Monday, March 15, 2010

Florida Vacations and Spring Break

In the movies, spring break is portrayed as a crazy romp on the beach, or maybe it’s a road trip. And to me, that was a purely fictional world that had nothing to do with reality. My spring breaks came in the middle of the second semester, and they were always filled with studying and term papers. Also, since “spring” break came early in March when it was still technically winter, the beach wasn’t that appealing even if it had been an option.

When it came time for me to invent my own fictional world, as I did in my debut novel The Secret Year, I slipped in some details about spring break that were borrowed from my own life. For example, here’s the opening of Chapter 15:

“Tom had spring break at the beginning of March, when the trees were bare and the mud still had shards of ice in it.”

But Tom, who is the main character’s brother, does get to go to Florida. He goes down on a marathon road trip with some classmates. Instead of going to drinking parties on the beach, though, he does what I would have done if I’d been able to:

“He told me about his Florida vacation, about the alligators and manatees and herons he’d seen. My brother was probably the only college student in the history of spring break to spend his time at nature preserves instead of the beach.”

Of course, I don’t really believe that every student goes to the beach, and neither does my narrator. The Secret Year is full of characters and situations that are not what they seem to be at first. The “spoiled rich girl” has a brain and ambition and likes playing in the mud. A relationship that is supposed to be just for fun turns out to be much more, maybe more than the participants can handle. And a notebook meant to protect secrets ends up revealing them.

Have you ever spent your spring break in Florida?

About The Secret Year:

After his secret girlfriend's death, seventeen-year-old Colt finds the notebook she left behind, but he is unprepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship.

Jennifer R. Hubbard is a member of the Class of 2k10, a group of debut authors. Learn more about Jennifer via her website and via live journal. Learn more about The Secret Year



22 comments:

  1. No, never even been to Florida. All of my spring breaks were spent at home. Well except one, which I spent at my boyfriend's apartment, but I came home once a day to watch shows with my dad anyhow, so it didn't really count XD

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  2. I've spent every single spring break in Florida, since I kinda live there. Erm, here.. You know what I mean! Heh.

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  3. I've never been to Florida for SPring Break. Actually, my school didn't really have a Spring Break so it wasn't an option.

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  4. I did enjoy Tom's spring break... and I love that it was a little bit of you thrown in there. As for Florida... I've never spent spring break there but I have visited some to see relatives but not for years, since I was in the single digits, and I don't really remember it. I also kind of hate the beach so if I did go to Florida for spring break, it would be to the other touristy stuff.

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  5. I never did a Spring break, so I didn't "do" one in Florida, although I have been to Florida in the Spring!
    Margay

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  6. I love it when a guy is the main character I like to read a book in a guys point of view. Its sad to lose someone especially if that someone was your soul mate

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  7. I'm right there with yah, my spring break was never like that either! It usually involved rain and a good book. I LOVE the beginning of chapter 15 by the way. Makes me anxious to read your book!

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  8. Not for Spring Break but I have been there for a vacation. I loved it and am DYING to go back and see the Harry Potter Theme Park!! Totally agree with the post about not everybody being at the beach on Spring Break. The books looks good, am going to investigate it now :)

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  9. I have spent Spring Break in Florida and never again will I ever get to party as hard as I did there. I wish I can just rewind and unwind.

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  10. I spent spring break in Florida during my 1st year at college. It was just me and my guy and we spent the week with my uncle. We drove both ways. It was quite, I was relaxing, but it was still very fun!

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  11. Last year I spent my final college spring break in Florida. I drove down with my boyfriend and 2 of my closest friends. We didn't really drink or party, but we went to all the touristy things like Ripley's, Sea World, and Disney as well as to themed mini-golf. It was the most awesome trip I've ever been on and we still talk about it, even though it's been almost a year.

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  12. It looks like some of you have indeed had the classic spring break! Is it wrong of me to be glad to have so much company in the less-glamorous-spring-break camp?
    ;-)

    Thanks for all your comments!

    Jennifer Hubbard

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  13. I have never spent my Spring Break in Florida! I always go home and hang out with my family. It's nice to stop and relax once in awhile.

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  14. In Florida there are lots of beaches and the beautiful Disney World, This place is best suited for the family vacations and kids’ preferences will often influence the choice of the destination for Florida vacations.
    florida fly drives

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  15. I love this post, because I've NEVER done the "typical" spring break in Florida. I don't really want to either.

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  16. I never went on spring break but I live in FL now and it gets crazy!
    I would have done some type of nature trip like Tom.
    BTW - I loved The Secret Year....amazing debut!

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  17. No, I never really went anywhere for spring break. I feel the same way as you, the beachs around me are still too cold to enjoy.

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  19. OMG the Secret Year is in my TBR pile and I am always so tempted to skip right to it and not follow the order I am supposed to read in!

    I use to spend most my spring breaks in florida and on the beach when I use to live there but I was way too young to care.

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  20. I SO cannot wait to read The Secret Year. If anything I think reading this post has made me even more excited to get my hands on a copy :D

    I've never been to Florida, unfortunately. I would love to visit some day. I think the furthest I have traveled is 3 hours away!

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  21. I have not spent my spring break in Florida ever, but I will be spending it there next year.

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  22. I have never spent spring break in Florida. I always wanted to go there for spring break.

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