16 October 2014

Title: Adrenaline Crush
Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 192 Pages (September 23rd 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Check out my review: Adrenaline Crush
Synopsis: When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.

Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.
Author Guest Post

ADRENALINE JUNKIE FRIENDS: Gunks, Jumps and Research Humps

I love the outdoors and enjoy doing all sorts of mountain biking and hiking, but when I decided I was going to write a book featuring a daredevil main character I knew I was going to need to do some research. I am no daredevil. In fact, I’m a bit risk-averse when it comes to physical activities. But Adrenaline Crush is told from Dyna’s point of view and Dyna is extremely confident in ways that I can only dream of. I knew it would take a lot of work to get into her head so I could write her story from a place of truth.

My family has a trailer in New Paltz where we spend summers and weekends and when Dyna first came to mind I immediately knew New Paltz was where she would live. Mohonk Preserve is known for its rock climbing cliffs and every time I hike in “The Gunks” I meet climbers coming off the mountain who are bursting with happiness. There’s an obvious euphoria that comes from rock climbing and I wanted to know more about that. I have a friend who is a confirmed adrenaline junkie who loves talking about his adventures while climbing and he helped me tremendously in my research.

Hearing about the rush of climbing was helpful, but I felt like I needed to actually get my hands on those rocks in order to fully understand Dyna’s love. When Mohonk celebrated the preserve’s 50-year anniversary, they provided gear and an instructor for anyone ready to attempt their first climb. There were three top-roped courses and I leapt at the opportunity for first-hand research. There were a distressing number of releases to sign and once I was climbing I felt horribly awkward and indecisive about holds, but I actually ended up having an amazing time! There’s a picture of me climbing on my website that makes me look a bit more hardcore than I was. Beside that one should be one of me lying belly-side-down on top of a flat rock with my butt in the air while I scrape my feet helplessly on the rock below. Or maybe sliding on my butt to a lower rock so I wouldn’t need to repel back down so far. I noticed I was the only climber brushing dirt off the back of my shorts at the end. But that experience did help me understand the appeal. You hug the rock like it’s keeping you alive because it is. Your life is literally hanging by a rope. The risk makes everything seem more intense and the rush is undeniable even without going to crazy heights.

I also have a girlfriend who I’ve always admired a lot who loves skydiving. In fact, she’s a bit of a zealot who believes everybody should love skydiving. In Adrenaline Crush, Dyna’s big brother skydives at a place called The Ranch which is a real place near New Paltz where my friend spends her time jumping out of planes. She loves it so much that when I visited The Ranch I considered skydiving myself just so I could see what all the raving was about. Once I was there I had this realization that just standing on the ground, watching the other jumpers while imagining myself stepping out of a plane was thrilling enough. I guess skydiving is pretty much where I draw the line on research.

Instead, I went into nerd girl mode and researched books written about and by adrenaline junkies. I read books by John Krakauer like Into The Wild and Into Thin Air. I read Aron Ralston’s book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, which Danny Boyle made into the movie 127 Hours in 2010. Like most fiction writers, I have a rather vivid imagination and fully enjoyed the process of getting into Dyna’s head. I loved rock climbing through her without any of my own natural awkwardness. As Dyna I could scramble up rock face with strength and confidence and go much higher than I dared in real life. Being in Dyna’s head through her big fall was especially exhilarating. I guess you could say some people climb mountains and jump out of planes for their thrills, and some of us simply push our characters off of cliffs.

About the Author:

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH (Sourcebooks, 2013 & 2014) as well as the upcoming ADRENALINE CRUSH from Farrar Straus Giroux. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a major in English and minor in Journalism. She’s written for national magazines like ALLURE as well as numerous trade publications and has appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. Yes, that is an actual thing that people sometimes get to be.

When she’s not writing Laurie enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, cross-country skiing, running, going to the movies and drinking tea by the gallon. She lives near NYC, but loves to escape to the mountains in New Paltz, NY where she and her family can often be found climbing over rocks or tromping through the forest.  She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Agency.

Find Laurie Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Enter to win a FINISHED copy of Adrenaline Crush
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