Now that life has calmed down a little I've had time to read again (finallyyy) just read two books (well I'm still reading one of them) that have have been/are going to be turned into movies thus sparking the popular dinnertime conversation of what's better-the book or the movie? And all of you negative nancys out there who think that there isn't a movie that is better than the book-FALSE I say and give you the example of The Princess Bride.
Anyway that is besides the point. I just read The Romantics by Galt Niederhoffer. Oh. My. Goodness. It was one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. The depth she brings to her characters is astounding. Her descriptions are breathtaking. I felt like I was there and not just simply reading the book. It gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling that I get when I'm reading a book at the right time in my life, like I was meant to read it then, to learn the lessons the book is trying to teach, to absorb its wisdom.
The Romantics is basically The Big Chill (well, the non-80s version) and it takes place at a wedding, not a funeral. A group of privileged besties from Yale reunite for a wedding between two of their own...where the maid of honor is in love with the groom. These twenty-somethings are all struggling to discover their place in the world and realizing that life isn't turning out the way that they've always pictured it. Its a reminder that coming-of-age novels aren't just about teenagers, because lets face it, we're all struggling.
The only complaint I have about the book is the tone in some places. Galt Niederhoffer seems to judge the character's backgrounds. She writes about the frivolities of knowing the unwritten cocktail party conversation rules, the summers growing up of sailing lessons, tennis lessons, golf lessons, and the basic WASP upbringing. She writes as though she is an outsider who always wanted to fit in and didn't so she takes it out on her characters, like they were people that she once knew, but really grew up as one (she went to Chapin, Milton and then Harvard). I just thought it strange.
The movie, if you didn't see it, do. It has an all-star cast of Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Anna Paquin, Malin Akerman, Adam Brody, Dianna Agron, Jeremy Strong, Rebecca Lawrence, Candice Bergen and Elijah Wood. Galt Niederhoffer wrote the screenplay so it is very similar to the book, though I wouldn't say it's better.
So I finished The Romantics yesterday and am already 250 pages into One Day by David Nicholls. I just can't put it down! It has been sitting on my book shelf gathering dust for a year. I got it as part of a New York Times promotion one Friday on the Hampton Jitney (bag full of free books-I picked a good day to take the Jitney!) I'm SO glad I finally picked it up.
One Day follows the lives of Emma and Dexter, two friends who met at college on July 15, 1988 and each chapter a snippet of both of their lives, exactly a year later (July 15, 1989, July 15, 1990, July 15, 1991 etc.) It's a fresh story of friendship, loss, life lessons and a tortured love that could rival Romeo and Juliet or Anne Elliot and Fredrick Wentworth. I still have about 200 pages left so I can't give you my final thoughts on the book but so far I am blown away.
The movie version comes out later this summer with Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess and Patricia Clarkson. Like The Romantics, the author also wrote the screenplay so I'm expecting it to be good! Here is the trailer:
Nick Hornby called One Day "The perfect beach read for people who are normally repelled by the very idea of beach reads". He is absolutely right.
Reading anything good? Let me know!