The Maze Runner

2 September 2014

Here’s a link to James Dashner’s books

Sole survivor in Texas shooting looks for hope amid her horror

14 July 2014

From CNN:

Cassidy Stay has seen the worst — the brutal killings of her parents and siblings, ages 4 to 13, in their Texas home.

On Saturday, the 15-year-old quoted Dumbledore, the wise man from the Harry Potter series, in hopes of finding some good amid the horror.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times,” Cassidy said, citing J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

The remarks — at a public memorial for her family — were the teenager’s first public comments since she emerged as the lone survivor from the carnage in her family’s Spring home.

Link to the rest at CNN and thanks to Joshua for the tip.

Stuff YA Readers Say

12 July 2014

Thanks to Matthew for the tip.

Angry Robot closes Exhibit A and Strange Chemistry imprints due to “market saturation”

23 June 2014

From The Bookseller:

Sci-fi and fantasy publisher Angry Robot is closing its Exhibit A and Strange Chemistry imprints with immediate effect.

The publisher, part of the Osprey Group, said in a statement that the two imprints had been “unable to carve out their own niches”.

Strange Chemistry focused on YA fiction, while Exhibit A released crime and mystery titles.

A statement from Angry Robot said: “Angry Robot Books has a history of innovation and we continue to go from strength to strength. We’re constantly trying out new concepts and new ideas, and we continue to publish popular and award-winning books. Our YA imprint Strange Chemistry and our crime/mystery imprint Exhibit A have – due mainly to market saturation – unfortunately been unable to carve out their own niches with as much success.”

. . . .

Author Kim Curran’s book Delete, the third title in her Shifter series, was due to be published by Strange Chemistry. She told The Bookseller: “I’m shocked and devastated to learn that Delete – the last in my Shifter series – won’t be published by Strange Chemistry in August as planned. I hope I will find another way to get the book out to all my readers who’ve been so supportive over the years. And my heart goes out to everyone affected by the closure.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller and thanks to Imogen for the tip.

A Young Adult Author’s Fantastic Crusade to Defend Literature’s Most Maligned Genre

10 June 2014

From Nerve:

Last week, I read Ruth Graham’s article “Against YA.” In it, Graham contends that adults should be embarrassed to read YA novels. Instead, grownups should focus their attention on serious, “literary fiction” that grapples with “big ideas about time and space and science and love.”

As a YA writer myself, I was understandably offended. I’m not some schlocky trash-peddler. I’m a serious author, capable of far more than maudlin plot twists and clichéd dialogue. That’s why I decided to confront Graham in person.

I picked her up outside the graveyard before nightfall.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” she said, as we stepped into my father’s beat up Chevy. We were going 70 miles an hour, two girls with different colored hair.

“Why did you say that about YA?” I asked, as tears streamed down my face like rain.

“Because it’s true!” she hissed. And I saw in the moonlight that her anger made her beautiful. This was before the war, when the oceans still had water, and the moon was still visible in the sky.

“YA is formulaic, worthless dreck,” she said, transforming into a vampire.

She bared her fangs.

“I’m 170 years old,” she said, and blew some smoke into my face.

Link to the rest at Nerve and thanks to Tudor for the tip.

Author John Green and his awesome fans

2 June 2014

Thanks to Meryl for the tip.

J.K. Rowling to pen three ‘Harry Potter’ spin-off movies

31 March 2014

From the Daily News:

Muggles, rejoice! More wizarding movies are on the way.

J.K. Rowling has teamed up with Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara to write three new films based on the world of Harry Potter.

. . . .

The main character of the trilogy will be Newt Scamander, a “magizoologist.” The spin-off will be set before Potter’s adventures.

Link to the rest at the Daily News and thanks to Barb for the tip.

4 Cliche Things Every Dystopian Young Adult Movie Does

31 March 2014

From Cracked:

This year, fans of the young adult dystopian film genre will have four different movies from four different franchises playing in theaters. Besides the second Hunger Games, there’s Divergent, Maze Runner, and The Giver, all based on novels from the same section of your local Books-A-Million. But don’t worry if you can’t afford to watch all of them — if you’ve seen one, you can guess how the others go.

. . . .

#4. Every Movie Begins With Youngsters in Drab Clothing Riding Trains

Apart from the love triangles and the overabundance of grayscale, the first surefire sign that you’re about to watch YA dystopian sci-fi is to have a bunch of forlorn-looking teens standing around, all wearing the same grim clothes.

. . . .

Heaven forbid they fly to their destinations, which might cut down on the two-and-a-half-hour runtime all of these movies insist on having.

. . . .

#1. All of the Authors Are Pyromaniacs



Link to the rest at Cracked and thanks to Shantnu for the tip.

A Beginner’s Guide to YA Dystopian Novels

28 March 2014

From GroupThink:

If you hadn’t noticed, YA scifi/fantasy—and more specifically, YA dystopia—is having something of a moment lately. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the most successful film of 2013, and there are more than 50 million print and digital copies of the books available in the US alone. Divergentdominated the box office when it opened last weekend. And if Wikipedia is anything to go by (debatable), the sheer number of dystopian works has increased dramatically since the turn of the century. These books may be written for teens, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be worthwhile even once you’ve left high school behind.

But some novels are more equal than others, and there’s a lot of variation within this genre. The following is simply an introduction to this brave new world, focusing on relatively recent releases.

. . . .

We’ll start off with the obvious. The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is pretty much the poster child for YA dystopia at this point. If you haven’t heard about it, you’ve probably been hiding under a rock; please contact your nearest teenager for a heavy sigh, an eye-roll, and a plot summary before continuing. The series has a complex protagonist—and the first female character to lead a movie to the top of the box office rankings in 40 years—in Katniss Everdeen, and the books tackle serious issues surrounding race, class, and other topics far darker than most people expect from a book geared toward the lip gloss- and Axe-wearing crowd. Are they the best-written books I’ve ever written? No, but they’re worthwhile anyway.

. . . .

Ally Condie’s Matched takes place in a society where the government determines the spouse of every citizen. 17-year-old Cassia is matched with her best friend—but when she goes to view his information, another person shows up on the screen for an instant, forcing Cassia to question the accuracy of her match and, ultimately, her faith in the creatively-named Society. The series is lighter than The Hunger Games, but it’s still a good read (as long as you can handle the fact that the premise is basically set up to create a love triangle). Matchedhasn’t been made into a movie yet, but it’s on the way—Disney bought the rights before the book was even released, and supposedly production has begun.

. . . .

Let’s cleanse our palates with something good, shall we? M.T. Anderson’s Feed is a reminder, more than anything else on this list, that YA literature can be for adults as well. Feed is a more classic dystopia than the others here, following in the footsteps of Huxley or Orwell, and takes place in a future where everything is controlled by corporations, everyone follows trends like zombies, and the Internet-like “feed” is implanted directly into people’s brains. There’s a romance here, but make no mistake—this is not a light story. The end ofMockingjay is downright cheerful by comparison. Anderson makes some heavy critiques of modern society, but he clearly knows his craft and. Read it.

Link to the rest at GroupThink

Please Tell Me You Didn’t Cut That Part

21 March 2014

From The New York Times:

There’s a scene in the 2010 film “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” in which Bella (Kristen Stewart), the movie’s teenage heroine, gets on the back of a motorcycle owned by Jacob, a werewolf. She does so unprompted, at least in part to get under the skin of her beau, Edward, who is a vampire. In the book, however, Jacob has to persuade Bella to get on his motorcycle, which she does. See the difference? If you’re a young or even not-so-young fan of the wildly popular “Twilight” series, you sure do.

“That got some flak,” said Melissa Rosenberg, who wrote the screenplays for all five of the “Twilight” films, which are based on a series of books by Stephenie Meyer. “Some fans were like, ‘She would never do that to Edward!’ People become very attached to a certain moment in a book, and then if you change it, it’s very upsetting to them.”

. . . .

If, as the common wisdom goes, the book is always better, why do so many studios keep making movies out of them? One reason, of course, is that built-in audiences of devoted readers will rush out to see their favorite texts brought to life on screen, even as they complain about every casting decision and plot tweak. Few fans are more devoted — and, perhaps most important to studio executives, plentiful — than the readers of young adult fiction, whose numbers have made film series like “The Twilight Saga” and “The Hunger Games” movies into multibillion-dollar franchises.

Such devotion, however, comes with its own special challenges. How do screenwriters adapt these stories so that they will appeal to a broad swath of moviegoers, readers and nonreaders alike, without alienating the fans who consider the books holy writ? “You can go on any ‘Twilight’ website in the world, and 50 percent of the people say, ‘Oh, the adaptation was incredibly faithful,’ and the other half will say that I butchered the book, and my hands should be cut off,” Ms. Rosenberg said. “One changes things at great peril.”

. . . .

 Casting, as one might expect, is one of the biggest of fan concerns. Nose around some of the most popular young adult-book fan sites, and you’ll find commenters as mean as snakes, and missives that range from creepily specific to nonsensical. “We’ve learned not to be too reactive about some of their initial responses,” said Erik Feig, co-president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, who has overseen such projects as “Divergent,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and the “Twilight” series. “At first, fans said that Rob Pattinson was the worst Edward ever: ‘How could you have cast him?’ ” he said. “Or that Shailene Woodley would be terrible as Tris. A lot of times we want to say, ‘Trust us.’ It’s like a pot roast. Don’t try to eat it until it’s all cooked.”

. . . .

And it’s not just casting, Mr. Feig said. Fans often have a list of elements from the books that they feel the films can’t do without. While working on “Twilight,” he and a few of his colleagues sat down with Ms. Meyer and came up with their own list. Informally called the “Stephenie Meyer Bill of Rights,” it ranged from character details (“Jacob is an amazing mechanic”) to essential scenes. “That became a rider to the contract,” Mr. Feig said.

He has made similar lists for several of his recent films. “The Finnick sugar-cube scene from ‘Catching Fire,’ ” Mr. Feig said. “That had to be there. The zip-line scene in ‘Divergent.’ ‘How long have you been 17?’ from ‘Twilight.’ Can you imagine an adaptation that wouldn’t have those scenes?”

Link to the rest at The New York Times

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