[Editor's note: As part of our Fall Lit Week, we asked Maureen Johnson, author of the just-released "The Name of the Star," to wax poetic about our continued fascination with Jack the Ripper and why she included the famous serial killer in her latest novel.]
Jack the Ripper. The name means Victorian England, foggy streets and the glint of a silver knife. There’s something almost romantic about Jack. This, when you think about it, is one of the most disturbing things possible. He’s a serial killer.
When I started work on "The Name of the Star," I was trying to think of the person you would least want to return from the grave and roam London, unseen. Jack fit the bill. After 123 years, people are still trying to catch Jack the Ripper. He’s the one who got away. And since someone solves the case every year or so, there’s always a documentary to watch, another story to tell. But why do we care?
After devouring "Anna and the French Kiss" with the kind of fervor I'd usually reserve for a Parisian pastry, I worried Stephanie Perkins' follow-up, the companion novel "Lola and the Boy Next Door," couldn't possibly leave me as deliciously satisfied (or weak in the knees). Boy, was I wrong.
Thousands of miles away from The City of Light, in quirky cool San Francisco, lives 17-year-old budding fashion designer Lola Nolan, who's anything but your typical teen. She dreams of dressing up as Marie Antoinette for her winter formal, dons colorful wigs as casually as you or I would apply lip gloss and has a super-cute (and much older) rocker boyfriend. Oh, and did we mention she also has a pretty sweet summer job at her local movie theater? ("Anna" fans take note!) Besides her two dads' unfavorable feelings towards BF Max, everything's pretty great in Lola's life. That is, until the Bell twins move back in next door.
by Christina Garibaldi
Hilary Duff has a very impressive resume. The mom-to-be is a TV star, movie star and a best-selling author. So with today's release of "Devoted," the follow-up to her debut novel, "Elixir," can we expect her novels to be turned into a movie? If it’s up to Hilary, the answer is yes!
"I would love to. I mean, it’s a huge dream of mine, and just from my past and where I came from I’m used to working on movies and reading scripts and that’s just where my head goes instantly when I’m writing," Hilary said. "I made this book very visual, the dream sequences and the flash backs are very romantic. I could just see doing really cool things to the film with wardrobe and all this stuff that my mind goes to. I think it’d be really cool, but I have a lot going on. There have been a few people interested in buying the rights which is very flattering, but if the right person came along, I’d definitely hope that would happen."
by Christina Garibaldi
Hilary Duff is a very busy mom-to-be! In between getting ready for a baby, Hilary has somehow found the time to write the follow-up to her best selling debut novel, "Elixir." The second book in her trilogy, "Devoted," hits book stores tomorrow, and the Duffster promises just as much adventure, mystery and drama.
"'Devoted' picks up basically where 'Elixir' left off, and Clea has a lot of big questions to answer and decisions to make," Hilary told us. "Clearly Sage and her got separated [he was kidnapped in 'Elixir'], and it didn’t end ideally for them, so she’s having a hard time."
Hollywood's love affair with YA fiction is no secret, so when it comes to the latest big-news option of a beloved teen book, we're just surprised this one took so long: Hollywood Reporter has word today that Ineffable Pictures has officially snagged the rights to Colleen Houck's "Tiger's Curse," the first of a literary series that might just be our next big obsession in supernatural interspecies romance. (Assuming that sexy shifter Sam Merlotte doesn't get his own "True Blood" spin-off, of course.)
"Tiger's Curse" is the story of 17 year-old orphan Kelsey Hayes, who begins working at a traveling circus only to discover that the performing white tiger is actually (all together now!) a prince in disguise. Specifically, a heart-meltingly hot Indian prince who can only take human form for a paltry 20-ish minutes per day. But while this might sound like standard fairy-tale fare, don't be looking for a quick, beauty-and-the-beast resolution to this shapeshifting conundrum: The first book saw Kelsey jetting off to India on a quest to lift her beloved's curse, and with only two of the projected five "Tiger" books yet released, this story could still go anywhere.
The official lips have stayed mostly sealed when it comes to any news about "The Hunger Games" movie (minus that titillating tease and our fun chats with director Gary Ross, of course). But Lionsgate must be seeing something they like on "The Hunger Games" set, because they're clearly feeling confident about their ability to remake dystopian book trilogies for the silver screen! For behold, the same studio that's bringing Katniss Everdeen to life on film has also snagged rights to another gritty futureworld drama from the YA literary scene, with plans to adapt and produce Patrick Ness' "Chaos Walking."
The super-early announcement from Lionsgate doesn't tell us when we'll get to see this outer-space odyssey in theaters, but you can bet that it's gonna be good: The series takes place on a distant planet, where colonizing humans are suddenly infected with a virus called The Noise that makes all their thoughts audible, which leads to chaos, corruption and a control freakish dictator declaring war on the planet's indigenous alien race...all of which, naturally, can only be stopped by a strapping, scrappy young hero named Todd Hewitt.
One of the things that sets Becca Fitzpatrick's "Hush, Hush" trilogy apart from the YA pack is the sheer complexity of its plot. What with the angels and fallen angels and Nephilim and their descendants who all may or may not want each other dead. And poor Nora has spent the past two books ("Hush, Hush" and "Crescendo") trying to figure out where she fits in all this, not to mention whose side her bad-boy boyfriend/guardian-angel-gone-rogue Patch is on.
But the trailer for third book "Silence" simplifies things down to their essential core with this quote: "He will give up anything, do anything to protect her. Even remove her memories of him."
In the trailer, we see a feather falling into the ocean, and the same crashing waves as the book's cover. And then the camera pans over a still image of shirtless Patch, followed by another image of him with Nora, in the kind of desperate, tortured stance they've got to be pretty used to by now.
When you fall in love with director Jonathan Levine after watching his latest feature film, "50/50" this weekend (and, believe me, you will fall in love with that movie), take comfort in the fact that the hard-working helmer is already toiling on another project—the big screen adaptation of Isaac Marion's buzzworthy zombie romance "Warm Bodies."
When MTV News caught up with Jonathan at the "50/50" premiere this week, we took the opportunity to try and get some insider scoop on the production.
"We're seven days into shooting and so far so good," Jonathan revealed. "It's kinda crazy doing two things at once. We're shooting in Montreal, which is a beautiful city. It's going awesome."
Jonathan was quick to talk up his lead actors, Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, as well as express his genuine enthusiasm for their progress so far.
Get ready to set your DVRs for "Eve." Sure, the YA novel doesn't hit bookstore shelves until October 4, but it's never too early to prepare for your next book-to-small-screen obsession, is it?
Following in the footsteps of other adaptations we love (think: "Pretty Little Liars" and "Gossip Girl"), the producers behind "The Vampire Diaries" are already developing a pilot for this dystopian tome. And if you're itching for a taste of the novel and what a potential series could look like, feast your eyes on the EXCLUSIVE book trailer below!
Set in a world in which a virus has wiped out much of the population, 18-year-old Eve is among the survivors left in the confines of an all-girl school, where she's been taught to fear boys. But when Eve discovers her true after-graduation fate, she runs away from the only home she's ever known—and smack dab into dreamy Caleb, who slowly earns her trust. As she and Caleb begin to be hunted, though, Eve may have to sacrifice her life for the one she loves.
I don't know how many people are responsible for this, but someone—author Michelle Hodkin, publisher Simon & Schuster, all those magic elves that make books happen—is doing things right with "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" (out next Tuesday, September 27). First of all, that title blows me away. "Unbecoming" sounds both like someone unraveling and like a teenage girl behaving unladylike, making you all the more curious about who this Mara Dyer person is. Then there's the cover, a girl being embraced by a boy from behind, both underwater up to their eyes and photographed in dark sepia tones that bring a mood of melancholy and mystery. Is he rescuing her? Holding her down? Desperately hanging on? (Also, I love that you can't see their actual faces. Hate when covers have some model's face that then dominates my imagination when I try to picture the characters myself.)
And then, we come to the book trailer, a medium that frankly, I think is still hit-or-miss. This one is a mega-hit. And mega-HOT. "Even Stevens" vet Christy Carlson Romano does the voice-over, which is actually the letter that opens the story, as the scenes unfold, mostly in black and white. The narrator, who claims that Mara Dyer is not her real name, tells us that "a 17-year-old who likes Death Cab for Cutie was responsible for the murders," and "somewhere out there is a B student with a body count." Those words lend a creepy air to the quickly cut scenes of three girls using a Ouija board, a news ticker reporting on the death of three teens in a building collapse, a storm, Mara walking alone at night by an old building, a car heading straight for the camera and the very sexy make out session between Mara and a shirtless, broody and delicious boy. And the song that plays over it all, bringing a sense of urgency, is a driving, crescendoing rock song—not by Death Cab but by singer/songwriter Kelli Schaefer.