First things first, Jacqueline & Natasha just started a badass organization. Read more about it here:
SHE IS BOOKED
SHE IS BOOKED is a fundraising organization that the two of us (Jacqueline + Natasha) founded to help make a difference. We are booked because we are busy, as women, making moves towards a more equal and just future for ourselves, for those who didn’t have the chance before us, and for those who will come after. With every bookmark purchased, profits will go towards charities and women’s causes. Our current charity is PSI (Postpartum Support International), a non-profit organization serving the needs of pregnant, post-loss, and postpartum women and families all over the world.
Girls Who Read
Name: Jacqueline – But readers might know me as E.J. Mellow
Where you live: Brooklyn, NY
Insta handle: @ejmellow
Current read: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
Where you live: Brooklyn
Insta handle: @bookbaristas
Current read: EJ Mellow’s next book! Shhhh!
What has been your favorite read of the past year?
Jacqueline: Coincidentally, I finished Vicious by V.E. Schwab earlier this summer, the book before Vengeful in her Villain’s Dualogy and it was insanely good. V.E. Schwab is one of my top, all time favorite authors.
Natasha: The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli — it was so smart yet entirely accessible and really made me think about what time means to me.
What is one book that you think will (or should) become a classic in the next 30 (or 50) years? Why?
Jacqueline: Is it too much of a “duh”, to say Harry Potter? That’s the first one I can think of off the top of my head. It definitely feels like it’s become the next Star Wars, rebooted and re-imagined for years to come.
Natasha: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. It’s a heartbreaking story of immigrants finding love, losing family, creating a new life in unfamiliar territory, and is so beautifully written.
Imagine this. You and a celebrity of your choice are becoming friends. They have asked you for a book rec. Who is the celebrity and what book do you recommend?
Jacqueline: I have a huge lady crush on Emma Stone, and in this make-believe situation she’d be just as into every genre I am, so I’d recommend The Gift by Patrick O’Leary or An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin.
Natasha: Rachel McAdams, my one true love, and I’d recommend One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid because I cried a lot reading it and I cried a lot watching Rachel in About Time so it’s only fitting to bring the tears full circle.
How do you choose your next read?
Jacqueline: I always have a hefty To Be Read stack, but usually choose which to pick up next by mood rather than order. The time of season has a lot to do with it too. In the summers I like to read more light, fun books. In the winter, historical romance or fantasies.
Natasha: It usually depends — if one of my friends just read something they highly rec I’ll pick it up. Or I choose whichever book living in my book stack is glaring at me the most.
What book meant the most to you as a child?
Jacqueline: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. It was the first book I read that had a strong female hero. It really resonated with me as a young girl and actually what got me into reading as a form of entertainment. I owe a lot to that book, and Whitney Houston, who I remember simultaneous listening to in my room while I devoured Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Natasha: I loved Don’t Die My Love by Lurlene McDaniel — that book was the first book that ever ripped open my heart and made me feel so many real emotions for fictional characters. It also made me consider studying oncology for a bit.
What is your favorite adaptation from book to film, theater, or television? What book do you wish would be adapted?
Jacqueline: Again, I think the Harry Potter books to film are extremely well done. I also think Joe Wright’s adaption of Pride and Prejudice held all the pure magic, romance and conflict that Austin’s book did. It really captured the emotions I felt when I read that book for the first time.
I’d love to see Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone become adapted into a film. It would be a tough project to take on, but if it could be produced as well as Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, it would be amazing to watch.
Natasha: I don’t know that I have a favorite, but I really enjoyed The Girl on the Train. I’d love to see The Hating Game by Sally Thorne on the big screen. It is such a fun and steamy romcom that I highly recommend.
What’s the one book everyone loves that you just cannot stand?
Jacqueline: Hmm, I don’t think I have one. Even if I don’t particularly like a book, I can see why other’s might.
Natasha: Probably Wuthering Heights — I just really could not get into it and I read it twice to be sure I wasn’t missing anything, haha.
What is your favorite book set in or around the area where you live?
Jacqueline: The first book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument Series, City of Bones, is based in Brooklyn, NY. Very close to where I live, actually, and I loved reading about the character’s adventures around familiar areas in the neighborhood.
What is one classic you think is not overrated?
Jacqueline: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
Natasha: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson — I’d say it’s relatively underrated!
If you had to declare yourself an expert in one extremely specific genre, what would it be?
Jacqueline: This is an amazing questions! I’d love to declare being an expert in hate-to-love romances that lived within fantastical worlds or paranormal settings.
Natasha: Oh boy, I am not an expert by any means but I did read a LOT of books about horses growing up so if you’re ever looking for a YA horse read, I’m your horse girl.
What is your go-to book recommendation?
Jacqueline: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo; A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab; For historical romance, anything by Lisa Kleypas; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid; Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. The list could go on, but I’ll stop there 😉
Natasha: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch — it’s a great mix of thriller, sci-fi, love story and one of the best books I’ve read to date.
What book changed your worldview in some way?
Jacqueline: Though fictional, but inspired by real events, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden had a pretty lasting impression and opened my mind to a culture and world other than my own.
Natasha: Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin opened my eyes to gender as a social construct, educated me on intersex, and was overall such a gripping read.
If you could inhabit the life of one fictional character for a day, who would you choose?
Jacqueline: Even though she had some rough situations to deal with, I would love to be Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury. One word—Rhysand.
Natasha: Probably any character written by RS Grey because her romcoms are banter-filled and just so fun.
Who do you think is the greatest female author?
Jacqueline: It takes a huge amount of determination, patience and self-discipline to complete a manuscript, so I think anyone who can finish writing a book is pretty friggin great.
Natasha: I know too many incredible female authors, I’m going with literally every single one.
Jacqueline: Singularly the best form of adventure one can experience anywhere at anytime.
Natasha: As a reader, I love being able to relate to people just by the way they string words into sentences. I can’t imagine a life where I’m not drawn to books.
What’s at the top of your TBR or wish list?
Jacqueline: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal is on my wishlist, Chrismas list, birthday list, and every other list that might bring me this book earlier than next year’s release. I am SO excited for this one and SO happy for Hafsah’s debut!!
Natasha: Top of my wish list is 99 PERCENT MINE by Sally Thorne — I loved her debut, and can’t wait to read her next novel!