Author Shaina Cilimberg talks about her latest novel, To Be Sane.
Hello, my name is Shaina Cilimberg and I am 25 years old. To Be Sane is the third book in my Deep River High Series. In the second book, Perfect Forgiveness, Kirk shot up his school to try and escape relentless bullying. For To Be Sane, I wanted to show the reality that has played out in so many schools in our nation: that school shootings will not stop bullying. For Andy Young, a freshman in To Be Sane, Kirk’s actions only made the bullying worse for him the previous year. Throughout the book, we see how mercilessly he is cyber bullied. Also, I wanted to show even though he is society’s standard of good-looking, he still gets bullied. Even though he is shy, he forms a Christian rock band. Andy also likes to skateboard, play his drums, and has a crush on the female lead, Selena Harrison.
Selena Harrison is half-Latina and likes to mix in Spanish words with English ones. She seems very upbeat and outgoing. However, she suffers from a lot of insecurities herself, mostly stemming from her Asperger’s Syndrome and OCD. I think it is very important for people to know what anyone with those two disabilities go through mentally every day, in addition to how hard it is for Selena and those like her to make and keep friends. Selena joins Andy’s Christian rock band, playing guitar. She has had a crush on Andy Young.
Both Selena and Andy have been bullied in the past and that continues in high school. Both of them have suicidal thoughts and urges. I highly recommend this book for teens and young adults. However, adults may enjoy it as well. While it still covers a lot of deep concepts, Andy and Selena have more fun than the characters in Perfect Forgiveness. We also get to see a bit of Kirk and find out whether or not he has forgiven himself for his participation in the school shooting. Readers will also get to see Josh, Emily and Lydia from Crowded.
This book can be read by people who have not read the first two books. Perfect Forgiveness can be read by those who have not read Crowded. Perfect Forgiveness centers on the school shooting, why it happened and the aftermath. Crowded is about Cole Martin and Josh Summers fighting over Emily Davis and covers other little-mentioned subjects like eating disorders in guys.
To Be Sane is free for download on Kindle at Amazon August 10 - 13, and is free to borrow on Amazon Prime at any time.
So, I'm supposed to write something about myself. Well, I am a Christ-follower, first and foremost; then a wife, now of 14 years; then a mom to a very busy almost-10-year-old; and then a writer. All of that, unfortunately, means my writing sometimes gets pushed to the back burner.
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