Friday, August 17, 2018

To Carpe the Heck Out of This Series | The Darkest Legacy Book Launch + The Darkest Minds Film

[I meant for this post to go up nearly two weeks ago, but blame summer brain (and so. many. activities.) for distracting me from getting some blogging done! But even though this is a little late, I thought, "Well, better late than never!"]

July 30, August 1 and August 2 were all very special days for me this year. Why? Well, I had the chance to support a series and an author I love so very much by attending a book signing, an early screening and an opening week showing. The series? The Darkest Minds. (I have a full series review if you want to check that out!) The author? Alexandra Bracken.


July 30
Alex was in NYC to celebrate an early launch party for the latest installment of the series, The Darkest Legacy (which I absolutely loved), at Books of Wonder. I managed to be there for the first half of the event, and it was really great to hear Alex discussing her writing process, the series and the new book (all Zu-related factoids are always of interest to me) and the film. While I had a previous engagement and had to duck out just before the actual signing proper started, I was still thrilled I could have been there for part of this event. (I'm also pretty proud of my outfit, as I tried to match the book!)


August 1
I received an invitation to attend a special screening of The Darkest Minds, and brought my forever date Macky to come with me. We were both really excited to be able to see how the story we loved (yes, Macky finally read the series and he enjoyed it as much as I did!) was translated onto the big screen! The screening was actually held at the Crosby St. Hotel in a fancy screening room (those chairs were so comfortable and we got free popcorn), and it was a really special experience for us both. (Don't worry - I'll share my movie thoughts with ya'll shortly!)

August 2
Before I got the screening invite, I had actually already made plans with some friends to see the film in theaters together! Rachel, Kristin, Lili, DJ, Emily & I all went over to AMC Kips Bay (after getting pizza for dinner!) to catch a Thursday night showing of the film. It was really cool to be able to share the filmgoing experience with some of my favorite bookish folks and friends, and I'm happy we had the chance to do it. (PS - Lili had to run off to her train, and Kristin left early because she was sick, hence only four people in this photo.)


Alexa's Thoughts on the Film
Here's the bottom line: the film is fun, even though it's not a new favorite. Seeing the Black Betty gang on screen all together was a treat, particularly when it was a heartfelt moment between those characters. (I have a special soft spot for Skylan Brooks and his incredible Chubs portrayal, as well as Miya Cech's charming Zu.) While there are certainly changes (to the storytelling, reveals, characters, etc), it was enjoyable for what it was. Again, it is not necessarily my favorite book-to-movie adaptation ever, and I do think it suffered from issues in script and direction, but I think it was decently entertaining. (I still prefer the book series and would 10/10 recommend picking those up.)

Macky's Thoughts on the Book Series and the Film

Found families are always a staple of my usual story diet... especially the kind that involves super powers and the need to save the world with your friends. Though dystopian YA has never been my go-to genre, the Black Betty gang has brought me to tears on several intense and heartfelt occasions, giving them an eternal (soft) spot in my heart. Their stories matter because they matter and I always feel I owe it to characters I love to follow where they lead... even to genres I normally wouldn’t go to. 

That need to follow where favorite characters go sometimes leads to the silver screen. And I have to agree with Alexa that seeing Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu come alive, thanks to the lovely young people they got to play them, was something special indeed. Not the best book-to-movie translation there is (I mean, how does one successfully cram several months of detailed events into ninety or so minutes?), but there are gems that are worth sitting through to get at (I am also, of course, also talking about Alex Bracken’s five second cameo). All in all, very grateful to have been invited to catch an early screening and hope that they learn from this run, take that and whatever worked well, and make the rest of the books into films!


There you have it - a quick recap centered all around The Darkest Minds! It was fun to be able to be a part of so many different things within one week. I also wanted to do a shoutout to Disney Books (and Alex Bracken) for all the goodies sent my way leading up to this release week, because they were spectacular (and I shared all of them on my Instagram)!

Have you read The Darkest Minds series? Have you read The Darkest Legacy?
Have you seen The Darkest Minds movie? Tell me all your thoughts!

1 comment

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