So, remember that time I MET Veronica Roth?

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Sorry about the blurriness, but I may possibly have fangirled a lot tonight.

I met my writing idol.

Her name is Veronica Roth.

And she’s pretty cool.

My thoughts for the last hour have been, “hrufijoweosdjfkbiehufsjdkmlaodksnjfbjghjd” on replay.

Wow,

I got to ask her a couple of questions, and, ladies and gentlemen, when asked what kind of dinosaur she could be, she told me she’d choose to be any one with a long neck, just like Littlefoot from “Land Before Time.” How many of you remember that show?

When she addressed all of us, she told us that since NY got to meet a couple of Divergent cast members (what!!!), she would read us a deleted scene from the Divergent short stories. It was the (spoiler) scene in which Tris jumps into Dauntless headquarters…from Four’s perspective!! I died. It was beautiful.

My best friend and fellow Divergent fangirl, Tyler-Marie, went with me, and told Veronica thank-you for enduring the process from formulating an idea in her head to getting it published because it inspired her as a future writer to change lives just as Veronica had.

You know what Veronica said?

“YES. Write it down. Do it!!!”

She was pretty great, folks.

If you haven’t started devouring the Divergent trilogy, you need to do so ASAP. Plus, for all you “I-just-can’t-wait”-ers, all three books are published, as of yesterday. You won’t regret it.

If y’all have any questions, I’m happy to answer them! Today was amazing!

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Oh, the joys of fandom.

This week could be life-changing for me. I say could be” because, well, it could not be. Tomorrow, I will arise in the wee hours of the morning–okay, so more like 5:30–and embark on a journey–so what if it’s only an hour!–to my local bookstore. 

“Why the theatrics?” you ask?

I can hear that question echoing in each of your minds.

Well, my dearest cyber-friends, my fellow bookworms, I shall, within the next twenty-four hours, be holding in my hands a copy of Veronica Roth’s Allegiant. If you have not tasted the riches of her Divergent trilogy, you, my friend, are depriving yourself.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking that I did not answer your question satisfactorily because why on earth would I be freaking out over the book itself? To be fair, I probably would be in a tizzy over the book itself, but that alone is not why I’ve assumed a grave, melodramatic tone today. Along with my book, I–if everything goes as planned–will also hold in my hands a wristband to meet my Young Adult literary idol, Veronica Roth.

The problem?

I am absolutely paranoid that something will go wrong!

You know that feeling when you want something sooooo badly that you’re almost sure it’s too good to be true? That’s my entire being at the moment. If, indeed, I get to meet Veronica, I will update you as quickly as I can.

I will leave you with a meme that encompasses the majority of my emotions and attention span at the moment:

And, for the record, I DO think I do all of these things. Well, maybe not the bottom left…

On the topic of “growing up” in literature.

black espresso

Recently, I’ve started to hear more and more about writers of adult fiction asking writers of YA fiction when they will grow up. The problem? Readers experience the same phenomenon. I can’t tell you how many times someone who chooses to read the classics or someone who chooses to read endless strings of adult crime thriller novels, tells me that I should grow up and stop reading my “silly teenage fantasy romances.”

UM, EXCUSE ME?

My main issue with this does not lie in their obvious literary snobbery or even the fact that they don’t know what they’re talking about, since they don’t read YA fiction. My problem lies in the fact that they’re looking down on a genre that actually gets kids and teenagers to read. I can’t tell you how many of my friends growing up seriously disliked reading because of its association with school, and therefore things like “work” and “bad” and “for smart people only.” Yet when I begged them on my figurative hands and knees to read something (usually Harry Potter), they would inevitably give in and appease me. By doing so, they would fall in love with reading all over again and discern things about the world around them and the world within them that they’d never even glimpsed at before.

Here’s the thing: I don’t care if 99.9% of the books I read center around teenagers who discover a hidden magical/mythical world within their own while finding first love in the process, defy a totalitarian government against all odds, or find out that they are, in some way, very different than most people. Because all of these crazy plots are inspiring. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on the formulaic crime mystery. As a kid, I would constantly sneak into the study to read Catherine Coulter, Iris Johansen, etc. until the wee hours in the morning. Are these novels bad? No. Are they the only good ones? Definitely not. Are they the most inspiring? Depends on who you are. But in a world where teenagers would rather watch endless hours of TV, waste time reading the same tweets and Instagram photos over and over, and use SparkNotes on every English exam, books that intrigue teenagers are important.

Take Harry Potter, for instance. A scrawny eleven year old with a lightning bolt-shaped scar who, rather than choosing defeat, fights the most feared wizard in magical history and wins. What about Katniss? A half-starving girl from an unimportant district firmly under a horrific government’s control finds herself the face of a revolution. Tris—a small girl from an unassuming faction who chooses to be Dauntless in more ways than one, who begins to understand bravery, selflessness, and facing one’s fears, both in everyday life and in epic battles, and who glimpses her mother’s hidden strength. And Lena? The girl who follows all of the rules, who is perhaps the most afraid of love, who later becomes one of its biggest advocates, and who takes down her society’s walls built upon years of fear of the unknown. Don’t forget Meghan, the girl who risks everything to save her little brother, who finds herself at the center of the faery universe, and who changes from a self-conscious farm girl into a catalyst who changes the very fabric of the faery existence.

All of these stories, and much, much more, tell of teenagers who step up and change something. They find love and they lose it. They figure out what’s important to them in life and fight for it. They aren’t okay with being a part of the status quo. Now, I know that all of the stories I referred to were dystopian or fantasy, but the same goes for much of young adult literature. These authors are so full of imagination that these stories become more than words on a page. These characters are no longer caricatures; they take on a life of their own. Whether young adult fiction tells of transformation of an entire world or of transformation in a single person’s life, it makes a difference.

Camus’ The Stranger, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Shakespeare’s plays, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Jane Austen’s works, Catherine Coulter’s FBI Thriller series, etc. are all GOOD. The classics, the moderns, the fantastical, the realistic, the sci-fi, the paranormal, the romance (well, not Erotica, sorry), and many more are all GOOD.

My point is, just because something is written for a young adult, a middle grade, or a children’s literature-based audience doesn’t make it childish.

So, THANK YOU to every single young adult author, reader, blogger, or publisher who refuses to “grow up.”

 

Okay guys, what do you think about growing up in literature? I’d really love your feedback! 🙂

Divergent On Set!

For those of you fellow Divergent lovers, here is the new MTV  sneak peak into the movie set. I’m trying really hard not to completely fan girl right now, but…

WATCH IT HERE and you will understand.

Theo James could not be more perfect to play Four. The rest of the cast is great, sure, but Theo. Is. Four. After you watch the video, please comment or tweet me your thoughts! I am dying to discuss my excitement with someone!

-coffeeshopreader

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