New York Times bestselling author—and Lute alum—Marissa Meyer had good reason to celebrate Tuesday. Not only was it her brother Jeff’s birthday, it was also the launch date of her third book, “Cress.”

So she threw a party.

As she took the Karen Hille Phillips Center stage in a sparkly purple dress, a crowd of her readers and supporters turned the auditorium into a sea of red and black—the colors associated with Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, of which “Cress” is the third installment—and many more fans joined from home via a live stream broadcast of the event.

“Coming back feels a little like coming home,” the ’04 grad said of being back on Pacific Lutheran’s campus. “I lived in the dorms about 200 feet back that way,” she pointed.

Garfield Book Company and Macmillian Children’s Publishing Group hosted the launch party for “Cress.”

The young adult novel is a retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale. Unlike other versions of the tale, Meyer’s Rapunzel character is Cress, a computer hacker who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood. Cress becomes an integral part to the stories of previous characters Cinder and Scarlet, who the other two novels are named after. The first, “Cinder,” is Meyer’s sci-fi fantasy version of Cinderella, while “Scarlet” is about a futuristic Little Red Riding Hood.

“It only took me about a day or so to get through each book,” sophomore Tabitha Holyfield said.  The 560-page “Cress”“will take longer because I have school now.”

Fans were encouraged to dress up as characters from the novels for a costume contest. A total of 24 attendees dressed up, with costumes ranging from the title characters to the series’ evil Queen Levana and even Doctor Who.

Meyer’s long-time friend, Angie Lynn, joined band mate Dave Hannon, to perform music throughout the event, including the Neko Case song, “I Wish I Was the Moon” and Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”

Sophomore Camille Adams, who attended Meyer’s book release for ‘Scarlet’ last year, said this year’s launch party was “significantly bigger,” with “a lot more people.”

During a Q&A segment at the release, Meyer answered questions sent to her on Twitter. Fans could tweet their inquiries to #SaveCRESS. Questions ranged from whether Meyer would ever write about Greek mythology to whether or not she’s finished writing the fourth installment in the Lunar Chronicles, “Winter”—she’s revising the last five chapters.

Twitter Stream 1

One tweet asked whether film rights had been sold for the series. As Meyer nodded her head, the crowd cheered.

“You know what I really want?” she asked the crowd. “Action figures.”

Meyers didn’t say which company had bought the rights, but did say a script had already been written, though not by her.

“I really hope it retains the integrity of the books, since I know the author isn’t the one who wrote the screenplay,” Adams said. “I hope she gets a say in what happens.”

Meyer did have a say in what happened at her launch party. At the request of a Facebook fan, Meyer integrated a Locks of Love donation into the schedule. An eighth grader from Charles Wright Academy joined her on stage for a 10” haircut by Meyer’s hairdresser, Chelsea Taylor of Puyallup’s Salon Ish.

Others wishing to make a charitable hair donation had the opportunity to do so at a booth at the after party, which relocated the group to PLU’s CK Hall for refreshments, balloon art, henna painting, and, of course, a book signing.

“Cress” is available for purchase at Garfield Book Company.

Video by Storm Gerlock, General Manager Mast TV ◼︎

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