Welcome to the Pippa Park Crush at First Sight Blog Tour!
Follow along all week for exclusive guest posts from author Erin Yun, plus 5 chances to win a special, limited edition Pippa Park Scavenger Hunt Gift Box!
Unrequited Crushes to Love Triangles
by Erin Yun
Back in middle school, I used to have quite a few unrequited crushes. The smart, quiet ones. The cool hipster ones. And, of course, the ones who didn’t know I existed. In fact, seeing as I didn’t start dating until college, you could say that I’m somewhat of a master in the art of the one-sided crush. That said, I thought it only fitting to give the main character of my debut novel, Pippa Park Raises Her Game, an unrequited crush of her own.
In Pippa Park Raises Her Game, Pippa sees her new, impossibly cute tutor, Eliot, for the first time and forgets her own name. Although Eliot is cold and less than upfront about his feelings, Pippa is determined to break through his frosty exterior but only has limited success. Going into Pippa Park Crush at First Sight, Pippa is just starting to make peace (mostly) with her unrequited crush on Eliot when things get a little interesting. While volunteering at a Christmas pageant, Pippa crosses paths with an old acquaintance, Marvel, and can’t stop that “new crush feeling” coursing through her veins. And that would be absolutely perfect . . . except for the fact that Eliot is finally returning her interest.
I had a lot of fun going from writing one book about an unrequited crush to a second book about a love triangle—especially since Eliot and Marvel are so different. Eliot is reserved, book smart, and the most popular eighth grader at Lakeview Private. Marvel is extroverted, funny, and has great taste in music. And, of course, Pippa thinks both boys are out-of-this-world cute. And yet, the feelings she has for them are different. As she puts it: “If Eliot was a solar eclipse overtaking the sky, Marvel was a pink-tinged sunset casting a warm glow over the horizon.”
As an adult, I prioritize kindness and humor in my partners, but in middle school, I did have my fair share of crushes on Eliot-types—the ones who were cute, intelligent, and kind of jerks. I would get into petty arguments with them and wonder if that counted as flirting. In retrospect, it sounds absurd, but back then, most of my romance tips came from books. Blame Mr. Darcy, perhaps, but I used to devour hordes of novels in which the male love interest would act all distant and aloof for the first half of the book before confessing his romantic feelings for the main character.
I still enjoy reading about those types of relationships, but it wasn’t until I actually started dating that I learned to separate fiction from reality. Example: In fiction, if the boy says a scathing comment to you and then ignores you, it means he is hopelessly in love with you. In reality, he doesn’t like you. In fiction, if the boy steals your pencils and throws them into the trash, it means he is hopelessly in love with you (and trying to protect you from getting further entangled in his alluring but dangerous past). In reality, he still doesn’t like you, and now you need new pencils.
So, while I empathized with Pippa’s one-sided crush on Eliot in Pippa Park Raises Her Game, I also wanted to have both Eliot and Marvel be viable love interests for Pippa. To do this, I made sure in the second book, Pippa Park Crush at First Sight, to include scenes where Eliot’s guard was down, allowing readers to see a softer, more vulnerable side of him—and making Pippa’s choice a lot more complicated! Playful, charming Marvel? Or smart, serious Eliot? It’s a tough choice. And while I might know who Pippa will end up with, you’ll just have to read Pippa Park Crush at First Sight to find out . . .
Out September 13th!
"Pippa explores the highs and lows of friendships and first crushes in this well-crafted sequel to Pippa Park Raises Her Game. ..VERDICT This warm-hearted, feel-good series continues to realistically explore one Korean American girl’s middle school experience in a relatable way."
—School Library Journal
"This is solid, classic middle-school drama fare that benefits from the interesting ways Pippa's family background is developed. An engaging variation on a familiar theme."
Join Pippa Park as she juggles friendships, bullying, crushes, and family in the sequel to the compelling drama-filled middle school book Pippa Park Raises Her Game.
Korean American Pippa Park picks up right where she left off . . . trying to balance basketball, school, friends, working at the struggling family laundromat, and fitting in. Eliot, her math tutor—and the cutest boy at school—is finally paying attention to her. And Marvel—her childhood friend—is making her required volunteering much more interesting. But things with the Royals, her new friends and teammates who rule the school, still feel a bit rocky. Especially because Caroline, a head Royal, would like nothing more than to see Pippa fail.
So when Pippa is faced with hosting the annual Christmas Eve party that could make or break her social life, how can she say no? Will Pippa make enough money to cover the costs while juggling crushes and everything else? With courage and determination, Pippa sets out to host the party, find the perfect dress, pick the right boy, and stay true to her real self.
About the Author
Erin Yun grew up in Frisco, Texas, and used to play basketball as a middle grader. She received her BA in English from New York University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Creative Writing at Cambridge. She developed the Pippa Park Author Program, an interactive writing workshop, which she has conducted in person and virtually at schools, libraries, and bookstores.
About the Publisher
Fabled Films Press LLC is creating original content for young readers and middle-grade audiences that combines strong literary properties with high-quality production values to connect books with generations of parents and their children. Each property is supported by websites, educator guides, and activities for bookstores, educators, and librarians, as well as videos, social media content, and supplemental entertainment for additional platforms.
● Win an Exclusive Pippa Park Scavenger Hunt Box!
Uncover the hidden meaning behind the clues in the box which include:
A Tarot Card, Holiday Snow Globe, Kimchi-jjigae Family Recipe from the Author with a jar of Gochugaru, Mini Basketball Stress Ball, Golden Scrunchie, Signed Editions of Pippa Park Raises Her Game in paperback and Pippa Park Crush at First Sight in hardcover and a Pippa Park Bookmark.
● US only
● Ends 9/25 at 11:59pm ET
● Enter via the Rafflecopter below
● Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!
Blog Tour Schedule:
September 12th — Mama Likes This
September 13th — Bookhounds
September 14th — A Dream Within A Dream
September 15th — Good Choice Reading
September 16th —YA Books Central