Welcome to the YA Roundup giving you the latest in YA news, releases and cover reveals.
This week covers reactions to The Giver’s first trailer, weekend box office report for Divergent, and even more Quidditch news.
Trailer for The Giver
The first trailer for The Giver has some fans scratching their heads.
@BookaliciousPam That book is all soul. All soul. And that movie looks like soulless junk not worthy of its source material.–Lauren DeStefano (@LaurenDeStefano) March 19, 2014
The movie (or at least the trailer) is in colour, leading fans of the book to believe that a fundamental story point may have been lost in translation for the movie.
“Is The Giver the next Divergent?” NO. How about “Is The Giver, ya know, anything like the book it was supposed to be about?” -___-–Zareen (@ShiningStar786) March 21, 2014
However, its massive starred cast may make up for that with Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges being joined by Benton Thwaites and Katie Holmes. The movie comes out on August 15 of this year with big expectations from fans.
The movie is based on the book of the same name by Lois Lowry who won a Newberry Medal for the book back in 1994, among other awards. There are three more books in the series that the studio is likely to also adapt if sales of the first movie are promising.
Sylvia Plath Still Inspiring
Meg Wolitzer has spiritual guidance from the ghost of Sylvia Plath. Well, not really, but that story holds a more interesting appeal. More truthfully, she’s drawn inspiration from Plath’s The Bell Jar to write her new Young Adult novel, Belzhar.
The novel takes place when student Jam Gallahue begins studying Plath’s work in class. It is a small, elite class in a boarding school she is sent to after she experiences a traumatic loss.
In an interview with NPR, Wolitzer says:
“Plath’s work, and her emotional problems, not to mention her journal-writing, take on important dimensions for all the students in the class, who are also asked to write in their own journals, and who, when they do, experience something startling.”
The book is due to come out in September of this year, and the pressure is on for Wolitzer. The Bell Jar is a big binder to fill and taking inspiration from Sylvia Plath’s work may give me the happy feels, but it also makes me cautious in case the book doesn’t live up to Plath’s high standard.
Divergent Does Its Makers Proud
The film version of Divergent brought in a tidy $56 million on its first weekend, though it has yet to make its budget of $85 million. Still, it thoroughly dominated the weekend movie box office, beating out the runner up, Muppets Most Wanted, by a cool $40 million.
The movie has obviously impressed most audiences, including Divergent’s author, Veronica Roth. Oh No They Didn’t reports:
“Any anxieties Roth had faded once she picked the production team. She was confident director Neil Burger—writer / director of The Illusionist—would make the right decisions in turning her book into a screenplay.”
Roth, who came up with the idea for Divergent in college, seemed relaxed about handing over the rights for her book to be adapted into a movie. She told The Seattle Times:
“Writing is what I love to do. I don’t make movies. It’s been wonderful to be a part of this, but at my core I’m just somebody who wants to write novels. We didn’t test how much influence I had because they kept saying, ‘Here’s who we are considering,’ and I would be like, ‘Sounds good.’”
With the success of Divergent, rumours are already buzzing about sequels in the works.
More Quidditch History for the Desperate Potterites
Does every new morsel of the Harry Potter world fill a void in your life? Does the end of the books leave you with a delirious sense of loss? JK Rowling has the answer for you, of course; part two of her Quidditch game history was released on Pottermore this week to the delight of literally dozens of fans.
The second part of Rowling’s Quidditch special relates game facts from 1990-2014 and includes such tidbits as:
“Yumboes are a kind of African house-elf and they took their arrest in reasonably good part, merely stealing every bit of food within a ten-mile radius in revenge and vanishing into the night.”
“The tiny country of Moldova has consistently produced excellent Quidditch teams and supporters were heartbroken that they failed to qualify this year due to an outbreak of Dragon Pox at their training camp.”
To read more, head over to Pottermore!
YA New York Times Best Sellers (March 30th 2014)
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
- Being a Teen by Jane Fonda
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
A Thousand Nights by Emily Meehan
Rights: North American
Agent: Josh Adams (Adams Literary)
A YA fantasy set in the deserts of the Middle East. It tells the story of the unbreakable bond between sisters, and the dangerous magic that love and the will for survival can create. Publication is scheduled for fall 2015.
Dove Rising by Karen Bao
Publisher: Viking Children’s Books
Rights: World English
Agent: Simon Lipskar (Writers House)
First in a sci-fi trilogy set on the Moon. Introverted Phaet Theta is a model citizen whose mettle, faith, and beliefs are tested when she’s forced to confront disturbing truths about her society and its government in order to save her family. Publication is slated for August 2014.
The Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway
In which a half-human half-elf boy rises to fame after a dragon chooses him to be his rider. First up will be Fledgling in April 2014, with its sequel, Avian, to follow in August 2014.
Willful Machines by Tim Floreen
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rights: World English
Agent: Quinlan Lee (Adams Literary)
A light SF story centered on Lee Fisher, the closeted son of an ultra-conservative president, who loves science, robots and possibly, the Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. But when a sentient computer program turns into a terrorist threat, Lee’s life and secrets are in danger. Publication is planned for fall 2015.
Burning by Danielle Rollings
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Rights: World English
Agent: Mandy Hubbard (D4EO Literary Agency)
A YA horror novel pitched as Orange Is the New Black meets Carrie. Set within a juvenile detention facility, the book stars Angela, a girl just weeks from being released when she gets a new cellmate—a tiny yet dangerous 10-year-old who may be starting fires with her mind.
Heartless Things by Lisa Maxwell
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Agent: Kathleen Rushall (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency)
In the story, Gwen and her best friend are abducted to a dark world akin to Pan’s Labyrinth called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the fairy tale. To rescue her friend, Gwen must decide whether to trust a roguish young pirate or the boy who calls himself Pan. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016.
Source: Publishers’ Weekly