How have I not mentioned this yet? I bought Suite Scarlett the day Maureen Johnson announced on her hee-larious blog it was for sale and DEVOURED it.
I. Loved. This. Book.
If you've never read MJ before, you're missing out. Her novels are fun, fun, fun, and filled with literary substance goodness, so you won't feel guilty later (you know what I mean -- those books you LOVE but are afraid to admit you like because they're total candy, and I'm not talking about an organic 70% dark chocolate bar, but more like a Whatchamacallit.)
Suite Scarlett is my favorite MJ novel yet. Scarlett Martin lives in a NYC hotel, but not in an Eloise kind of way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small struggling hotel with fabulous art deco architecture and one loopy summer guest.
And, of course, like all my favorite books, THERE IS A CUTE BOY.
Did you not see this coming? Shame on you.
Spencer Martin is an actor of the Buster Keaton physical, slapstick variety (be still my heart!), and he gets work -- get this -- as a unicyclist in a 1920s silent film type stage production of Hamlet.
The only reason Spencer did not make my Hottest Hotties list was because, well, Spencer is her brother. And I was semi-disturbed with myself by how often I wanted them to hook up. Which doesn't make HIM any less hot, it just makes me, well, perverted?
Or something like that.
The excellent news is that Suite Scarlett is the first in a new series. I can't wait for more.
Read this if you like: Funny books with I-Wanna-Be-Her-Friend protagonists and SUPER HOT BOYS ON UNICYCLES.
If you like this, read: Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson and Dream Factory by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler
In other news, how dull has cinema been this year? I haven't felt like myself lately. Usually I'm all, "Movies movies movies movies," but there has been NADA for me to talk about. The best film so far was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and that was months ago.
Gah. I am suffering.
Nearly all of my favorite directors (Danny Boyle, Tim Burton, Pedro Almodovar, Wes Anderson, Alfonso Cuaron, Sofia Coppola, etc) had films in the last year or two, which means DROUGHT CITY for now.
I only have a teeny-weeny list of Looking Foward Tos:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: HARRY!!! Because y'all know I'm an HP nerd.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: Love the book, love Michael Cera.
The Dark Knight: 'Cause Heath Ledger's Joker is creepy as hell.
Priceless: What girl doesn't want to be Audrey Tautou? Too cute. This should be coming to the Fine Arts Theater in the next few weeks.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: Okay, as a Cinema Geek, it's embarrassing to admit this, but I adored the first one -- America Ferrara made me bawl my eyes out -- and I adore the books. If this gets terrible reviews, I'll wait until DVD, but I really, really hope it's good tween fun.
Blindness : Jose Saramago's novel was mind-blowing, and um - Gael Garcia Bernal is in it. So, you know.
Rudo y Cursi: I don't know if we'll get this in the states this year, but it's Gael again (happy sigh!) and he's teamed back up with Y Tu Mama Tambien costar & best friend in-real-life Diego Luna. PLUS it's directed by Alfonso Cuaron's brother, Carlos Cuaron. I have Very High Hopes here.
And, despite my reservations, Twilight. (Enough said.)
On the plus side, the BOOK WORLD is FABULOUS this year! Lots of guaranteed great reads:
David Sedaris' new book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, was just released! I'm zipping to the bookstore this weekend. I think I say this too frequently, but I mean it here -- if I could steal any writer's voice, it would be David's. If I were even a smidge as funny as he is, I'd be set for life. If you ever have a chance to see him in person, GO! He'll make you laugh 'til you cry or pee your pants or both. Simultaneously.
Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn. Even though I am dismayed by something HORRIFIC in the last novel, I am still waiting for THE SCENE. If you've read her books, you know what SCENE I'm talking about. THE SCENE we've been waiting for since Twilight. And if THE SCENE is not as fabulous as I'm anticipating, you'll be looking at one depressed puppy. You'll have to scrape me from the wall where I will have thrown myself against it in despair.
Or something like that.
Juliet Marillier's Cybele's Secret. How many times do I have to recommend Wildwood Dancing before you pick up a copy? If you like fairy tales and true love and enchanted forests and dancing and vampires and mind-reading frogs, you must read it! Cybele's Secret is the sequel, and I am sooooo excited.
John Green's new novel, Paper Towns, is (apparently) so fabulous that the publishers gave him TWO covers. I love the description: "Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows."
A ninja! Revenge!
Also check out his video on the above Amazon link. If you didn't know how funny and adorable John was, you will after watching it. "You've gotta be more like James Patterson, I mean that guy writes a book like every seven hours." (Go nerdfighters!)
John is another writer I can't believe I haven't talked about more here, because he's amazing and talented and hilarious and poignant and he TOTALLY earned his Printz for Looking for Alaska and the Printz honor for An Abundance of Katherines. If you haven't read either yet, get thee to a library, pronto.
I will keep gushing about him here until you do.
John John John. Gush gush gush.
Speaking of authors so awesome they get two covers, Neil-FREAKING-Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is coming out in September. In his own words: "It's a book about life and death and making families. It has ghouls in it, and the hounds of God, and the Sleer, and the Indigo Man, and a lot of very dead people."
I can't decide if I want the Dave McKean or the Chris Riddell cover (only available in the UK, I think). Actually, I want both.
I wonder if Jarrod would notice if there were two copies on our bookshelves? Surely he'd understand . . . I mean, he's seen how many copies of Pride & Prejudice I own. (Examples: A miniature copy in my glove compartment and a different miniature edition in my purse. You know, emergency Mr. Darcy. Just in case. And now you think I'm a freak.)
Also due for release (no Amazon link yet) is Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries X in December. This is the FINAL BOOK. For now, at least. So Michael will come back from Japan & Mia will have matured & they will hook up & it will be SO AWESOME.
FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD FANGIRL SQUEAL!
What are you looking forward to?