Monday, July 6, 2009


I am so excited to tour one of my FAVORITE authors of the hot NY teen society, Jennifer Banash, who doesn't fail to deliver on her third and final book in The Elite series. You simply cannot help but fall in love with SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE--it's the perfect summer read. Don't waste your time watching the overpriviliged and uber-annoying kids on Bravo's NYC Prep (P.C., seriously? do you really think you're God's gift to the world?), and instead dive into the world of Casey McCloy, Madison Macallister, Meadowlark Academy, The Bramsford and the rest of NY's Upper East Side as deftly described by Banash. Coincidentally, reality television is exactly what comes into Casey and Madison's lives, creating even more delicious drama, tensions, and scandal! So much more fun than "real" reality shows, SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE takes the reader into a world that cannot be captured more accurately than by someone who's been there.

What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

Yes! I just had lunch with Robin Benway, who is an amazingly awesome writer, and a great girl to boot, and I talk to Alexa Young quite a bit. And, of course, I like to think that you and I are virtual buddies as well (MKH NOTE: OF COURSE!! XOXO) ! I've exchanged emails with Alyson Noel, and we've talked about meeting for lunch, but haven't had time to set something up a of yet.

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?

Gossip Girl. The Luxe. Anyone who writes about the rich and privileged set or anyone who writes about NYC.

What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).

Oscar Wilde, because every girl needs a fabulously witty, gay best friend, Roberto Bolano, Joan Didion, Bret Easton Ellis, Sarah Dessen, and JD Salinger (MKH NOTE: Just don't suggest a sequel to Catcher in the Rye!).

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a “must read” in order to join?

Lolita. It is a modern masterpiece.

What was your “initiation” to writing?

I started writing poems when I was around 12, and wanted to be a serious poet for a long time. I still read poetry, I just don't write it anymore.

When did you first feel that you’d officially joined the “published writers’ club”?

Er . . . I still don't feel like I'm there! (MKH: Of course you're there!! You're one of the coolest!)

What was your best/worst memory of high school?

I was a club kid, so I went to school pretty sporadically. Suffice to say, I don't have many clear memories of that time, or none I can really talk about here!

In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?

Anywhere with a white sand beach, clear blue water, and copious amounts of frothy blender drinks. I'd take an enormous stack of paperbacks, my Trina Turk bikini, and my boyfriend!

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.

Third and last in The Elite book series – brings more adventures from the spoiled, rich teens in Manhattan who nearly ate Casey McCloy alive when she first arrived in the Big Apple from her small town of Normal, Illinois. Casey learned very quickly after she moved in with her grandmother at The Bramford, the most exclusive luxury apartment building on New York’s Upper East Side and got into the prestigious Meadowlark Academy on a full scholarship, that it’s not who you are but who you know!

Simply Irresistible (Penguin) brings us a whole new set of adventures now that Casey has had a big city-haute makeover, courtesy of her classmate and neighbor Madison Macallister – part teen icon and part queen diva-bitch. Wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and meeting the right people, has given Casey the look and the attitude – she’s “in” and loving it!

Much to Madison’s dismay, her rival is climbing up the social ladder in a big way and could end up just as popular as Madison now that the two are set to star in their own TV reality show, “De-Luxe.” Yes, showbiz came knocking on two of The Bramford’s most illustrious doors and, as much as Madison thrives on the attention the show brings, she’s not thrilled about having every bit of her life of privilege caught on tape. However, fame comes at a price and Madison is one chick who is willing to pay anything…especially if it means becoming the next reality “it girl.” Casey, on the other hand, is realizing that Reality TV can sometimes beunreal, causing her to wonder if she even knows who she is anymore.

With her relationship with Drew, Madison’s ex, currently more off than on, she can’t help wondering if everything in her life is really just an illusion – and how much longer the illusion can last….

Although The Elite series is obsessed with fashion and glamour, Branash does an impressive job of examining real issues that teens face, such as cutting, divorce, infidelity, and drug addiction. Having personally attended high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan provided the author with the background for her ample insight and imagination portrayed in The Elite Series.
Praise for The Elite Series:

"If you love all the drama, scandal, and high-end fashion of Gossip'll want to check out...The Elite!"
"The Elite is Pretty in Pink for the millennium generation."--Romance
Reviews Today
"An awesome tale of friendship and betrayal with just the right amount
of humor and heart. Seriously irresistible, and impossible to put
down."-Alexa Young, author of Frenemies and Faketastic

About the Author: Jennifer Banash
Jennifer Banash attended high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and currently divides her time between Paris and the Midwest—where she lives with her Beagle, Sigmund, and her vast designer shoe collection. She is the co-founder and co-publisher of Impetus Press, an independent publishing house that champions serious literary fiction with a pop edge.
For more info, check out her website at

by Jennifer Banash
Publisher: Berkley Trade (July 7, 2009