I’ve been thinking a lot lately about books that would make great TV shows, so here we go:
Series: HOUSE OF NIGHT by P. C. & Kirsten Cast
Why it would make a great TV series:
Just look at that picture. Clearly, there’s gonna be a lot of hot guys and drama (the third book, which the quote above is from, is a total drama mess, but in a good way). Plus, the series is really long, so that would mean a ton of seasons. The characters all stand out in their own ways, too, which is also great for a TV series. (also Team Erik yeah!)
Series: THE IVY by Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur
Why it would make a great TV series:
Again, DRAMA. These books are kind of like the college edition of Mean Girls with a bit of The Social Network thrown in. Every book ends on a serious cliffhanger, and right from the start I could see these books on screen.
Series: STRANGE ANGELS by Lili St. Crow
Why it would make a great TV series:
I really enjoyed Strange Angels when I read it on a whim last year. I’d had an ARC of it for a while, but the cover was so embarrassing I’d never really given it a chance. St. Crow took me on a really wild ride with a great, ultra bad-ass heroine who would do well on screen, too. I can totally see Joss Whedon directing a TV show of this book because of the strong female lead and all the fun paranormal stuff. Sure, it’s got werewolves and vampires, but Lili St. Crow made them cool again.
Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.
That was all before she turned fourteen.
Now, at sixteen, it’s over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano — on her own terms. But when you’re used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?
Fans of Jessica Martinez’s Virtuosity will love Sara Zarr’s latest release. The Lucy Variations is a beautiful story about music, love, and learning to forgive. This is definitely Zarr’s best book since Story of a Girl, which I loved, but since the writing still wasn’t exactly where I think she can go, so that’s why I’m only giving this book a three.
I’m really not sure how to review this book because the subject matter is so personal for me, but I’ll give it a go anyway.
This wasn’t necessarily the best music book I’ve ever read, or the best Sara Zarr book, but what it does have going for it is the true-ness of the emotion behind it. Zarr does a great job at capturing what it feels like to be a young musician in high-pressure situations. While I never had as much musical pressure to deal with as Lucy, I still know enough to be able to say with authority that Lucy’s struggles are something that many musicians go through. Maintaining your love of music can be difficult at times when pressure starts mounting, and you can lose sight of what you love about music, as Lucy certainly did. So that part of the book worked.
I noticed on Goodreads that a lot of reviewers were “very put-off” by Lucy’s “obsession” with older men and by Will’s interest in her. I actually thought Lucy’s attraction to older men made sense, since that was who she’s always been around, and it could be one way for her to rebel. Plus, some girls just like older guys. It’s a personal thing, and it added to our understanding of Lucy as a character. I think sometimes with books, readers get too caught up in judging particular parts of a character and think of that one thing as their defining characteristic So there’s that too.
Basically, my disappointment in the book had nothing to do with plot, but with the writing. For some reason I kept thinking about how much more powerful it could’ve been if certain other writers had written the same story, or if the Sara Zarr who wrote Story of a Girl had written it. I guess with this particular topic, I was expecting more raw emotion and lyricism from the writing, so I didn’t love the book as much as I thought I would.
In general though, I did like The Lucy Variations and would certainly recommend it to fellow book and music lovers. –faith in Sara Zarr restored slightly–
Title: Pretty Girl-13
Author: Liz Coley
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity.
Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she’s returned home…only to find that it’s three years later and she’s sixteen-or at least that’s what everyone tells her.
What happened to the past three years of her life?
Angie doesn’t know.
But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren’t locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her “alters.” As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?
Holy Jesus and all the little cherubs what the hey did I just read?! This book is so wonderfully wacky in all the right ways, and I’m still reeling from its awesomeness. This book has left me creeped out, disturbed, and awed by Liz Coley’s immense talent.
I honestly meant to go to sleep at a decent hour the night I started reading this, but when I started Pretty Girl-13, I just couldn’t stop and read it in one sitting. This book is gripping, suspenseful, and emotional. It will have you crying and laughing and swearing (I was doing that last one in my head throughout basically the entire thing). It will make you want to leave the light on when you go to sleep because Coley does such a good job at creating a disturbingly believable story. I can understand why some readers may not find Coley’s story believable, but after doing a paper on Dissociative Identity Disorder, I can tell you it’s actually pretty realistic.
Even though at times Pretty Girl-13 is extremely upsetting, it will captivate you from the first page and make you want more when it’s over. This book gave me so many feels it was unbelievable. Some of the emotional punches are painful and hard to take, but it’s completely worth your while to battle through and read the whole book. I haven’t read such an emotional book in a while, and I know it will haunt me for a long time.
I hereby order you to drop what you’re doing and read Pretty Girl-13. It’s beautiful and strange and achingly raw, but hopeful at the same time. Liz Coley, you have made it to the top of my favorite author list. I can’t wait to be wowed again by your work soon (*hint hint*).
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can’t wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I’m particularly excited for…
Fire for Fire by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.
Not even close.
For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.
And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.
It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…
Oh my god it has a release date and a cover now!!! Burn for Burn was, if I may say so without seeming like a sadist, a fun read, and I’ll definitely be buying the sequel, Fire With Fire, when it’s released as well. Burn for Burn ended on such a major cliffhanger, and that was after a paranormal-ish element had been thrown in, so I was really upset when it ended. I’m also excited to read the sequel because it’s pretty long at 518 pages, so I hope that means Han & Vivian will be amping up the drama even more. The Burn for Burn series is a great set of escapist reads that I plan to stick with until the final installment of the trilogy, Ashes to Ashes. Every once in a while you need a mean girls book, and I’m sure I’ll be ready for another one on September 3rd when Fire for Fire comes out!
Title: Love and Other Perishable Items
Author: Laura Buzo
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Love is awkward, Amelia should know.
From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It’s problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, is 15.
Amelia isn’t stupid. She knows it’s not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia’s crush doesn’t seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?
*CAUTION: CONTAINS SPOILERS*
I really, really wanted to like this book. I was so excited about it when I first read the summary, and I thought it would be cool and unique. I guess it was a little different, but it wasn’t what I had been expecting or hoping it would be. I thought from the summary that Amelia and Chris would actually try their relationship out, and that would be what the book was about, but it was basically about Amelia hopelessly mooning over Chris and Chris hopelessly mooning over Kathy, Michaela, and…well, a lot of girls, really. I just really wanted the book to be about something other than what it was, and that has probably affected my opinion of it a bit.
In addition to the plot disappointment, I was also disappointed that I didn’t feel connected to either of the narrators. I think Amelia was too young for me and seemed young even for fifteen, but then again, I was kind of a weird fifteen-year-old, so I don’t know what’s normal-seeming. I liked that she talked about books a lot, and could certainly see the connection between Great Expectations and her own life, but sometimes when she spoke, she didn’t come off as all that smart to me. I may also be judging her a little harshly because of her ridiculous comment about feminism ruining her mother’s life (thank God Chris tried to school her on that. There’s one point for him). Who knows.
I didn’t care for Chris very much either. He was kind of whiny and didn’t treat women all that nicely. From Amelia’s perspective, I could understand why she was into him, but from my own, I didn’t like him. He spends too much time wallowing over Michaela, who didn’t sound that special to begin with, then he has sex with girls he doesn’t care about, kisses Amelia, hurts her, and then moves to Japan. I also wasn’t sold on his moving to Japan thing, because there wasn’t really an explanation for why he did it, unless I missed it.
I also didn’t really like the dual-perspectives thing. I’m not really sure why we needed Chris’s perspective. It kind of annoyed me that we would go through a few months with Amelia, then rewind and do the same thing with Chris. I think it would have worked better if they were actually dating, or if he was thinking about her more than he was, but as it stands, I didn’t think the dual perspectives accomplished much.
The thing that kept this book from being a 2 for me was the humor in it and the discussions of literature. Buzo does do a good job at creating snappy dialogue, and I liked listening to (okay, reading) Amelia’s passionate conversations about books, because that is definitely something I can relate to. I think Laura Buzo has potential to be a funny, engaging writer, but Love and Other Perishable Items just didn’t do it for me.
Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog, The Broke and the Bookish, as they are particularly fond of lists over there. All they ask is participants link back to the site to share their lists with fellow bloggers. Check out The Broke and the Bookish for details on this great weekly feature!
Here are my favorite covers from books I’ve read. I didn’t like all of these books, but some of the covers were just too cool to skip over.
1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
It’s fitting that my favorite cover of all time should belong to one of my favorite series. This gorgeous cover hides an equally gorgeous story that’ll have you up all night.
2. The Unquiet – Jeannine Garsee
I was worried that this ghost story couldn’t live up to the amazing cover, but Jeannine Garsee definitely delivered, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from her.
3. Imaginary Girls – Nova Ren Suma
I’m cheating a bit with this one, because I haven’t actually finished it yet. But I did buy it for $3 at a book fair earlier this year, so I’ll probably read the rest of it eventually.
4. Shiver – Maggie Steifvater
I hated this book, and still don’t understand what everyone thinks is so great about it. What I do think is great about it is the cover, with the blue leaves, black type, and single enticing dot of red.
5. The Selection – Kiera Cass
I know, I know…it’s a girl in a dress. But it’s such a stunning girl in a dress that I had to include it.
6. Crewel – Gennifer Albin
When books have covers this pretty, I worry it’s to hide the not-so-great story inside. This was certainly not the case with Gennifer Albin’s Crewel. So excited to see her next weekend at BEA!
7. Marcelo in the Real World – Francisco X. Stork
This is a moving, unique story with a great, eye-catching cover to advertise it. I love covers with stars, but this is probably my favorite in that category.
8. Incarnate – Jodi Meadows
I still can’t decide if I liked this book or not, but I know I adore the cover. It’s hard to imagine, but the sequel, Asunder (which isn’t available in any library in my state! Help!), is even prettier.
9. Splintered – A. G. Howard
This cover is actually even more vibrant in real life, and it contains an equally vibrant story. My favorite debut so far.
10. Wither – Lauren DeStefano
I do not like these books, yet somehow I made it through the whole series. Definitely not one of my finer life choices, but at least the covers were pretty cool. Yay for grungy girls in dresses.