Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for Places We’ve Never Been by Kasie West. I must admit, I am a big fan of Kasie West! I’ve loved every book that I’ve read of hers and they are definitely what I reach for over the summer. When I found out I got the opportunity to interview Kasie, I was beyond excited! You can find that near the bottom of the post right before the tour schedule where you can find links to other content creators who are participating.
Thank you to Kasie West for taking the time to answer my questions!
Kasie West is the author of many YA novels, including The Fill-in Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You, Lucky in Love, and Listen to Your Heart. Her books have been named ALA-YALSA Quick Picks, JLG selections, and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. When she’s not writing, she’s binge-watching television, devouring books, or bury-ing her toes in the sand of the Central Coast. Kasie lives in Fresno, California, with her family.
About The Book
Title: Places We’ve Never Been
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: May 31st, 2022
Page Length: 336
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Range: YA
A sweet and swoony contemporary Young Adult novel about a cross-country family road trip that puts one girl and her childhood best friend on an unexpected road to romance!
Norah hasn’t seen her childhood best friend, Skyler, in years. When he first moved away, they’d talk all the time, but lately their relationship has been reduced to liking each other’s Instagram posts. That’s why Norah can’t wait for the joint RV road trip their families have planned for the summer.
But when Skyler finally arrives, he seems…like he’d rather be anywhere else. Hurt and confused, Norah reacts in kind. Suddenly, her oldest friendship is on the rocks.
An unexpected summer spent driving across the country leads both Norah and Skyler down new roads and to new discoveries. Before long, they are, once again, seeing each other in a different light. Can their friendship-turned-rivalry turn into something more?
Once again, thank you Kasie West for taking the time to answer my questions.
In up to 9 words or emojis, without spoilers, what can readers expect from Places We’ve Never Been?
Road trip!! Romance, RVs (I thought for a second about trying to do all R words but that quickly became impossible. Ha!), childhood besties, memories, sightseeing, flirting, fun!
Without spoilers, what scene did you have the most fun writing and why?
There’s a scene that takes place on top of the RV under the nighttime desert sky that I had so much fun writing. It was the first time we see Norah (the main character) and her childhood best friend (Skyler) come together in a meaningful way and we get a hint at what’s to come. I love them and their story and I loved the feeling of hope this scene brings.
If you could spend the day with Norah and Skylar what would you do with each of them?
Norah and I would play video games all day, of course. She’d show me the newest ones and we’d play some classics. She’d probably kick my butt but I’d have fun regardless. As for Skyler, I’d want to challenge him to face his fears. So maybe we’d go ziplining or cliff jumping. It would be funny to see him panic but it would also be fun to see him succeed.
This road trip book travels a fair distance across a few States. Have you visited these locations in real life before and do you have a favourite stop?
I have visited all but one of these locations (I won’t tell you which, you’ll have to guess based on how well you think I described them). But I guess I’ll give away one of the places I’ve been by saying which one my favorite is. Honestly, my favorite changes all the time because I really do like all these stops. But today, I’ll say my favorite is Seattle. I’m a city girl and Seattle is one of my favorite cities. It manages to feel like a small town while being very big. I think that’s because it’s friendly and eclectic and unique. I love it.
On that same notes, without spoilers, what was Norah’s and Skylar’s favourite stops?
Ooh, that’s a fun question. One I hadn’t really thought of before. I think both of their favorites might be a certain place where they share their first kiss, but since you said no spoilers, I will not share that location. Outside of that, Norah probably loved Death Valley the best with its unique landscapes. Her artist’s eye really ate that up. Skyler thought Zion was pretty cool. He loved The Narrows and the sheer red rock faces and floating the river.
Do you have any advise for aspiring YA authors about writing an enemies to lovers trope?
Do I have any advice about that particular trope? First of all, take all advice lightly. If it works for you, great. If it doesn’t, throw it in the garbage where writing advice that doesn’t work for you belongs.
I like to make sure both of my characters in this trope can come back from the “enemies” portion of the equation. In other words, they can’t do something so bad or hateful or terrible that your reader thinks, wait, why does she want him at all? Or why would he ever forgive that? We have to have some soft moments in the middle of the hate where we see the humanity or the reason either of them end up falling at all. Too much hate and I don’t want them to ever be in love. Also, have fun with it. The banter in hate to love can be so fun to write. Witty comebacks, snarky asides, mumbled oppositions are some of my favorite things to play with. Play them up! That’s me personally, though, like I said, each person has their own feelings about every trope. Practice makes better though. So keep practicing and keep writing and keep getting better.
Thanks so much for having me! I hope you love reading PLACES WE’VE NEVER BEEN as much as I loved writing it. And I hope it inspires you to visit someplace new!