters on the front – as they are equally represented in the text. If I had been marketing the book, I’d have also stuck one of the horses in their too (horse led YA seems to be a genre all on its own so would have widened it’s instant appeal to potential readers)
Overall I’d give the book 4 out of 5 stars. Beautifully written and well plotted out. Looking forward to book 2.
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Book can be found at: GoodReads | 

4 comments on “Book Review and Interview: Resilient by Patricia Vanasse

  1. I also think it is cool that the book was written in presence tense! I agree keeping the same tense is difficult. I have difficulty with it just working in the office! I couldn’t imagine dealing with it throughout a whole book! Wow!

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