Welcome to the YA Roundup, the best source of movie news, bookish gossip, new releases and cover reveals from the YA genre!
In this week’s edition: Archie finally kicks the bucket in his Life With Archie comic series, The Queen of Teen nominations are now open, The Giver featurette responds to fans’ concerns, and we remember a great YA author.
The Death of Archie
Archie Comics has announced new plans to kill off the titular character in their latest series. The perpetual teenager is slated to die in the series, not-so-aptly named Life With Archie, which will be an odd title when the sequel comic is set a year after the death.
About the decision to kill off Archie, Goldwater, the co-CEO of Archie Comics said:
“This story is going to inspire a wide range of reactions, because we all feel so close to Archie. It’s the biggest story we’ve ever done, and we’re supremely proud of it”
This feels more and more like an attempt to stay relevant, since there are at least 16 running Archie comic series in which he won’t be dead. Taken in conjunction with recent attention-seeking moves including Archie’s marriage to one of his love interests (an act quickly undone, may I add), Lena Dunham’s upcoming turn writing for Archie, and the announcement of Young Adult novels set in the Archie universe. What place does Archie really have with modern day audiences? He’s still popular, to a degree and I have fond memories of reading Betty & Veronica as a child. Yet even as a child, I felt that the series lacked relevance and was intrinsically steeped in a sexist quagmire that’s hard to escape. I guess, as always, we’ll see.
Publisher and CEO Goldwater andnew CCO Aguirre-Sacasa have put a lot of work into modernizing what some call the Norman Rockwell of the Comics industry. To their credit, they have pushed some boundaries and made some innovative decisions. Since Archie’s been around this long, hopefully they can pull through with the momentum.
Queen of Teen Award Nominations Now Open
Award season for the literary world continues this week as the Queen of Teen Awards opened up nominations. Last year’s winner was Maureen Johnson for her sustained impact on the lives of teens through the amazing books she writes. It’s now up for crowds to crown a new ruler and worship them for another year coming. Head over to the website to nominate your favourite Young Adult authors. My guess is that perhaps Rainbow Rowell or another contemporary author will be taking the crown this year. Especially considering Rowell’s success with the Eleanor & Park novel being adapted into a movie within the next two years and the success Fangirl, Attachments and Landline have had. Girl is on a roll, there’s no denying it.
Featurette Out for The Giver
A featurette has been released for The Giver and it looks pretty…well, pretty amazing. I am officially excited to see this movie. It’s also inspiring to see the passionate expressions some people have about anything to do with this film and book.
One OhNoTheyDidn’t Commenter complained:
“Lois Lowry! Why you let them change stuff?! At least they kept the B&W.”
The Black and White appearance in the movie has been a sore point with fans, many of whom were outraged by the initial trailer which was in full colour, leaving fans to think the adaptation would not be stylistically faithful to the beloved novel. An offense the featurette was quick to remedy.
One YouTube commenter joked:
Haha, someone in the studio clearly saw the online reaction to the first trailer and was like, “WHOOPS, quick guys, change it to black and white!”
You can watch the featurette for yourself below.
Remembering Sue Townsend
At 68 years of age, author and comic writer Sue Townsend passed away this week. The BBC reports:
“Townsend, who was left blind after suffering from diabetes for many years, achieved worldwide success following the publication of the books about teenager Adrian Mole.”
Her first book, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4, was published in 1985 and was adapted for TV in 2001.
Townsend achieved a lot in her life time, winning numerous awards for her writing as well as an honorary Masters of Arts from Leicester University where she also became a Distinguished Honorary Fellow.
She has been roundly praised by authors and readers alike. J.K. Rowling tweeted to say:
“So sad to hear about Sue Townsend. She gave me so many laughs.”
She suffered from sickness a great deal in the last few years, having been diagnosed with diabetes, losing her sight in one eye, suffering from a stroke and requiring a kidney transplant.
The 5th Wave Movie News
The 5th Wave, a highly popular and hyped Young Adult apocalyptic novel has some movie news out this week. Chloë Moretz has been cast in the lead role as Cassie Sullivan. For an actress who finds the label of YA on a book to diminish its value, she sure seems to like being in the movie adaptations.
The 5th Wave was published in 2013 and tells the story from the point of view of survivors from a series of hostile alien attacks. The individuals struggle to survive against almost impossible odds while they watch the bulk of humanity fall.
Susannah Grant is writing the script for the adaptation of Rick Yancy’s work, a novelist who refuses to give me the second book despite my most ardent efforts to obtain a copy.
Sony and GK Films bought the rights, not only to The 5th Wave, but for the three book series, implying there may be room for a sequel if the first movie proves to be successful.
Allegiant to be Split into Two Films
The third book in the hot-right-now Divergent series will be split into two movies, following the trend set by Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, and Mockingjay.
With Divergent already raking in $117 million in the US alone, it’s not surprising that the studio wants to ride this cash cow just a little longer. The decision was announced by Lionsgate, no doubt while they bathed in their pools of money, using $100 bills to light their expensive cigars.
According to Friedman and Wachsberger, co-chairmen of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group:
“Veronica Roth brings her captivating story to a masterful conclusion in Allegiant, a rich, action-packed book with material that is ideally suited to two strong and fulfilling movies.
The storytelling arc and world of the characters lend themselves perfectly to two films, a storytelling strategy that has worked very well for us on the two Twilight Breaking Dawn films and about which we’re tremendously enthusiastic for the two upcoming Mockingjay films of The Hunger Games franchise.”
As one twitter user, Sam @LIONKINGS, and a personal fan of all-caps said:
JUST [BECAUSE] DEATHLY HALLOWS GOT SPLIT IN TWO DOESNT [sic] MEAN EVERY OTHER SINGLE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTION HAS TO JESUS.
New York Times Best Sellers (April 20, 2014)
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
- Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
- Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce
- Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan
- Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
- Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Just a Second by Tricia Springstubb
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Publication: Summer 2016
Agent: Sarah Davis (Greenhouse Literary Agency)
Told from multiple perspectives and with a shifting time frame, the story is about a girl who faces choices about love, forgiveness, and the future when her former best friend’s brother commits a shocking shooting, a split-second decision with huge consequences in a year when an extra second is due to be added to the official clock.
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication: Fall 2015
Rights: North American
Agent: Sara Crowe (Harvey Klinger)
Set in 1877 Arizona, the story—pitched as True Grit meets Blood Red Road—follows Kate Thompson as she tracks the gang who hung her father, only to find herself entangled in a bloody search for lost gold in the Superstition Mountains.
Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
Publisher: Delacorte (Random House)
Agent: Adriann Ranta (Wolf Literary Services)
About a girl who escapes her helicopter parents by joining a high-stakes dare club; she discovers more than thrills: girls are going missing, and she might be next.