Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: YA (21-30 of 317)

Ava Dellaira talks debut novel, 'Love Letters to the Dead'

Love-Letters-to-the-Dead.jpg

I love it when my pop culture and YA worlds collide. So it’s really no surprise that I gobbled up Ava Dellaira’s debut novel, Love Letters to the Dead (out now). In Love Letters, the main character, Laurel, is given an assignment in English class: Write a letter to a dead person. She chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. May died young, just like Kurt did. But what starts as a simple assignment turns into a notebook full of letters to people such as Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and more. Laurel’s letters help her process her feelings and grief surrounding May’s death. This book is a sweet, poignant debut that you won’t want to miss. Here, Dellaira talks about the inspiration for the book and her connection to fellow author Stephen Chbosky. READ FULL STORY

See the cover of Scott Westerfeld's new novel 'Afterworlds' -- EXCLUSIVE

afterworlds.jpg

Scott Westerfeld, the author of the extremely popular Uglies and Leviathan series, has a new novel novel coming out on Sept. 23. Afterworlds is a suspenseful thriller about a young writer, Darcy Patel, who arrives in New York City with a contract to write a YA novel. There’s a meta element: Darcy’s novel-within-the-novel, also called Afterworlds — about a girl who delves into a realm between the living and the dead to hide out during a terrorist attack — is woven into Darcy’s narrative as she learns to navigate life in the city.

Check out the exclusive cover to Afterworlds above!

See the cover of the final 'Bane Chronicles' installment -- EXCLUSIVE

BANE-CHRONICLES

The final installment of The Bane Chronicles arrives next week (March 18). In The Course of True Love (And First Dates), titular character Magnus Bane shares his first date with Alec Lightwood. Check out our first look at the cover above. And now that we’ve (almost) reached the end of the spin-off series by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan we can talk about the hardcover release of The Bane Chronicles. Due Nov. 11, the book will feature the 10 already-released original e-short stories, and will include a never-before-seen 11th tale. The hardcover will also feature 10 illustrated scenes. Are you excited about The Bane Chronicles, Shelf Lifers?

On The Books: Grasshopper Jungle might be a movie

grasshopper-jungle.jpg

Hollywood hasn’t finished with the story trend of teens struggling to find their identity in a post-apocalyptic dystopia yet.  The most recent YA novel to get snatched up by movie executives is Grasshopper Jungle, which was just optioned by Sony. Scott Rosenberg (Con Air, Beautiful Girls, High Fidelity) plans to adapt the script. The novel is about a 16-year-old boy who inadvertently unleashes a plague of insects that turn the populace into mindless super-soldiers looking to eat, have sex and kill things — basically a bizarre take on the Pandora’s Box myth. Apparently author Andrew Smith carries it off with some verve though because we gave it an A- in our review. Movie-wise, I’d say this would come in around Planet of the Apes mixed with 28 Days Later and multiplied by that Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, “Teachers Pet.” Can’t wait.

A new campaign called Let Books Be Books aims to end gender bias in the presentation of children’s books. They’re calling for publishers to remove “for boys” and “for girls” labels from kids books, as well as make the covers more gender neutral. This idea has been swirling for a long time, but it seems to be gaining more momentum recently…or maybe I’m just thinking of that amazing GoldieBox commercial for girl’s toys. [Guardian]

On that note, there’s a great essay by Anna Holmes in The New Yorker called “How to be a Good Bad American Girl.” Holmes looks at the legacy of troublesome little girls in American literature, specifically Harriet the Spy and To Kill A Mockingbird. “Harper Lee and Louise Fitzhugh taught their readers that difference, nonconformity, and even subversion should be celebrated in young girls,” she writes. “These qualities are the prerequisites for, and not the enemies of, creativity, curiosity, and insight.” [New Yorker]

The longlist of 20 nominees for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was just announced today. Lots of great women made the cut. I don’t envy the judges’ job of narrowing this down to a winner for June, 4th. Check out the nominees below.

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
  • Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam
  • Suzanne Berne, The Dogs of Littlefield
  • Fatima Bhutto, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
  • Claire Cameron, The Bear
  • Lea Carpenter, Eleven Days
  • M.J. Carter, The Strangler Vine
  • Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
  • Deborah Kay Davies, Reasons She Goes to the Woods
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things
  • Hannah Kent, Burial Rites
  • Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland
  • Audrey Magee, The Undertaking
  • Eimear McBride, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
  • Charlotte Mendelson, Almost English
  • Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs
  • Elizabeth Strout, The Burgess Boys
  • Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
  • Evie Wyld, All The Birds, Singing

New speed reading technology might change reading forever

Spritz.jpg

Imagine if you could read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in a mere 77 minutes. Or latest YA favorite Divergent in just 105 minutes. Or a huge classic novel — like Les Miserables, which has roughly 560,000 words of text — in nine hours.

You can speed read through these books — as well as emails, news articles and blogs — thanks to tech company Spritz, which is promising to change reading forever by altering the way readers view and process text. No more poring over lengthy sentences or losing your place on a page — instead, Spritz  is offering readers the chance to process text at speeds as high as 1,000 words per minute.

Spritz will be releasing its technology on the yet-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2 watch, the company recently announced at the Mobil World Congress in Barcelona. And with the phone or watch, readers will be able to process text one word at a time at various scrolling speeds. Whether one opts for 250 or 1,000 words per minute, Spritz is counting on making the brain change the way it expects and analyzes texts.

It turns out that Spritz is basing its technology on a well-established speed reading method called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation. Based on the same premise that trained speed readers use, the special display technology saves readers the time of reading a page from left to right by placing text at one spot at a specified speed. Add to that some fancy jargon called “Optimal Recognition Point” — ORP for short — which, according to Spritz’s blog, refers to highlighting certain text red so that your eye never needs to move from a central viewing point, and you’ve got the recipe for tackling the Bible in 13 hours flat.

But what happens when the eye processes words — instead of relying on the brain to analyze context? The Boston-based start up isn’t the first to develop a speed reading app — vapps like Velocity and Speed Reading Trainer for Android  can be downloaded for just a few bucks — but EW has confirmed they are pitchings its technology to global tech giants like Google, Yahoo and Apple.

So will Spritz prove an effective tool at tackling the hundreds of emails that seem to flood the average corporate employee daily? Or will authors find themselves competing for audiences for whom the story, instead of its delivery and prose, matters most? And what happens when the core of what makes great books great — the composed phrases that make us laugh, cry, ache and crave more — gets reduced to mere words? We know that technology  in the form of  e-readers has given a new generation a platform by which to consume books, but will the love and pleasure of reading be changed forever if pleasure can be reduced down to WPM? Are we saying “hello” to a new age of Cliff Notes — or beginning the process or saying “goodbye” to a form of communication that’s been established for centuries?

Octavia Spencer in conversation with Nate Foster of 'Five, Six, Seven, Nate!' -- EXCLUSIVE

Get ready for a cuteness overload. Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster (of Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever and the newly released sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate!) recently took a break from rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical to interview Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, author of The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit. Spencer imparts wisdom and wit that will enlighten us all, whether or not we’re budding Broadway stars. READ FULL STORY

See new cover for Judy Blume's 'Then Again, Maybe I Won't' -- EXCLUSIVE

Then-Again.jpg

Simon & Schuster are bringing Judy Blume to a whole new generation by repackaging some of the beloved author’s best-known novels. EW already revealed the other updated looks—check them out here and here. Today we’ve got a peek at the new cover for Then Again, Maybe I Won’t (above), featuring the tagline “Why can’t things stay the same?” What do you think of the, Shelf Lifers? These editions will be available beginning April 29.

See the cover for Veronica Roth's 'Four: A Divergent Collection' -- EXCLUSIVE

Divergent-Cover-Four.jpg

We’ve got Divergent fever over here at EW. Just check out this week’s cover. To add some more fuel to the YA fire, we’ve got an exclusive first look at the covers of Four: A Divergent Collection. Four is a companion volume to the Divergent series. The hardcover includes four pre-Divergent stories told from Tobias’s point of view, along with two exclusive scenes, also told from his point of view. Each of the stories will be available separately in electronic format. The first story, “The Transfer,” was released last year and the others will be released on July 8—the same day as the hardcover collection.

The first three pieces in this volume—“The Transfer,” “The Initiate,” and “The Son”—follow Tobias’s transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, “The Traitor,” runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty—and love—that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior. So without further ado, check out the brand-new covers!

THE TRANSFER

Divergent-Cover-Transfer.jpg

THE INITIATE

Divergent-Cover-Initiate.jpg

THE SON

Divergent-Cover-Son.jpg

THE TRAITOR

Divergent-Cover-Traitor.jpg

Watch the trailer for Sally Green's 'Half Bad' -- EXCLUSIVE

Half-Bad.jpg

Half Bad, the first book in Sally Green’s highly anticipated new trilogy, hits shelves March 4. The novel has already sold in 45 countries and been optioned for film by Fox, with Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight) producing. And if that’s not enough proof that people are excited about Half Bad, even other author’s are raving about it: Life After Life‘s Kate Atkinson said, “A book about witches with no owls and not a pair of round spectacles in sight. The new Hunger Games, I suspect.” READ FULL STORY

See the cover of Becca Fitzpatrick's 'Black Ice'. Plus, an announcement about her next book -- EXCLUSIVE

Black-Ice.jpg

We’ve got exciting news for Becca Fitzpatrick fans! Her next novel, Black Ice, doesn’t hit shelves until Oct. 7, but here’s an exclusive first look at the cover (above). “The cover captures not only the ruthless setting, but the characters as well,” Fitzpatrick told EW in an exclusive statement. “Under the winter layers, we catch a glimpse of an irresistible bad boy—the kind I love writing so much.” READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP