Last year’s near-perfect post-apocalyptic horror novel The Girl With All the Gifts (like all good and bad things) is being adapted into a film.
The adaptation — which is getting re-titled She Who Brings Gifts — will star Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine.
Even more exciting? The film will be directed by Colm McCarthy, who has worked on UK shows like “Peaky Blinders,” “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock.”
Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman
From “a top-notch emerging writer with a crisp and often poetic voice and wily, intelligent humor”: a collection of stories that explores the lives of talented, gutsy women throughout history.
The fascinating lives of the characters in Almost Famous Women have mostly been forgotten, but their stories are burning to be told. Now Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise, resurrects these women, lets them live in the reader’s imagination, so we can explore their difficult choices. Nearly every story in this dazzling collection is based on a woman who attained some celebrity—she raced speed boats or was a conjoined twin in show business; a reclusive painter of renown; a member of the first all-female, integrated swing band. We see Lord Byron’s illegitimate daughter, Allegra; Oscar Wilde’s troubled niece, Dolly; West With the Night author Beryl Markham; Edna St. Vincent Millay’s sister, Norma. These extraordinary stories travel the world, explore the past (and delve into the future), and portray fiercely independent women defined by their acts of bravery, creative impulses, and sometimes reckless decisions.
The world hasn’t always been kind to unusual women, but through Megan Mayhew Bergman’s alluring depictions they finally receive the attention they deserve. Almost Famous Women is a gorgeous collection from an “accomplished writer of short fiction.”
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Fiction meets nonfiction in these stories of women who were pushed to the fringes of history by their more famous brethren, including Lord Byron’s daughter and Oscar Wilde’s niece.
Atlantia by Ally Condie
Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Young adult Atlantis (which we are going to pretend is actually about mermaids).
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (Galley)
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Genre: Fiction, science fiction, horror, zombies, post-apocalyptic, I wish I could forget that ending and experience it all over again
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Summary: Melanie is not your average 10-year-old girl, and not just because for as long as she can remember she has lived inside a military base as a devastating apocalyptic zombie-esque plague has destroyed life in England. Melanie doesn’t remember life before the Breakdown, having not been born yet, but she is aware of the existence of the ravenous hungries who threaten human life as well as the day to day minutiae that has determined her own childhood. But is this new way of life even living at all, and who would miss the world that we leave behind?
I would be very hard pressed to talk about The Girl with All the Gifts without giving away all the equally fun and horrifying things you will discover through reading the various POVs in the story. Luckily enough, I went into the story knowing only that it was a science fiction tale about a 10-year-old girl named Melanie who is blessed with a number of gifts. It was for this reason that I made some very wrong assumptions about the novel, including that there was some sort of superhero element involved. Oh how naive I was. I blame Joss Whedon.
With that said, I would highly recommend reading this fantastic book without knowing anything about the plot, the characters or the themes. You’ll thank me later. For those of you who don’t give a fig about the experience and want to learn more about the zombies and the ideas they represent, you can read on and eliminate all the fun from your life. You have been warned.
Just when you thought HBO couldn’t give us anymore off the wall programming, they’ve announced that director Darren Aronofsky (AKA The Black Swan guy) will be taking on Margaret Atwood’s dystopic/speculative fiction trilogy MaddAddam.
The trilogy — which is made up of the novels Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam — follows a world in the near future where corporations have overrun the government, all food is genetically engineered and mankind is on the brink of destruction thanks to some pesky medication.
You know, just your average mid-21st century post-apocalyptic story.
Unbreakable (The Legion: Book 1) by Kami Garcia
Genre: YA fiction, supernatural, Supernatural, mystery, adventure, paranormal scavenger hunt
Rating: 4.13 out of 5 stars
Summary: Kennedy’s an incredible artist with a photographic memory who lives with her mom after her father abandons them. The worst thing going on in her life is that things didn’t work out with her boyfriend….until her mother is murdered and Kennedy is suddenly under attack by vengeance spirits and poltergeists set on killing her too. She runs for it with a van full of teens claiming to be members of The Legion – a centuries old group whose paranormal fighting powers are passed down from generation to generation. They also tell Kennedy that she’s one of them, the missing fifth member. Jared and Lukas are twins and grew up learning to fight ghosts with their father and uncle. Alara was raised by her voodoo loving grandmother and Priest is an actual genius who learned everything he knows from his grandfather. But Kennedy didn’t even know ghosts and demons existed until one killed her mother. As she struggles to fit in and learn as much as she can as fast as she can, she must also battle with herself over this possible new identity. Could she really be special? Or is she just a mistake like her father said before he left? Most importantly, can she be brave enough to help stop a demon and save the world?
So believe it or not, I was directed to this book by Buzzfeed. (And to a lesser extent our book release list.) I didn’t even really need to read this whole list – a YA book recommendation for people who love the TV Show Supernatural? I’m obviously in. This book is pretty much exactly Supernatural except with an actual Scooby gang and with actual girls! With personalities and everything! The book is in first person, told from the point of view of Kennedy who thought she was a mostly normal girl living in a totally normal world – until her mother is killed and all of a sudden her house is being ripped apart by a poltergeist. Luckily, two hot, gun-filled-with-salt-rounds-wielding brothers burst in to save her just in time. Jared (yes, Jared) and Lukas are twins and were raised to be hunters – you know, the family business. Okay except it’s a bit more complicated because actually they are members of a secret society formed hundreds of years ago to stop the Illuminati. The Legion always has five members and the position is passed down from generation to generation.
The first group of Legion-ers made the classic mistake of trying to raise a demon to do their bidding. The inevitable happens where they lose control and that demon – Andras – has been hunting them ever since. Usually they operate in secret, each member only knowing how to contact one other member to keep the demon from finding them. That worked until now – Andras killed all five members at the same time, leaving our group of teens in charge of destroying him and saving the world from evil.