Posts tagged 'books'
"We’re all so goddamned innocent and undeserving."
— Andrew Smith, 100 Sideways Miles
All four of these amazing books are out today, and of course we couldn’t resist taking a photo. You know we love our book stacks.
Four of my very favorite YA writers have new releases today! Gotta lock myself into the writing cave this weekend, but I will probably sneak these books in there with me. Reading breaks are vital to my process.
If you think I didn’t just buy these for minor ducets online so that my friends and I can enjoy them at our Fire Island house in three weeks, you don’t know me at all.
New Girl writer David Iserson’s hilariously funny novel about a rich girl forced to go to…shudder…public high school, Firecracker, is out in paperback next week! Which means it’s time for us to revisit some of Astrid Krieger’s best zingers. Seriously, it’s like Suri from Suri’s Burn Book wrote a novel, funny and inspired all at once.
Probably the funniest YA novel I’ve ever read, and the paperback cover is smokin’.
You know that quite-frankly-awful-looking Alex Pettyfer movie Endless Love that you (or at the very least, I) saw the trailer for in front of every movie from about July 2013 until February 2014 when it actually released? The one that looks both super cliche and also super confusing, like, what’s this movie about? Anyway, I never had any desire to see that movie, but I was always curious what it was about. Or, rather, what its story was. I kept wondering, is this a P.C. Andrews adaptation? A remake of some old movie I should know about but for some reason don’t? I did not think of the karaoke classic “Endless Love”, but perhaps I should have. I felt like I should get the cultural reference, if there was one to get, but I didn’t. Yesterday I saw a commercial for it in the airport (probably it’s on DVD now) and I finally looked it up on Wikipedia.
Sure enough, it’s a remake of a 1981 movie starring Brooke Shields and a bunch of other people—a Zefirelli movie, no less. Also, the song “Endless Love” was the theme to that 1981 movie. Who knew? Probably everyone but me.
Anyway, I also read on Wikipedia that the 1981 movie was based on a book by Scott Spencer, who I’d never heard of (sorry!). But a funny thing happened when started researching the book—apparently it is like one of the best books of its generation, lauded by the New York Times and nominated for the National Book Award. And I was like, hm…that seems odd. But it was enough to get me to start reading it, AND YOU GUYS IT IS SO SO SO SO GOOD. In fact, it’s great. Like super, mega, ultra great.
Endless Love THE BOOK is great the way that Atonement by Ian McEwan is great. Like it makes you feel so many feelings that you think the book might actually be trying to kill you by forcing your heart to explode. It is (as Wikipedia helpfully notes) pretty much nothing like either of the movies; the 1981 version is more faithful in that it shares more with the book than just the names of the principle characters (not so with the Alex Pettyfer version, not that you’re surprised by that), but the movie is definitely supposed to be a love story, and the book is definitely about guy who is being driven insane by love and “erotic passion”, as the author puts it in this Paris Review article.
But even though David (the narrator) is bonkers and also probably lying to you about a lot of stuff, he’s also deeply charming (at least, I find him so) and incredibly introspective in an elegant way that makes you want to keep reading even though he sometimes goes on a bit about things you’re not quite sure matter to the story (thanks, but I don’t care about garment unions circa 1970). And you (or, again, at least I) kind of want him to get the girl! I’m probably half in love with him.
I’m only about halfway done, but I can’t wait to get a moment this week to finish. Also, the book is set in Hyde Park (Chicago, where the University of Chicago is and where I used to live). How could I not love it?
(I know the 1981 movie was not that good, but how do you like that movie tie-in cover? Very sexy, I think.)
Our Twitter feed has been BLOWING UP with love for Nina LaCour’s Everything Leads to You from our favorite authors and bloggers! It comes out on Thursday, May 15th.
They’re all completely right on, this book is so great. So are Nina’s other novels, HOLD STILL and THE DISENCHANTMENTS. Really, you should just get them all right now. Beautiful and evocative and full of real emotion—an irresistible combination for me! Also, Nina’s wonderful, which is a lovely bonus.
I’ve been getting very into reading romance novels lately, for some reason (other than, you know, I love a great romance). Here’s a smattering of titles I’ve finished in the last two weeks or so. Just One Night is the third book in my buddy Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stilletto series, and it was just as great as After the Kiss and Love the One You’re With. I really enjoyed Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl series (Poe!!), so I downloaded her first new adult title, One & Only, written under the name Viv Daniels. I have to say that it had one of my favorite love interests in a long time, and the main character was strong and brainy, which I really liked.
One & Only led me to The Year We Fell Down, about a girl who can’t walk after an accident going to college and falling in love with her dorm neighbor, which I also loved—I’m really into the college-set new adult titles, as long as they’re not too melodramatic. This one struck just the right balance between light/fun/sexy and emotional.
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake was a suggestion from my good buddy Alex; I’m not super into Regency romances, generally speaking, but this one was fun! I’m about 85% into Flowers from the Storm, another Alex suggestion, and I’m SUPER INTO IT YOU GUYS. Alex said, “Like Outlander, it’s sort of a novel first, romance novel second,” and maybe that’s what I love so much about it. The cover is super eighties but that sort of adds to the fun of it. I’m actually truly concerned the hero and heroine won’t end up together (although that’s not allowed in romance, right? I don’t know the rules, but I hope that one is unbreakable!), and that makes me so sad. I can’t wait to go home tonight and finish.
Anyone got more romance novel suggestions for me? Drop them in my Ask box.
The boldness of love deserves the test of time.
Every time I see this image, I think Hazel is holding a kitten. And then I think, the only way this story could be better is the appearance of a kitten. And then I think, maybe I should get a kitten? And then I take a nap instead. That’s my life, guys. Glamo-R-Us.
So I’ve had sort of a rough year, writing-wise, one in which I felt incredibly untalented and incapable of writing something people would truly enjoy. The reasons for this are legion, but not worth getting into here. I hadn’t read my debut novel, All Unquiet Things, since 2009 and over the years have felt many different ways about it, but mostly dismissive, like, okay, it’s a debut novel and whatever, it’s not going to be my best work. And I don’t think it is (my best work is the novel that I’m currently working on, which I love so much it sometimes hurts), but I had dinner with a friend last week and she said that All Unquiet Things is her favorite of my books, that she’s read it many times and continues to love it, so that got me thinking, like, how bad could it really be?
So I just finished it and let me tell you, reading it was a funny experience. I thought I’d find much more that I would change now, given that it’s been five years, but I didn’t. I probably would’ve cut a swath through the adverbs and strengthened some things, but otherwise, it’s a pretty good approximation of what I was trying to do with the book. I was surprised at what I did and did not remember—there’s an entire character I basically forgot, but I remember almost all the dialogue verbatim—and how much I really liked it! It’s hard to go back and read things you wrote years and years ago, but I was pleasantly surprised at how strong I felt this book was, given everything.
I usually have one or two manuscripts I’m fiddling with at any given time, just to have some recreation from the book I’m seriously working on, and one of those manuscripts over the years has been a standalone sequel to All Unquiet Things called All Things Past. It takes place about a year after All Unquiet Things ends, and it starts with a growing romance between Audrey and Neily, which I’m sure most readers would not be into (one of the most common things I’ve seen people say about this book is that they’re glad Audrey and Neily don’t end up together at the end, which I agree with insofar as that’s not something that would’ve worked in this book), but which I’ve always seen as sort of the end game of their relationship. Their budding love is hijacked when Neily spots a girl who looks like Carly at a party and leaves Audrey (whom he has just kissed for the first time) to chase after her. He meets the girl and gets sort of drawn in by her and…well, that’s where the manuscript has always petered out (it’s quite short at the moment). I don’t really plan on writing it fully, or publishing it ever (pretty sure there’s not a market for it), but it’s always been fun to revisit these characters, because they are truly some of my favorites.