Friday, July 3, 2009

Sarah Dessen Week: The Final Four

Because Sarah has more than 7 books, I have decided to put the four that I neither loved, nor hated in together as the final day, with only a synopsis and book cover for each one, because I would pretty much be saying the same thing over and over again. I neither loved them or hated them.
So here we go,
"Just Listen:" Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help,maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

This Lullaby: When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

Dreamland: Rogerson Biscoe, with his green eyes and dark curly hair, is absolutely seductive. Before long, sixteen-year-old Caitlin finds herself under his spell. And when he starts to abuse her, she finds she's in too deep to get herself out.

And for How to Deal...
This is an article from Sarah's website about THE MOVIE (which is a cross between That Summer and How to Deal) Back in February of 1998, when my first two books, Someone Like You and That Summer, were optioned for a movie, a friend of mine who is a writer and has experience in such things said to me, "I think that is so exciting. It’s wonderful and you should be proud. But I want to tell you, I’ve had over ten options and none of of them have ever panned out. Just so you know.
This was good advice, and I heard it again and again. Because of this, I came to think of the possibility of the movie ever getting made as being kind of like winning the lottery: about as great, and about as likely.
Well. Years passed. Scripts were written. (Not by me: which is good, because I have no idea how to write a script.) I built a house, got married, wrote three more books. All the while the Movie Thing was in the background, and I thought of it when I wasn’t daydreaming about shoes or Stila lipsticks, or whenever I was at the movies myself, which was a fair amount because I love movies, even bad ones. Every year the option would come up to be renewed, and every year I would brace myself for it not to be.
Then, in February of 2002, I came home from walking my dog to find a message from my agent. Optimist that I am, I assumed this was to tell me that option, up at the end of the month, was going to be dropped. I dragged myself to to the phone, braced for bad news, and instead was greeted with mild hysteria on the other end of the line, shrieking and squealing. Had I gotten their email? (No.) Was I sitting down? (Yes.) Then they finally told me what all the fuss was about: the movie was going to be made. Mandy Moore was starring. It was all in that day’s Variety, which they were faxing me right that second.
By mid-March everything was official, and shooting began in June. After four years almost to the day, things were moving really fast. Words fail me when I try to describe what all this is like: the closest I can come is an out of body experience of some sort. While I am here in North Carolina trying to write, cleaning out my refrigerator, and going to the grocery store, there is a huge group of people up in Canada hard at work bring characters I created to the screen. I mean, that’s just insane. If I thought about it too much I think my head would explode.
Those of you who have seen books you love be made into movies know that something is always different, that the transfer from the page to the screen means things get left out or lost. Since Someone Like You has a fierce, extremely loyal following (the rest of the books have support too, but for some reason SLY is bigger, I’m not sure why) I’m sure there will be some grumbling about things that were omitted or changed. I felt that way too, at first. But I’ve come to realize that the books will stay just as they are, exactly as I want them to be, no matter how else they are presented. Sure, I was sad to see some characters get cut, but I’m leaving this one to the professionals. I’ll just stick to writing novels, thanks.
The script for the movie---which was called Someone Like You, until Ashley Judd had a movie by the same name---takes Halley and Scarlett and Macon’s story from SLY and gives Halley Haven’s family from That Summer. Which means that Ashley from That Summer is Halley’s sister, and Halley’s mom is actually Haven’s mom. Confused yet? It actually works really well on the page. Trust me.
How To Deal was released in July 2003, and it's now available on DVD and shows pretty regularly on Lifetime (and, if I am to be totally honest, I always stop and watch it, at least for a minute or two). Getting to see my books go from the page to the screen was an incredibly fun ride, and I can only hope I get to do it again someday. Fingers crossed!

So that concludes Sarah Dessen week!! I hope you all enjoyed it!
To learn more about Sarah and her books go to , , friend her on facebook, follow her on twitter or keep coming back to OfficiallyMRS every day this week to read more reviews of Sarah's books.

More to come,

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