Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Teen Menu

YA News

The January 18 issue of Entertainment Weekly has the first images of Catching Fire, including Sam Claflin as new character Finnick Odair. Okay, I don't know about you, but I'm officially excited.

Reports are coming out that the film adaptation of Veronica Roth's Divergent is getting closer to having a male lead cast in the role of Tobias. Alex Pettyfer, Lucas Till and Jeremy Irvine are testing for the role.

YA Review

I just recently finished reading the second in Mike Mullin's Ashfall series, set in a post-apocalyptic Iowa and Illinois after the cataclysmic eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Ashen Winter begins in Illinois where our protagonist, 16-year-old Alex, and his girlfriend Darla are living with Alex's uncle and his family, working  almost nonstop to survive in a cold world without sunshine. It's been six months since the volcano coated the world with think layers of ash, and Alex decides he can wait no longer for his parents to return from their trip to find him. So he and Darla set off into a world that is even harsher and scarier than the one they'd crossed getting to the farm in Illinois. While some people are pulling together for mutual benefit, let's just say there are others that are succumbing to their baser animal instincts to survive in a world with dwindling resources.

Their trip is filled with danger every moment, everything from possibly freezing or starving to death to the danger that comes from their fellow man. But Alex and Darla aren't the average teenagers they were before the eruption, and they will need to pull on everything they've learned to not only find Alex's parents but to simply survive in a world where it's so much easier to die.

Mullin is still in the process of writing the final book in the trilogy, but it is tentatively titled Sunrise. It sounds more hopeful in title alone, so hopefully Alex, Darla and Alex's family will find a new beginning in the final installment. I guess we'll just have to wait to find out.


  1. I enjoyed ASHFALL & so look forward to reading ASHEN WINTER & SUNRISE??

  2. This sounds like a very compelling storyline and one my 14 yr old reader would enjoy. I may wait for the publication of Sunrise and give her the entire series. Thanks, Trish!

  3. I've never heard of this book or the first, but found your review fascinating, Trish. I looked it up and the reviews are mixed, but the majority said it was a good, compelling read. I think, though, I would agree with some that this is definitely a book for older teens.

  4. Woohoo! I didn't know Sam was in Catching Fire! I loved him in Pirates 4. :) Our family really enjoyed the Hunger Games (movie) and are looking forward to this new one. Thanks for the scoop, Trish!

  5. This sounds like a well written series. However, I tend to avoid this type of post-apocalyptic story. Too depressing to think what the world, i.e. man, would be reduced to. I really should try though, because there are some good books out there with this type of plot line.

  6. Mary, hope you enjoy them. I find these stories interesting, seeing how mankind would react when life as we know it suddenly is taken away.

    PJ, the trilogy sounds like a great idea for your reader.

  7. Andrea, I liked him in Pirates 4 too. Sadly, that was one of my favorite parts of that movie. I loved the first three and wanted to love the 4th, but just didn't. I missed Will and Elizabeth.

    Deb, I will say I enjoyed the first book more, but I think that's the nature of trilogies -- the second book is always the one caught in the middle, as it were, between the exciting beginning and exciting ending to the story.

  8. I understand, Pat. I think what attracts me to these stories is that despite how the world is falling apart and some people do bad things, they also show hope and some people doing the right things despite everything that has happened.