Mon
Mar 24 2014 3:00pm

The YA Roundup: Is The Giver the Next Divergent?

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.

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.

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

Belzhar Meg Wolitzer

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

Divergent movie posterThe 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

Quidditch 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.”

And:

“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)

  1. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  3. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  4. Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
  5. Paper Towns by John Green
  6. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  7. Being a Teen by Jane Fonda
  8. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  10. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

 

Book Deals

A Thousand Nights by Emily Meehan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
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
Publisher: Month9Books
Rights: World

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
Rights: World
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

 

New Releases

Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard Remnants of Tomorrow (Ashes Trilogy #3) by Kassy Tayler

The Riverman (The Riverman Trilogy #1) by Aaron Starmer The Slanted Worlds (Chronoptika #2) by Catherine Fisher Siren’s Song by Heather McCollum

 

Cover Reveals

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey

Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales, edited by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant MARY: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) by Hillary Monahan

Covenant’s End (Widdershins Adventures #4) by Ari Marmell The Vault (The Farm #3) by Emily McKay

The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine #1) by James Dashner The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine #2) by James Dashner

 


Kat Kennedy and Stephanie Sinclair are the bloggers behind Cuddlebuggery, the Young Adult book blog dedicated to corrupting the reading community with sinister shenanigans.

9 comments
Ilex
2. Ilex
The NYT Top 10 is starting to seriously depress me. I never bothered looking it up before you started posting it here every week, and the static-ness and the fact that most of these books are YEARS old is disturbing. Sheesh. I thought YA was a more dynamic category than this list would indicate.
Ilex
3. sofrina
i don't know about "the giver" but the trailer for "the mazerunner" makes me want to read that series now.
Steph Sinclair
4. stephsinclair
@driceman, I've never read The Giver, but the Divergent movie was surprisingly entertaining.

@Ilex, I was thinking the same thing this week. The list virtually never changes and always includes a least 4 of John Green's novels. I don't have anything against the guy, but it's just shocking that nothing else seems to be selling as much as his books. Not to mention, there rarely seems to be any female contenders in that catagory despite the genre as a whole being dominated by female writers.

I also don't like how YA series are combined with MG series in the Children's section. That makes no sense.
Ilex
5. Ilex
The NYT Top 10 is starting to seriously depress me. I never bothered looking it up before you started posting it here every week, and the static-ness and the fact that most of these books are YEARS old is disturbing. Sheesh. I thought YA was a more dynamic category than this list would indicate.
Ilex
6. Ilex
I wrote a whole different (and long!) post, and this just re-posted what I alrady posted yesterday ... I am totally confused.
Ilex
7. Ilex
Trying again.

Seriously, it's no wonder so many people seem to think John Green is the be-all and end-all of YA if this is the only list they see. But Jay Asher, Steven Chbosky, and Markus Zusak have been here forever, too. Who keeps buying these books and only these books? At least Ransom Riggs will get moved to the series list when his third volume comes out. But that brings me to ...

The whole definition of a "series" mystifies me. I've always thought of a series as being lots of episodic stories: Babysitters' Club, Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys, Lemonade Trick, Magic Tree House, etc. So why are trilogies/quartets, which are essentially one book split up into multiple volumes, treated as a series? Would The Lord of the Rings be stuck on the series list if it were republished in modern YA?
Bridget McGovern
8. BMcGovern
@Ilex--sorry for the commenting issue (and thanks for trying again--I know how frustrating it is to have a post disappear). I just wanted to let you know that we've contacted the site developer and he is looking into it--hopefully we'll be able to fix the problem quickly. Thanks again!
Steph Sinclair
9. stephsinclair
@Ilex, Exactly. I'm actually surprised to see Jay Asher still there. Is 13 Reasons why being secretly promoted somewhere I don't know about? Markus Zusak I can understand since that book was made into a movie, but really, the list is sad.

Most series these days are 3 books long, maybe 4. For some reason YA is obssessed with trilogies. More recently, I 've seen duologies making an apperance and standalones look like they're making a comeback too. But yes, I'd image that Lord of the Rings would be stuck on the Children's Series list.

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