Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

Best Book (and movie) of January


If you’ll recall, I’m participating in the 50/50 challenge (50 books and 50 movies in one year), so this post is about the best book AND movie of January.  Plus an update on how my writing goals are going.  And whatever else I feel like rambling about.


Firstly, I’m halfway through The Fault in Our Stars by John Green…I suspect it will end up on my “best” list when I’m done.


The Pandora series by Carolyn Hennesy is ADORABLE.  Yes, capital letter adorable.  Or the first book “Pandora Gets Jealous” is, and I’ve got plans to read the rest later this year.  They’re MG so expect friendships, adventure and a dog!  Oh, and plagues and stuff.

Entwined by Heather Dixon – LOVED!  And to think, I almost passed it up because it looked so long.  But there are princesses!  Who dance!   And magic!  Plus, some hilarious lines, especially from the second eldest, Bramble.  (there are TWELVE sisters – can you imagine?)  I want this to be a movie.  Do you hear me, Hollywood?  Chop, chop!

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Here is my physical state after finishing the first:

insides heaving

Looks up classical music on YouTube

Feels like a husk*

I have a younger brother, just like Mia, and my love for him is similar – part older sister and part fiercely overprotective Mama-bear.

And Mia’s parents and her parents’ friends.  I know these people.  The rockers, the ones having babies in birthing centers, and the guys dressing ironically (or maybe not) like they’re from the 50s.

Not to mention I’m insanely close to my family.

In Where She Went

Oh, Adam…

I needed closure, too.  I think we have it now.

Bonus points because you mentioned Fugazi.  Hurray for shout-outs to DC-area bands!


Battle Los Angeles

It had three of my fave movie things:

A reluctant hero, explosions, and a big, dramatic speech.

The only thing that would have made this movie better (although it would have been insanely out of place) would be Will Smith punching an alien in the face.


I figure I’ll post an update once a month on how my writing is going, that way if I’ve slacked I can feel publicly shamed.

I have done major edits this month.  Unfortunately, I really only have time to edit on the weekends, so my edits go slow.  But I’m at the big climactic scene now, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

And in the process of editing, I came up with TWO new shiny WIP ideas.


Crickets can play dead (see under Thanatosis, for defense)

I looked this up after a cricket I shooed away fell down dead, even though I didn’t even touch it.  Later, it popped up and went on its hoppity little way.  It was much luckier than its friend who tried to play dead with the cat.  The cat didn’t fall for it.  I’ll leave it at that.

*Remember that Runaway Train friend I mentioned in yesterday’s post?  Well, we used to have this habit of going to the video store and buying random, discounted VHS tapes.  Once, we got this movie that we thought was supposed to be funny, based on the box info.  It turned out to be some scientific documentary about a guy going through dialysis.  By the time we realized, we couldn’t stop watching, even though it was horribly depressing.  After it was done, my friend said she felt like “a husk.”  All empty and drained.

^Wow, that’s the longest footnote ever.

What is everyone else reading/watching?


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

10 thoughts on “Best Book (and movie) of January

  1. Jennifer! I am on page 185 of The Fault In our Stars. Oh, it is…so lovely. E-mail me when you’re done! I haven’t read Where She Went yet. I must.

  2. The Fault in Our Stars! Was incredible!

    Mia’s parents were my favorite part of If I Stay, and also reason why I cried for (what I remember being) days after reading.

  3. I can’t wait to start The Fault in Our Stars. I have such high expectations for that book that I’m a little nervous. But like you, anyone I’ve talked to about it seems to think it’s all sorts of awesome.

  4. There are so many wonderful mentions of The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve got to check it out.

  5. Intriguing links.

    I have The Fault in Our Stars and plan on reading it soon. And Forman’s writing rocks.

  6. Lot’s of great recommendations. Thanks. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is in my TBR pile. Right now, I’m just finishing up CHIME by Franny Billingsly. It’s wonderful. Good luck with your writing goals. Public shame is always a good motivator:)

  7. I’m about to start Legend by Marie Lu!

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