Friends! I am doing a happy dance today because Goodreads just sent out their new YA newsletter…featuring moi!
And let’s be friends on Goodreads while you’re at it, pretty please!
How fun is this?!
I’m traveling a lot for work these days and have to tell you: The best thing about it is honestly all the reading time I get in.
Truly, how do people travel if they don’t read?! Don’t they go crazy from all that WAITING if they don’t have a book to keep them occupied!?!?!?!
I just got 300 pages in to a new book on a flight today — Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave (spoiler alert: IT IS AMAZING). See! Look at all that quality reading! Here’s what I have with me…
…what should I read next?
All physical copies, I know! Usually I’m a Kindle girl when I travel, but here are my thoughts on that:
PROS: Lightweight, plenty of options if you do not like the book you’re reading, only need one
CONS: Cannot read them during takeoff/landing periods, if it busts you’re out of luck
Yeah, the lightweight bit is awesome, but the cons are VERY serious cons. What if you’re at a good part right when the flight attendants tell you to put the book away!? TORTURE!
And the risk of it breaking is not one I’m willing to take anymore. Not after a certain incident in which I started out a long beach vacation to the Bahamas like this…
And one misplaced lean the wrong way later…ended up with a cracked, broken Kindle and NO books for the rest of the trip. NIGHTMARE!
What are you thoughts? How do you like to travel with books?
Heyyyyy look it’s me and Jennifer E. Smith, aka one of my most favorite authors!
I met her this week at a signing in her hometown just outside of Chicago on the day of her latest book’s release. Things you should know:
1. She was delightful.
2. Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Milk is working on the screenplay of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight as we speak. AHHHH! Read more about that here.
3. Her next novel is about two teenagers who meet when they get stuck in an elevator during a blackout. Okay, I am SO in.
It was a lovely night, and I’m so glad we got a chance to chat — she was on my Top 5 list of authors I’m still dying to meet. Check check check it off! Now, it’s your turn to get in on the fun. I am giving away SIGNED galley copies of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This Is What Happy Looks Like.
Check it out!
Friends — and we are friends, right? — please tell me you have seen The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I realized I hadn’t posted about this fan-freakin’-tastic web series on the blog yet, and today I am going to try to write that wrong by telling you that you MUST check out this YouTube channel.
Okay, so what is it? The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, AKA my favorite book of all time, AKA a book you should all have read and loved by now. Oh, and it was originally funded by Hank Green aka author John Green’s brother.
In the series, Lizzie is a 20-something grad student living at home. She makes the series with her best friend, Charlotte Liu, and her two sisters (yes, two) fashion-lovin’, kind Jane and wild, fun Lydia make frequent appearances. When Jane meets and falls for Bing Lee (HAHAHA, Bingley, get it?), their world gets dramatic and Lizzle meets, of course, Darcy.
There have been many, many adaptations of P&P over the years (Colin Firth version, Keira Knightley version, Bridges Jones’s Diary, Bride and Prejudice, Prom and Prejudice … I could go on). And while I love almost every adaptation of the book that I have read or seen, I have to say…THIS MIGHT BE THE BEST ONE YET.
Why? First, the secondary characters really shine. (Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read P&P. If you haven’t, OMG get thee to a library!) Charlotte is strong, and you come to realize why she chooses to accept Collins’ proposal (in this case, a job proposal, not a wedding proposal). And Collins’ is actually, well, a bit more affable and tolerable. Jane and Lydia have a sisterly friendship that stands on its own. Caroline Lee (Bing’s sister) is a richer and more complex character. Gigi (Georgiana Darcy) is stronger and sweeter than ever and is actually a huge Lizzie/Darcy shipper.
Plus, they’re diverse and smart and surprisingly layered for web characters. It’s so fun to see how the series’ authors twist and turn Austen’s work to fit into modern times: Pemberly is Darcy’s digital company Lizzie goes to shadow, not his estate; Wickham threatens to put a sex tape of him and Lydia up on the web, rather than running away with her to ruin her; etc.
The twists actually allow for a lot of suspense, despite the fact that we know exactly where this story is leading. For example, there’s TONS of suspense on when you will FINALLY get to meet Darcy (something like 30 episodes in), which makes his reveal all the much sweeter (when you do meet him, don’t worry — he grows on you, just like he grows on Lizzie).
Okay, I could go on. I just love this series SO MUCH. So click above to see the first episode, then follow the playlist from there. Just be warned: It’s addictive, and we’re 80+ episodes in…so prepare to be sucked into the world of Miss Lizzie Bennet!
I’m sure you’re all familiar with Veronica Roth’s book Divergent. But did you know it’s being made into a film scheduled for release in March 2014?
I sure did, as it’s going to be filmed in the city it is set in: sweet home Chicago. We love having movies and TV shows filmed here (right now Chicago Fire is filming a lot at a bar down the block from me, a few summers ago Batman took over the area around my office, etc.)
And, so well…I figured it was about time I got in on the action…AND I WENT TO THE OPEN CASTING CALL!
I’ve always wanted to be an extra in a movie, and what better movie than one based on a YA novel, am I right? Plus, Kate Winslet is in it! I don’t know who she’s playing yet (Shailene Woodley is Tris), but, I mean, AMAZING, no?
So anyway, here’s what happened: I got there at 9:30 a.m. It was a half-hour before the door opened, and I was already #340 in line. Yikes! But, apparently, there were MORE THAN A THOUSAND people who got in line behind me, so I can’t complain.
(That’s the long line AFTER I left — all those people must have been frozen. It still wrapped around the block!)
After an hour shivering outside in the cold, I made my way into casting where I filled out paperwork (do other people just know their waist and hip sizes off the top of their heads or was I just THAT unprepared?). People with visible tattoos or piercings and military and combat experience got sorted, and the rest of us waited in yet another line.
A member of the casting agency came by, looked us all over head-to-toe, one-by-one, then either starred our paperwork or didn’t. Apparently the stars mean “they liked your look,” but who knows. I got starred and sorted into a new line. A nice woman asked me if I was willing to cut or dye my hair for the movie, and in a panic I said something along the lines of “Maybe. I don’t know. Yes? Maybe? YES!” (though I have never dyed my hair in my life). That seemed to have been the correct response, and I was ushered on to get my photo taken.
After seeing the mark on the paper, the photographer asked me to pose “like a hippie,” then to give an “adorable” look to the camera “like you’re on Little House from the Prairie.”
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
My best guess: I had an Amity look about me? My personal motto is “work hard and be nice.” But who knows. I probably looked a fool on the pictures I was so thrown for a loop.
Anyhoo, now we wait! Filming starts in April, so I’ll let you know if I get called in to be an extra. AHHHH!