Friday, January 11, 2008

To Read, or Not to Read?

That is the question.

Because something momentous is happening on February 21, 2008: they're releasing a prequel to Anne of Green Gables. That's right, you heard me: a prequel. Before Green Gables comes out this year to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the original book. A Canadian children's author (Budge Wilson) was commissioned to write it; and it's been approved by L.M. Montgomery's heirs. So part of me is very excited because, let's face it, I'm a rabid fangirl of all things Avonlea... and this is something new to obsess over.

Well, I'm a fan of almost all things. Let's be clear. I own all of L.M. Montgomery's books. I desperately enjoy most of them (we won't speak of Mistress Pat). I think I may have The Blue Castle memorized. And Gilbert Blythe is officially my Ur-Crush.

Then there's the adaptations for television and film… I have the first two Sullivan Entertainment Anne movies memorized. It's on my list of goals for 2008 to begin acquiring Road to Avonlea on DVD. And though Gus Pike is a totally made-up character (not original to L.M. Montgomery's books at all), I love him dearly.

And yet… and yet, I fear what might happen with this adaptation. For one thing, Anne: The Continuing Story has taught me to be wary. (We will not discuss that movie. As far as I am concerned, it never happened.) For another thing, the prequel years will, by their very nature, be something of a downer to read about. After all, our dear Anne was in the early twentieth century version of foster care. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't happy.

And there was no Gilbert.

So here's my question: am I ordering the book or not? Am I reading it obsessively the day it comes out, or pretending that it doesn't exist? Decisions, decisions. I need your help!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Move over Potter

Looks like we're all YA all the time here at Damned Scribbling Women this week. While Kate awaits the delivery of her now two weeks late "advance" copy of The Sweet Far Thing, I can't spill too much about the book. Having finished the read at 3 am yesterday however, I am moved to give a little teaser about my thoughts and feelings (I was also moved to post a fawning fangirl note on Libba Bray's livejournal at 3 in the morning, but that's neither here nor there).

Anyone mourning the loss of Harry Potter needs to pick up this series now, because--much as I love the Pott--Libba Bray kicks JK Rowling's ass. This is how you finish a series. This is how you take all the amazing work on character/plot/mythology that you set up in previous books and ratchet it up a notch. I thought the conclusion to the Potter series was fine, but Bray's just a much braver writer than Rowling. Her concerns are so much larger, more significant, more meaningful, and the lessons her character learn or try to learn are much more painful and more important. Truly, I'm in awe over this series and wishing desperately I'd been the one to think of it.

This isn't meant to be a diss against J.K. Rowling. I think she's great and love her work. It's more a public service announcement about how unbelievably wonderful I think Libba Bray is.

More substantive comments (including my very few reservations) to follow in a dialog once Kate gets a chance to read the book.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Delicious Anticipation

With the hectic rush of Christmas/New Year's, travel, and grad school application filing, I managed to lose track of one of my most eagerly anticipated releases of 2007: the conclusion of Libba Bray's Realms trilogy. Hearty thanks to whichever good angel inspired me to check out her livejournal (a favorite writer's blog of mine) the day after the new book was released. I'm now a proud owner of The Sweet Far Thing.

But all things must come in their own time, etc, etc, etc. I had other books in the queue and order must be maintained. When one's working days are filled with 1,500 page 18th-century novels, one's holidays become rather excessively devoted to reading (and writing) romance.

Perhaps its for the best. I've waited this long to learn what will become of Gemma, Kartik, Felicity, Pippa, and the rest. I can wait a little longer. I know this book won't disappoint, so the expectation will only make it all the sweeter.

Expect my thoughts sometime next week...