Reviews & Interviews

★★★★★ (5/5)

Elena’s book provides a fresh way to understand youngsters’ views and preoccupations with dating, social media communication, response to ‘adults’ and so on, in a manner that rings true and provides a lively diversion for appreciating the at times dichotomous lines that provide that progress toward becoming understood. As Elena states in her About the Author note at book’s end, further adventures with the Harper family will follow! Highly recommended. “

— Grady Harp, Top 100 Reviewer

For the full review, click HERE.

★★★★★ (5/5)

This lively and entertaining tale frequently stretches the limits of plausibility, but both children and teens will find the story relevant and timely, hoping for a return visit from the memorable cast. “

For the full Prairies review, click HERE.

★★★★★ (5/5)

What a beautiful, real and cute way to show the relationship between a big brother and a little sister! The characters, Matthew and Aaliyah have a funny but difficult connection that made me smile since I remembered my own sister’s battles and fights.”

— Evelyn on Goodreads

For all reviews on Goodreads, click HERE.

★★★★ (4/5)

Teen author Southworth makes her debut in fiction with this witty, engrossing tale of sibling rivalries and love… The children will be enthralled and the teens with younger siblings will find the story relatable.”

— BookView Review

For the full BookView review click HERE

BookView Interview with Author Elena Southworth

BookView Interview is a conversation series where BookView talks to authors. Recently, we interviewed teen author Elena Southworth.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Well I’m only 13 years-old, so this is my first publication. I started writing BBLS when I was around 11. I’m almost finished with the second book in the BBLS (Big Brother, Little Sister) series, and I have the third one all planned out, but haven’t started writing it yet. Also, I do have a stand-alone book coming that is a scary, mysterious book (I haven’t decided on a name yet), for young adults. However, I have the story entirely planned.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

It depends on the book I’m writing. In BBLS, I make it kid-friendly and easy to read. I want kids to be able to relate to my characters, especially if they have siblings. My scary book on the other hand is completely original, and an idea nobody else has or relates to.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Most of them aren’t picked randomly. Some are names of people I know, and others are names from TV shows or games my brother and I used to play. For example, the BBLS character Aaliyah’s name is supposed to sound like “Elena.” Mindy is from a game. Matthew and Aaliyah’s last name, Harper, is also from a game.

Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?

BBLS was actually a game my little brother, Mason, and I used to play years ago. He complained about wanting to be older than me, so I started a game called BBLS, meaning “Big Brother Little Sister.” I’d pretend to be younger and let him be the big brother. We’d go on fake adventures. We eventually forgot about it, but I always knew that someday, somehow, I’d share our game with the world.

Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

In the first book of BBLS, Mindy Emerson (Aaliyah’s best friend) was the most challenging. I don’t really know why, but I think it was just because she doesn’t play much of a role or have a strong personality. In the second one, though, she has a much bigger and more important part so it gets easier.

Where do your ideas for this story come from?

Right from my imagination! I could just be sitting down and all of a sudden, I’ll think of something. And then I think, “I better go write that down!”

What sort of a relationship exists between you and the characters you created in this book?

They’re almost like they could be my best friends. I created them, they are exactly who I want them to be. Perfect.

To read the interview on the BookView website, click HERE.

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