Monday, December 4, 2017

2018 Most Anticipate - Side By Side

The next book is on my list is actually a companion novel to a book that was featured last year. Jenni L Walsh's Becoming Bonnie was a highly anticipated read of mine from last year and the follow up, Side By Side, was instantly added to my list after reading the first one.

I was so excited to return to these characters, and this version of Bonnie and Clyde that Jenni has created. I fell in love with her characters, particularly her Bonnie, and was eager to continue their story even knowing the tragic ending that awaits them. 

The Goodreads synopsis for this novel immediately sets up the crime spree as the focus for this companion novel, where Becoming Bonnie was more of a look at the woman who would become the infamous Bonnie Parker. 
How do two poor Texas kids become notorious outlaws? Bonnie Parker tells the story of America's most infamous crime spree in her own words​

"Someday they'll go down together / they'll bury them side by side. / To few it’ll be grief / To the law a relief / But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.”

The story of America’s most infamous crime spree told in the raw and honest voice of the woman who lived it, Bonnie Parker.

Texas: 1931. Bonnie Parker’s dreams of the limelight and a white picket fence are on hold. She’s a waitress in Dallas, endlessly writing letters to the governor pleading for the release of the man she loves: a reckless, quick-smiling boy named Clyde Barrow, sentenced to fourteen years at the notorious Eastham prison farm.

When Clyde is paroled early, Bonnie thinks their life is about to really begin. But Clyde has changed in prison. Distant, damaged, and dogged by the cops, he knows it’s only a matter of time before the law tries to lock him up again. That’s not something he or Bonnie can bear. When he’s fired from his job—and now breaking parole—he decides to make a run for it. Leave Texas. Get enough cash to make a fresh start in a new state. And, of course, he wants his beloved Bonnie to come with him.

It’s just one stolen car. One robbed bank. Then, they can have the life they always wanted. Or so they think, as they set out.

Unflinching and yet deeply empathetic, Jenni L. Walsh’s Side by Side tells the story of America's most iconic outlaws.
This sounds amazing, right? The good news is that Side by Side can be read as a stand alone novel. You can dive in without having read Becoming Bonnie. I do, however, urge you to read Becoming Bonnie. It's wonderful, and a great read for the upcoming holiday season.

Jenni, very kindly, agreed to take part in my event again this year and the result is the very fun interview where I get her to spill some Bonnie secrets.

1. What gif do you think describes Side by Side?

Well, we've got the obvious Bonnie and Clyde gif...
And then, as I'm a Disney fan, here's one from Aladdin, where he's got to stay "one jump ahead" (and may get a little cocky as he does it).  

2 If a signature cocktail were to be made in honour of Side by Side what do you think would be included?

How 'bout the "Hot N Sassy" for Bonnie Parker, as this namesake seems to fit her character well!

1 oz. Pucker Vodka Sour Apple Sass
3 slices jalapeƱos
2 slices clementine
Splash of lime juice
1 oz lemon-lime soda

Muddle jalapeƱos and clementines in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka and ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Add lime juice and soda. Stir.

Source: Pucker Vodka

3 How would you describe Bonnie and Clyde's relationship at the beginning of the novel?
Painfully distant, as Clyde's in jail! Their only communication is through letters. Though, Bonnie is writing to more than Clyde. She's also writing to the governor, hoping for an early parole for Clyde.

4 Those who are familiar with the story can assume that history catches up to your Bonnie and Clyde. Was it difficult to write their ending?

Yes, in fact, there were many elements of the story that were difficult to write, like when Bonnie wakes up from a coma...

The 1967 film is entertaining and well done (hello numerous Academy Awards!), but leaves out some MAJOR elements of Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree, along with fictionalizing quite a bit. I wanted to include as much as I could, and do it as factually as I could, in Side by Side.

5 Did you feel any pressure writing about people who actually existed?

Yes and no. "Bonnie and Clyde" is well-document, but through various sometimes contradictory sources. This allowed me to pull from LOTS of information and also perspectives, giving me a bit of wiggle room to tell my story. More so than writing about historical figures, I felt more pressure writing about polarizing figures from history. Being the story is told through Bonnie's eyes, I sometimes had to remind myself to let Bonnie be Bonnie.

6 What 2018 book are you most excited about?

These books are across various age groups, but... My Dear Hamilton, I Was Anastasia, Nothing But Sky, Blood and Sand, and The Inventors at No. 8. They all may be historical :)

7 If not too spoilery, please share the first line of Side by Side.

I’m a fool for busting Clyde out of McClelland County jail.

That opening line has me all kinds of intrigued and excited! The "Hot N Sassy" certainly sounds like it'll fit this Bonnie Parker perfectly and I am very tempted to give it a try while reading this. Seems like it would pair nicely.

The amount of research that Jenni did was quite evident in Becoming Bonnie and I cannot wait to see that attention to detail carry over to the rest of their story.

Side by Side releases June 5, 2018 but you can pre-order it right now from any retailer.

You can find out more about Jenni by following her on Twitter, and by visiting her her website. You can also find out more about her books on the publisher website.

Are you a fan of books that are inspired by real events? Are you as excited as I am that Becoming Bonnie has a sequel? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to for the next book on my 2018 most anticipated list. 

1 comment:

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