Oct 29 2014

The Turning: What Curiosity Kills, by Helen Ellis

This might be a stretch, but I'm including a novel about shape-shifting cats in my Halloween read-a-thon. I realize were-kittens aren't quite as threatening as zombies or whatever, but they fall somewhere along the monster spectrum, right? (On, like, the cuter end...

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Oct 28 2014

Scary Go Round, by John Allison

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If you're looking for a Halloween read this week and you haven't got any money (or a library card, or friends who own books), you're in luck: John Allison's pre-Bad Machinery comic Scary Go Round is available for free online...

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Oct 28 2014

The memories are still too fresh.

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While I'm picking random horror-themed books off my To-Be-Read shelf this week, zillions of other people are doing Halloween-related book lists, too. My favorite is Jezebel's "SPOOKY SCARY HALLOWEEN YA BOOK CLUB", which has been revisiting the big horror titles of my early 90s youth...

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Oct 27 2014

Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender

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According to her author bio, Katie Alender went to film school, and her love of movies permeates every page of Famous Last Words. I expect there's already a film-adaptation deal in the works, but if not, Hollywood is missing out, because Famous Last Words has everything: ghosts, romance, murders... even a makeover scene. Seriously, it's practically a shopping list for a successful teen movie...

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Oct 27 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender

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This week's Book Giveaway is Katie Alender's YA murder mystery Famous Last Words. My original plan had been to focus entirely on horror novels this week, in honor of Halloween, but A) I actually want to read this sucker, and B) there might be a ghost in it...? Anyway, a full review will follow later today...

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Oct 24 2014

All pink and evil...

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Okay, I know I've complained about J.K. Rowling's seeming inability to stop doling out further mini-installments of her totally, absolutely, 100% finished Harry Potter series, but her last story (the Rita Skeeter one) was actually really fun...

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Oct 23 2014

Marvel just loves scenes of destruction.

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The trailer is out for the upcoming Marvel mega-project Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I have thoughts. First, is Ultron, like, a Terminator? (Also, why the ballerinas? Will they serve some plot purpose, or do ballerinas just look cool?) I have no doubts this movie will make a zillion dollars, but it looks a little depressing...

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Oct 22 2014

The Secrets of Tree Taylor, by Dandi Daley Mackall

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If you, like me, feel a pang of sadness whenever you remember that Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series has really and truly ended, I have good news: Dandi Daley Mackall's coming-of-age novel The Secrets of Tree Taylor hits a lot of the same notes, and hits several of them even better...

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Oct 21 2014

Currently experiencing second-hand embarrassment

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And speaking of upcoming movies, Paramount has picked up the rights to first-time author Anna Todd's One Direction fanfic-turned-novel After, which has apparently been a massive success on WattPad. I haven't read this story (because, well, I'm not in the market for One Direction fanfiction), but...

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Oct 21 2014

Hokey or not, I'm out.

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The trailer is out for In The Heart of the Sea, the movie based on the true(ish) story that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. Setting aside my usual eye-rolling over the obvious CGI, I think this movie looks terrifying...

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Oct 20 2014

Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts, by Gena Showalter

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I am a huge Alice in Wonderland nerd, but I've had some bad experiences with Alice-inspired rewrites. (I'm looking at you, Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars. You were abysmal.) After years of buying—and regretting—these novels, I swore off them for good... until I saw a “specially priced” copy of Gena Showalter's Alice in Zombieland at my local Target, and that red-and-white 20% off sticker was enough to overcome my embargo....

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Oct 20 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts, by Gena Showalter

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This week we're giving away all three books in Gena Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles: Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts. This series is a perfect October comfort read, and would go particularly well with any Halloween candy you might have already purchased... y'know, in case all the stores run out. Our full review will follow later today....

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Oct 14 2014

Complicated

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There's an interesting censorship case facing the British Royal Courts of Justice: according to the Guardian, a "well-known performer" has been prevented from publishing a memoir because his ex-wife fears that the information featured in the book will cause harm to their child...

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Oct 14 2014

Amazon via bricks and mortar

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According to GeekWire, Amazon is planning to open two pop-up kiosks in San Francisco and Sacramento for the holidays. Doors will open as early as next week, with no word as to when they'll close...

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Oct 13 2014

The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts

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Jeyn Roberts's The Bodies We Wear is the kind of book I normally avoid. I'm not a big fan of gothic melodramas, so I was surprised to discover that this novel spoke to the same part of me that enjoys the Underworld films. The Bodies We Wear might lack vampires and shiny pleather catsuits, but, like Underworld, it takes its goofy gothic premise 100% seriously, and I find that endearing...

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Oct 13 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts. The cover is graced with the tagline "Revenge Will Be Hers" and the plot seems to hinge upon a teen girl's attempt to get even with the people who forced her into drug addiction as a child, so I'm expecting hardcore DRAMA. Our review will be posted later today...

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Oct 9 2014

One last attempt

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According to THR, the US Supreme Court has declined to review a challenge to Warner Bros./DC Comics' claim to the rights to Superman...

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Oct 9 2014

A drop in the college-expenses bucket

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NPR's Planet Money recently posted an article about the win some/lose some economics of college textbook publishing. The whole thing's worth a read (it's short), but in brief: the cost of textbooks has gone waaaaay up, but the number of textbooks people buy, and how much they pay for them, has gone waaaaay down...

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Oct 8 2014

Elmer + Undine 4-EVER

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According to Deadline, Scarlett Johansson is planning to produce and star in an adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1913 novel The Custom of the Country (the novel which is rumored to have inspired Julian Fellowes to write Downton Abbey)...

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Oct 7 2014

Eh. Whatever.

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Adam Mansbach, author of the bestselling children's book Go the Fuck to Sleep, has written a "sequel": You Have to Fucking Eat. I feel $14.95 is about ten bucks more than I would be willing to pay for a joke picture book, but...

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Oct 7 2014

More Mediator

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Awesome news—Meg Cabot is planning a seventh book in her Mediator series! Unlike the earlier installments, Remembrance will be aimed at adult readers (which I'm assuming = sex), it will be released in 2016, and the plot synopsis is vague...

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Oct 6 2014

The Smoke Thief, by Shana Abe

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I have strong feelings about romance novels. I like stories that don't expect me to buy that the hero and heroine have fallen into deep, everlasting love in a matter of days, stories where the sexual relationship isn't forced or coerced, and, above all, stories set after 1800, where I feel like all the characters are more likely to routinely bathe. Shana Abé's The Smoke Thief is none of these things, so I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it...

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Oct 6 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Smoke Thief, by Shana Abe

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This week's Book Giveaway is Shana Abé's The Smoke Thief. It's the first of her bestselling Drakon books, a series of historical fantasy/romance novels about characters that shift between human, dragon, and, uh, smoke monster forms (but not in a Lost kind of way)...

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Sep 30 2014

Anastasia Krupnick, with a little remodeling

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According to The Cut, Lois Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik books are going to be re-released next January, with slightly updated content (the publisher is taking out some no-longer-socially-acceptable language and content) and, thankfully, infinitely better cover art...

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Sep 30 2014

Mystery solved

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Lisa Kleypas fans take note: Amazon announced that the next novel in her Friday Harbor series, Lightning Bay, would be out on September 1st, but the book has been listed as "Out of Print-Limited Availability" ever since. Sadly, availability is very limited—seeing as Ms. Kleypas hasn't actually written the book...

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Sep 29 2014

Mojo, by Tim Tharp

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Last week, I complained at length about a novelist whose characters spoke only in sparkling witticisms. I clearly need to be more careful what I wish for, because the first book I read this week features characters who show all the intellectual prowess of a cheese sandwich...

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Sep 29 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Mojo, by Tim Tharp

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This week's Book Giveaway is Tim Tharp's Mojo, which was originally cursed with incredibly boring cover art. I was pleased to discover that the publishers chose something more eye-catching for the paperback version (and that they finally pointed out that Tharp also wrote The Spectacular Now, which was recently made into a movie), but damage was undoubtedly done...

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Sep 25 2014

Look Out Look Out Look Out...

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This NPR music article makes a very funny (if not totally convincing) argument linking the music of 1960s girl groups like the Shangri-Las to modern YA fiction...

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Sep 25 2014

"Cute hipster" isn't gonna cut it.

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I don't know about this, you guys. The first trailer for the Korean version of my beloved Nodame Cantabile has been posted (to be called Cantabile Tomorrow), and it has not assuaged my fears that this take on the material is going to be prettied up beyond recognition...

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Sep 24 2014

Unmade: The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken was one of the most promising teen romances I've read in the past decade, with an absolutely phenomenal premise. The sequel, alas, took several steps down in quality, and I'm sad to report that the final book in the trilogy is dumber still...

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