Rearranging the Bookshelf (i.e. my life)

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Having already tweeted, "liked," and double-"liked" this video, I shall now embed it here, adequate thanks being due entirely to Bookshelves of Doom.


Jessica Therrien

I am so very excited to get to work with Jessica Therrien, new author over at ZOVA, in large measure because she is a very excellent blogger. She's only just barely begun blogging (and I mean she's got like five posts), but she's a natural. Since I simply love reading blogs from writers, and YA writers in particular, I'm super excited to ride the waves of her future. Take a look at it here.


Katniss Everdeen Continued

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Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

If you're a fan...

Cassandra Clare and Holly Black will be answering questions from readers over at Amazon's amazing book blog, Omnivoracious, in anticipation of their upcoming book releases next month. Holly Black will be releasing Red Glove, the second in the Curse Workers series, and Cassandra Clare will be releasing the much-awaited follow-up to her Mortal Instruments series, City of Fallen Angels.

I'm already debating whether or not to attend their Southern California appearance at the Mission Viejo Library following the release - debating, not because I don't enjoy these authors (because I do) but because I predict some hefty crowds.


Katniss Everdeen

For those of you who follow YA news, film adaptation news, or popular media news in general, you should be at least vaguely aware of the significant casting decisions currently being made by our Hollywood brethren in regards to the upcoming film adaptation of Suzanne Collins's bestselling Hunger Games series (previous posts on the first, second, and third books here).

One of the most pervasive conversations in the blogosphere is the question of Katniss' race. The most recent acknowledgment of the problem that I've read is Gwenda Bond's article over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. Katniss is described as having dark hair and olive-toned skin, yet none of the actresses considered have been people of color. What gives?

Despite our outrage at other instances of whitewashing (anyone remember the original cover of Justine Larbalestier's Liar?) this is one I'm just not getting behind. In the first place, most people who have a problem with the casting of a blonde or a brunette begin talking about how Katniss' race is integral to her status as a lower class coal miner's daughter from District 12. I have no argument with the class distinction. But until casting decisions started being made, no one was having conversations about race distinctions in the Hunger Games. Yes, Katniss is "backwater," but no, she is not necessarily representative of one or another marginalized race.

Clearly, Jennifer Lawrence - the most heated name being bandied about for the role - is not quite olive-toned or dark-haired. Hailee Steinfeld, rumored to be a second casting option, is considerably more so. In the end, however, I would hate to think that the casting director's final choice is determined solely by either girl's appearance. My hope is that they choose the person best suited for Katniss' character. Because in the end, what we remember the protagonist of Collins' trilogy for most of all is not the color of her skin, hair, eyes, or clothes - but for the strength and fragility of her character.


Jane Again

I really should be over the moon with excitement for the release of Jane Eyre this week, but I confess I am not. If there's anything I love in the world of film adaptations, it's the obsessive recreation of Jane Eyre every five to ten years. I have watched and rewatched nearly every Jane Eyre adaptation, carefully and giddily comparing the portrayals of Rochester and Jane to determine which - if any - adequately convey the complexity of the literary originals. Until recently, I would have been waiting with baited breath for this release. Until recently, every adaptation fell short. William Hurt, brilliant though he can be, was no Rochester; Orson Welles was too . . . Orson Welles; Timothy Dalton was fabulous, but his companion Jane was so painfully unappealing. They were all good of course, but each left such a wide window for improvement.

Then there was the 2006 BBC adaptation. Surely this could be the last. Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson were perfect. The length was just right. The flashbacks carried the second half. The conclusion was perfectly satisfying. It was the ideal adaptation. Not another one was needed. Ever.

Yet here we are. Five years later, a new release. I wonder how long I will hold out. A week? A month? Till it comes out on DVD? We shall see.
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