Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. Her favorite pastimes include singing showtunes at the top of her lungs (much to her husband's chagrin), watching cheesy TV, and scoring awesome non-leather shoes in a size 5. She's still trying to figure out a way to put her uncanny ability to remember both song lyrics and the intricacies of vampire lore to good use. Visit Jess at www.jessicaverdi.com.
So, Jessica, did you have a best friend in high school? If you did, are you still in touch in any way?JV: I had two best friends in high school. One for the first two years (who had been my best friend for as long as I can remember) and one for the second two years. The funny part is, the three of us were all part of the same group, along with a few other girls. But though we all got along well as a group, there were some strange shifts in dynamic that kept occurring—like the one-on-one relationships between all of us were in constant motion. The first best friend (we’ll call her BF1) and I kind of lost touch after high school, apart from seeing each other once every couple of years at mutual friends’ birthday parties and such. The second best friend (BF2) and I are still extremely close, well over a decade later. And BF1 and BF2 are still very close, even though I don’t think they ever considered themselves to be each other’s best friends in high school.
It's always harder when it's a triangle friendship. Awesome that you're still in touch with BFF# 2 though! So, tell us about a time when a best friend betrayed you.
JV: BF1 and I got a “divorce” in tenth grade. It happened around the time that I started dating a guy who was two years older than we were. It wasn’t that I started ignoring my own friends or that I started acting differently—I still remained close with everyone else in our group. It was just her that freaked. I don’t think she knew how to handle my suddenly being included in another group of friends, a group of seniors. She started distancing herself from me, and accusing me of only caring about my boyfriend, which anyone could tell you was not true. We remained “friends” throughout the rest of high school, probably because we hung in the same crowd, but we were never super close again.Yeah. The divorce part is pretty accurate of a description right? It's hard to balance and re-balance friends, harder for some to adjust to than for others. So what did you love most about your teenage best friend?
JV: BF2 was (and is) fearless. She would do anything, say anything, go anywhere. We went on spring break together senior year and she went bungee jumping. By herself. From the top of a crane. Over a parking lot. Just because she wanted to. I loved that.
|Jessica and BFF in High School!|
|Jessica and BFF now!|
See, I think it would be easier now, because of texting. I'm so much better at texting and I would have loved it. But yeah, that's kind of the teen years in a nut shell. As teens we live so much in our own heads and things seem so out of proportion dramatic. That's what makes it so fun to write about! So all in all, what did you learn from your best teen friend?
JV: From both BF1 and BF2 I learned how precious and precarious real friendship can be. It’s hard work to keep a good thing going—you have to be sure to be emotionally available, willing to listen, not be so quick to judge, and remember there are two sides to every story. Friendship is a commitment, but when you put in the time and effort and not try to force the other person into some preconceived notion of who you think they should be.
Oh, that is such a GREAT summary of a friendship. I always feel kind of bad because I am usually the friend that needs the other friend to be the one who keeps things going and I don't like that about myself. Girl Friends are so important though, in teen years but also when we get older (and even older like ME!!!)
Thanks so much for stopping in to talk about your teen best friend(s) Jessica! So amazing and honest! Just like your book. Do pick up a copy of Jessica's amazing YA, with the amazing cover! You won't be sorry!!!
MY LIFE AFER NOW
by Jessica Verdi
Lucy just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it's all too much—she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of.
And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family?