Welcome to The YA Roundup, the best source of movie news, bookish gossip, new releases, and cover reveals from the YA genre!
This week covers a new west coast YA event, a trio of hilarious Hunger Games parody songs, one famous author’s failed attempts at writing YA as a teenager, and upcoming adaptions for The Scorpio Races, Tiger’s Curse, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
YALLFest is Expanding West
Over the weekend, the organizers of YALLFest, the largest YA book convention in the South, announced a second event for the West Coast. YALLWest will take place in Santa Monica, CA, from April 11-12, 2015.
Librarian Robert Graves announced on Twitter that he’ll be handling programming for the event. Like YALLFest, YALLWest will celebrate books, film, TV, and art related to young adult literature, and will be open to the public. Several authors have already joined the YALLWest team: Margaret Stohl, Ransom Riggs, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Brendan Reichs, Tahereh Mafi, and more.
Follow @YALLWest on Twitter for updates. The announcement also revealed the official dates and location for next year’s YALLFest: November 13-14, 2015 in Charleston, SC.
Netflix Adapting A Series of Unfortunate Events
On the heels of such in-house successes as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix has picked up the television rights for A Series of Unfortunate Events, with the intention of creating a live-action series. The books follow the three young Baudelaire children as they search to uncover the truth about their parent’s deaths while struggling against the horrible Count Olaf. Cindy Holland, VP of Original Content at Netflix, said the series, like the books, would appeal to both parents and kids:
“The world created by Lemony Snicket is unique, darkly funny and relatable. We can’t wait to bring it to life for Netflix members.”
When asked about the upcoming series, Lemony Snicket (the narrator of the series and penname of author Daniel Handler) responded in his typically dry and self-depricating fashion:
“I can’t believe it. After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.”
Netflix replied by reporting:
“Mr. Snicket’s participation will be limited, given his emotional distress, but the project has the full involvement of his legal, literary and social representative Daniel Handler, who is often mistaken for him.”
Netflix is reportedly fast-tracking the series with Paramount Television—Paramount was also behind the 2004 film adaptation of the series, starring Jim Carrey.
The Scorpio Races Film in Production
Jack Thorne is set to write the screenplay with David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith’s KatzSmith productions attached, and Jay Ireland acting as executive producer.
Maggie Stiefvater casually tweeted about the development saying:
Do you see how cool I’m playing it? I’m all, oh, yeah, Focus Films is developing my book, I’m not jittering about eating paper or anything.
— Maggie Stiefvater (@mstiefvater) November 5, 2014
Unfortunately, some people are already comparing The Scorpio Races to YA Juggernaut The Hunger Games. While both feature dangerous competitions, characters in The Scorpio Races ride wild water horses in a yearly race where the main challenge is simply holding on long enough to cross the finish line—it’s more firmly a fantasy adventure than the dystopian narrative set up in The Hunger Games.
Director Announced for Tiger’s Curse Film Adaptation
Shekhar Kapur has signed on as director for Tiger’s Curse, adapted from Colleen Houck’s 2011 novel. Kapur is best known as the director of the Academy Award-winning films Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
Julie Plec, creator of The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off The Originals, adapted the screenplay, and Lotus Entertainment took the project on. Ineffable Pictures’ founder Raphael Kryszek and Jesse Israel will produce, along with Lotus Entertainment’s Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel and Kapur. Lotus’ D.J. Gugenheim and Ara Keshishian are executive producing.
The novel centers on Kelsey, a young woman who shares a powerful connection with a white tiger named Ren while working at a circus over the summer. When a mysterious stranger arrives to reclaim Ren and return him to his native India, the woman learns that the tiger is a prince who is the victim of a 300-year-old curse. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
Gillian Flynn Wrote a Crappy YA Novel
No, really—she insists that it was bad. The Gone Girl author shared with BuzzFeed an excerpt from Litquake’s first book, Drivel: Deliciously Bad Writing by Your Favorite Authors. The collection boasts the most “wordy, overwrought, insipid writing” by beloved writers including Flynn, Chuck Palahniuk, Amy Tan, and more.
Flynn shares, with her apologies, her attempt to one-up the Sweet Valley High books when she herself was a teenager. Meet the Lawley triplets, who are good, evil, and goodish-evil, yet still rule the roost at their high school. The excerpt is delightful YA escapism at its cheesiest, with a hint of the kinds of morally ambiguous female antiheroes Flynn would become famous for writing.
Studio C Hunger Games Parody Song is the Best
Studio C has created three Parody songs riffing on The Hunger Games characters Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. Peeta’s song references the character’s odd decision-making process and his nasty habit of almost-dying, while Gale’s song is a lovelorn request for Katniss to choose him. And Katniss’ song (seen below) parodies the ridiculousness of her having to pick between Gale and Peeta.
New York Times Best Sellers (November 16, 2014)
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Paper Towns by John Green
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Alantia by Ally Condie
- The Young Elites by Marie Lu
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- Rush Revere by Rush Limbaugh and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Sea Breeze by Abbi Glines
- Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell
- Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
Publication: Summer 2016
Agent: Andrea Somberg (Harvey Klinger)
A YA novel about a girl with a big secret. She comes from a family of were-dragons who must steal their first treasure hoard to gain power and acceptance, but while attempting her first heist, she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society that is more valuable—and dangerous—than any gold or jewels.
As I Descended by Robin Talley
Publication: Summer 2016
Agent: Jim McCarthy (Dystel & Goderich Literary Management)
A retelling of Macbeth set at a contemporary Virginia boarding school. It centers around a lesbian couple who set out to dethrone the school’s resident Mean Girl, only to find themselves struggling to hang onto their sanity and their lives when they accidentally summon a trio of brutal, manipulative ghosts.
Untitled by Sarah Fine
Publisher: McElderry Books (Simon and Schuster)
Publication: Spring 2016
Rights: World English
Agent: Kathleen Ortiz (New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.)
A 16-year-old who has been training her whole life to become queen finds that, when coronation day arrives, she has not inherited the magical powers of her predecessor. She is cast out and powerless; her only redemption is to search for the person who did inherit the former queen’s magic.
Source: Publishers Weekly