Look out, Stephenie Meyer! A debut author nabs seven figures for her YA trilogy

It’s no news that, in young adult literature, a high concept can often equal a high paycheck, especially in this post-Harry Potter world. According to Publishers Weekly, HarperTeen has just shelled out seven figures for a debut series about high school kids who discover that their lives are mirroring a Greek tragedy. The first book, Starcrossed, has a young Helen of Troy figure having to deal with the fact that being with the boy she loves might lead to a new Trojan War. The following entries, Persephone’s Garden and Ilium, detail Helen’s katabasis to the underworld and an end-of-times battle between gods and humans respectively.

First-time author Josephine Angelini dubs it “a Percy Jackson for teenage girls,” but it’s hard not to think that the publisher might have seen it a bit more as “Twilight of the gods.” With its high school setting, forbidden love, foggy locale, and young female target audience, the series looks like a possible pretender to the throne currently occupied by Stephenie Meyer’s behemoth saga about face-sucking bloodsuckers.

What do you think, Shelf Lifers? Excited for this series? Or are you too busy writing your own attempt to get a piece of that sweet YA fiction pie? I know I am. Publishers, look out for my upcoming Invisible Box trilogy, about a teenage girl’s love for a quiet young boy who she discovers comes from a family of mimes.  You can send the checks courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

Comments (81 total) Add your comment
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  • crispy

    That sounds horrible. But no more horrible than sparkly Mormon vampires, so it’ll probably be a huge hit!

    • Nick T

      I totally disagree. That sounds amazing. Way more interesting than lovey vampires or teen witches. Though I love the HP films!

    • Cole9219

      Sounds like someone trying to rip off the Percy Jackson series while simultaneously leeching on to Twilight’s success!

      • Snarf

        My thoughts exactly.

      • Celia

        I don’t get where the comparison to twilight comes from? Twilight is not the first teen romance novel nor will it be the last.
        It doesn’t have anything in common with twilight.

  • nicolerigets

    Hi,
    I enjoy subscribing to Shelf Life.
    I can’t send you a cheque but I can send you the “Mime-al Scream” as a one-of-a-kind concept to use on the cover of your up-coming trilogy.

    http://www.nicolerigetsdesign.wordpress.com
    Bottom of middle column search:
    The Mime-al Scream/The Primal Scream

  • Mandy

    Another day, another half-baked EW post attempting to link absolutely any book news to TWILIGHT. Seriously, if you actually did a good books section, people might read it for its own sake. But that would require effort/though, and EW can’t be bothered.

    • Trey

      Seriously, your reek of negativity. Your like the person that bad mouths a restaurant but keeps going there just so they can bad mouth it some more.

      • Marvin

        I’m so glad they’re taking all the crap out of their food YAY! I don’t do well with plans and other ppeloe telling me what to do..but JC is a great thing for someone who is clueless about nutrition or, like you said, doesn’t have the time to deal with figuring it all out. But eventually you have to go off of it and learn to do it on your own anyway.. do they teach you how to do maintenance on your own?

    • Tarc

      Yeah, Trey, you’re so much better in that massive, entitled pool of self-righteous judgement. *rolls eyes* Seeing that your moral (sic) ‘nose’ must detects things from the far side of the Internet, you might consider getting that checked.

  • George

    Mandy, I’m curious. Do you even read Shelf Life? This is the first post on this blog in more than a month to even mention Twilight — and it does seem relevant here.

    • Allie

      actually it does mention twilight and stephanie meyer, who is the author of twilight.

      • Andrea

        …that’s not what George was saying.

  • Kelsey

    I’m not a teenage girl and haven’t been for a few years, but this at least seems interesting, especially if it’s correctly linked to classical literature like The Iliad and The Odyssey. I’m all for YA books that are well-written (which I don’t believe Twilight is, sorry) and that can get young readers, especially girls, interested more “high-brow” reading. In this case, hopefully it’ll be because girls are curious to see how The Iliad really lines up with the books, not because the author name-drops Wuthering Heights to appear “intellectual.”
    It also cements what I’ve been thinking for quite awhile: That no fad lasts forever, and as crazy as some people are about Twilight now, it’s still a fad and something will eventually come along to replace. It might not be this, but it will be something. I think the only YA series out there with Narnia-type staying power are Potter and His Dark Materials.

    • Lucy

      i love potter ;)

  • Ambient Lite

    Meet y’all back here in 6 months for the inevitable backlash against the Greek mythology media trend. We can all shred Josephine Angelini and Rick Riordan to bits and talk about what a whore Medea is, and worry about Persephone’s influence on our daughters.

    • crispy

      OMG, Medea… total whore! I heard she got wasted at an orgy and the Argonauts passed her around like a bottle of cheap wine.

    • Kate

      The Greek myths have been enduring parts of our culture for thousands of years. Bella Swan is a Mary Sue who didn’t exist before 2005 (unless you count Stephenie Meyer’s life span, seeing as Bella is a self-insert). Big difference.

  • kelsey

    hunger games is the next craze
    go read it now

    • Maureen

      I literally just finished that book last night! It’s incredible and miles ahead any other YA book I’ve read!! :)

    • lolaj

      Its it so good, read both books in two days!

    • Danivt

      I work at a middle school- those books are definitely a craze at my school!

    • Celia

      I tried to read the first one and got bored, but I might give them another try. The concept is pretty unique and that’s a rare find in today’s literature.

      • darkchao

        rare? read battle royale

    • Gwyn

      Hunger Games rocks.

      • Noreen

        LOVE The Hunger Games and Catching Fire can’t wait until the 3rd book comes out! Another YA series I love is The Mortal Instruments series!

  • Generation Gossip

    Im a fan of anything that gets kids reading. My sister loves twilight so I got her Vampire Diaries and now shes a fan of those books. I may get her these books also.

    Get the Scoop from GenerationGossip.com

    • Victor

      that it’s not likely that she’s maknig a whole other saga from Edward’s point of view. Stephenie Meyer has also written The Host which I’m reading now and I’m enjoying it. It’s a lot more complex and geared toward adults than Twilight was. If you haven’t already, Harry Potter is an excellent series to read. A lot of the people who read Harry Potter read Twilight when they were done, so a lot of the fans are the same.

  • tarals

    MEH!

  • Carol

    Ugh more crap is being published.

  • Kelly

    Greek Myths Rule

  • Morgan

    I’m sure I’ll be in the minority, but I think it sounds like a fascinating series. I love Greek myths, and I love urban fantasy. Twilight sucked (no pun intended), but that doesn’t mean all teen fantasy does.

  • summersara88

    yeah i was so surprised this wasnt about the hunger games. now THAT is an amazing young adult novel.

  • Celia

    It sounds like a Percy Jackson rip off. I’ll pass.

  • SC

    “Twilight of the gods.”

    Heh. That was clever.

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