July 30, 2015
Punk was created for the malcontents, something that loner and aspiring drummer Hallie understands all too well. Trapped in a boring suburban life – dysfunctional parents included! – Hallie drowns her angst in the angry songs of Haze, a masked musician who has not been heard from in five years. So naturally she’s surprised – and more than a little skeptical – when someone who seems to be Haze starts flirting with her via her favorite photo-sharing app. Is he who he says he is? What does he want from her? The questions only multiply when Hallie — along with bandmate Sarah and aspiring music journalist Steve — roadtrip to Haze’s comeback gig to unmask the reclusive musician once and for all.
With all the different ways to meet people via social networking sites, how do you know that the avatar or pic used to portray someone is actually them? Have you ever seen the movie/documentary Catfish, or the MTV television show with the same name? Placid by Brenna Ehrlich is like that.
Main character, Hallie, is an aspiring drummer in a punk band, created with her best friend Sarah. Where Sarah is the “in your face” “not at all shy” lead singer, Hallie is the shy, introvert drummer that lives in the shadows.
But things change when Hallie is noticed at their latest gig. Never mind that Hallie was actually noticed, but that the “someone” could possibly be her idol, Haze, the lead singer of her favorite band.
Slowly, Hallie starts to build an online “relationship” with this person whom she believes (hopes) is Haze. When pictures start to get exchanged, Hallie starts to believe that something “real” is building between her and this person.
But things start to get even more complicated when Hallie catches wind that Haze will be performing a concert, his first in years. A concert that causes her, Sarah, and new friend Steve, to go on a road trip that none of them will ever forget.
Did Placid Girl by Brenna Ehrlich give me the heebie-jeebies? Hellz ya. In a time where everything is going digital, including dating, there is the possibility that the person you are meeting is not who they say they are? I mean sure, there are fantasies that what if the person you are conversing with is actually the movie star/musician that you are hardcore crushing on? Throw in a vulnerable person who just wants to be noticed or loved or whatever, and you have a recipe for disaster.
I read Placid Girl by Brenna Ehrlich in one sitting. I couldn’t tear myself away! I had to know who this person was that Hallie was starting to fall for. I needed to know how crazy the crazy could get!
The characters were all loveable in their own way, and all with their own story. I couldn’t help but get caught up in Steve’s life! I could feel his desperation seeping off the pages, and I wanted to reach out and rescue him. My feelings for Sarah were all over the place, but in the end, I adored her for who she is. And Hallie…the girl with the big heart…How could I not enjoy her character as well!
With the story unfolding before your eyes, to the back stories that slowly come to light, Placid Girl by Brenna Ehrlich has a little something for everyone. I wouldn’t hesitate in grabbing a copy and experiencing this roller coaster ride of a read.
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Thank YOU! Looking forward to talking about PLACID GIRL.
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
It’s basically a punk-rock episode of “Catfish.”
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
At first, I wanted to write a modern-day version of Lolita from Lo’s point of view. I was fascinated by the idea that we as fans have DIRECT access to our favorite artists via social media – and they have access to us. I re-read “Lolita” and the pre-“Lolita” short story “The Magicians” to prep. In the end, though, Lolita kind of phased out and it became more about the personas we can create on social media. What we can hide outside the frame of a photo.
Tell us about the main character(s).
Hallie is a seriously flawed character. That was important to me. I know myself very well and I know that sometimes I am, stupid, mean and irrational. If a story is told in first-person, you have to expect that your character knows themselves that intimately as well. So I don’t hide her flaws. That being said, she’s a fucking amazing drummer and is extremely passionate. She’s also a teenager. A real teenager. Not what a 30-year-old thinks a teenager is. That was also important to me.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
I like when Hallie is talking about why she has crushes on musicians – not because she WANTS them, but because she wants to BE them. I think this is at once an interesting and dangerous way to view love.
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
The ending! I can’t tell you much beyond that without ruining anything. But, well, writing a book is HARD all around. I re-wrote large sections of this book several times.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
Something new will be coming soon. It’s in the works!
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success in your writing future!!
Thanks! Go see a show!