Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for In the Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers. I'm really excited to read this one. Happy Reading!
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In the Hope of Memories
Publication date: March 21st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Hope is dying.
Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.
Hope is dead.
Two days after her heart fails, Hope’s friends are thrown together:
Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.
Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on.
Hope is within reach.
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"Let me get this straight," I say to Aiden. "You want me to go to some random bakery in a random part of town, with you, a random person I don't even know, to search for some random clue that's part of a random scavenger hunt that might not even exist. And all this because of a piece of string and a mention of a fortune cookie."
"Yes," Aiden says, like this is the most natural thing in the world.
I'm about to scoff when I remember something else from that first day I met Hope. We'd been talking casually, just getting to know each other, when suddenly she'd mentioned that she had a little sister named Kali. And I'd been like, "Really? That's crazy, because I do, too. Her name’s actually Kalina, but we all call her Kali."
And Hope had just given this little smile and held up her left hand, showing off a bracelet made of braided red thread. I can still remember exactly what she said: "It's not crazy. It's fate."
And she'd gone on to tell me all about this old Chinese myth about The Red String of Fate, and honestly, it sounded like a load of crap to me. But she was so enthusiastic that I actually liked hearing about it, and from then on, it became a thing between us. Whenever anything even mildly coincidental would happen, we'd both stop whatever we were doing, point to each other, and say, "Fate!" I'd always say it all jokey, and she'd always sound dead-serious, but we'd both be smiling.
I stare down at the invite, this time letting my gaze hover on her flowing signature, just as bright and bold as her personality. Maybe, just maybe, Aiden is right. Maybe Hope did want us to go to that bakery, and maybe the color of the string and the fortune cookie reference aren't coincidence. And if she did want us to take off on some crazy scavenger hunt... Well, I can't exactly ignore her dying wish, can I?
"Okay, Hope," I murmur, running my thumb over her signature. "Let's go find ourselves some fate."
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Olivia Rivers is a hybrid author of Young Adult fiction. Her works include the independently published novels “Frost Fire” and “In the Hope of Memories,” along with the traditionally published novel “Tone Deaf” (Skyhorse 2016.) As a certified geek, she enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received over 1,000,000 hits on Wattpad.com. When Olivia isn’t working as a writer, she’s a typical teen attending college in Northern California. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, and nothing thrills her more than hearing from readers.
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1. Can you tell us a little about your new book?
Absolutely! “In the Hope of Memories” tells the story of Hope, a young, eccentric graffiti artist who’s stuck in the foster system. When Hope gets diagnosed with a terminal heart condition, she realizes that her four best friends are on the brink of ruining their lives, and that they might fall apart once she dies and isn’t there to support them anymore. So Hope uses her graffiti art to create an elaborate scavenger hunt that’s meant to “fix” her friends so she can die in peace and know they’ll be alright without her.
2. Do you have a favorite character?
Asking authors this question is like asking a parent who their favorite child is. So my answer is Aiden, because I am terrible enough to actually pick favorites. Aiden is intensely logical, loyal, and moral. He’s a total sweetheart, and I see him as being everything that’s right with the world. But since he has OCD and an autism spectrum disorder, the world sees him as being “wrong,” just because no one else understands him. As an author, writing Aiden’s character was both a heart-warming and gut-wrenching experience, and he’ll always be a favorite of mine.
3. What genre is “In the Hope of Memories?”
That’s a very good question, and since the book stretches across lots of different YA genres, everyone from my agent to my author friends can’t quite figure out the answer. However, I think my critique partner managed to sum it up pretty well: “It’s like if a Colleen Hoover book had a baby with The Breakfast Club, and that baby was given a huge dose of shitty luck and LSD.”
4. Are any of the characters from “In the Hope of Memories” based off yourself?
Nope, definitely not! I’m a very reserved person, so the thought of sticking myself in a book for all the world to see is… horrifying. That being said, my characters ended up with a few of my own quirks. I can’t tell the difference between right and left, just like my character Erik, and this causes all sorts of shenanigans when someone has to give me driving directions. And like my character Sam, I also enjoy wearing The Flash t-shirts when I use my wheelchair, because irony really is the best medicine. Also, my laptop named Vladimir makes a cameo appearance in “In the Hope of Memories.” (R.I.P. Vladimir.) But, aside from tiny quirks like that, none of the characters or events in the book are based on my real life.
5. Is “In the Hope of Memories” connected to any of your other books?
Yes, in some ways, it definitely is! While the plots don’t directly intertwine, if readers look carefully, they’ll find references to my other books within the pages of “In the Hope of Memories.”
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