TFFOS: Sara Grant -- Character Interview & Giveaway

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SARA GRANT is here today to discuss her upcoming YA debut DARK PARTIES, which was published earlier this year as NEVA in German. She's here today to give us an exclusive one-on-one with Neva, so welcome! :)

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1. Hey Neva! Let’s start off with something simple: If you could be anything (non-human) in the world what would you be?
I would love to be as free as a bird. I’d fly to the highest point of the Protectosphere. (That’s the electrified dome that locks me inside my country of Homeland. It’s supposed to protect us from the outside world, but it feels more like a prison.) Maybe I’d feel less trapped if I could soar to the projected clouds.

My grandma and I used to visit the bridge that crosses the river in the middle of the City. We would stand with arms out stretched and pretend to fly. I wish I could fly with my grandma again, but she’s been missing since I was six. Maybe if I could fly, I could search for her.

I suppose it doesn’t matter what I am. I’d still be trapped. And people would still be missing.

2. What’s it like living in Protectosphere? What do you do for fun?
That’s a hard question to answer. It’s all I’ve ever known – all anyone in Homeland has known for generations. The government says there’s nothing out there, not anymore. But my grandma believed they were lying. She couldn’t believe that everything ended.

I feel as if I live a recycled life. There are no resources for anything new anymore. All we do is recycle the life out of everything. I wear someone’s hand-me-downs. Everything is breaking down and falling apart. Now they tell us what job we will have after we graduate. All the government cares about is increasing our dwindling population. Our citizens are growing to look more alike. My best friend Sanna’s brother says we are inbred.

For fun? Now that I’m sixteen and just graduated, it doesn’t feel like I’m allowed to have fun anymore. It feels like my life is more about work. Even my relationship feels like work. The government wants my boyfriend Ethan and I to get married and start having kids. Ethan has changed. We used to want the same things, but now he seems more than happy to go along with whatever the government has planned for us.

Sanna and I have plans, too. We want to make a change. We want to demand the government open the Protectosphere. It’s dangerous, probably stupid and most likely futile. But we’ve got to do something.

3. How’d you meet your best friend Sanna? Do you have any cool escapes to share?
The first time I met Sanna we were little kids. She was playing on the merry-go-round at this park not far from our houses. She held on to one of the bars and ran as fast as she could, then dived on. As her spin slowly dwindled, she’d jump off and race around again. She’d scared all the other kids away with her mad dashes. I watched her for a while until I knew the rhythm. Then as the merry-go-round slowed, I hopped on. She made me dizzy with all her wild whirls on the merry-go-round. Even now, being with her feels like that first wild, dizzying ride.

Sanna makes anything we do together feel like the first, last or only time. We mostly like to hang out and talk. She also has great ideas for pulling little pranks to piss off the government. We painted our white graduation robes pink. Another time we made these tie-dye t-shirts with the slogan: The Skies the Limit. Mom laughed when she saw it but Dad made me take it off and recycle it. Sanna has loads of great ideas like that.


 4. Can you give us the insider on your “dark party”? How do you get in, and what do you guys do? Any secret initiation rites?
Sanna and I planned it for weeks. It’s what kept us sane. We wanted one final rebellion before we took our places as respected members of society. It was another of Sanna’s brilliant ideas. We wanted to discover who we are without the burden of sight. It’s easy to believe we are the same inside because we look so similar. Sanna said only in the dark can we know the truth, but, boy, was she wrong.

Sanna wanted me to host the party. A Dark Party at the Minister of Ancient History’s house. That’s how she talked everyone into it. The greater the risk, the greater the thrill. We made my living room completely lightproof. It’s a strange sensation to be in total darkness. The blackness feels almost solid around you. You lose all sense of direction.

It was amazing at first. But our party didn’t turn out like we planned. We wanted to start a rebellion but instead our party turned out to be the end of so many things. It’s started an avalanche that neither one of us could have ever imagine or stop.

5. So, I heard something about you falling for your best friend’s boyfriend…
Who told you that? I mean, no one could possibly know that I … I mean no. Absolutely not. Braydon Bartlett? You’ve got to be kidding me. He’s so…well, he’s….I mean he just moved here from somewhere up North. We’d don’t really know much about him. He always wears these red pointy-toe boots. Even though he’s got the right last name with a direct genetic line to one of the founding fathers of Homeland, there’s something about him that I don’t trust. And he’s my best friend Sanna’s first real boyfriend.

What kind of person would kiss her best friend’s boyfriend? Even in the pitch black of a Dark Party. Even if she didn’t know it was him. Even if it was an accident. Even if it made her feel like her life could be different…

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

6. And, finally, if we were living in the Protectosphere, what words of advice would you give?
Life would be so much easier for me if I could just believe the government’s lies and accept my limits and be happy with getting married and having kids. But there’s got to be more to life. There’s got to be something out there.

So I guess I would say either learn how to live like a caged animal or never stop trying to change the government and find a way out.



Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...

Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.



Courtesy of Sara, I have one DARK PARTIES latte mug filled with UK candies to giveaway! For an extra entry, tell me the wildest thing you've done with a friend.

To enter, fill out the form below. Open internationally.