My Inspiration for RESISTING THE REBEL
Often, my characters arrive in my mind fully formed, demanding their stories be told. In this case, it was different. I’m a hardcore Sky High fan and have shipped Warren and Layla ever since I saw the movie (and at this point I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched it). That scene in the restaurant when he lights the candle with his finger? Slays me every time.
So when it was time to write another Crush book for Entangled Teen, who should show up in my mind demanding their happy ending but Warren and Layla? Of course I re-watched the movie for inspiration, and certain scenes on YouTube over and over and over…(rough author research).
This book isn’t an exact retelling, of course, because I’d be in big trouble with Disney if so, but I used Warren and Layla as my launching point for creating Caleb and Mandy, and I added a few winks and nods to the movie for my fellow diehard Sky High fans.
If you like bad boys with big hearts, and like to see the girl get the right guy for her happily ever after (not the wrong guy she thinks she wants), I hope you’ll check out RESISTING THE REBEL!
About the author:
Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.
Disclaimer: This book contains a villain pretending to be a hero, a hero pretending to be a villain, a disco-dancing heroine, two overprotective sidekicks, a little bit of bad language, and a whole lot of swoony kissing.
Spirit committee leader Mandy Pennington is secretly in love with her best friend, Gus, but when he hooks up with her archenemy at a party, she decides to win him over once and for all. She just doesn’t know how. But who better to help than hot loner Caleb Torrs?
Caleb’s got his own problems, but when he sees Mandy pining over Gus at a party, he thinks she’s finally smoked the spirit stick and lost her mind. Maybe he has, too, because he just asked Mandy to be his fake girlfriend.She’ll get her loser friend’s attention, and he’ll get his stalker ex off his back.It’s a win-win.
But soon one fake date blends into the next and before he knows it, he actually wants to kiss Mandy. For real. Too bad their plan is working, and Gus is finally noticing the one girl Caleb just might be falling for…
“I’ve got a stalker ex I need to get off my case,” Caleb said, his dark gaze locked on hers. “You’ve got a dork you’re trying to seduce. It’s a win-win.”
“Gus isn’t a dork,” she whispered, but for a second she couldn’t see Gus’s sweet face in her mind’s eye. Instead all she saw was the stony-faced badass drumming his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel. She swallowed. “Gus is a sweetheart.”
“Dork. Sweetheart. Semantics.” His lips curved in a mocking smile that did something to her stomach.
“N-no one would ever believe it,” she stammered. “That you and I would…” She blushed, unable to finish the sentence.
“That we’d what, Disco?” He unbuckled his seatbelt and moved toward her. Her breath caught in her throat as he reached out and touched her hair, twirling a long strand around his finger. He leaned in so close she could see a faint shadow of stubble on his jaw. “Go to a dance together?” He shifted even closer, moving in so that his lips barely brushed her cheek as he whispered in her ear. “Or just hook up?”
This wasn’t…he wasn’t…but she didn’t…not with him…she …Gus…Her thoughts spun out of control, just like her hormones. God, what was he—
He dropped her lock of hair and leaned back against his seat, smirking. “I think everyone would believe that. You did, didn’t you? Just for a second?”
Her hand flew up to slap him but he grabbed it like he’d been expecting it. “Two weeks. It won’t even take that long. Lover boy Gus only needs to see you and me do that once, and he’s yours. All yours.”
“Y-you’re such a—” He was still holding her hand, though he’d loosened his grip.
“Jackass. I know. But let me pretend to be your jackass boyfriend and we’ll both get what we want.”
Everything in her screamed no, but when she finally opened her mouth, the word that fell out was, “Okay.”
“Somebody turn up my oxygen,” Gran said from her chair. “I’m getting dizzy. This is better than the Gilmore Girls.”
You said it, Mandy’s gran! High praise indeed, and oh so true 🙂
Resisting the Rebel is about twelve kinds of adorable. (Twelve being the number of highlighted passages I have in my copy. Don’t worry, though, Caleb–they’re digital highlights. I too have fits when people don’t take care of books properly–which often makes my real-life job a very trying one indeed. But I digress.)
I fell in love with Mandy and Caleb practically from the first time they showed up on the page. How could I not? Mandy’s rants about The Catcher in the Rye could have been made by my own dear daughter (she too hated it with the heat of a thousand suns…and OMG she’s never going to let it go). And Caleb became my much-too-young-for-me-book-boyfriend when he reflected that
Someday when he was a famous author he’d have an enormous library, the kind with those ladders attached to the shelves. And nobody would get near his books with a d*mn highlighter.
Seriously–a guy after my own heart.
At first glance, it doesn’t look like these two could possibly work–the bubbly cheer dance squad girl who relies on positive mantras and worships the seventies with the all-black wearing loner who strikes fear in the hearts of freshman? It’s no surprise they have to put in extra time “selling” their relationship to convince his stalker ex and her secret crush…but it’s also no surprise that these two are actually perfect for each other. Watching them figure it out was the best part of my weekend.
Ms. Roberts has peopled the pages of this book with a group of amazing characters–as her dedication says, “heroes and sidekicks, archenemies and villains, best friends and boyfriends”–this book’s got them all! I loved every minute I spent with J.T. (the Blue Ranger to Caleb’s Red–LOL), Cammie, Liam, Jiro, Mandy’s “it’s the pain meds talking” Gran–all so much fun. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud in this book. The camaraderie and banter was just great.
I also really liked the way that Mandy’s learning differences (she has ADHD and dysgraphia) are portrayed, especially how her ADHD (she doesn’t take meds for it, because she didn’t like how the side effects made her feel) actually seems to help her to be a better leader and organizer. And when Caleb went home and researched and then texted her the names of famous people who have ADHD and/or dysgraphia? Too. Freaking. Adorable.
Ms. Roberts’ next release, The Replacement Crush, is on my reading list for next month–can’t wait!
Is it August yet? 😉
Sigh…at least it gives me plenty of time to go re-watch Sky High again…
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.