Waiting for The Hunger Games movie has been hard, and if you’re anything like us, you’ve been anxiously counting down the days until the film’s release (only 33 more days …). However, yesterday we got something in the mail to tide us over until the March 23rd release date. We received three books from publisher Scholastic: The Hunger Games Tribute Guide, The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion and the original The Hunger Games novel by Suzanne Collins, redesigned with an official movie cover.
Make no mistake, when I think of the latest out-of-this-world YA trend, I hear the phrase TEENS IN SPACE in my head, a la the Muppet's Pigs in Space sketch when Miss Piggy heads for the outer reaches of the universe (along with Dr. Strangepork). I surely can't be the only one.
I think one of the best things about YA fiction today is that there are no boundaries. Authors have a great freedom to write almost any kind of book. The young adult fiction scene doesn't have the same strict parameters that authors often bemoan in other genres, like romance, where sometimes it's harder to get a publisher to take a chance on something new. In YA anything goes. In part I think this is because all the YA books are shelved in the same place in the bookstore, and online. So if you write a book that's a little off-the-wall, it doesn't get shelved or tagged somewhere random where readers might never happen upon it.
Case and point: the latest trend I've noticed in YA: Teens in Sppppppace! (I can't stop.)
We first happened upon some teens in space last January, with Beth Revis' most excellent Across the Universe trilogy starter. As cryogenically frozen Amy awakens upon a ship — instead of at the promised planet she and her parents were supposed to help populate — she uncovers a murder mystery with the help of Elder, who is beginning to suspect that their journey isn't exactly going as planned.
If you love Jane Austen, Regency life and hanging out with a few of YA’s hottest authors, then be sure to log onto Figment.com for next Monday evening’s live chat at 8 pm! Authors Shannon Hale, Elizabeth Euler and E. Lockhart will all be on hand for “After Austen,” an hour of chatting with readers about the Austen influences in their own books and why the talented writer remains one of literature’s most beloved ladies.
Shannon Hale has written many fantastic tales for teens from her popular Princess Academy series to the bestselling Austenland that is currently in the process of being adapted as a movie, which will star Kerri Russell. And the author has just released the story’s companion novel Midnight in Austenland.
Award winning author Philippa Gregory is best known for her entrancing historical fiction novels that take readers from the Tudor period in England through the 17th century, and beyond. This year, Gregory has the fourth in the Cousins' War releasing, however, fans will be thrilled to learn that the author is also embarking on a new adventure by publishing her debut Young Adult novel in May. Gregory's upcoming novel is a medieval-set story of adventure and romance. Today the author gives RT BOOK REVIEWS an exclusive look inside the story, introduces us to a few of the key characters and shares what it was like to write her first novel for a younger audience.
So the obvious first question is, when will your Young Adult series be set?
What made this story a good fit for the YA market (as opposed to adult historical fiction/fiction)?
Author Jennifer Lynn Barnes' paranormal Young Adult stories have won this writer an avid fan base. And her last three books have all received RT Top Pick! ratings. Today Barnes talks about the changining world of these supernatural stories about teens and what readers can expect from her latest paranormal novel, Every Other Day.
After a multi-year paranormal boom in young adult literature, it’s finally starting to seem like the market might shift. Paranormal books are taking up less room on the shelves, and their domination of the children’s bestseller lists seems to have passed. As someone who writes YA paranormal, maybe I should find this concerning, but instead, I’m excited about the possibilities, because as the YA market becomes more varied, I think we’re going to see the scope and content of popular paranormal books becoming more varied, too.
YA author Simone Elkeles is beloved by readers of all ages. Her most recent novel Chain Reaction was named a Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Today we're thrilled to be able to bring you an early look at the author's next project, the Fullriders series about high school football players whose lives are more complicated than anyone could imagine ...
You’ve just announced that you’ll be writing about a diverse team of high school football players who seem to have it all, but that’s just on the surface. So we’ve got to ask, what inspired the idea?
Today’s Five on Friday: Young Adult Edition features newly-announced mysteries. From suspense stories to thrillers and old-fashioned "whodunnits", get a look at the YA mystery projects we can't wait to get our hands on.
When the teen hero of Whispertown by Lamar Giles investigates the slaying of his best friend, the young man discovers a conspiracy that points to a culprit he’s very close to: his dad. This YA debut about a boy in Witness Protection will be published this spring.
Meanwhile, the heroine of Ashley Elston’s The Rules for Disappearing is ready to leave Witness Protection in hopes of finding out just what happened on the day that changed her life forever. She puts her trust in a local teen boy, and soon they have hit the road, vowing to get the bottom of the mystery — but you can be sure that nothing is what they expect in this Winter 2013 novel.
A case involving a murdered prostitute and corruption in a Montana town is going to forever change the lives of a petty thief’s son, a “scheming runaway” heroine and another girl from her foster home. The situation comes to a head in Winter 2013’s Dead Girl Moon by Charlie Price.
Marissa Meyer takes on a classic fairytale and puts her own spin for her debut novel, Cinder. Set in the near future, the story follows a young cyborg who is about to get a whole new perspective on life in “re-boot” (pardon our pun) of Cinderella.
Elisa: You always seem to rope me into reading these paranormal YAs.
Whitney: That may be the case, but they’ve been winners so far. Cinder is a great read, and quite different from a lot of the stories coming out in the YA genre. Although the book has some similarities to the fairytale, don’t expect this to be “Cinderella gets transported to the future and now lives in New Beijing with a few screws in her”. This is the Cinderella like you’ve never read it before.
Elisa: You are right, Cinder is unique. And while I’m not a big YA reader, this story has a very futuristic, cyberpunk feel to it, which I love. It’s like if Neal Stephenson wrote a YA with a touch of romance.
Whitney: Right, Cinder is a cyborg, the adopted daughter of a scientist who died shortly thereafter. And now she lives with and works for his family in New Beijing.
Elisa: You know, there were moments where I forgot that the heroine is a teen. She’s very mature.
There’s A LOT of excitement about the upcoming Hunger Games movie (hey, we aren’t the only ones avidly devouring news about the movie’s casting or checking out this fashion site which is dedicated to all things Panem. And don't even get us started about the recently announced HG guidebook). But this film adaptation isn't the only YA book getting ready to hit the big screen. Today we’re headed beyond Hunger Games to take a look at seven other projects that we can’t wait to see in theaters!
This October 2011 series starter follows blue-haired and tattooed teen Karou, an art student by day and the Devil’s errand girl by night. However, her world is changed forever when Karou is finally given a clue to her origins. Taylor’s beautifully written novel was very well received by both fans and critics alike, so it is no surprise that there were film studios lining up to get the rights to this story.
Our fingers are crossed that Universal, which eventually got the rights to the book, will invest in some excellent location scouting for the movie, since the story takes place everywhere from snowy Prague, to sun-drenched Marrakesh and a fantasy world that comes directly from the author’s imagination.
Written by a 22-year-old author, this first book has already won the series a loyal fan base. In this dystopian universe, at sixteen teens must choose which faction of society they will live in for the rest of their lives. Each of the five factions represents a different value, and everyone gets a faction except the society’s outcasts, Divergents. In this novel, heroine Beatrice tries to make the transition from Abnegation, the selfless faction, to Dauntless, the brave faction, and is caught in a web of expectations and secrets, with the threat of failure — and becoming Divergent — looming close at hand. The tale was an RT Top Pick and nominated for a 2011 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for YA protagonist. The series second, Insurgent, will be released in May 2012.
With this much buzz around the book and series, we were not shocked to learn that Summit Entertainment started negotiations before the book was published. Roth said of the news on her blog, “Yes, Summit: of Twilight and The Hurt Locker fame. And I’m crazy-excited! My experience with the people at Summit has been very positive so far—I think they have a great vision for the book, one that is close to my own. I also think they’re no strangers to taking risks, which is important to me. (coughDauntlesscough).”
You can keep up with all the latest Divergent movie news here.
Clear your September schedule, friends, because you're going to be busy reading Jasper Fforde's debut YA, The Last Dragonslayer. That's right: Jasper Fforde — whom you already love from his Thursday Next series, where he introduces readers to an alternate reality where people keep dodos as pets, cavemen are second citizens and people fall in and out of books — is writing YA. And it sounds amazing. We can't wait.
The series stars Jennifer Strange, a teen who runs Kazam Mystical Arts Management, a company which, according to the author's website, uses "the now-failing power of wizards to do such mundane jobs as installing domestic electrical circuits by telepathy or delivering live organs by flying carpet." See, the magic in Jennifer's world is fading, until suddenly it's not.