Jun 14 2016

I would have pushed him down a well.

I normally avoid movies that scream OSCAR BAIT!!! this loudly, but I'm mildly intrigued by the new film Genius, about the relationship between notoriously verbose writer Thomas Wolfe and his long-suffering editor Maxwell Perkins. The trailer looks...

More »

Jun 13 2016

And I Darken, by Kiersten White

2016-06-13-and-i-darken-by-kiersten-white

As one might expect from a story about a gender-swapped version of Vlad the Impaler, Kiersten White's And I Darken is heavy on angst and violence. On the other hand, it is also unexpectedly well-researched and thoughtfully constructed—despite the lurid nature of her subject matter, White has written a respectable alternate-history fiction, not the YA equivalent of Dracula Untold...

More »

Jun 13 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: And I Darken, by Kiersten White

2016-06-13-weekly-book-giveaway-and-i-darken-by-kiersten-white

This week's Book Giveaway is And I Darken, the first installment in a new teen series by Kiersten White. This book is apparently (very) loosely based on the historical events surrounding Vlad the Impaler. I have no idea how a story about a murderous, sadistic, 15th century nutjob will translate into a darkly seductive YA novel, but I'm looking forward to finding out...

More »

Jun 10 2016

Another one to skip

2016-06-10-another-one-to-skip

I'd managed to forget that Kenneth Branagh was making a movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, but apparently the deal has been hammered out and Angelina Jolie is in talks to star. I have no idea what role she'll play (personally, I'm hoping for a gender-swapped Hercule Poirot)...

More »

Jun 9 2016

Murderously adorable

2016-06-09-murderously-adorable

Man, Jonathan Franzen really doesn't like cats. According to this article in New Republic, Franzen thinks the time has come for cat genocide: “The bird community’s position is, we need to get rid of the feral cats, and that means cats must die.” He's also a big fan of the upcoming book Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer...

More »

Jun 8 2016

Mediocrity in pretty dresses

2016-06-08-mediocrity-in-pretty-dresses

Over the weekend, my mom and I went to see Whit Stillman's Love and Friendship, which has been receiving glowing reviews. I enjoyed the acting, the sets, and the fact that one of Jane Austen's lesser-known works (the novella Lady Susan) was getting some attention, but I thought the movie itself was pretty bad, and I blame most of that on Mr. Stillman...

More »

Jun 7 2016

A world of no.

2016-06-07-a-world-of-no

According to Deadline, there are some big names attached to the film adaptation of Gay Talese’s The Voyeur’s Motel: Sam Mendes will direct and produce; Steven Spielberg is also producing. The movie, which is based on this insane magazine article written...

More »

Jun 7 2016

Educational props

2016-06-07-educational-props

Over the weekend, NPR posted a fun article about a class at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts: Philosophy 280: Philosophy for Children. The class uses visits with second-graders and discussions of classic children's books—Frog and Toad Are Friends, Shrek, Horton Hears a Who!—to better understand the central tenets of philosophy...

More »

Jun 6 2016

Julia Vanishes, by Catherine Egan

2016-06-06-julia-vanishes-by-catherine-egan

Catherine Egan's YA novel Julia Vanishes is better than V. E. Schwab's thematically-similar A Darker Shade of Magic series—creepier, more complicated, and inhabited by less glamorous but more interesting characters. Unfortunately, the cover art for Julia Vanishes is merely adequate, while Schwab's books look spectacular. I sincerely wish Egan's publisher had shelled out for something more impressive, because...

More »

Jun 6 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Julia Vanishes, by Catherine Egan

2016-06-06-weekly-book-giveaway-julia-vanishes-by-catherine-egan

This week's Book Giveaway is Julia Vanishes, the first book in Catherine Egan's new Witch's Child trilogy. The plot description—involving magic, orphans, thieves, and serial killers—sounds pretty exciting, so I'm looking forward to reading it. A full review will follow shortly...

More »

Jun 2 2016

Leave well enough alone

2016-06-02-leave-well-enough-alone

The first pictures of the in-character cast are out for the upcoming stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and everybody looks spectacular. Of course, creating lush visuals has never been Rowling's problem...

More »

Jun 2 2016

Jumping the gun

2016-06-02-jumping-the-gun

According to Coming Soon, Awesomeness Films is planning a film adaptation of Aaron Starmer's young adult novel Spontaneous. Here's hoping they didn't pay a ton for the rights; the book doesn't come out for another couple of months, and the idea of a story...

More »

Jun 1 2016

Share with a friend, or just give yourself a fake twin?

2016-06-01-share-with-a-friend-or-just-give-yourself-a-fake-twin

BIG NEWS: according to the Huffington Post, James L. Mathewuse—the artist behind the Sweet Valley High book covers that looked so intriguing when I was in elementary school—apparently takes commissions! For as little as $200, you could...

More »

May 31 2016

Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

2016-05-31-marrying-winterborne-by-lisa-kleypas

Lisa Kleypas's Marrying Winterborne is a massive step up from the first book in her Ravenels series, but it still falls short of her best work. It feels like a throwback to the romance novels of my teen years—books that relied on far-fetched, telenovela-style plot twists, rather than more realistic (and, to me, more interesting) interpersonal conflicts...

More »

May 31 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

2016-05-31-weekly-book-giveaway-marrying-winterborne-by-lisa-kleypas

This week's Book Giveaway is Lisa Kleypas's latest historical romance: Marrying Winterborne, the second book in her Ravenels series. The first installment was one of the author's rare missteps, but I'm hoping this one will be better.

More »

May 26 2016

I want it.

2016-05-26-i-want-it

WOW: according to the New York Post, the house that reportedly inspired the heroine's home in Harriet the Spy is up for sale, and it could be yours for a mere $4.95 million! The house is gorgeous, and in a perfect world some enterprising hotelier will turn it into a boutique hotel that serves nothing but cake and tomato sandwiches...

More »

May 26 2016

Well, that's appalling.

2016-05-26-well-thats-appalling

According to Slate, Texas has agreed to include a textbook on Mexican-Americans on its list of proposed titles for the 2017-2018 school year. Seeing as 51.3 percent of the state's public-school students in 2012-2013 were Hispanic, this seems like a perfectly appropriate gesture. Unfortunately...

More »

May 25 2016

Maybe if I took out a loan...

2016-05-25-maybe-if-i-took-out-a-loan

I was recently introduced to the Folio Society, a London-based publisher of beautiful (and painfully expensive) books. I'm impressed by the fact that they appear to devote just as much effort—if not more—to books like Stephen King's...

More »

May 24 2016

Trigger warning

2016-05-24-trigger-warning

Today, the fine people at Go Fug Yourself posted their weekly Outlander recap, and this week's episode appears to focus heavily on rape, the fallout from rape, and (curve ball!) coercive sex. I left a comment on the GFY recap that basically summarized my thoughts on historical fiction/TV shows using rape as a narrative crutch, but I feel like hijacking other people's blogs...

More »

May 24 2016

Why bother?

2016-05-24-why-bother

The first trailer is out for Disney's upcoming "live action" adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, and I... well, I don't really see the point. I sort of understood the idea of telling a more fleshed-out version of Cinderella, seeing as Disney's earlier films...

More »

May 23 2016

A Song For Ella Grey, by David Almond

2016-05-23-a-song-for-ella-grey-by-david-almond

David Almond's A Song For Ella Grey is a young adult re-telling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in modern-day Northumberland and starring a bunch of small-town emo kids. The story is told from the point of view of a girl named Claire. Claire is obsessively devoted to her friend Ella, but when a mysterious boy with a beautiful singing voice appears, Ella instantly falls in love with him...

More »

May 23 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Song for Ella Grey, by David Almond

2016-05-23-weekly-book-giveaway-a-song-for-ella-grey-by-david-almond

his week's Book Giveaway is David Almond's young adult novel A Song For Ella Grey. I'm having a bit of trouble imagining how a teen re-telling of Orpheus and Eurydice (which I'm assuming this book is) will work, but that cover art is simply too gorgeous to pass up...

More »

May 19 2016

Mini-reviews: Pigs Have Wings, by P.G. Wodehouse, and A Gathering of Shadows, by V. E. Schwab

2016-05-19-minireviews-pigs-have-wings-by-pg-wodehouse-and-a-gathering-of-shadows-by-v-e-schwab

Another quickie guided tour of the sequels and series installments I've read this week:

P.G. Wodehouse's 1952 novel Pigs Have Wings is one of the funnier standalone Blandings Castle stories. (Like most of the Blandings adventures, this one involves several thwarted love affairs and a threat to the health and well-being of Empress of Blandings, Lord Emsworth's prize pig.) I usually...

More »

May 19 2016

Who knows?

2016-05-19-who-knows

I got an email this morning informing me that Random House/Penguin is planning to publish a young adult "adaptation" of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code this fall. The book will be available on September 8th in the UK and September 13th here in the States. Frankly, I found The Da Vinci Code damn near unreadable—it felt like a boring version of Katherine Neville's The Eight—but Brown's novel has sold approximately one zillion copies, so...

More »

May 18 2016

A bold move

2016-05-18-a-bold-move

There was a recent post on LaineyGossip about the upcoming AMC show Preacher, which premieres on May 22nd (we originally wrote about it here). According to Lainey, the premiere episode features "a specific joke...

More »

May 17 2016

Whelp.

2016-05-17-whelp

So, that Nancy Drew-inspired TV series we wrote about back in January? The one featuring a 30-something Nancy with a job as a detective for the NYPD, where she "investigates and solves crimes using her uncanny observational skills"? I was kind of excited about that, but...

More »

May 17 2016

Off-brand

2016-05-17-off-brand

The trailer is out for Ang Lee's upcoming film adaptation of Ben Fountain's debut novel, 2012's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. I haven't read Billy Lynn, but I keep seeing it described as "razor-sharp satire". I can only say that that is really not the vibe I'm getting from this trailer...

More »

May 16 2016

Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

2016-05-16-shades-of-milk-and-honey-by-mary-robinette-kowal

The back cover of Mary Robinette Kowal's novel Shades of Milk and Honey describes it as “precisely the sort of tale we would expect from Jane Austen”. That comment is... a little hyperbolic, to put it mildly, but Kowal's book has its own virtue...

More »

May 16 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

2016-05-16-weekly-book-giveaway-shades-of-milk-and-honey-by-mary-robinette-kowal

This week's Book Giveaway is Mary Robinette Kowal's fantasy novel Shades of Milk and Honey, which the back cover describes as "like wandering onto a secret picnic attended by Pride and Prejudice and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell". That sounds like a very tall order, but hopefully Ms. Kowal's book is up to the challenge. A full review will follow later today...

More »

May 12 2016

Mini-reviews: Lady Renegade, Forest of Ruin, and The Case of the Fire Inside

2016-05-12-mini-reviews-lady-renegade-forest-of-ruin-and-the-case-of-the-fire-inside

Today we are introducing a new feature here at Wordcandy: mini-reviews of the various sequels/series installments/comic books we've read during the week. Basically, I get tired of recapping everything that's happened in, say, the previous seven books in a particular series, but I still might want to complain or enthuse about book number eight...

More »