Mar 24 2014

The Mirk and Midnight Hour, by Jane Nickerson

When I saw the press notes for Jane Nickerson's The Mirk and Midnight Hour, which describe the book as a "haunting love story and suspenseful thriller" inspired by the Tam Lin fairytale, I applauded the author's ambition. She was taking a risk: Tam Lin doesn't have the universal appeal of, say, Cinderella, plus there are already two extremely well-regarded YA versions out there...

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Mar 24 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Mirk and Midnight Hour, by Jane Nickerson

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This week's Book Giveaway title is The Mirk and Midnight Hour, the second YA novel from Jane Nickerson. Like her first book Strands of Bronze and Gold (which we reviewed here), The Mirk and Midnight Hour is inspired by a not-exactly-Disney-friendly fairytale: the Scottish ballad Tam Lin...

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Mar 20 2014

In a word: gross

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I don't know why I'm so offended by the idea of a big-budget CGI Peanuts movie. I don't have particularly fond memories of the comics, and the strip has obviously inspired plenty of animated adaptations, but...

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Mar 20 2014

So ridiculous

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Publishers Weekly has posted an update on the decision by the South Carolina House of Representatives to cut the College of Charleston's funding by $52,000 and University of South Carolina-Upstate's funding by $17,142...

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Mar 19 2014

This is my surprised face.

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I am legitimately stunned to be writing this (seeing as I just gave James Dashner's The Kill Order my nastiest review of the year), but the full trailer for The Maze Runner actually looks interesting...

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Mar 18 2014

Season of the Witch, by Mariah Fredericks

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Mariah Fredericks's Season of the Witch hopes for the literary equivalent of having one's cake and eating it too: the author tries to lure in readers with fantasy/horror stuff, but she also wants her story to be taken seriously as a real-world exploration of grief, revenge, and teenage power dynamics. I wish she had committed to one approach or the other, although the resulting mash-up is still remarkably entertaining...

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Mar 18 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Season of the Witch, by Mariah Fredericks

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This week's Book Giveaway is Mariah Fredericks's Season of the Witch, which I'm told is a psychological thriller set in an exclusive New York prep school, not a supernatural romance. (I enjoy the way the cover art is purposefully vague, presumably in an effort to attract both audiences.) Our review will go up later today...

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Mar 13 2014

I want one!

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Okay, I love this story: NPR's article "Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There" introduces readers to JuJu Harris, a "culinary educator" and SNAP outreach coordinator with the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, a nonprofit group devoted to pushing for...

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Mar 13 2014

An impressively terrible decision

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According to Variety, Warner Bros. is making a Peter Pan origin movie slated for summer 2015. They have already cast Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund as pirates, and just announced that Rooney Mara will play Tiger Lily. Clearly anticipating some controversy, the studio was careful to describe their film as a "multi-racial/international" production, and mentioned...

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Mar 11 2014

Anne Rice tries again

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According to Dread Central, Anne Rice is going to write another installment of her Vampire Chronicles series. The book will be called Prince Lestat, and the author briefly described the plot...

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Mar 11 2014

MTV shows its age

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People have been justifiably incensed by the MTV Movie Award nominees for 'Best Hero', which are 100% male. (And no, there's no 'Best Heroine' category.) Despite the huge and ongoing success of the Hunger Games adaptations, Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen lost out to Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Henry Cavill's Clark Kent, Chris Hemsworth's Thor, Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins, and Channing Tatum's, uh, whoever he played in White House Down, which nobody saw...

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Mar 10 2014

The Kill Order, by James Dashner

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In 1988, John Christopher wrote When The Tripods Came, a prequel to the Tripods series, his famous 1960s science fiction trilogy. Creepy and deeply weird, When The Tripods Came simultaneously established the post-apocalyptic world featured in the main series and worked as a standalone novel. James Dashner's novel The Kill Order attempts to...

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Mar 10 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Kill Order by James Dashner

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This week's Book Giveaway is James Dashner's The Kill Order, the prequel to his bestselling Maze Runner series. I've never read the Maze Runner books, but I'm choosing to believe that makes me the ideal person to review a prequel (no preconceptions!), rather than, y'know, totally unprepared. My review should go up this evening...

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Mar 7 2014

Discount Armageddon, Midnight Blue-Light Special, and Half-Off Ragnarok, by Seanan McGuire

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The third book in Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series hit bookstores last week, making it officially Way Past Time for me to feature this fantastic (in all senses of the word) urban fantasy series on the site. Do your best to ignore the cover art—I promise this isn't a R-rated story about an anime schoolgirl gone rogue—and believe me when I say this series is wildly fun...

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Mar 6 2014

Ah, singing gang members

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According to Deadline, Fox is considering remaking West Side Story. While Robert Wise's 1961 version is the highest Oscar-winning musical in history and was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress, Steven Spielberg has indicated his interest in directing a remake, and that's all it took...

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Mar 6 2014

Books on walls

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Apartment Therapy recently introduced me to the website FreeVintagePosters.com, which (as the name would indicate) offers "free downloads of high quality vintage posters and retro art prints." Not all of the images are available for commercial use, and I suspect the cost of having a high-quality print made will be painful...

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Mar 5 2014

Old and improved

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I recently ran across these mega-cute reprints of the first four Nancy Drew stories: The Secret of the Old Clock, The Hidden Staircase, The Bungalow Mystery, and The Mystery at Lilac Inn. They're Penguin editions, they seemed sturdy, and, at $7.99, they're the same price as the classic editions with school bus-yellow spines...

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Mar 4 2014

The man-pretty version of James Gordon

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I didn't even realize Warner Bros. was making a "Batman-less Batman series", but io9 has casting news for it: in the upcoming FOX TV show Gotham, David Mazouz has been cast as the preteen Bruce Wayne, and acting newcomer Camren Bicondova has been cast as Selina Kyle. The press release emphasizes that this is meant to be the origin story of Commissioner James Gordon, not Batman, so...

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Mar 4 2014

Goodnight, some more

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Today Sterling Children’s Books is releasing Goodnight Songs, a compilation of "lullaby poems" by Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny author Margaret Wise Brown. According to Publishers Weekly, the book features the work of twelve different illustrators and is packaged with a...

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Mar 3 2014

Chasing Shadows, by Swati Avasthi

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Swati Avashthi's YA novel Chasing Shadows strongly reminded me of a movie that I haven't seen in fifteen years but will never, ever forget: Peter Jackson's 1994 film Heavenly Creatures. Like Heavenly Creatures, Chasing Shadows is an engrossing portrait of the kind of intense, heady friendships that teenagers are capable of—friendships that can be deepened even further by adversity, transforming into something destructive and codependent...

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Mar 3 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Chasing Shadows, by Swati Avasthi

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Swati Avasthi's novel Chasing Shadows. Featuring graphic novel-style illustrations by Craig Phillips, this book uses elements of Hindu myth to "create a gripping portrait of two girls teetering on the edge of grief and insanity." Admittedly, gripping portraits of grief and insanity are usually something I do my best to avoid, but the reviews for this sucker glow like a 100-watt bulb, so I've decided to give it a shot...

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Feb 27 2014

A classy move

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According to a New York Times blog, The National Enquirer recently ran an apparently 100% fictional article suggesting that the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and playwright David Bar Katz were lovers who freebased cocaine together. Katz, a longtime friend of Hoffman's, successfully sued the publication for libel...

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Feb 27 2014

Way to be all about limited government, guys!

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Good Lord: according to Publishers Weekly, the South Carolina House of Representatives voted to cut the College of Charleston's funding in response to the school's decision to include Alison Bechdel's critically acclaimed graphic memoir Fun Home on their summer reading list for incoming freshmen...

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Feb 25 2014

Simple but awesome

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I'm really liking these vertical book display shelves from Viktor Jondal/Miron Lior. They're only $15, and I'm pretty sure I see a little lip that supports the front cover as well as the bulk of the pages, so you wouldn't damage your books. (This is not true of many similar "artistic" shelving options.) Imagine one of...

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Feb 25 2014

Speak of the wishy-washy devil and he shall appear.

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Hah! I was just referencing Archie's perpetual romantic waffling, and immediately ran across this charming news item: according to MediaBistro, the Archie/Veronica/Betty love triangle is going to be transformed into a series of YA novels...

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Feb 24 2014

The Paladin Prophecy and The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance, by Mark Frost

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The first two books in Mark Frost's Paladin Prophecy series go for the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to storytelling, mashing together fantasy (angels and demons!), science fiction (evil geneticists!), and action/suspense (martial arts smackdowns!) into a frenetic but entertaining literary roller-coaster ride...

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Feb 24 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Paladin Prophecy and The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance, by Mark Frost

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We're offering two books for this week's Book Giveaway: Mark Frost's The Paladin Prophecy and its sequel, The Paladin Prophecy: Alliance. Our full review will go up later today, but here's a mini-take: Anthony Horowitz and Richard Paul Evans should watch their backs, but Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins...

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Feb 20 2014

Love Me, by Rachel Shukert

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Rachel Shukert's YA novel Starstruck was one of my favorite books of 2013. Smart and compulsively readable, it managed to transform the basic plot of Jacqueline Susann's deadly dull Valley of the Dolls into a deliciously juicy soap opera about three girls struggling to make it big during the Golden Age of Hollywood...

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Feb 20 2014

Sign me up

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The first full-length Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was just released, and I'm telling you: I will be there with bells on. It looks like it will focus on the stuff Marvel has done really well recently (Jokes! Violence! Aliens!), and minimize the amount of existential brooding* currently bogging down the Avengers superheroes...

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Feb 19 2014

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover and No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, by Sarah MacLean

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To once again paraphrase Jane Austen, there are few historical romance novelists that I really like, and fewer still of whom I think well. In fact, the “like and think well” list is pretty much limited to Georgette Heyer and Lisa Kleypas, while the “just like” list includes authors like Suzanne Enoch, Teresa Medeiros, and Julia Quinn—writers who produce enjoyable but anachronistic stories, and mostly use their historical settings as...

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