Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Andre Norton Awards

They've just announced the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. What a great list. Which have you read? Which do you recommend? I LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I would recommend it to everyone. Which shall I read next?

Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor (Viking Juvenile)
Chime, Franny Billingsley (Dial Books; Bloomsbury)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Hodder & Stoughton)
Everybody Sees the Ants, A.S. King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
The Boy at the End of the World, Greg van Eekhout (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books)
Ultraviolet, R.J. Anderson (Orchard Books; Carolrhoda Lab)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Game of Thrones Season 2 trailer

Full disclosure: I'm such a big fan of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones series - both books and TV series. HBO has upped the tension for the second season of Game of Thrones, with a new video offering more details on the impending war in Westeros. It's SO good and makes me want it to start right now.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, here are the 10 best lines from the new video:

1. "Sometimes those with the most power have the least grace."
2. "The war of five kings they're calling it; nothing matters but how it ends."
3. "The time to strike is now, the Starks fight the Lannisters, the Baratheons fight each other."
4. "The Iron Throne is mine, by right."
5. "You have inherited your father's responsibilities -- they come at a cost."
6. "The comet means one thing, boy: dragons."
7. "They will hit us in force and they won't run away when we hit back."
8. "You want to lead one day? Well learn how to follow."
9. "When my dragons are grown, we will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!"
10. "The king is a lost cause; it's the rest of us I'm worried about now."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

JK Rowling is writing a book for grown ups!

Yes, I'll admit it, I loved the Harry Potter books. Read all of them. More than once. Saw all the movies. And apparently JK Rowling is now writing her first book for grown-ups. And she's not telling anyone about the characters and plot of her new book.

She said: ‘Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series. '
‘The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me.’

Industry insiders expect the new book will be released later this year.

Will her new novel have the same mass appeal as Harry Potter? Who knows. But it is a very exciting prospect. Last year she launched the Pottermore.com website, which is effectively a virtual wizarding world offering users encyclopaedic detail about the original books. Millions registered to join it and access material about the key characters in Harry Potter that had been previously unpublished.

Thousands have taken to Twitter to debate the new project. Have you? I think this is wonderful news. Can't wait!

Read more here

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy - Review

It's 1952 and Janie Scott's world falls apart when her parents are suspected of being Communist sympathizers. They have to leave their home in LA hurriedly and head for London, where they have been offered jobs. She's lonely until she meets Benjamin Burrows, who is the son of the Apothecary and who wants to be a spy. A game of chess becomes a way of tracking Russian spies and keeps her mind off her homesickness until The Apothecary disappears, leaving his Pharmacopoeia with his son for safekeeping. And as for the secrets hidden in the Pharmacopoeia - well, who wouldn't want to know how to become invisible, or turn into a bird? No wonder everyone is looking for it.

The adventures that follow are extraordinary as Benjamin and Janie try to find the Apothecary, safeguard the book, and ultimately prevent the detonation of a nuclear bomb. Brimming with magic, historical detail, and science, this adventure has everything - nuclear threats, political conspiracies, and spies. And it reads like a classic.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ready PLayer One by Ernest Cline

Imagine a future where you spend most of your time in a virtual world called the Oasis. It's where you go to school, socialize, play games, earn money - everything. A place outside reality where you can be anyone you want. The creator of this world dies an incredibly wealthy man. And he had no one to whom he wanted to leave his money. Thus he leaves behind a set of puzzles and bequeaths his fortune to the winner. Sounds easy - but when the book opens no one has even solved the first clue, although millions are trying.

Wade Watts wants to win badly. He spends his time researching everything 80s because Halliday, the creator, loved that time and Wade is convinced this will help him find the keys. But when he finds the first key, everything changes. Suddenly people are watching him, competitors are everywhere, and the danger is all too real.

I loved everything about Ready Player One. I raced through it but at the same time tried desperately to slow down and savor every moment. Packed full of 80s references, this is a nonstop adventure that reads like a video game. It's fun, it's clever, it's incredibly entertaining, and it never slows down. I did not think this book would talk to me, but I was SO wrong. Don't miss this one.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Magicians Pilot Was Not Greenlit

Sad news. Yesterday Lev Grossman revealed here that Fox decided to pass on the television pilot script based on his novel, The Magicians. The pilot script was written by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, the writers who worked on X-Men: First Class and Thor. Nevertheless, hope is not lost for a show.

He says that the way forward for the show now gets rockier. They’re going to take the script to cable networks and also going to renew talks on the feature-film side.

How disappointing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - Review

Aria lives in a future world that has been ravaged by aether storms. Safe from the outside world, she lives in a pod and spends most of her time in a virtual reality known as the realms. When we meet Aria she is in an abandoned pod with a group of friends where things get out of control. She only survives because an Outsider saves her. But she's blamed for what happened and is exiled, expected to die.

The people who live outside the pods are thought of as savages and the two worlds are very separate, until Aria runs into Peregrine, the same Outsider who has already saved her once. He's a hunter, can feel people's emotions, whose nephew was taken by the Dwellers. Perry is determined to rescue his nephew and Aria needs to find out if her mother is OK. They are so different, yet both have something the other needs. And thus starts their wild journey to find the person Perry thinks can help them.

The world in Under the Never Sky often feels brutal and dangerous. It's full of action and adventure and includes a very different mythology. The world is rich and complex, the characters vibrant and well drawn, and I found I could not put it down. Did I also mention that it includes cannibals, violent storms, and people who have extraordinary powers of sight or scent? And it's beautifully written.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff - review

Meg Rosoff is a store favorite. How I Live Now is one of my favorite YAs of all time. We've all read this one, shared how much we love it, and did happy dances when we found out she was visiting the store. I did mention that Meg Rosoff will be at Kepler's on February 16th at 7.00 pm, didn't I? So, so excited for this one. So, if you are in the Bay Area, don't forget to join us. Below is Antonia's review (I've already said we all loved it - right?)

One of the funniest stand-up routines I have ever seen is Robin Williams talking about the Duck-Billed Platypus and coming to the obvious conclusion that God must have been drunk or stoned or both at the time.

Meg Rosoff's God isn't drunk. Or stoned. He's a teenager. A teenaged boy to be precise, who got the job of God for this out of the way planet (ours) in the back woods of the universe in a poker game. He wasn't even playing. His Mom was. And it was late, and the players just couldn't be bothered any more, and it wouldn't really matter who got the job after all, so sure, why not give it to Bob.

And as we know, living here, that's working out soooo well!

What doesn't help is like most teenaged boys, Bob's eye can be turned by a pretty girl - and when it does, all hell breaks loose. Or at least Mother Nature. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes - world wide. And then there is Lucy. Pretty, kind and Bob's latest infatuation - and things pretty much go down hill from there.

Absolutely hilarious, Meg Rosoff has out done herself in this brilliant novel.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beautiful Creatures Movie News

Did you see the announcement? They have chosen who will be playing Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes in the Beautiful creatures movie! (click here for more)
Ethan: Jack O’Connell
Lena: Alice Englert
What do you think?
I'm just happy they are starting casting and moving the movie along.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa - Review

As soon as I finished The Iron King (which I loved) I turned straight to The Iron Daughter, where if you remember Meghan had no choice but to fulfill her side of the contract and follow Ash back to the Winter Court. And that is where we find her in The Iron Daughter, a prisoner in Queen Mab’s court, with no one believing how dangerous the Iron Fey actually are. And things only get worse when the Scepter of the Seasons is stolen and Mab blames the Summer Court. War is imminent and Meghan knows she must try to get the Scepter back and stop the war before the Iron Fey attack again.

This is every bit as hard to put down as the Iron King, as we again adventure with Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grimalkin, and Ironhorse. Yes, they are all back and I must say I did like the new role for Ironhorse. Meghan is a stronger character in this book and the twists still managed to blindside me. I will say that I am tired of love triangles but, that said, the romance sizzles here and there is more than enough intrigue and adventure to lose yourself in. On to the Iron Queen for me… (oh, I love this series…why didn't I read this sooner? And yes, many of you told me so!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Series for Maggie Steifvater!

Good news: hot off her Printz Honor for The Scorpio Races , Scholastic just announced the publication of a new four-book series from Maggie Stiefvater. The first book in the series, The Raven Boys, will be published on September 18; three additional books in the Raven Cycle will follow.

The book introduces Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey, III, a handsome private school student seeking a vanished Welsh King, and Blue Sargent, the daughter of a psychic, who has been told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. “I grew up on a diet of exceptional fantasy series for children—The Dark Is Rising, The Black Cauldron, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia—and I’ve always wanted to write one of those sprawling epic sagas built from intimate moments,” said Stiefvater in a statement.

Happy dance. I've loved all her books and can't wait for this one.

More info here

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


February and thoughts turn to Valentine's Day. It's no secret that I loved MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. And then I saw it - Valentine cards using the photos from the book. What a brilliant idea! Go here to see them all