I rarely see the movie version of a book before I’ve read the book. That’s because the book is usually better than the movie it’s based on. But, I ended up seeing the movie version of Kody Keplinger’s The DUFF (2011 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers) at a sneak-preview last week in NYC. I hadn’t yet read the book. I’d had a copy of the galley for years but just hadn’t had the opportunity to read it and I’d just given that galley away recently, too. I was probably one of the few people at the preview who hadn’t read the book. So, I bought the paperback copy & quickly read it in preparation for writing this blog. But, as I know you’ve all heard too often, as of a few days ago, I could honestly say, “No, I haven’t read the book, but I have seen the movie.”
Here’s the official trailer for the film.
This is my fourth year living in a city that has an actual winter season and I can say that January and February are the most difficult times of year for me. The magic of first snowfall and all of the holiday celebrations are long gone. Now everything is just grey and cold and dirty. I don’t want to think about getting cozy with a warm beverage and good book like I did back in November. I want to think about warm climates and drinks served in hollowed-out coconuts.
One of the things that gets me through this time of year is planning and daydreaming about my annual summer vacation to my hometown in South Florida. I look at the calendar to determine the best arrival and departure dates. I create spreadsheets with all of the restaurants that I want to visit and all of the supplies and cute clothes I need to buy. I ponder if this is the year that I finally plan a road trip to Orlando to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And I also begin to plan my vacation reading list.
I know that not everyone considers what they will read four months down the road, but it really is part of the process for me. There is an excitement in deciding what books will be part of my vacation. It is as important as deciding which sandals will be on my feet when I read them. Some of these are titles with well-timed release dates at the start of summer vacation, while others are upcoming releases that I plan to save.
Here is a peek at the start of my summer vacation reading list:
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi – June 16, 2015
What’s better than reading a Florida author while on vacation in Florida? I’ve been waiting for this debut novel from Gibaldi F-O-R-E-V-E-R and I am so excited that it will be released shortly before my vacation begins so it will be waiting for me when I arrive. You’ll be able to find me on day one reading this one with my feet up.
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway – June 23, 2015
Benway is an insta-read author for me. Audrey, Wait! is one of my all-time favorite YA titles and I can often be found pushing it to readers interested in fun, contemporary stories. Emmy & Oliver seems to be a much more emotional story, though, and I cannot wait to see how it plays out.
Ripped from the Pages (A Bibliophile Mystery) by Kate Carlisle – June 2, 2015
While not YA lit, I think this series of cozy mysteries does have high teen appeal. This is the ninth release in the series and I’m excited to see what happens when Brooklyn joins her kooky family back on their commune in Wine Country, California.
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – April 28, 2015
Thanks to Twitter, The Girl at Midnight hit my radar a long time ago. I am excited to welcome a new fantasy trilogy into my life and the buzz has been fantastic about this debut. Waiting a couple months won’t be as bad as waiting for books two and three (scheduled for release in 2016 and 2017, respectively).
Mosquitoland by Davis Arnold – March 3, 2015
It’s going to be rough to wait on this one because I LOVE road trip stories. They scream vacation, though, so I’m going to do my best and hold out. Mosquitoland sounds like it will have all of the high points and low points that a real road trip has. Throw in a quirky cast of characters along the road and I’m sold.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – April 7, 2015
The cover of this one demands my attention every time I see it – it’s so great! The story sounds like a fun and charming contemporary romance with some drama related to the not-so-openly gay protagonist’s e-mail correspondence. Many of the reader reviews I have seen relate to the readers’ inability to stop smiling and I cannot imagine anything better for a summer vacation reading list.
Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout – May 26, 2015
If a contemporary romance about an American student studying in a Korean wasn’t enough for me, throw in the fact that the love interest in a KPop star and I am all over it. Musically-charged with an adorable love story and some family drama? This sounds amazing!
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – May 19, 2015
Not going to lie: this one had me at “for fans of Wes Anderson.” The main character struggles to tell the difference between reality and fantasy which in turns requires the reader to work out the difference. It sounds both adorable and funny which are great qualities in a vacation read.
Have you started planning your summer reading? Any upcoming releases that I should consider adding to my list? Leave a comment with your thoughts!
– Jessica Lind, currently reading Batgirl Vol. 2: Knightfall Descends by Gail Simone
Today is Mardi Gras, the cumulation of Carnival celebrations before the start of Lent tomorrow. Lent is a specific time in the Christian calendar when believers are meant to fast and practice self-denial. Mardi Gras is sort of meant to allow people to go a little crazy before the austerity of Lent. The very name means “Fat Tuesday” – as in: eat a lot of rich foods today before you have to fast tomorrow!
In the United States, the celebration of Mardi Gras is most closely associated with New Orleans, Louisiana. There will be parades, balls, and dancing in the streets today and tonight down in “The Big Easy.” Of course New Orleans is more than just Fat Tuesday celebrations. There is a lot of history there including the civil rights movement and Hurricane Katrina. Perhaps some of these New Orleans-set YA novels will transport you mentally down south to New Orleans.
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (2011 Teens’ Top Ten book)
A teenage girl’s baby brother is taken by fairies and as she chases after him, she discovers secrets about herself. Meghan has always felt different, she’s never fit in anywhere. Perhaps this is because she is half fey, half human, the daughter of Oberon, king of the fairies. As she pursues her brother, she discovers unlikely allies, love, and the fact that the Unseelie Court controls some humans…human who live in New Orleans.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (2011 Michael L. Printz award winner)
In the future, sea levels have risen so much that the US coastlines have moved far inland. In an area that used to be New Orleans, Nailer works as a ship breaker, taking apart old, wrecked ships for scrap. It is a dangerous and dirty job, and young Nailer is always looking for more money and more opportunities. When a rich person’s gorgeous yacht beaches due to a storm, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot. But when he finds a girl on board, unconscious but still alive, he becomes torn between survival and doing the right thing. read more…
As I was checking Twitter – for work! – last week I stumbled upon a woman tweeting a generic dystopian YA novel. Her “novel” has the stereotypical hallmarks of the genre: an oppressive, stratified soceity, some sort of testing, a love triangle, the trope of the “Chosen One.” It’s great. I love dystopian YA novels, so at first I was a little annoyed, but it’s actually really wonderful. Take a look:
It’s the night before my 17th birthday, which means in a few hours, I’ll have to face the mysterious Test to determine my future.
— Dystopian YA Novel (@DystopianYA) February 11, 2015
So funny! And it got me thinking, “If other teen books could tweet or characters in those books, what would they tweet about?” I came up with a few for fun:
Graphic memoirs are comics or sequential art that tell an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical story. Because they are a sub-genre of graphic novels and comics in general they may sometimes be referred to more generally as “nonfiction graphic novels.”
Most graphic memoirs do not cover the same wide scope a print memoir would. Typically what they lack in breath, the make up for in depth. Since graphic memoirs are instead more focused, they often afford the author the opportunity to focus on one particular event, span of years, or relationship with someone or something and their feelings surrounding it. A key advantage of using the comics medium is the ability to show rather than merely tell. Everything from the font used for a particular character’s speech, to the size and position of each panel helps to tell the story. In memoir, this can help the author to communicate a feeling or situation from their past more immediately and, and perhaps more effectively, than if they were relying on text alone. read more…
Good morning, Hub readers!
Did you have a fun Valentine’s Day? Our poll last week was all about declarations of love in YA lit, and we asked you to choose your favorite. The top pick by far, with 54% of the vote, was from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, a quote from Augustus to Hazel: “Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!
This week, we want to know which YA book you’re most looking forward to seeing adapted for the big screen. Choose from the options below, or add your own suggestion in the comments!
What YA book-to-movie adaptation are you most looking forward to this year?
- Mockingjay Part 2 (39%, 63 Votes)
- Paper Towns (29%, 47 Votes)
- Insurgent (18%, 29 Votes)
- The DUFF (7%, 11 Votes)
- Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (7%, 11 Votes)
Total Voters: 161
Not signed up for YALSA’s 2014 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 9 counts, so sign up now!
It’s time for the first weekly check-in of the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge and I’m knee deep in Morris Award Winner Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, which I finally managed to get my hands on. The long hold list for this book at my library was one of the things that kept me from finishing the earlier Morris/Nonfiction Challenge and I’m hoping to do better with this one. I’m a little worried because I’ve actually read quite a few of the eligible titles this year–more than usual for me anyway–but I guess that just means I’m going to have to pick up some titles well off my radar and outside my comfort zone. Which is perfect.
One of the best parts of the Reading Challenge, for me, is the social aspect. I love hearing what everyone thinks of the titles that were named winners or honors, Best of the Bests, and Top Tens this year. If you’re sharing your thoughts on social media, be sure to include the hashtag #hubchallenge. You can also join the conversation over at the 2015 Goodreads Hub Reading Challenge group–if this year is anything like last year, that place is sure to be hopping in no time.
Remember, eligible titles read or listened to within the challenge time period count towards your total, with the exception of titles read for the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge; whether or not you finished that challenge, you can count those books toward your 25 Reading Challenge titles. I don’t know about you, but that puts me at six titles down, 19 to go, and that feels pretty great.
You have until 11:59 PM EST on June 21st to finish all 25 books which is plenty of time, right? Keep track of your progress by commenting on the weekly check-in posts to let us know how you’re doing and what you’re reading and/or listening to; if you’ve reviewed those titles somewhere online, please include links to your reviews! Don’t forget to grab the Participant’s Badge for your blog, website, or email signature, and, as always, if you have any questions or problems, let us know in the comments or via email.
If you are a particularly fast reader and have already completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list of eligible books, be sure to fill out the form below so we can send you your Challenge Finisher badge, get in touch to coordinate your reader’s response and, perhaps best of all, to notify you if you win our exciting grand prize drawing! Be sure to use an email you check frequently and do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles.
On Saturday, January 31, I had the privilege to not only attend the “Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA)” feedback session, I also was able to bring four of my local library teens to participate in the session. Here is a picture of the five of us after the session posing with all of our swag bags. My four teens joined up with other teen readers to comprise a group of 60, all ready to do what teens do best: share their opinions.
Just a little background, if you are unfamiliar with the BFYA list: throughout the year, librarians add books published that year to a nomination list. From this nomination list, a committee reads the titles and ultimately whittles the list down to a BFYA Top Ten list. In order to ensure that the best books make the Top Ten list, the committee holds a feedback session in which teens can share why they think a book should or should not be on the list. The teens lined up at microphones that faced the committee members rather than the large crowd of librarians and teachers who stopped in to get the firsthand knowledge presented by the teens. Each teen had no more than 90 seconds to prove their point and were allowed to write up their reviews ahead of time. Unfortunately, due to the length of the nomination list, not every title was reviewed by the teens during the session.
Before I begin to share the details of the session, here is the BFYA Top Ten list:
There was one phrase that was constantly heard throughout the BFYA session. That phrase was, “I completely disagree.” read more…
This week was busy with talk of romance books, valentines, and book lists announced. Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re all enjoying the weekend with a great book. Here are some tweets from the week you might have missed.
Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, here are some recent romances that I loved. I hope you enjoy them too. What I love about these books is that they’re not just about romance, they’re so much more. They talk about guilt, death, dreams, business plans, friendship, loyalty, family, photography, running, fitting in, being in the spotlight, and learning about yourself.
Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
When Lainey’s boyfriend of two years breaks up with her, she’s devastated. She’s determined to win him back. Lainey and her BFF pour over the Art of War looking for a battle plan. Lainey and her co-worker agree to fake-date each other to woo back their exes with jealousy. As the summer progresses, she learns a little more about herself and who she wants to be.
Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen
Shana’s officially on a boy moratorium since the last one broke her heart. She’s hoping to create one last picture for her photography portfolio when she meets Quattro. She keeps seeing him wherever she goes – including her family’s trip to Machu Picchu. Could the universe be trying to tell her something?
Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Annie’s ex-boyfriend died while in the middle of training for a marathon. Annie’s consumed with guilt since they hung out the night he died. She decides to train for the marathon – running in his honor. Annie hires a trainer; Matt has all sorts of helpful hints besides just a running plan. But even he can’t get rid of the guilt or her stomach problems. Matt’s brother runs with them occasionally and he makes Annie feel, something she hasn’t been able to do since Kyle’s death. read more…