Welcome to the May edition of The Teen Menu.
Though this isn't really YA news, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has launched a new website in anticipation of the release of her first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, this September.
The long wait is over. The Pottermore site for all things Harry Potter has launched. Check it out for all sorts of magical fun and info. It's been reported that more than $4.8 million worth of Harry Potter e-books have been sold in the first month via Pottermore, and more than 5 million new members have been added to the site since it opened April 14. And yes, I'm one of them.
The makers of the movie version of Ender's Game have started a Tumblr feed with shots from the production of the movie.
Director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Water for Elephants) has been announced as the director for Catching Fire, the sequel to the wildly successful The Hunger Games.
Three new photos of the main characters of Breaking Dawn Part II brooding were recently released.
Author Stephenie Meyer will be optioning the rights to Lois Duncan's 1974 YA novel, Down a Dark Hall, along with Fickle Fish Films. But first she has to wrap up her producer duties on the movie version of Shannon Hale's Austenland.
Back in March, Romance Writers of America announced the finalists for its annual RITA Awards. I always try to read as many of the finalists in the Young Adult category as I can. So over the next few months, I'll be bringing you reviews of these finalists as I finish reading them. Here are the finalists:
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Flawless by Lara Chapman
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Warped by Maurissa Guibord
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
The winner will be announced at the RWA conference in July.
First up is Janet Gurtler's I'm Not Her. While I love paranormal/dystopian YA, it was nice and refreshing to read a contemporary story about an everyday girl who is thrust into not a fight to save the world but an everyday fight to get through tough times. Tess, the younger of two teenage sisters, is the heroine of this book. She's the smart sister while her older sister, Kristina, is the popular, sporty one. And this isn't a typical tale where there is boatloads of sibling rivalry with the bookish sister desperately wanting to be like her older, popular sister. Tess is fine with who she is, until she is thrust into midst of the high school popular crowd when Kristina is diagnosed with cancer and all her popular friends are constantly asking Tess how she is.
I'm Not Her explores how Tess deals with not only concern about whether Kristina will get better, but also her new visible status at school, interest from boys, and Kristina's sudden desire not to see any of her friends. Tess suddenly not only has to make excuses for Kristina, but also has to step into the role of being the responsible one in the family when her parents don't do the best job of dealing with Kristina's illness. The story feels very real and doesn't fall into some of the cliches we often see in "cancer stories." It's well worth the read.
Watch for my review of another RITA nominee in next month's Teen Menu.