Book Club PR · eventos · features · Sin categoría · Special Events

Book Club Shenanigans with Kate Scelsa at The Bookmark!

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Kate Scelsa, author of Fans of the Impossible Life

Last month, the bookmark kicked off the year with their very first book club autor, Amy Ewing discussing her newest novel The White Rose, which follows the struggles of Violet Lasting after the events in The Jewel. This time around, we welcomed a brand new author to the scene, Fans of the Impossible Life (FOTIL) creator, Kate Scelsa.

The night began with a round of the game that’s becoming viral all over the BookTuber universe, Ship it or Rip it. The attendant who suggested it, a frequent Bookmark customer, customised it so that the characters were either from classic YA, recent adaptations or recent book club picks.

 

The results are in:

Ship it or rip it!The bookmark EDITION-2

As you can see, there were too little ships and a lot of drowners, it’s a good thing they all live in separate universes! In their defence, I kind of ship Fourven, it seems very plausible to me.

During the discussion and the Q&A round with Kate Scelsa herself via Skype, there was a lot of mixed feelings regarding the written format of the novel, aspect that Scelsa explained that came clear to her during the rewriting process. “It was through the rewriting process when I realised it needed to be Jeremy on first person, Sebby on second person & Mira on third person.” Developing the story in that way was inspired by some of the plays that Sclera’s theatre group have performed, especially when they did The Great Gatsby. She described parts of the play where Jay Gatsby would “tell you a story about some very interesting people” but stating that he himself was not interesting, just the people in the story itself.

Scelsa also stated that although her life experiences are not particularly what inspired the story, the people in her life and her friendships are.

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Kate Scelsa discussing her novel with the readers from The Bookmark.

“I’ve had friendships that have felt like these friendships but these events didn’t happen in my life. Real life doesn’t always make sense, if i try to write real stories about the people I based these characters from, it will not have a good narrative. I’ll usually write stories around the feeling of those friendships instead.” – Scelsa on her writing process.

Another twist on the events was the fact that she was interested in the thoughts of the readers regarding the more ambiguous parts of the novel. “Usually readers have better answers to these questions than I do so I’m interested to hear what you have to say,” Said Scelsa when asked about the events at the end of the book.

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Unveiling next book club pick: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Did you make it to #BookClupPR this month? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below! Also, don’t forget to join us for next month’s event where Becky Albertalli will be discussing with readers via Skype her YA debut and NY Times best-selling novel Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The event will take place on Wednesday, march 30th, 6:30 p.m. at The Bookmark. See you there!

Happy Reading!

Book Club PR · features · Listicles

Spoilers Like Crazy… See What I Did There?

Why, Hello there literary junkies!  As you may have noticed, the book of the weekend has been Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch, after the Skype Q&A chat she had with our friends at The Bookmark last Wednesday.  In case you missed it, go check out my recap right here! If you missed it, read it, and you’re dying for more, here are eight spoilerful details Sarah Raasch told us about her upcoming work:

1. If you didn’t know, there is a companion story on Wattpad called Flames Like Vines that chronologically happens between books 1 and 2, featuring Ceridwen Preben, Princess of the Summer Kingdom.

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2. The title and cover art for book 3 are ready to be released!

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3. The Title will be released in December and the cover art in February.

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She did say that the second word will be “Like” for sure. *laughs*

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4. Book 3 will begin with Meira learning to control her ice powers.

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So no more accidental ice shooting people off carriages, phew!

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5. Lekam and his husband will have a very touching and romantic moment in book 3!

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6. There will be more action and more battle scenes in the next book.

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7. There’s a reason why there isn’t much known about Paisley, and it will be revealed in the next installment.

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8. Raasch is currently working on more projects on YA Fantasy.

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So, did you read Ice Like Fire? Are you Pumped for the next book in the story? Let us know in the comments section below and remember you can get these and many more titles at The Bookmark!

Announcements · Book Club PR · eventos · features

Ice Like Fire Book Club Recap at The Bookmark

By Mónica González

(@TheLiteraryMomo)

12119112_502890723198820_2511616258685980531_nLast Wednesday, our friends at The Bookmark hosted a very special book club event, one which also coincided with the first anniversary of said book club.  This month’s guest was actually one of the first to be featured on their book clubs, Ice Like Fire author Sara Raasch.

The event began with the traditional discussion of the book, what everyone loved, what they didn’t, what they need more information on, you get the deal.

The first round of discussion was a vivid and spoiler-full recount of the most shocking deaths throughout the story.  While some were truly heartbreaking, others came as a surprise of a more pleasant and “fiery” nature.  For the biggest, most heartbreaking death, Raasch said that she “didn’t really mean to, it was just one of those that came as a surprise but was super necessary.”

Most attendants agreed that throughout this novel, Meira, the heroine and now Queen of Winter, has grown up from the child she once was.  But in doing so, she’s lost control of everything; “she lost control of her powers, she lost control of her men, etcetera,” said Jonathan Cotto, one of The Bookmark’s frequent visitors.  Cotto also mentioned that he was excited for Wednesday’s event, given that Sara Raasch, and her debut Snow Like Ashes, had been featured on the first Epic Reads book club event he attended.

While at the beginning, a lot of people considered that the mindset of the characters throughout the book had changed so much that it changed their essence, later on in the event, Raasch explains that this was sort of her “book where everybody is picking up the pieces,” so basically, every important character is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and handling it in a different way.  She even described Meira’s PTSD as similar to Robert Downey Jr.’s panic attack scenes during Iron Man 3.

At some point the discussion went from PTSD to “Party in Primoria,” once we got to the Summer Kingdom. In case you haven’t read the book, let me tell you, that place is W-I-L-D! Someone throughout the discussion referred to it as the “Las Vegas” of Primoria, and not for no reason.  The Summer capital, Juli (yes, with an “i”, it’s not a typo), is always in a state of bliss, partying day and night and it’s known for their wine and their brothels.  That same attendant who refered to Juli as Vegas mentioned that she had to do a double take when she realized there were naked ladies running around the street and that King Simon greeted Meira and her companions completely naked (minus his conduit cuff) after waking up from what appeared to be an orgy.
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Now, one of the most loved characters that were introduced in this book was Ceridwen Preben, the Princess of the Summer Kingdom, sister of Summer King Simon.  She is one badass and rebellious royal who spends her time hijacking her brother’s slave shipments so she can set them free. Rasch said that there’s even a Wattpad companion story featuring her life and the events between Snow Like Ashes and Ice Like Fire, which you can find here.

If there had to be a visual description of how the love triangle between Mather, Meira and Theron was described by our guests, it would probably go something like this:
Meira's love triangle

But then again, it was also pointed out that because of everything that had been happening in the story, there wasn’t really a need for a strong love triangle, at least not until the situation was more resolved.  Regarding Prince Theron’s change of attitude in the novel, Raasch explained that even though a lot of people are angry about the Cordell prince acting the way he is, like Meira, he’s also trying to pick up the pieces after all that’s happened.  He feels like it’s not fair to the people of Winter that he’s so upset because while they’ve been dealing with the situation for sixteen years, he just got into it and he doesn’t deserve to be struggling.

TenThousandSkies_frntCvrSo, what did you think about the book? Did you have a chance to participate? If you want to know some more about what’s coming soon from Sara Raasch and her Snow Like Ashes series, stay tuned and don’t forget to visit our friends at The Bookmark. Next up in book club, Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray (on sale November 3, 2015), which was announced via one very special video straight from Epic Reads HQ featuring Margo, who’s one of the Tea Time Booktubers.

Happy Reading!

Book Club PR · Críticas/Sinopsis · eventos · Reviews

Find a Piece of Your Heart in Jessi Kirby’s Newest Novel!

By Mónica González

(@TheLiteraryMomo)

17571215Quinn Sullivan’s world turned upside down after Trent’s accident.  It’s been 400 days after his passing and she’s still struggling to move on.  It feels like it was just yesterday when he shouted those two words that brought him into her life; “Hey!” and “Wait!” and gave her a sunflower.  After all of his organs were donated, thinking that it would help her move forward, Quinn decides to contact the recipients and meet them.  They all respond, all but the heart’s recipient.

After the constant struggle to find “Male, 19, CA,” the new owner of Trent’s heart, her search leads her to a beachside surf shop, and to Colton Thomas.  Colton isn’t all what she thought he’d be. He’s not helpless, or weak, or unhealthy, as she expected.  He’s a slim and healthy surfer working on his parent’s shop.  When they meet, she doesn’t tell him right away about who she is, or whose heart he carries.  Instead, the two will go on a journey where they could both change for the better, as long as she agrees to move forward from the heart that she kept for so long.

Okay, first off, I have to say; this book was epic and heart stopping, no pun intended.  For anyone who follows my Goodreads account, I have some explaining to do.  Yes, I gave this book a 3-star rating, and yes, I know that it doesn’t necessarily agree with my affectionate outbursts regarding this book, but there’s a reason for all this.  Originally, I thought the novel was going to have a different story, I thought the novel was going to have a different story, I thought the story was going to be about Quinn’s search for the heart’s recipient, not about how finding him would change her life.  I felt like the descriptions were somewhat misleading but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a good story.
4106087The other reason I took a star from it, was the fact that I felt like Colton should’ve known the truth at the beginning of the book; it would’ve been intriguing to see both Quinn and Colton debating whether they had real feelings for each other or if it was just Trent’s heart influencing them, but, then again, that’s just me.

In general, I loved the book, especially a very “critical” heart-pounding moment that almost killed me, and I’d love to read some more of Kirby’s work.

What about you? What did you think of the story? Did you go to Book Club last week? Let me know in the comments section below.

Happy Reading!

Announcements · Book Club PR · Críticas/Sinopsis · eventos · Reviews · Special Events

To All The Boys I Loved Before… and never dated, sorry-not-sorry!

By Mónica G. González

(@TheLiteraryMomo)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before 3dLara Jean has loved many boys, she loved plenty but never truly. Every time she fell for a boy, to avoid heartbreak, she’d write them a soul-pouring letter telling them all the reasons she loved them, and the ones for why she had to let them go. Her letters were never sent, she kept them in a box inside her room; well actually, never got sent until now.

What would you do if someone sent out your super secret love letters without your consent? Someone, accidentally or intentionally, sent out her letters, and now every boy she’s ever loved knows about her feelings, specially the obnoxiously popular Peter Kavinsky, and her sister’s recent ex-boyfriend Josh.

The Song Sisters; Margot, Lara Jean and Kitty, have done pretty much everything together, before and after their mother died.  After Margot goes off to college, family ties will be tested, relationships will rise and fall and Lara Jean will have to choose between playing it safe, or taking a risk she’s never taken before.

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I have mixed feelings about this book. While I did enjoy how the story sort of flowed throughout mid to end book, at the beginning I felt like Lara Jean acted a bit too childish for a teenager, while Kitty, being an actual child, acted like she belonged in high school. While that was going on, Margot was there being a mom, and leaving to another continent altogether.

Although I do understand why she had to be so serious all of the time, having to take on so much responsibility at such an early age, followed by the anxiety of having to hand her responsibilities to Lara Jean so she could live her life; she could’ve at least acted a little friendlier towards her sister. Then again, like I said before, I understand; so many years of bottled up resentment about having to grow up too early because of a missing parent will do that to someone.

Another aspect of the story that I didn’t like was the fact that Josh’s choices kept changing; almost like if he was flipping a quarter to choose who to love. It would’ve been easier if he had just stayed forever in love with Margot and let it be.  Same thing with Geniveve. Either you want Peter or you don’t, you can’t just change your mind every few minutes.

Actually, I have made a decision. On the events of this Geniveve being such a horrible human being, and Robyn Schneider’s Geniveve being just plain exasperating banner-frame(kudos to Jenny and Robyn for writing such lovely books with such dislikable antagonists, though), from now on, every time I read about a new Geniveve, I am automatically mind-shunning her until she proves herself worthy of my attention.

With that said, I gave this book a solid three star rating, because while it could’ve been better, it was a pretty lovely story depicting real life issues like ethnic discrimination and the passing of a parent. And also, because I am still dying to know how the story will unfold in the conclusive sequel, P.S. I Still Love You.

Happy Reading!

Book Club PR · Críticas/Sinopsis

Get a Dose of Reality With Something Real by Heather Demetrios.

By Mónica González

(@TheLiteraryMomo on Twitter)

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Something Real by Heather Demetrios

How far would you go for fame? How far would you go to lose fame? For Chloe, known as the infamous Bonnie™ Baker, these are questions that she has to face every day. She was never asked if she wanted to be a part of Bakers Dozen™, the hit reality show by MetaReel TV, she just was. In fact, being one of the only three of her family members actually born within the reality show, has meant that her life has been in the public eye since the start, and she’s sick of it.

After four years since the show’s cancellation, Chloe is finally having a normal life and, hopefully, an anonymous senior year. Unfortunately, that’s not what her mother has planned, as she gets ready to surprise the entire family with the soon to be premiered season of Bakers Dozen: Fresh Batch. After the life-threatening events from Season 13, Episode 2, Chloe is nowhere near ready to be in front of the cameras again, and neither is her older brother Benton™ “Benny” Baker. Together, they will have to figure out how to break free of that environment, or forever be condemned to live under Big Brother’s command.

Heather Demetrios
Heather Demetrios

This is the second Heather Demetrios novel that I read and I am certain it won’t be my last. Chloe is one of those very relatable characters that you can’t help but to care for. Benny is an extremely funny character with a slight drinking problem and a gorgeous Football Player for a boyfriend. And Lexie™ Baker, Benny’s twin sister, she’s something alright, and she plans to become something big. Even though we don’t get to see too much of her during the book, what we do get to see is pretty shocking, yet understandable for both a child star, and an actual sibling.

I liked this story because everything that Chloe goes through, despite being adapted in the story to reflect on the life of a reality TV star, can be adapted to anyone’s everyday life. Parental neglect, teenage insecurity and even how social media makes you be in a constant public eye, these are all thing we can relate to.

What I did not like was the fact that Chloe’s mom was so willing to just forget about the events that led to the cancellation of the show in season thirteen and even exploit the situation in her favor to get more ratings. I understand the financial challenges that a family of fifteen must face, but that doesn’t give a mother an excuse to neglect and abuse of her child the way she did, although I do understand that her antagonizing posture was necessary throughout the story so Chloe could develop as an individual.

The Lexie Project by Heather Demetrios
The Lexie Project by Heather Demetrios

I for one, am not ready for this story to be over, and I bet Demetrios wasn’t either, which is probably why she decided to bring The Lexie Project to life. This is a spin off story based on Lexie™’s life in Los Angeles after the events of Something Real. It involves some new characters as well as some of the original ones. So, after you finish this book, if you feel like finding out some more, which I’m sure you will, go check out The Lexie Project on Wattpad or at lexieproject.com, enjoy!

Book Club PR · Críticas/Sinopsis · Reccomendations · Reviews

Liar, Liar… This Book is on Fire!

By Mónica González

(@TheLiteraryMomo)

liars-inc-678x1024Liars, Inc. Paula Stokes’ most recent novel, was one that kept me glued to the story from beginning to end. It was a fast paced, follow the clues, try to guess what’s gonna happen next, then fail at it, just my kind of book!

This young adult psychological thriller follows the story of Max Cantrell, how he and his friends, football star and ladies man Preston DeWitt, and martial arts expert and half-Indian badass Parvati Amos, create an alibi company for extra cash plus the thrill of danger.  Unfortunately, as you may probably guess, nothing good can ever come from a lie, so when Preston goes missing and all clues lead to Max, the race is on to find out who the real killer is, before an innocent has to pay.

PaulaStokes1-332x500I have to admit something, even though I shouldn’t, I totally judge books by their covers… When I saw this one, I knew I had to have it. During last week’s book club, which you can read about here, author Paula Stokes revealed that the cover art was actually a photo that the editors at Harper found online and they had to wait for the photographer’s approval to use it.  I am really glad he did because that is one intriguing cover!

I loved the characters, they were very well developed.  I loved how Preston/Adam was such a conflicted soul with many layers to unfold, how Parvati was breaking almost every stereotype of what an Indian girl is supposed to be, and how Max, how has had sort of a rough life, would try to stay distant with everyone while, at the same time, would feel so much. Even while I did like most of the characters, I have to admit that, at some point, officer Gonzalez made me want to run to the nearest courthouse and change my last name.

My only concern regarding the story, was that I felt like the company had been running for a time too short to have such a large significance within the story, but then again, it might’ve been me not paying attention to actual dates and reading too fast because the book was that good. As for my Goodreads rating? I gave this book five well deserved stars.

This definitely won’t be my last Stokes book, although, I honestly don’t know what to expect since all of her books are so different from one another. But hey, there’s only one way to find out!

Happy Reading!

Book Club PR · eventos

Liars, Inc. Book Club Recap at The Bookmark!

By Mónica González

(@TheLiteraryMomo)

18009950 copyLiar, liar, book club on fire! Last Wednesday night, our friends at The Bookmark hosted their monthly book club and, boy was it full of surprises! If not for their great ambiance or their over-the-top giveaways, their choice for this month’s pick is sure to become a crowd favorite to not just all who attended, but to anyone who picks up the book in the future.

This month’s novel, Liars, Inc. By Paula Stokes, is a Young Adult psychological thriller that narrates the life of Max Cantrell; a high school senior that gets framed for the murder of his best friend and son of a politician, Preston DeWitt.  The night began with the announcement of the hashtag #TheBookmarkPRLoyalLiars as part of the event, so attendants would take pictures with the book and enter the event’s giveaway. You can check out the pictures here, here and here.

Untitled_copyDuring the discussion, it was clear that everyone loved the book and that pretty much everyone had a love/hate relationship with almost every character in the story.  Readers agreed that Preston, a.k.a. Adam, was a very interesting character with his sociopathic tendencies, as well as the logic behind his childhood traumas. “I fell in love with his mind and how he had everything planned out for years,” said one of the guests regarding Preston and his master plan.  With a few exceptions, almost every reader at the event disliked Parvati, Max’s girlfriend, to the point of hating her because of all her lies.  “She had so many chances to tell him the truth and she didn’t, and then she happens to decide to tell him on the day he found out,” questioned Euridice Molinary regarding Parvati’s actions. Stokes had this to say:

“…I feel like I’m making excuses, but I understand why she does it. It’s not the right thing to do, but she does that a lot…”

There were many theories surrounding the story, among them Preston being gay and going to Vegas to meet a guy, Max being insane and not remembering that he killed his friends, and Parvati framing Max to run off with Preston. When Stokes made her digital appearance, she had many thoughts on these theories.  She admitted that, even though we read the end result, there were actually many changes and endings in the earlier drafts, including one where Max kills everyone in the end, which she called “the revenge draft.”

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She ended up discarding the draft and leaving the story with only one sociopath instead. Max, being a teenager right out of the foster system when he was adopted by his family, never really displayed any extraordinary skills like Parvati or Preston. Stokes explained that she wanted Max to be ordinary, since everyone feels that way at some point and she wanted every reader to be able to relate to him. “If Max was in Divergent, he would be factionless,” she added.

At some point, someone asked about how much different would have been the story if it had happened from Parvati’s point of view. Stokes, who is currently working on a story with a Korean main character, seemed somewhat mindblown at the question and had this to say:

“…That’s a fascinating question. I can’t tell you how it would end, but probably very different and very fast paced…”

Someone else asked if she ever considered writing a chapter from Preston/Adam’s point of view.  Stokes said she didn’t because it’s something that’s constantly done in mystery books and because, even though she likes books with many points of view, she prefers writing in just one.  She also stated that writing from Preston’s point of view would’ve been tricky to achieve without giving away the gender of the killer, and she wanted Parvati to be considered a suspect as well.  Stokes also revealed that, originally, Max didn’t have adopted siblings and that they came into the story once she had written an early draft on which Preston kidnapped a little sister to lure him to a trap.

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The lucky reader who won the signed gift set.

The night ended with a giveaway session that included a six signed copy book gift set that was awarded to Twitter user “@__baezz”, as well as many other goodies, including stickers, T-shirts and hand-wrapped items by Paula Stokes herself! Even though this was Stokes’ very first Skype Q&A session ever, I’d say she did a fantastic job at it, given that everyone had fun at the event.

Next month’s pick is Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby, and the event will be on Wednesday, september 30th, as always, at The Bookmark.

Book Club PR · eventos · Special Events

Jenny Han Skype Q&A Recap at The Bookmark!

By Mónica González

(@TheLiteraryMomo)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before 3dLast Thursday night, The Bookmark hosted a very surprising and insightful Skype Q&A session, with none other than Children and Young Adult (YA) author Jenny Han.  Unlike their usual book club sessions, this time around, a spoiler-free rule was established so those who still haven’t read all of her books would still be surprised when they finally did.

Han, who is currently working on a “too soon to talk about” novel, shared with the audience some “cute and quirky” facts, like how she fangirls about things like The Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, X-Men comic books and Harry Potter.

Speaking of which, “What makes a proud Slytherin?,” asked Jonathan Cotto, one of the bookmark’s loyal customers. Han explained that when she got sorted and she became Slytherin, it took her a while to come to terms with it, specifically since aren’t too many good Slytherin out there.  Regarding character sorting from her To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, she says Lara Jean would most likely be a Hufflepuff, while Margot would be a Ravenclaw and Kitty a Slytherin.
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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love you, is a series following the life of these three sisters, and how Lara Jean’s personal love letters that she wrote to boys she wanted to fall out of love with, get accidentally mailed out, causing her a lot of problems that she’ll have to overcome.  The duology, according to Han, was inspired on her own life while growing up, although her letters never got sent.  She based Lara Jean and Kitty’s relationship on her own relationship with her sister and feels like it’s very important to write about strong sisterly bonds.  Lara Jean is also loosely based on Beth from Little Women.

Some of the praises that attendants gave Miss Han was how she was able to develop such a relatable character in Lara Jean despite her Korean-American heritage. “You don’t need a white girl character for a white girl to be able to relate,” stated Han when praised.
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Han has come a long way after writing her debut novel Shug, back in college.  After majoring in psychology, with minors in Criminal Justice and English, followed by a Creative Writing MFA, she doesn’t see herself not writing for a living.  She would much rather explore the research aspect of psychology in her books instead of in real life.  A clear example of this is her detailed description of life after losing a parent.

banner-frameAlthough she admitted to have some adult content hidden up her sleeve, Han indicated that she will not be writing for adults anytime soon.  “My heart is pretty much set on YA right now,” she said.  “There’s just a joy about writing of young people, because the feelings are universal,” she added.

Regarding a potential movie dream cast, she didn’t have much to say since “there are so few Asian actors that get any jobs.  It’s even harder for YA since anyone I might like will probably be too old to play them by the time a movie gets made,” she explained. Despite that, she did mention potential candidates like Katie Leung (Harry Potter’s Cho Chang) for Lara Jean and Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner’s Thomas) for Peter K.

If you haven’t read, or don’t own any of Jenny Han’s books, this is your chance to get a signed copy.  Head on over to The Bookmark as soon as possible because, in celebration of the event, Jenny Han sent over some exclusive signed copies of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You that you can purchase.  Get yours now and fall in and out of love alongside Lara Jean.

Happy Reading!