February 27, 2012

AnnaSophia Robb joins 'The Carrie Diaries'

The Carrie Diaries finds a lead, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Anna Sophia Robb (Soul Surfer) has been chosen to play the young Carrie Bradshaw in the CW drama The Carrie Diaries, based on the series by Candace Bushnell.  The series is a prequel to Sex and the City and follows Carrie Bradshaw in her teens as she deals with high school.  The show will be set in New York City in the 1980's.

This news also puts to rest all of the rumors going around about who might be taking the lead, with names like Blake Lively, Emma Roberts, and Miley Cyrus being thrown around.

Amy B. Harris (Sex and the City; Gossip Girl) will be writing the script and executive producing this project.

Aside from her most recent film, Soul Surfer, AnnaSophia Robb can also be seen in Race to Witch Mountain, Bridge to Terabithia, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Here's a side-by-side of the two Carrie Bradshaw's:

[Review] Partials by Dan Wells

The year is 2076 and the human race is going extinct. 
Partials were engineered as weapons to help win the Isolation War.  Partials look just like humans, but they’re machines - faster and stronger than humans. They won the war easily and five years later they turned against the human race. They released a virus into the air and killed 99% of the world’s population. Now, the average lifespan of a human child is fifty-six hours and the youngest human on the planet is fourteen- years-old.  The survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island with a newly created government and civilization. In an effort to maximize their chances of giving birth to a new generation of humans with a resistance to the virus, the Hope Act was passed, requiring all women of a certain age to get pregnant as soon as possible, and to be pregnant as often as possible.

Kira is sixteen-years-old. She just started her internship as a medic and has already seen at least ten babies die. When her best friend gets pregnant, Kira makes up her mind to do what doctors and researchers haven’t been able to do in the past decade – cure the virus.

Even though Kira is a teenager, Partials doesn’t read like it’s written from the point of view of a teenager. I guess growing up in the kind of world that Dan Wells has created will make anyone mature quickly.  Kira is smart and extremely determined; that kind of determination puts Kira in dangerous situations.  When you couple that with a race against time, Partials becomes a fast-paced and thrilling novel that’s difficult to put down.  Romance?  Kind of.  But it’s more action and plot than romance, making this a good novel for the guys as well.  There are, however, moments where the pace of the story really slows down. For instance, when Kira is researching the virus, her thought process sometimes gets a little tedious. But then a high-stakes moment comes along that revs up the pace once again.   

Dan Wells created a world that is so rich with detail and so terrifyingly plausible – I’m reminded why I love post-apocalyptic novels. There’s not a major cliffhanger but there is a twist that is revealed near the end that sets the reader up for the next installment – Fragments (Partials #2), which is expected for publication in 2013.

eBook provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  

February 24, 2012

[Friday Links] Aimee Teegarden Joins CW's 'The Selection'

The recently published Firelight by Sophie Jordan has been optioned for film by Mandalay Entertainment.

Advance tickets for The Hunger Games movie went on sale on Wednesday, February 22 and has already sold out hundreds of show times, and the movie doesn't release for another month.  Fans who buy their advance tickets on Fandango will also get a free iTunes song download  - ends 4/13/12

 Lily Collins (Abduction; Mirror, Mirror) considers the title role in Rosaline, a film based on the debut novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle.

Preview Philippa Gregory's first YA novel 'Changeling'

Philippa Gregory, the author of several best-selling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, pens her first historical novel aimed at young adults. Changeling is the first installment in The Order of Darkness series and is expected for release on May 22.  However, if you're interested in taking a look at the first 25 pages of this forthcoming novel right now, you can read the special preview below the synopsis.

About Changeling (from Goodreads)
The year is 1453. Eighteen-year-old Luca De Vere is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days. 

February 22, 2012

'The Night Circus' Getting the Movie Treatment

Movie and TV rights to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern have been snatched by Summit Entertainment.  The Night Circus is a New York Times Bestseller and Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre) will be writing the script for this popular novel about a fantastical circus and two young illusionists who are pitted against one another in a fierce contest that will span their lives.

David Heyman (Harry Potter) and Jeff Clifford are on board to produce this adaptation.

About The Night Circus (from Goodreads):
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. 
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 

February 20, 2012

60+ Literary Tattoos: From the Amazing to the 'What Were You Thinking?!'

I sometimes entertain the idea of getting a tattoo - something small, maybe something cute - but I've never gone through with it. I've accompanied a few of my braver friends to tattoo parlors while THEY get something cute, all the while internally cringing at the idea of standing that close to the needle and all the unpleasant noise it makes.  Plus, there's that whole "permanent" part to consider.  
Yeah, I obviously don't have the guts to go through with it at this point. 

As a lover of books, however, I'm fascinated by the bookish things that people are willing to have permanently etched into their skin.  Some of which are pretty amazing while others are... well, not so much. 

If you're also fascinated by such things, take a look at these literary tats, from the good to the "what were you thinking?!"  In no particular order.

February 17, 2012

[Friday Links] Will Smith Expected to Return in Another Installment of 'I Am Legend'

iBookstore adds new features for publishers, including screenshot support, a
feature that can be useful for books with illustrations and special
audio/visual content.

USA Today looks at new tools for those looking to self-publish. 

Charlotte's Web tops the list of "100 Greatest Books for Kids"

The recent release of the movie The Vow boosts sales of the movie-tie-in edition, landing the paperback at number 7 of USA Today's Best-Selling Books list.  

Amanda Knox signs a $4m book deal with HarperCollins.

Warner Bros. is planning another installment of I Am Legend, based on the novel by Richard Matheson, with the intention of bringing Will Smith on board to reprise his role of Robert Neville.

Terry O'Quinn (LOST) lands his next TV gig - 666 Park Avenue, a supernatural drama on ABC based on the Alloy book series by Gabriella Pierce.

io9 lists 10 things from The Hunger Games books that the movies probably can't pull off. 

Stephenie Meyer finally updates her website and current projects, saying that the busyness will not be ending anytime soon with all three projects (Breaking DawnAustenland, and The Host) currently ongoing and that she's looking forward to this May, when she can be home for good and back at her computer.

On that note, a few lucky fans of The Host have a chance to appear in the first teaser trailer. 

February 16, 2012

Read the First 9 Chapters of 'Illusion' by Frank Peretti

Are you a fan of Frank Peretti - author of New York Times Bestsellers This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness?  Peretti's forthcoming novel, Illusion, is his first major release in 7 years and will be available on March 6, 2012.  The author, however, is offering the first 9 chapters right now as a Facebook exclusive.

I was able to get a review copy on Netgalley but I tried the Facebook thing to see how it worked.  Turns out, you have to "Like" the page, which I expected. But after that you only get the first chapter.  You also need to join the mailing list, which becomes an option after you click "Like" - by joining the mailing list you will immediately get emails with the access codes to chapters that are currently available.  In this case, 9 chapters are already available so you will get access codes to view them all right away. The more "Likes" the page gets the faster more chapters will be revealed.

The email I received from the marketing team for this book mentioned that 8 chapters would be available through Facebook, so since there are currently 9 chapters available, I'm curious if any more will be released before the publication date.

If you're interested in getting your hands on the first 9 chapters of Illusion, you can do that here.

You can also find Illusion on Goodreads.

February 13, 2012

Taylor Swift Premieres 'Safe & Sound' Video from 'The Hunger Games' Soundtrack

The official music video for "Safe & Sound" by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars - the first single on The Hunger Games Soundtrack - debuted this evening on MTV.

I admit that I was curious to see what kind of footage from the film made it into the music video, but I was surprised (not necessarily in a bad way) that there is no footage whatsoever. Though, the mockingjay pin does make an appearance.

 Even without clips from the film, the video captures the beautifully haunting and dreary feel of the song, which I can easily imagine in a couple of key scenes from the book - the cave scene?  Maybe even the part at the end when Katniss is preparing to eat the berries?  If you have no idea what I'm talking about then allow me to take this moment to recommend The Hunger Games to you.

If you missed the video, you can view it here:

The latest single that has been released is "One Engine" by The Decemberists: 
  One Engine by The Decemberists by mar-in-kinsey

The full tracklist for the soundtrack (via Stereogum): 

01 Taylor Swift (Feat. The Civil Wars) – “Safe & Sound” 
02 Taylor Swift – “Eyes Wide Open” 
03 Arcade Fire – “Abraham’s Daughter” 
04 Kid Cudi – “The Ruler & The Killer” 
05 Miranda Lambert (Feat. Pistol Annies) – “Run Daddy Run” 
06 The Civil Wars – “Kingdom Come” 
07 The Decemberists – “One Engine” 
08 Glen Hansard – “Take the Heartland” 
09 The Low Anthem – “Lover is Childlike” 
10 Punch Brothers – “Dark Days” 
11 Secret Sisters – “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” 
12 Birdy – “Just a Game” 
13 Ella Mae Bowen – “Oh Come & Sing” 
14 Jayme Dee – “Rules” 
15 Carolina Chocolate Drops – “Reaping Day” 
16 Neko Case – “Give Me Something I’ll Remember”

I thought Jennifer Lawrence would be on the soundtrack but I guess we'll be hearing her on the score of the film instead. 

The soundtrack will be available on March 20, just three days before the movie hits theaters.

February 10, 2012

[Friday Links] Hemingway is headed to HBO

HBO to release Hemingway and Gellhorn, which is - as the title suggests - a movie about Ernest Hemingway (Clive Owen) and Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman).

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a 15-minute short film that draw from, among other things, a love for books and has already won 13 awards including "Best Animated Short."  This short film is available online - I viewed it here.

A new Lemony Snicket book series will begin this fall with Who Could That Be At This Hour? - the first in a four volume series that is said to be a "highly autobiographical account of Snicket's childhood."

125 famous authors and 1 literary opinion poll of the Greatest Books of All Time - you can view the results here.

Robert Harris, author of a new financial thriller The Fear Index is currently working on a screenplay for the movie version. Harris also wrote the script for The Ghost Writer from his novel, The Ghost.

Emma Thompson is currently in negotiations to join the cast of Beautiful Creatures.

In a previous roundup I mentioned that Cormac McCarthy had written and sold a screenplay titled The Counselor.  Now the film is picking up momentum with talks of Ridley Scott committing to make this his next directing project.

Phase 4 Films takes rights to Horrid Henry: The Movie, based on Francesca Simon's popular children's series.

Gary Ross, director of The Hunger Games, tells MTV News that the first-person perspective of the books will be shown 'cinematically' and not through a voice-over.

February 8, 2012

[Review] Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

“I hadn’t killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.”

Calder and his sisters live in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior and they're out for revenge on Jason Hancock, a man they blame for the death of their mother.  Hancock has a fear of the water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock’s daughter, Lily.  The plan should be easy enough to execute considering Calder’s experience with charming unsuspecting girls, but then he falls in love with Lily just when she starts to become suspicious of creatures in the water; and just as his sisters begin to lose their patience with him.

Lies Beneath introduces a deadly mermaid - the kind that preys on humans, draining them of their energy until they’re lifeless beings, and then leaving them in the depths of the sea never to be found again. These mermaids and mermen are beautiful, they are masters of charm and manipulation, and while many are born to this life, many—like Calder—are made.  Vampires of the sea, perhaps?

Or not.  Anyway...

Lies Beneath had a slow start for me.  I kept waiting for that moment when it becomes impossible to put this book down.  Unfortunately that moment didn't come until I was nearing the end of the book, but it did come nonetheless.  I also didn't expect to like Calder at all - he was an excellent villain, along with his sisters - but the more I learned about him, the more I wanted him to find redemption.

There isn’t a lot of action in this story, but the author does a wonderful job with the main characters - Calder’s sisters had me thoroughly CREEPED out.  I wanted to spend more time with THEM.  Lily is strange, but spunky – she definitely falls into the “well-rounded” category thanks to her conversations with Calder and from his stalker-ish ways (Seriously! Hiding your nakedness behind a bush while you spy on a girl is weird no matter what species you are).

I think having the story told from Calder’s point-of-view was the best way to tell it, but I do wish there were a few chapters from Lily.  She has such a strong personality and she didn’t fall for Calder’s charm right away, but then she does a complete 180 and, suddenly, she’s the one chasing him.

Despite some of the issues I had, the ending gives me hope for the second book so I do plan on continuing the series.  I'm hoping that more information will be given about the merpeople, their history, and maybe a few more details about how they're created.  The sequel, Water Lily, will be told from Lily Hancock’s point of view.

My Rating: 3

Lies Beneath will be published on June 12, 2012.

eBook provided by the publisher via NetGalley

February 7, 2012

'Beautiful Creatures' Ethan and Lena have been Cast

For fans of Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, there was some big news announced today.  And I'm a fan of both the book and of big news so here you go. 

Jack O'Connell and Alice Englert have been cast as Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes. 

Last week there was news of Viola Davis taking the role of Amma. 

Filming will begin in New Orleans this April so we'll probably know who the rest of the cast is very soon, but these are definitely the big ones.

February 3, 2012

[Friday Links] 'The Help' Star Joins the Cast of Two Book-to-Film Adaptations

Lionsgate announces that The Hunger Games will be released in IMAX for one week.

Viola Davis, recently nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Help, signs on for her next two projects - both book-to-film adaptations. Davis takes a supporting role in Ender's Game and a leading role in Beautiful Creatures.

A casting call for extras in The Hobbit was shut down due to safety concerns after more than 3,000 hopefuls showed up for auditions.

Are you a fan of James Patterson's Maximum Ride series?  Are you heartbroken that the next installment, Nevermore (Aug 6) will also be the last?  USA Today has a Q&A with the author if you're interested in reading about his next projects.  One in particular is a YA detective series titled Confessions of a Murder Suspect - a story about a girl who is under suspicion for two murders.

Book Expo America, traditionally open to industry professionals, may soon be open to the public.

 Romance author Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark series) lands a deal with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.  Cole's first Young Adult novel, Poison Princess - the first installment in The Arcana Chronicles series - is set for publication on October 12.

According to a recent article from The Hollywood Reporter, 7.5 MILLION copies of The Hunger Games books have been sold since the release of the first theatrical trailer in November.

February 2, 2012

Adaptations Releasing in February

Considering all of the book to movie adaptations that continue to grace the big screen, it's evident that books are often the source for some awesome movies. 

Here's a look at the literary adaptations that are coming to theaters this month.

Big Miracle
The tale of a small town news reporter and a Greenpeace volunteer who are joined by rival world superpowers to save a family of majestic gray whales.
Release Date: February 3, 2012
Based on Book: Freeing the Whales by Tom Rose

Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Ken Kwapis
Screenwriter: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler 
Starring: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Kristen Bell
MPAA Rating: PG

The Woman in Black
The story follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who is ordered to travel to a remote village and sort out a deceased client's papers.  As he works alone in the client's isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover tragic secrets, his unease growing when he glimpses a mysterious woman dressed only in black. 
Release Date: February 3, 2012
Based on Book: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Studio: CBS Films
Director: James Watkins
Screenwriter: Jane Goldman 
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Liz White
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Followup to Journey to the Center of the Earth.  Seventeen-year-old Sean Anderson receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It's a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean's new step-father, Hank, joins the quest.    
Release Date: February 10, 2012
Based on Book: The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Brad Peyton
Screenwriter: Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn 
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens
MPAA Rating: PG

The Secret World of Arriety
Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world, where the smallest may stand tallest of all.
Release Date: February 17, 2012
Based on Book: The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: English Version: Gary Rydstrom
Screenwriter: English Version: Karey Kirkpatrick 
Starring: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett
MPAA Rating: NA

Yahoo! Movies Debuts New Trailer for 'The Hunger Games'

A brand-spanking new trailer for The Hunger Games has been released by Yahoo! Movies and is expected to air during the Super Bowl pre-game show.  Lionsgate isn't messing around when it comes to the promotion of this film.

There's footage that was shown in the first trailer, but also some new footage that makes it worth watching.

Can you believe there's just 50 days left until the release?