Hello Internet friends,

I know I owe you a ginormous post about all the books I’ve been reading. That’s on my to-do list, I swear.

However, I wanted to share some exciting news with you. My first book is being published as an ebook!

I’ve been sending query letters out to literary agents over the past few months and so far they’ve all passed with very gracious rejection letters. However, an online publishing company expressed interest in my query letter and then asked to see a completed manuscript… AND THEN SAID THEY WANTED TO PUBLISH MY BOOK AS AN EBOOK!

So, I’m finishing up some edits, working on a cover design and setting up various author pages. If all goes well, the ebook will be released in about two months, maybe less. And of course I will post out to everything once it is available.

I’ve been pretty hush hush about the actual subject of the book as I’ve been working on it (because people can steal ideas … that’s a terrible thing, but it happens). But, I can say that it’s a YA book and it’s about high school baseball.

I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of this process with everyone. In the meantime, I’m going to finish editing this book and write some more of the other book I’m working on… (Yes, I’m still writing! I’m 30 chapters into a completely different YA book, which is presently titled “College Book” because I have no idea what it should be called. Alas. But I’m in love with this book and I can’t wait to finish writing it!)

WRITING! IT’S THE BEST!

Have a fantastic weekend 🙂

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Based on the cast alone, I was wholly excited to see It’s Only a Play on Broadway. So, I saw it on 9/27 and walked away still excited about that cast, but extremely unimpressed with the play itself.

To be honest, the play wasn’t very memorable. It was a string of inside jokes about the theater/entertainment industry. I laughed not because the jokes were inherently funny, but because of who was delivering them. You laugh when Nathan Lane tells a bad joke because it’s Nathan Lane and he has this uncanny ability to contort his eyebrows into some serious furrows. You don’t groan quite so hard at Matthew Broderick’s epically long monologues because it’s Matthew freakin’ Broderick. He of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off and the How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying revival cast album from 1994 that I’ve listened to probably a billion times since I got it for Easter back in 1995.

The play seems to acknowledge how lackluster it actually is. The text is definitely nowhere close to anything substantial. It’s entertaining to a fault, but won’t leave you feeling inspired or challenged or moved.

I do appreciate the play for what it gave me. Or rather, I appreciated the theater-going experience. This was my one chance to see Lane and Broderick on stage together. This was my one chance to see Broderick and Megan Mullaly on stage together (as she’s also on that H2$ revival cast album…). This was likely my one chance to see F. Murray Abraham on stage. This was likely my one chance to see Rupert Grint on stage. This play introduced me to Isabel Keating (Stockard Channing was out with an injury, so Keating has been playing her part and she kicked ass). This play introduced the audience to Micah Stock.

Oh, Micah Stock. What a great Broadway debut. And the one performer in the show who provided me with my biggest laugh of the night… lets just say that Wicked is no longer the only show on Broadway that features “Defying Gravity.” (HE DOES ALL THE PARTS. I LITERALLY CLUTCHED AT MY NON-EXISTENT PEARLS AND DOUBLED OVER WITH LAUGHTER.)

I know a lot of people my age and younger are flocking to the play for Grint. He’s good in his role and a very likable actor/person. But he’s not the main character by a mile (it’s an ensemble show, but Nathan Lane is definitely the “star” and seems to log the most minutes on stage). Hopefully those who are seeing this for Grint will realize that they are actually in the presence of theater giants and should be grateful for that experience.

I’ve seen a few other shows on Broadway the past couple months that were infinitely better than It’s Only a Play.

This is Our Youth was entertaining and actually made me reflect on my 20s. I’ve been a fan of Keiran Culkin and Michael Cera for years, so it was great to see them on stage. This play started a bit slow for me, but then picked up the pace and was rather engaging. I had no idea who Tavi Gevinson was before seeing the show, but I was impressed with her stage presence. Each of the actors really added that intangible “something” to the production and I was really glad I saw this early in previews.

The same say I saw It’s Only a Play, I saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I read the book a few months ago and loved it. I loved the stage version as well. The set was amazing – it was basically a giant chalkboard that doubled as projection screens. It was really rather modern and fairly minimalist.

I was personally glad that Taylor Trensch was in as Christopher during the performance my friend and I attended. I saw him once before in Matilda (his understudy was in when I saw Bare) but wondered how he would be in a play instead of a musical… well, he’s wonderful. Christopher is such a complex character that I really related to when I read the book and it was a real pleasure to see such a capable actor portray him on stage. *This* is the play to see if you want to feel something real.

In addition to these three plays, I also went and saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch again. I had never seen Andrew Rannells on stage before and was desperate to see him in this before his run ended. (I will be seeing the show again when Michael C. Hall takes over, mark my words.) I saw the show when NPH was Hedwig and it was the single most amazing theater-going experience of my life. Rannells’s Hedwig was amazing as well and I am forever grateful that I got to see him in this role. The show itself is flawless and I just get so much out of it when I see it (or listen to it… that soundtrack is pretty much on repeat on my Spotify account).

The next thing I have tickets for is The Real Thing at the end of October and Cabaret in December (EMMA STONE, Y’ALL). I plan on seeing The Elephant Man and Hedwig again. And I just found out that Jake Gyllenhaal will be on Broadway in something at the start of the new year, so I’ll try and see that too.

Basically, SEE ALL THE SHOWS.

If you follow my blog, or keep tabs on me in real life, you’ll know that I used to post in-depth recaps of Glee. I stopped after Season 4 because I was getting so mad at the show. I’m still mad at the show and at this point I wish it would have just been cancelled already. It’s hard watching something I once loved get so far away from what it once represented and championed.

For those of you who don’t know, the RIB in the title of this post refers to Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk.

MAJOR SPOILERS for Glee Seasons 2-6. You have been warned.

I’ll say that again… MAJOR SPOILERS for seasons 2-6.

I should be working on another chapter of the book I’m writing. But instead, I’m typing this out because I feel I needed to get up on a soap box for a moment and express my utter discontent about Glee as we continue on in the hiatus between seasons 5 and 6.

At the moment, MyTV is rerunning Episodes 5.1 and 5.2. In 5.1, “Love, Love, Love,” the glee kids sing a bunch of Beatles songs but one of the bigger plot lines is that Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) is planning a marriage proposal for his boyfriend, Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer).

Kurt and Blaine (referred to as “Klaine” by fans) have been a fan pairing since Blaine’s first appearance back in Season 2 (Episode 2.6, “Never Been Kissed”) and officially canon starting in 2.16 (“Original Song”). Their relationship has been punctuated with several meaningful moments – their first school dance together (2.10, “Prom Queen”), the first time they said I Love You (2.22, “New York”), when Blaine transferred to McKinley to go to school with Kurt (3.1, “The Purple Piano Project”), their first time having sex (3.5, “The First Time”), their first big fight (3.17, “Dance With Somebody”), their first break-up (4.4, “The Break Up”), their first big step toward reconciliation (4.8, “Thanksgiving”), Kurt’s dream sequence of them singing “Come What May,” i.e. the song they were planning to sing to each other at their wedding (4.15, “Girls [and Boys] on Film), when Blaine asks Kurt’s dad about proposing to Kurt (4.21, “Wonder-ful”), when Blaine buys Kurt’s engagement ring (4.22 “All or Nothing”), when Blaine and Kurt get back together and Blaine proposes to Kurt (5.1, “Love, Love, Love”), when Blaine and Kurt live together in NYC (5.14, “New New York”), when Blaine and Kurt have a huge fight and decide not to live together in NYC (5.16, “Tested”), when Blaine and Kurt have another fight but ultimately decide that loving and trusting each other is something they will choose to do and they move back in with each other (5.20, The Untitled Rachel Berry Project”).

And then we come to Season 6, which although is presently filming, won’t air until early 2015.

I don’t actively seek out spoilers (in fact, I’ve unfollowed a lot of people on Twitter and Tumblr to avoid spoilers), but plot points have still popped up on my dashboards and from what I’ve gathered, Season 6 starts off six months after Season 5 ends. Kurt has called off his engagement to Blaine, Blaine has flunked out of NYADA and moved back to Ohio and is now dating (living with?) David Karofsky. Yes, that same David Karofsky who used to bully Kurt (to the point of death threats) and whose only two interactions with Blaine have contained shoving matches where Blaine tried to stand up for/protect Kurt (2.6 and 2.17, “Night of Neglect”).

It has been increasingly harder to care about Glee the past few seasons, but this is really it for me. It is so frustrating when the show has taken my favorite character (Blaine) and has repeatedly committed epic character assassination. Not only is this a huge disservice to the fans; it’s an overall disservice to the people who have actively looked up to/cared about Klaine.

When Blaine was first introduced in 2.6, he was seen as a mature mentor and confidant for Kurt. Blaine was someone Kurt could talk to about being bullied and being out at school. Though his age/grade was never explicitly stated on the show, fans assumed Blaine was either a year ahead of Kurt or in the same grade as Kurt.

Season 3 was Kurt’s senior year of high school. It was revealed, however, in 3.2 (“I Am Unicorn”) that Blaine was a junior. And all of a sudden, the confidant Blaine disappeared and his character became a lot less confident, a lot more whiny and increasingly further away from the strong character he was introduced as. Flaws were a necessity to knock him off the pedestal Kurt had put him on, but the radical shift in character was inconsistent even with the already noticeable lack of character continuity on the show. (Among other things, it has since been revealed that Blaine was meant to be a junior in Season 2 and subsequently should have graduated when Kurt did. Fan theory is that because Blaine/Darren Criss were fan favorites, he was Benjamin Buttoned to be a junior in Season 3 to keep him around at McKinley for an extra season and a half.)

As mentioned before, Kurt and Blaine had their first huge fight in 3.17. Kurt was texting/flirting with another boy (Chandler) and it was making Blaine jealous and feel insecure about their relationship. He was already worried about losing Kurt when Kurt went away to NYC the following school year, and Kurt texting another boy was adding insult to injury. Kurt was jealous of Blaine with other guys twice before (Jeremiah in 2.12, “Silly Love Songs;” Sebastian in 3.5, “The First Time”), but his texting with Chandler was a bigger problem between them because of the impending distance issue. Kurt and Blaine came out of 3.17 seemingly stronger than ever with promises that distance was not going to be a problem.

Of course it was, though. As soon as Kurt got to NYC in Season 4, he and Blaine’s relationship became strained, driving Blaine to cheat on him. They officially broke up in 4.4 and it pretty much broke the fandom. (Note – I was there when they broke up. Some friends and I were at Battery Park while the Glee cast was shooting the scene where Blaine told Kurt that he was with someone else. There was a lot of tears from both the fans and the actors. It was a really emotional night watching my favorite tv couple – at the time – break up over and over and over again.)

Fans were hopeful, though. And so was Blaine. (Sadly, Blaine just said his line from 5.1, “Kurt and I will have a happy ending” as I’m typing this… Stab. Twist. Remove.) From then on, Blaine was insistent on earning back Kurt’s trust and getting Klaine back together. Even though I was dead-set on them getting engaged (the characters were too young), I was on board with them reuniting.

Since Klaine happened, their relationship became a big deal in the fandom and in the media. Criss and Colfer (dressed as Kurt and Blaine) were featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. Klaine won several online polls about favorite couple, including Entertainment Weekly’s Greatest TV Couple of All Time. They were even nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Best On-Screen Couple. These young men were a positive representation of a gay relationship on television and inspired countless people. If you’ve seen the Glee 3D Concert movie, you can see clips of fans talking about how much they love Kurt and Blaine and Klaine. If you are into fanfiction, there are hundreds or thousands of stories revolving around Klaine. These characters matter to a lot of people. Though fictional, they were characters to root for. We fell in love with them as they fell in love with each other. And it was nice.

Until it wasn’t.

Kurt and Blaine went through some more relationship drama after they got engaged. Though bumpy, at least it was a depiction of the realistic ups and downs couples face (jealousy, miscommunication, needing space, etc…). They lived together. Then they didn’t live together. They dealt with STD testing (since Blaine had been with someone else). They dealt with making a home but also needing to make space for themselves. There were some decently written (and much needed) discussions between the characters and we saw them grow as men and as a couple.

But then all these rumors and spoilers for Season 6 started floating around and even the biggest Klainers were like NO.

Why are RIB tearing our beloved couple apart yet again? Is that really necessary to drive the story.

At this point, No.

Season 6 is Glee’s last/final season. With Rachel and Finn no longer an option for the show’s big couple, Klaine is basically it. And RIB is ripping them apart in the worst way possible. Not only by breaking them up, but by having Blaine dating Karofsky. (Annnnnnd, as I’m typing this, Blaine and Co are singing “All You Need is Love” to Kurt and then making the most romantic proposal speech in recent television history. Sigh.)

Having Blaine date Karofsky not only diminished Blaine as a character, but it seems like the ultimate disrespect to Kurt’s character as well. (Kurt has gotten the short end of the stick for pretty much all of his plot lines. No character has gone through more shit on Glee than him. He gets absolutely nothing handed to him and often has to overcome layers of obstacles just to break even. And don’t even get me started about how the NYC characters from Season 5 are all back in Lima in Season 6. Like, way to quash the characters’ hopes and dreams about growing and moving away from their small town to achieve their life goals.) I just can’t wrap my head around a plot that would make sense for Blaine to date Karofsky after Karofsky bullied (and then ultimately befriended) Kurt. You just don’t do that to a person who you love. You don’t date his tormentor. You don’t date the person who beat him up. You don’t date the person who threatened to kill him. You just don’t do it. And it doesn’t matter how reformed Karofsky is (because guess what, I liked Karofsky as soon as he got nice and began to accept himself) – you don’t write scripts where Karofsky and Blaine are dating.

But on top of that, you don’t write scripts where Karofsky and Blaine date each other if you still plan of having Blaine and Kurt get back together. Because you know that and Blaine are still going to get back together. And they’re probably going to get married. But at this point, I kind of actually don’t want that to happen.

Kurt and Blaine have been referred to the “Ross and Rachel” of Glee. I wish they were considered the “Monica and Chandler.” Because Monica and Chandler were the heart and soul of Friends. Ross and Rachel were the “will they/won’t they/who gives a flying f**k” couple. They never seemed to have their shit together and by the end of the series, I didn’t care if they did or did not get together.

I care about Kurt and Blaine. Or at least, I did much more than I do right now. And I think RIB used to too. But now they just seem to care about causing unnecessary drama on a show that already has too much drama and ruin the one great thing that it had going for it – a strong gay couple with fan-favorite characters. Sure, people are talking about it… but when everyone is talking about how much they wish the show was cancelled already or that they don’t want to watch anymore because everything we loved about the show has been tossed by the wayside. Well… that just seems like poor planning on RIB’s part.

Why piss off fans who have been loyal to Glee for 5 years? We, the fans who went to the live tour, bought the CDs, downloaded songs on iTunes, bought DVDs and Blu-rays, bought merchandise, increased visibility and notoriety of the people on the show… There are 13 episodes of this stupid show left. For all time. Why ruin it for the people who built you up from nothing? Why besmirch the integrity of the characters? Why destroy the happiness of the people who have stuck with you through time slot changes and shortened seasons? Sure, RIB will likely end up giving us what we wanted in the beginning (a Klaine wedding), but now it will just feel tainted.

Glee no longer brings me as much glee as it once did. It hasn’t for a long while now.

And yet I still watch. I’m too stubborn to give it up. Though I still enjoy the covers, I now hate-watch the shows and seethe about how the writers have almost entirely given up on everything that was once good about Glee.

There seriously needs to be more hours to the day… or at least one more day included in the weekend. Right?

It’s been a busy few weeks… read a lot of books, saw a few movies and a couple shows on Broadway. I’m also 25+ chapters into the book I’m writing, have submitted query letters for the book I finished writing a few months ago, and have been having all sorts of terrible interactions with guys. (Ranging from seeing a guy jerk off in public to getting dumped by a guy via text even though we weren’t dating. Good riddance to that, though. The text guy was really rude and called me all sorts of names – “weird,” “crazy,” “complicated” – all because I wouldn’t tell him where I lived or agree to go with him to go see a movie right when he asked. Mind you for that last one, I was already in bed with a migraine. But this self-proclaimed “nice guy” told me he was done with me and wished me good luck finding someone as nice as him. Because, you know, “Just keep in mind I never asked for any obscene pics or anything like it.” Gross, right?)

But enough about my oh so entertaining personal life. This post will be about the three movies I’ve seen in the last two weeks.

The Maze Runner

I’ve read all four books in Dashner’s Maze Runner series and The Maze Runner is by far my favorite. I was really scared heading into the movie that it was going to be dumb… but it wasn’t. The Maze Runner movie was actually really well done for the most part. The cast (led by Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien) was a capable group of young actors and they brought a real sense of urgency to the story. The guys in the Glade have been there for years, but the audience is introduced to them at the end of their respective ropes – Thomas (O’Brien) and the lone girl Teresa are the last two Gladers to arrive and then everything basically goes to shit. The large walls surrounding their Glade suddenly don’t provide the protection from the Grievers that they once did and they either need to find a way out of the maze or everyone will die.

There were some huge variances from the books that bothered me (the shape of the maze and Thomas and Teresa’s lack of telepathy, among others), but I bet if you haven’t read the books it wouldn’t affect your enjoyment of the film because you didn’t know what you were missing out on. I was looking forward to the cliff, but was okay with it not being there. I was not a fan of the big exposition-filled monologue at the end of the film. The movie was hugely entertaining leading up until that, and then it just felt like someone was sitting you down and explaining all this stuff you had absolutely no idea about if you haven’t read the books. But for the people who have read the books, it’s adding insult to injury by not using better plot devices to foreshadow what’s going on outside of the Maze.

Although I wasn’t a fan of The Scorch Trials or The Death Cure, I will see the latter films in this series. (I know The Scorch Trials is already in production…) I don’t watch Teen Wolf, but some of my friends do and have told me repeatedly of their infatuation with O’Brien.

I get it now.

This is Where I Leave You

A cast that strong deserved an infinitely better script than what they had to work with. I haven’t read the book from which this film was based on, but I think I probably would have liked it better just because it felt like the movie was missing something meaningful.

Four siblings and their mother gather to sit Shiva after the father/husband die (even though they don’t actively practice Judaism). Everyone’s got some sort of problem or secret going on in their personal lives – all stemming from relationship issues. It seems that just about everyone is unhappy, so they cheat on their SO or get cheated on by their SO or want to get pregnant or blah blah blah.

I am so sick of movies and shows that use cheating on people as a main plot point. Like, seriously? Maybe this is just me being naïve, but is that really a plot point that a majority of people can relate to? I know that I rarely side with a character that cheats. To me, that’s a cowardly way out of one’s problems and often causes even more problems later on. WHY CAN’T PEOPLE JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER? Hash out your problems instead of just screwing someone who isn’t your SO. You’re unhappy in your relationship? THEN TALK TO YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER AND DEAL WITH IT LIKE A FRIGGIN ADULT.

To top it all off, on top of all the cheating and whatnot, the movie wasn’t even that funny. It’s mostly a drama, but there were obvious attempts at moments of comedy and a lot of them fell flat. And as much as I love Tina Fey (I LOVE her. So much. She’s my lady hero and I’m actually in the middle of reading Bossypants right now…), she was not the right person to play the sister. Or maybe she would have been the right person if that character was written better. (The female characters were horribly underwritten and there were clichés everywhere. EVERYWHERE.)

You could tell that these characters were supposed to be complex, layered people… but they all just read as flat, douchey privileged people whose lives were falling apart because they were making dumb choices left and right.

I wanted to love this movie. But I couldn’t.

The one thing I did love… Will Swenson was the dad! He kept popping up in photographs and then he had a 30 second flashback. That 30 seconds was the most I was engaged the entire film.

I was so disappointed. On paper, that was one of the best ensembles of the year. On screen, it was just a bunch of talented people being underused as they told a story about irresponsible people making irresponsible choices.

Pride

A friend had free passes to see an advanced screening of Pride and I’m so grateful she asked me to join her.

Pride is based on the true story of how a small group of lesbians and gays in London helped raise money for a Welsh mining community in the mid-1980s. This film reminded me a lot of Billy Elliot, The Full Monty and Brassed Off… basically Margaret Thatcher, unhappy coal miners and how hope and a sense of community can go a long way.

The epically sad thing is, is that I had never heard about this story before seeing the movie – and I took a film class in college that dealt exclusively with the Thatcher Era and what was going on in GB during that time. Obviously this movie wasn’t out while I was in college, but we did study what was going on in the news at that time and this story wasn’t part of that.

Pride was one of the most inspiring films I have seen in awhile. It was really powerful to see the members of the LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) raising money for a mining community simply because of solidarity. The lesbians and gays had dealt with adversity from the government and members of their community and thought that the miners shouldn’t have to deal with similar situations.

Of course there was a culture clash. The small mining community the LGSM was raising money for was not entirely receptive of the charity because some of the people in said community were homophobic. The LGSM and Welsh community came together through little events and meetings and eventually more and more people realized that the LGSM was just trying to help when seemingly no one else was.

Juxtaposed with the striking miners was the rising awareness of HIV and AIDS within the gay community. This plot line was not at the forefront of the film, but its weight could be felt throughout.

Though Pride was dealing with a low point in recent history, its overall message was incredibly powerful. It was a nice reminder that kindness to others really can go a long way and change peoples lives for the better.

What was really cool about the screening was that some of the actors and creative members from the crew (the director and screenwriter) were in attendance, but even more awesome was that some of the people whose real lives were portrayed on screen were there too! The LGSM member who was the second person in London to be diagnosed as HIV positive was there (according to the “where are they now” bit at the end of the film, he just celebrated his 65th birthday), as was a woman from the Welsh community who later went on to be a member of the government. I didn’t get a chance to talk to them, but I did see them in the lobby as I was exiting the theater and they were chatting with people about the film and their experiences when the strike was actually happening.

I did have a super brief moment in the lobby with Andrew Scott. Most people know his as Jim Moriarty from the BBC series Sherlock, but in Pride he played a member of the LGSM. He was taking pictures with people and talking to press and I was able to tell him how much I admire his work and did get a picture with him.

Pride opens in LA and NYC on September 26th, but I hope it goes wider because more people need to see this wonderfully uplifting film.

The death of Robin Williams has shaken a lot of people, myself included. My thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

But they also go out to those who have depression in their lives (either themselves or a loved one).

It’s really hard when someone in the public eye who is dealing with the same shit you (or your loved one, etc) are dealing with not make it. And you realize you have to be stronger than the person you’ve looked up to or admired for years.

Depression (and other mental illnesses) is not selective. It didn’t matter that Robin Williams was one of the most beloved comedians of all time. His fame, his money, his status didn’t stop him from battling with depression.

My doctor told me I was depressed in high school (though I believe I was mis-diagnosed and “anxiety” would have been more appropriate). I tried not to let that label define me, but at times it gets rough. I have low days. Hell, there have been low weeks. But I always try to tell myself that things will get better and that there are people who love me. Sometimes that feels like I’m lying to myself, but I’d like to believe there are better things ahead if I can just keep sticking it out.

Seeking help is the opposite of cowardly. Family, friends, doctors, helplines and other resources are out there.

It sometimes feels like you are alone (and sometimes you really just want to be alone), but there are others out there. I know I tend to keep all the rough stuff to myself because I don’t want to burden others, or I don’t want to seem weak. (I’m 30, I feel like I should have everything figured out by now… Even though I totally don’t.)

I have never felt so low that I would end things. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had those kinds of thoughts. Everyone has had those kinds of thoughts, though. Don’t think there is something wrong with you because of them. We’re all messed up, okay? But it’s how we deal with that knowledge that is important.

You are loved. I am loved. We are loved.

(“We are Groot,” okay?)

Heathers the Musical allows audiences to experience the worst parts of high school over and over again through the catchy score and darkly twisted stage adaptation of this 1989 cult classic.

The show starts on the first day of Veronica Sawyer’s [Charissa Hogeland] senior year. Friends with the unpopular chubby girl, Veronica suddenly finds herself hanging out with the uber-popular trio of Heathers [Jessica Keenan Wynn, Elle McLemore, Kristolyn Lloyd] who rule the school and treat just about everyone like crap. Veronica knows the Heathers and their fans are bad people, but popularity trumps morals and she willingly dumps her friend and goes along with them. When new kid JD [Dave Thomas Brown] shows up, Veronica (and the audience, let’s be real) is immediately intrigued with his general badass-ness and they quickly become the audience’s OTP. Until they aren’t.

After confrontation at a party, the Heathers banish Veronica from their little posse and she is marked as a victim of social suicide (“Dead Girl Walking” … sure to be a go-to shower song for angsty girls everywhere). Revenge quickly gets out of hand when accidental homicide starts turning into a series of planned endings. Serious topics like teen violence, sexual desire, suicide and eating disorders are addressed with biting dialogue, delightfully entertaining physical comedy (slow motion fighting sequence, an ode to blue balls), and memorable music numbers. The show is laugh-out-loud funny but also edge-of-your-seat suspenseful (especially if you haven’t seen the movie).

Veronica is a relatable protagonist because you really get why she tolerates hanging out with the Heathers. Being someone people want/respect in high school seems like the most important thing at the time even though years later you’ll realize it’s not. The Heathers are just as flawed as everyone else, except they have money and money means power. (“Candy Store” will be stuck in your head for days.) And JD… oh, JD with his Slurpees and black trench coat. He’s the mysterious new guy and if you aren’t drawn to his charm, well then you probably weren’t watching the same show I was. So when JD starts doing and saying things that are quite questionable, you don’t want to believe he’s really capable of going through with any of it. JD makes your heart race for a number of reasons throughout the show, but his “Meant to Be Yours” performance that is all kinds of intense and really drives the show toward its finale. Electric and scary moments like when Brown owns the stage during his aforementioned solo make seeing the show a necessity. The soundtrack is fun to listen to, but seeing the characters come alive through the music adds to the overall enjoyment of the experience.

Because that’s what Heathers the Musical is – it’s an experience. The costumes reminded me a bit of Cher and her friends from Clueless, but with bigger 80s hair and hair accessories. Because the main characters wear the same outfit for a majority of the show, it’s easier to focus on the lyrics and dialogue. The humor and horror is all there, but it’s all through words and actions rather than superfluous set or costume changes. The set is rather sparse and the props are minimal (but so effective), but you’re never wishing there were more things on stage because the actors do their jobs so well.

Heathers the Musical might be closing at New World Stages on August 4th, but it deserves to find legs elsewhere in the city so more people can lick it up, baby. Lick. It. Up.

Wow. It’s been a while since I last posted about the books I’ve read and I’ve read a bunch more since then. Even though I want to be getting back to the book I’m writing (I’m in the middle of re-writing/editing a second book and just started writing a brand spanking new book that I really wasn’t planning on writing but the words just started flowing… so, lots of writing the past few weeks!), here’s what I’ve been reading:

Dairy Queen – by Catherine Gilbert Murdock – A high school girl who grew up in a football-loving family and works on her family’s cow farm is coerced into training a rival team’s player. He’s a jerk at first, but of course they start to like each other. She then decides to try out for her own high school’s football team without telling him. I’m all for girl power when it comes to hard work and overcoming obstacles, but this book was predictable and a bit cheesetastic.

Debutante Hill – by Lois Duncan – Written in the 1950s, this “aw shucks” and “gee” filled book is about a rich high school girl who is upset that her dad forbids her from partaking in all the debutante events that one of her peer’s mom’s starts up. There is a definite rich kids vs. poor kids aspect to the story, as the protagonist agrees to go out with Dirk, a boy from the other side of the tracks (even though she’s totally seeing a rich guy who just went off to college). I liked Dirk a lot and really felt for his character throughout. He wasn’t a bad guy, just misunderstood and overlooked. I enjoyed this book for what it was worth and always appreciate it when a rich kid gets a reality check.

Unbreak My Heart – by Melissa Walker – This book is about a high school girl on a summer-long boat trip with her family and how she deals with a fallout with her BFF and befriends/crushes on a boy who is taking a boat-trip with his dad. The cover for this book is awful (as I’ve found most YA covers are) and I was embarrassed to be seen holding this book even though the story itself actually wasn’t half bad. I thought the protagonist was selfish, but most high school girls are. (I would know… I was one once.)

Catalyst – by Laurie Halse Anderson – Talk about a dramatic turn for the worst. Geez. I did like this book, as I like LHA’s writing style for the most part. Another selfish high school girl, but this time it’s one who was determined to get into the one and only college she applied to and be an overachieving perfect person. Her odd friendship (that’s too strong of a word, but I can’t think of anything better) with the troubled girl from school whose house burned down was really interesting and I thought this book went to a lot of dark places. I would recommend this, for sure.

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period – by Gennifer Choldenko – Um, so I was the completely wrong demographic for this book. (I mean, I am for all YA books, lets be real, but this book should have been labeled Middle Grade, as it was for younger middle schoolers at best.) If you are at a 5th grade reading level and want to read about a chubby white girl befriending a black boy and then them finding out they have more in common than they think, than go right ahead and read this. It was sadly an epic waste of my time even though it was well written.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – by Jennifer Smith – I love stories that are mostly set over 24 hours because it gives you a crash course in who these people are and whether they are compatible with each other as they are forced to be by each other’s side practically the whole time. (I’m writing a script about something similar, so this helped a lot in that regard.) I’m a huge fan of Smith and will gladly read any of her books. This was cute, funny, sad and just overall very enjoyable (albeit so far-fetched… I mean, stuff like this doesn’t really happen to m/any people). This was a quick, lovely read and I very much recommend it.

Subway Love – by Nora Raleigh Baskin – Nope. Just no. I was not a huge fan of the writing style or the plot once I got going. (A girl from the 70s and a boy from the present meet/interact/fall in love on a subway car that somehow lets them transcend time.) Each chapter had the same grainy picture at the beginning of it, which was credited to being from a Wikipedia page. Really? I sped through the second half of it so I could return it to the library as soon as humanly possible. While I respect the author for getting her work published, this book was unfortunately not for me. At all.

Pieces – by Chris Lynch – A boy’s brother dies and some of his organs are donated to other people. The boy then meets up with some of the recipients and questions what his relationship is/should be with these people who now house a piece of his brother. I thought the book was headed a different direction than it ended up going. I didn’t not like it, but I wanted more.

The Darlings in Love – by Melissa Kantor – I had a problem with the protagonists being 14 because their problems seemed more fitting to 16-18 year olds. The BFF-ness of it all was fine, but I don’t think that 14-year-olds can properly grasp the concept of being in love with someone. Like, crushes and whatnot, sure. But end-all-be-all relationships and love does not happen when you’re 14. (Did you see what happened to Romeo and Juliet? Wait till you’re older and actually understand, kids.)

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin – by Josh Berk – I liked that this book had a deaf protagonist who was friends with a nerdy polite kid, and that they solved a crime together. But I thought some of the word choices were silly. I’m not really a fan of silly. But, I get that this book is aimed at younger boys and younger boys seem to eat silly up. So, there you have it.

Everybody Sees the Ants – by A.S. King – This book has been staring me in the face for months and I finally checked it out. I regret not reading it sooner because it was just such a satisfying read. I think I’ve read 3 or 4 of King’s books so far and this was certainly my favorite. It’s about a boy who gets picked on a lot and his parents are worried he’s going to harm himself, so his mom takes him on a three-week vacation to visit his relatives. He keeps having dreams about rescuing his POW grandfather and then wakes up holding weird items from said dreams. He befriends a girl while on vacation and learns a lot about himself and his family. It’s just a really good book and I’m definitely not doing it justice.

Project Sweet Life – by Brent Hartinger – A super quick read about three friends and a summer of shenanigans as they tried to avoid getting summer jobs (but still trying to make money). I like Hartinger’s writing style, having read one of his books before. This book was good, but I won’t need to read it again.

Grand & Humble – by Brent Hartinger – Oh my god, I’m only just now getting the second meaning of the title as I’m writing this out and I read this book two weeks ago. DAMN, SON. This was the first book in a long while where I was actually super caught off guard by the plot twist. I thought I knew what was going on, but I totally did not. It’s about two high school boys and how their lives are eerily similar even though they have nothing and everything to do with each other. I’m describing it poorly, but it was a good read. Man, I feel so stupid for not getting the title sooner. (An accident happens at the junction of Grand & Humble, but there is totally another meaning behind it… oh my god.)

The Burn Journals – by Brent Runyon – This is a first person account told years after the fact about a 14-yr-old boy who set himself on fire in a suicide attempt (that he immediately regretted) and the physical, emotional and mental recovery he went through. Runyon is a phenomenal storyteller and I am so grateful that he shared his story like this. What a horrible, horrible thing to go through… but he did get through it. And it took a lot of work, and seemed very painful on a lot of levels. This book will stay with me, that’s for sure.

The Miracle Stealer – by Neil Connelly – A girl’s younger brother is seen as miracle worker in their small community and she thinks that they are using him. She tries to protect him, but some bad stuff goes down. I’m not a super religious person and I don’t really buy into the belief that some people are tools of God, so I could see where this girl was coming from. The book was okay, but I had a hard time believing that the kind of mom this book depicts would name her daughter “Anderson.” I know that’s a petty complaint, but it took me out of the story several times.

New Kid – by Tim Green – I yanked this book off the shelf at the library because it was about a boy playing baseball. While on vacation, I leant it to a friend and she read it before I did, saying I was going to hate the ending. And she was right – what a terrible ending. Geez. This was another book in the YA section that should have been labeled Middle Grade. Basically, this kid and his dad move around a lot because the dad’s job has kind of forced them into hiding. And his dad has a habit of making them move when the kid is literally in the middle of a baseball game. Sigh. It’s not great. And then the terrible ending happens.

Wintergirls – by Laurie Halse Anderson – This book is about a high school girl with anorexia. Her bulimic friend dies alone in a motel room and then the anorexic girl must deal with that death on top of her own body image issues. This is one of the few books I’ve ever read about eating disorders. I know I will never be able to fully understand the struggle of people who suffer from anorexia and bulimia, but I’m thankful for books like this to give me a glimpse into that world. This was a good read, albeit a sad and frustrating one.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – by Jesse Andrews – A Jewish high school boy and his black BFF who like to make shitty home movies befriend a Jewish girl from their school who is dying of cancer. No one falls in love and no huge lessons are learned, but it was fascinating to see how the characters all coped with what was going on. There were a lot of cultural stereotypes, but I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised about that.

Somebody Up There Hates You – by Hollis Seamon – More teens with cancer, but these kids are in Hospice. And there is love and sex and other shenanigans. This was a mostly enjoyable read despite the subject matter. I think I’m going to lay off the “kids with cancer” books for awhile, though.

Boys Wanted – by Flynn Meaney – There is a sudden shortage of desirable boys at the Wisconsin high school featured in the book. Told from Hunter and Kelly’s points of view, we follow them through their school year and how Hunter’s stock rises even though he was kind of a slacker. Even though this book was totally predictable, it wasn’t half bad. Hunter and Kelly were both likable.

On the Fence – by Kasie West – Another shitty cover that wasn’t even remotely close to depicting what actually happens in the book. (SOMEONE MAKE BETTER YA COVERS, PLEASE) The book is about a tomboy who has feelings for her next door neighbor and sometimes late at night they talk to each other through the fence. The girl ends up working at some clothes shop and along the way allows herself to be a bit more girly (clothes, makeup, whatnot). She thinks that’ll help in the guy department, though she is repeatedly told by her brothers and the boy next door to be herself (even though that has landed her zero dates thus far). This book wasn’t terrible, but it was also very predictable.

My Heartbeat – by Garret Freymann-Weyt – Fourteen year old Emily (I think?) looks up to her 17-year-old brother, Link, and his best friend, James (who she is madly in love with). Link and James love each other, but Link is afraid to define himself as gay and James doesn’t like that Link is not open with how they feel about each other. They fight and part ways, but then James starts hanging out and then seeing Emily (which is basically a dream come true for her since she’s loved James since she was little, but also confusing because she knows James and her brother loved each other, though that love was never consummated for reasons). I had no idea what this book was about when I grabbed it off the shelf, but I’m glad I read it. Self-acceptance and acceptance from society are always hot-button issues and I thought this book was written really beautifully.

So, yeah… that’s what I’ve been reading. I’m in the middle of two books right now, but will wait until I’m done reading those (and several others) before I post about books again.

I’ve been super busy with the books I’m writing too. I’m presently querying agents/agencies regarding the book I finished writing in May. I’ve heard back from three places (all No) so far, but I’m going to just keep on querying. In the meantime, I’m re-writing/editing a book I wrote last summer (YA book about two high school teens and how they meet on vacation) in addition to writing a book about two high school freshmen navigating the challenges of self-perception/the public’s perception. I think I might put the vacation book on the backburner for a bit because I’m really finding some momentum with this college book. I got 15 pages written so far and hope to write a few more tonight before I head to bed.

As always, if you have any suggestions on books I should read, please let me know!

Have a good one