author websiteJenny Han is the author of teen novels Shug and The Summer I Turned Pretty. The Summer I Turned Pretty is about a sixteen-year old girl named Belly who spends her summers in Cousins Beach, and it is the first in a trilogy of three books. The sequel is called It’s Not Summer Without You and it’s out this April.
Q. If you could have the powers of one Greek god, whose would you choose?
A. I am a total water baby, so I would choose Poseidon. How cool would it be to have the ocean at your beck and call?!
Q. In your essay you write that Hermes’ child could do all the traveling he or she wanted. Where is your dream travel destination?
A. Olympus! Just kidding. Gosh, there are so many places I would like to see. Greece, Sardinia, Japan, Kenya, Alaska, Ireland. I would have to put Fiji at the top though, if only because it looks so pretty on the water bottle.
Q. Percy Jackson (in Book I) and the main character of your book Shug are the same age. How do you think they would get along?
A. Ooh, I think they would get along great. Annemarie would probably have a crush on him, especially because she loves to swim. But alas, he already has a girl in his life.
Q. Are you going to see Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief in theaters?
A. For sure. I saw the preview and was blown away. I can’t wait to see Percy on the big screen! I am really curious about who they chose for Aphrodite and Apollo.
Q. In addition to your essay, your book The Summer I Turned Pretty also has some references to classical studies. Were you a Latin scholar yourself?
A. Indeed I was! Although my Latin teacher Ms. Brodie would probably tell you that referring to me as a Latin “scholar” is a bit much. I was pretty horrible in Latin. The only part I enjoyed was the cultural stuff. I also eagerly anticipated Flavia and Sextus’s burgeoning romance.
Q. Your book The Summer I Turned Pretty and its upcoming sequel both take place in the summer. What is one of your favorite things about the season?
A. I don’t have one favorite thing about summer; I have many! To name a few: lemonade, outdoor movies, sundresses, True Blood, flip flops, the beach, suntan lotion, barbecues.
Q. Your website (dearjennyhan.com) says that you work part-time at a school library. What is your favorite thing about that job?
A. My favorite thing about working at a school library is recommending new books to kids. I buy a lot of our YA and middle grade collection, so I try to keep up with all the new books coming out. Our kids are such fast readers, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them but it’s fun to try.
Q. The sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, comes out this spring. Could you tell us a little about it?
A. It takes place a year later, and for the first time in her life, Belly isn’t spending the summer in Cousins. There have been some pretty major changes in her life, and she is just now dealing with them.
Q. What are you working on right now?
A. I am working on the final summer book, tentatively called We’ll Always Have Summer. There is a bit of a jump in time with this one. It’s definitely a challenge to write the last book in a series, because there are so many loose ends to tie up! You want your readers to feel happy but more importantly, satisfied. I hope I manage to do both!
Q. If you could tell us to read one book this year, what would it be?
A. It would be A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant. It’s set in Restoration London, and it’s about a bookish teenaged girl named Meg, who longs to write exciting stories. It came out a few years ago, and I really and truly loved it.