Character This or That: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Welcome to Author Melissa Jensen

I grew up in San Francisco, which gave me a love of fog and funny-colored houses. My mother is an amazing watercolorist, my father an architect. I can’t draw. Never could. But I always loved telling stories (occasionally of the sort involving passing Vegetable Fairies and disappearing sweet potatoes at dinnertime). I read lots of pretty wonderful books as a kid, but haven’t been quite the same since I was fourteen and my English teacher handed me a copy of Pride and Prejudice. I still want to be Elizabeth Bennet when I grow up. Elizabeth Bennet with a career and jeans, anyway. My husband got a second date by telling me he had once played Mr. Darcy on stage. There would have been a second date, in any case, but still…

I’ve written lots of stuff over the years, including a few novels, magazine articles, and even a syndicated newspaper etiquette column. I like dinner parties. I don’t give nearly enough of them. I love to make lists of whom I would invite if I possibly could. My fab friends aside, there’s always a spot for Jane Austen (who probably would always politely refuse), Robert Burns, and Charles Darwin. Then there’s Oscar Wilde, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Dalai Lama, and William Steig. Abigail Adams and Oprah. Orlando Bloom (anyone have his phone number?) and Julia Child. Bonnie Robinson: that long-ago English literature teacher, later my creative writing teacher, who told me that I’d better spend a lot more time in England if I was going to insist on writing about it.

My fave places in the world are London and Dublin, neither of which are as foggy as literature would have us believe. I spend as much time as possible in Ireland, often on the edge of one cliff or another. It makes my family crazy. It makes me feel like a Bronte.

Now I live most of the time in Pennsylvania, in a house old enough to have hosted Elizabeth Bennet, if she had cared to visit the Colonies. Of course, as Mrs. Darcy, she would have been very grand and my house isn’t, but then, she was all about having a curious and open mind. Not a bad philosophy. I do my best, but it doesn’t always work. Nothing will ever make me like sweet potatoes.


This or That with Frankie from The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
Skittles or M&Ms

M&Ms. Skittles make my teeth stick together. Have you ever tried to channel Bruno Mars without being able to open your mouth?

Night Owl or Early Bird
Please. No one looks good before 10am.

Summer or Winter
Again. Sweat versus cashmere sweater. No contest.

Black or White
Black. Ever see Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin in a white suit? Didn’t think so.

Hot or Cold
Cold. See above, “cashmere”.

Chocolate or Vanilla

Twitter or Facebook
Twitter. I have two good friends and not enough time for Facebook. Plus, I can be fabulously pithy in a very small space.

Sunshine or Rain
Really? Remember who you’re talking to. I don’t care what anyone says; plastic coats and rubber boots are not attractive. The only people who look good in the rain are the Irish.

Books or Movies
Books by David Levithan, Marian Keyes, and Evelyn Waugh. Movies by Richard Curtis. Vogue Hommes International.

Mac or PC
Mac. For about fifty reasons, the first being that, after Happily Ever After and a closet full of Helmut Lang, the thing I would sell my soul for is an iPhone.

Print or Ebooks
See above re: Frank and Dean. Can you imagine them with a Kindle? Totally lacks elegance.

Reader or Writer
Writer. What I have to say is usually more interesting than what other people have to say.

Christmas or Halloween
Hmm. Let me think… A holiday where I get to be reminded just how much money my family does not have, or one where I get to look fabulous in a dozen different ways…?

Coke or Pepsi
Veuve Cliquot.

Pizza or Pasta
Either, as long as it’s from Marino’s. See, here’s the thing. The Willing School is full of god-awful, stick-up-the-butt kids from Society Hill. Then there’s Ella Marino. South Philly all the way.  So smart and crazy talented and beautiful to the core. One of, oh, maybe six people in my life who make me feel like I’m perfect exactly as I am. You want to have dinner in the warmest place in Philadelphia? Go to Marino’s. Tell ‘em Frankie sent you.

Title: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
Author: Melissa Jensen
Series: None
Publisher: Speak
Released: February 16, 2012

Book Summary:

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy.

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends – the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art – and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Also by Melissa Jensen: