In a young-adult literature landscape that can sometimes feel generically dystopian, author Andrew Smith has always delivered something wildly different. Smith’s The Marbury Lens followed a boy whose magic glasses allowed him to see an almost unbearably grotesque other-world; his most recent, Winger, gave us an uncommonly funny, envelope-pushing teen narrator. His seventh YA novel, Grasshopper Jungle (out Feb. 20, 2014), goes far into the absurd but promises to run as deep as this other novels. Seriously, check out the official plot description: READ FULL STORY
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Megan McCafferty still can’t believe it took her as long as it did to come up with a Jessica Darling prequel. “As soon as I figured it out it seemed like, ‘Duh, I should have done this three years ago,'” she tells EW. But it didn’t seem obvious to this writer. Perfect Fifths, the final installment in the series that began with Sloppy Firsts, ended, well, perfectly (in my opinion, anyhow). Do we really need to know what Marcus Flutie looked like in junior high? Turns out the answer to that would be an unequivocal yes.
Instead of exploring the cringe-worthy moments of young and new adulthood, Jessica Darling’s It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness and Perfection turns back the clock in favor of junior high. Yes, the book is the first in a new series for middle-graders, but have no fear, older readers: It’s been called “a gift for Jessica Darling fans.” All of your favorite (and not-so favorite) characters are there, albeit younger and perhaps a tad less jaded (but just a tad — this is Jessica Darling, after all). It List starts on the day before seventh grade when Jessica’s older sister Bethany presents her with the “It List,” a list of instructions to continue “Darling Domination of Popularity.” Jessica tries to stick to the list, to hilarious (and often painful) effect.
There are still a few months to go before the book’s release date, but you can check out the brand-new cover below, then read our full interview with McCafferty afterwards. READ FULL STORY
Where Things Come Back author John Corey Whaley, who won the Michael L. Printz Prize for Excellence in Young-Adult Literature in 2012, will come back in April 2014 with his completely different follow-up novel, Noggin. Here’s the official, very intriguing plot summary of Noggin; plus, read a quick Q&A with Whaley: READ FULL STORY
Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale, the third installment of The Bane Chronicles (co-written by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan) debuts next week. But today, we can exclusively reveal the cover. In fact, EW will be revealing the all the covers for the remaining stories in the-serialization—one a month until January 2014. Check it out after the jump. READ FULL STORY
Crime novelist and comic book author Charlie Huston once again melds pulp and tech in his upcoming thriller Skinner (out July 9). The titular character — named after the Skinner box he was raised in — is a particularly effective “asset protector” whose brutal methods have left him on the fringes of the intelligence community.
Now, an ornate and evolving cyber-terrorist attack is about to end that long exile. His asset is Jae, a roboticist with a gift for seeing the underlying systems violently shaping a new era of global guerrilla warfare.
At the root of it all is a young boy, the innocent seed of a plot grown in the slums of Mumbai. Brought to flower, that plot will tip the balance of world power in a perilous new direction.
See the trailer for Skinner below! READ FULL STORY
It’s still months before we hear from Bloodlines‘ Sydney or Adrian again, but Richelle Mead has a new novel to keep you occupied in the meantime. It’s called Gameboard of the Gods and it’s the first in her Age of X series. That’s right: After years of YA, the author has finally returned to her adult roots with an ambitious (and sexy!) sci-fi outing.
In Gameboard of the Gods, the world as we know it was nearly destroyed by religious extremists and faith has been outlawed. Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of the supernatural and the divine. But when a series of ritualistic murders bear a disturbingly paranormal quality, Justin is the only man for the job. Together with Mae Koskinen, a technologically-enhanced super soldier, he’s assigned to solve the cases, but their discoveries put them in untold danger. Something’s preparing to make its move on the world — and the human race is merely its pawn. EW spoke to Mead about the inspiration behind Gameboard, a possible Bloodlines spinoff, and the importance of hair dye in the Vampire Academy movie.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What inspired you to write Gameboard of the Gods?
RICHELLE MEAD: It came from this whole different assortment of things that I kind of put together. My background is in religion and mythology, so this whole idea of a futuristic world that turns its back on religion and then gets plagued by the supernatural had always kind of been kicking around in my head. I actually first thought of it before Succubus Blues, my first published novel, but it took a long time for me to write it. It’s more detailed and complex. READ FULL STORY
Poet Jason Mott’s upcoming novel The Returned has a good chance of being one of the breakout debuts of the year. In addition to garnering rave pre-publication reviews, it’s been adapted into a TV pilot starring Omar Epps, which has been picked up for series by ABC. The Returned is the story of what happens when people start returning to their loved ones from the beyond. When Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s son Jacob, who died on his eighth birthday in 1966, appears on their doorstep, they can’t agree on whether they boy is real or a wondrous imitation. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse.
Check out the trailer for The Returned below! READ FULL STORY
See the title and an excerpt from the sequel to 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' -- EXCLUSIVE
In 2011, Ransom Riggs spun a chilling fantasy story from a collection of creepy vintage photographs. The follow-up to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — which EW can exclusively reveal will be titled Hollow City — begins in 1940, immediately after the first novel ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends flee to London, the peculiar capital of the world, where more danger awaits them. Once again, Hollow City (out Jan. 14) will come complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly unsettling) vintage photographs. Are you ready to be haunted again? Check out the first excerpt below! READ FULL STORY
Hot Memorial Day reading: Christina Lauren talks 'Beautiful Bastard' follow-up, 'Beautiful Stranger' -- EXCLUSIVE
The first holiday of summer is upon us and we’ve got just the steamy romance to spice up your Memorial Day weekend: Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren. The follow-up to the best-selling Beautiful Bastard is already available on Kindle, but hits shelves in paperback May 28. We took the time to speak to the two lovely ladies behind the popular erotica novels, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings (together, they make the pen name Christina Lauren), about their latest release, their thoughts on the fan fic phenom, and their foray into YA.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’re speaking to us from Paris while promoting Beautiful Bastard. What’s the reception been like over there?
CHRISTINA HOBBS: Well, it was really funny because both our husbands went sightseeing today while we were working and they went into this little random drugstore in Paris and saw fifty copies of Beautiful Bastard. It’s crazy! Even at home, every time I walk into a Target or something and see the book, it doesn’t feel real.
Beautiful Bastard originated as Twilight fan fiction much like Fifty Shades of Grey, but your new book Beautiful Stranger is 100% original. How did the experience differ from writing Bastard?
LAUREN BILLINGS: I think for Beautiful Bastard, we really liked the revision process. In fact for BB, that was all I had to really do. I came in, just for the editing part — tore it up, re-wrote the ending, that kind of thing. It was really different because it was just revisions. We didn’t really have expectations for what was going to happen with it. With Stranger, the pressure was on because we sold it in this deal to Gallery Books and we wanted to really deliver and make sure it was something that would show that we had grown as writers. So, while the drafting and revision stage were both a little more stressful, it was also more fun. We felt from the beginning this might actually be a good follow-up.
What’s the idea behind Beautiful Stranger? It’s not a direct sequel to Bastard.
BILLINGS: We had a few different ideas that had been bouncing around, and when we got the deal with Gallery, we weren’t really sure which to go with. So we proposed a few and the one that ended up being Stranger was one that Christina had come up with, which was based off the idea of, what happens if you meet someone at a bar? At first, I was like, where are we going to take that? We started talking about it and it just grew from there. Interestingly, the other one that we had loved the most became Beautiful Player, the third book in the series.
So tell me, have you ever had a kinky dalliance with your boss? Or taken home a tall, handsome stranger from a bar?
BILLINGS: [Laughs] I have. In grad school. [[Pauses] Before I met my husband, I definitely had some flirty hook-up nights. But nothing quite like that.
HOBBS: I haven’t because I am married to my high school sweetheart.
How does Max, the protagonist of Beautiful Stranger, compare to Bastard‘s Bennett?
BILLINGS: We say Max is the sugar. Max is just this big, charming sugar. He doesn’t have any pretenses; he doesn’t need to be defensive about his feelings. In that sense he’s very different from Bennett, who is caught off guard by how he feels for Chloe, so it comes out in defensiveness and anger, that sort of heat that a lot of people really love. Max is the opposite of that — he feels what he feels. He doesn’t have the need to explain it away.
What I love about this series is that it’s not really serious. Despite the comparisons, it’s really nothing like Fifty Shades.
BILLINGS: I’m so glad you say that. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We write these books quickly and we have a really good time. We just sort of let them come, ha ha. Pun intended.
HOBBS: We just really want readers to laugh and blush and swoon. If it gives them a few hours of escape, then we feel like we’ve done exactly what we’ve wanted.
Since Bastard started as fan fic, it’s obviously somewhat polarizing. Can you talk about the reaction you’ve gotten from readers?
BILLINGS: I think it’s a sticky issue. A lot of fan fiction out there, it either has a root in the sort of vampire world of Twilight or it has the same emotional beat as Twilight: the stalker-y male, the demure, shy female. And I think that is sort of where it gets a little sticky. The thing about fic is that there’s a whole world of fic out there that has writers that explored their own ability to write things, but it really had no root in the Twilight world. Those are the ones that are in more of a gray area. It didn’t have that much of a connection to the original work. What happened was when Fifty Shades of Grey published, there was a lot of backlash because that was the first really big one. It wasn’t the first one to publish, but it was the first really big one. And it was the first one to hit it huge, obviously. So people had a lot of feelings about that. With our deal, we had some of that same reaction because people felt that we were exploiting them in some sense. The point is that people who really don’t like the book tend to be the ones that also have strong feelings about the origin and don’t really see it for being separate from the original. People who come into it not really knowing the background, I think they think it’s fun. With Stranger, which is completely original, I think most people, at least as far as I can see, just really love it. It’s a fun, swoon story and they’re having a good time reading it.
Finally, talk to me about your upcoming YA novel.
HOBBS: For both of us, the thing that we love so much about YA is that it’s such a time of self-discovery, when you’re learning who you’re going to be. You have all these amazing things, like first kisses and first loves and first heartbreaks. At our heart, we’re romance writers, so our YA is always going to reflect that. This one, though it’s pretty steamy for YA [laughs.]
The paperback edition of Beautiful Stranger hits shelves May 28. The Kindle edition is currently available.
Read an exclusive excerpt from ‘Beautiful Stranger,’ the follow-up to the steamy ‘Twilight’ fanfic ‘Beautiful Bastard’
Check out the cover for the ‘Twilight’ fanfic turned novel ‘Beautiful Bastard’ — EXCLUSIVE
The ‘Fifty Shades’ bump: More ‘Twilight’ fanfiction is being turned into novels
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