Thursday, 28 March 2013

Event: Lauren Oliver

On Tuesday 19th March, I trekked up to London after college to attend the Lauren Oliver talk/signing at Waterstones Piccadilly. It has been something I've been looking forward to for a long time since I heard about it. Despite finishing at 4.10 from college, having to change trains and then negotiate London Waterloo in the rush-hour (which's frightening) while eating and containing my excitement, I was determined to get there.

I got a seat in the middle and got talking to some lovely people around me, all agreeing with me about Lauren Oliver's books and the upcoming TV series of her books. Again, it struck me when I was leaving how lovely some people are and how books can really bring strangers together. Soon, I was talking to people I'd known 5 minutes as if I'd known them much much longer.

I've been to a few book signings since starting blogging - John Green, Patrick Ness, Malorie Blackman - but I have to say Lauren Oliver's talk was one of the best. I love her ease with talking about her book, how passionate she sounds about reading and writing and when reading her books now, I remember and see what she described so vividly about herself as a writer.

We believe the girl in the blue cardigan is
Cicely from Cicely Loves Books
She read aloud from Hana's POV in the final installment because as she said, reading anything from Lena's POV would just ruin EVERYTHING for those that hadn't read Pandemonium. The passage was an altered version of the story of Solomon which I think just highlighted how controlling and censored the government in Lauren Oliver's books are. Then, she moved on to answering some questions from the audience. As usual you have the initial hesitation when there is like NO-ONE wanting to ask questions and then suddenly, after the first couple of brave people, there are 10 hands up at a time. Some of the questions were about the series of books, Oliver's writing, her opinions on the TV series and even her views between the UK and US covers (she liked the UK ones more).

I think one of the most interesting things to hear about was her view on the TV series. As someone pointed out, Hana described with blonde hair, blue eyes and someone who when standing next to her, she would always stand out is being played by a brown haired, brown eyed female in the TV series. In Oliver's view, and I agree with her, the fact that the actress looks different to the Hana we've envisioned from the books doesn't matter. What matters is the essence of her character coming across on screen. As long as she is still pretty in a way that you can never compare to her, that is the whole point and Lena's view on Hana therefore, that is what matters. I both agree and disagree in a way but by her saying that aloud, it did change some of the opinions I had formed about the many adaptations around at the moment. While some people dislike Theo James as Four from Divergent, for instance, we have to remember that although the appearance helps to adapt Four's character to the screen, it's his personality, character and actions that will truly remind us of the Four we all know and love. Lauren Oliver is right in saying that.

She also talked a little bit about her new book (which I have to say I thought HUNGER GAMES) when she described it. It's called Panic and should be coming out some time next year. It's about this village in New York where every summer the kids in the neighbourhood play a very serious game with drastic consequences. Sounds interesting, I have to say and a little different from Delirium.
My question was asking about whether she intended in starting the series to have both Julian AND Alex. For me, Julian kind of came out of the blew from no-where - no hints, no warnings that Lena could have feelings for another. Her reply was yes, it was intended. She said she had always wanted to have these two different guys - complete opposites - and the tension from these characters have against one another is portrayed the most in Requiem.

After the questions were over, she started signing books. I was quite near the back so I had to wait a while before I met her and spend the time talking to Rebecca (another one!) who was sitting next to me, and someone I found out goes to a university near me (it really is a small world sometimes). When I finally got to the front, I don't really remember what I said. I think I rambled for a bit about what I'd read in the series, not particularly making sense. I also mentioned I'd looked at the end of Pandemonium before I started it. For those that have read it, you will know that that IS THE WORST THING TO DO and totally ruined the ending. Lauren replied in mock anger and wrote in big letters in my signed book about it which was a lovely personal gesture. I had my photo taken with her and then scurried off.
I don't think I've ever met someone so nice! Literally, she is one of the nicest, friendliest people I have come across in a while and I felt so at ease talking to her considering a) she was kind of a stranger and b) she writes some of the best books.

It was a lovely evening and one I have turning over in my mind happily for days thinking about how great it was. The ease in talking to Lauren Oliver, the delight in hearing the secrets behind some of her writing and most of all, enjoying some of the best YA books around with people who completely agree with me. I had a bit of an awful day the next day (for more than one reason) but that evening made me realise how much I want to become part of the book industry but also how much I love being a blogger. It has its moments but blogging really is great.

I would seriously recommend Lauren Oliver's books. I was a bit unsure about my opinion of Delirium but Pandemonium is AMAZING. I'm currently reading Requiem which is brilliant so far!

Review: Delirium
Review: Pandemonium
Review: Before I Fall (stand-alone)


  1. Wow, you lucky thing! I have only been to one author event - John Green - but it was one my best experiences. It is amazing how total strangers can become great friends just through books.
    Lauren Oliver seems so nice! I'm glad you had a great time! :D I have only read Delirium but I am very tempted to read Pandemonium now...

    1. Ah read Pandemonium! It's far, far better than Delirium in my opinion and...AH IT'S SO GOOD.

  2. OH MY GAWD, not only have you been to John Green but Lauren Oliver!! This is so not fair, haha :D Your post made me feel like I was there. I liked Delirium and can't wait to read the rest of the series, thanks so much for sharing.

  3. It's so awesome that you got to go there, Rebecca. I really wanted to go but it's so far and my parents wouldn't have let me go on a school night. But I love seeing your event recaps so I'm really pleased that you went. So glad you had a great time! I love book signings. :)


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