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BATTLE ROUND 6: March Movie Madness


IT’S TIME FOR ROUND 6. And we are getting CRAZY close to the semi-finals.

And what else? It’s time for TWILIGHT VS. LOVE SIMON AHHHHH


Let’s hear from Danielle!


I know some of you immediately dismissed this entry. Friends, I used to be one of you. Anyone who has met me in person knows that I prefer my vampires with bumpy faces and tight-fitting leather pants (ala Buffy.)


But I’m putting all that aside for this. In order to consider “Twilight, the movie,” we need to forget everything we know about “Twilight, the international phenomenon.”

Have you done that?


Now, the real work can begin.


This movie, you guys. The whole thing feels like walking through the forest after it’s rained. Everything is bathed in blue light. A freaking deer drifts onto the screen and it’s a metaphor for innocence and purity.

This movie is yearning. It’s feelings.

If you haven’t seen Twilight in a while, I guarantee that you’ve forgotten some things.

Like, how baby Kristen Stewart was exactly as shy and nervous as all of us felt on the inside.


And baby Rob Pattinson. Remember how beautiful baby Rob Pattinson was? I don’t think you do.


Even with the strangely aggressive hair, he is so much fun to look at.

Also, Anna Kendrick was in this movie, and she was a delight.


But maybe all that’s not enough for you. Maybe you’re one of the haters whose all, but remember that scene where they play baseball for no reason? Or how he calls her spider-monkey? And the sparkles! How can anyone forget the sparkles?!


Look. I hear you. And I could easily point out that Twilight changed the landscape of publishing as we know it. It would take more words than I’m allotted here to go into just how much Twilight affected the industry as a whole, so let me just say that most of the other movies in this contest only exist because of the unprecedented, world-wide, rocket-ship success of Twilight. That alone should guarantee this movie a win, but I’m not going to go there.

Instead, I’m going to leave you with this:

There’s a scene near the middle of the movie where Edward and Bella lie in a meadow and stare at each other. Somewhere in the forest around them monsters are killing innocent people and, further off, there are complicated family dynamics, and new classmates, and creepy boys who think it’s okay to sexualize a young woman just because she’s walking to her car after dark.

But in the meadow, none of that exists. There’s only the two of them.


I can’t think of a better metaphor for being in love for the first time.

(And we haven’t even gotten to this guy, because that’s New Moon but…yeah.)



Aaaand now for Jennifer!


It’s impossible not to love Simon Spier, Mr. “I like your boots” himself. IMPOSSIBLE. But just in case you’re somehow still on the fence, let’s talk about why Love, Simon is the best teen movie of all time.

First of all, it has everything you could want; a mysterious yet age appropriate love interest, a delightfully charming lead, a diverse cast, a plot that boasts anonymous emails, a Halloween Party with the cutest post-presidency Barack Obama costume I’ve ever seen, AND THE MOST EPICALLY ROMANTIC MOMENT ON A FERRIS WHEEL IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF BOTH MOVIES AND FERRIS WHEELS.

Plus, the relationship between Simon and Blue that develops is so sweet it will make your teeth hurt. Simon puts his heart on the line without resorting to stalking anyone or sneaking into their bedroom to watch them sleep! In fact, not only does Simon let himself be emotionally available, but he even waits for Blue to decide to come to him. Agency! Consent! Love it!

Also, can we talk about the fact that this isn’t just a rom-com, it’s a queer rom-com. Simon is gay, so is Blue, and we follow not only their path to falling in love, but also their paths to accepting themselves—asking important questions like “Why is straight the default?”— something that teen me would have loved to see on the big screen.

As if it that wasn’t enough, it has a cameo of not ONE but TWO kid lit icons, Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera in the Halloween party scene, and if you vote for Love, Simon I will personally come to your house and point them out to you.*

*I mean tweet the time stamp it occurs, which you’ll presumably read in your own home, so it’s just like me being there


Don’t forget to cast your vote here, Facebook, Twitter, or Penguin Teen’s Instagram!


Cinnamon rolls to the rom-com front!

While we love writing unapologetic, unconventional girls—flirtatious, forward Megan and cutting Cameron—we don’t often discuss the other half of the romance equation in our YA rom-coms: the guys. We love our male leads, and we’re excited to unpack them in the context of important conversations in and outside YA on male stereotypes and masculinity.   … Continued
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March Movie Madness: SEMI FINAL ROUND 2!

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BATTLE ROUND 4: March Movie Madness

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Four Dead Queens: the PLAYLIST!

Let’s face it. Sometimes, you’re reading an epic mystery fantasy and you just need to jam. As it turns out, Astrid Scholte author of Four Dead Queens feels the same way, and she’s shared her playlist with us! Although she’s not one for writing to music, she certainly knows how to build the perfect Four Dead Queens reading atmosphere. Scroll … Continued
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March Movie Madness: SEMI FINAL ROUND 1!

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BATTLE ROUND 3: March Movie Madness

Welcome back to Penguin Teen March Movie Madness! It is time for ROUND 3 and that means DUMPLIN’ backed by Jenn Marie Thorne VS. TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE backed by Kat Cho! IT’S THE NETFLIX SMACKDOWN! Let’s hear from Jenn Marie Thorne first!   Listen, I love Lara Jean. Everybody loves Lara … Continued
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PT March Movie Madness: THE GRAND FINAL ROUND!

What. A month. From the Netflix smackdown to a battle between The Hunger Games and Harry Potter that no one saw comin’, it’s been an intense month of trying to track down the ULTIMATE teen movie. But you guys have narrowed it down, and now it’s time for the final vote. Get ready, everyone! It’s time for HARRY POTTER … Continued
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BATTLE ROUND 5: March Movie Madness

Well well well HERE WE ARE AT ROUND 5. We’re gettin’ close to the semi finals and IT’S INTENSE. It’s about to get even more so. Because we’re making you choose between THE BREAKFAST CLUB and…THE FAULT IN OUR STARS   Repping The Breakfast Club is…Peter Bognanni!   “Don’t you forget about me!”  The cheesy … Continued
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March Movie Madness: SEMI FINAL ROUND 3!

We are ONE ROUND AWAY from the GRAND FINALE of PT March Movie Madness! And you know what that means. It’s time for THE PRINCESS DIARIES vs. THE BREAKFAST CLUB! Let’s hear from Rachel!   I KNEW Makeover Montage would win y’all over! But now that we’re in the semi-finals, let’s get a little deeper, … Continued
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Why Isn’t She Smiling: Author Spotlight

Why Isn’t She Smiling? by Ally Condie, author of The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe   In preschool, I drew a picture of a girl. The girl was supposed to be me—curly brown hair, brown eyes. She wore a blue dress because blue was and is my favorite color. I was pleased with my work. In … Continued
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