Never Too Much, a guest post by Catherine Bakewell

When I was in middle school, the word “nerd” was thrown around a lot, a word that then meant someone who was too much, who loved something too deeply. It was also a word that described me very well–a girl who enjoyed her hobbies with an abandon that was considered by other students to be a bit too much.

This passion was a delicate flame within me when I was 14, a little older than Elissa, the protagonist of my novel, We Are the Song. Middle school was scary. Those who were weird or too loud or too much; they were left out, whispered about, laughed at. I was torn, then. Part of me wanted to live in bold colors, to wear my “hipster” hat to school, to be bold about my love for telling stories and reading books. But I was afraid, too; of the teasing, of being different, of getting side eye stares and jeers from the popular kids.