Today marks the release of Paparazzi Princess, the novel by Reginae Carter and Bria Williams, the 14-year-old daughters of Lil Wayne and Birdman respectively, and we’re kind of intrigued — even fictionalized, their lives are bound to be juicy. The “princesses” follow the likes of Snooki, Hilary Duff, Lauren Conrad and Amar’e Stoudemire in this young adult novel trend. Kendall and Kylie Jenner are joining the fray soon too. But we think there are a few other stars whose fictionalized teenage years would make for ideal beach reading. Publishers, we’re giving you these ideas for free: Read more…
As we await the rest of the cast of Divergent to be announced and mark off the months until Catching Fire’s release (about a million years from now, right?), there’s plenty to keep our minds full of paranoid visions of a dark future that can only be saved by a couple of brilliant teenagers. Take, for instance, Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, whose second book, Prodigy, hit shelves today. If you haven’t picked up the first, let us assure you that it’s not to be lumped brainlessly with all the other dystopian young adult novels out now — largely because of its unique characters, who take turns narrating their story. There’s 15-year-old Day, the Republic’s most-wanted criminal, whose ability to run from authorities and basically leap buildings in a single bound (parkour-style) helps him complete all sorts of Robin Hood pranks, stealing from the government to feed the poor. And then there’s 15-year-old June, the Republic’s star prodigy, who’s about to graduate early from military academy when her older brother (and only family member, since her parents’ death) is brutally murdered, she thinks, by Day. Their interaction is as tense and emotionally complex as the Jean Valjean/Javert conflict in Les Miserables, which Lu says was a partial inspiration for the story.
We caught up with Lu at San Diego Comic-Con last July, shortly after the screenplay for the Legend movie, which is being produced by Wyck Godfrey among others, was handed in to CBS Films. And it wasn’t hard for us to imagine a big showing for the film at one of the Con’s giant halls sometime in the future. “That would be amaaaazing. My fingers are crossed!” Lu said.
While she’s been in the loop on the screenplay, she doesn’t know what will be done as far as casting the movie, especially since it doesn’t yet have a director. (Warm Bodies‘ Jonathan Levine was once attached, but MTV reports that he’s since dropped out.) “I know you can’t find someone that’s exactly the way that I picture them in my head. I think they’ll do a pretty good job casting them in general. There’s only one character that I wrote with an actor in my head, and that was Metias, June’s brother. I always pictured Ben Barnes. I just love Ben Barnes. I’m going to cast him in anything that I write. I’ll squeeze him in there.” Read more…
We’ve been worried for years now that all the hype over The Hunger Games and Divergent would completely derail any adaptations of one of our other favorite dystopian young adult series, Lauren Oliver’s Delirium. So we were jumping up and down (as much as our not-yet-caffeinated brains would allow) at the news from TVLine.com that Fox has ordered a pilot based on the novels, to be penned by Prison Break’s Karyn Usher.
If you haven’t read the novels (#3, Requiem, comes out in March), don’t go assuming it’s like all the others. This one follows the story of Lena, a girl who’s very excited about the upcoming procedure all 18-year-olds receive, which protects them from the disease of love. Oliver likes to joke that it’s only “dystopia” if you think love is a good thing. Well, we kind of love the idea of expanding this dark world into a TV series. We’ll give you more info on it as soon as we learn more!
It’s been months since Shailene Woodley landed the role of Tris in Divergent, and the studio still hasn’t settled on who will play her hot older Dauntless mentor Four. Today, Variety reports that after testing four actors — Lucas Till, Brenton Thwaites, Luke Bracey and Jack Reynor — back in November, they’ve decided to retest Till along with Jeremy Irvine and Alex Pettyfer at the end of this week.
Till first came to our attention as Miley Cyrus‘ love interest in Hannah Montana: The Movie, and then in X-Men: First Class. We haven’t caught War Horse or anything else that Irvine has been in, but he wins over the others in the looks department (in our humble opinion). Pettyfer is the most troubling to us. Even though he’s the same age as the other two, 22, he reads older to us (and Four is supposed to be 18), maybe because the I Am Number Four star has been considered and rejected for just about every other male lead in a YA adaptation for the past three years. Also, he’s developed something of a nasty reputation in Hollywood, most recently for feuding with Channing Tatum on the set of Magic Mike. He’s undeniably good looking, with a tough Dauntless-worthy exterior, but we just wonder if he could capture the softer, Abnegation side of the character.
Even though we are offended that the filmmakers appear to be ignoring our choices entirely (and what ever happened to Evan Peters?), we’re super excited that this is one step closer to reality. The movie’s set for release on March 21, 2014.
Now tell us, which of these guys would you most want to see play Four?
It would be super easy to dismiss any new dystopian young adult trilogies as copycats of the Hunger Games phenomenon — except the authors of these books keep coming up with scarier — and brilliantly original — ways of showing us how the future could go horribly, horribly wrong. Veronica Rossi did that with this year’s Under the Never Sky, which followed 17-year-old Aria exiled from a (literally) sheltered world where devices implanted in people’s eyes create a virtual reality to keep them content to remain indoors forever. Outside, dangerous lightning makes everyday life a gamble, but some Outsiders, like Peregrine, have acute senses to help them and their tribes survive. Of course, Perry and Aria meet up, and their chemistry rivals those deadly lightning bolts. Until, that is, their heroic antics force them to part ways.
In the trailer for book two, Through the Ever Night, we see that Perry and Aria will be reunited, thank goodness. But since this is the second book in a trilogy, we know things won’t be all happily ever after right away. Read more…
Ever since we first read Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush, back when a slew of angel-themed YA novels threatened to wipe vampires off the shelves in 2009, we’ve been wondering what was taking Hollywood so long to snatch up the series. It’s got all the elements of a great addictive movie franchise: relatable heroine (Nora Grey, a science wiz and cellist whose father was murdered recently), irresistible mysterious bad-boy (Nora’s new biology partner Patch, who ditches homework for the pool hall), hilarious best friend (Vee, we can’t even describe her in a phrase) and complex mythology that unfolds carefully throughout the book. There are fallen angels, love triangles, murder mysteries and a seedy New England setting in the mix too. And yes, today, finally, comes the news from Entertainment Weekly that LD Entertainment will adapt the four-book saga for the big screen. Greek creator Patrick Sean Smith will write the screenplay.
Hush, Hush fans have been fantasy casting this story for years now, and even Fitzpatrick once had her own dream choices for the roles. “I started writing Hush, Hush almost ten years ago, so I was picturing actors who are obviously now too old to play the parts. I wanted Steven Strait for Patch and Emmy Rossum for Nora, but that won’t work anymore,” she told EW. Now she thinks some undiscovered actors should star. Fair enough, but we took a shot at choosing some up-and-comers we love for the roles. Check out our choices and then chime in with your own!
OK, sure, I’m thankful for my (growing) family, food on the table and all that this Thanksgiving, but it ain’t my job to talk about those things here at VH1 Celebrity, so I get to skip to the lighter stuff and tell you that this year, I’m thankful for the heroines. Specifically, the heroines of a number of young adult novels I’ve been digging into this fall, and who, despite being teens in alternate universes, still manage to inspire this crusty old lady with their ability to rise above dreary circumstances with nothing but their wits. There are a whole lot of them, but I’ll narrow it down to the protagonists of two books that came out in the past month: Cassia, the heroine of Reached, the conclusion to Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy; and Adelice, the girl at the center of Gennifer Albin’s Crewel.
After saying goodbye to Twilight, and looking at a long wait for the next Hunger Games movie, I think we’re pretty lucky that there’s been a steady flow of other fantastic girls like Bella and Katniss jumping out of their pages. Not that I’d lump them all together, though. Cassia is unlike any others you’ve met: She began Matched perfectly content with the dystopian Society that dictated everything in her life from what she ate every meal to whom she’d married. And at first, it wasn’t any sort of mortal danger that woke her up from that illusion, it was a poem. As we’ve followe Cassia’s journey out of society, into the wilderness to follow her exiled love Ky (in book 2, Crossed) and back to work under cover for the rebellion in Reached, we see her grow brave and confident. We also see her become an artist in her own right, writing poems in a world finally realizing that 100 carefully selected classics aren’t enough. And then, strangely enough for such an entertaining book, it is actually Cassia’s skills as a statistician (or “Sorter” as they’re called) that proves to be what turns her into a hero for thousands. A girl who saves the day with math and literature? Yes, I think we could use a few more of those. Read more…
[Full disclosure before I start this post: I know the authors of Beautiful Bastard, I like them very much and I'm pumped to read this book.]
Yes, another Twilight fan fiction story will be making the leap from the web to the shelves of your local independent book seller (and, sigh, Barnes & Noble) on February 12, 2013. But don’t dismiss Beautiful Bastard as the next 50 Shades of Grey just yet. The original erotic fanfic, titled The Office, penned by Christina Hobbs in 2009, preceded E.L. James‘ red room of inner goddess-ness. According to University of Utah professor Anne Jamison, the story was revolutionary in the world of Twilight fanfic writing. She told The Hollywood Reporter that it “paved the way for Fifty Shades and a thousand other imitators. It turned fanfiction’s “porn without plot” into porn as plot, peopling Twilight‘s basic plot structure with sexually voracious, assertive and snarky adults.”
(Side note: A professor who lectures about fanfic? Sign me up for that class.)
We’re shocked that Summit Entertainment and Stephenie Meyer have yet to announce some kind of detox program to help those of us who’ve spent up to seven years addicted to the Twilight books and movies. Aren’t they worried about the withdrawal we’ll all experience once we’ve seen Breaking Dawn – Part 2 a few times and have no more Edward and Bella to look forward to? Well, not to suggest that there is anything that can replace Forks and the Cullens in your heart, but we have a few new obsessions you might consider taking up. Which you choose all depends on why you became a Twi-crack addict in the first place. Read on and then suggest your own!
If you love Twilight because of …
… its star-crossed lovers plot, you’ll love:
Warm Bodies, the novel by Isaac Marion and upcoming Summit movie starring Nicholas Hoult. Zombie R is a very different kind of undead than Edward, but his doomed love for Julie is just as epic and possibly world-changing. Dive into the book now and then look forward to the flick in February 2013.
The Hush Hush saga, by Becca Fitzpatrick. Nora Grey doesn’t know why she’s drawn to Patch her dangerous new biology lab partner… oh, sound familiar? Don’t worry, this is no knock off. Fitzpatrick has woven a very complex mythology around deadly angels and their offspring that will infuriate you with its addictive quality.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. Speaking of complex new mythology, don’t even ask us to explain the plot of this trilogy. Let us tell you that book one was one of the most breathtakingly beautiful reads of 2011 — there are angels, beastly creatures, exotic tooth poachers, ballet-dancing puppets and a love story that rivals Romeo and Juliet in its devastating nature.
… its gut-wrenching love triangle, you’ll love: Read more…
Stories that mess with your head are all the rage these days. Inception, Looper, Cloud Atlas — all these movies seem to require advanced degrees in philosophy and quantum physics to understand fully, but we’re sucked in anyway. And when a complete mindf— of a story also has compelling characters and hot romance, we’re lost. So we’re super excited that young adult novels and teen-targeted TV shows are getting in on the game too. Elizabeth Norris’ debut novel Unraveling, which came out this May, does what very few books can, blending the kind of high school angst we love with a metaphysical mystery and a touch of sci-fi that doesn’t turn off those who aren’t naturally fans of the genre. No wonder MTV just snatched it up as the basis of its next scripted series.
The novel begins when high school junior Janelle Tenner is hit by a truck and, she’s pretty sure, dies. But Ben Michaels, whom she’s always thought of as a weird stoner kid, somehow brought her back to life. Not only is she intrigued by him (way more than she is by her jock boyfriend), but she’s also compelled to investigate some mysterious (and super gruesome) deaths in a case her FBI agent father is in charge of. Of course, the two are related. And it turns out, the fate of her world depends on her figuring out this puzzle. I’m not going to spoil any more for you. Just know that the chemistry between Ben and Janelle is palpable, and the countdown running through the book is enough to make you break a sweat. If you haven’t yet read it, you have time to catch up and become a fan before the sequel, Unbreakable, comes out on April 23, 2013. We’ve got the exclusive premiere of the cover above, and in a version you can study at length below. Read more…