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Author Amanda Maciel tells us about the inspiration behind the central character of Lucky Girl.

Rosie Fuller is very beautiful, very popular with boys, and very happy with her life. But when she’s assaulted by a boy she thought she trusted, Rosie has to take a closer look at what it means to be the girl everyone wants … and figure out what she wants.

I started writing about Rosie for a few reasons. First, I like to try getting inside characters that might be the villains in another book—Rosie felt like the girl that a typical YA protagonist wouldn’t like very much, a girl who isn’t good at school and sometimes badly messes up her friendships. At least, I was always mystified by those high school girls who knew how to flirt and wear cute outfits.

And I knew one girl like Rosie very well: my sister. She’s five years older, and growing up, I witnessed the attention she got from boys (enviable) and men (inappropriate and sometimes upsetting). As we got older I learned that beauty can be a double-edged sword. It’s easy to get hurt, even when you think you’re in control.

I also wanted to write about assault, not because of anyone I know personally but because I wanted to explore the idea that girls (and society as a whole) sometimes confuse violence against women with attributes like beauty and flirtatiousness. Intellectually, we know it’s not about what a victim is wearing, or what she’s done—but we still blame girls, time and time again, for not wearing or doing something different. And girls blame themselves. That’s one way to take your power back, after all. If there was something you could have done, then it wasn’t just a horrible, random act of violence, right? Especially when someone you know crosses those boundaries, it’s very tempting to say, “Oh, it was a misunderstanding, because I …” Filling in that blank can create a story that’s easier to understand, easier to live with, than “He hurt me and I don’t know why.”

Rosie creates that kind of story for herself. But the truth catches up to her—and I love that she is brave enough to face it. She’s not your typical heroine, maybe, but she’s just my kind of girl.

Lucky Girl is available now in ebook for just £1.99.