"When the world breaks you into pieces, sometimes you find what's left scattered among other people's broken parts."
Ellie Frias has never wanted to be popular, she just wants to blend in, to be accepted. But then Caleb Breward, tells her she's beautiful and makes her believe it.
Ellie loves Caleb, but sometimes she's not sure she likes him that much - his awkward smile, the possessive way he touches her, his harsh tone, how he ignores her one minute and can't get enough the next. And then, on one black night, Ellie discovers the monster her boyfriend really is.
Ellie wasn't the first girl Caleb raped. But she was the first he murdered.
Now, trapped, unable to move on, she witnesses him shatter the lives of other girls again and again. Powerless and alone, Ellie tries to keep hold of happier memories, always waiting - hoping - that someone will find her.
But no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.
Happy publication day to I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter! Today, I have the author on my blog who has put a playlist together for the book.
I Stop Somewhere Playlist
* “To All of You”- Syd Matters: I’ll go into this a bit more with “Obstacles,” but while I was writing the novel, I was also playing Life is Strange. It’s an amazing game, and I definitely found myself pulling inspiration from it in subtle ways.
* “Disarm” – Smashing Pumpkins: Clearly, I am dating myself, but this song was really popular when I was in high school and I always associate it with bad things happening. Not necessarily bad things happening to me, but just a generally bad situation, and so the song felt fitting for the book, due to the sense of dread it creates for me.
* “How to Save a Life” – The Fray: While this song is about suicide, it also makes me think about how we affect people with the small things we do, and I felt like that was part of this story as well.
* “Blue” – Sarah McLachlan (covering Joni Mitchell): Again, I’m dating myself, but I loved Sarah McLachlan in high school and this song perfectly embodies that kind of bittersweet feeling I wanted to get with the novel. It’s both sad and endearing.
* “Carmen” – Paula Cole: If it’s not obvious, I was a big fan of Lilith Fair! Female singer-songwriters are really my favorites. Much of this playlist has that same vibe, and this song is one that always seems to speak to me of women overcoming tragedy and pain. I don’t even know if that’s what it’s about, but Cole’s voice is powerful and digs at you emotionally.
* “Luka” – Suzanne Vega – This was the original song about violence against women for me. I remember how much this affected me as a kid and the video was devastating. It felt necessary to include it with this novel.
* “Amber Waves” – Tori Amos – When it comes to singers who speak truth to power, you can’t look for someone better than Tori. This song is actually not about violence against women in the same way many of her songs are, but it’s about objectification. I felt strongly that Caleb and Noah were as much as a product of a culture that teaches boys girls are made to be used for their pleasure as they were inherently evil. This song gets to the heart of that culture.
* “Chandelier” – Sia: Some songs just hurt because they’re so good. This is one of them. I also love how it talks about what we hide, because I think there are elements of Gina Lynn here. She has it all, but even the perfect girl has secrets and can be broken slowly apart.
* “Doll Parts” – Hole: This one feels obvious. The entire novel is about the objectification of women and how women are violated in our culture, not just literally, but also slowly and in pieces until there’s so little left of their own identity. Sometimes it feels like women aren’t more than parts of a doll, hence the song.
* “Fight Song” – Rachel Platten: This was two-fold. As the anger builds in the playlist about how we treat women, I also wanted to hear the other side – the ways we fight back. In addition, this song kind of spoke to me personally because I felt I’d never write a book anyone wanted to read.
* “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – Green Day: One of the themes that kind of falls to the side with the book, since it’s obviously about violence against women and that’s important, is the poverty of the town. I feel like much of the story is directly linked to the socioeconomic environment in which it happens.
* “Heart-Shaped Box” – Nirvana: Again, dating myself, but I loved this song as a teen and it always felt like it spoke to the things that made me angry. This was mostly a personal selection, because it just makes me mad (not in a bad way – I love this song!).
* “Name” – Goo Goo Dolls: For some reason, I always think of this song as hopeful even though it’s sad. I feel like it’s about finding a place and finding hope even in the hardest places and moments, and that’s exactly what this novel is about.
* “Dirty Old Town” – The Pogues: Along with Green Day, this was another that just got to the heart of the setting.
* “Here’s Where the Story Ends” – The Sundays: I don’t have a reason for this song. I just really like it.
* “The Trapeze Swinger” – Iron and Wine: The song is narrated by someone who’s died, looking at the people left behind and the memories they want the people to have of them, which was so closely aligned with this novel.
* “Mad World” – Gary Jules: Since this comes from Donnie Darko, I used this mostly to get myself into the right head space for the setting and tone.
* “Up the Wolves” – Mountain Goats: This song is about overcoming and fighting back, which I wanted to leave as the message in this novel. Even in the worst situations, I want to see us use our anger to bring about good, and this song riles me up and makes me want to do just that.
* “Obstacles”- Syd Matters: This song comes from Life is Strange. I wish I could write a book even 10% as good as that game. The character development, the story, the heart of it just hit me in a way that very little has in any medium. Maybe it’s this incredible song, because even if you don’t know the game, you have to admit this song does something to you! But combined with the game, it’s just hard not to feel like you need to scream your truth from the top of a mountain, and I Stop Somewhere was that truth I needed to scream.