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When a book becomes a movie

Cover of Now a Major Motion Picture
A review of Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy

Imagine your grandmother was as big as J. K. Rowling and had written the number one fantasy series of all time - with all the fandom that that entails. Now imagine the first book in that series is being made into a movie, which has pushed the fandom into an even more frenzied state. And though you've tried your hardest to distance yourself from everything to do with the books, you're now being forced to join the set of the movie being made. That's just where Iris Thorne finds herself. Her grandmother, M. E. Thorne wrote the Elementia books, an epic fantasy trilogy that is world famous and adored by millions of fans (some rabid). But here's the thing, Iris hates everything to do with the books, not least because one of those fans suffering from mental illness, once tried to kidnap her little brother Ryder. So having a movie made, with the resulting ramping up of interest from everyone, is the last thing she wants.

Iris's resistance to all things Elementia is for naught. Her little brother loves the books just as much as she loathes them and he has begged their dad to be able to visit the movie set in Ireland. Because of work commitments their dad has asked Iris to take Ryder on the trip and with a strong financial inducement, Iris agrees. But she's not going to enjoy herself. And she's not going to like anything about the trip. At least that's her attitude going in. Once she gets to the remote filming location and becomes immersed in the process, her attitude begins to change, both towards the trip and towards her grandmother and the trilogy of books themselves.

Iris carries a lot of anger - much of it well-earned and well-targeted - and that comes through in the early parts of the book. But what's nicely done by the author, is that while Iris's anger is tempered by book's end, it's not magically solved of disappeared. She has reason to be angry and what she has to learn is not that her anger isn't allowed, but that that anger shouldn't be the defining factor in her life. And if I'm making this sound like a downer of a book? Don't believe that. There's humor and charm. And there are great characters who are passionate and competent inhabiting the movie-making world Irish has entered. You'll love them as much as Iris ends up doing. Fans of Rainbow Rowell or Sarah Dessen will want to read this one.

 

September 17, 2018