Announcing THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE by Sandy Hall!
I feel like 75% of the time when I write a blog post for Swoon, it starts off with a confession. This one is no different.
Confession: Writing a follow up book after A Prom to Remember was harder than I expected.
I loved Prom. I loved the characters. I loved the story. I didn’t feel done with them. Instead of listening to my instincts, I tried to move on. I wrote a thing. I wrote another thing. Neither of them felt right.
I had an idea in my head, a hook that I really loved. An enemies to lovers book that took place during the main character’s first year of college. The twist was that the main character would run into their enemy from middle school, someone who had moved away during high school, and they hadn’t seen them since. The two would just keep running into each other. They would live in the same dorm, work the same on-campus job, and have a very similar class schedule. Like the universe just kept throwing them together.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find characters for the plot. And I couldn’t figure out why the characters hated each other. Every idea I came up with felt like something you’d be over by the time you left for college.
But then, I realized all of the POV characters from Prom were headed off to college.
And one of those characters in particular would be someone who could—and would—hold a grudge for years, if given the chance.
Paisley Turner fit the story perfectly. And The Shortest Distance Between Love and Hate was born.
When Paisley sees Carter at a party on the first night of college, she doesn’t remember him, but he remembers her. It’s not until the next day that Paisley finds out that the cute boy (THAT SHE MADE OUT WITH) is, in fact, her arch nemesis from middle school. Back then, Carter’s goal in life was to make her best friend Henry’s life as miserable as possible.
Paisley can’t believe that she betrayed Henry this way and vows to avoid Carter as much as possible. Except that he’s EVERYWHERE. She can’t seem to shake him. Carter wouldn’t mind spending more time with Paisley, but she does everything in her power to make sure he understands that she hasn’t forgiven him for what he did in middle school.
Told in alternating points of view between Paisley and Carter, The Shortest Distance Between Love and Hate is about the first few months of college and all that entails. It’s about navigating roommate politics, keeping in touch with your high school friends, ignoring someone you hate no matter how well they kiss, the balancing act of class, work, family, and having a social life, and, most of all, learning how to be your best self.
I can’t wait to share it with you.
HOWEVER! I do get to share the cover with you today! I’m a big fan of this one. It just feels right to me, the colors, the font, the whole darn thing! Though I do have to admit, my absolute favorite detail is Paisley’s t-shirt.
I hope you love Paisley and Carter as much as I do!