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.
Roxanne St. Claire, author of 25 books—including category romance; romantic suspense; chick lit; and Edge of Sight, one of BookPage's romance picks for November—has signed a deal to write her first YA novel. It's called Don't You Wish and will be published in 2012 from Random House's Delacorte.
Here's the Publisher's Marketplace description:
Roxanne St. Claire's DON'T YOU WISH, in which a middle-class, under-popular, painfully average teenage girl wakes up in an alternate universe where her mother married a wealthy man and her every wish has come true—with complications.
Romance columnist Christie Ridgway has praised St. Claire's "hot romance and sizzling suspense." Are you a fan of her books? Are you excited by this new book/potential movie?
Jane by April Lindner
Poppy • $17.99 • ISBN 9780316084208
On sale October 11, 2010
After 19-year-old Jane's parents die in a car accident, our heroine is forced to drop out of Sarah Lawrence and find a job through a nanny service. Because she's more into classical music than rock and never reads the tabloids, Jane is placed in the home of Nico Rathburn (it's better to avoid the fans)--a rocker with a bad boy image and a young daughter. I won't say more and spoil the ending . . . although if you've read Jane Eyre, I think you know where it's going. Still, it's a lot of fun to anticipate familiar scenes and watch them play out in a modern setting, and it doesn't hurt that Jane and Nico have awfully good chemistry.
Since Halloween is just around the corner, here's a creepy scene that Brontë fans will surely be able to place:
Once again, the house was silent, and I felt myeslf drifting back to sleep. I had just started dreaming when another sound startled me awake. This time it was a laugh--low, suppressed, and deep--that seemed to be coming through the keyhole of my bedroom door. I bolted upright. The room was pitch-dark; the only light would have come in between the slats of the window blinds, but tonight there was no moon. I sat perfectly still, waiting for my eyes to adjust. Had I dreamed that laugh? Had my sleeping mind taken a distant sound--a loon's cry, maybe?--and distored it?
"Is somebody there?" I whispered, and heard a floorboard creak just outside my door. Then I noticed something that made my heart pound even faster--a faint aroma of sulfur. I switched on the light, crept to the door, and yanked it open. On the carpet, at the top of the stairs, I saw a match smoldering. The air was thick with smoke, but the blue billows seemed to be coming from Mr. Rathburn's wing, on the opposite side of the house.
Also, do you have a favorite retelling of a classic?
Kelly—I'll be sending an e-mail your way in the next few minutes.
And keep your eyes on The Book Case for more great contests! (Like the one going on right now.)
Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to interview Alexandra Adornetto about Halo, her New York Times best-selling book that's the start of a new trilogy. It's always exciting to meet authors, but it was a special treat to chat with Ally—she's only 18, after all.
Halo is Ally's fourth novel, although it's her first to be published in the United States. The story is about three angels who come down from heaven to battle the Dark Forces present on earth. Two of the angels are experienced, but one—Bethany—is just a teenager. Besides coping with her divine responsibility, she's also got to deal with prom, high school drama and Xavier Woods—a sweet and sexy mortal boy. You'll have to read the book yourself to find out if Bethany and Xavier can be together, but in the meantime, watch Part I of our interview with Ally. (You can watch Part II on BookPage's YouTube channel.)
Judging from the raves on Ally's Facebook page, it's clear that the Halo trilogy will be a huge success—teens love the book and enjoy talking to Ally. I even heard a rumor that at her recent signing at Nashville's Davis-Kidd Booksellers, fans were lobbying for the young author to come to Vanderbilt for college!
Enter to win a SIGNED copy of Halo by leaving the answer to this question: What kind of music does Ally like? (Hint: the answer is in Part II and on Ally's Facebook.) The contest will run through October 15.
*Note: This contest is open to everybody (all ages, non-U.S. residents, etc.).
Forever, the final book in Maggie Stiefvater's best-selling Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, doesn't come out until July 12, 2011—but yesterday the jacket was unveiled on Scholastic's blog and Steifvater's LiveJournal:
Christopher Stengel, Associate Art Director of Scholastic, has designed all three jackets in the trilogy. (I'm a big fan of his work; he also designed for Francisco X. Stork's Marcelo in the Real World.) Back in July, when Linger was released, Stiefvater interviewed Stengel about the process of designing the jackets. If you're a fan of the trilogy (or graphic design), the Q&A is worth a read. Here's an excerpt—a quote on why Stengel's concept did not include photos:
Sometimes photography is the correct approach for a certain book depending on the age range and content, and other times, an iconic and graphic direction is needed. It's a matter of picking the right tool(s) for the job, I guess. While Shiver may be a YA title, it felt like it truly deserved to be set apart from the many photo-based covers on the shelves.
In case you missed it yesterday–a second trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I has been released. The movies just keep getting better; does this new glimpse have you looking forward to November 19?
If you're into teen books—especially paranormal teen books starring tough girls (written by smart chicks)—then you will not want to miss this event.
Author tours are usually organized by the publisher. All we have to do is show up, which is great, but we started thinking maybe we'd like to try something different. Organize our own tour, just the way we want it. Pick the cities. Pick the authors. Organize the events. So, in Sept 2010, we'll do just that.
Tonight they're in Jackson, MS, at Lemuria Books. Later in the month, they'll also be in Arizona, California, Illinois, Ohio and Ontario.
Is anyone going to check out the tour?
Also: What's the most memorable book tour event you've ever attended?
Sometimes it seems like every time I turn around I hear about interactive books, like The Amanda Project, which got a lot of press in the fall.
Now Penguin has launched a new interactive project that fantasy lovers will enjoy:
In the six weeks leading up to the publication of Nightshade (Oct. 19, Philomel), a teen novel by debut author Andrea Cremer, readers can watch one of the main characters come to life in 12 webisodes. The character's name is Shay Doran, and he has jumped off the page to communicate with fans via Facebook posts, blog entries, personalized phone texts and webisodes. The first webisode is now live:
By interacting with Shay, fans have a chance at being written into an official prequel to Nightshade, which will be available for free download the week before the novel is published. Pretty cool, huh?
This may sound like a lot of effort on behalf of a debut author, but online buzz shows that readers are excited about Nightshade; just read its page on Goodreads.
Nightshade is the first in a planned series about a young teenage werewolf girl. Will you check it out? Or interact with Shay?
Rushed through Mockingjay and don't have anyone to talk to? Or: Want to listen to other reactions on the fate of Panem, President Snow and that pesky little Gale vs. Peeta plotline?
Trisha (Web Editor), Kate (Nonfiction Editor) and I (Eliza—Assistant Web Editor) discuss all things Mockingjay in a brand new podcast. We talk about the major points of tension in the book, how Katniss's character has progressed in the series, and where Mockingjay rates in terms of violence and romance. Toward the end of our conversation we chat about the Hunger Games movie and speculate on the "next big thing" in teen fiction.
There are major plot spoilers in this podcast, but they don't start until the 9-minute mark. (There's also some major word fumbling in the first minute or so of the recording, but what can I say? It's hard to keep your thoughts straight when you're talking about something as exciting as a Suzanne Collins book.) The 35-minute mark 'til the end is free of spoilers.
Listen away, and share your reactions in the comments section.