I'm so happy to have the Imperfect Spiral Blog Tour stopping by today! Below you'll find more information about this YA Contemp and Debbie Levy's Imperfect Spiral Playlist. Also, be sure to check out my review!
by Debbie Levy
Danielle Snyder's summer job as a babysitter takes a tragic turn when Humphrey, the five-year-old boy she's watching, runs in front of oncoming traffic to chase down his football. Immediately Danielle is caught up in the machinery of tragedy: police investigations, neighborhood squabbling, and, when the driver of the car that struck Humphrey turns out to be an undocumented alien, outsiders use the accident to further a politically charged immigration debate. Wanting only to mourn Humphrey, the sweet kid she had a surprisingly strong friendship with, Danielle tries to avoid the world around her. Through a new relationship with Justin, a boy she meets at the park, she begins to work through her grief, but as details of the accident emerge, much is not as it seems. It's time for Danielle to face reality, but when the truth brings so much pain, can she find a way to do right by Humphrey's memory and forgive herself for his death?
Debbie Levy’s Imperfect Spiral Playlist
I can’t write and listen to music at the same time. So I can’t say that these are the songs I listened to while writing Imperfect Spiral. But they’re the songs that I want to listen to when I’m thinking about the characters in my book, and about their stories.
Where possible, I’ve provided links so you can listen to the songs for free. I’ve also included iTunes links so you can purchase and download them.
- “Hide It Away” by Hannah Winkler.
Even without its lyrics, this song, by a singer-songwriter in Brooklyn, creates a vibe that, for me, captures the atmosphere of the book and the character of Danielle. Add to that the themes of the lyrics—about hiding yourself, opening yourself up, feeling isolated—and the song might as well be Danielle’s anthem, at least at the beginning of her story.
- “Sous le Ciel de Paris” by Edith Piaf.
This is for Becca, who is Danielle’s French-speaking, all-things-French-loving friend. Full of heart and passion, like Becca, and just fun to listen to, bien sûr.
- “Isn’t It Time” by The Babys.
For Danielle. And for Justin. For Danielle + Justin. This tune, released in 1977, is kind of an oldie, but somehow I missed it back in the day (and yes, 1977 was definitely back in my day). I first heard it when my son, Ben, sang it with his a capella group at Northwestern University. It works as a theme song for Danielle and Justin, with its storyline about making decisions in a relationship—their relationship. But it also works for each of them separately, because they are each separately asking “isn’t it time” to make decisions concerning their own individual issues.
- “Hurricane Sacha” by Alex Hoffman.
Full disclosure here: this musician is my son. (Not to be confused with Ben, the son mentioned above in connection with “Isn’t It Time.”) For me, the song evokes a sort of storm—a human hurricane—and its relentless, headlong tempo is what the scene at the end of Chapter 27 (“Another Saturday Night”) is all about, where Danielle joins Humphrey in performing a crazy do-not-rain dance in the park.
- “Daydreamer” by Adele.
The guy she’s singing about—that is who little Humphrey would have grown up to be, I think.
I really like this video of her performance in Hollywood in 2008.
- “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton.
No explanation is needed for how this song fits in.
I hope you enjoy the music—and I invite you to send me your own song suggestions after you’ve read Imperfect Spiral. They just may end up on my website or blog, with credit to you! You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at @debbielevybooks, and on Facebook.
I write books—fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—for people of all different ages, and especially for young people. Before starting my writing career, I was a newspaper editor with American Lawyer Media and Legal Times; before that, I was a lawyer with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now called WilmerHale). I have a bachelor’s degree in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, and a law degree and master’s degree in world politics from the University of Michigan. I live in Maryland with my husband, Rick Hoffman. We have two grown sons. Besides writing, I love to kayak, boat, and fish in the Chesapeake Bay region, swim, bowl duckpins, tramp around the woods with the dog, and watch the cat sleep. And, of course, I love to read.