Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday Fun Post: Books I Want to See on Screen

Hey everyone, happy summer! As I'm finishing up my last few finals and heading into summer I am so excited to have the time to check off my list of books to read and movies to watch. I have been loving the recent trend of incredible book adaptions, such as the well loved Love, Simon and To All The Boys I've Loved Before. Since I am so excited for all of these new diverse films coming out, here are a few YA novels I would love to see on screen!

How to Make a Wish1) How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
I read this sweet, emotional, and heartwarming book a summer or two ago and fell in love with it and Blake's writing. This book is the perfect summer romance with deeper moments that would be incredible and beautiful as a movie. With scenes on beaches and lighthouses, as well as a subplot regarding piano and music, this book would translate incredibly to film, and if done right, could have a fantastic soundtrack and stunning cinematography. The main two girls chemistry and love, as well as the friendships and family relationships in this book are real and relatable. The book also discusses being bisexual and biracial, topics that are so very important to see up on screen, especially for younger kids who are desperate to see themselves represented. All in all, I love this book and I know this would be an incredible feel good, summer, and moving film I would rewatch many a time.

2) American Panda by Gloria Chao
American Panda
I read American Panda and reviewed it on here last year for TBF 2018 and absolutely adored it. And after meeting Gloria Chao and hearing her speak about the book I have been stuck on the idea of it as a film. So many teen stories focus on high school, and so this story set in Mei's first year of college would be so unique and interesting on screen. With the success of more diverse films recently I have been hoping for a story like Chao's to be picked up. With the incredible story of Mei's family struggles, of her romance, and of her love for dance, all of this would work so very well as a film, and would probably leave you both crying and joyful by the end. With wonderful characterization, an incredible setting and dance scenes, and just a good, complex and real story, this is a book I would drop everything to go seen an adaption of.

Everything Leads to You
3) Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour           
And last but certainly not least, we come to one of my all time favorite books. Since I first read this novel, and with every reread, I have been aching to see the news LaCour's book would be adapted. This is a book about young love and friendships, as well as a book all about the love of movies themselves, and would be a fantastic film. This book literally has it all, from the very well done and diverse characterization, the wonderful romance between the two main girls, to the scenes of Emi working on the sets for films and of the mystery element. When reading it I could picture the scenes in my head as beautiful shots in a movie and I know that the film would be beautiful to watch, with incredible cinematography, lighting and colors, and a very good soundtrack, as it deserves. After the love Love, Simon received, I think its about time for some queer girls to get to shine as well. In the end, this is a book that is meant to be a film and I will never shut up about it until it happens.

In the mean time, before these incredible books hopefully make it to the big or small screen, check them out below for some good summer reads, and incredible writing.

See you next month,

How to Make a Wish: amazon    barnes and noble    goodreads

American Panda: amazon    barnes and noble    goodreads

Everything Leads to You: amazon    barnes and noble    goodreads

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Book Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Hey everyone! Katie C. here with one another book review! This week, I'll be talking about Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

When Dean raced out the door to catch the school bus, he didn’t realize it would be the last time he’d ever see his mom. After a freak hailstorm sends the bus crashing into a superstore, Dean and a group of students of all ages are left to fend for themselves. 

They soon realize the hailstorm and the crash are the least of their worries. After seeing a series of environmental and chemical disasters ravage the outside world, they realize they’re trapped inside the store. 
Unable to communicate with the ones they love, the group attempts to cobble together a new existence. As they struggle to survive, Dean and the others must decide which risk is greater: leaving… or staying. 

This book is hands down my favorite apocalypse/dystopian story! Monument 14 takes an interesting idea, great characters, high stakes, a thrilling setting, and mashes it all together into one perfect book!

One thing that this book accomplishes better than a lot of other dystopian books I've read is the realism embedded in the conflict. Monument 14 takes place only a few years in the future, instead of hundreds or thousands, and it starts out while the world is still seemingly normal instead of right in the middle of when everything goes wrong. As a reader, this made the book so much more interesting because I could witness, along with the protagonist, Dean, everything go wrong as the story progressed.

In addition to above, another thing that really made this book stand out was the actions and decisions of all the characters stuck inside the superstore. Despite everyone being in the same situation, everyone's motivations and ideas on what to do next were different and sometimes even clashed. There were kids who wanted to take advantage of the situation and do whatever they desired, and kids who wanted to venture out of the super store to escape the town and get help, and kids who were too young to understand anything that was going on, and kids who were much older trying to unite everyone on the same path. These seemingly random people coming together under one extreme situation turned into a lot of tension and problems beyond whats going on outside that made this book impossible to put down!

Overall, I'd recommend Monument 14 to anyone who loves a good dystopian novel, but also to fans of Michael Grant and Suzanne Collins. I will say that this book has parts that get really dark and really graphic, so if you're not a fan of those types of stories, I'd pick up something else. But other than that, Monument 14 is one of the best books I've been introduced to while attending TBF and I highly, highly recommend you give it a read!

Until next time, happy reading! This is Katie C., signing off!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Book Review: Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Hello everyone, for this book review I read Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson. Many of you might know her widely acclaimed novel Speak, and this memoir/book of poems is its companion, recounting stories of her upbringing and past, as well as important topics such as sexual abuse and rape culture.

Shout explores a difficult and possibly uncomfortable topic, but it’s an important one. Stigma still surrounds rape and sexual abuse victims today, and normalizing the discussion of these topics in a serious and respectful manner is a step toward progress and a more open minded society. And this memoir does just that. I admire the author so much for sharing her story, and I appreciate how different and eye-opening this novel is- there is no glorified, rosy depiction of growing up, but a powerful story of struggle, pain, and resilience. While these experiences are not universal, this memoir really imparts that for some people, these tragedies, struggles, and trauma that we often only read or hear about is their reality. And this book is for those people especially- the author writes “for the kids the world doesn’t want to see," creating a story and a sense of solidarity with those who need it the most.

It was also fascinating reading the events of the author's childhood and teenage years- she didn’t grow up too far from where I live, and the 1970s doesn’t seem like that long ago, but society then seems so different, at least in my perspective. It’s pretty interesting since we recently studied the 1970s in U.S. History, and many of the events- the Watergate scandal, the Three Mile Island accident, etc.- are referenced. Experiences from her adulthood are also described, and it really imparts how many years it has been and how far society, education, and attitudes have progressed, but also how so much still needs to be done.

Shout expresses an important message- of solidarity, surviving, and advocating for oneself- that is especially relevant today, and is an emotionally moving and powerful memoir that everyone would benefit from reading. Anderson's first novel, Speak, has reached and helped countless readers throughout the years and I have no doubt that Shout will do the same.