For our inaugural Selective Collective, we’re featuring Francesca Lia Block‘s New Adult coming-of-age novel, “The Elementals.” As a group, we’re offering a full review; a book-club discussion guide; an author’s profile; an essay about the New Adult genre; and what we’re doing this time around, a Casting Call exploring the book’s potential of going from page to screen.
The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
Release Date: Oct. 16, 2012 | Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, 272 pages | Buy it
About the book: From a star YA author Francesca Lia Block—an adult novel about a student, haunted by the disappearance of a friend, who must face the truth.
The Elementals is on one level an intriguing coming-of-age novel about a young woman, Ariel Silverman, facing the challenges of her first years away at college in Berkeley, California, while her mother battles cancer at home in Los Angeles. But the book takes on deeper, stranger meanings when we realize that Ariel is haunted by the disappearance of her best friend, Jeni, who vanished without a trace a few years before, closing Ariel’s heart and changing her forever. Ariel wonders if she will ever be fully alive, until she meets three mysterious, beautiful and seductive young people living in a strange old house in the Berkeley hills. Through them Ariel will unravel the mystery of her best friend’s disappearance and face a chilling choice.
Would “The Elementals” translate to the big screen? Definitely. It’s got drama, romance, a lot of typical “coming of age” touches like sexual experimentation, family tension and self-discovery. Ariel transforms from a grieving, closed-off freshman who simply can’t get past the the mysterious disappearance of her best (and really only) friend, Jeni, to a glamorous gourmand who is willing to try just about anything to feel like she belongs. We could easily imagine Ariel’s story being adapted into an independent relationship drama starring a risk-taking young actress and directed by someone who can handle nuanced stories about post-adolescence.
Don’t forget to hop over to the rest of the Selective Collective:
- A full review by Tee @ YA Crush
- Author’s profile & giveaway by Candice @ The Grown-Up YA
- Book Club discussion guide by Dixie & Maggie @ Gone Pecan
- A discussion of the trendy New Adult genre by Brittany @The Book Addict’s Guide