Aug 13 2013

Touched and Dead River, by Cyn Balog

Cyn Balog's standalone novels Dead River and Touched are the kind of stories that allow YA readers to dip their toes into the horror genre. They're disturbing enough to send the odd shiver up one's spine, but still guaranteed to come with a safely happy ending, making them an ideal choice for kids who aren't quite ready for, say, Stephen King...

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Aug 13 2013

Drama!

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I recently caught the preview for the upcoming movie Seventh Son. The trailer claimed the film was based on an "acclaimed series", but that's where things got confusing: there is a fantasy novel called Seventh Son (written by Orson Scott Card), but this movie is based on Joseph Delaney's book The Spook's Apprentice (U.K. title)/The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch (American version). In addition to...

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Aug 12 2013

More in my financial wheelhouse

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If, like me, you were totally in love with the Kate Spade "Book of the Month" clutches, but neither willing nor able to spend $325 on an adorable but mostly useless accessory, today is your lucky day: Out of Print has released their own line of literary-themed canvas pouches...

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Aug 12 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dead River and Touched, by Cyn Balog

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This week we have two books for our Weekly Book Giveaway: Dead River and Touched, both by Cyn Balog. I'm pretty sure the books are standalones (I obviously haven't read them yet), and Balog's past work has indicated a real talent for character-driven YA paranormal romances, so my hopes are high. My review should go up sometime tomorrow...

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Aug 8 2013

Literary shade-throwing

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Flavorwire has assembled a list of Jane Austen's "Most Famous Trolls, Critics, and Doubters", including but not limited to Charlotte Brontë, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and Virginia Woolf. Without exception, all of the names mentioned remind me of one of my favorite quotes from Cold Comfort Farm...

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Aug 8 2013

I think not.

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To my utter disgust, the reviews have been coming out for the second Percy Jackson movie, and they actually seem mildly positive. Not, y'know, good, but full of lines like this one...

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Aug 7 2013

Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal, by Jennifer Armentrout

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After writing about the upcoming film adaptation of Jennifer Armentrout's sexy-aliens-in-peril Lux series, I requested the first three installments—Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal—from my local library. The books' mega-cheesy cover art was off-putting, but I was hoping the story would deliver some enjoyably soapy Roswell-style goodness...

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Aug 6 2013

Not sure if it's going to be a period piece, though.

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In much-less-distressing movie news, a few weeks ago IndieWire announced that director Whit Stillman has begun casting for his next movie, an adaptation of Jane Austen's little-known novella Lady Susan. I'm not a big fan of most of Austen's juvenilia, but...

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Aug 6 2013

I cannot believe this is a thing.

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I am seriously skeeved out by the idea of a Flowers in the Attic movie. I mean, I understand what they're hoping for: "It was shocking... titillating... the Fifty Shades of its day!" But is this really the kind of thing people feel nostalgic about? Want to actually watch? I remember the books being available at supermarket checkout stands...

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Aug 5 2013

The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater

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I loved Shiver, the first book in Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, but I was seriously underwhelmed by its sequel, Linger. Middle books can be tricky, but Stiefvater's approach was ridiculous...

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Aug 5 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Maggie Stiefvater's award-winning novel The Scorpio Races, which I'll be reviewing this afternoon. I haven't finished the book yet, but thus far I'm really liking it—as monster stories go, you could do a lot worse than murderous sea-dwelling horses...

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Aug 1 2013

Literary decor on a budget

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I was stoked to see that H&M is now offering online shopping for American customers, as it finally allows me to investigate the one H&M department I haven't been able to visit in person: their home line. (Plus, my European cousins can now stop lording their online shopping access over my head.) Most of the stuff looks pretty uninspired, but they do offer a few book-inspired products...

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Jul 30 2013

Have they nothing else to do with their time?

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Wooow. I was ridiculously excited by the recent news that England's ten-pound banknote is going to feature Jane Austen's face*, but apparently some people were less delighted: according to Jezebel, Caroline Criado-Perez, the woman who lead the campaign to feature Austen's image, has received a "deluge" of rape and death threats from Twitter users...

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Jul 29 2013

Fever Crumb, by Philip Reeve

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In Philip Reeve's colorful, violent steampunk novel Fever Crumb, post-apocalyptic engineers work alongside archaeologists to study ancient technologies like “electronic keypads”. Fever Crumb, a fourteen-year-old foundling raised by the all-male Order of Engineers, has just received her first work assignment. The Engineers have trained Fever to value logic and reason above all, but they haven't prepared her for London—a loosely-controlled city full of superstitious people...

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Jul 29 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Fever Crumb, by Philip Reeve

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This week's book givewaway pick is Philip Reeve's Fever Crumb, which I intend to review later today. Meanwhile, I offer this description from Publishers Weekly:

Fever Crumb, a 14-year-old orphan, is the only girl ever accepted into the Order of Engineers and has been raised in seclusion by obsessively logical scientists in an enormous head, part of an unfinished statue of London's deposed ruler, the hated mutant “Scriven,” Auric Godshawk...

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Jul 25 2013

Still ridiculous, but whatever.

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According to NPR, Chuck Palahniuk has announced that he is working on a sequel to his 1996 novel Fight Club. The book is described as a "dark and messy" graphic novel, and the plot summary involves one alter ego kidnapping the other's kid...

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Jul 24 2013

Timeless and Timekeeper, by Alexandra Monir

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Here's my problem with time-travel stories: even for great writers, it's tough to come up with a workable plot when you're starting from a fundamentally problematic central concept. I've read a few successful time-travel books, but most of them offered a pleasingly vague “It's magic!” explanation...

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Jul 23 2013

Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever., by Caissie St. Onge

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Caissie St. Onge's novel Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. is an entertaining but uneven take on the joys—and many, many sorrows—of life as a blood-sucking perpetual teenager. Jane Jones has been a high school student for decades, but it never gets any easier. Her parents are still ridiculously overprotective (even though Jane is actually ninety-odd years old), she has nothing in common with her human classmates, and her vampire peers despise her for having a blood allergy...

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Jul 23 2013

Could the movie deliver on the HOLY ALIEN HOTNESS?

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The covers for this series crack me up, but obviously someone takes them seriously, because THR says that Sierra Pictures has signed up to produce a film adaptation of Jennifer Armentrout's Obsidian. The book is a YA romance about a 17-year-old girl who discovers that her neighbor is actually a "hot alien" (note: that's from the official publisher's description) with...

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Jul 22 2013

Paradox, by A.J. Paquette

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Despite its staggeringly ugly cover art, A.J. Paquette's novel Paradox is not, sadly, a tribute to the 1990 killer-giant-worms movie Tremors. It is instead the story of a teenage girl named Ana who wakes up on an alien world with no memories, a backpack full of weapons and supplies, and a note in her pocket instructing her to observe and survive. While she eventually meets up with three other kids (including a boy who seems strangely familiar), Ana is forced to rely...

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Jul 22 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Paradox, by A.J. Paquette

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This week's book giveaway title is A. J. Paquette's Paradox, which I'd like to think is a YA retelling of the 1990 camp-horror classic Tremors. (Sadly, it probably isn't, although someone should really write that book.) We'll be posting our review later this afternoon...

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Jul 18 2013

This is seriously the best.

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Some dude named Tyler Adam Smith, a student in the "Masters of Branding" program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, has chosen to create 100 book covers for books that do not actually exist (but totally should), and they are glorious. At the very least, this guy should release these as a line of blank books...

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Jul 18 2013

He'll have to console himself with all that cash.

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The Onion's AV Club has written an enjoyably nasty article about Alan Moore's response to the recent announcement that Fox is planning on turning his comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen into a TV series. Moore has been outspoken...

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Jul 17 2013

TV to movie to book

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E! Online informs me that Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas has nabbed a two-book deal to continue the series. The novels will pick up where the upcoming movie ends, and should be available in the spring of 2014...

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Jul 16 2013

Dear Mr. Watterson on the big screen

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The movie trailer is out for Dear Mr. Watterson, director Joel Allen Schroeder's tribute to Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin and Hobbes remains one of the world's most beloved comic strips, despite ending in 1995...

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Jul 15 2013

Deep Betrayal, by Anne Greenwood Brown

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To borrow an image from the cultural zeitgeist, Anne Greenwood Brown's Deep Betrayal, the second book in her YA trilogy about killer mermaids lurking in the Great Lakes, is like Syfy's Sharknado: a ridiculously fun idea, poorly executed...

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Jul 15 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Deep Betrayal, by Anne Greenwood Brown

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This week's book giveaway title is Anne Greenwood Brown's Deep Betrayal, the sequel to last year's Lies Beneath, which we reviewed here. I have no idea if this book will fix the problems I had with the first installment (actually, I'm not sure it's possible to fix the problems I had with the first installment), but if you're curious, wouldn't it be nice...

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Jul 11 2013

A trip down Diagon Alley

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Google Maps now allows people to explore the set of Diagon Alley at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. It's well worth a look—according to Mashable.com, Warner Bros. says the Diagon set took more than three months to build, and six months to create over 20,000 products featured on the shops' shelves. The street view allows you to get up close and personal...

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Jul 10 2013

I would visit this place, but not in costume.

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We still have a lot of Jane Austen-related news to get through this week, but nothing as amazing as yesterday's item. Today we're posting a link to the newly-released trailer for the upcoming film Austenland. It looks super embarrassing (Austen fans = Beliebers?), but...

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Jul 9 2013

I might prefer reading New Moo. That cow is cute.

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I was genuinely amused by these altered book covers found on Pleated Jeans. The images feature 20 re-imagined book titles, each minus one letter. Some of the letters are more vital than others...

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