[Book Watching] Upcoming Movies – New Divergent trailer

The official Divergent trailer has hit the internet last week, and the canaries are all a-twitter. Set to hit the big screen in March 2014, we still have a bit of a wait, made only slightly more bearable by the upcoming October 2013 release of the Allegiant, the third book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.

The trailer has that Hunger Games/Distopian vibe, so I look forward to seeing what director Neil Burger will bring to the table. You might recognize his name from his fantasy-real-world crossover thrillers like Limitless and The Illusionist. The cast features the largely unknown lead actress Shailene Woodley as Tris, Kate Winslet as the ruthless Jeanine Matthews, and Theo James as Four, everyone’s favorite love interest.

More to the point, I want to see how the book’s impossible premise – all people are just one specific personality – plays out in the movie medium. Veronica Roth will also be speaking at this year’s National Book Festival, so I look forward to hearing about her upcoming novel and the movie.

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[Book Review] An agent and an assassin go time traveling

The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P., #1)

Chevie is seventeen and already an FBI agent – except ever since a mission went disastrously awry, the FBI has done its best to bury their not-very-legal underage agents program, and Chevie along with it. Now Chevie’s been banished to London, assigned to babysit an old house with a weird steampunk-looking pod.

Two hundred years away and into the past, Riley finds himself clutching a knife, with Garrick, his master, urging Riley to make his first kill as his assassin apprentice. Except, Riley’s first kill goes terribly awry, and he is suddenly on a collusion course with Chevie and her modern reality.

Take a pinch of time travel, a dash of two words colliding, a secret government program, and two spunky character. Then add a murderous villain obsessed with a betrayal, a gang of angry rams, and a conspiracy that goes back to the future and forward to the past. And it’s up to Riley and Chevie to team up and stop all the crazy. Continue reading

[Book Review] Beautiful Creatures – again

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

With the movie just out and TV spots flashing across the screen every five commercials, I couldn’t resist getting the book. Meg posted a Beautiful Creatures review a couple months back, so, since I agree with her on almost all the points, I’m gonna do my best to add some new couple of cents in this post.

So, Ethan is a small-town guy, desperately bored with his small town life in backwater Georgia. Then, one day, in an inversion of the usual paranormal romance trope, a new girl comes to town. Lena’s different – maybe even dangerous – with dark rumors swirling around her. And Ethan can’t help but be drawn to her.

She tells him that they can’t be together because they’re from two different worlds, and it’s not until he’s way in over his head that he discovers that she means that in the most literal sense of the word. Continue reading

[Book Review] The Host, or the trials and tribulations of the victorious alien invader

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host! A book I had absolutely no interest in reading but kinda liked anyway.

How did that happen? Well, see,  a few days ago, Meg and me, we were looking through upcoming movie releases. And our conversation went something like this:

Me: We should read The Host
Meg: I have been working on the unicorn demon story
  ug
  I know
  When does it come out?
Me: March, I think.
Meg: I call not dibs
\o/

While the real takeaway message of this conversation is “What unicorn demon story?”, I did fold to the inevitable and grabbed the 1,152 page paperback in preparation of the movie version of The Host coming out March 29. Whatzit about? Well, in the near, near future… Continue reading

[Advanced Book Review] Pantomime by Laura Lam

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Publication date: Feb 5 2013

I can’t even talk about this book. Every time I try to write this review, I immediately go into fits of sputtering rage. The whole story hinges on a single twist, one that, if revealed, ruins the gut punch of the book. But the twist is also what makes the such an unexpected and utter joy to read. I have never read a hero like that presented in Pantomime. And it’s left me positively aching for more.

This is where I would talk about the book, but I pretty much can’t. No plot, no characters, nothing. I’ve never been so utterly vexed by a review before. I’ve also never felt so compelled to not talk about a twist in a story before, because I can’t stand the idea of ruining it for even one person. (Except Canary the First, who never gets the privilege of spoiler warnings.) So I’m just going to drop the official blurb in here so that I don’t slip up and reveal anything myself: Continue reading

[Small Chirp] Shoving our YA heroes out of the nest

A few mid-novel thoughts on Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

“You are a Leopard Person only by the will of the Supreme Creator, and as we all know, She isn’t very concerned with Her own creations.” (Akata Witch, 96)

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)This post will contain only a few, mild (and out-of-context) spoilers for the book.

I am halfway through Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, a YA novel I am co-reading with the lovely lady McLicious over at comp lit and mediaphilia. When I started reading it, I wasn’t sure what to expect – I know precious little about Nigerian folklore, and only a little bit more about the culture and political situation in the country.  So far, the things that have really caught my eye (and imagination) are the small details woven into the narrative that are different from what I’ve come to expect from the YA adventure. Continue reading

[Book Review] Beautiful Creatures and Awkward Audiobooks

Meg’s Review of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Audiobook read by Kevin T. Collins (with special appearance by Eve Bianco)

I haven’t read any teen paranormal romance since I attempted Twilight, which all but killed my faith in the genre and scarred my brain for life. But I’m a sucker for any book being made into a movie, so I picked up Beautiful Creatures during a nifty sale at Audible. I figured that if it sucked, at least it would only be $5 of suck.

Much to my surprise, I really liked this first installment of the four-book series. Partially, I think my enjoyment was at the deft move by writers Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl to make the narrator a teenaged boy rather than a girl. It inherently dropped the angst factor by about 75%. They also split the love story, with the majority of it revolving around the star-crossed lovers of Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes, but there was also the added love story of a boy mourning the loss of his mother that gave the book considerable, and quite unexpected, depth. Continue reading