Tag: new books


I Tried the Penguin-Mini Books and I Have a Lot of Thoughts

I never thought I’d be reading a book the size of the first iPod Touch until I came across the latest editions of John Green’s bestselling books. Marketed as Penguin Minis, these books have text that reads horizontally with onion-thin pages flipping upward. As a person who loves to lug books around, this would be a perfect option in theory. In execution, I was completely wrong. 


I never thought I would hate a book format more than a poorly designed e-book, but Penguin Minis have come along to prove me very, very wrong. The point of these books is to be super easy to handle. Apparently, the “revolutionary landscape design and ultra-thin paper makes it easy to hold in one hand.” While I will admit that the book itself feels quite nice to hold in such a nontraditional way, trying to read the pages and flip from page to page is near impossible. The pages are so thin that there is no way I can successful grab onto only one, instead flipping an entire chapter. 



GIF Via The New York Times


The text size is nothing to complain about unless you’re not used to reading mass market paperbacks with similarly thin pages and smaller print than typical paperback books or if you have particularly bad eyesight. I took issue with my bad eyesight combined with the small font and the thin pages. From a distance, it was hard to keep track of where I was on the page as the words from the pages before ghosted onto the page I was reading.



Photo via Emily Hering


On top of all of this, there are twenty-five skin-thin pages at the end of the book just hanging out. What does Penguin and John Green expect me to do with these? Write notes in them? Doodle my interpretation of Gus’s pre-funeral? Write my riveting review of the novel? What is the purpose of these twenty-five blank pages? 



In conclusion, would I purchase a Penguin Mini again? Absolutely not. They may be perfect for reading on the subway during rush hour, but the thinness of the pages makes reading a two-handed activity, even for the most agile of readers. I will give them credit and say that it is probably one of the cutest books I will ever own and it will look preciously displayed on my bookshelf. It may just be a case of a format that Americans aren’t quite used to and with an audience that isn’t quite ready for another revolution in literary distribution, this time in the form of palm-sized books. 



Maybe next time, Penguin. 



Featured Image via Washington Post

Renée Adieh and 'The Beautiful' trailer thumbnail

This New Book Is Reviving Vampire YA Fiction and I Am HERE For It

Many people of my generation will remember the golden age of vampire YA fiction; Twilight, Vampire AcademyMarkedThe Vampire DiariesThe Chronicles of Vladimir TodCirque du Freak…. I could go on. Then, the vampire craze lost its steam and we moved on to other genres. I believe dystopias became the next big thing in YA literature, but there was also that hot second where zombies were pretty big.


Barnes and Noble "Teen Paranormal Romance" section

Image via The Indiscriminate Reader


Anyway, YA author Renée Ahdieh, author of Flame in the Mist and Wrath and the Dawn, is doing the lord’s work and will be publishing a brand new vampiric young adult novel next fall. This book will be the first in a series of novels set in 19th century New Orleans (my inner thirteen-year-old’s heart is singing).


“In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to 17-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and — especially — to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose — one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.”



Now, as dear a spot as the vampire teen lit of yore holds in my heart, was it terribly sophisticated literature? Nah. But The Beautiful seems like its going to be quite a powerful book with a strong commentary on our current political situation, according to a recent interview Ahdieh did with Entertainment Weekly about the book:


When I first began crafting Celine’s story, I poured all my rage at the current political situation into her character. At how this mounting toxicity is affecting women and marginalized people from all walks of life…. Celine fights back when a young man assaults her, and flees her home because she knows no one will believe her. I wrote this book months before the events in our recent past, and it’s sadly unsurprising how understandable Celine’s reaction is, even now. But this story galvanized me, even through my despair.


The Beautiful will be available on October 8th, 2019, and I’m rather excited to see what it will do with the well-established teen vampire phenomenon, and I am particularly excited for the release of the book’s cover art. Based on the covers to Ahdieh’s other works, The Beautiful is sure to be a doozy, whenever it comes out. Till then, we can content ourselves with the book’s trailer.




Featured Image Via Renée Adieh and YouTube.


Lin Manuel Miranda, Roxane Gay and Many More to Write for America Ferrera’s New Anthology

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star America Ferrera has gathered the ultimate group of writers and culture icons to write for her new anthology, American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures. The collection of essays is set to be released this fall from Simon and Schuster and will feature essays from prominent activists and immigrants including Uzo Aduba, Roxane Gay, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michelle Kwan, and Aluli’i Carvalho just to name a few.  



Image Via Simon and Schuster 


Ferrera has become an important political activist, fighting for the right of women, Latinx people, and immigrants, making her anthology timely. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the nonprofit Immigrants: We Get The Job Done Coalition, which provides legal support to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.


American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between cultures is set to be released September 25, 2018 and is now available for preorder


Featured Image Via CNN. 

martin will never come out with Winds of Winter, I'm calling it now.

George R. R. Martin Reveals New Information About “Winds of Winter” and Fans Are Shook

Following the news of HBO ordering a pilot episode of a prequel to Game of Thrones and fans are *shook*.


So is George R. R. Martin, apparently. 



Via Giphy


Martin took to his blog, Not A Blog, to dispel some rumors, set the record straight as to what the prequel will entail, and to remind readers that Winds of Winter is still coming. Most importantly, he reassured fans that he won’t be writing the pilot episode and possible eventual series, but only consulting, saying:

And yes, before you ask, work on Winds of Winter continues, and remains my top priority. It is ridiculous to think otherwise. If I wasn’t busy with Winds, don’t you think I’d be scripting one or more of these pilots myself?


Given that Martin has been saying he’s been focusing on nothing but Winds of Winter, the novel could be finished anytime between tomorrow morning to the end of time, there really is no telling. 



Via Giphy


Along with the updates around the Winds of Winter completion and release, Martin assured fans that none of the characters featured in the Game of Thrones series will be appearing in the prequel. According to him, the untitled prequel will be set ten thousand years before Game of Thrones, making it impossible for any of the characters to be relevant or possible in this series.


As with most Martin projects, the end result comes out a lot later than everyone expected. Taking into consideration that the prequel project has no director, location, cast, or even a title, the pilot episode probably won’t be out for a good, long while. 


Regardless of how long this new endeavor may take or what it will entail, fantasy and Martin fans rejoice. 




Via Giphy



Featured Image Via EW.


Check Out the Spooky Cover for the Stranger Things Books!

While fans patiently await the third season of Netflix’s hit show, Stranger Things, fans can soon get their fill of 80’s pop culture nostalgia with new books being published by Penguin Random House as soon as this fall. The worldwide publishing deal between Netflix and Random House will feature a behind-the-scenes companion book, a hardcover gift book for young readers, and a prequel novel about Eleven’s mother and the MKUltra program.


The companion book will be titled Strangers Things: World Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-The-Scenes Companion, offering readers an inside look into every aspect of the series through color photos and concept art. The companion book will be released November 13, 2018 and is available now for preorder. Check out the spoooky cover here:


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Via Penguin Random House


While the companion book will tie over fans until the fall premier of the third season, author Gwenda Bond will be writing the prequel novel set to follow Eleven’s mother, Terry, and her entry into the MKUltra program, as seen briefly in season one of the show. 

The author took to twitter to express her excitement and to share her own 1960’s and 70’s-themed playlists to accompany the prequel. 



Given the popularity of the series, the novels will be a fantastic way to flesh out the world and its characters, giving them opportunities to develop the world past the screen. Seeing as the creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, only expect the series to last four or five seasons, the novel expansions will be a great opportunity to continue the story even after the show ends.  


Featured Image Via Penguin Random House.