Tag: patrick ness

It’s Space Day! Check Out These 5 Stellar YA Sci-Fi Reads

Whether or not you believe we’ve actually set foot on the moon (honestly, my preferred conspiracy theories are of the death-faking variety), it’s easy to see that our desire to reach for the stars is so fundamentally human. This insatiable curiosity for the universe is perhaps the same need that drives us to create art, to tell stories. The least explored frontiers aren’t always further and further away—they can exist within the remotest places in our own bodies and hearts, things we’ve thought and felt but have never been able to express. There’s nothing quite like reading that one searing line in your favorite new novel just to realize that someone finally understands—and that now, so do you.

Today, we celebrate Space Day. An annual holiday celebrated the first Friday of May, it exists to honor the achievements of space exploration and encourage young people to enter careers in science and engineering. (We’re guessing ‘Get Paid a Liveable Salary Day’ didn’t have quite the same ring to it.) But jokes aside, these five YA novels share the same purpose: to capture our collective wonder, which, when put to task, is a pretty powerful thing.

Grab one of these books, lie back, space out, & enjoy.

 

1. The Disasters by M. K. England

'The Disasters' by MK England

Queer characters?? And a queer author?? Everyone needs to give The Disasters some serious love. M.K. England offers readers a fun, fast-paced romp around the galaxy with an extremely entertaining (and diverse) cast of characters. England’s interplanetary colonies were extremely well-realized; clearly, England went beyond futuristic moon bases that look like the inside of an Apple store and neon Star Wars lasers. All of the colonies seem rich and grounded with culture, and when have you last read a YA where the basis for the fictional world was African / Middle Eastern culture? (That is, besides Children of Blood and Bone) An extremely endearing tale of a misfit cast of characters. Also, who doesn’t love a disaster bisexual protagonist?

 

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.

But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.

They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

2. We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

You’d think that once you introduce the aliens, the book can’t get any weirder. Wrong. This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read, the aliens more a vehicle through which to explore complex family bonds, relationship abuse, struggles with sexuality, and the general existential bullshit of the universe. It’s rare that a book about someone who really isn’t all that interesting in living will make you want to live, but we did say this book was weird—that’s weird as a synonym for uniquely moving.

 

From the author of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes a brand-new novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving.

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.

Only he isn’t sure he wants to.

After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year.

Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.

But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.

 


3. The Last 8 by Laura Pohl

'The Last 8' by Laura Pohl

When was the last time you read a novel with an aromantic, bisexual protagonist? Given that WordPress is telling me to correct the spelling of ‘aromantic’ (probably to aromatic or, more ironically, a romantic), I’m gonna guess NEVER. This #OwnVoices novel is a wild ride of plot twists and nonstop danger, and, as a bonus, it includes a responsible and nuanced handling of mental health issues. It’s a unique tale of friendship and sacrifice… one not weighed down by a forced romance that seems to mistakenly believe it’s more important than the world getting saved.

 

A high-stakes survival story about eight teenagers who outlive an alien attack—perfect for fans of The 5th Wave 

Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn’t among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it.

When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she’s shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they’re all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she’s greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth.

Only they aren’t the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn’t know what to believe…or who to trust.

 

4. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

'The Knife of Never Letting Go' by Patrick Ness

 

Let’s dive into this powerful classic YA with one of its most iconic quotes: “we are the choices we make.” Maybe you should make the choice to head down to your local bookstore and grab this for yourself. Winner of the Guardian Award, the novel has left a lasting impact: pop-culture superstars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland set to star in a film adaptation scheduled to hit theaters in March 2020. With its raw, unfiltered voice, it’s sure to stay on your mind for a long time to come… and on your bookshelf for even longer.

 

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

 

5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

book cover

 

You may never have wanted to read a novel about a cyborg Cinderella living in a futuristic city while getting into sci-fi shenanigans all vaguely reminiscent of childhood staple Sailor Moon… but that’s probably only because you didn’t know that novel was available. This breakout hit launched Meyer’s career, and she’s since published eleven others books that are just as unique as they are uniquely compelling. You’d think novels based loosely on fairy tales would have to be at least somewhat derivative; that’s only because you haven’t read this one.

 

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

 

 

 

 

All In-Text Images Via Amazon.
Featured Image Via SteemIt.

Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop reading a book - A Discovery of Witches

5 Magical Book Series With Enchanting Future Adaptations

Spring is here, the time of new life, so it’s time to spring-clean your must-watch and must-read lists before summertime! We’ve got five enchanting book series for you to read, each of which you can expect to see coming to your screens. Some will show up sooner than others (like A Discovery of Witches which premieres April 7 9/8c on AMC), but as for those adaptations without official release dates—we’re sure you’ll have fun looking forward to them!

So, without further ado, here are five magical series that are certain to enchant you.

 

1. Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Series / AMC’s A Discovery of Witches

Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop with hand on the nose of white horse
Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Adrian Rogers/SKY Productions/Sundance Now

 

Based on Deborah Harkness‘ bestselling All Souls trilogy, AMC’s upcoming TV adaptation A Discovery of Witches follows Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch who accidentally calls up a bewitched manuscript. This mistake will propel her into a world of dark magic and forbidden love… thereby introducing her to the intriguing, mysterious geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont.

This is a thrilling series to both read and watch, so get turning those pages before A Discovery of Witches premieres April 7 9/8c on AMC.

Follow the show on Facebook and Twitter! And don’t miss your chance to win $500 by entering below!

 

 

2. Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking series 

 

Patrick Ness's Chaose Walking Trilogy | Image Via The Edge
Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy | Image Via The Edge

 

Upcoming film Chaos Walking is based on Patrick Ness‘ The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first in his bestselling YA Chaos Walking trilogy. The story is set in a dystopian future where children are raised to believe that a virus killed off all the women in their colony, which caused a mass unleashing of psychological “noise,” the ability to hear the minds of people and animals. When Todd happens upon an unknown person who is two remarkable things—silent and a girl—he realizes that the stories about the virus may not be what they seem.

The film adaptation, on its way in 2020, stars Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland, and Nick Jonas.

 

3. Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl Series

 

Artemis Fowl book covers
Image Via Collider

 

The Artemis Fowl franchise currently boasts no less than eight instalments in addition to a collection of graphic novels and a spin-off, The Fowl Twins, in the works. The beloved and long-running series follows the adventures of a boy genius who, in the first novel, kidnaps a fairy in the hopes of extorting ransom from the Fairy People and restoring the Fowl family fortune. It gets weirder—and even more awesome—from there.

A film adaptation was first announced all the way back in 2001, but it wasn’t until Disney took over the project in 2016 that things really got moving. Starring newcomer Ferdia Shaw in the titular role, Artemis Fowl comes out August 9th, and is sure to be worth the long wait!

 

4. Victoria Aveyard’s The Red Queen Series 

 

VICTORIA AVEYARD'S THE RED QUEEN SERIES 
Image Via YouTube

 

Victoria Aveyard is only twenty-eight-years-old, but she’s the bestselling author of Red Queen, the first instalment of an amazing (and amazingly popular) fantasy series. Mare Barrow lives in a profoundly stratified society, a seemingly irreparable schism between the upper-class people with silver blood and the poorer people who have red blood. The catch? Silver blooded people have magical abilities. Poor people have nothing. That is, except for Mare, who has red blood and a superhuman power…

Universal Studios purchased the rights, and The Hunger Games‘ Elizabeth Banks has signed on to direct the movie adaptation!

5. V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Series 

 

V.E. Schwab's trilogy book covers
Image Via Tor/Forge Blog

 

A Darker Shade of Magic, the first in V.E. Schwab‘s Shades of Magic series follows Kell as he travels through four different Londons, each of them distinct in their levels of magic. Kell is from Red London, an extremely magical city that may not be quite as safe as its residents seem to believe. When Kell, the only remaining magician who can move between these worlds, meets a human woman from our own ordinary London, they’ll have some universe-saving to do. NPR says the hit series is compulsively readable, “with the ease of a young-adult novel, with short paragraphs, quick-moving prose, and plenty of action;” at the same time, “it’s grimmer even than the current bout of post-Hunger Games YA.” We can’t wait to get our hearts crushed!

We don’t yet have a cast or official dates for the Sony Pictures adaptation, which will be produced by Gerard Butler. But hey, that just means you’ll have more time to get reading!

buffy

6 Chilling Book Recommendations Based On Your Favorite Spooky TV Shows

We love Halloween- it’s scary, campy, and you can be whatever you want to be (which you can mostly do all the time, unless what you want to be is a ghoul or a sexier version of something decidedly unsexy). Unfortunately, getting down to the last episode of your favorite show is not the fun kind of scary. But if your show is on this list, here are some spooky, whacky, and genuinely frightening reads to tide you over.

 

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

 

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

 

 

Those of us with Buffy nostalgia face a challenge that can be scarier than the show itself- the fact that the show’s been finished since 2003. But if you can’t live without the misadventures of the teens quietly (and sometimes NOT so quietly) defending Sunnydale from monsters, why not explore an untold part of that story?

 

Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here explores the lives of background characters in a nondescript town like Sunnydale for those of us who have never fought a vampire with our bare hands (or, you know, with anything else). Teenagers beset with their own slew of issues try to exist as the Chosen Ones deal with their zombie cops and spooky blue lights from outer space. This genre-bending book merges fantasy with reality as Ness explores how ordinary human lives fit in with the high stakes of genre fiction.

 

 

Supernatural

 

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

 

 

Unlike with Buffy, anyone who watches Supernatural knows there’s no shortage of content. Now entering its fourteenth season, the cult classic has thrilled viewers since 2005 with its story of two inseparable brothers who save lives, hunt monsters, make questionable choices, and fight with each other nonstop.

 

V.E. Schwab’s Vicious is a twist on the typical superhero story, following two former classmates who were once as close as brothers. When a string of bad decisions puts the friends in uncomfortably close contact with the world of the supernatural, some lives are saved- and others are lost. The mercurial relationship between Schwab’s protagonists may remind you of Supernatural‘s infamous brothers, and the hunting definitely will.

 

 

Stranger Things

 

It by Stephen King

 

 

This hit TV show taps into 80s nostalgia in a serious way, and so modern books just won’t always sate your craving. You can take the edge off this with a book with the story that inspired last fall’s pop culture phenomenon: Stephen King’s IT.

 

Written in 1990 and set in the mid 80s, the story also focuses on a gang of kids taking on a threat that adults in town don’t understand. Featuring a familiar camaraderie, the Losers try to stop the entity that they have discovered, attempting to save both their town and themselves. And is there collateral damage? Well, isn’t there always?

 

The Walking Dead

 

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

 

 

Zombies might seem to be the territory of genre fiction and pop culture, but that isn’t always the case. Literary superstar Colson Whitehead’s Zone One blends genre and literary fiction as it explores not the zombie apocalypse exactly, but what happens after.

 

With the mixture of tenderness and violence that viewers expect from The Walking Dead, Whitehead explicitly wanders into the thematic landscape of zombies, discussing at length the kind of moral and existential questions that many zombie stories only hint at.

 

American Horror Story

 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

 

It might be hard to decide what will get you your AHS fix, given the wide range of premises the show offers. Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus shares a similar versatility, blending elements of magic and witchcraft (like AHS season 3) with the creepy aesthetic of a sinister traveling circus (season 4). With a flair for the strange, cruel, and dramatic, The Night Circus’ range of amoral characters and tragically doomed human connections are reminiscent of all seasons of AHS.

 

Black Mirror

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

 

 

While not explicitly a horror show, Black Mirror’s one-off dystopian plot lines terrify audiences with their creativity… and plausibility. Often focusing on motifs of alienation and technology, the show provides us with a horrifying reality that we both can and cannot imagine. A YA classic, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies depicts a dystopian world in which, on their sixteenth birthday, teenagers undergo surgery to become Pretties- artificially enhanced beautiful people with equally beautiful lives (sounds exactly like being sixteen, right?). Unfortunately, life is not quite as beautiful as it appears. And unfortunately, that’s not all the surgery does.

 

 

Featured Image Via 2glory.de. All in-text images via Amazon.