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Lionsgate in Talks with Julianne Moore to Play President Coin in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’

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Julianne Moore, known for her role as Sarah Palin in HBO’s Game Change, is in talks for the role of President Coin in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. According to Deadline, Moore is likely to ink in a deal with Lionsgate soon.

Casting rumors concerning Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 have been floating around the internet over the past few months, but this is the strongest and most reliable rumor yet. In addition, it’s the first time we’re hearing about a particular actress for the role of Coin.

President Coin is introduced in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy in the third and final book, Mockingjay, when we learn that she was the president of the elusive District 13 and leads the rebellion against the Capitol. Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, and Coin meet in District 13.

It is interesting to note that Moore starred opposite Woody Harrelson (Haymitch) in Game Change.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is set to be released November 21, 2014. Part 2 opens in theaters November 20, 2015. Both films will be directed by Francis Lawrence who also directed Catching Fire, due out in theatres November 22 of this year.

We learned recently that the second trailer for Catching Fire will debut at San Diego Comic-Con in July. Stars of the film will be there to present the new trailer in front of dedicate fans.

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‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ International Trailer

The International trailer for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters has just been released on the internet via MSN. This all new trailer is visually exciting, and takes you deeper into the plot of the movie with many new scenes that we have not seen before!

The film will hit theaters on August 7th, 2013, and stars Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, Brandon T. Jackson as Grover, Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth, and Leven Rambin as Clarisse. The film will follow the events of the second novel in the Percy Jackson series by the same name, which chronicles the adventures of thirteen-year-old demigod Percy Jackson as he and his friends rescue his satyr friend Grover from the Cyclops Polyphemus and save the camp from a Titan’s attack by bringing the Golden Fleece to cure Thalia’s poisoned pine tree.

‘Divergent’ Set Photos of Abnegation Houses

Thank you to @donaldduckdad who has shared 8 awesome photos of the Abnegation Village. In the photos you can see the Abnegation houses from a few different angles. From the photos we can see that the inside of the houses are empty.

Divergent opens in theaters March 21, 2014 and is currently filming in Chicago. It is based on the first book in Veronica Roth’s dystopian trilogy of the same title. Insurgent, the second book, already has a script in the works. The third and final book, Allegiant, will hit book stores this October. Follow Young Adult Book Reviewer on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates on all things Divergent.

Check out the Abnegation houses below:

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[Review] Divergent by Veronica Roth

divergentPublished: 3 May 2011

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Edition: U.S. Paperback

Summary: “In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.”

After reading the Hunger Games I became skeptical of books that were subsequently published as Dystopian books. Twilight spurred a legion of badly written vampire books as publishers attempted to piggyback on the multi million dollar ride that Stephenie Meyer hit upon after her books rocketed into best seller lists all over the world. I admit seeing Divergent on bookshelves and avoiding it for this very reason. So after a long time after it was published I finally picked this incredible book up and gave it a shot. Boy was I wrong.

This book was a thrilling ride from beginning to end. I read it all within 24 hours which means that it is a winner. I am a naturally fast reader but only when the book I am reading is capturing my full attention. Unlike characters like Harry Potter and Bella Swan I didn’t identify with Tris’ character, which makes Roth’s attention to plot advancement a greater power in Divergent than any other young adult book I have read in awhile. While books like Harry Potter and Twilight pay closer attention to the interaction of characters, I felt more inclined to turn the page to find out what was happening in the world Roth created rather than to find out what would happen to Tris and her friends. True to Dystopian form, Tris Prior is a troubled soul in an even more troubled world. She doesn’t feel like she belongs, no matter where she is, and that is not just something common to teenagers who devour these YA books, it’s something that keeps adults picking up these books, and making YA books the biggest genre seller in bookstores.

Divergent, unlike the Hunger Games, relies on plot more than the romantic interactions of the characters. I found myself thinking about this while I was reading. Perhaps I am too romantic at the core, but I love it when a writer can make me care about the story over the relationships, because it means they have saved me from myself. I want to read books for the story, not for the lurch in my stomach when my two favorite characters kiss, but I am a girl and like many girls I have a weakness for romance. You won’t find too much of it in Divergent, but its use of it is strategic and just enough to keep girls satisfied while taking nothing from the integrity of the story.

Divergent painstakingly reveals that adults sometimes don’t know where they belong, and that no matter how hard you try, maybe you won’t belong in the society that you grew up in, or the one that you moved to, but that doesn’t mean that you are worse off. Instead of giving up, Tris fights to be a part of the people she has chosen to call family, and sees that belonging isn’t what she needs most, it’s being strong inside to face the situations where she is alienated.

My one little beef with this book was that the plot seemed to flow too easily, so that in some parts I wasn’t quite sure where I was or what just happened to lead us from one place to the other. Unlike Harry Potter where everything is strategically separated by the space of time and firmly concluded chapters, Divergent has many end of chapter cliff hangers that doesn’t allow the reader to take a break and digest what they have just read. Time is fluid and days pass without my realizing that is has – particularly toward the end of the book.

Overall the book will keep a reader engaged long enough for them to realize that this book is different from the usual sappy romantic books that they normally pick up when trying to find a great YA novel. This is refreshing and I’d love to thank Roth for turning away from the easy way to capture a reader’s attention and actually writing a book that is worth reading for its story rather the its romantic side plot.

4.5stars

This Month in Books: October 2012

October 1

Amber House by Kelly Moore

“Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that’s been in her family for three centuries. She’s never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she’s never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds–and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house’s past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house’s secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.”

October 2

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant

“Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.

While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything… until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.”

Breathe (Breath #1) by Sarah Crossan

“Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

Quinn
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?”

October 16

Beta (Annex #1) by Rachel Cohn 

“Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.
Elysia’s purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island’s workers–soulless clones like Elysia–are immune to.
At first, Elysia’s life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne’s human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island’s flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne’s worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care–so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing Elysia’s mind?
If anyone discovers that Elysia isn’t the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi-ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she’s always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.
The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, “Beta “is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a cor-rupted world.”

October 23

Finale (Hush, Hush #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick 

“Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean they are fated to be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. Now Nora and Patch must gather their strength to face one last, perilous trial. Old enemies return, new enemies are made, and a friend’s ultimate betrayal threatens the peace Patch and Nora so desperately want. The battle lines are drawn—but which sides are they on? And in the end, are there some obstacles even love can’t conquer?”

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa 

“Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.”

Books I Will Make My Children Read

This list is a work-in-progress, at least until my as yet non existant children are born and are old enough to read. I’d love to hear everybody else’s opinions on some of the books that affected them when they were young. FYI these are listed in no particular order.

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Summary: “For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember.”

Reasoning: We had to read this book in 9th Grade. Yes it’s an Australian book which is why you probably haven’t heard of it or read it (unless you’re an Australian). Being from an Italian background, and sharing the same name as the heroine this book really struck a chord for me. I never felt like I belonged. Was I Australian or Italian? Now I’m going to be marrying an American and my children are going to be half Australian and half American (with Italian looks most likely) I’m sure this book will have something meaningful for them in it like it did for me.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Summary: “Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed for ever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!”

Reasoning: I cannot imagine anybody from my generation neglecting to give this magnificent series of books to their children. I hope that the recent news about HP being studied in schools will only grow. I would love for my children to study them. Although that brings up the debate whether kids grow to hate books they’re forced to study, even if they are good books. More on that another time. Harry Potter just encapsulates everything that YA and Children’s fiction should have: magic, fantasy, love, mystery, pain, and adventure. I don’t think I will ever read a series I love more and that makes me sad, because I can never go back and have that ‘reading for the first time’ feeling again.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Summary: “High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he’s there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena’s sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom–an impossible union it’s up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar’s grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can’t imagine–tests of trust, strength, and true love.”

Reasoning: I’ve always loved YA Fantasy, and when I discovered that Juliet Marillier had written one of her incredible fantasy books for Young Adults I excitedly bought it from the bookstore and read it in one day. Boy was it gorgeous. An otherworld that I would happily move to, like one of the characters does, and Stephenie Meyer’s Edward eat your heart out because Marillier got the mysteriously sexy and smouldering quiet boy first. This must sound like nonsensical rambling to someone who has not read this book but I can’t recommend it highly enough. My reason for wanting my children to read this is that it has powerful female and male role models  as does Marillier’s sequel, Cybele’s Secret and all of the books on this list. I feel like YA is starting to get corrupted by weak female role models, interestingly written BY females. These books will hopefully set any daughters and sons I have on the right path of equal rights for both sexes.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary: “In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival”

Reasoning: The Hunger Games is relatively new so you might be wondering why it is on this short list. It’s simple: Katniss is a sharp, intelligent girl who beats all the odds (pun intended) to ensure the survival of herself and her friends, family and anybody else who is not part of the Capitol’s corrupt government. She is basically the female version of Harry Potter. The story itself has some flaws, and the ending of Mockingjay was disappointedly rushed, but the characters have a depth that I want my children to understand. It’s not about the way you look that defines who you are, it’s who you are as a person: intelligence, passion and love.

The TOP 10 Summer 2012 Kids’ Indie Next List

Below is a preview of the TOP 10 for the Summer Kids’ Indie Next List in the summer publishing season. It will include an additional 44 selections spanning all age groups, which are based on nominations from independent booksellers nationwide. All titles include a bookseller quote and full bibliographic information.

The deadline for nominations for the Fall Kids’ Indie Next List is July 13.

1. Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore
(Dial Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780803734739)
“Cashore’s third book is full of intrigue, conspiracies, and secrets. Queen Bitterblue’s rule is shadowed by her father’s legacy of pain, fear, and torture. Believing that the only way to restore her kingdom is to face the past, Bitterblue delves into forgotten histories, stories, and altered memories in her search for answers. Deliciously thrilling and full of twists and turns — plus a little romance, of course!” — Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

2. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
(Random House BFYR, $17.99, 9780375866562)
“Here is a new and original voice that will set the Dragon genre on its ear! Seraphina has an incredible musical talent, one that she must not flaunt in case she draws attention to herself. For Seraphina is no ordinary girl; she is a half-dragon living in a human world that despises all dragons. In this lush world full of secrets and intriguing characters, readers will completely lose themselves. An exciting book!” — Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Duck, NC

3. Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage
(Dial, $16.99, 9780803736702)
“With its small-town setting, quirky characters, and mystery-laden, fast-paced plot, Three Times Lucky is a wonderful novel for middle readers. That’s to say nothing of 11-year-old Moses LoBeau, who is, for my money, the most winning heroine of any book — children’s or adult — that I’ve read in years. Turnage deserves all the praise she’s sure to get for this book, and then some. Simply a great read!” — David Mallmann, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

4. A Greyhound of a Girl, by Roddy Doyle
(Amulet, $16.95, 9781419701689)
“One day as 12-year-old Mary walks home from school, she meets a mysterious woman who seems to appear out of nowhere. The woman looks young, but seems old, and her name is Tansey, which, as it happens, is the name of Mary’s long-dead great-grandmother. Tansey says she has a message for Mary’s granny. And so, impossibly, four generations of women embark on a midnight road trip to revisit the farm that made them who they are. Doyle’s delightful story is charming, witty, and poignant, a surprisingly fresh generational tale that mothers and daughters will want to share!” — Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

5. Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam RubinDaniel Salmieri (Illus.)
(Dial, $16.99, 9780803736801)
“Dragons are great! And they love parties — all kinds of parties! And tacos — all kinds of tacos! What could be better, what could be more fun than a taco party for dragons?! Just be careful not to use spicy toppings or the results could be a bit hotter than you wanted. This red-hot little gem will have you planning a party and craving tacos in no time. Just don’t forget to invite the dragons!” — Kris Vreeland, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

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