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!
Read about these books (and more); win a collection of children's chapter books handpicked by BookPage editors; and get behind-the-book scoops from a couple of your favorite tween and teen authors in tomorrow's edition of Reading Corner.
Don't know what Reading Corner is? Find out and sign up. It's the perfect back-to-school newsletter!
What book blog posts have you enjoyed this week? A few of my favorites are highlighted below:
Freebie Friday: Penguin's 75th Anniversary
Posted by The Quivering Pen
Today is the official 75th anniversary of Penguin Books, and bloggers are celebrating in style—with posts and giveaways galore. To locate the blog coverage online, start by searching #Penguin75 on Twitter. Also, check out this documentary on Penguin's website, The Bird You Have Throughout Your Life, in which the company's execs and staffers talk about Penguin's history and future.
David of The Quivering Pen is doing a nice giveaway from this list of 75 Penguin books (Penguin itself did a similar giveaway which is now expired—but the giveaway is still active on the blog). David writes:
At some point in our reading lives, all of us have held a Penguin. (And if you haven't, then you're really missing out on the world's finest literature.) What began as the brainchild of Allen Lane in 1935 as a way to distribute quality paperbacks at a price cheaper than buying a pack of cigarettes, soon exploded into a publishing phenomenon.
It's a big day over at Penguin, but I bet the folks at Harlequin are celebrating, too, as right now the 30th annual Romance Writers of America conference is in full swing in Orlando. (I write that with some amount of sadness, as the conference was originally scheduled to take place in Nashville—until the flood made that impossible.) So, from July 28-31, I have been vicariously attending RWA via blog coverage. Harlequin is posting about events, authors and more; it's definitely worth a read if you enjoy romance novels.
Top 100 YA novels
Posted by Persnickety Snark
YA blog Persnickety Snark is counting down the top 100 YA novels ever. The list appears to be leaning toward more contemporary novels, and some of you will probably be outraged by the choices. (Let's just say that nobody consulted me before choosing A Ring of Endless Light as #89 and Eclipse as #58.) But still, it's fun to browse through the choices. What would be your #1?
Best-selling teen author Alyson Noël posted today on her blog that she's got a new series in the works called The Soul Seekers. Noël is the author of the popular Immortals series, about a girl who can "see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person's entire life story by touch." She's also written books outside of the series, including the romantic Fly Me to the Moon, "a Grey's Anatomy of the skies."
The new series will take place in the Southwest and it's about a sixteen year old girl who is able to walk among the Underworld, the Upperworld, and the dead.I will begin research/writing the first book sometime this winter (must finish UNTITLED IMMORTALS #6 first!), and it will be in stores probably sometime around early 2012.
The series went to St. Martin's for a whopping 7 figures—further proof that supernatural teen fiction isn't going anywhere. In fact, we are addressing this topic in tomorrow's edition of BookPage Reading Corner, our twice-monthly children's/teen e-newsletter filled with author interviews, book reviews and giveaways. Click here to sign up!
Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié have been busy! The authors of the New York Times bestselling Wicked series sold the movie rights to the five-book saga back in October (we talked to the authors about that deal here on The Book Case), and book one in their new Crusade series hits stores on September 7. (In our interview in October, Holder described that project: "It’s similar in style and tone to Wicked, but it concerns a band of vampire hunters based in Salamanca, Spain, after the “Cursed Ones” have declared war on the human race. I’m in love with it.")
And now, the author duo have sold a new werewolf trilogy to Delacorte Press; their previous collaborations have been with Simon Pulse. Called The Wolf Springs Chronicles, the trilogy will be about "broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night," according to an announcement in Publisher's Marketplace. The first book will be published in Fall 2011.
Are you fans of Holder and Viguié? Have vampires made way for werewolves? (Exhibit A: Jackson Pearce's Sisters Red.)
Kiera Cass, who has sold three books in a YA series pitched "as The Hunger Games meets "The Bachelor," following a 17-year-old, one of the eligible young women selected to compete to become the next queen, who finds herself falling in love despite only wanting to break her family out of the lower castes and leaving her boyfriend at home." The book will be called The Selection and will be released early in 2012.
As a Hunger Games fan (who recently met Suzanne Collins!), and a fascinated follower of the train wreck commonly known as "The Bachelor" franchise, this announcement pretty much blew my mind and inspired me to create the following graphic. Kiera, if you need a cover artist, call me! We'll have to wait until 2012 to see if the reality measures up to my imagination.
Entertainment blog BuzzSugar posted the "15 Books to Read Before They're Adapted For the Screen," and I was surprised by an inclusion on the list: Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, first published in 1999. The slim novel about a boy's freshman year in high school has since become something of a classic for teens—and a regular on the American Library Association's list of the most-frequently challenged books. But this is the first I'd heard of a movie adaptation.
Chobosky is writing the screenplay and will direct the movie. Emma Watson (Hermione!) is rumored to play Sam, and Logan Lerman (the star of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) is interested in playing Charlie, the lead role.
In 2007, the New York Times reported that The Perks of Being a Wallflower had sold "upward of 700,000 copies and is passed from adolescent to adolescent like a hot potato." When I read the novel 10 years ago, that was certainly true. For my group of friends, Chbosky's novel was the best thing since The Catcher in the Rye.
According to IMDb, the adaptation will be released in 2011—will you see it?
I mentioned this briefly during Children's Reading Week, but I want you all to know that next Wednesday (May 26) we're launching a children's/teen e-newsletter called Reading Corner. I am really excited about this project because I love teen and middle grade novels (see here, here, here... here) and I think it will be a lot of fun to share our children's coverage with a group who especially appreciates books for young readers.
We're creating the newsletter for parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, young readers and adults who love kid lit. Each issue will be filled with interviews, news and reviews of the best new books—and much of the content will appear in the newsletter before it's published on BookPage.com.
In the first edition, we're doing a mega-giveaway. You could win these five new novels (a couple of which I'd bet will be serious Newbery contenders). So, if you want a chance to win the books, sign up for the newsletter here.
As we approach the launch date, I'd love to hear any thoughts on what type of kids books you like to read about: picture books? dystopian teen novels? Feel free to leave a message in the comments section, and I hope you enjoy Reading Corner!
Children's Book Week has been around since 1919, and this year the celebration runs from May 10-16. I love these posters for the week:
The Children's Book Week website is a great resource for parents and young readers themselves. You can. . .
If you've been looking for a fun and easy way to get comprehensive info about books for kids and teens, this is it. Our first issue will come out May 26, but you can sign up now.
As our launch date gets closer, I'll post more about the newsletter, including info on how to enter a stellar kids book giveaway.
What is your family, library, school or bookstore doing to celebrate Children's Book Week? Let us know in the comments section, and share some ideas for other readers. . .
The world's favorite smizing*, H2T** model is writing teen books!
Tyra Banks—host of America's Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show—has signed a three book deal with Delacorte. The series is called Modelland, and according to Publisher's Marketplace it's about "a teenage girl who finds herself competing for a way of life that's both hotly desired and woefully out of reach at an academy for Intoxibellas, the most exceptional models known to humankind."
Turns out this isn't a huge leap for Tyra, as she's an avid reader. On her blog, she posted: "Modelland has always been a part of my mind and my heart. As you might know, I step into a bookstore and I shake (really!) because I love books so much."
Wendy Loggia, who worked on Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Lauren Kate's Fallen, will edit.
Variety has more on Tyra's decision to write fiction (she's already the author of self-help book Tyra's Beauty Inside & Out):
"I have this notebook I write everything in and started working on titles and breaking down characters. And I kept going and going. I knew I didn't want it to be some autobiography; I wanted to create a fantastical place."
Banks said the books shouldn't be considered "chick lit" but will contain messages of empowerment within the fantasy storyline. "I wanted to make the project a little more what my brand is," she said. "And give (readers) an experience that they haven't seen when it comes to this modeling world."
Banks said she sees "Modelland" as eventually turning into a feature franchise and has already received interest from studios. "I'm not writing the books as scripts," she said. "I'm writing true literature, which can then be adapted into film by Bankable."
*"smize" = smiling with your eyes, in Tyraspeak
**"H2T" = head-to-toe modeling