We mentioned last week that E.L. James' Fifty Shades trilogy reached the 20 million mark in the United States. In fact, sometimes it seems as though all chatter in the book business revolves around this hot (sorry, couldn't resist) series.
Let's not forget about a certain bow-wielding super-heroine, however. This morning, Scholastic released the sales figures for The Hunger Games trilogy, to date. From the press release, here's the news:
As of today, Scholastic has more than 50 million copies of the original three books in The Hunger Games trilogy in print and digital formats in the U.S. (more than 23 million copies of The Hunger Games; more than 14 million copies of Catching Fire; and more than 13 million copies of Mockingjay).
Any Book Case readers out there just now diving into The Hunger Games trilogy? What made you decide to read the books?
Rocker Lenny Kravitz will be play one of my personal favorite characters in the series, stylist Cinna.
In the series, stylists are the people who prepare the tributes to appear in public and on television. Cinna becomes an ally of Katniss, and he is also the brains behind her memorable "girl on fire" look. Don't you remember this passage?
"I want the audience to recognize you when you're in the arena," says Cinna dreamily. "Katniss, the girl who was on fire." It crosses my mind that Cinna's calm and normal demeanor masks a complete madman.
Can you imagine Kravitz as Cinna? Who is your favorite character from The Hunger Games?
Sorry to keep teasing you with books that aren't coming out for months, but Macmillan's pitch for Gabrielle Zevin's teen novel All These Things I've Done (September 27, 2011) is too good not to share.
The story is about a 16-year-old named Anya Balanchine, whose life is relatively normal—except for the fact that she's the daughter of New York City's most notorious crime boss. (And she may be falling in love with the assistant D.A.'s son. Whoops!)
The action happens in NYC of 2083, and it is not a place I'd like to live; chocolate and coffee are illegal. (And Anya's family manufactures chocolate.) A Macmillan rep described the book as "The Godfather meets The Hunger Games". . . and that's about all I need to be intrigued.
What can I say: I've always had a thing for mob stories—add chocolate to the mix and I'm sold.
Are you a fan of Gabrielle Zevin? Will you look for All These Things I've Done?
Read a review of Zevin's adult novel The Hole We're In on BookPage.com.
Ross's other directing credits include Pleasantville and Seabiscuit (based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand)—which just might be my family's favorite movie of all time.
Entertainment Weekly blogger Darren Franich has posted an amusing "open letter" to Ross, in which he begs for the director to not make the movie gritty:
Reading Hunger Games, you’re struck by just how vivid and alive the forest is. It’s Katniss’ escape from drudgery, the one place she can really feel alive. Listen to her describe the valley outside of District 12: “teeming with summer life, greens to gather, roots to dig, fish iridescent in the sunlight.” That’s sounds more like the Technicolor-organic wilderness of Avatar than the dark, shadowy woods of Twilight. Conversely, the Capitol reads like a fascist version of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek: too bright, too colorful, overpopulated with highly-caffeinated supermodels. But again, no gritty here.
Our clips from the event will crack you up—and remind you of why it's so much fun to get excited about a book.
Davis-Kidd's Mockingjay party had lots of appropriate programming, such as raiding a Cornucopia filled with snacks, Hunger Games buttons and fake bows-and-arrows that would make Katniss proud:
We formed an alliance (in Hunger Games parlance) with 9-year-old Darby to compete in a trivia match. Surprise, surprise. . . Darby knew way more answers than we did:
Watch more videos from the party on BookPage's YouTube channel. If you live in Nashville, check out Davis-Kidd's packed events calendar. September authors include Meghan McCain, Chelsea Handler and Rosanne Cash!
Did any readers of The Book Case go to a Mockingjay release party last week? We'd love to hear about it!
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic • $17.99 • August 24, 2010
I know that many fans are afraid of spoilers, so all I'll say is that Mockingjay is a page-turner (duh); I am not disappointed with what I've read (aren't you always worried you'll be disappointed after looking forward to a series conclusion for so long?); and I love Katniss Everdeen—our heroine—more than ever.
You can listen to our staff's reactions to the story's twists, turns and surprises in a podcast we'll be posting later in the month. In the meantime, read a short excerpt from the novel:
"Katniss, I'm not arguing. If I could hit a button and kill every living soul working for the Capitol, I would do it. Without hesitation." He slides the last pencil into the box and flips the lid closed. "The question is, what are you going to do?"
It turns out the question that's been eating away at me has only ever had one possible answer. But it took Peeta's ploy for me to recognize it.
What am I going to do?
I take a deep breath. My arms rise slightly—as if recalling the black-and-white wings Cinna gave me—then come to rest at my sides.
"I'm going to. . . "
By the way, so far I've managed to avoid reviews of the novel—although I am happy to say that BookPage's review is a satisfying read, yet contains no spoilers.
Have you already managed to finish Mockingjay? What'd you think? Please avoid posting major plot twists (and if you're unsure of whether your comment is a spoiler, write "spoiler alert" before your note). Happy reading!
Yeah, yeah, Mockingjay comes out tomorrow. If you've read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, you've probably had August 24 marked off in your calendar for months. (And if you're totally obsessed with the series—like me—you'll be reading the book on a Kindle at 12:01 a.m.)
In the coming days, we will have plenty of Mockingjay coverage on BookPage.com (here's a hint: subscribe to Reading Corner to read our first reactions to the novel), but in the meantime here are some links to get you even more pumped up for the book release:
And more importantly: Are you Team Peeta or Team Gale?
Just yesterday, Scholastic unveiled the book trailer for Mockingjay, the final book in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy:
There's not any new information here for Hunger Games fans, but the trailer does feed the fire of excitement that's building toward the August 24 release. I like that foreboding background music!
Also on The Book Case: Read our past coverage of Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games.
Scholastic announced today that the print run for Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay has been increased from 750,000 copies to 1.2 million copies.
BookPagers have been fans of The Hunger Games series for a while now, but we hear from Scholastic that interest in the series and sales of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire continue to build every week.
I know many readers will be thrilled to hear that in August Collins will go on her first book tour since September 2008. Per a Scholastic press release:
Beginning on the August 24, 2010 publication date for Mockingjay, Collins will tour bookstores in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Boston. . . In September 2010, she will continue the tour in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, and in October she will travel to Chicago, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The tour will conclude in November 2010 with visits to bookstores in Northern California, Seattle, and Vancouver.
The 2010 Time 100 list was released online today, and I was thrilled to see Suzanne Collins show up in the Artists category. Lizzie Skurnick, author of Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading, wrote an ode to Collins and her Hunger Games books. (If you've been living under a rock*, The Hunger Games is book one in a dystopian YA trilogy. A group of 24 teens must battle to the death—only one can be left standing—in a reality-TV-show-meets-the-Olympics-type spectacle. Katniss Everdeen is the female representative from the underdog "District 12".)
Like Katniss, she's a natural, lighting from thriller to bodice ripper to fantasy in the space of a few chapters, churning out a powerful, innovative oeuvre without making a big deal about it . . . She's a literary fusioneer, that rare writer who is all things to all readers. Today's would-be revolutionaries should be so lucky.
The Time 100 list recognizes "the people who most affect our world." Which other authors should be on that list?
*Like me, until this past weekend, when I ditched all invitations and responsibilities to read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. And yes, I would love to attend a Mockingjay midnight release party on August 24.