Gennifer Albin

by (@shalapitcher)

Reached, Crewel: Two Fearless Heroines I’m Thankful For, A VH1 Celebrity Thanksgiving

Reached by Ally Condie and Crewel by Gennifer Albin

OK, sure, I’m thankful for my (growing) family, food on the table and all that this Thanksgiving, but it ain’t my job to talk about those things here at VH1 Celebrity, so I get to skip to the lighter stuff and tell you that this year, I’m thankful for the heroines. Specifically, the heroines of a number of young adult novels I’ve been digging into this fall, and who, despite being teens in alternate universes, still manage to inspire this crusty old lady with their ability to rise above dreary circumstances with nothing but their wits. There are a whole lot of them, but I’ll narrow it down to the protagonists of two books that came out in the past month: Cassia, the heroine of Reached, the conclusion to Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy; and Adelice, the girl at the center of Gennifer Albin’s Crewel.

After saying goodbye to Twilight, and looking at a long wait for the next Hunger Games movie, I think we’re pretty lucky that there’s been a steady flow of other fantastic girls like Bella and Katniss jumping out of their pages. Not that I’d lump them all together, though. Cassia is unlike any others you’ve met: She began Matched perfectly content with the dystopian Society that dictated everything in her life from what she ate every meal to whom she’d married. And at first, it wasn’t any sort of mortal danger that woke her up from that illusion, it was a poem. As we’ve followe Cassia’s journey out of society, into the wilderness to follow her exiled love Ky (in book 2, Crossed) and back to work under cover for the rebellion in Reached, we see her grow brave and confident. We also see her become an artist in her own right, writing poems in a world finally realizing that 100 carefully selected classics aren’t enough. And then, strangely enough for such an entertaining book, it is actually Cassia’s skills as a statistician (orĀ “Sorter” as they’re called) that proves to be what turns her into a hero for thousands. A girl who saves the day with math and literature? Yes, I think we could use a few more of those. Read more…

by (@shalapitcher)

Crewel: Exclusive First Look At The “Mad Men Meets Hunger Games” Novel Cover

In case you thought the interest for young-adult dystopian fiction was dying down, we present to you exhibit A: Gennifer Albin’s upcoming novel Crewel, which had seven agents scrambling to represent it, and five publishing houses fighting to buy it in a week. We won’t get to see the book itself until October 16, but we do have this unusual, brilliant cover to share with you. And a few words from Albin herself, who got on the phone with us from her home in Kansas to explain this bizarre “Mad Men meets Handmaid’s Tale Meets The Hunger Games” pitch we keep hearing.

“It’s set in a world where women are cultivated into these kind of femme-fatale types that weave the fabric of life,” Albin explained. “They are made to be these beautiful, deadly women that are then controlled by the all male government.”

Adelice, the 16-year-old at the center of the novel, has the talent needed to become one of these “Spinsters,” but her parents are determined to protect her from that fate. So, is this some kind of commentary on the fame and fashion industries? Not really. “But one of the reasons they are made to be beautiful is because in my perfect world the thing that would tempt me the most is being able to live a really glamorous lifestyle.”
Read more…