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url 2016-01-14 20:29
2016 Young Adult Adaptations

Hello, everyone! Last month, I gathered a round-up of adaptation news from the past six to seven months that I had covered in my bookish rounds posts. The six to seven months was an arbitrary number, and I had missed some adaptation news in choosing that limit.

I had also, however, gotten a few things wrong. For one, I had originally written that The 5th Wave adaptation was releasing January 15th; a week later, I realized that the date was set at January 22nd. I edited the post, but it turns out that I wasn't the only one with a mistaken idea of the release date. One of my friends, only a week ago, said that she had seen something that said January 15th. I assured her it was the 22nd, but that was the last straw. Certainly, there are a number of articles about reading the book before you see the movie, yet some of them also include movies that don't have set release dates. I thought that it would be useful to create a calender infographic of the upcoming 2016 young adult and middle grade adaptations.

*Note: Not all of these are strictly Young Adult adaptations -- some are more "kidlit" (e.g. The Little Prince, Tuck Everlasting, etc.) and some had franchises in MG/YA but may not be anymore (e.g. Harry Potter & Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts, etc.), but I thought that all would be relevant to the YA community.

And for the rest....
A Calender of 2016 Young Adult and Middle Grade
Adaptations. Click to enlarge the image.
*For these movies, the release date is listed as 2016, but the actual date has not been confirmed. Whether they will actually be released this year is yet to be determined.
*Can't make a calender of adaptations without nodding to the successful ones that are still running!
*Note: Since Alex Skarsgård is playing Tarzan and has bulked up for the role, I figured that his character was probably not meant to be like the Disney version anymore.
If you're wondering where I got all this information from, again last month, I gathered a round-up of adaptation news from the past six to seven months that I had covered in my bookish rounds posts. Those posts have all the links to trailers, posters, etc.
So those are the 2016 young adult and middle grade adaptations! (Or at least “relevant to the YA/MG community” since HP & Cursed Child, & Fantastic Beasts may not be technically YA/MG). Which ones will you be watching / seeing this upcoming year? Are you going to withhold your judgment on others? Let me know!
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url 2015-09-03 00:55
What I Read in August + September TBR

In three weeks I managed to read 11 books. I thought that my August TBR goals of 8-10 books in three weeks (afterbooktubeathon) were stretching it and then I beat my own goals!

Well, I’ve also been experiencing a lack of motivation with a lot of things, including blogging, and that has to do with August marking the one year anniversary of a close friend’s suicide. So, in periods of little motivation, sometimes I end up reading a lot without people knowing.

And today I’m here to discuss the 11 books I read and the several books that I want to read in September. Don’t forget to tell me what’s on your September TBR and what you’ve read in August.




** The Fifth Wave – Rick Yancey || Goodreads

Hey, hey! You might be interested in reading this one soon too. The trailer was recently released for the movie adaptation (or at least a sneak peek trailer).

Anyway, everyone was raving about this book years ago, and I pre-ordered the book but then never got around to reading it (#StoryOfABookHoarder). I recently saw that the audiobook was available on Overdrive, so I decided to try it out, knock a book off the TBR (even if it wasn't the TBR I'd made for August). Y'all, if you're going to read this book, I HIGHLY recommend the audiobook. The narrator does a fantastic job of capturing Cassie's emotions and the atmosphere as she recounts the different waves of the Other's invasion. There's also a narrator for the male characters (the guy who narrated Linger by Maggie Stiefvater), and he's good, but for me Cassie's narrator totally stole the show and made the audiobook worthwhile.

I really liked where Yancey took the story. I have to admit: alien invasion stories are not my thing. Too often I feel icky; aliens vs. humans, and this Othering, makes me think about xenophobia, and anyway, Yancey avoided that. There are obviously some parts that I enjoyed less than others, but it was entertaining enough that it stayed with me, made me curious enough to check out the sequel. Also, I'll probably check out the movie on January 29?, 2016.

** The Infinite Sea – Rick Yancey || Goodreads

This one is a lot more action-packed than The Fifth Wave and the main point of view isn't actually Cassie's. it's another side character from book one, and I've got to say - I liked that character a lot, so I enjoyed the perspective shift. I liked this less than The Fifth Wave, but I am still curious about what Yancey has planned for The Last Star. There were definitely plot twists in The Infinite Sea with huuuuge repercussions for TLS.

** Alanna: The First Adventure – Tamora Pierce || Goodreads

My reaction is pretty similar to what it was in my August TBR post. Which is to say, I'm super impressed thinking about how this was Tamora Pierce's debut novel and how she hadn't had the legions of YA novels before her, and yet she set such a trend! A trend and a legacy that's easily traced in other YA fantasies. I really wish that I'd read this in high school. I enjoyed it now, but I know that I would've enjoyed it even more then (aka when I was less jaded and picky about books).

** Bone Gap – Laura Ruby || Goodreads

This book takes a while to get started, but I almost didn't care because of its fantastic characters. Laura Ruby really does a wonderful job developing the setting and making the people of Bone Gap feel unique to Bone Gap (but also familiar to us). (Side note: magical realism may become one of my favorite genres, especially as it is here, with a character-oriented plot and emphasis on characterization first.)
Most often the complaint about magical realism novels is that they're slow-paced. My reasoning is that readers might be entering with bad expectations if they think a MR novel is supposed to go fast. A friend once said that the good horror novel first establishes the daily reality of the characters for you before adding in the horror elements. That's what makes the horror and creepiness feel real - the sense of it seeping into your daily reality. I'd say the same of magical realism. A MR novel that's fast-paced might not have the time to set up the proper atmosphere and setting. You gotta get the contemporary element in, and then inject the magic slowly but surely....

Anyway. I really did love Bone Gap, and Finn is one of my favorite male protagonists. Loved the way it played with perception, beauty, being lost and getting found.

** The Accident Season – Moira Fowley-Doyle || Goodreads

Wow. What a remarkable debut novel.

We Were Liars is probably a fair comparison, but it also doesn't quite capture the beautiful atmospheric tension of this novel. WWL's prose was more focused on emphasizing Cady's brokenness, I think, whereas the prose in The Accident Season seems more akin to Nova Ren Suma's. Here's a better explanation: WWL is described as a modern day suspense novel, but The Accident Season is described as a sexy magically realistic YA. If you're a fan of Nova Ren Suma's or Maggie Stiefvater's writing, this could be right up your alley.

I'm definitely coming back for more from this author.

The Accident Season is much more plot-oriented than Bone Gap. My favorite element of Bone Gap was the characterization. My favorite part of The Accident Season was the writing style. Ohhhhhhh, wow, the climax was stretched on and Fowley-Doyle captured the atmosphere and setting and this dreamy, what-is-going-on feeling for all of it. I could picture the entire book as a movie. Same with Bone Gap. Which is why I thought that magical realism might become one of my favorite genres.

** Court of Fives – Kate Elliott || Goodreads

No wonder Kate Elliott was a World Fantasy Award Finalist. The world-building is SO extensive, and the plotting does well to highlight different aspects beyond the core "Fives" game concept.
"Court of Fives is inspired by Little Women, by epic fantasy which I’ve written for years, by my wanting to write a story that’s also a love letter to female athletes, by the history of Hawaii, and by my husband’s work at an archaeological site in Egypt dating from the Greco-Roman period, a period when first Macedonians/Greeks and after them the Romans ruled over the Egyptian population." 
-Kate Elliott in her Book Smugglers post, which is well worth reading if you have the time.
That's also a good summary of this book. A love letter to Little Women, female athletes, and epic fantasy set in a Greco-Roman inspired world rife with colonial class warfare. If you wanted more focus on the world-building in The Winner's Curse, Court of Fives is your novel (though in general, definitely expect an overlap of fanbases here).

(P.S. Bonus points for Jessamy. She's going on my favorite heroines list.)

** George – Alex Gino || Goodreads

I'm really glad this is being published. It's wonderful to think that discussions will start across the country because of George. I was trying to think of when someone had ever really discussed gender identity with me when I was growing up, and I couldn't think of a single time. In fact, the first time I had ever even heard of the concept of personal gender pronouns was my first day at college. I should've done better, and we can all do better, and this is a really important book.

Something I also really appreciated about this book were the cringe-worthy comments from different characters that might seem innocent except that we're in Melissa's PoV (i.e. things like "you'll turn into a fine young man"). A nice reminder of how important our word choice is. And how the casting of the play went! I remember the parents and the people in charge of my elementary school plays specifically making up *girl* characters (e.g. Janet, Jim's twin sister in Huckleberry Finn) or changing boy characters to have "girl" names (i.e. probably ending in a vowel; e.g. "Quincey" instead of "Quince" in A Midsummer Night's Dream) - what is the deal with girls playing boys or boys playing girls?

Anyway, it's a good starter point for discussing gender identity with your kids. Some moments reminded me of this NYT article. Read that against this novel, or read the novel on its own -- whatever you decide, you should have some discussion at hand. Plus, the way the novel is written makes it really easy to sympathize with Melissa (see above).

** Sunshine – Robin McKinley || Goodreads

I was at the Strand the other day and found this one in the YA section. Remembered how much I'd enjoyed The Hero and the Crown and decided to give this book a shot.

Haha, this book was originally published as adult UF and republished as YA. That made me think that YA is really just at the publisher's discretion. Because there were definitely explicit terms you don't normally see in a YA novel: labia, the feeling of a hard-on going soft in your body, etc. But explicit terms aside, there aren't many explicit scenes, so it also makes sense that the book got published as a YA novel.

Anyway, it's a vampire faery tale, and I have some unanswered questions, and I may or may not go hunting on the author's website. I'd definitely read more from her in the future. Definitely one of the master story-tellers...

And the romance novels that I read when I fall into that lack of motivation mode...

** Slave to Sensation – Nalini Singh || Goodreads

Sarah J. Maas mentioned this book when she came to my college to give a SFF world-building workshop (before the publication of Crown of Midnight - aka when such things were still possible without costing too much money). She highly recommended it despite the old cover.

And ever since then, I've seen it on so so so many different UF and romance readers' radars. It seems to be a really popular series, the Psy-Changeling series, so I decided to try it out for myself. I enjoyed it well enough. Maybe will try her other books in the future?

**Luck Be a Lady – Meredith Duran || Goodreads

Meredith Duran is my go-to historical romance author. Especially when I'm in a funk.

** When Beauty Tamed the Beast – Eloisa James || Goodreads

I think a popular Goodreads reviewer might have tipped me off to this, but I was in the mood for a Beauty and the Beast retelling... I liked this. Probably just as much as Slave to Sensation, both good, and maybe I'll try more from those authors in the future.

Currently Reading:

** Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke || Goodreads

I've only read the first story by Nova Ren Suma, but I enjoyed that so much! Her writing style seems particularly suited to short stories, and the magical realism elements fit well with an anthology comprised of horror and thriller stories.

September TBR:

All the books from my August TBR that I didn’t read including:

  • Shadowshaper – Daniel Jose Older || Goodreads
  • More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera || Goodreads
  • The Golden Specific – S.E. Grove || Goodreads
  • The Wild Ones – C. Alexander London || Goodreads
  • A Curious Tale of the In-Between – Lauren DeStefano || Goodreads

All of these books have actually been released by now, so if you're interested in them, you can grab a copy too. And hopefully I'll be able to read them soon, and catch up so I don't continue to fall behind on my TBR and push books back... back... back... Hah.

Also, books releasing in September and/or purchased:

** The Killing Moon – N.K. Jemisin || Goodreads
  • I don't read enough adult fantasy, and I've heard such good things about Jemisin's work, so I'm really looking forward to diving into this book. (Though I think her other series won the Hugo and Nebula awards? Not this one? But still.). I also read a small excerpt about Jemisin's characterization skills on io9 and I loved them.


** Zeroes – Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti || Goodreads
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Superheroes! Scott Westerfeld! I haven't read anything by the others, but this seems highly anticipated. What have you heard on your end about it?

** Vengeance Road – Erin Bowman || Goodreads
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
  • YA Western! I've heard about the dialogue and I don't do super well with dialogue, but maybe that'll just enhance the atmosphere. I've also wanted to try out an Erin Bowman book for a while.

** Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin || Goodreads
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
  • This one releases in October, but my book club chose it for our September book. Laini Taylor blurbed and/or recommended this one, and it sounds really different from most other YA, so I'm also looking forward to this.

** The Curiosity House – Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester || Goodreads
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • MG adventure in the 1930s and related to a relics collector? And Lauren Oliver as the writer? Yes!

** The Thing about Jellyfish – Ali Benjamin || Goodreads
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
  • I read an excerpt of this in the BEA buzz books and loved the writing style. Then the Little Brown publicist said that she thought this one had the potential to be like The Bridge to Terabithia, which I LOVED growing up.

** The Doldrums – Nicholas Gannon || Goodreads
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • The illustrations, 3 kids getting up to an adventure, stirring up mischief.... I have a thing for MG adventure, especially if you can add some sort of extra magic (not even a fantastical element - but gosh, his illustrations!).

Those were the books I read in August and what I plan to read in September. What's on your September TBR? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?
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review 2014-06-29 20:11
All the Rebel Women: The rise of the fourth wave of feminism by Kira Cochrane
All the Rebel Women: The rise of the fourth wave of feminism (Guardian Shorts) - Kira Cochrane

Kira Cochrane provides an excellent introduction to feminism with this concise and up-to-date history covering the last 100 years in this 70-page extended essay, published by the UK newspaper The Guardian. She discusses rape culture, online feminism – including an intriguing David and Goliath battle with Facebook (I cheered at the outcome), the huge impact humour makes in highlighting feminist issues, and the importance of intersectionality and inclusion of all demographics as feminism is for everyone not just white, middle class women.


Continue reading 

Source: literaryames.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/all-the-rebel-women-the-rise-of-the-fourth-wave-of-feminism-by-kira-cochrane
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review 2014-05-01 18:23
Heat Wave
Heat Wave (Riders Up) - Adriana Kraft

Title:  Heat Wave (Riders Up #2)
Author:  Adriana Kraft
Publisher:  B & B Publications
Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean
Rating: 5

"Heat Wave" by Adriana Kraft ...

"During an oppressive Iowa summer of drought and farm foreclosures, widowed Maggie Anderson makes a bold decision: She’ll merge her love of horses and her family’s three hundred and twenty acres into a horse farm and try her hand at nearby Prairie Meadows Race Track, where racing purses have just been augmented by the recently added casino gambling.

Down on his luck after being falsely accused in a racing scandal and banned from training, former Arlington Race Track trainer Ed Harrington has skulked home to Des Moines to drown his sorrows and wait for the dust to clear. He’s unprepared for the piercing robin’s-egg-blue eyes of pint-sized Maggie Anderson, who finds him at a flophouse and offers him a job. Can he pull himself together and meet the challenge?

As the two forge a tumultuous working partnership, they soon discover someone is out to get Maggie’s farm and will stop at almost nothing to force her off the land. Can they find and stop the culprit before someone is killed? Can they survive the far greater danger unleashed by the raw passion simmering just beneath the surface of their relationship?"

What I simply loved from reading 'Heat Wave'

This was a story of two people who were in  need of something...for Maggie not losing her family farm and taking care of her two children and for Ed after being falsely accused of cheating was band from racetracks had turned to the bottle (alcohol).  How these authors were able to bring it all together was really turned out to be a awesome read.  I really enjoyed how Maggie was a go getter not letting anyone stop her from what was important of her.  Ed with his personal problems had only tried to drown his sorrow away but after being offered a job would this give  him something else to think about?   It was very interesting seeing these two people learn to trust each other and even more for one of the Maggie's children to see that one of these people really could be trusted. 

The characters in 'Heat Weave' were really off the chart good...there were many showing to be well developed, rounded, colorful, believable and all in all being down right well portrayed giving the reader one fantastic read with many twist and turns. One of my favorite characters other than Maggie and Ed was Ben Templeton.  I will stop there not wanting to give too much away. 

"Heat Wave" was definitely one of those reads that will be hard to put down because these authors has given the reader such a intriguing and captivating mystery  read of who is trying to get Maggie's property. I found myself laughing out loud at some parts of the read to even becoming  very intense with other parts leaving me  wondering what and who had caused that situation to have happened.  But in the end...well this will be the time to say you will have to pick up the good read to see how it will be brought out to you.

My overall view:

"Heat Wave" by Adriana Kraft was not only  one well written  researched read but if you are into horse racing this is a read for you.  This read was definitely one of those that will give you a lots of  information not only the love of  horse racing but also the inside track of it all.  Very well done to the authors!

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