Happy Friday, guys!
Today, we're sharing an early review of Kay Honeyman's Interference.
I'm pretty much game to read any book that invokes Jane Austen in the synopsis, but throw in the fact that it involves football + politics + Kay's writing, and I was beyond stoked when I got the chance to read this early.
And not surprisingly: it's just as good as I thought it would be. Read on for more!
Expected publication: September 27th 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Format read: ARC via publisher
Consequently, I've watched/read some seriously questionable things over the years. (Seriously. From Prada to Nada. Why.) But this means that it's also a pleasure when I find someone who manages to get it right, as Kay Honeyman does in the upcoming Interference.
Honeyman introduces us to Kate Hamilton, the daughter of a North Carolina congressman. After a photo scandal makes it impossible for Kate and her family to stay in the District, her father decides to temporarily relocate to West Texas, so he can run for a vacant congressional seat in a special election.
While Kate initially feels like a fish out of water, she soon realizes that her political skills absolutely still a place in the battlegrounds of her new high school. With a high school quarterback who quickly turns from friend to enemy, a new friend who needs her help, and the annoyingly cute Hunter Price who won't leave her alone, Kate has her work cut out for her...
Ok. So first things first: Kay Honeyman absolutely gets kudos for getting the political aspects of Interference correct. Nothing makes me crankier than when the political/electoral process isn't correctly portrayed in a book, so seriously - kudos for the research.
With that being said, I absolutely loved the book's overall theme that high school is basically a training ground for the real, and vice versa. Honeyman deftly draws parallels between Kate and her father's world, showing time and again that a significant amount of what we learn as high schoolers, can help dictate how we continue to conduct ourselves in the professional (and in this case, political) world. (Or dictate a similar lack of growth.)
These themes are not only a great reminder for younger readers that there is a bigger world out there which will eventually appreciate them for who they are - something one of the characters desperately needs to experience - it's also a fantastic nod to the idea that even as a high school student, your conduct can help influence the world around you. For many young students who feel like they may not have agency, it's a significant and appreciated lesson.
As Kate uses her well-intentioned but occasionally misfiring political talent, Honeyman also shows her growing maturity in how she learns how to adapt to her new life. She stubbornly transitions from seeing West Texas as a stop gap where everyone does everything wrong, to a place where she has a voice, friends and relationships that feel genuine, and changes to make - including helping to invigorate much of the status quo that had settled in before her arrival. All in all, it's immensely satisfying to see that growth.
Kate's overall character arc is actually a great nod to the Douglas Adams quote: "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be", and I have no doubt readers will feel the same.
Though Kate is initially reluctant to adapt to her new life in West Texas, her wit and cunning at using her political skills and genuine personality to make her new life work for her, makes this a tale that will inspire many a young reader.
Highly, highly recommend.
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About the author:
Kay Honeyman grew up in Texas, where she followed football and politics with equal passion. Her first novel, The Fire Horse Girl, was nominated for three state awards. Kay now teaches language arts in Dallas, where she lives with her family. Please visit her website at kayhoneyman.com and follow her on Twitter at @kayhoneyman.