Friday, August 24, 2012

Inside My YA Novel Careful: Confronting inner-beauty

Inner-beauty shows up in many different emotional ways in my new YA novel Careful.

When we meet Estella and her best friends in Careful, the first book of the Careful, Quiet, Invisible series, they are all absorbed with the physical: their bodies, how they look, what they wear and their hair, mascara, eyeliner and lip-gloss, but as the series goes on their inner-beauty starts to shine more and more.

The main character Estella loses all that's physical when she dies in a texting and driving crash and she now exists as a spirit and the goodness she had inside is all that's left of her. Figuring out her purpose now, and how to "live" as a spirit is her new daily pursuit. Until her death, Estella had relied on her body, being tone, strong and fast, as a competitive track runner and she struggles to come to grips with not having her legs, her arms, her body, and curly auburn hair anymore--she even misses her small boobs. Her goals don't matter anymore, her plans to go to college. She's without a future...or so she thinks at first.

She was prom dress shopping with her best friends Zara, Jett and Eva the day she dies, and was debating over whether to buy a strapless padded bra to give her a more proportioned shape. After shopping she realizes she forgot her cell phone in the dressing room and when she sees the strapless padded bra on the dressing room bench again, the minutes she spends buying the strapless padded bra (and worrying about having the perfect shape) could have perhaps prevented her from being at the wrong place at the wrong time and colliding with Heidi's SUV when Heidi was texting and driving...or that's how Estella feels now.

Zara, a fashion blogger, blond and stylish, always with something to say and share, discovers that wearing the latest trends aren't everything when a rumor spreads online about her and her reputation is crushed, after a brutal fight at school she ends up in a wheelchair.

Eva's not yet sure of herself and accepting what she was born with, she's Hispanic, writes poems in her journal and doesn't yet believe in her talents and hates her curves. She turns to diet pills but has to learn to love her true self before she will find the love she deserves.

Perhaps Jett, an aspiring model, is the one who gets the inner-beauty reality check in the most profound way. With her beautiful, flawless skin and long shiny black hair she dreams of modeling beyond the small town and small life of Willow Ridge although she has booked some great gigs for local brands so far, however when her face is forever changed during a bloody fight at school with Heidi's's nothing scar cream can fix..she has to reevaluate the real meaning of beauty.

Each of Estella's friends face struggles with outer beauty and have to discover their own inner-beauty and that's where Estella comes to play. She believes in her friends and their skills, smarts and hearts and she shows up in their lives with signs and symbols of her memory to inspire them to dig deeper and put to use the good they have inside and share it with others in a compassionate way.

I added a pins recently that represent each of the characters realizing they can't count on outer beauty and confronting their inner-beauty. Check them out here:

View all the pins that reflect the characters in "Careful."

Read more about the Careful and the Careful, Quiet, Invisible series here.

Check out an excerpt of Careful, read it as an ebook for only $2.99 on Kindle, Nook or iBookstore (search Careful or Isobella Jade under books)


P.s: I'm not sure that $500K would be enough if I lost my legs in a texting and driving crash:

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