Teen Book Review

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Review by Fallon, Northwest Branch

When 18-year-old Sophie's father dies, she stays at the family hat shop while her sisters move out of the house to seek their fortunes.  Convinced that she is going to go nowhere in life from being the eldest, Sophie is soon bored.  But when the infamous Witch of the Waste comes in to buy a hat and feels dissatisfied, she turns Sophie into an old lady.  Now Sophie must enter the dreaded Wizard Howl's Castle, who is known to eat the hearts of beautiful girls.

Why I Picked it up: I loved the movie of the same name directed by Hayao Miyazaki. When I found out it was a book, I had to read it!  Although it is much different from the book, I also recommend the movie.

Why I finished it:  The storyline was varied a lot from the book, but was still very intriguing and had interesting characters, although I still do not understand Howl.  But be warned that the author does a lot of foreshadowing and to pay attention to minor details.
I'd recommend it to: People who like fantasy, but it is not a typical fantasy.  It is funny in the dry British sort of way, if you know what I mean.  However, if you don't like English authors I would not recommend it to you.

Chaos Walking movie announced!

Did you love the Chaos Walking trilogy as much as I did?  It's just been announced that they are making it into a movie, hoping to find "the next Hunger Games!"


Hunger WHAT?  Chaos Walking needs no comparison– just read book one "The Knife of Never Letting Go" and see for yourself!  Click below to find a copy or place a hold–>

The Knife of Never Letting Go


The Perks of Being a Wallflower Movie!!!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was published over 10 years ago but teens are still reading it.  Some would even call this book a "young adult classic"; there are few books with that claim.  Now we can see The Perks of Being a Wallflower on the big screen in 2012.  It will be interesting to see what Chbosky will do with the film since he is the writer and director.  For more information about the movie check out these two websites:


Book-to-Movie News!

Attention all Horror-Fantasy fans!  

Joseph Delaney's popular tween-teen crossover series "The Last Apprentice" — now on book 8 or so —  is being adapted into a movie!

The movie, planned as the first in a series, will be based on the first book only,  Revenge of the Witch, and will be called "The Seventh Son."  Stars already lined up include Jeff Bridges (as the Spook) and Julianne Moore (as scary-evil witch Mother Malkin).  No announcement yet who will play the young apprentice Tom (although one rumor says Alex Pettyfer).  The latest IMDb posting has it scheduled for release in 2013.

Haven't read these yet?  Don't be fooled by the location of these books in the children's section of the library — they are seriously creepy!  And the 2013 movie release date gives you plenty of time to catch up!

Revenge of the Witch View full image
Curse of the Bane View full image
Night of the Soul Stealer View full image
 Attack of the Fiend  View full image
 Wrath of the Bloodeye  View full image
 Clash of the Demons  View full image
 Rise of the Huntress  View full image
 Rage of the Fallen  releases April 19, 2011


Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss??

It seems the speculation about who will play Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games movie may almost be over. Now we just need to wait with bated breath to see who will play Peeta and Gale.


I haven't seen "Winter's Bone," which I guess is what catapulted Jennifer to the top of the casting list.  I definitely don't picture Katniss as a cute blonde, but I guess Hollywood can make people look anyhow they like.  I liked the portrayal of Katniss by Danielle Chuchran (who is also a blonde) in this trailer, so looks don't really matter. 

What do you think about Jennifer Lawrence playing this role?

YA Books as TV Shows

In the past few years, there have been several popular YA book series turned into tv shows.  Often when things are adapted for television (or movie), they get cut up, changed, edited, and patched back together to fit "the industry's" vision of what the public wants.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes bad.  I'm curious, what do you all think?  Are you reading and/or watching these books & shows?  Here are some of them:


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I've watched a few of the Gossip Girl episodes, and read several of the books – the Library owns all of them, so go ahead and place a hold if you want to check them out.  I thought casting overall was decent, although I was horrified by the casting of Jenny (her defining attribute, which drove the plot in several of the books is her … um… generous chest, which is nonexistent in the show).  Also, I didn't like them changing the character of Serena's brother.  Oh well.



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The Vampire Diaries books originally came out in 1995.  They were pretty much out of print and forgotten until the TV show came out in 2009.  Now the books are all reissued and spiffed up, with a brand-new sequel just out.  Ian Somerhalder seems a bit old to me, to play Damon (I can deal with 25-year-olds playing high school students, but 35?).  Also, the actress who plays Elena is a bit too likable for my tastes — one of the things I liked about the books is how nasty she is.  Otherwise, I think the show is a decent adaptation.  Too bad it will have to fight off comparisons to Twilight and True Blood.



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This series is different in that it is actually a web series, playing on the internet and not airing on broadcast television.  The book series debuted in 2006, and the web series in 2009 (DVD just released in August, and we should have it in the SCL collection soon!).  In an interesting twist, the producers conducted an American-Idol-style casting competition, with the top contenders for the role of Kiran competing in a televised reality-TV-style contest.  I haven't seen this one at all, so you'll have to let me know if the best person won.



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This one is a newcomer to the TV show block — it's still in the midst of its first season, and not coming out on DVD until next year.  The books first started coming out in 2006, and are still going strong.  The story of the missing/ presumed dead girl who comes back to haunt her guilty friends has been done many times before, but this series actually does a good job of keeping you on your toes.  I've only seen the pilot of the TV show, and it seemed like the character development and casting did justice to the books.


So, are there any other recent TV shows based on YA books that I am missing?  Let me know, so I can add them to my read and watch lists!

Movie Update!

Beastly the movie was suppose to open on July 30th.  Now according to IMDB the release date will be March 18, 2011!!!  Give us plenty of time to check out the book before the movie comes out!

Rumor has it that Uglies the movie will go into production later this year!  If you haven't read this trilogy yet, now is a great time to start.  The first book in the series is Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

Flipped the movie is coming out August 6th!  This movie is based on Wendelin Van Draanen's book.  It should be a sweet romantic comedy!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret the movie is currently in film production.  According to IMDB, Hugo Cabret will be release on December 9, 2011.  Which leaves plenty of time to read the book. 

Read it before you see it!

This summer promises to be a great movie watching summer! There are three movies coming out this summer that are based on YA books. Read the book before you see the movie!

eclipse.jpg Teens and adults across the country are counting down the days for the new Twilight movie. Read (or re-read) Eclipse before the movie comes out on June 30th!

beastly.jpg Beastly is coming out on July 30th. The book is a modern re-telling of "Beauty and the Beast". Check out the official movie website http://www.beastlythemovie.com/

scott.jpg Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a movie based on a popular graphic novel. Check out the Scott Pilgrim's precious little life before you go to see this movie on August 13th.