Friday, April 18, 2014

YA Movie Adaptations

It seems like every time we turn around, the next gigantic blockbuster is based off some new, thrilling YA book trilogy that people can't stop talking about. The Hunger Games finale is being split into two movies, and Divergent is killing it at the theaters, so it's looking pretty likely that it'll get renewed for the next installments  and it's been decided Allegiant will be split into two movies. Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series is dominating shelves now, and it may be next up in line for a movie deal.

As far as stand-alones are concerned, John Green is the big talk with The Fault in Our Stars premiering in June and his book Paper Towns just got up for a movie proposition as well. Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park won everyone over, and she announced the movie news this week (also, check out this super gorgeous girl and her sister, who did a photo shoot of one of them, who looks straight up like Eleanor and is gorgeous and people should see her)

But it's not just teenagers hitting up these theaters getting the box office up, and it's not just teenagers getting the hype up for the books so they're even made into movies anyway. It's becoming more and more of a thing for adults (or those pretending to be adults) to be reading YA. And true, I still feel a little weird reading them out in public, which is a whole other thing. So what's with the YA movie becoming so popular? And why can't we just let a movie be a movie?

First, I'll address the YA popularity in the theaters. Whether "grown-ups" like it or not, the fact is that YA books are HELLA more creative now. True, there are still some kick ass adult fiction books out there that deserve more attention, but as a whole, there isn't another genre that is pumping out this many innovative and deserving books. And while I'm about burned out on the dystopian books, there is still so much going on with movies and technology now that these alternate worlds give filmmakers the chance to do some hardcore experimenting with special effects, costumes, and makeup that they might not have had the chance to do with something else.


Second, the double movies. While TFiOS isn't a series, and Paper Towns is not a part of it, I don't think it needs to be a movie. One is enough. STOP. I mean, I'm super excited for the TFiOS movie (holla at ya' nerdfighters!), and remember that time the trailer almost broke YouTube the day it premiered? However, I do not want all his books to be movies. If people want the story, there's this crazy thing you do with books called READING THEM.

And SERIOUSLY?! Hollywood, stop milking us for more money, I do not want all my movies to end in a two-part finale.


Harry Potter (though, admittedly, they did really well with this one, and there was simply too much to fit it into one movie), the Hunger Games, and now Divergent? There is not enough that happens to warrant almost 6 hours of movie time for these endings. I don't even think it took me 6 hours to READ the entirety of Mockingjay. We're not stupid, Hollywood. We're aware you're trying to make more money. This won't make me go to the theaters. I wait for DVDs thank you very much.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Open Road Summer

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Walker
Pages: 342
Keywords: music, celebrities, road trip
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Get It: Book Depository
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind, and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.
Here it is. I know, I know, basically everyone's just saying OHMYGODSOGOODREADITNOW. And yep. That's what I'm going to do, too. :)

I'm going to start with the characters. So we've got Dee, the actual star, the country music singer/songwriter who is going on tour. Then there's Reagan, the actual MC of the story, Dee's best friend who is always getting in trouble and heading down the wrong path who goes on tour with her over the summer. And Matt Finch. (NOTE TO ANYONE WHO HAS THEM. I SWEAR IF SOMEONE SENDS ME ONE OF THOSE MATT FINCH BUTTONS AND/OR TOUR SHIRTS I WILL DIE OF HAPPINESS. AND THAT'S WHAT I WANT. THANKS.)

It could so easily have been told from Dee's point of view, from struggling to maintain a regular lifestyle among all this craziness of touring and traveling and managing a career. But it wasn't. I absolutely loved that it was told from Reagan's point of view, and that she wasn't a pissed off friend who was mad about her friend's fame. This was such a good, genuine friendship that YA seems to be lacking in. They had some rough patches, but it wasn't so much that made them not be friends. It was actual friendship, and I was so thankful for that because a lot of times this aspect seems to be missing and skipped over in a quest for romance in books. Which is dumb. Because this was great.

Next order of business, the actual happening. The fact that the story was told mostly in the in-betweens of touring was phenomenal. It wasn't focused on the shows or the fame or the popularity of what was happening, but rather we saw Dee and Matt before the show and after the show, dealing with real fans and not just the screaming ones while they were on stage.

And lastly, Matt Finch. I loved that he wasn't shy about who he was or what he wanted. Like, THANK YOU, Emery Lord. For finally giving readers a guy who can say what he wants and be fine with it and not have 2 people super angry at each other until the last chapter when all the sudden, they realize they are the SUN, MOON, and STARS. I mean, really? NO. This was so genuine and honest and a true representation of feels, and I was so happy with the way their relationship progressed normally, like an actual relationship between actual humans rather than a 12-day period where they decide they can't spend a moment apart.

Read When: Basically just go read it now. That's it. There's nothing else to it. But it's especially good outside with some lemonade. (OOO I just brainstormed my next Friday Book Drinks :)
Read When
Read When

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This Is Not a Drill

GIVE ME MORE.

I mean, I definitely don't blog to get books. I blog because I genuinely love reading and talking about them. But about ten seconds ago, I discovered a new book that comes out in September.

GUYS. 

Scott Westerfeld. New book. This is not a drill.
I am so excited I cannot wait for September. Like, at all. So here are some things about the book because I just can't contain my excitement for it all. Also the modern cover looks so cool!
*Whispers quietly to self* Please let it miraculously appear on my shelf. Please let it miraculously appear on my shelf.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lovely, Dark and Deep

Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara
Publication Date:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 352
Keywords: grief, car accident, healing
Format Read: Hardcover from publisher in exchange for honest review (thank you!)
Get It: Book Depository
Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.
Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her.
I received this a while ago for review, and I really can't remember why I finally decided to pick it up. I think because the cover was so pretty. But regardless, it's genuinely one of the best books I've read all year, and instantly made my favorites list.

It was a story about Wren's grief and how she is dealing with the event after it happened. She runs, she sleeps, and she is generally trying to cope on her own and constantly feels pressure from her parents to get out and meet new people and try to move on. But she's not ready. And I thought this was a phenomenally realistic description of the struggle through grief.

I was also a big fan of the relationships and friendships in this book too. No instalove, no instafriends, long term relationships that took work and talking and progression in a normal fashion. Her parents were also involved in the relationship and healing process, so I felt like I actually understood her relationship with her family.

In addition, Wren is a photographer, and she is currently struggling with getting involved again in her art and her process of doing so. This was also not a super popular thing I've read in a lot of YA stuff (although I just finished Open Road Summer, and she's a photographer in that one, too). I enjoyed how different it was, and that it didn't solely revolve around that, but instead, it was on her return to it, which was a refreshing change.

And the writing. Beautiful. I've posted this photo a couple places, but I took it because I just loved the paragraph. It was so real, so raw, and I loved every minute of it.



Read When: NOW. Basically just go read it now. That's it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Book Drinks (4)

First honesty claim, the below picture is not mine. I got so excited when I made this I forgot to take a picture of the one I made, and then it was gone and I was sad! :) So you can take it from there that it was pretty tasty. I got this recipe from Dine & Dish, and that's where the photo came from, too.
This week's drink: Friday Night Coffee Cocktail!

It's super simple, just mix the liquors together and pour in your hot coffee! I used Seattle's Best #4 (I used to work at a Seattle's Best in Borders, before they had the stupid numbers. Basically this was Six Avenue blend. It's pretty dark roast but with a bolder flavor rather than a smoky one). And here's their photo paired with the book I'm pairing it with!


I recently raved about this book because it's amazing, and I chose it for one main reason. In the book, these two friends communicate via a late-night radio show along with other people like a lonely elderly woman, a middle-aged man who thinks he's from the future, and other super interesting characters. This late night radio show is something that is pivotal to the movement of the book, and what's a late night without a little spiked coffee?

(For my under-21 audience, something you can do for your coffee is to add about an ounce of cream of coconut to a glass, pour in a little milk to get it all mixed up, and then pour in your hot coffee. Some shops even sell irish creme flavor if you want to try that to add a little kick to your drink!)

What do you think about this week's Friday Book Drinks?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pointe

Pointe by Brandy Colbert
Publication Date: April 10, 2014
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 352
Keywords: dance, eating disorder, drugs
Format Read: ARC from author/publisher in exchange for honest review (thank you!)
Get It: Book Depository
Theo is better now.
She's eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.
Donovan isn't talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn't do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she's been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.
I'm not sure what I thought this book was going to be, but after having read it, I can safely say it was not what I expected at all. In one of the best ways possible. For those of you who don't know, I refrain from reading descriptions or the backs of books because I liked to be genuinely surprised, so I think going into this book, I just thought it was going to be a dance book with some heavy competition. It was full of so much more.

The whole plot line with her best friend going missing and then coming back was a shocker. I was not expecting that, and it threw me for a loop. The book had a much more serious tone than I thought, and it really discussed the blurred definition of rape and the victims of it. And it was interesting and heartbreaking to read the story from the point of view that we see, and Colbert does an excellent job of bringing these issues to light.

I also loved the character development, not only Theo's, but some sideline characters as well. They had depth and feeling, and they weren't just flat characters there for the sake of adding other people into the story. Theo evolved over the course of the novel, and I loved watching her perceptions and thoughts change as she learned more about herself, her past, and Donovan's experience.

Read When: You're in the mood for something darker, something that makes you think and wonder and feel. It's a good one.

"Ballet is such a universal, recognizable art form, that people always think they know more about it than they do."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Say Goodbye in Robot

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 276
Keywords: high school, radio, misfits
Read When:
Format Read: ARC
Get It: Book Depository
New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It's not romance, exactly - but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom - and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?
This was one of the weirdest, greatest, most poignant, honest books I've read in a while, and I'm confused as to why more people haven't picked it up. After Jamie at the Perpetual Page-Turner raved about it, I dug it out of my ARC stack (I got it so long ago and never got around to reading it) and read it in about a day. Actually, I read it on my ONLY spring break day that was sunny and warm enough to sit on the back porch. The other days it snowed. :(

I immediately loved it right at the beginning when Beatrice's mother called her a robot because she didn't cry over a dead gerbil (or hamster? I can't remember), so she bent over it and started pretending to grieve in robot. I LOVE THAT. Basically Beatrice was this odd, honest, real girl, and I want to be best friends with her. She dealt with moving a lot, had some family things going on she didn't quite understand, and she was very accepting of her friendship with Jonah (Ghost Boy) throughout the novel. I loved that she accepted things for what they were and didn't push anything to be something it wasn't. She wasn't dramatic or girly or whiny, she was just herself, and I praise Standiford for giving readers someone so cool to read about.

There were so many interesting pieces of this book, but one I loved most was the night radio show Jonah and Beatrice communicated through. At first, it was tentative, and they were hesitant to do it. But, as the book went on, they started meeting others who called in, and the set up of the show was amazing, just giving people who were lonely someone to talk to and somewhere to escape to for an hour each evening.

This book was SO WEIRD and SO WONDERFUL. I'm already recommending it to certain friends because I know they will absolutely adore it. And you all will, too!

Read When: This was a really good outdoor read. It was quirky and fun, and put me in such a happy mood about myself. So if you're down about anything, this was such a thoughtful book, it should put you in a better place.

On another note, I'm not a big fan of pink. Just, ew. BUT, I adore this cover. It's simple and quirky, and it fits so well with the whole feel of the book. And I'm a huge fan of the typeface as well. 

This was a picture I took because the supposed apocalypse is my birthday! Also, this is a dialogue of one of the callers of the radio show explaining where he'll be when the apocalypse happens.

 
Read When:
Read When:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thoughts on Rereading

One of my good friends does an annual rereading of her favorites — namely, the Harry Potter series. I mean, I've read my fair share of Harry Potter. But as far as rereading books go? I don't do it very often. Or ever, really.

The thing is, I just have so many other books to get to. I mean, have you seen my TBR shelf? It's overflowing. Literally. Like, I cannot contain the amount of books I still have to read.



And I do like reading new books. I don't feel like it's out of some sense of obligation that I read the books on my TBR. I genuinely want to get to them. I've just never been much of a rereader as far as my old favorites go. But there have been some books I have recently missed and wanted to revisit.

I haven't picked up my copies of Mediator in a long time, and I'm really wanting to reignite my love for Jesse deSilva. I have the old paperback copies of these, and my friends and I passed them around to read, so they're full of little penciled in notes to each other and little heart doodles next to certain passages and underlinings of great passages. I love them so much because they are worn and beat up and have so many great memories, but I also love them because they were some of my favorite books to read.

Another one I want to pick up again is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It's one of my favorites, and I've only read it once. It's a haunting mystery story-within-a-story puzzle. And there's so much going on in it, and I was shocked by the beauty and surprise at the end, and I want to reread because I feel like it will give me a whole new perspective on the story from the beginning and I may notice things I hadn't before.

My big question is do you take the time to revisit favorites? Or are you like me and just read them once? Should I try rereading? I'm nervous I'm not going to like them as much as I remembered.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Far From You

Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 384
Keywords: murder, mystery, drugs
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Get It: Book Depository
Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.
The first time, she's fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that will take years to kick.
The second time, she's seventeen, and it's no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina's murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.
After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina's brother won't speak to her, her parents fear she'll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina's murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared.


This was one of those books that I had absolutely no idea what it was about before I started reading it. Total blindness heading in.

So when I began a story about a drug addict in rehab coping with the death of her best friend, I was a little shocked. And quite frankly, impressed.

Even with the drug addict story line, the story is so much more than a murder mystery. It is well thought out, meaning I definitely understood why Sophie took things into her own hands and didn't tell the police what she was working on. Sophie's voice was believable and unique, and her struggle was real and emotional, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
There was also something about the love triangle (not your average triangle either) that was incredibly realistic. About the pain, the struggle, and the hardships that love and friendship can have on people, whether they are good or bad results.

I was also definitely surprised by the ending. By the time I realized what was going on, it was about three sentences before Mina knew and it was too late for me to shout at her to stop what she was doing and run away. So that was excellent. I love being surprised by books. And though I was still a little confused at the end with a few of the explanations and character relationships, I accepted how things unfolded and was fine with it at the end of the novel. I was just so excited it wasn't anything I thought it would be before. (Seriously, book surprises are the best)

Read When: You are looking for a solid mystery that also has a lot of deep, complex emotional moments. This isn't a light beach read, so be prepared folks. You're going to want to pay attention to this one.


A little more about my thoughts on the cover. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it doesn't fit with what the story is actually about. To me, it seems like a summer romance cover with something that goes a little awry, what with the broken light there toward the bottom. But this book was no light-hearted summer romance. It was heavy. It was deep. And that was refreshing. This cover's beautiful, but it doesn't make me think of the book at all having actually finished it at this point.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monthly Wrap Up — March

So the big thing this month is that I got a Tumblr! You should check it out, there are a ton of beautiful photos of books and libraries that I've been finding, and basically I'm just drooling over all of them.


     




Instagram Likes


This was my favorite quote I came across in books this month, and possibly one of my favorite passages of all time. It is from Amy McNamara's "Lovely, Dark and Deep."


That's it for the month! I hope to be picking up soon, because I feel like I didn't read a whole lot or comment on blogs a lot, but school has been CRAZY. Last semester, and I graduate May 10. Did I also mention I got into the Disney College Program? So if I'm not hired for a publishing job (*wink*wink* publishers I'm looking at you!), I will be heading to Orlando on May 19!
 
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