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Matched By Ally Condie: Teen Fiction For Twilight Fans


Happy 2011 to everyone and welcome back to my blog. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus having been consumed with graduate school applications for the past few months but I am back and ready to share some exciting Twilight blogs with you this year. Also, keep checking back here as February gets closer and the filming of Breaking Dawn heads over here to Vancouver, BC.

This post is about a young adult (or teen fiction) novel I’m currently reading titled Matched by the talented Ally Condie. I have about 50 pages left of Matched still to read but couldn’t wait to jump on the blog and share it with you guys. If you loved the writing style and characterization of both The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games series, then this new young adult novel is a must read. Let me preface my review of Matched with these words of praise from the back of the hardcover itself:

Matched is a page-turning, dystopian love story, written with the soul of a poet. Finally, a brave new world that readers from Twilight to The Hunger Games will claim as their own.” – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness.

Matched tells the story of Cassia Reyes, a teenage girl living in a futuristic world of conformity, control, and uniformity according to the ways of The Officials who govern the society. Cassia, from the moments we are introduced to her, is evidently a free spirit waiting to break free of the constraints of her own existence – something she doesn’t fully become aware of until becoming closer to Ky, a mysterious boy she’s overlooked over the years. There’s also the added complication of her close relationship with Xander, someone she considers to be her best friend but who she is supposedly destined to be with. Matched essentially examines a social structure where young teens are placed into arranged relationships for the future benefits of the society.

The story of Matched follows Cassia through a progression towards self-discovery. Ally Condie really succeeds with this novel because she takes a fairly standard literary trope, that of a female heroine struggling against the world she’s situated within, and turns it into a futuristic whirlwind of emotion and angst. Condie’s novel reads with ease as we begin to truly care for Cassia and her genuine emotions and feelings. I love that she is such a kind and soulful character despite the fact she has grown up in a society that finds no value in individuality or softer qualities like emotional depth or questioning.

Throughout the novel we see Cassia break out of her shell and become someone who stands on her own two feet. She is truly brave in the face of adversity and faces opposition head on. In a lot of ways, Cassia’s quiet strength reminds me of Bella Swan in Twilight or Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. All three female heroines possess different traits and personalities, but they all have this powerful inner strength within them that readers can really appeal and relate to, especially young girls reading these novels. Cassia is definitely a literary role model worth examining – as she represents what might not be a very distant reality we will have to face in our own ever-increasing modern existence. Cassia is the kind of protagonist that represents not only present day struggles in society but also what may be to come in our own future.

As usual, I found myself reflecting on Twilight as I read Matched. I never try to do this intentionally, but I found myself picturing Kristen Stewart and hearing her voice when Cassia is present. There’s something about the subtle sensitivity that Kristen brings to her roles that I thought matched (no pun intended) well with the character of Cassia. It’s the same reason why I pictured her as Katniss from the opening pages of the first Hunger Games novel. I guess it’s unintentional, but Kristen keeps finding her way into my imagination as I’m introduced to these interesting, courageous, beautiful, and strong female leads. If Matched ever gets adapted into a film, you know who I’ll be rooting for to play the amazing and inventive character of Cassia.

Twilight fans – check out Matched. I can guarantee many of you will be hooked in the opening pages. There is a beautiful poetic quality to this book that mirrors the kind of writing exhibited by Stephenie Meyer with Twilight. Coming from an English literature background myself, I love to see literature and poetry infused in modern-day teen lit or young adult lit as it has been in Twilight. In Matched, you’ll experience the poetry of Dylan Thomas in a whole new light as it is brought back into a present day love story.

You can find Matched by Ally Condie at all major bookstores currently in hardcover format. It was released on November 30, 2010 and the sequel titled Crossed is expected to come out in the fall of 2011. If you happen to have read it already or read it after checking out this blog, please let me know what you thought about it!

Kristen would make the perfect Cassia Reyes.

Matched by Ally Condie at Amazon.com

Author Ally Condie’s Website

[Matched book cover is property of Ally Condie | Kristen Stewart picture found at All Kristen Stewart]

January 15, 2011 Posted by | KStew, Twilight | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Kristen Stewart Star In Wanted 2?

Kristen’s Potential Involvement in Wanted 2

A few people have been asking about the potential involvement of Kristen Stewart in the upcoming Wanted 2 (2011), so I thought I’d share some of what’s being said. It seems that Kristen is being considered for this role, but there’s no telling at this time whether or not she will be available for the role or has committed to it.

A lot of entertainment sites/blogs/media outlets seem to be talking about Kristen and Wanted 2, and Kristen herself has expressed interest in the project. For these reasons, there could be some potential for her starring in the sequal – Wanted 2 – opposite James McAvoy.

So far we’ve heard from Kristen back in June that she would be interested in the project, but no concrete news has surfaced since. Here’s what Kristen had to say to MTV a couple of months back in June about Wanted 2:

“Yes. Definitely, as long as it was good and I mean, it’s really exciting to see [that could be an opportunity],” she admitted. ” ‘Wanted’ was a great movie, like, James McAvoy makes that movie different than most other action movies because he’s a real guy, and I feel like most action movies don’t have that. So if it had that [element], definitely. But I wouldn’t just want to be in a mindless, blow-up movie. I’m not into it.” – Kristen Stewart, MTV interview.

I haven’t seen the first Wanted film, but Angelina Jolie‘s character apparently gets killed off at the end. The writers for Wanted 2 considered having her character (and Angelina) come back from the dead for the sequel, but Ange apparently was not on board for that storyline or reprising the character, feeling that it would be a detriment to have her character brought back from the dead.

This leaves us with the potential for Kristen and James to star opposite one another in the sequel Wanted 2 with Kristen coming into the series as a brand new character. As of June 2010, Kristen had only confirmed 2 of her upcoming film projects with MTV:

“The only two projects that I’m confirmed in now are ‘On the Road’ and ‘Breaking Dawn’ 1 and 2.” – Kristen Stewart, MTV interview.

Kristen addressed the Wanted 2 rumours once again this summer during the Q&A session at Luna Park in Sydney, Australia:

“Right now, I have two projects lined up. I’m doing ‘‘ this Summer and then I’m doing ‘[The Twilight Saga’s] Breaking Dawn’. So other than that I have nothing ‘nailed down’.” – Kristen Stewart, Luna Park Q&A, Australia.

Premise of Wanted and Wanted 2

Wanted came out in 2008 and is an action film based on Mark Millar‘s comic book mini-series. The premise centers on Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), a man who has become disillusioned with his office job and monotonous life. When Wesley discovers that his late father was involved in something called The Fraternity, a secret guild of assassins, his life takes a dramatic turn.

Wesley becomes involved in The Fraternity where he meets the leader – Sloan (Morgan Freeman), and begins working with mentor Fox (Angelina Jolie) as he trains to be an assassin. The story follows from here and delves into an action-packed world of assassin training, fighting, and mystery.

As for Wanted 2, the plot details and premise have not yet been revealed. From the talks and rumours circulating, it would seem Kristen could portray a new assassin within The Fraternity and she could also be a potential love interest for Wesley Gibson.

Why Kristen Should Star in Wanted 2

This seems like it could be a great role for Kristen for a few reasons: this would be a new genre of film for her to take on as we haven’t yet seen her in a full-on action movie. It would be a role very much different from her Twilight character Bella Swan for which she has been typecast by many.

Wanted 2 would allow her to work with some talented actors such as James McAvoy. She seems to thrive when acting around top-notch talent and this could be yet another opportunity for her to shine among the best of them

I also feel that the role of an assassin would be an interesting one for Kristen to play. The serious approach that Kristen has towards acting could be effectively channeled into this role: someone who’s emotions must be in check and someone who must make decisions without faltering or looking back. I think she has the look, the pose, and the serious attitude to pull this role off with ease. When trying to picture Kristen in Wanted 2, the first thing that comes to mind is the photoshoot with Allure Magazine. She looks so fierce and confident in that photoshoot – this look is very Wanted 2.

Media On Kristen and Wanted 2

Here’s what some other media outlets have to say about Kristen and Wanted 2:

“In all honesty, we bet Rob was just helping Kristen, 20, do her research. She IS supposed to take over Angelina’s role in Wanted 2, after all! What a good BF!” – Kirstin Benson, Hollywoodlife.

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“Millar remains optimistic that Universal might move forward with a sequel after having a great working relationship with the studio.

Commenting on rumors that Kristen Stewart would step in for Jolie, Millar answered “I hear new stuff every day. I hear stuff online, I hear stuff from Universal and I never quite know if it’s going or not.” – Hollywoodnews.

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“According to E! News, Kristen Stewart has met with Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov on at least one occasion with regards to taking over for Angelina Jolie in a sequel to Wanted. No, Stewart wouldn’t be playing the same character Jolie played in the original; instead, she’d be taking on the role of a “young, ass-kicking assassin in the Fraternity.” One assumes that Stewart would also play the love interest of James McAvoy‘s character.” – Erik Davis, Fandango.

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[Photos from Allure Magazine photoshoot 2009, Twilight London Premiere 2008]

August 13, 2010 Posted by | KStew | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

KStew’s iPod: Even More Music For Kristen Stewart Fans

Here’s the next dose of music for Kristen Stewart fans. I’ve got a couple of artists in here that Kristen listens to including Florence and the Machine, Morrissey, Interpol, and The Smiths.

The other tracks are my picks for songs you might like if you love any of those. All of these songs are worth a listen and are from some very talented artists. Just to clarify, these compilations are inspired by KStew and are not her actual playlists — enjoy!

Even More Music For KStew Fans

  1. Morrissey – I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  2. Lou Reed – Satellite Of Love (from Adventureland)
  3. Florence And The Machine – Hurricane Drunk
  4. Jens Lekman – Your Arms Around Me (from Whip It!)
  5. Rooney – Can’t Get Enough
  6. Bell XI – How Your Heart Is Wired
  7. The Smiths – Still III
  8. Interpol – Pace Is The Trick
  9. Band Of Skulls – Cold Fame
  10. Florence And The Machine – Howl
  11. The Smiths – Vicar In A Tutu
  12. Interpol – NYC
  13. Hot Hot Heat – Harmonicas And Tambourines

Check out previous music posts for Twilight and Kristen tunes:

[Photo via GeekSugar]

July 20, 2010 Posted by | KStew | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kristen Stewart In East Of Eden? 5 Reasons Why She Should Be

Kristen Stewart In East Of Eden?

The 2011 movie re-make of East of Eden has stirred up a lot of talk amongst Twilight fans about Kristen Stewart. The book, originally written by John Steinbeck, was made into a mini TV series in 1981 and 2008, and was made into a movie in 1955 starring James Dean. Now Universal Pictures will be releasing a newer movie edition of the East of Eden story. So why are Twilight fans talking about it? East of Eden is one of Kristen Stewart’s favourite books, and she has said in the past she would love to play the part of Cathy/Kate in the upcoming movie.

A Bit About East Of Eden:

I read Steinbeck’s East of Eden in the fall last year and it was an incredible read. The book is dauntingly long and covers a lot of ground in terms of spanning generations and families – but it is well worth the time and effort. To try to summarize the plot of East of Eden would be kind of ridiculous, but it’s about people’s struggles with good and evil in their lives, and the long-lasting repercussions that their decisions have. It is a book for thinkers and those who like to delve a little bit further into the human psyche. Set primarily in the Salinas Valley in California, East of Eden essentially tells the intertwining story of two families and the generations that follow.

Kristen To Play Cathy/Kate?:

The character of Cathy/Kate in East of Eden represents the power of evil, or in some people’s opinion – the evil that is Satan. She is a manipulative and controlling character who will do whatever is in her own greatest interest. The character of Cathy/Kate is the most interesting in the book because her actions and decisions are self-serving but they seem to have immense repercussions for everyone else around her. She is a hard character to understand, even harder to sympathize with, and hardest to predict. Basically, this is a dynamic character that any actor would love to play the part of. So without further ado, here are

5 Reasons Why KStew Should Be Cast In East of Eden:

1. Kristen knows and loves the book. She has clearly thought a lot about the character and wants to bring it life. She can bring an understanding to the role having already taken a liking to it. It is rare to find an actor who has not only read the source material beforehand, but also has a genuine interest and stake in the subject matter. Kristen would put her all into this role.

2. Her history of film roles suggests that she likes this kind of character – something different and a bit off the beaten track. She likes these parts and we all know she is good at playing them. Think about Adventureland, The Cake Eaters, or Speak – Kristen plays a character struggling with something in each of those films. She knows how to convey understated emotion and make these kinds of roles believable.

3. If you have read the book, you can picture Kristen as Cathy/Kate. Steinbeck describes her in various ways but primarily as: animalistic, monster-like, but having a look of gentle beauty. I think Kristen has the serene demeanor and classic features that would make her look believable as Cathy/Kate. The character commits acts of evil, but contrastingly looks innocent.

4. I think that Kristen really proved herself more recently in The Runaways to anyone who had their doubts about her ability to become another character. In my opinion, her roles in Adventureland, The Cake Eaters, and The Runaways showed off her acting ability to a greater extent. Her portrayal of Joan Jett in The Runaways movie has shown us all that she is ready to take things to the next level.

5. Kristen is well-known for deeply caring about her craft and perfecting the roles she plays. She cares so much about her profession and doing it right, that no one else would be better suited to a role that demands so much from the actor. I think this would be her greatest performance yet.

So there’s my two cents about the East of Eden movie and why I think our girl Kristen should be in it. Feel free to give some feedback or thoughts on the subject. In the meantime, fingers crossed for KStew to be cast as Cathy/Kate!

[Photo via ScreenRant]

April 16, 2010 Posted by | KStew | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Kristen Stewart In The Cake Eaters: Cake Eaters Movie Review

Although it came out in early 2009, I finally got a chance to watch The Cake Eaters starring Kristen Stewart the other night. It was a really surprising movie and I was so impressed with Kristen’s acting in this one. There are these moments, like in Into The Wild and Adventureland, where you can see her raw talent – this movie is a must see for KStew fans.

The Cake Eaters, directed by Mary Stuart Masterson tells the story of two somewhat broken families and how their lives mix in unexpected ways. Kristen plays “Georgia,” a girl suffering from a terminal illness that causes a disconnect between her brain and body’s muscles. Kristen does an amazing job of becoming Georgia because you feel for her instantly. Then there’s Aaron Stanford who plays “Beagle” in the movie. He’s struggling with the recent death of his mother and you can tell me feels like a bit of an outcast in their rural community. Without completely rehashing the plot, Georgia and Beagle connect and find that they’re both a little but different but looking for the same things in life – something real and meaningful, and to experience what it’s like to love someone.

The Cake Eaters is kind of beautiful in its simplicity. It isn’t trying to beat you over the head with the boy meets girl romance we have all seen and heard of a hundred times. Everyone in the movie is struggling with something and I like that because it mirrors real life. We all feel burdened in some way whether it’s physically or emotionally. The dialogue is minimalist and the actions of the characters seem to speak louder than their words.

Probably the best thing about The Cake Eaters is that you see Kristen start out as a character fighting to find her voice and live her own life. By the end of the movie, she is living for herself and doing what makes her happy. I liked that about the movie, and the portrayal of that message felt genuine.

Finally, I thought I’d share the track listing for The Cake Eaters Soundtrack. There are some amazing songs in the movie and KStew fans will likely enjoy lots of these:

The Cake Eaters Soundtrack Track Listing:

1. Lay Me Down – The Frames
2. Take It From Me – The Weepies
3. Diamond Ring – The Rosewood Thieves
4. Make It Good To Me – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
5. Concrete Bed – Nada Surf
6. Prom 78 – Jayce Bartok
7. Cold In The Country – The Rosewood Thieves
8. Begin – The Wailin Jennys
9. Sage The Rock Star – Sage
10. I Wouldn’t Mind – Duncan Sheik
11. As Shadows Do – Lauren Pritchard

[Photo: The Cake Eaters (2009) | Track List Source: The Cake Eaters Blogspot | Video Source: Blaa Blooa]

April 5, 2010 Posted by | KStew | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments