Aug 18 2014

The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, by Kate Hattemer

Kate Hattemer's The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy is the kind of challenging, dialogue-driven teen drama I would have absolutely devoured as a kid. Sadly, I read it as an adult, which left me with a somewhat different reaction...

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Aug 18 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, by Kate Hattemer

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This week we're giving away a copy of The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, by Kate Hattemer. The PR note I received with the novel claims that it's perfect for fans of Glee. I don't know about Ms. Hattemer (whose writing deserves better), but to paraphrase P.G. Wodehouse: if someone said such a thing about me, I would have risen and struck them on the mazzard, regardless of their age or sex...

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Aug 13 2014

Not feeling it.

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Okay, I've been super busy this summer, but how did I miss this, and—bigger question—why is it happening? Bookriot informs me that Bloomsbury is releasing another new set of Harry Potter covers, this time featuring the artwork of Jonny Duddle...

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Aug 12 2014

Sadly...

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The trailer is out for the upcoming Johnny Depp movie Mortdecai, based on the 1970s series of comic novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli. The movie looks absolutely terrible, but I had my hopes up about the books, seeing as A) they appear to be a parody of the Jeeves and Wooster stories, and B) the third is called Something Nasty in the Woodshed, which I assume...

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Aug 11 2014

Frostborn, by Lou Anders

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While I doubt Lou Anders's Thrones & Bones: Frostborn will attract much of an adult audience, it's the kind of novel parents will love to read out loud to their kids. Anders divides his story between Karn, a human boy destined to inherit his father's farm (and the countless mind-numbing responsibilities that come with it), and Thianna, a half-giant, half-human girl who feels like she'll never fit in anywhere...

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Aug 11 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Frostborn, by Lou Anders

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This week we're giving away Lou Anders's debut novel Frostborn, the first installment of his "Thrones and Bones" series. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far it seems like a brisk, enjoyable read, carefully constructed to appeal to young readers of both genders. It definitely feels like a kid-specific story (unlike, say, Jonathan Stroud's Heroes of the Valley), but budding fantasy fans...

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Aug 7 2014

Have at it, Ms. Brownstein.

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Time magazine says that Portlandia co-creator Carrie Brownstein has been hired to complete the late Nora Ephron's unfinished adaptation of ITV's 2008 TV miniseries Lost in Austen. Normally, I'd be concerned at the notion of Brownstein getting her hands on a Jane Austen-related property...

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Aug 7 2014

Imagine the prices (and contents) of their mini-bars.

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It seems there have been complications with some anonymous businessman's plan to open a Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired "erotic hotel" in Vilafranca, Spain, according to THR. The local town council apparently feels the hotel is too close to a famous chapel. A (presumably G-rated) bar and restaurant have been open...

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Aug 6 2014

Revenant, by Kat Richardson

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After nine books, Kat Richardson has finally brought her Greywalker series to a close, and she's ending the way she began: Revenant is carefully researched, densely plotted, and—it must be said—works much better on an intellectual level than an emotional one...

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Aug 5 2014

At least more people will read the book...?

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Ugh. Variety informs me that Disney is planning to make a movie version of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle in Time, to be adapted by Frozen director Jennifer Lee. I'm always happy to see a woman handling a major film project, but I have concerns about this one, you guys...

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Aug 5 2014

I hope that pirate one ends up in Times Square.

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According to Refinery29, MAC's upcoming Fall 2014 makeup collection was inspired by the cover art featured on vintage romance novels, and will feature "products [ranging] from vivid lipsticks to killer nail polishes to electric-hued liners". I am SOLD, particularly if...

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Aug 4 2014

Starters, by Lissa Price

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In the six years since The Hunger Games hit it big, it feels like I've read a million different versions of the “hellish future” story, featuring everything from zombies to World War III to natural disasters. I usually divide these books into two camps: the profoundly stupid violence-for-violence's-sake stories, and the novels that would have been published even if...

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Aug 4 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Starters, by Lissa Price

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This week's Book Giveaway is Starters, by Lissa Price. It's tough for me to tell if I actually want to read this book, or if I'm just attracted to the icy vibe of the cover art. I'd like to think I'm not that easily manipulated by a shiny silver image, but we've been stuck in the throes of 90+ degree temperatures for DAYS here, and it's quite possible my brain has melted...

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Jul 31 2014

Stay gold

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I did terribly on this quiz (celebrating S.E. Hinton's 66th birthday) about teenage rebels in fiction...

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Jul 31 2014

Happily ever after?

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The trailer is out for Disney's upcoming version of Into the Woods. I legit don't understand this movie. If the rumors are true, they're taking out a lot of the depressing bits...

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Jul 30 2014

Secret Society Girl, by Diana Peterfreund

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While poking around in the deepest, darkest depths of our slush pile, I fished out a copy of Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl. The book was originally published in 2006, but it feels much more recent than that—probably because while it was released about five years too early for the current craze for “New Adult” novels, that's totally what it is: a story for and about young people who are too old for teen books, but not yet in the market for mainstream adult fiction...

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Jul 29 2014

You bring the sunscreen, they provide the books.

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The website TeenReads is currently offering a great book giveaway package: their eighth annual "Beach Bag of Books" contest. I don't know if you get an actual beach bag, but the chosen titles look like a genuinely fun assortment...

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Jul 29 2014

Shellshocked

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After finally watching the first two Hunger Games movies last week, I'm slightly more invested in seeing Mockingjay. (Although I still bitterly resent the practice of splitting single books into two movies—you'll have to pry the cost of two tickets out of my cold dead hands, Lionsgate.) The teaser trailer...

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Jul 28 2014

The Glass Sentence, by S.E. Grove

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Several people have compared S. E. Grove's debut novel The Glass Sentence to Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. I understand the comparison, but, uh, like hell: Grove is a promising writer, but she doesn't have Pullman's skill (at least, not yet). Instead, I was put in mind of a child-friendly version of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell—a truly impressive effort, but...

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Jul 28 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Glass Sentence, by S. E. Grove

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This week we're giving away a copy of S.E. Grove's The Glass Sentence. I know nothing about this book except for the fact that the back cover has a quote from Megan Whalen Turner comparing it to Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. That's some seriously impressive praise from an impeccable source, so my expectations are very, very high...

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Jul 24 2014

Fifty Shades rolls out a trailer

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So, they released the trailer for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie, and I have to give the filmmakers credit: I didn't start laughing until the very end. Of course, most of that was due to the deliciously slow, creepy version of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love", which lends the story some sorely-needed dignity, but it's still a lot better than I expected...

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Jul 23 2014

Harriet the Spy: 50th Anniversary Edition, by Louise Fitzhugh

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Before I get started, I should make something clear: this is a review of a specific edition of Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy, not the book itself. I am constitutionally incapable of saying anything about the actual story beyond “If you haven't read it, seriously, drop everything and do so IMMEDIATELY...

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Jul 22 2014

I do wish the cover art was better, but...

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Rosemary Clement-Moore is one of our favorite YA writers (as indicated here and here). It's been quite a while since her last book, so...

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Jul 21 2014

The Fire Wish, by Amber Lough

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My hopes were high when I picked up Amber Lough's debut novel The Fire Wish. I'm officially over books about mermaids, witches, and/or dystopian contests, and it seemed to me that a YA take on the material covered in Arabian Nights might be just the ticket to get me excited about the huge pile of teen books looming on my to-be-read shelf again. Things didn't work out quite like I'd hoped, but sincere props to Ms. Lough for originality...

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Jul 21 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Fire Wish, by Amber Lough

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Amber Lough's debut novel The Fire Wish. I have no idea if the story's any good, but I'm pleased to see an Arabian Nights-inspired teen fantasy novel (and a little surprised I haven't been sent more of them, frankly). You'd think the gorgeous clothes alone would have been enough to attract more YA authors' interest...

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Jul 17 2014

Scholastic strikes again

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Scholastic is working on another "multi-platform action adventure property", according to Publishers Weekly. Like The 39 Clues, Spirit Animals and...

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Jul 17 2014

Marvel shakes things up

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Big plot tweaks are on the way from Marvel: Thor is gonna be a woman, and the Captain America role is going to be handed over to Sam Wilson (AKA the Falcon, recently played by Anthony Mackie in Captain America: The Winter Soldier)...

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Jul 16 2014

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit and The Case of the Good Boy, by John Allison

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I picked up the first volume of John Allison's Bad Machinery because I kept seeing it described as a spectacular title for children, and I figured: what the hell, I'm pretty childish. But now that I've read every Bad Machinery strip to date, I've decided Allison's publisher is making a mistake by pushing Bad Machinery at kids—this is a story about children, but that doesn't mean it's best appreciated by children...

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Jul 15 2014

Jane Austen in wax

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Speaking of Jane Austen, the Jane Austen Centre at Bath recently unveiled a wax figure of Jane Austen, created by sculptor Mark Richards and inspired by Melissa Dring’s forensic painting of Austen. I'm always terrified by wax sculptures...

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Jul 15 2014

As yet, the marketplace has failed me.

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Thanks to a recent digression on Twitter about literature-inspired nail polish, I've been obsessed with the idea of a Jane Austen-inspired line of polishes, and it appears I am not alone: last summer, the website Loving Books wrote a lengthy post on the colors they would choose for the various characters...

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