It’s kind of funny that I’ve ended up being a high school librarian, because when I was a teenager, I didn’t even read YA. I remember reading some Cynthia Voigt in about fifth grade, but that’s it. I was in an accelerated program through middle and high school, so I went from Roald Dahl and Babysitter’s Club to The Perfect Storm and Shakespeare. After all of the required reading in high school, I simply went on to read adult novels and non-fiction in college. So I just never really dipped my toe in the pool of YA. Until now! In the last five years, I’ve been able to find out what I was missing out on. YA has really become such a strong part of best-selling fiction now, and I can see why. The books I read are so well written and full of heart, that I see why they appeal not just to 15-18 year olds, but to adults, too. Check out this article to see my point. Three of the best-selling books this year were YA, and two were written by YA god John Green. I heard somewhere that his book Paper Towns will be turned into a movie, so I’m looking forward to see if lightning can strike twice, not to mention how cool it will be to see Orlando on the big screen (I’m a native Floridian).
If you haven’t read the Maze Runner series by James Dashner, or even just the first novel, hurry– you have until September, because that’s when the movie adaptation is slated to come out in theaters. Watch the trailer here and GET EXCITED! I just finished the second book in the series last night, and boy, was that a nail-biter. The first book feels like another Hunger Games when you start out, but the twist at the end hooks you, and that’s what brought me back. The Maze Runner was a Florida Teen Read selection a couple of years ago, and I make it part of my job to read all 15 titles every year, but only really special books bring me back to read the rest of the series (it seems like 90% of the titles become series). This series is super action-packed, and the second one is downright macabre. It looks like the movie is really well done and will do the book justice. I hope it brings more fans to the book series!
If you haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green yet, odds are you’re not a teenager or YA librarian. But you’ve probably heard of it by now if you’re any kind of bibliophile because the hype it has been getting is phenominal. It helps that the movie adaption is coming out in June (watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/9ItBvH5J6ss). But listen- the hype is actually TOTALLY WORTH IT! If you’ve read any of John Green’s books before, then you know his style and voice already, and this book stays true to his typical form. The teens are smart and witty, and maybe a little hyper-literate compared to your average teen, but that’s ok because I know plenty of sharp teens who want to read books about other smart teens and won’t settle for schlock. The catch here, which you already know if you’ve read the book or just watched the trailer, is that these teens are dealing with terminal illness. Boom. Is it heart-wrenching? Absolutely! But I felt so refreshed reading this book because at least it feels true to life and it shows that not every YA book has to end tied up in a cute little bow.
If you’re sick of dystopian action triologies (and even I am a little bit, and that’s my favorite genre!), then I implore you to give this book a shot. I don’t care if you’re over 18, I promise it’s a worthwhile read.
Heck, I loved the book so much I painted my library to match it:
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
I’m also ashamed to admit this, but I only just found out today that Hazel Grace is based off of a real girl:
Sadly, Esther has passed away, but at least her legacy will live on in some way through the book and now the movie.
READ IT, PLEASE!
I saw Saving Mr. Banks Christmas night, and I’ll admit I was really pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. To be frank, I thought it would be corny, Christmas fluff, but I was impressed with the depth and it got me intrigued with learning more about P.L. Travers, the author of the original Mary Poppins books. I remember watching the Disney movie as a kid and just being entranced with Julie Andrews. I thought she was so beautiful and simply the epitome of class and sophistication.
So it was interesting to learn that she was based on a real person, Travers’ aunt, who came in to help out her family during a particularly dark time in their lives. As soon as we got out of the movie, I started looking up information on Travers to see how accurate the movie was. And besides leaving out anything alluding to her dating women, ahem, the movie really did a good job covering her childhood and adult life and interaction with Walt Disney.
Give the movie a shot- I think you’ll be just as pleased with it as I was.