It's here, release month for the first part of the movie version of Breaking Dawn. Chances are if you haven't seen some reference to it (trailers, magazine covers, etc.), you've been spelunking in a cave for weeks.
This isn't particularly YA-related, but it is important to many of us who have been readers for as long as we can remember. This month, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) celebrated its 45th anniversary. I can distinctly remember how excited I was whenever the RIF book fair came to my school each year. All those awesome new books fostered my love of reading which continues today.
Entertainment Weekly's website has some awesome new character posters from the upcoming Hunger Games movie. They're simple, and I think that's what makes them so beautiful. You see Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Rue, Haymitch, Cinna, Cato and Effie in profile.
This month I finished reading Fury of the Phoenix, the sequel to Cindy Pon's wonderful Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia, which I reviewed here previously. In Fury, the heroine, Ai Ling, leaves Xia (based on ancient China) and stows away on a ship bound for the faraway land of Jiang Dao because she believes the boy she cares deeply about, Chen Yong, who is on board, is in serious danger. When Chen Yong and the ship's crew discover her, she and Chen Yong have to pose as brother and sister. Though that allows her to be close to Chen Yong, it's difficult to hide her true feelings from those around them.
They are on the way to Jiang Dao in search of Chen Yong's birth father, so this book has that same sense of adventure-on-the-road that Silver Phoenix had. It had less overall action and excitement, but it still kept me turning the pages to figure out exactly what was going on with the alternating stories. We had Ai Ling and Chen Yong's present story, but we also got to see the past of Zhong Ye, the ruthless man Ai Ling had been forced to marry and who she sent to the underworld. We see that he wasn't always so, that there was a reason he grew hard and cruel, a reason that Ai Ling has had unexplained powers that have allowed her to look into others' minds and control them.
Along with the unraveling of these mysteries, the relationship between Ai Ling and Chen Yong continues to grow, but not without its bumpy patches.