I am in the middle of drafting a new project, and (as is my custom) I've gotten a bit stuck sorting out the stakes for my characters. So I've turned to reading, which usually helps unlock the creative side of my brain. Here's what I've been reading this weekend:
1. The Sky Is Everywhere
From Amazon: Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.
Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart.
I read this while visiting my friend's cabin at Fish Lake. The others went off to hike at Bryce and I stayed behind to read and write (I love Bryce, but I was in the mood for solitude.) Good thing, too, since there was some light ugly-crying during a particularly poignant scene. Highly recommended.
2. The Duff
From Amazon: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff--the designated ugly fat friend--of her crew.
But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
I won't lie, I was pretty disappointed by the movie. (It was fine, but don't hype something as the next Mean Girls unless it's actually funnier than Mean Girls -- the nostalgia gives MG the edge every time.) And it took me a few different tries to get into the book. But once I cracked the beginning, I was hooked.
Fair warning: If you loved the movie, just know that the only thing it has in common with the book are characters and premise. The plots are wildly different.