August 4, 2014

Check out how Ann Aguirre was bullied! Mortal Danger Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway!

About the Author

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

☆ How to find Ann ☆

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About the Book

Edie has been relentlessly bullied, and she’s come to the end of her rope. Mysterious and beautiful boy Kian shows up to make her dreams come true. That is, if she signs an agreement with him and his magical faction. She’s skeptical, but decides she has nothing to lose. Her desire for revenge against her bullies outweighs everything. And she knows exactly what she wants from Kian.

Over the summer he makes her beautiful, transforms her. She’ll be able to slip into the crowd that devastated her life. She’ll destroy them from the inside. As it all unfolds, Edie learns more about Kian’s world and what it is their agreement requires. His world is a dark world, filled with cold and harsh people. Like Edie, Kian has a dark past and she wants so badly to trust him completely, but something’s standing in her way.

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It’s not okay to be different in a small, Midwestern town.

This was true when I was in high school, probably still is.

Early high school wasn’t terrible for me, but the longer it went on, the more obvious it was that I didn’t fit in. Chubby. Bookish. Acerbic wit and sharp tongue that I didn’t always have the empathy to keep quiet. I wasn’t friendless until my senior year. My circle had been getting smaller as more and more people decided I wasn’t cool or that it was better to make fun of me than to hang out. I could write a post just on the way teenagers make each other feel horrible, but I’m sure we already know.

Let’s make this post more personal instead. My senior year, I finally stood up to the few friends I had left because they did a mean thing and I got punished for it. As a result, I had no friends left. By fall of my senior year, I was the invisible girl. Nobody spoke to me or acknowledged me, full shunning. Yes, they had the power to make it happen. I ate in the bathroom alone, like Edie.

On the surface, I seemed fine. Associate editor of the yearbook, Spanish Club, Science Club, National Honor Society, President of Thespians, Debate team. I had all kind of activities under my picture in the yearbook but outside of those school-sponsored extracurriculars I had only my job. I doubt anyone knew how bad I felt. There was no one for me to tell. Like Edie, I wondered if anyone would care if I checked out, and the only reason I didn’t was because I didn’t want to leave a mess for my parents to clean up. Process that for a moment. That’s how thoroughly my self-esteem was destroyed by my peers. I didn’t see myself as a smart, valuable person, for whom my family might conceivably grieve. I saw myself as garbage, rubbish to be hauled away. That’s the impact of bullying—when day after day, you hear that you’re a loser, worthless, ugly, gross, unlovable, awful, horrible. After that, the silence of complete exile is preferable.

By the semester break, I knew I had to get out of that place or I wouldn’t survive. So I contacted the principal and requested to finish afternoon classes on independent study, so I could work more to save for college. He thought the idea was absurd but since I was a good talker, he eventually consented to sign off, if I could get approval from my three afternoon teacher. Then I went and got it done, because I was fighting for my survival. If my principal and teachers hadn’t let me go, I don’t know how I would’ve coped. Like Edie, I might’ve ended up on a bridge.

My last semester of high school, I left at noon. I did homework on my own and took tests in the mornings before school. I worked 36 hours a week, saved for college, though I didn’t really believe I had a future ahead of me. When I graduated, I had a 3.5/4.0 GPA, #11 in my class. Working more, I survived the summer. I hated myself a little less.

In late August, I turned 18 and went off to college. Those who scoff at Edie’s recovery over the summer, who say a simple change of scene isn’t enough to save a person who has been bullied to the point of suicide? You’re wrong. Because if a couple of months and a change of scene couldn’t achieve that? I wouldn’t be here. Moral of this story? The tiniest things can save you.

What do you think we can do to make schools safer for our children?

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This giveaway is hosted by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads donated and shipped by the awesome publicity team at Macmillan!
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☆ The Tour ☆

July 27 - The Midnight Garden
July 28 - Bevy Bibliotheque
July 29 - Chapter by Chapter
July 30 - Birth of a New Witch
July 31 - Two Chicks on Books
August 1 - Rainy Day Ramblings
August 2 - Wondrous Reads
August 3 - Alice Marvels
August 4 - Magical Urban Fantasy Reads
August 5 - Mac Teen Books


Holly said...

It makes me sad to hear about Ann's experiences in high school. Because I know it happens way too often (most of the time, no one ever knows) and it's hard to stop bullying. Stories like Ann's are the reason I want to help teenagers and counsel them. I think they are the most vulnerable age group and I want to be in their corner when no one else will. Thank you for sharing, Ann! :)

Vivien said...

I can totally relate. There were times in high school, but the times I didn't WANT to go to school were in middle school. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I know it's tough just thinking about it. And yes, it is the little things.

Unknown said...

I was a theatre geek, we were pretty much the main targets of bullying.

Unknown said...

I was the wrong kind of nerd in high school, trying to fit into the wrong crowd. My daughter, who is thankfully more self-assured than I am, wants to be a writer. I think this would be a fantastic book for her to read. Thanks, Ann!

erin said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful post. This book sounds very intriguing.

Fedora said...

That makes my heart ache, Ann, not just for you, but for so many kids who share that experience and may not have the same determination to find a way out. Thanks for sharing your story and for writing Mortal Danger.

donnas said...

Its such a rough situation. And no one that hasnt lived though it can ever really understand how bad it is and can make you feel.

Carl Scott said...

That is terrible indeed and we're all very glad that Ann was able to find her way out of that awful situation. I know that there were people in my school who had fewer friends than I was lucky enough to have. I hope none of them were in such dire straights and I really hope I didn't contribute to making them feel unwanted.

dr susan said...

I had 'friends', but they often made remarks that they considered 'teasing', but I considered harsh. I did not stand up for myself until I was much older.

LadyVampire2u said...

I am so sorry to hear about the horror you experienced in school. And to be honest, I can really sympathize because I was picked on in school to. From my first time in school in Kindergarten where I had to transfer out because a bully from another grade started threatening to kill my family, to my Senior year in high school where I was not one of the "Beautiful People" and so was an outsider on many things. I really don't know how schools can be safer though. I suppose bullies and mean acts could be reported to the teacher and acted upon but the kid who reports it is them labeled a tattle-tale and thus pays for it anyhow. I think maybe more cameras in schools and monitoring all activity could help though. Just an opinion.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for posting this. It was truly moving. I also did not have a great time in high school and lost a lot of my friends at the start of high school, but it wasn't as bad as what you went through. Things like this motivate me - I want to work as a counselor for children and teens. And write books that'll help them as well!

Unknown said...

You beat them, Ann. Because look at where you are now. And where are they?

I was bullied in school, but I did have a few loyal friends to lean on. I think we just need to teach kids to honor everyone else's differences. It would also help if our society revered kindness, rather than violence and domination.

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