One of the best books I've read in recent years is Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief. So it's cool news that Fox 2000 is set to begin production on a movie version this summer. Deadline.com recently reported that director Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) will direct the film.
We are a mere 13 days away from the opening of The Hunger Games in theaters. I suspect it is going to have a huge opening weekend box office take. The artists on the movie's soundtrack were recently revealed along with the video of "Safe and Sound" by Taylor Swift with The Civil Wars. Among the other artists featured are Maroon 5, The Decemberists, Miranda Lambert, Kid Cudi, and several others.
More photos from the film were recently featured on the Entertainment Weekly website. Check them out here.
And here's a cool clip in which Katniss begins to impress the Capitol bigwigs with her archery skills.
In non-Hunger Games news, Austin Butler has been cast to play male lead Sebastian Kydd in The CW's television adaptation of The Carrie Diaries. The book and show chronicle the teen years of Carrie Bradshaw of Sex in the City fame. I'll have to check this out because it's set in the '80s, and that's when I was in high school. I wonder if parachute pants will make an appearance. :)
The Pottermore site from J.K. Rowling, which will sell electronic and audio versions of the Harry Potter books, will be out of beta testing and debut to everyone in early April.
I realized recently while going through a list of the books I read in 2011 that I read a YA at the end of the year that I neglected to review here. Ally Condie's Crossed is the second in the trilogy that began with Matched. The series is set in a dystopian world, one in which the Society chooses everything for all its citizens (jobs, clothing, what people can read and do, even who one is to marry aka their match). The Society does this in exchange for safety. But the question central to this trilogy is whether guaranteed safety is worth giving up one's ability to choose. The books' central character, Cassia, has come to believe that choice is more important, including her choice to love Ky instead of Xander, the boy the Society has chosen for her who also happens to be her best friend.
Cassia's struggle is made more difficult by the fact that Xander is her dear friend, and had she not fallen for Ky she could probably be happy with Xander. But events in Matched have sent Ky to the outer reaches of the Society, and Cassia spends a good bit of Crossed moving from one work station to another in attempt to eventually get transferred to the area where she believes Ky to be. Even when they are eventually reunited, there is no time to rejoice. They're on the run, fleeing the Society and seeking out two different groups -- one a group of farmers that live in the canyons that Ky heard about as a child before his parents' deaths, another a group of rebels whose aim is to fight the Society and what it stands for.
Reached, the final book in the trilogy, is set to release in November. I'm curious to see how Condie wraps up the story and what will be the eventual fate for Cassia, Ky, Xander and the Society.
Pardon me for a bit of self-promo. I just wanted to announce that my new paranormal YA novel, White Witch, is now available from Bell Bridge Books. It's the first in the Coven trilogy about Jax Pherson, who flees her dark witch coven in pursuit of a normal teenage life. This book, originally titled Coven, won RWA's Golden Heart award in the Young Adult category in 2007.