I know this was covered somewhat in the comments yesterday, but how cool is it that Peter Jackson (who did Lord of the Rings and the upcoming King Kong) is making the movie of The Lovely Bones? If you haven’t read the book—and hasn’t everyone read the book?—you should. It is SO good. I got to read it before it came out, thanks to my cushy gig at the News and Observer. The book editor brought an advance copy back from BookExpo and sent it to me, saying everyone there was talking about it. I read it in, like, two days. Then I called him and said, “This is the book that is going to make Oprah wish she hadn’t ended the book club. It’s going to be that big.” And it was. Although I’ll be curious to see, how, exactly they do it: I don’t think it gives much away to say that the book is narrated by a dead girl, so that makes things a little tricky. However, they do it on Desperate Housewives, right? So it’s not impossible.
The other thing that was interesting to me about The Lovely Bones was that it’s a book narrated by a teenage girl and is, in many ways, about the adolescent experience. But it’s not YA. Another, more recent example is Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep, which I just read–also in about two days, it’s so compelling—and really liked. It’s all about high school, but it’s being marketed as a regular fiction book. I’ve always been curious about this, how you can tell a specific book that’s YA from one just about teenagers, or if there’s a distinction at all. When I wrote That Summer, I didn’t intend it to be YA at all, it was just a novel told by a teenager. I guess as I’ve gone on, with the books that followed, I do think of myself as YA now. But I haven’t changed the way I approach writing my books, or the way I deal with my characters. I guess the label changed, but not me. Or something.
Anyway, I know at least a few people who know more about how these genres work, i.e. teachers, and librarians especially, read this. Does anyone know the difference? Or would like to offer an opinion? I’m really curious.
And in case you’re curious: no, I didn’t watch Idol last night. One night down, a million to go…..
have a good day, everyone!