Thoughts on the Delirium Pilot

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About a year ago, hospital the pilot for a TV show called Delirium, cheapest based on the best selling trilogy by Lauren Oliver, hit the desks of someone important somewhere and that important someone took a pass.

And I was fairly disappointed. Let me be clear on this: I’m not a massive fan of the Delirium trilogy. I think it has a great concept but it was not played out well over three books. I was very disappointed in the finale book and I thought that a TV show could perhaps take the concept that Lauren created and turn it into a better story. But alas, that was not to happen.

That being said: Delirium has a great concept. Its a world not unlike our own, but for one thing: love has been labeled an actual disease and everyone must receive the cure at the age of 18. Lena Haloway can’t wait to get the cure, especially since her mother committed suicide from being much too in love with Lena’s father, who had long since passed. However, Lena meets Alex, who shows her a world outside the one she’s known and she starts questioning whether love really is a disease.

I really thought this could make a great TV show.

Just in the last week, however, there was an announcement that the pilot episode would be available for a limited time to be viewed on Hulu. It was released yesterday and, of course, I had to sit down and watch the pilot. Here are my thoughts:

I warn you: if you haven’t read any books of the Delirium trilogy, I would refrain from reading this post. It will have book spoilers in it.

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What I Liked:

None of the actors, except perhaps Gregg Sulkin, were at all even close to what I pictured for the characters. However, I really thought that all of them captured what each character was feeling and how they felt. One that particularly jumped out to me was Daren Kagasoff as Alex. He was SO not what I pictured as Alex but I thought he captured the essence of him and that was really important to me.

I liked that they brought in Julian earlier. Julian makes his first appearance in the second novel, Pandemonium, and he certainly does not live next door to Hana. I liked that they kept up the curiosity of his character, and that he still had the sickness that kept him from getting the cure but I loved that they sort of seemed to be changing the direction he was headed in, from the book. In the book, he becomes a love interest of Lena and that annoyed me to no end. In the show, it showed more of a connection between him and Hana and I was kind of okay with that.

It stayed kind of close to the first book, and that’s the only book I really like in the trilogy. I thought that Delirium was a strong start but Pandemonium and Requiem just didn’t stick the landing. So when the pilot took a lot of familiar scenes from Delirium, I was fairly happy with that.

What I Didn’t Like: 

Yeah, it stayed close to the book…it did the entire first book in the entire first episode! I know there are two more books, and writers can do whatever they want once a book becomes a television show (look at The Vampire Diaries) but it just was so weird to me. It went from Lena’s failed evaluation all the way to when she escapes over the fence and Alex is shot.

And that being said, everything felt so rushed. In my opinion, the first season could have been the entire book of Delirium but they rushed it and I’m not really sure why. I can’t see the purpose behind it because it just seemed to be rushed character and story development. The pilot opens with Lena explaining about deliria, and the cure, and how she can’t wait for it, and by the end of the episode, she’s avoiding the cure, and running from the police, to the “safety” outside the fence. That literally takes an entire book of story and character development for her to get to that point and they accomplished that in one episode…but not in a good way. It felt incredibly rushed, like an incredibly rushed movie version of the first book and that disappointed me.

Now, perhaps if they had continued with episodes, I could see the direction they were going with and maybe it would have made more sense to me. But it just didn’t, and I could see why it wasn’t picked up for a full show. I was annoyed at how fast everything happened. No one, even those who haven’t read the books, could honestly believe that Lena goes through that change so quickly. It was just very rushed and sloppily done.

I also felt like they could have emphasized more how the cure changes you, makes you sort of robotic and without real feeling. We kind of got that with Lena’s sister but not enough to really know what the cure does to you. Why would Lena scream and kick at the idea of getting it if we don’t *really* know what it does to you?

In The End: 

I just didn’t like it. The more I thought about it, the more I was disappointed in how it went. It had the concept and it had the potential. The actors really embodied their characters, even though they’re not what I pictured and the world seemed really well built. I liked what they had started.

However, I felt, just like with the books, that they just didn’t execute it as well as they could have. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I just wasn’t happy with it. It was entirely too rushed, and you didn’t really have time to connect with the characters before they were thrown in a tailspin. Hana betrays Lena and tells her sister about Lena’s feelings. How am I supposed to care? We’ve only had an hour-ish to really love their friendship so what is it to me that there was this betrayal. Alex gets shot. Who cares? You’ve only watched one episode with him, how can you be attached to him? You can’t, honestly, and I feel like they needed to stretch out the storylines, give us a chance to get to know each character and watch them develop and change. Watch Alex and Lena fall in love, watch Lena change her mind, watch Hana change her mind, and it honestly would have been a much better pilot.

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YALL Fest Interview: Lauren Oliver

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 1.56.13 PMToday’s YALL Fest Interview is with Lauren Oliver!

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Lauren Oliver is the author of many books, about it most notably her Delirium Trilogy, decease which follows the story of Lena. Lena lives in our society, but its different: love has been classified as a disease and everyone must be cured. Lena’s mom once caught the disease and Lena cannot wait to be cured, matched and to live her life, until she meets Alex. She also has the standalone novel, Before I Fall. Mean girl, Samantha, dies, and then is forced to live through that last day of her life seven times before she can figure out why.

Lauren is also the author of the middle grade books, Liesl and Po and The Spindlers.

Her first adult novel, Rooms, will be released in fall of 2014, and she is also writing another young adult novel called Panic, which will release in March of 2014.

You can find her at her website here.

Enjoy the interview!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Lauren: Coffee!

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

Lauren: Honestly, neither. It’s just every single line in between that feels impossible.

Best writing tip you ever received?

Lauren: Aim for truth and beauty will follow.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

Lauren: I have fourteen tattoos. I can fall asleep any time, any place. I have a phobia of worms. I hate fruit. I wrote my first novel largely on my Blackberry.

 Where’s your favorite place to write?

Lauren: In my sunroom in upstate New York.

What are you working on now?

Lauren: Two different middle grade books and an untitled young adult novel that my agent described as “the most disturbing thing he’s ever read.” Oops!

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

Lauren: I love realistic books that include just a hint of fantasy.

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Myself and Lauren Oliver back in March 2013, at the Mission Viejo Library 

Look out for more YALL Fest Interviews coming soon!

Blogger Spotlight-Sylvia from FanGirlFeeels

One of the best parts about running this blog is having the ability to meet some really cool people, information pills and some of the coolest people that I have met have led me to really cool blogs. I’ve said it before, buy more about no one’s blog is 100% original but everyone’s voices are different so there are blogs that I love to read because I love the writer, treat and I love the passion that they show for what they are writing. They are fun and interesting to read and they inspire me to get better and better in my blog.

So I decided to do a feature (inspired by Megan at the Nerdy Girlie’s Geek Girls Gab), where I profile the bloggers that I love. Not only do I get to find out more about them, but I also get to share them with you guys! Most of the bloggers that I follow are like me, nerd girls, fan girls and they enjoy the same things as me, and you! Every blogger that I profile is one that is super important to me and I urge you to check them out!

If you are interested in being featured on the Blogger Spotlight, feel free to contact me, please! I would love to hear from you, to feature you on the blog and to help spread the word about it!

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Today’s blogger is Sylvia from FanGirlFeeels

Her Twitter

Her Tumblr

Her Page on iFandoms Collide

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Meeting Cassie Clare for the second time at LA Times Book Fest.

Sara: Tell me a Little Bit About Yourself:

Sylvia: Hey guys, My name is Sylvia, I am 22 years old living in Los Angeles California. I write a blog called FangirlFeeels, I love YA books, weird Indy Folk music, I have a huge love for art and I want to travel the world. I have always loved reading books But I just recently came out of the “Fangirl Closet”.. As I like to call it. Reading books was not the cool thing to do when I was growing up so I hid my obsession until my Junior Year of High School, when one of my classmates was reading Twilight. Then she introduced me to the Fangirl World (AKA The INTERNET) and now I’m Here!

Sara: Tell me about your blog: 

Sylvia: FangirlFeeels Keeps up with all Fandom News and updates, Posts “Follow me Around” Event Vlogs & Book Reviews

Its a great site to make friends and have on going discussions about book theories and such. FangirlFeeels is a never ending Book Club.

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Meeting Jamie Campbell Bower at WonderCon 2013 

Sara: What inspired you to start your blog?

Sylvia:  I had just finished reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver and all these questions were racing through my head. No one I knew had read the book, so I went on the internet and looked at every book review on Youtube. I then I realized that I could be doing the exact same thing! I wanted to connect with these people and talk about books and fangirl on the internet!   As I said before, Growing up, reading was not the cool thing to do so a lot of my friends do not read & don’t understand my constant obsession with these characters.I wanted a place to talk about books and everything associated with them with other readers who understood me. I was chatting with a couple of Fangirls a few months ago we were talking about starting up a blog thinking about names and stuff, I was jokingly spitting out names like “Feels.com”.  It wasn’t until a few weeks after when I was starting my own Blog that I came up with FangirlFeeels.com.

Sara: What is your favorite nerd memory?

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These are Pictures from the THG Premiere. Group 22!! We are the Careers! Pee.s Thats Josh Hutcherson signing my poster!! ahga;iushd

Sylvia: There has been so many its so difficult to choose… but ill just talk about the one that started it all! 

I Have been obsessed with The Hunger Games for quite sometime and I lent my copies to Tatiana (City of Shadowhunters) she fell in love with it right away. We signed up for The HOB on FB to be one of 400 fans to camp out for the Premiere of The Hunger Games movie! We got the email that said we were chosen to attend. The day before we were on the official The Hob Facebook talking to other campers.

We all met in the Starbucks at LA Live and I instantly felt at home! That first night we Camped out on the streets of Downtown LA. These 22 Fans became my family for the next 3 days. We slept on the ice cold cement, Talked about everything THG, Met the Cast, and saw the movie together!  We are still really close, Paulina (I Am Divergent) has become one of my closest friends. This event brought so many people together.

In fact, my friends Taylor and Fernando met at the premiere and are now married and having a baby! It was the Ultimate Fangirl Weekend & it brought me into this whole new life I never knew I was missing.

Sara: What are you most looking forward to, as far as new books/movies/etc?

Sylvia: TMI:City of Bones Movie!!!

TMI:City of Heavenly Fire!!!!

Divergent Movie

Allegiant!

iFandoms Collide Summer Road Trip! ;)

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Meeting Sarah Dessen with Tatiana, Sara, Megan, and Jessica at LA Times Book Fest! She is one of my Favorite Authors and Role models.

Sara: As my blog is mostly about books and reading, what are some of your favorite books or authors to read?

Sylvia: Ok, recently my favorite books are: TMI (the whole damn series) by the sassy Cassandra Clare, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Obsidian (a Lux Novel) by Jennifer L.Armentrout & my all time favorite is 13 Little Blue envelopes & The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Sara: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow? 

Sylvia: WhatANerdGirlSays (Seriously I love your blog! You’re so passionate) PolandBananas20   IAmDivergent City of Shadowhunters  Padfoot & Occasionaly Prongs

Sara: Who is your fictional crush (what, we’re nerd girls, we all have one!)

Sylvia: SIMON LEWIS!!!! From The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Simon Lewis *Stares into space & sighs*

Simon Lewis Has my heart! I love that he is a Nerd & Hilariously witty & in a Band (even if they suck), & Robert Sheehan!!

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These are Pictures from the THG Premiere. Group 22!! We are the Careers! 

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Hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of the Blogger Spotlight on Sylvia.

Come back next Monday for a new one!

And don’t forget to check out last week’s on Victoria from Novel Reality!

Tuesday Top Ten-Contemporary Young Adult Novels

So….you know, information pills I spend most of my blog posts, shop including my Tuesday Top Tens and my Book of the Weeks talking about books that have some sort of fantasy or paranormal or dystopian…some kind of surrealistic feel to them. That’s just the kind of novels that I gravitate to.

But I’m a reader, viagra order first and foremost, and that’s what my blog is mostly about: books. And I’m also just a big fan of young adult novels, period. So I decided to dedicate my entire Tuesday Top Ten to those contemporary, non-fantasy young adult novels and authors that I love so much.

Sure, I could talk about Harry Potter and Mortal Instruments and Divergent and Delirium and Gemma Doyle and all of those over and over and over again, but let’s try something new.

Let’s break out of the box a little.

So here’s this week’s Tuesday Top Ten:

My Favorite Young Adult Contemporary Novels!

10. Between the Lines  by Tammara Webber

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Between the Lines is the first novel in the Between the Lines series, an ebook series by Tammara Webber, author of the novel, Easy. Between the Lines follows two different people: Emma, who is an aspiring actress who lands a major role as Lizbeth in a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejuidce, and Reid, an extremely famous actor, playing the part of Will Darcy, and is known for his partying and his different girls in his bed every night. Reid immediately feels an attraction to Emma and is determined to have her in his bed, but Emma is less sure. She likes Reid but she also likes another handsome actor as well. What I like about this novel is that it surprised me. Its in ebook format and I bought it because it was fairly cheap…and I consumed the novel incredibly fast and LOVED it. This novel had the potential to be cheesy and cliche but it wasn’t. Tammara creates wonderful, believable characters and she creates such depth to them. There is so much more to both Emma and Reid and their stories are so addicting. Plus I like that Tammara’s books are more “new adult” or “mature young adult”, so I get my love of YA but with a little smut on the side.

9. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

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Taylor and her family pack up their bags and head to their lake house for the summer, even though Taylor would like nothing more to avoid that place. First off, her dad just found out he has cancer and has not much time to live and he would like to spend one last summer with his family before he goes. Secondly, the last time she was at the lake, she ran away, from her best friend and from her first love and she’s afraid to face them both. However, she does return and she realizes that she begins to have second chances: a second chance to have her best friend, a second chance to find love and a second chance to have a relationship with her dad. Morgan Matson is an amazing author, who I was privileged to meet recently and this book is another example of her talent (see below for her prime example). She is able to capture the teenage consciousness: the awkwardness, the first loves, the fights with friends, friends in general, pimples, the confusion and the emotions. But she also captures the realness of the teen years too, and the feeling of first loves, having a parent with cancer, growing up. You really see Taylor go through a lot and you are happy to hold her hand through it.

8. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

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Auden has spent her entire life being an adult. She is raised by her mother, a pretenious English professor, and her father, an award winning author, and they’ve expected a lot out of her. When they divorce, and her father marries a young woman, and quickly has another child, Auden suddenly finds herself with incurable insomnia. When she reluctantly agrees to spend the summer with her father and his new wife, she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, who shows her the many things that she can accomplish in the night, and shows her what it really means to be young. I LOVE this book. I absolutely, totally adore this book. Look at how beat up my copy is (which Sarah Dessen LOVED by the way).

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I love that you really get to see Auden grow up, but not in the way you expect. Auden feels like she needs to act like an adult all the time, with no fun, because this is what is expected of her. But she meets Eli, and a bunch of other new friends, and they teach her not only to have fun and be young, but not to judge people based on first impressions, like her mother does. We usually see novels about coming-of-age stories and growing up, and I think this novel has a similar concept but in the opposite direction. In order for Auden to grow up, she has to learn how to be young, and she has her new friends, especially Eli, to teach her.

7. Airhead Trilogy by Meg Cabot

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The Airhead Trilogy follows Emerson Watts, a girl who only has one best friend and abhors anything that is “popular”. She’s forced to take her sister to the grand opening of a brand new Stark Megastore, where the famous model, Nikki Howard, will be making an appearance. When a large television screen falls right above her sister, Em pushes her out of the way, and everything goes dark. When she wakes, she is suddenly looking a little different than before…in fact, she’s now Nikki Howard. After she was crushed by the flat screen, her body is declared dead…and Nikki Howard, victim of a brain anuerysm, is now brain dead. Solution: transplant Em’s brain into Nikki’s body, to fulfill the duties of the model for the huge Stark company. But of course, not all is as it seems and there is more to her transplant than she’s been told. I LOVE Meg Cabot, I love her. Her stories are so out of this world, but she also makes them so damn believable. Her characters are all so real, inside these surreal situations. I like it because its so….science fiction, but in this contemporary YA novel. It could be included in my “fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi” series countdown (which will be coming soon) but I put it here because it doesn’t feel that way. Em is just a normal teenage girl, with normal teenage problems, but with the slight problem of now being in a famous model’s body. Haha.

6. The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

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This is the first book I ever read by Deb Caletti and I fell in love. Some may not consider it her best but I love it. The main character is Queenie, who is surrounded by women who have been burned by men, especially her mother by her father. But Queenie worships her father, until she finds out a secret about him. Queenie goes on a road trip to meet all the women in her dad’s past and learns a little about what prince charming actually means. What I really love about Deb Caletti’s books is that they are young adult but with some depth, and some serious balls in them. She attacks issues, and has been attacking issues, in very real ways. Nothing about her books isn’t real. Queenie’s father has some serious issues; narcissism as a major one, and Queenie has spent her entire life worshiping the ground that he walks on. This book tackles that idea that your parents, well, they aren’t always right and they aren’t always going to do the right thing. And I love the male lead character too. I can’t help it; I love a good fictional crush. But I love the issues that Deb Caletti writes about: teenage parents, murder, money, real stuff in very relatable situations. And she’s an absolutely brilliant author, very very talented.

5. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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Everyone always talks The Fault in Our Stars or Looking for Alaska when it comes to John Green. And while I love both of those books SO much, the first one I ever read from John Green was Paper Towns…and I wasn’t the biggest fan of it. But then I read An Abundance of Katherines and I absolutely love it. The book follows Colin, a kid prodigy, who is obsessed with making his mark on the world, capable of having “famous last words”, of having his “Eureka!” moment. After being dumped by his 19th Katherine (how does this even happen?), he is dragged on a road trip with his best friend, Hassan. They don’t get too far, when they land in the town of Gutshot, Tennessee, where they continue to spend the rest of the summer, hanging out with Lindsay and her mother, and trying to devise a formula that will help Colin figure out what went wrong with each and every Katherine. I love this book, because god, one its not seriously sad and heartbreaking like The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, and even Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Its more of a fun novel for John Green and its fun to watch Colin grow up, and become more…HIM. Its fun to watch him fall in love with someone who isn’t a Lindsay, its fun to see him be a normal teenager, its fun to see him get his moment, just not in the way he expected it. Its a fantastic novel, and I love that the formula created in the book is real, or real enough for the book’s purpose :)

4. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

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Morgan Matson, you are just too brilliant for words. I first read this book because I saw it on the ALA Top Ten list for Young Readers. It was a cool title so I went to check it out at the bookstore and decided to buy it. And LOVED it. The story is of Amy, a girl who was driving the vehicle when someone crashed into her, and her dad died. Not long after, her brother is sent to rehab for drugs. Her mom decides to pack them up and move them from California to Connecticut and she needs the car driven over. Of course, Amy doesn’t drive anymore, so her mom arranges for her friend’s son Roger, to drive them both over. What starts as a simple direct drive across the country becomes an adventure as Amy and Roger throw the itinerary created by her mom out the window and start choosing where they want to go. I can’t stress enough the brilliance of this book. I love it. I fell in love with Morgan Matson and when I met her last weekend, I couldn’t even form into words, because I was just so excited to read such a talented and inspirational writer. Its a fun, road trip novel with Amy and Roger hitting different places across the country, which is fun, because who doesn’t want to go on a road trip at least once in their life? But its also so good because of Amy’s battle to trust herself and to trust her feelings and Roger’s inability to move on from something that’s holding them back. They both learn so much on their road trip and its fun to be along with them. Also, its awesome that the book is almost laid out with a scrapbook kind of feel and she includes playlists at the beginning of each chapter :)

3. All American Girl by Meg Cabot

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Meg Cabot keeps appearing on this list haha. All American Girl is the story of Samantha Madison, an artsy girl living in the shadow of her popular cheerleader older sister, Lucy, and her genuis little sister, Rebecca. She’s in love with her sister’s boyfriend, Jack, and after she gets caught selling celebrity drawings at school, she’s forced to take art lessons from a hobbit looking woman who is “holding her back”. One day, she ditches art class, and when she is waiting for her housekeeper to come pick her, she stops a random gunmen from shooting the president of the United States. Suddenly, Samantha is the most famous girl in the world, as the presents and the fame come pouring in and she becomes the first teen ambassador to the UN…and her problems only get worse; the president’s son just may be in love with her. Again, with the crazy and ridiculous Meg Cabot. I read this book when it came out when I was about 13 or 14 years old and it absolutely never ceases to get old to me. Meg Cabot is one of my top inspirations besides Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, in my young adult contemporary novel writing, and its because she’s a great writer that takes these ridiculous situations in OUR world and makes you absolutely believe them. Its one thing to write an urban fantasy or a contemporary science or a dystopian but Meg Cabot makes us believe that a fifteen year old girl saved the life of the president and is suddenly super famous. Its fantastic and addicting and just plain fun to read.

2. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

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Oh Sarah Dessen. Oh, oh Sarah Dessen. I love each and every one of your books but this by far is my favorite of yours. I love the main character, Remy Starr, and I love the male character, Dexter, EVEN MORE. Sarah said at the Festival of Books that Dexter has his own fan club basically and that sounds about right. Remy Starr is used to being in control, and this started with the fact that she has been in control of her mother and her many marriages her entire life. Its no surprise when that control flows over to her relationship. She doesn’t believe in the forever, she doesn’t believe in love. She believes in having fun for the moment but that every relationship has its expiration date. That is, until she meets Dexter, who comes to town with his band, Truth Squad. Dexter is out of control; his curly hair is all over the place, his shoes are always on time, he’s always tripping on things, everything that disrupts her perfect world. But after too many chance encounters, she agrees to date him, and all her rules go out the window. I liked this book because I really like Remy. Remy is the exact opposite of me. She’s such a dynamic character, such a strong one. I have never been a dynamic character; I’ve always had dynamic best friends. I think I envied Remy and her ability to be confident and aloof and perfect. Of course, she isn’t perfect but I liked watching her journey to realizing that she isn’t perfect and nothing can be controlled like she wants it to be.

1. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot 

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Okay, maybe this isn’t the most contemporary of young adult novels and doesn’t fit on the list, because its more like a paranormal novel series but I put it on here because its barely paranormal when compared to the tons and tons of paranormal romances that have been hitting the shelves in the last few years. The story follows Suzannah Simon as she moves from New York City to Carmel, California to live with her mom, her new stepdad and her three new stepbrothers. Everything is okay, until Suze sees her new house, and its old…and that’s never a good thing for her. An old building means there’s more likely going to be some ghosts hanging about…and unsurprisingly, there’s a 150 year old ghost hanging out in her bedroom, and an extremely hot one, at that. Like I said, not the most contemporary, but I consider it because the supernatural aspect of the novel isn’t overwhelming, not like with the novels we get nowadays. Suze just wants to be a normal teenager, going to dances and dates, and all that, without having to worry about ghosts all the time. This was the first series besides the Princess Diaries that I read of Meg Cabot, and as you’ve noticed from how many times she appears on this list…I really love her so much. She tells great stories, and again with the phenomenonal but in a very funny and contemporary way. She’s brilliant.

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So there you are guys, my top ten contemporary young adult novels. See, I can read books that don’t always have a fantasy or supernatural or science fiction-y feel to them, though I guess I couldn’t get through the entire list without including some haha.

What are some of your favorite young adult books?

As always, let me know in the comments :)

Meeting Lauren Oliver

Okay, stuff before I say anything about the actual event, advice I have to say two things:

One thing is that…meeting authors is always an awesome thing for me. Authors are such rock stars to me. I mean, patient don’t get me wrong: I love me some actual rock stars and I love my actors and actresses and stuff but authors…authors are the most underrated rock stars out there. Books are the most amazing gift that anyone can give and authors are the people that give us those gifts. When I read a good book, and I set it down and I feel like I’ve been transported to a different world, or become a different person, or if I feel like my life has been changed…that’s the mark of a good author. So meeting authors…its an honor for me.

Secondly, young adult literature truly is an amazing thing. The outpour of young adult literature these days is just astonishing and if there’s one good thing (and I think there are several) that has come out of this outpouring, it is that it has encouraged more and more teens to read. The amount of young girls that were in that room…I was amazed and seriously happy about it. There were girls around my age, but there were also girls in high school, middle school…maybe even younger. (I’m really bad with guessing ages…like, really really bad). I reveled in that awesomeness for a bit.

But moving on…

Today I met Lauren Oliver!

It was an awesome, awesome thing to do. I have to send a lot of props to the Mission Viejo library and their teen services librarian, Allison. I’ve gone to two events put on by her before…I met Meg Cabot there about three or four years ago, and I met Cassandra Clare a couple years ago. Now she’s put on this awesome Lauren Oliver event, and another Cassandra Clare event in a couple weeks (and you know I’ll be there!) Also, much thanks needs to go out to A Whale of a Tale Bookstore in Irvine for sponsoring these events as well. If you’re around Southern California at all, definitely check this place out. Its exactly what a bookstore should be, and its run by a fantastic lady, and they help to put on these awesome events.

First off…the room that the event was in? Super awesome.

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And I know its super random to even remark upon the room but the room was really neat! Most events I go to are in big ‘ol rooms to accomodate a ton of people (which is probably what is going to occur when I attend the Cassandra Clare in about a week) but this one was in this cute little storytime room that is probably used for children’s events at the library and it was adorable. I kept finding new things to look at. I love libraries that have these kind of rooms because it just plays into the imaginations of kids and its just wonderful. So yeah, A+ on the room choice, guys. Plus it made the event super intimate. Lauren Oliver is already well known, and a best seller, but once her book becomes a hit TV show (more on that later), she’s going to blow up even more so it was nice to meet her in this capacity.

And she was soooo incredibly nice and awesome!

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She was really sweet and really personable. She mostly talked about the sort of journey she had gone through as a writer. She’s the daughter of two literature professors so she grew up with a love of books and proclaims herself a book addict (now where have I heard that term before…). She said she really began writing when she wrote fan fiction for the novels she liked, though ‘fan fiction’ wasn’t really a term yet. As she grew older, she began to write more and more, especially cheesy stories for her best friend, Jackie, which usually involved outlandish stories that involved them and cute boys that they were crushing on.

Then she talked about novels and how difficult it was in the beginning, because she felt like she just wasn’t really understanding how to write a novel. And that really hit home for a writer like me, because sometimes I feel like I’m the most awesome writer in the world, and sometimes I’m like, “I have no idea what I’m doing…”

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Yeah, like that. No, really, its nice to hear authors that you admire and worship talking about the difficulty of writing, because it IS difficult. Its difficult to figure out plot structure and character and setting and even just proper grammar. And it was nice to know that she didn’t just write Before I Fall, and that was that. It was her fourth or fifth novel that she’d actually ever even written and that gives me hope that I can write a novel that touches people and reaches out to people the way her books have to me.

I think that the best part of her presentation was that she talked about writing and her journey through writing and getting published and how it was difficult but well worth the effort. She talked about agents, and creative writing classes and all of that. She talked about books that influenced her (Roald Dahl, A Wrinkle in Time, J.K. Rowling, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name a few). She was funny, and witty and relatable. She was accessible to her fans.

It was also really awesome hearing about how she came up with the idea for Delirium, such a combination of things. First off, she said that Gabriel Garcia Marquez said all books are about love or death. Before I Fall is all about death so she thought she should write a book about love, not a romance novel, but love, itself. Combined with the fact that there was the swine flu outbreak at the time, she thought of love as a disease and a possible cure. She also briefly talked about how her fiancé/boyfriend of four years died in 2009, and how she would’ve said yes to something like the cure. Thus the Delirium idea was born. Its always really interesting how a story can come about; both from things going on around you and also things that are happening directly to you.

And of course, Lauren talked about the Delirium TV show on FOX! She sounds really excited about it; and that makes me really excited about it. Right now, casting is going on and hopefully they’ll film a pilot soon. As I’ve said before, Emma Roberts is playing Lena, Daren Kagasoff as Alex, Gregg Sulkin as Julian and Jeanine Mason as Hana. She’s read the script and has definitely approved of it and now I’m just hoping that they film it, that people love it and it gets optioned for an entire season. I think Delirium is a great book for television.

And meeting her was just fantastic. The line was kind of long and it was a warm day, but you barely even noticed. Everyone in line was talking books, either Lauren Oliver’s or Cassandra Clare‘s, as most of the people at this event are going to the Cassie event in a couple weeks. And when you did get to the front, it was totally worth the wait, and the bit of sweat. Ew.

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She was SO nice. The best part about this Lauren Oliver event is the time that she takes out of her day, and her life to meet with her fans. I’ve been to plenty of autograph signings and meet and greets where the celebrity signs your little thing, slides it across the table to you, and that’s that. Meg Cabot was not like that. Cassandra Clare and Holly Black were not like that…and Lauren Oliver is not like that. She takes the time to sit and talk to each and every person that comes through her line, and it really shows her appreciation for her fans. We show our appreciation by coming to this events, buying her books and all of that and she shows hers back by taking the time to talk to us. Its such a little thing but such a great one.

First thing she asked was if I was from around the area, and I said yes because I basically am. Everything in Southern California is basically just one big blob. But anyway, she remarked on how awesome our weather is, and how she has to go to yucky Texas tomorrow (though I’m sure she’s gonna love you all, Texans!!! And you guys have great food, or so I’ve heard!). Then she noticed my books.

Well, book. My copies of Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem are brand new. Requiem just released a few days ago, and I just bought Delirium and Pandemonium because I previously bought them on my Kindle and I couldn’t exactly have her sign my kindle….though I did think about it for a moment. No, the book I’m talking about is Before I Fall. It looks like one of MY books. What I mean by that is, it wouldn’t look out of place at a used bookstore but no one would buy it if it was sitting on the shelf of a Barnes and Noble. I show my books a lot of love; there’s always food stains, and creased pages, folded covers…sometimes just truly beat up covers. I show the books I love some seriously tough love and she noticed. Of course she did. Other readers will know what I’m talking about…and they notice it too.

Except you weird people who keep their books in perfect pristine condition and don’t fold the pages and all that. Weird people. (That was for my sister, who finds my book beatings astonishing haha).

But so we started talking about Before I Fall, which I think she liked. I think most people know of her Delirium trilogy and that she is proud of her Before I Fall novel. And its definitely my favorite. I remember reading it and absolutely hating Samantha Kingston. However, as you read the novel, your opinion changes. Samantha is forced to relive the last day of her life seven times and you’re just glued to the pages. Its a wonderful novel…and I knew that it had been optioned for a film but I hadn’t heard anything else.

Well, nerd girls (and guys, if you’re reading this), you heard it right here, from me, from Lauren: Before I Fall is still in the process of becoming a movie! It has a screenplay and it has a director. Right now, there are two actresses in mind for the role of Samantha, but according to Lauren, there’s a particular actress that they “need” to play her. Very intriguing. Of course, she couldn’t tell me, don’t be silly, dear readers, but I was really excited to hear that this movie was still a possibility because I truly believe that Before I Fall is Lauren’s greatest hit.

She also talked briefly of her middle grade books, Liesl and Po, and The Spindlers. Liesl and Po is about a girl and a ghost and a box of magic, in the words of Lauren, and The Spindlers is about a girl who has to go to this subterranean world to recover her brother’s soul, stolen by these spider creatures called the splinders. Apparently she meets some crazy creatures, and it has a very Alice in Wonderland feel to it. I’ve never had the pleasure to read these books yet; in fact, I didn’t even know they existed. Now that I do, however, I’ll be checking them out soon. I may be way too old for them according to the age group on the back cover but reading knows no age.

Great news as well! Even though the Delirium trilogy is over (much sad face), we have a lot to look forward to in the future. She has another young adult novel coming out soon, called Panic, a realistic instead of dystopian, and also an adult novel planned as well, and unfortunately, I can’t remember the title. Forgive me :( But lots of things to look forward to!

So meeting Lauren Oliver was a super fun time, and an enjoyable one at that. I’m definitely going to be tracking her down again at next month’s Los Angeles Festival of Books to say hi to her again. If you haven’t had the chance to read her books, definitely do so, and try to catch her while she’s on tour. You can check out the dates here.

And before you leave, check out this video of Lauren reading a spoiler-free excerpt from her newest novel, Requiem.

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Check out my signed books!!!!!

Book of the Week: Requiem

Note:

I’ve had some complaints from people (I feel kind of complimented that enough people read the blog to actually complain…) that I post spoilers when I do my Book of the Week reviews. I do the best that I can to not post spoilers but for the most part, rx there are going to be spoilers. I try to warn beforehand but I don’t always. I am sorry if I have ruined books for some people, viagra 60mg but I do post that. If it becomes a problem, I can start posting a blanket warning in front of each Book of the Week post. Anyway, enjoy!

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In just two days, I will be heading down the freeway to the Mission Viejo library to meet Lauren Oliver, the author of the fantastic novel, Before I Fall, and her dystopian best seller, The Delirium trilogy.

I’ve been to this library twice for author events, to meet Meg Cabot (for the fourth time…I kind of stalk her…) and to meet Cassandra Clare (who, incidentally, I will be meeting in the same spot later this month!). They seriously rock, I have to give mad props to Allison Tran, the teen librarian, and A Whale of a Tale bookstore, for setting up such epic events.

Moving on though, Lauren is hitting the road to promote the last book in her Delirium trilogy, Requiem, which just came out this past Tuesday, the 5th. Of course, I picked it up that day and finished it by that night, somehow managing to do that in between my four hour physics class and my nanny job.

And I thought, in honor of the fact that I will be meeting her for the first time on Sunday, this week’s Book of the Week should be dedicated to her.

On another side note, her hit trilogy will be hitting TV screens most likely this fall, as it has been optioned by Fox and casting has already begun. Emma Roberts, of Nancy Drew and Unfabulous fame, has been cast as Lena Haloway. Gregg Sulkin has been cast as Julian Fineman, and Daren Kagasoff, also known as Ricky from The Secret Life of an American Teenager, will be playing Alex (not sure how I feel about that). Lastly, it was just announced Jeanine Mason will be playing Hana Tate.

So here you go:

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

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Genre:
young adult, romance, dystopian

Part of a Series?:
Yes, the third book and conclusion to the Delirium series

You May Like it If You LIked:
Matched series, Divergent series, the Hunger games series

Plot Summary:

In the Delirium series, we meet Lena, an almost eighteen year old girl who lives in a society much like ours except one really major difference: love is a disease (amor deliria nervosa) and everyone must get cured at their eighteenth birthday. Then they will be sent off to college, and paired with someone who matches them logically, and will be married. Romantic, right? Lena is ready to be cured, can’t wait to be cured,especially since her mother died, killed herself when she was overcome by the disease. That is, until she meets Alex and contracts the disease. With this, Lena starts to question whether love really is a disease. The trilogy follows Lena as she discovers truth and lies about the society she lives in, and the truth of her mother’s death, and it doesn’t take long before she is involved in a rebellion (because what’s a dystopian novel without a little rebellion?). Requiem is the final chapter of this trilogy and is the story of the resistance. The first two books have led up to this point.

The Good:

There is good in this novel. I swear that there is.

First off, Lauren Oliver is a good writer. The girl has talent and the story was there. I really liked her story. At first, I felt that instant similarity between Delirium and Matched by Ally Condie. I do, however, think the books go into different directions. I think Oliver had a really strong story; it just wasn’t executed well. Dystopian novels are nothing new, especially nowadays but Lauren Oliver had a slightly more unique idea and I do admire her for that. In the Matched trilogy, you are allowed to love. Sure, they pick who you love, but you’re allowed to love. Love exists in all these other dystopian novels, even if its not in the most romantic sense. In these books, love is a disease and you’re cured into indifference, living your life with someone on the basis that you are creating a new generation and thats it. I do think she had a very good starting point but I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been.

I also really liked that even though it starts off about love, it doesn’t end that way. It could have gotten super cheesy, super fast (although, it does get cheesy). The rebellion isn’t really about love, but about the idea of choice. They want the freedom of choice, even if it is the wrong choice. They aren’t preaching love, but they are preaching free thought. Even though the idea of free thought in a dystopian novel isn’t exactly new but it was unique in this story. I wasn’t expecting the rebellion to have free choice, even the wrong choices, as their belief. I would have expected it to be love.

I even liked the alternating points of view, mostly because the other point of view we get in the story is the point of view of Hana, Lena’s best friend from when she was part of the society, the valids and not the Invalids. Hana is on the exactly opposite side of where Lena is; she is still in society and she’s been cured of the disease. You see things from her point of view, and how she feels sort of blissfully empty and painless without all those confusing feelings you feel when you’re only a teenager. I still think that I would be on the side that Lena is on, because no matter how much love HURTS at times, its worth. And it is nice to have your own choices, to mess up and  all that. But I liked being able to see Hana’s side; it gave some humanity to the other. I feel like we never really get the other side when reading a dystopian novel. In the Delirium trilogy, Hana gives us some humanity because even though she is cured and she can’t really fully love anymore, and she doesn’t feel like she used to but she still cares. She feels the cruelty from her future husband and she feels enough to want to help Lena’s family.

The Bad: 

With the good being said, it’s time to move on to the bad. Lauren Oliver was on a roll to making me feel better about Requiem versus the previous book, Pandemonium. The whole premise of Delirium is that Lena discovers that love is not a disease and she falls in love with Alex. Then Alex dies, and in Pandemonium, she starts falling for Julian. Now other than my reader’s loyalty to Alex, I just felt it ruined her point. Especially when we learn Alex is NOT dead and Requiem has the dreaded love triangle. I find love triangles to be fairly annoying and unnecessary to begin with but it bothered me a lot more here. It seemed to fall into society’s ideas of love as a disease and causing irrational thoughts and chaos. Lena is ready for the cure in Delirium, she wants it, and falling in love isn’t easy for her. For a long time, she feels like she is contracting the disease…so I find it hard to believe that she would just love two different boys like that. Or if she really did, she would have thoughts of the disease because she was trained to believe that her whole life.

I also had an issue with how quickly she was able to work things out with her mom. She has thought her mother dead for years, and she finds out this is not true in Delirium, that she has broken out of the prison where she was kept for many years. She has to be bursting with so many questions and confused feelings. She has to be angry. I don’t think that she would have forgiven her mother that easily and would have developed a relationship with her that easily. I do think forgiveness, and love would come but just not as soon as it did. It just seemed too unbelievable to me.

Which means me to my least favorite thing about the book; it just ended so quickly. There was all this build up; all this moving around. There was a battle basically when they tried to destroy the dam to bring water back to the Invalids. Then they made all their way back to Portland and the battle that ensued there…it was just, it was really fast! Everything just seemed to happen so fast. One minute, Hana is getting married, then she’s not and she’s “capturing” Lena and letting her go, and letting her husband die in the bomb implanted house. Lena went from kind of having a relationship with Julian to suddenly realizing she loves Alex and he loves her and they’re going to be together. She finds her cousin, Grace, and saves her. They tear down the wall that separates society from the Wilds and the book ends with everyone celebrating. It just seemed really really fast, and not very realistic. I felt like it was a lot of build up and not a lot of action. I think rebellions take a lot more work than what happened. I think it was going well and going in the right direction, it just ended entirely too quickly.

Rating?:

3 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not:

Yes, if you’ve already read Delirium and Pandemonium and you’d like to read the end. I do recommend the trilogy though; Lauren is a great writer and has the potential to create great stories. I hope to see more from her soon.

However, I definitely recommend reading her novel, Before I Fall, because its fantastic!

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I can’t WAIT to meet Lauren Oliver on Sunday and I will definitely have a post for you guys soon after to share what it was like and what she revealed about new projects and the new TV show!