PODCAST

A Star Is Born

BY MEGAN LABRISE • September 29, 2020

We're over the moon for Francina Simone’s “stellar” new novel Smash It!

On this week’s episode, sponsored in part by Amazon Crossing, author and BookTuber Francina Simone discusses Smash It! (Inkyard Press, Sept. 22), the story of 17-year-old Olivia James, a Florida girl who’s ready to step out of the wings and take center stage in her own life.

Up until this point, Olivia has contented herself with supporting roles: best friend to cool kids Eli and Dré, second-chair flutist in the school band. But a regrettable experience at a Halloween party (she’s the only one not wearing a costume) makes her realize that life’s too short to simply blend in. Inspired in part by Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes, she makes a list of things she wants to do to express the fulness of who she is and what she’s about—beginning with auditioning for her high school’s production of Othello: The Musical.

Simone and host Megan Labrise talk about Smash It! as a modern twist on Shakespeare’s Othello; the dynamic friendship between Olivia, Eli, and Dré; the importance of boundaries in healthy relationships; Banned Books Week 2020 (Sep. 27–Oct. 3); and much more.

Then Kirkus’ editors join the podcast for a discussion of Banned Books Week. Founded in 1982 in response to an uptick in challenges to books in schools, Banned Books Week celebrates the right to read and write whatever you choose. Editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, and Eric Liebetrau share a little bit about why this observance matters to them and discuss some challenged titles.

Editors’ picks:

King Dork by Frank Portman (Delacorte)

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Little, Brown)

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler (Candlewick)

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney (Bantam)

 

Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.

Our Take On This Week's Bestsellers

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