The YA Roundup: The One with ALL the John Green


Welcome to the YA Roundup, the best source of movie news, bookish gossip, new releases and cover reveals from the YA genre!

This week: Time Magazine recognizes John Green’s influence, Green comments on BookCon’s lack of diversity, a new The Fault in Our Stars teaser appears, Ansel Elgort talks about his role in The Fault in Our Stars—we’re starting to think we should just call this the John Green Roundup—and more YA adaptations are coming our way!

John Green Celebrated in Time

Shailene Woodley John Green

Shailene Woodley and John Green

John Green has been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People this year, squished in among big-name artists like Kerry Washington and Benedict Cumberbatch. Shailene Woodley writes high praise for the acclaimed author, calling him a prophet and innovator. Quoting Woodley:

I would go so far as to call him a prophet. No, not a prophet in a biblical sense. Don’t freak out. More a prophet in a universal, all-things-connected sort of context. Some say that through his books, John gives a voice to teenagers. I humbly disagree. I think John hears the voices of teenagers.

Congratulations to him! Not only is he a multiple best selling author who has at least three books on the NYT best seller’s lest for Young Adult, every week, but he operates vlogbrothers with Hank Green and helps organise VidCon. The man definitely deserves praise for his work.

However, the nomination and the praise heaped on Green caused some unrest amongst other Young Adult authors who felt that this nomination overlooked the many founding women of YA who paved the road for John Green’s success.

He’s also come under fire for his silence on the latest controversy involving BookCon’s lack of diversity, particularly in its teen panel—especially since he is headlining the panel.

When asked about it on Twitter, John Green stated:

John Green informed Penguin six months ago that he would no longer do all male panels, according to what he told fellow author Justine Larbalestier on twitter yesterday. He followed up with a commenter that he felt it would be unfair to Penguin to “move the goal post.”


New The Fault in Our Stars Teaser

Simpsons The Fault in Our Stars smoking

A short scene from The Fault in Our Stars between Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort) was released last week.

Forget an anti-smoking campaign. This scene definitely covers it in spades, as Hazel chastises Gus for smoking shortly before he explains the metaphor of holding a cigarette between your lips, but never lighting it:

“It’s a metaphor, you see. You put the thing that does the killing right between your teeth, but you never give it the power to kill you.”

The scene has caused something of a memesplosion with It’s a Metaphor being tagged to all kinds of fan bases (as seen above).

The teaser was released in anticipation for the movie’s June 5th release. You can watch it below.


Speaking of The Fault in Our Stars

Ansel Elgort gave an interview this week about his process becoming Augustus Waters. He relates the experience of his twitter followers suddenly exploding and the backlash to his initial casting choice.

“I was on my phone nonstop, refreshing Twitter and reading all these aggressive comments.”

That definitely sounds like a rabid fanbase in attack mode! This is the second movie that Woodley and Elgort have done together, having also been cast in Divergent. Elgort goes on to describe how Woodley was instrumental in getting him cast in this role, encouraging him to read the book before the audition—a familiarity that eventually gave him an edge. Elgort, who admits to being a lackluster reader, thoroughly enjoyed the book.

“And I read it like a mad man. And I cried a lot, and it really hit me hard.”

The movie is gaining more and more traction in the publicity department as the release date looms ahead. At least for now, everything’s coming up Green.


Brace Yourselves, BFG Adaptation is in the Works

The BFG Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s almost-as-good-as-TheTwits children’s book, The BFG, is set to be brought into the fold of book-to-movie adaptations. Kathleen Kennedy seems to have been the driving force behind the project, bringing DreamWorks onboard back in 2010. She and Frank Marshall will produce the film, with Michael Siegel and John Madden taking up roles as executive producers.

On top of all this, Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct the story about a little girl who joins forces with a giant and the Queen of England in order to stop a horde of children-gobbling giants. Melissa Mathison will be the screenwriter for the project.


The Seeker Becomes a Movie Adaptation

Arwen Elys

You could be forgiven for not having heard of The Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton, because it’s not due to be publishing until 2015. Yet rights for the Dystopian YA novel have already been sold to Sony and screenwriter Callie Kloves has already been brought onboard to write up the adaptation.

The story is about Quin Kincaid who’s “been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker.’ Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her newfound knowledge and training to become an assassin.”

Ah! The old train ’em for revered Seeker position and then make them an assassin switcheroo. It’ll get you every time. The Seeker is, of course, part of a planned trilogy because what’s not these days?


Little, Brown Books Donates 350 Books to Combat Book Banning

Little, Brown Books has decided to be more awesome than usual this week! They donated 350 copies of Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian to Rediscovered Books in Boise, Idaho. The move coincided with World Book Night and was targeted at students in the Boise area, recently affected by the Meridian School Board decision to maintain a hold against the book after a parent complained. The publisher was inspired to donate the books after learning of a student petition organized by Brady Kissel and a funraising campaign spearheaded by Sara Baker and Jennifer Lott.

Lisa Moraleda, associate publicity director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (and total boss) had this to say:

“It was a fantastic grassroots movement that we wanted to support. It ties in very nicely with what’s going on. After all, WBN’s mission is to get books into the hands of people who don’t have access to books.”

Alexie, the author, wrote about the brilliant move to support young readers:

“I am honored by the hundreds of Meridian students who showed incredible passion and courage for books. Mine, yes, but literature in general. And Sara Baker and Jennifer Lott are friggin’ superheroes. If I ever get caught in a fire, I’m calling them.”

What shocks me is that someone actually called the police on the event. They called the police on a Junior High school student for handing out free books because this clearly concerned person thought a parent’s permission was needed.

Luckily, the police questioned Kissel briefly and then left, stating that nothing was wrong with handing out free young adult books to high school students. Because obviously. Still, good on the grown up who tried to intimidated a high school student with completely unnecessary police involvement. You’re a real hero.


Sisterhood Everlasting Gets a Movie Adapted

Ann Brashares Sisterhood Everlasting

The third book in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series, Sisterhood Everlasting, is being adapted into a film. The magical all-fitting pants will be returning to the screen with the help of director Ken Kwapis and screenwriter Liz Garcia. The movie doesn’t yet have a distributor, but is being made by Alloy and Alcon Entertainment, who also did the first two Sisterhood movies.

Les Morgenstein, president of Alloy Entertainment, said:

“The Sisterhood series is one of Alloy’s most cherished properties and we are looking forward to continuing its legacy with Sisterhood Everlasting nearly a decade after the first film was released. The original film brought together an incredible group of talent who we hope to unite for fans once again.”

No word yet on whether Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, and Amber Tamblyn would be reprising their roles.

The movie, like the book, picks up ten years later, when the four friends have been distanced by time and busy lives. Tibby (played by Tamblyn in the previous movies) decides to bridge the gap by inviting the others on a trip.


New York Times Best Sellers (May 4, 2014)

Young Adult

  1. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  3. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  4. Paper Towns by John Green
  5. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs
  7. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  8. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  10. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Children’s Series

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  5. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  6. Sea Breeze by Abbi Glines
  7. Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce
  8. Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
  9. Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  10. Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan


Book Deals

Dead Investigation by Charlie Price
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan)
Publication: Fall 2015
Rights: North American
Agent: Tracey Adams (Adams Literary)

YA companion to Dead Connection, in which a hapless high-schooler’s ability to talk with the dead gets him tangled in another murder mystery against his will.

When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication: 2015
Rights: World English
Agent: Molly Ker Hawn (Bent Agency)

The novel features 16-year-old Lacy, whose unstable mother will stop at nothing, not even dark magic, to keep control of her daughter’s heart and soul.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication: Winter 2016
Rights: North American
Agent: Molly Ker Hawn (Bent Agency)

The fantasy centers on 16-year-old Nix, who has grown up on a ship that travels through time. Her father Navigates from one map to another—including those of ancient history and even myth and legend—and is determined to journey back to 1868 Honolulu to save her mother’s life, despite knowing that changing history risks erasing Nix’s very existence.

Source: Publishers’ Weekly


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


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