friday5 for May 10, 2013

1. As I touched on last week, I love a highly anticipated cover reveal. It's almost as exciting as a book's release date. Okay, not quite, but it's pretty damn exciting. Without further ado:

What do you think? Personally, I love it. I can't wait to see all three books together on my shelf!

2. In less happy YA book news, two YA-series-to-small-screen adaptations have been canned this week, neither making it into the fall schedule after their pilots were shot. The much buzzed about pilot for Lauren Oliver's Delirium was passed on by Fox, while the second go-round at Keirra Cass's The Selection apparently still wasn't what the CW was looking for. In looking at the popular and successful The Vampire Diaries and PLL, I can't help but feel like the length of a YA book series is a huge factor in determining whether or not its adaptation is better suited to the small screen vs. the big screen. Why were Delirium and The Selection slotted for TV instead of the movie theater in the first place? Don't they seem like big picture stories to be told? Obviously whomever optioned the rights made that call, but it begs the question--do stand alone titles or duology/trilogy series have any place on TV? Does a YA book series have to be on on-going lengthy series (like PLL) to make for good weekly programming?

3. Kickstarter. It's in the news a lot these days. I've blogged before about the phenomenal Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign that seemingly started a trend. Well, now Zach Braff (super <3 him from his Scrubs days) is using Kickstarter to fund his next indie film project (the non-connected follow-up to Garden State). There are people who, for whatever reason, think it's okay for Rob Thomas to use Kickstarter, but not Zach (cause he's... copying? Which... doesn't make any sense? Or maybe... I don't understand this double standard?) and then there are people who have a problem with "Hollywood types" using Kickstarter at all. Personally, I don't have a problem with it (and in fact, have contributed to both campaigns). Nobody is forcing anybody to do anything. And as Zach has explained, he's contributing his own money to the project already, but this was an opportunity for him to make a great film instead of a lesser version of his vision. And yeah, if you aren't on board with his vision and don't care to help him make his film, don't contribute. That's kinda how this whole thing works. But why should the fact that he's a celebrity prevent him from using a publicly available service to raise money for an art project he feels passionate about? Zach talks about the whole situation here and I support him 100%.

4. Sigh. Community. The season four season (series?) finale just aired and I feel like if I'd blinked I'd have missed this entire season. Way too short. Yes, it had some growing pains as it adjusted under the helm of new show runners, but it was still one of the highlights of my TV week. As I write this, the final decision on whether or not the show will have a season five is looming. Fingers are firmly crossed! As different as the fourth season felt, I still love my Greendale Seven and I'm not ready to say goodbye.

5.Lots of great books hitting the shelves this week! At a time when publishing seems to be in constant flux, I love to see that great books are still managing to make it through the ever-changing system. This week I'm feeling rather enticed by The End Games by T. Michael Martin:

It happened on Halloween.

The world ended.

And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

T. Michael Martin’s debut novel is a transcendent thriller filled with electrifying action, searing emotional insight, and unexpected romance.
(Summary from
Okay, first of all, I am feeling tremendous amounts of love for this cover. It has many of the elements I love in a strong, eye-catching cover. Gorgeous design elements, a vibrant colour-scheme and and a mix of character and tone that puts you in the story before you even read the back cover! It's perfect. As for the story itself, I may be on a zombie kick these days, but it's not just zombies, it's fresh, interesting twists on zombies and I'm loving the set up for this one. The brothers aspect is intriguing and endearing. I love a good male protagonist too. It's a nice break from the female voices that dominate YA (especially when I primarily write in a female YA voice. It's good to change things up and get a feel for something different.) And then there's The Game. Not exactly a new concept, but the way it's being used here sounds twisty and dire. I like it :)

Happy weekend!

friday5 for March 29, 2013

1. Happy Easter! Sort of... Okay, it's only Good Friday, but that means Easter is right around the corner and since this is a Friday thing, Happy Easter! I am personally hoping that Easter ushers in some warmer--dare I say spring-like--weather because I am so beyond sick and tired of winter dragging on and on and on and on.... I feel like this is payback for the mild winter we had last year, but come on! Spring in southern Ontario is short enough as it is. At this rate, we are going to jump from dreary grey freezing rain to unbearable scorching heat. So come on Easter Bunny, please leave a little sunshine and spring weather for us to find when you're hiding those eggs! Otherwise the baby chicks won't know what season it is and mass hysteria will ensue!
Like this, but with more fluffy confusion!
2. I have to admit, I'm not totally 100% up on news this week because the Studer household has been stricken with the dreaded pink eye. I don't recommend it to anybody. But while I was home with a sick little bay this week, I discovered the wonder that is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I know. I know. I'm waaaaaay behind on this one, but it's really enjoyable (and though some aspects of it are a little too familiar, I like it enough to consider it an homage to The Guild, which is almost as fab as its creator, Felicia Day). TLBD (is that a thing?) is fresh and funny and yeah, kinda sorta addictive. When I sat down to check it out I found the sheer number of episodes intimidating, but they're quick and compulsive and before you know it you've watched 50 of them. So yeah, if you haven't checked it out, it's worth a look!

3. Okay, I don't really understand exactly what the link is yet, BUT this week ABC Family announced that there's going to be a PLL spin-off! I feel like I should be more excited about this than I am, but that might just be because I don't understand exactly what makes this a spin-off aside from the claim that Ravenswood (spin-off town) is an awkwardly named neighbouring city to Rosewood (I feel like it should be Ravenwood, not Ravenswood. But whatever.). Despite the fact that I don't know what the show is really about or how it's connected to PLL, if it's anywhere near as juicy and well-plotted as PLL then I'm in!

4. I hope you're all watching the new season of Community, even if it feels kinda strange. Like that time you accidentally put your underpants on backwards and were all "What is going on with these underpants? OHhhhhhh! They're on backwards!" What was I saying? Oh yeah. Community. Yes, this season does have a different vibe to it, but I'm still enjoying it and I'm still waiting for it to feel familiar again. I don't know whether or not it ever will, but it's still one of the best comedies on TV and everyone should watch it. If you're a fan and you're feeling a little confused about the show these days, this editorial piece on Hypable does a fantastic job of summing up how I think most long-time Greendale Human Beings are feeling through this strange (but still entertaining!) fourth season.

5. YA book rec time! I feel like I keep saying that I don't actually read a lot of contemporary YA, but I think that might be a lie. I think the real truth is that I don't read AS MUCH contemporary YA as I do other sub-genres, but I definitely enjoy me some good contemporary YA! In that vein, this week I recommend Going Vintage by the highly skilled Lindsay Leavitt:

Classic AND classy!
When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.
(Summary from
 I love love love the concept behind this book! And how kickin is that cover? I love the pink and green and the print and outfit--I love it all! Even the title is a perfect fit! But if you're gonna check it out, you pretty much need to go with the print edition--I feel like it would be in poor taste to read a book on this topic in e-book format, no?

Happy weekend!