NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, by Cori McCarthy, Sourcebooks Fire, April 3, 2018, Softcover, $10.99 (young adult)
Whenever a adaptation of a book for a movie is announced, I get both excited and scared. You imagine things one way, and then someone else imagines it another on the big screen. There are the changes and exclusions — Lord of the Rings, anyone? And then there are the fans who know more about the book than the author themself.
Now a Major Motion Picture, by Cori McCarthy, explores the above process from the point of view of the granddaughter of a famous author.
Iris Thorne wants to blaze her own path. That’s easier said than done when you’re the granddaughter of M. E. Thorne, famous author of the Elementia series, hailed as the feminist response to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And with a major motion picture adaptation of her grandmother’s books in the works, Iris can say goodbye to her dream of making her own way in the music industry.
So when Iris and her brother get invited to the film set in Ireland, she’s pretty sure the trip will be a nightmare. Except Iris can’t deny the rugged beauty of the Irish countryside. And brushing shoulders with the hot, young cast isn’t awful, especially the infuriatingly charming lead, Eamon O’Brien. Iris even finds the impassioned female director inspiring. But when the filming falls into jeopardy, everything Iris thought she knew about Elementia ― and herself ― is in question. Will making a film for the big screen help Iris to see the big picture? —Synopsis provided by Sourcebooks Fire
Going in to Now a Major Motion Picture, I thought it would be fun, but not much more. I was wrong. Cori McCarthy really captures not only how a fandom is built but also why books mean so much to people on an individual level. We become invested in the characters and the worlds in which they live.
In the case of Now a Major Motion Picture, I became invested in McCarthy’s characters — well, most of them. I absolutely despise the Thorne siblings’ parents. They are absolutely horrible. They spend most of their time either neglecting their children or demanding absurd things from them. I think this book could have worked without them being so awful, but I can see why the author chose this path.
On the positive side, McCarthy easily transports readers to not only the Emerald Isle but to Elementia itself. Much like New Zealand transforming into Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings, Ireland becomes a fantasy world. And though it sounds tricky, McCarthy’s book within a book works really well. I look forward to reading more by this author.
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