If there is one thing I love as much as reading teen novels, it’s watching teen movies and ever since I first saw Valley Girl way back in the early eighties (and became instantly addicted to wearing bandanas and saying ‘like totally’ in a lovely Australian accent) I’ve tried to watch as many teen movies as I can. Though for some reason there was one that totally flew under my radar and it wasn’t until a couple months ago, on a complete whim that I got How to Deal out of the DVD store.
Now, if I’m honest, I had absolutely no expectations at all of what it would be like – especially since the cover didn’t really grab me, but within five minutes of watching Mandy Moore play Halley Martin, I knew this wasn’t just a standard teen movie and by the time Halley’s mom, played by the excellent Allison Janney massacred the vegetables while she was talking about her ex-husband, I was boring my own husband senseless as I explained that this was how you created three dimensional characters. Then when Scarlett’s boyfriend died and she discovered she was pregnant, I was beside myself with excitement as I ranted on about how it was the perfect sub plot, and finally, when Halley and Macon had their first kiss, I was the happiest girl alive because as well as everything else it had romance – a wonderful, believable, toe-tingling romance between two real and slightly flawed characters.
In short I loved everything about the movie, but of course the best surprise came right at the end when I discovered that the movie was based on two novels by Sarah Dessen.
“I knew it,” I turned and squealed to my by-now-heartily-sick-of-me husband (and yes I might’ve done a little victory sign as well). “I just knew that something this amazing had to have come from a book. I mean this is not stuff you see in a regular movie.” Actually, I then said a lot more on the matter before my husband pointed out that if I continued then he would be allowed to talk to me about his new preamp that he bought for his music studio. However, what I will add is that even though I hadn’t read any of Sarah’s books when I saw the movie, I was suddenly an instant fan!
So to Sarah Dessen I would just like to say a big thank you for giving me a new favorite teen movie to watch and a whole lot of great books to look forward to reading. And in return I’d like to give you a lovely piece of cyber birthday cake all the way from New Zealand! Hope you have a lovely day!
Amanda Ashby is the Australian (by way of England and New Zealand) author of You Had Me At Halo and Zombie Queen of Newbury High. Amanda’s an absolute gem of a lady and you can check out her website, blog and twitter to bask in her awesomeness.
Tomorrow – Sarah from Sarah’s Random Musings