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I’ve always been interested in what classifies a book as “highbrow” or “lowbrow.” What elusive factors --- aside from the basic quality of the writing --- make some books more valued than others? And readers have different tastes; so who gets to decide these things, anyway? But our culture seems to have an invisible yet ever-present value system; a mutual agreement of which books we would most proudly display of if we ever met an alien who asked to see examples of our art.
Veronica Roth's bestselling YA Divergent series made its long-awaited theatrical debut last Friday. I was lucky enough (thanks to HarperCollins!) to catch an advanced screening on Thursday afternoon at one of the best theaters (and a personal fave!) in town. Just like any other Superfan (or diehard movie enthusiast), I would have willingly waited in line for a good seat at midnight as the flick delivered a star-studded cast, great music and the best part of all, a compelling story. But it was all made so much more enjoyable with a courtesy small popcorn and soda in hand. And I can't forget to mention the brief, but very heartfelt speech Roth gave as an introduction to the movie (yes, she was present in flesh and blood) --- she has a way of making each and every one of her readers feel like a special part of her book's growing success. I'll give you some highlights of the movie that are sure to make you more pumped about your planned viewing for this upcoming case you haven't seen it yet. (But, seriously...have you been living under a rock?!)
February 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Books We LOVE

Posted by emily
Welcome back, readers! What better way to celebrate the return of Throwback Thursday than with the books we love that are all about LOVE? In honor of Valentine's Day, Nikki, Emily and Meghan reminisce about the love stories --- conventional or otherwise ---  that got their minds racing and their hearts pounding. So whether you're single, in a relationship or undecided, throwback with us this pre-V Day, because S.O.s come and go, but book-love is forever.
These days, it seems like every time you go to a movie theater, there are always a couple posters for films that have been adapted from books. [Editorial note: No one’s surprised that Emily {enthusiastically!} keeps track of stuff like that. Check out 20SomethingReads special monthly Books on Screen feature here.]
Let’s be honest: There are far too many classics for anyone to realistically read them all. Many of them are long and depressing, or about subject matter that isn’t the most appealing (like miserable people making each other miserable. Or Puritans. Or miserable Puritans making each other miserable). However, the status of classic lends a books a certain gravity that makes it awkward to admit you haven’t read it --- much more awkward than it is for other books. If you haven’t read that one book everyone is talking about this year, there may be raised eyebrows in some circles, but generally that can be forgiven. But admitting that you haven’t read a classic may threaten to destroy your credibility.
Why should we care about zombies? They eat brains. They aren’t very socially aware. They don’t contribute much to a conversation --- if you talk to one, you have to do all the work. So why are they worth talking about at all? In the land of pop culture, most films or TV shows with monsters in them are not held up as high art. No zombie movie has ever won any Oscars. If you suggest seeing one as a first date, your date might think your taste is a bit questionable (not that I know from experience…).
Just a little over four years ago, Lucy Christopher published her critically acclaimed, powerful first novel, STOLEN. Now, the wait is over for Christopher’s highly anticipated young adult thriller, THE KILLING WOODS.
Hello, loyal TBT readers! We're well aware --- what with the holidays, and our recovery from the holidays --- that we haven't been throwing back as consistently as we did in 2013 (those were the days, weren't they?). We hope you haven't been holding your breath, but we appreciate it if you have been. Rest assured, of course, that things will be up and running and as nostalgic as ever as soon as we punch out of Holiday Mode™ and get back to business. Until then, there are plenty of new reviews up on the site, so be sure to check them out! Happy New Year!
And you thought your family was dysfunctional? We are right at the height of the holiday season, which means one thing: lots of family time. There is no such thing as a family that isn’t dysfunctional. Some families are dysfunctional in a pleasantly chaotic way; some are in a rip-your-hair-out and run-away-screaming-way. Regardless, unless you are the sort of person who watches the Hallmark channel, nobody wants to read about a pleasant family where everyone gets along and there is no conflict. Watching paint dry is far more interesting.