with my nose in a book and my head in the clouds



I can count the number of times I have attended midnight movie premiers on one hand. In fact, I can count them on two fingers: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

 The key to going to these midnight premiers is to go with people who are as invested and dedicated to the experience as yourself. For me, this meant going to see Catching Fire with some fellow English majors and future English teachers. We waited for a solid hour in a line wrapped around the theater. We watched as the line filled with Katniss Everdeens in leather and braids, Finnicks with make-shift tridents, and Capitalists in the most extreme articles of clothing movie-goers could find in their closets at home.

I was first introduced to The Hunger Games during my summer internship at The Literacy Council. As I sorted and shelved boxes of donated books, I came across a copy of the first book in Suzanne Collins’ series and set it aside rather than on the shelf. During my lunch break, I read the first few chapters, and I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t stop. I went home and finished the book that night.

As I prepared to see Catching Fire, I had trouble getting my hands on a copy of the second novel in The Hunger Games trilogy. I went to three public libraries, and everyone was out of Catching Fire. Finally, I gave in and purchased a copy of my own. And it was well worth it.

Catching Fire

I love comparing and contrasting books to their film adaptations, and this one compares pretty well. The script of the film is faithful to Suzanne Collins’ novel in many aspects: the characters, the dialogue, the frustratingly abrupt ending. But there are some significant differences; a main difference being that the novel is written in the perspective of Katniss, while the film is not limited to one character’s point of view.

And speaking of the characters, the cast has finally grown on me. I’ll admit, I was not a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence playing Katniss Everdeen in the first film because I thought she was too pretty to play Katniss. But her talent on screen and her quirky personality off-screen have won me over. In her interview with InStyle, Lawrence ate kettle corn out of her pockets and joked about being “the richest couch-jumper ever,” feeling too young and unstable to settle down right now but jokingly considering retirement after filming the final Hunger Games movie.


You can find more of Jennifer Lawrence’s interview with InStyle at http://www.instyle.com or in the December 2013 issue on shelves now.

The well-chosen cast does not stop with Lawrence. She is joined by Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale, who put her in a romantic dilemma not unlike that of The Notebook. The familiar faces of Woody Harrelson as the always-intoxicated Haymitch, Elizabeth Banks as the innocently-sweet Effie, and Stanley Tucci and the outrageous Capitalist TV host Caesar all return in the second film, more drunk and extreme than ever. The addition of new characters like Sam Claflin as Finnick, the District 4 Tribute and ally with a killer smile and a equally dangerous trident, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, the new game-maker, add humor and excellence to the cast.

While I applaud Debra Zane for her casting, I still always tend to prefer the book to the movie because of the details. While this film touches on some of the details in the book, every written detail cannot be portrayed on screen. Catching Fire, the book, contains small details throughout that add to the romance and revolution. The characters in the woods searching for District 13, the repeated occurrence of the mockingjay, the comments about the pregnancy, and some intimate scenes between Katniss and Peeta were all absent from the film. These details act as clues while reading, and their absence from the film make each new scene more shocking than the last.

Overall, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire succeeds in both forms. The film brings the world of the Capital, the Districts, and the clock-like arena to life, while the novel provides the most intricate details that keep you turning each page.

If you have read the book, go see the movie. If you have seen the movie, read the book. If you have not experienced either, take your pick.

– Hannah Faye



Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has had a lot of hype recently, and I finally decided to pick up a copy of the book and see what the fuss was all about. Within the first few pages, I was hooked. From the moment the wife went missing, I too disappeared from the world around me as I delved deeper into the mystery of Gone Girl.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

There is a heavy emphasis on the psychological in this novel. Both Amy and Nick, the main characters who should be celebrating their five-year wedding anniversary, offer different characteristics that cause readers to stop and think.  From the italicized internal thoughts of Nick to the personality quizzes that Amy includes as evidence of her prior writing career, readers are drawn into the minds and mystery of the characters.

Along with the psyche of the characters, the structure of the novel adds interesting psychological twists. Similar to the stages of grief, Gone Girl is divided into three parts, or stages, each including their own intense reaction. There is an extreme shift of emotion between part one and part two and, without spoiling the ending, part three is completely shocking.

The shock factor of this novel makes it a talking point. It has been talked onto the New York Times Best Seller list, and it has been talked into an upcoming film adaptation. It has been a personal talking point amongst friends, college professors, and even strangers. Wherever I carried this book, I was asked, “How do you like it?” or “Where are you so far?”  Just a simple question between two strangers who had read the same book.

This is what I love about literature. It has the power to bring people together in the most surprising, and often simple ways. So next time you see someone reading a book you enjoyed, ask them about it, have a conversation with them, make a friend.

– Hannah Faye


“Words can launch us…I believe it’s true that
the right people can say words that can change everything.
And guess what? We’re the ones who can say them.”

As I read these words, I felt like Bob Goff had written Love Does specifically to inspire me. I am passionate about words and believe that words have the power to shape our lives. That is why it is a dream of mine to become a writer. And Bob Goff’s novel is full of inspiration for everyone who reads it and everyone who has a dream.

I found inspiration from the beginning of the introduction to the end of the epilogue. I don’t know if I have ever read a book to which I can relate so closely and laugh so heartily with each chapter. Bob Goff has a powerful way of telling the stories of his life to his readers as if each reader is a close friend sitting on his living room couch.


Find out more about Bob Goff and his secretly incredible life at bobgoff.com

“…I’ll never just write down facts like what I had for lunch or who I was with or where I was. Instead, what I’ve been writing down are all of the things I can remember that have shaped me, all of the words or phrases that have pinged me, all of the stories that have happened in my life.” (p. 187)

With each chapter of Love Does, I too felt like I was being shaped by Goff’s stories and pinged by his words. His book now sits on my bookshelf as a constant source of encouragement to live a fully engaged life.

I have been encouraged and challenged by this book to be more active and intentional with my life by doing the things that I love. I talked about wanting to start a blog for about a year before finally sitting down at the computer a few weeks ago and putting my words into action. Now that I have, I am ready and excited to pursue more of my dreams, no matter how hard the journey may seem.

Bob Goff not only talks about doing, but also about loving. He paints an image of God’s love for us that is overflowing and contagious, a love that should be shared with others. Throughout the book, I simply wanted to wrap my arms around the people who love and encourage me to chase my dreams.

After reading Love Does, I find myself using the words “whimsy” and “caper” more often. If you have already read it, you will understand. If you have not read Love Does, then I highly recommend it to people looking for a little whimsy and adventure in their own lives. In fact, those who buy and read this book join Bob Goff in his caper to make a difference in the lives of children in Uganda by giving all of the proceeds to his organization called Restore International. Now that’s a book worth reading.

– Hannah Faye

Tune back in to this little caper of mine for some new music this weekend!


As I enter into my senior year of college, I find myself asking a lot of questions about the future. Even though I’d like to think that I have it all figured out, many of my friends and family who are several years older than me are entering into the real world and experiencing huge life changes that make me wonder about my own future. They are sending out resumes, applying for graduate school, getting their first official jobs, and moving to new cities. In the midst of their differing choices, they are all learning more about their own interests and identities. They are realizing that the decisions they make now are the foundations of their futures.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of conversations with those who are several steps ahead of me in life. I sit and listen as they talk through their thoughts and concerns about the future, and I often don’t know what to say.

So, I give them books.

The Quarter Life Crisis Reading List

The Defining Decade Love Does

Start Something That Matters Just Do Something

101 Secrets for your Twenties Outliers

        The Last Lecture  Wild                 Man's Search for Meaning  The Alchemist

These books have words of advice, warning, and encouragement about the future that I seem to lack. I have found ten books that deserve to be included on what I have deemed my “quarter life crisis reading list.” I myself have found comfort as I read through these books even though I have one more year of security in school. So as I continue through my last year of college and prepare for the real world, I plan to read through this reading list and share the lessons I learn.

I have already learned that it’s never too late to start thinking about the future, and it’s okay if you don’t always have all the answers. In fact, most people don’t have all the answers. How boring would life be if we knew the answers to all our questions? Sometimes the search for the answer is the most exciting part. (Although knowing some answers would be nice.)

I hope you all can enjoy reading through these books with me, and figuring out life one book at a time.

– Hannah Faye