Welcome to the December edition of The Teen Menu. Hard to believe we're almost through another year, but it's been one full of wonderful young adult books. And I'm sure 2012 will be filled with even more.
The Hollywood Reporter recently offered up a deleted scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, which is on the Blu-ray disc. In this scene, Harry, Ron and Hermione are plotting to get into Bellatrix Lestrange's vault at Gringotts Bank.
In other Harry Potter news, Universal and Warner Brothers announced this week that a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park will be built in Los Angeles at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. This park will be a twin to the one in Orlando. No timeline for construction or opening was announced, but it should be good for the struggling L.A. economy. Officials said the construction alone should create about 800 new jobs.
Just in case you haven't seen it yet, the first full-length trailer for The Hunger Games has been released, and it's awesome! I cannot wait to see this movie.
Most people associated Stephenie Meyer with the Twilight saga, but she also released a very enjoyable book titled The Host. Casting is under way for the movie based on the book. Saoirse Ronan is set to play Melanie, and buzz is that Jake Abel is the frontrunner to play Ian and Max Irons will likely get the role of Jared.
This month I read the final installment in Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy. Goliath lived up to its name at 543 pages. I was already a fan of Westerfeld's work, particularly his Midnighters series, before starting this trilogy. So the fact that I enjoy his stories added to the fact that I've liked every steampunk story I've read led me to the Leviathan series, which began with Leviathan and was followed by Behemoth and finally Goliath.
This book concludes the story, at least this chapter of the story, of airship midshipman Deryn Sharp, who poses as a boy named Dylan Sharp in order to fulfill her dream of serving aboard Britain's premiere airship, Leviathan. It turns out that she is a quite a good airman and has had one grand adventure after another alongside her unlikely friend and ally, Prince Aleksandar of Hohenburg, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. Deryn is hiding more than the fact she's a girl, however. There's also the fact that despite the fact he's a prince and she's a commoner, she is falling for Alek. But she keeps that inside until partway through this final chapter because there is more at stake than her feelings. For instance, she and Alek are doing their part to try to bring the brutal First World War to an end. In Westerfeld's world, this war is being fought between familiar countries, but they are known as Clankers (those who depend on machines) and Darwinists (those who depend on fabricated beasts, such as Leviathan itself, a fabricated whale/airship).
In Goliath, Westerfeld weaves more threads of true history into this fantastical tale. For instance, Nikola Tesla plays an important role as does newspaperman William Randolph Hearst and a meteor impact in a remote part of Siberia. And perhaps most important of all, we find out whether Deryn ever reveals she's a girl to those around her and whether she and Alek can somehow make a relationship work.