Monday, January 10, 2011

The Teen Menu

Welcome to a new year, a new decade! I'm sure 2011 is going to be filled with loads of wonderful books, too many to read no matter how hard I try. I do have a goal of reading 100 books this year. Considering I managed only 52 in 2010, it's going to be a challenge.

I've read a lot of good YA in the past month, and in this edition of The Teen Menu, I'm going to talk about a couple of them. First up we have a new release, Matched by Ally Condie. I listened to this title and really enjoyed it. It's set in a future "perfect" world called the Society in which long, healthy, safe lives are assured to citizens. But the trade-off, which becomes more and more clear to the heroine, Cassia Reyes, is an existence without choice. Every citizen is told by the Society officials what to wear, what and when to eat, what job they will have, even who to marry. All of these decisions are evidently made based solely on statistics. For instance, as the title of the book indicates, each teen is matched with the member of the opposite sex with whom they are statistically most likely to have healthy children. Cassia, who has been up until now an obedient member of the Society, starts having questions when she looks at her hand-held port (a piece of technology with a video screen) the day after her match banquet and sees not her match but another boy, one she knows. With each question and each layer of the Society Cassia peels back, the less she likes what she sees. And she faces the question of whether she's truly meant to be with her match or with the boy with whom she's falling in love.

Matched is the first book in a trilogy. Crossed, the second book, will be out in November of this year. To learn more about Condie and her books, visit her website.

And speaking of series, I finished the third book in Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series, City of Glass. We have more big, fate-of-the-world stuff in this tale, but it's a world filled with vampires, werewolves, faeries, and Nephilim (the demon-fighting Shadowhunters). A big showdown between the big baddie, Valentine, and the Shadowhunters has been building for three books, and we get it here. On one side we have the establishment in the Shadowhunter world; on the other we have Valentine and his followers, who have very different ideas about how the world should be run and how Nephilim should act, especially in regards to "Downworlders" (aka the vampires, werewolves, warlocks, etc.). But the world is rarely black and white, is it? We also get a resolution to what has seemed to be a forbidden love for the series' central character, Clary Fray. City of Glass has enough suspense, mystery, love, action and loss to keep you turning the pages.

YA News

According to Cassandra Clare's site, actress Lily Collins (at right), who was in The Blind Side, has been cast to play Clary in the upcoming City of Bones movie. I think she looks great for the part. She has a very ethereal look about her and embodies what one could imagine angelic qualities would look like.

In more casting news, Taylor Lautner has been cast to play Finn in the upcoming movie adaptation of Incarceron based on the book by Catherine Fisher.


  1. Another fabulous month for YA!! Thanks for sharing all the information, Trish!

  2. Wow, Matched sounds like a really interesting book! I'll definitely have to check that out!

  3. Hey, Trish! Sorry, I'm late. My kids are out of school and may be tomorrow, too. Thanks for another great update in all things YA. :)

    Cassandra Clare's series sounds really good. And if they're making it into a movie, then I guess someone else thought so, too! I'm really looking forward to all the upcoming YA movies based on books. Apparantly, it's the "in" thing!

  4. Lots of great YA news! I can always count on you, Trish to let me know what's going on so I can keep up with the YA genre.

    I agree with you on the actress from The Blind Side. I think she'll be perfect in that part.

  5. Thanks, Buffie.

    Trisha, Matched is a really interesting story. But then I'm a big fan of the utopia-gone-bad stories.

    Andrea, I'm looking forward to the YA movies based on books too. I've been re-watching the first five Harry Potter movies that I recorded last month, and it just makes me remember how much I've loved those books and movies. Another awesome looking movie that is due out next month is I Am Number Four.

  6. PJ, I can't wait to see who they cast as Jace in those Mortal Instruments movies. I hope the casting is as good as it was for Clary. There is a fan movement afoot to get Alex Pettyfer (who is in I Am Number Four) that part.

  7. Trish, thanks for keeping us up to date on the YA front. Of course, you keep recommending more books for me to add to my out of control list. ;-) When will I find the time to read them all??

  8. Yes! I saw a trailer for I Am Number Four and it looks really good! Can't wait.

    Oh, and I can watch the Harry Potter movies over and over again (and do) and I never get tired of them. They are truly something special.

  9. Thanks for the reviews and good information. These are all books on my I Want To Read List, but there just isn't enough time to read many of them. I got the Mortal Instruments series for the library while I was working there. I hope they are keeping it up.