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Movies and Media in Not Your #Lovestory, a guest post by Sonia Hartl

When I sat down to write NOT YOUR #LOVESTORY, I didn’t realize at first how big of a role older movies would play in my story. I knew I wanted my main character, Macy, to be a YouTuber and I knew my premise would involve Macy going viral through a series of tweets captured by a stranger, but it took some time for me to land on what she did with her YouTube channel.

I watch a lot of older movies with my own teenage daughter, and we sometimes poke fun at them, but we also talk about what we think the movies are trying to say, or what they say to us. It really made me realize how media can bridge the gap between generations, and how movies can make it possible for us to have conversations we wouldn’t otherwise know how to start.

A big theme in NOT YOUR #LOVESTORY is how destructive media can be, especially when people are photographed without consent or when they have personal tragedies picked apart, but I also wanted to show how it can connect and heal as well. Movies are a way for Macy’s mom to say things to her daughter that she isn’t able to vocalize, but it’s also a way for Macy to explore where she fits in the world. They allow her to shape her own views based on the way they speak to her and what she takes away from them.

I also wanted these older movies to act as symbol for the town she lives in as a whole. The way these films are often viewed through a nostalgic lens, but there is always a new way of looking at things that is often much deeper than what appears on the surface. Media has its ugly side, but it’s also what connects us and lets us see the commonalities we have with each other.

Meet Sonia Hartl

Sonia Hartl is the author of NOT YOUR #LOVESTORYand HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME (Page Street), which received a starred review in BookPage and earned nominations for the Georgia Peach Book Award, YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, and ALA’s Rise: A Feminist Book Project List. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s enjoying pub trivia, marathoning Disney movies, or taking a walk outside in the fall. She’s a member of SCBWI and the Managing Director for Pitch Wars 2020. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and two daughters. Follow her on Twitter @SoniaHartl1.   

About NOT YOUR #LOVESTORY

Not Your #Lovestory

#PlaneBae meets Gilmore Girls in this hilarious and heartfelt story about the addictiveness of Internet fame and the harsh realities of going viral.

Macy Evans dreams of earning enough income from her YouTube channel, R3ntal Wor1d, to leave her small, Midwestern town. But when she meets a boy named Eric at a baseball game, and accidently dumps her hotdog in his lap, her disastrous “meet-cute” becomes the topic of a viral thread. Now it’s not loyal subscribers flocking to her channel, it’s Internet trolls. And they aren’t interested in her reviews of VHS tapes—they only care about her relationship with Eric.

Eric is overly eager to stretch out his fifteen minutes of fame, but Macy fears this unwanted attention could sabotage her “real-life” relationships—namely with the shy boy-next-door, Paxton, who she’s actually developing feelings for. Macy knows she should shut the lie down, though she can’t ignore the advertising money, or the spark she gets in her chest whenever someone clicks on her videos. Eric shouldn’t be the only one allowed to reap the viral benefits. But is faking a relationship for clicks and subscribers worth hurting actual people?

ISBN-13: 9781645670544
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Age Range: 14 – 17 Years

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