Non Pratt on Ex-Boyfriends: Guest Post + Remix

Remix by Non Pratt
Young adult: contemporary, romance
August 2014; thank you to Walker Books Australia
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From the author of Trouble comes a new novel about boys, bands and best mates.

Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life. Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record. 

Three days. Two best mates. One music festival.

Zero chance of everything working out.

Non Pratt’s smart, funny second novel is a delight. I could talk about the importance of complex, positive female friendships in YA for days. Fierce and loving even as external tensions and the inevitability of change threaten to crumble the fortress of their friendship, Kaz and Ruby's has fast become my new favourite fictional friendship.

Every relationship on the page pulses with authenticity. I was talking through the ethical implications of Kaz and Ruby’s emotional and sexual entanglements with anyone who would listen. You won’t know who to trust to make a decent, constructive decision as these sympathetic, flawed, sometimes self-involved teenagers tangle sex and love in their inexpert hands. The music festival provides an energetic backdrop to these shenanigans, but more importantly, it facilitates the dynamic transformation of the central relationships over a short period of time realistically.

I expected Remix to be a light, fun summer release, entertaining but ultimately forgettable. Non Pratt has delivered something entirely more meaningful and thought-provoking. I have so little tolerance for infidelity that I couldn’t even believe the sympathy I felt for Stu. You made me like a cheater, Non Pratt: you're a miracle worker.

This is a novel that respects teenage relational agency while acknowledging that sexual activity and emotional maturity don't always coincide. Remix renders romantic relationships with precision and honesty without ever sacrificing its focus on the realistic, messy dynamic between two best girlfriends.


To celebrate the release of Remix, available now from Walker Books Australia, please welcome the delightful Non Pratt to Imaginary Misadventure as she discusses ex-boyfriends and how first break-ups fit into contemporary YA. Find publication info and my review of the fabulous Remix beneath.

Boulevard of Broken Relationships

by @NonPratt

A lot of YA deals with first experiences, and one of the most popular is first love (or romance). Many’s the storyline or subplot where characters engage in the age old will-they-won’t-they courtship dance. One step forward two steps back until we reach the happy ever after. (Or tragedy ever after depending on your flavour of YA.)

But what of first break ups? Few people go on to marry the first person they fell for as a teenager, but in YA young love is more likely to end in death than a common-or-garden break up*. When I set out to write Remix, I wanted my two main characters to be dealing with the aftermath of two very different break ups.

Ruby’s relationship with Stu wasn’t exactly hearts and flower and she dumped him when he cheated on her… Kaz on the other hand had the perfect first relationship that she didn’t want to end. Both characters have issues they need to work through, including coping with how the other feels about their ex. No matter how well you get on with your mate’s boyfriend, the second that boy breaks your friend’s heart (or wounds her ego), all bets are off.

So what happens when not one, but both exes turn up at the same music festival? Every relationship is different and in Remix, Ruby and Kaz have very different reactions to their exes. First romance is intense and intimate and seeing your ex when you least expect can trigger all sorts of residual feelings. The question is how do you deal with them?

*OK, so this is an untested theory, but I’ll take a risk and say it holds…

Monday August 3, Loony Literate
Tuesday August 4, Diva Booknerd 
Wednesday August 5, Fictional Thoughts
Thursday August 6, Imaginary Misadventure
Friday August 7, Book Much
Saturday August 8, Genie in a Book

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  1. I love her premise, and it's absolutely spot on too. How many teen sweethearts go on to marry? Not many I suspect. Teen relationships are so fickle and you're both finding your feet as people. Teen relationships in most YA are unrealistic and romanticise it all with added drama. Remix really was a breath of fresh air. I love that it didn't shy away from portraying teen sexual relationships either. Wonderful review Soph <3 thanks for sharing.

    1. Yeah definitely - I love me some cute teenage romance, but there's a humungous cultural narrative of finding your soul mate at seventeen which just isn't that realistic! Thanks for dropping by Kel :)

  2. Fabulous post from Non Pratt! It's so true about YA - everyone seems to fall in love and then go on to marry their first boyfriend, which is just s unrealistic. I loved how Remix turned that on its head.

    1. Me too! I'm currently reading Non's previous book, Trouble - also fantastic!