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Focus Features has unleashed a teaser trailer for A Monster Calls. According to Vulture, the story for this film adaptation comes from Patrick Ness’ young adult novel, A Monster Calls.
Juan Antonio Bayona took the helm as the director. Ness served as the screenwriter and adapted his own book into a script.
The video embedded above features the voice acting talent of Liam Neeson and glimpses of Lewis MacDougall as 12-year-old Connor. The Wrap reports that this movie will his theatres on Oct. 14, 2016. (via Indiewire)
You know all those books where the Chosen Ones are busy saving the world? This isn’t one of them. Ness gives us the story of what everyone else is doing while the world is being saved. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the tale of (more or less) ordinary teens growing up in [...]
Hot New Releases & Popular Kids Stories
We think our list of the best new kids books for October is sensational! It highlights some amazing books from many different genres: non-fiction, reality fiction, and fantasy. Take a gander and let us know which titles and covers catch your eye ...
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Hello, readers! Once again, we’ve brought out the Upcoming Titles feature. This month we’re focusing a bit on spooky reads as October is HALLOWEEN MONTH! (Or at least that’s what all the stores tell us.) As always, this is by no means a comprehensive list of forthcoming releases, just a compilation of titles we think our readers (and our contributors!) would enjoy.
So, I wanted to do a roundup of this (rather quiet) year. But I didn’t know how I’d put it together. And then I remembered that there was a giant survey from Jamie(The Perpetual Page Turner).Anyone can do it and I’m sure I should have started earlier as it’s 5 pages spaced and empty, but hey. Let’s try!
2014 Reading Stats Number Of Books You Read: 110 Number of Re-Reads: 6 (Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Frankenstein, The Huger Games, Mockingjay, and The Hobbit) Genre You Read The Most From: I don’t know because I don’t keep track. I plan to work it out some day though, so watch this space.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. I’d heard many great things about it, but the writing style slowed it down and I couldn’t get into it as much as I wanted.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare. I knew it was bloody, but four deaths within a few lines... well.
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014? Series: Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens. Sequel: Inheritance by Malinda Lo. Ender: Delete by Kim Curran.
6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014? Joe Hill. I’d seen good things about him, but never bothered to read anything. Then I read Heart Shaped Box and really enjoyed it.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? I read mostly within my comfort zone, but I think I’ll put down Phillip Larkin’s poetry from The Whitsun Weddings, which I read (and analysed) for school. initially thoroughly depressing, but it grew on me.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? Delete by Kim Curran. Another of my “cannot put down” readsJ
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Frankenstein by Mary Shelley for school? Eh, I don’t know. Reread love comes and goes. But maybe Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, in preparation for Carry On.
10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014? This Book is Gay by James Dawson. It’s bold, eye catching, simple, and it works exceedingly well.
11. Most memorable character of 2014? Laureth Peak from She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgewick. It’s such a good book and so much more than it seems and fuller explanation will follow.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014? Persepolis, again. Also, More than This by Patrick Ness, even if I really didn’t get on with the book as a whole.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014? Persepolis, again.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? Persepolis, again *will try not to use this again* Also, The Princess Bride by William Golding.
15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014? From Fanny and Stella by Neil McKenna, “French male prostitutes in drag... wore false bosoms made from boiled sheep’s...lungs... “One of the prostitutes complained to me the other day” the Parisian doctor François-Auguste Veyne reported “that a cat had eaten one of his breasts which he had left to cool down in his attic.”
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013? Shortest: The Card Sharp or The Snake Charm by Laura Lam. Longest: Winter of the Worlds by Ken Follett.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan because it was SO MUCH BETTER than my expectations that were based on Boy Meets Boy. Does massive improvement count as shock? I don’t know, but it was definitely unexpected.
19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year Daisy and Hazel from Murder Most Unladylike. So much love and fun.
20. Favourite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously Delete by Kim Curran.
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Can’t think of one.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014? Amber from Adaptation.
23. Best 2014 debut you read? Trouble by Non Pratt. Looking forwards to Remix!
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? Best worldbuilding: The Wall by William Sutcliffe. Most vivid: The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Fanny and Stella by Neil McKenna, or American Savage by Matt Whyman.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014? Can’t think of one. Sorry.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? Or one for here.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan because COOPER.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014? Grasshopper Jungle by Alexander Smith.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? More Than This by Patrick Ness. What feels like fifty pages of a character walking around and describing scenery with not much else happening just...ugh.
1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014? I’ve mostly been keeping in contact with bloggers via means other than their blogs, and the people who I love, I can’t think of people who I definitely discovered in 2014. But down the side, there’s links to bloggers! Go check them out!
2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014? None of my book reviews stand out for me. But I do quite like my theatre reviews, so if you’re interested,go have a look.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? Hmm... I loved the Ken Follett and Cat Clarke and David Levithan and James Dawson talks and signings. Honourable mention for best event goes to the Divergent premier!
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014? Some of the many many conversations I’ve had with some people in the past year. You guys rock.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? I think my post onmy We Need Diverse Books displaycounts by views, if you take into account itstumblr notes,after being reblogged by authors and the WNDB team!
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? Ugh. Can’t think. Sorry.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Hmm...shops. Two in Edinburgh which I found on the last day of my trip. Word Power, which does independent things, books I’d never heard of and sadly didn’t have money to buy. And Transreal Fiction, which is all the fantasy/ssf/specfic/pretty books that I’d ever need.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? No. *laughs* (goodreads doesn’t count becasue I’d adjusted it halfway through the year!)
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015? The many on my ex-to read pile of doom. Especially Look Who’s Back by Tim Viernes.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)? Prudence by Gail Carriger because I can’t wait to go back and maybe get bits of Alexia and Maccon, as well as seeing the new things.
3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Tatum Flynn’s D’Evil Diaries. Looks funny, and has been compared to Good Omens, which I love.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015? Does Carry On count as a tie-in or sequel to Fangirl? It’s going here.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015? Review books once they’re read! A post with further 2015 plans will come soon.
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: None.
Other things: Thank you so much for sticking with me, even though it’s been relatively quiet around here. That goes to all of you-readers, publishers, bloggers, authors, everyone. I hope be blogging more soon, and interact with blogs, not just the bloggers behind them, more. I also hope to pick up some failed projects from earlier on in the year- anyone still up for Bard to Bookshelf?
Throughout the year, I have had really bad days. You won't have heard from me about them, because when that happens I take myself off the internet and curl up in my bed. But I get through them, and then I'm back, with the things I've done on my good ones.
I've gotten involved in theatre, and did Godspell and Lucky Stiff with two separate, brilliant groups. I got into a program called Pathways to Law. I went to some blogger events and met people. I tried teaching myself Spanish and can now understand basic pieces. I did exams and ended up with a batch of A and A* GCSEs that I'm proud of myself for.
I have read a lot this year, if you take into account the fact that this year I discovered my kindle can download mobi files off the internet and so I read many novel length fanfiction pieces (such as a 280k piece by SaraNoH and the_wordbutler called180 Days and Countingabout the Avengers being teachers at a primary school which is cute and funny and brilliant, which I started at noon one day and finished at 5pm the next).
Thank you, everyone. I hope that 2014 wasn’t entirely awful for you (anyone who says it was entirely brilliant must have had an exceptional year –and- have been ignoring the news), and I hope that 2015 is better.
Enter to win a prize pack with 6 of the listed Candlewick titles from TIME Magazine's Top 100 Young Adult Books.
Giveaway begins January 15, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends January 31, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
The free digital Publishers Lunch Buzz Books have proven themselves accurate predictors of bestseller and best-of-the-year titles, before they are published. This season Publishers Lunch has gathered substantial excerpts from 54 of the most buzzed-about books scheduled for publication this fall and winter in two exclusive, free new ebooks, BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Fall/Winter and BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter, offered in consumer and trade editions.
Book lovers get an early first look at new books from New York Times bestselling authors Mitch Albom, Geraldine Brooks, Alice Hoffman, and Adriana Trigiani, and popular and critically acclaimed writers Lauren Groff, Janice Y.K. Lee, Elizabeth McKenzie, and Belinda McKeon; columnist and television host Jason Gay’s first book, the \"whip-smart\" fiction debut of Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg; an unprecedented look at feminist and legal pioneer Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik’s Notorious RBG; Dick Van Dyke’s memoir Keep Moving; Jesse Itzler on living with a Navy SEAL; and the first novels from essayist Sloane Crosley and award-winning short story writer Claire Vaye Watkins.
Following its highly successful introduction last year, Publishers Lunch again is presenting a stand-alone volume previewing exciting and outstanding material from publishing’s powerhouse sector, young adult and middle-grade novels, in BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter. This edition holds a taste of eagerly awaited books like new work from bestselling and award-winning leaders in the field including James Dashner (The Maze Runner series), Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light and Revolution), Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking trilogy), and Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall, Panic); authors best-known for their adult books (Eleanor Herman and Cammie McGovern); and a good number of exciting debuts (Tessa Elwood’s Inherit the Stars, Moïra Fowley-Doyle’s The Accident Season, and Estelle Laure’s This Raging Light, among others). Aaron Hartzler, author of the critically acclaimed YA memoir Rapture Practice, makes his fiction debut with What We Saw. In what appears to becoming a YA trend, four Buzz Books entries are highly graphic or archival-looking in form via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations and more. These include Hannah Moskowitz’s History of Glitter and Blood, a lyrical fantasy with an unusual graphic format.
Of the 24 adult books previewed and published to date in the 2015 Spring/Summer edition, 19 have made \"best of the month/year\" lists and five are New York Times bestsellers.
BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Fall/Winter and BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter are available for free download now on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple’s iBookstore, the Google Play Books store, and Kobo.
I’m just back from a tour of (mostly indie) London bookshops. My visit to the Tower of London was enhanced after seeing Sonya Hartnett’s Children of the King, which alludes to the missing princes held captive by their uncle Richard III in the Tower, in a Notting Hill bookshop. Australian YA, as well as children’s and […]
Hi everyone! Firstly, I had a brilliant time at the Sunday of YALC. I got more books than I should have done, and met so many wonderful people. Thank you everyone for a great day!
Second, Rebecca is the winner of a signed, unpersonalised copy of The Lost and the Found! I will post it some time this week/ There’s still one unsigned copy to be won... if you're reading this on Saturday 25th, there's a twitter giveaway going on...
Third! I have a giant pile of books I’ve read that I don’t feel I can write fully about. So I asked Georgia, aka the Bibliomaniac, if I could use her format of very mini reviews (such as here) and she said yes! Thank you, Georgia! Here’s a very quick snapshot at some things I’ve been reading...
This post is part of a series on the blog where I share some of the nuggets of wisdom and inspiration — related to writing and/or life — that I find steeped in the pages of novels that I’ve read.
Hope everyone has been enjoying their summer. Technically summer is over here in Atlanta — school started this week! I’ve been reading so many books from my public library — they have the BEST selection. So much book goodness.
I’ve had this book on my To-Be-Read (TBR) list for awhile and found it during one of my library browses. Patrick Ness is one of my favorite authors. He is best known for the Chaos Walking trilogy. This genre of this book is hard to define — kind of a mix of sci-fi and horror — but it is a craft study on writing suspense and keeping the reader turning the pages.
It also has a lot to say about life and how it’s more than just one experience or one moment and how if you make through a trauma then there could joy on the other side.
I actually have two Novel Wisdom quotes to share from this book. One regarding books — which ya’ll know I love — and then another just based on beauty of nature.
From Seth, the POV protagonist of the novel More Than This by Patrick Ness
A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.
He’s seeing the actual Milky Way streaked across the sky. The whole of his entire galaxy, right there in front of him. Billions and billions of stars. Billions and billions of worlds. All of them, all of those seemingly endless possibilities, not fictional, but real, out there, existing, right now.
So much more that he’ll never see. So much more that he’ll never get to. So much that he can only glimpse enough of to know that it’s forever beyond his reach.
In the wake of Hunger Games success, Lionsgate Entertainment acquired the film rights to the young-adult fantasy series, Patrick Ness‘ Chaos Walking trilogy. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman will adapt the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go.
Here’s more from Deadline: ”The Carnegie Medal winning book is set in a dystopian future with humans colonizing a distant earth-like planet. When an infection called the Noise suddenly makes all thought audible, privacy vanishes, chaos ensues, and a corrupt autocrat threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race.”
Kaufman won the 2004 Oscar in the Best Original Screenplay category for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He also wrote the scripts for the adaptation of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Adaptation (based The Orchid Thief).
(1) All this past week, and next week, BBC Radio 4 Extra is serialising Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls. It’s wonderfully read by David Hayman. Anyone can listen, worldwide, but episodes are not available for long online so don’t hang around. In each case the reading of A Monster Calls starts about 45 minutes into the host programm (The 4 O’Clock Show) Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4
Episode 5, today’s episode, isn’t yet available on line.
A Monster Calls continues all of next week, every day at about 16.45 on Radio 4 Extra (digital or online).
(3) Finally, we’re huge comic fans here and I found out this week about a comic which needs your help.
“LOAf Magazine is a new publication for 9-12 year olds, jampacked with comics, stories, puzzles and more. LOAf is dedicated to creating a place where the imaginings of brilliant emerging and established illustrators, writers and narrative artists are collected for children to read and enjoy. More than that: it’s our aim to make it a magazine where children ARE some of those talented contributors. A perfect circle!”
It sounds terrific, but it needs financial help to get off the ground and so it’s working on crowd-funding the first issue. If you’d like to support LOAF you can find out more, and pledge your support here: http://www.peoplefund.it/loaf-magazine/
It’s current list of contributors includes Joff Winterhart, Rose Robbins, Mel Castrillon, Alexis Deacon, Liv Bargman, Daisy Hirst, Mike Smith and Trudi Esberger amongst others, and I for one would love to see it get off the ground.
50 Book Pledge | Book #51: Sutton by J.R. Moehringer
I’m ecstatic to report that as of Monday, October 8, 2012, I turned the final page on my 50 Book Pledge. For those doing the math, that’s nine months, seven days, eleven hours and twenty-eight minutes.
I still can’t believe I did it because when I first set out I wasn’t entirely convinced I could. I considered fifty books in fifty-two weeks a tall order, especially since I’ve never read that many books in a single year before. My greatest fear could be summed up in a single word: Time.
What a fool I was. Time wasn’t a factor at all. In fact, my biggest dilemma ended up being what to read next. But, obviously, that didn’t last very long.
By the Numbers
3 # of non-fiction books I read
4 # of classics I read
2 # of series I started
3 # of poetry books I read
1 # of books I stopped reading
15 # of books I read by HarperCollins Canada
43 # of authors I read for the first time
The amazing part about participating in the pledge was how it turned me into a literary monster. With every book I finished, I found that my hunger for reading grew exponentially. I couldn’t get enough! In the words of George R.R. Martin the reader in me wanted to live “a thousand lives.” (Now I’ve only got 950 to go.) And that’s precisely why I’m going to continue reading and why I’ll be taking the pledge again next year.
Looking back it’s hard to pick a favourite because I read some truly phenomenal books. Instead, here’s just a small sampling of books that knocked my socks off:
Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return.
A huge thank you to The Savvy Reader for making 2012 the best reading year of my life!
By Candy Gourlay
Hilary Mantel (Photo: Harper Collins)
After winning the Booker Prize a second time (with the second book of her trilogy), Hilary Mantel also grabbed the Costa Prize. £30,000 prize money. Blimey.
Sally Gardner of course won the Children's Costa for Maggot Moon.
Go, Sally !
Mantel's historic win brought back fond memories of the children's book industry's own
With his "Chaos Walking" series, Patrick Ness earned a spot on my favorite authors shelf. Then came A Monster Calls and I loved that almost as much as the series. Now, with More Than This, Ness has really solidified his place and is one of the YA authors I recommend the most to both adults and teens looking for awesome reads.
I loved the mystery of this latest book and how the reader isn't quite sure where Seth is, just as he isn't. He believes he's dead, remembering himself drowning, and quite possibly in hell, but when he finds two others in the same place he is, a place that appears to be the same town he grew up in, after days and days alone, he's unsure if hell is really where they are. Until the Driver shows up. He's crazy-pants.
As Seth starts making discoveries of his surroundings -- it looks just like a decimated version of the town he grew up in and oh yeah, the fact that he woke up in a coffin in his old bedroom -- I needed to turn the pages faster and faster. The writing is beautiful and lovely to read, which almost makes it seem a little cruel to make such a heart-pounding story, but that's exactly what it was.
There are so many layers to both Seth and his back story that it was a great experience to uncover those, while being totally riveted by Seth's current circumstances. Another absolute winner from Patrick Ness!
I have become more than a little obsessed with word counts.
And if you think that sounds like an incredibly boring subject for a blog, you might be right. But let's see what happens.
When I first began writing, one of my many fears and doubts I had was that I didn't really know how long my book should be. I didn't even know how long a chapter should be. So I did some research, and discovered that the first Harry Potter was 76, 944 words long. But then again, The Golden Compass - another literary lodestone as far as my ambition was concerned - was more like 125, 000.
I ended up with a first draft of my first middlegrade novel which was over 100,00 words long, which as my agent rightly said was also too long for my intended readership. The Deathly Hallows, the last Harry Potter, is about 198,000 words long which just goes to show what happens when you're too successful to take notes. Sorry, I mean, which just goes to show how there is no limit to a child's reading stamina if they really love a world and the characters.
US kids in line to get their hands on 198,000 words of The Deathly Hallows
(And truly, of course there is no "right" length to a book. Some of the most perfect middlegrade books - A Monster Calls, Once, Holes - are all much shorter than any of those. I would broadly say that any book which verges on fantasy and involves substantial world creation, is going to always be on the longer side because part of the pleasure comes from luxuriating in the rich, embroidered nature of the imaginary universe conjured up. The story is the length of the story you need to tell. But it's always useful to have some kind of bench mark to work towards in your head, I reckon.)
Either way, I was no J K Rowling, and cutting 100,000 words down to the ultimate 67,000 words my first book was published as became something of a laborious task. Because word counts have real implications for storytelling. For every bit you hack out, you still need to compress or explain elsewhere, so word counts never strictly go down or up, they fluctuate, like a water table.
Which meant that when it came to my sequel, which I had less than a year to write, I was determined not to so massively overwrite the first draft, to avoid the later pain. Luckily, along the way, I discovered this marvellous software called Scrivener, which I'm sure some of you are aware of. Some love, some are baffled, I'm certainly not here to evangelise, but there are two very useful word count features it has over MS Word.
The first is this. You divide your chapters up into your separate text files, which apart from being very easy to manage, means you can keep a constant check on your word count as you go along, like so. The word count appears automatically at the bottom of each part or chapter, and you can make a note in what Scrivener calls the 'binder' - basically a long column to the left of your writing window:
And I find this more than helpful. Patrick Ness (who has some great tips on writing and chapter length here ) said he decided each chapter of The Knife of Never Letting Go had to be pretty much 2500 words for reasons of rhythm. That gets to the heart of why I find word counts so important. There isn't always time to endlessly re-read and edit when you're drafting, and many feel that's counter productive anyhow. So word counts are an incredibly useful, visual shorthand for seeing if any part of your story is really out of balance. Like Ness, my view with these current books I'm writing is that if I can't tell the chapter's story in around 2000 words, it's too long. And generally - if it's way under 1500, I'm probably not there yet.
There's one last reason I find word counts useful, and that's for the daily routine. Graham Greene famously wrote 400 words a day, always only 400, even if that meant finishing mid-sentence. He rarely revised, wrote over 25 books and was a genius. Others I know like to binge-write - anything from 2000-5000 words a day, although that could be hard to sustain.
Which brings me to the second really handy feature of Scrivener. The daily word target. You type in your submission deadline, the target length of your book, and set various options like whether you write at weekends or not and this handy pop up window tells you - every day - what you need to write. Here's mine for Book 3 today.
It may sound horribly automated and soulless to some, but trust me, as that bottom progress bar begins at red and proceeds to green, nothing can be more motivating. The counter includes negatives, so if you delete loads of stuff, it increases accordingly. The truth, for me at least, is that in the wide empty sea writing a book can be - no end in sight, following a chart that keeps being affected by so many variables, feeling alone - just hitting my daily word target is an incredibly easy way to stay focused and motivated. Even on the dark days, when the ideas refuse to flow, if I can just get to my words, I feel I've achieved something. Even the greatest task feels manageable broken down into small chunks.
Speaking of which, I had better get on it...
*This blog is about 1000 words long, and the ideal average blog is considered to be about 500 words, so too long. I always overwrite. Which is why I'm not much good at Twitter. Sorry. *My second book was longer than my first, and the third will be longer again. No matter how hard I try! Does anyone else have this problem?
So when the publisher, Candlewick Press, reached out to me to offer a giveaway featuring the newly designed paperback covers for The Chaos Walking series I couldn’t resist. Not only do I love the redesign, but it also reminds me a bit of the UK edition that I love. Also, they’ve added additional content to each book! Each paperback includes a short story that was only previously available in eBook format. Candlewick has really done an excellent job with this new edition and I’m thrilled to have a full set to giveaway to one There’s A Book reader!
Thanks to the wonderful people at Candlewick Press I have ONE FULL SET of this new edition of The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness which also includes a bonus short story within each book! Be sure to enter using the rafflecopter form below and be aware that this one is for US and Canadian residents only.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter, Google+ and on Facebook! Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.
Seventeen-year-old Seth drowns; in fact his action is deliberate. He wants to escape the horror of his existence. Racked with guilt over the fate of his younger brother, an event he feels is his entire fault, he doesn’t have much to live for. Then he wakes up, back in his old home in England, and things start becoming very weird indeed. He is wrapped in silvery bandages, and his old street is deserted. The whole place is uninhabited and overgrown. He seems to be the only person left alive in the world. He must now forage and scrounge for clothing, food and water. He wonders if this is hell. His dreams don’t help because his previous life comes back to him in huge, unwelcome chunks of memory. Then he meets two other people, with their own unique and strange tales to tell.
Despite the fantastic beginning, with a description that pulled me right into the ocean with Seth, I struggled to finish this book. Parts of it were incredibly exciting and then would grind to a halt with unnecessary introspective and philosophical meanderings on the part of the main character, meanderings which became boring and one had the urge to say, “Oh, just get on with it!” The plus side: an utterly riveting and plausible story premise that comes much later on (just when you are wondering what on earth this is all about and is he dead or not, and if everyone else is dead, then where are the bodies?); really wonderful descriptions that have the reader in the grip of the moment; action and tension to add to the positively bleak and hopeless situation; events that come out of nowhere that have a cinematographic and surreal feel to them; the depth of emotion Seth feels for the loss of his younger brother and his friends. In fact, Seth’s guilt is so palpable that one is consumed with curiosity to learn the truth. The two characters that join him are so different, so lost as well, and so eager to hide the circumstances of their lives/deaths. One feels the pain of the characters as they reveal the humiliating and tragic burdens they each carry.
What I did not enjoy: the flashbacks were sometimes jarring and intrusive, until I accepted them as part of the story-telling process; the fact that this world, while it began as an interesting construct, did not have enough to sustain the story and/or the last three inhabitants. I found the ending abrupt and it short-changes the reader in a way. There were many loose ends in the unfolding of this tale that I feel the author might have tried to answer. The characters were confused and, as a result, the reader becomes confused. It is as if the author didn’t bother to work things out to the last detail, which is possibly not the case, but feels that way. The reference to same sex love/relationships was dealt with sensitively and delicately, in an almost tender way. However, this might surprise readers who are not prepared for it, especially if the reader is younger than the protagonist’s age of 17. Ultimately, the characters’ thoughts on what constitutes life and death, and the option of living in a constructed world, avoiding the reality of a life too sad/tragic/hopeless to contemplate should give readers food for thought. However, I have no doubt that the intended audience of older teens and YA readers will love this book.
Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.
Don't miss these even if they are catalogued in middle grade. A good story is a good story, right? When I picked up both of these works, from the first pages there was that feeling of instantly knowing these are brilliant books. These are the ones to savor and then share. Go. Find. Them.
"At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting-- he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined."
"Kevin has a bad attitude. He's the one who laughs when you trip and fall. In fact, he may have been the one who tripped you in the first place. He has a real knack for rubbing people the wrong way—and he's even figured out a secret way to do it with poems. But what happens when the tables are turned and he is the one getting picked on? Rhyme Schemer is a touching and hilarious middle-grade novel in verse about one seventh grader's journey from bully-er to bully-ee, as he learns about friendship, family, and the influence that words can have on people's lives."
Writer Patrick Ness (pictured, via) has signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books.
Editorial director Rosemary Brosnan negotiated the deal with literary agent David McMillan. According to the press release, the first book, entitled The Rest of Us Just Live Here, will be released in Fall 2015.
This novel examines “what it would be like to live in a world that’s a lot like a YA novel, where some kids in school are battling forces of evil, and some kids just want to go to prom and graduate before someone goes and blows up the high school again.” The second book which will also feature a stand-along story; no other details have been announced.