Thursday, June 10, 2010

Interview with Adrienne Maria Vrettos + Giveaway

Adrienne Maria Vrettos, author of The Exile of Gigi Lane, has been kind enough to stop by Reading with Tequila to answer some questions.

Adrienne Maria Vrettos grew up on a mountain in southern California, where she rode dirt bikes and made a mean double-mud pie. Her first novel Skin, was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and a New York Public Library Top 100 Books for Reading and Sharing selection. Her second novel, Sight, was an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. Adrienne lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York, and you can visit her online at

Reading with Tequila: The Exile of Gigi Lane is highlights many different high school cliques. Were you in a clique in high school?

Adrienne: Oh, the pain of my early high school years is still fresh! Which is probably why I write YA. Until midway through my junior year I was most definitely a reluctant member of what in Gigi's world would be called the Cursed Unaffiliated. At least, that's the way I felt. And then later I became friends with what Gigi would call the Deeks. Yep, the delinquents. I mean, we were totally HARMLESS (when we didn't get caught) but holy crow did we have fun.

RWT: Gigi reminds me of many people I've met in my life. Is she a completely fictional character or did you create her based on different people you've come across in life?

Adrienne: I've written some really tortured characters, ones that truly broke my heart. With Gigi, I just wanted to write someone who was happy. Someone who was ridiculously self-assured, overflowing with sometimes delusional self-confidence. This was the book where I wasn't going to kill anyone, where the internal conflicts would not break my heart. And she was *so* much fun to write. But even though she was so much fun to write, I couldn't ignore the effect her acid tongue had on other people.

RWT:  I think you captured the potential for viciousness between girls in high school perfectly. Did you do any research before creating the characters and their school?

Adrienne: Oh sure, I did extensive research from when when I was 12 until I graduated high school!

RWT: Do you have any quirky writing habits? Is there anything you absolutely need to have while writing? Anything you can't have anywhere near you?

Adrienne: If I get stuck, I wander around the house and absently clean stuff while mumbling about my story. And then I watch TV. I know watching TV probably shouldn't count as a writing habit, but I find 15 minutes of a rerun of The Hills really helpful to my, um, craft. And if I combine that 15 minutes with eating a delicious snack, even better!

RWT: Are there any new projects you're working on that you can tell us about?

Adrienne: YES! I am *this* close to sending in the almost-final draft of my next book. It's a mystery. I won't be giving anything away to tell you that it's about a girl who wakes up the day after Halloween on a New York City subway with no memory of anything that's happened in the past 16 hours. Her head's been shaved, she's bruised, battered, and wearing a plastic pink prom dress costume she doesn't remember putting on.

About the Book

Heathers meets Bring It On in The Exile of Gigi Lane, where a high school queen bee's rise to glory is nothing compared to her fall from it.

Reading with Tequila's review of The Exile of Gigi Lane


Adrienne has kindly offered to send one reader a copy of The Exile of Gigi Lane AND a set of 8 clique themed buttons (like the pictures below) a friend of hers made up for the book.

To enter, leave a comment what type of clique you were associated with in high school. Make sure to include you email address so I can contact you if you win.

Entry deadline is Wednesday, June 16 at 11:59pm EST. US & Canada only.


  1. I was extremely shy and really didn't fit in any cliques. Poor moi I was cliqueless.
    I'd love to win this giveaway,
    Love & Hugs,

  2. No cliques. I too was cliqueless. There wasn't the "poplular" crowd in my HS. Everyone mingled. Yes, there were cliques but not geeks vs. popular. Didn't see any of that. Or maybe I just didn't think the "popular" crowd was all that and couldn't pin point them.


  3. I guess if I was putting myself in to a click it would be the IB/music kids-we were all in the IB program and also played musical instruments in either orchestra or band. But that was mostly because we were all in the same classes.

    bookworm1858 AT hotmail DOT com

  4. I guess you could say I fell into the arts group since I was always doing band. Most of my friends came from the band, choir, arts, or drama. But people in all groups talked to me or hung out with me including the popular, cheerleaders, tech, you name it.

  5. great giveaway and interview lovely job :)

  6. Nice interview--loved the questions (and answers of course)!

  7. im still in high school, so its difficult seeing this from a bird eye view, but i guess im kind of in the artsy/stoner/indie click.

  8. I played several sports so even though my friends were all spread out I would probably say I was in more of the jock group, great interview!

    Email Address:

  9. In High School, I really wasn't in a clique.

  10. I went to an all girls school and you were either popular, bad, or quiet. I was shy and quiet and was told I was a real southern girl. lol..
    This sounds like a great book to read. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  11. I'm actually homeschooled now but when I was at the high school here I wasn't associated with a clique or group of people. Also, my highschool was a lot like Tina's. Oddly enough, the smart people were the popular ones and most of them were also athletic. Well except me. But we didn't really have any one popular 'It' group.

    This sounds like a good book and those buttons are so cute. Thanks for the contest. :D


  12. In my high school graduating class there weren't a lot of cliques. Everyone really got along. The jocks hung out with the smart kids, the band kids hung out with the cheerleaders, and the stoners hung out with the drama kids. Our class was very close and everyone got along and hung out together.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Please enter me!! I was and am associated with the nerd clique.


  14. I guess I was part of the hardcore/goth/stoner would be hard to sum up in only one word lol. I had a lot of friends in different cliques though.
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  15. I was pretty unaffliated (glad she mentioned that)--being part of the yearbook staff, I sort of crossed lines but never fit in any one place.

  16. My high school doesn't really have cliques.I get along with almost anybody.


  17. The Music kids. But most of us in high school to get along fairly well, it is just who I prefer to hang out with and tend to be associated with.


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  19. I was VERY shy in high school and I mainly hung out with my best friend and a few other close friends. We got along with all the other kids too. We didn't really have "cliques" (especially "mean girl" cliques). Everyone kind of did their own thing and everybody fit it. It was a really cool school!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  20. i was with a combination of the freaks, the rednecks, the geeks, and the metalheads.

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com