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December 6, 2012 | By Sara Scribner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Reached A Novel Ally Condie Dutton: 384 pp., $17.99, ages 12 and older Just two years ago, former English teacher Ally Condie released "Matched," a wildly successful young adult crossover novel that landed on general fiction top 10 lists. Taking a bit from Orwell's "1984" and some more from Lois Lowry's "The Giver," Condie crafted a story about a smart teen girl who trusts her government and its system of selecting mates for its citizens - until she falls in love with the wrong boy. Cool and sophisticated where "The Hunger Games" was red hot and bloodthirsty, "Matched" convinced many that the YA genre was an intelligent force to be reckoned with in the general fiction world.
November 15, 2012 | By August Brown
In the battle for falsetto-heavy lust-cyborg supremacy on the Billboard charts this week, we have may have an unexpected victor. No, we're not talking about One Direction, whose second studio album, "Take Me Home," is a lock to claim the top spot this week. The gloomy R&B project The Weeknd, helmed by singer Abel Tesfaye, appears to be a sleeper pick for the No. 2 slot with "Trilogy. " The album, a physical compilation of the group's three free mixtapes from 2011 and some bonus material, is expected to move around 100,000 units in its first week for XO/Republic.
October 24, 2012 | By Charlotte Stoudt
The women in the Garcia family have great voices, major brains, and good looks. Their only problem? They just can't lie. To husbands, priests, or to each other. That cursed gift brings plenty of trouble in Evelina Fernández's “Faith: Part I of A Mexican Trilogy,” now at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. The final installment of this bittersweet immigrant epic with music takes us back to World War II, when Rosie the Riveter wasn't the only one discovering her power tools. After fleeing Zapata's socialist revolution in the 'teens, Esperanza (Lucy Rodriguez)
October 17, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
It's not often that someone accepts one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world by comparing it to a bus. "You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize, and two come along at once," Hilary Mantel joked after taking the stage in London on Tuesday night to accept the 2012 Man Booker Prize for "Bring Up the Bodies," the second novel in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Mantel also won the Booker for the first book in the series, "Wolf Hall," in 2009. She is the first woman to be a two-time winner of the prize, Britain's most prestigious award for literary fiction.
September 30, 2012 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
Susan Straight lives mere blocks from where she was born in the Inland Empire town of Riverside. She says there are two types of people, those who stay and those who leave. Straight has always stayed. "All I am is a writer and a mom," says Straight, the author of eight novels, divorced mother of three daughters and a professor of creative writing at UC Riverside. On a recent Monday afternoon, just a few days before the release of her latest novel, "Between Heaven and Here" (McSweeneys, $24)
August 31, 2012 | By Julie Makinen
You can now precisely mark your calendars, Hobbit fans. Peter Jackson's final film in the trilogy will be released July 18, 2014, with the title “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” Initially, the director had planned two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's popular masterpiece, but this summer he decided there was enough material for a third movie. The first film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” opens this year on Dec. 14.  The second installment will be called “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and will be released a year later, on Dec. 13, 2013.   Shot in 3-D, at 48 frames-per-second, the trilogy of films will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR)
August 26, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
In 1993, Lois Lowry published "The Giver," a young adult novel about a dystopian culture in which conformity is the standard and Sameness is a social goal. By then, Lowry was already a well-known writer for young readers: Her first book, "A Summer to Die," came out in 1977, and her novel "Number the Stars," which takes place during the Holocaust, won a 1990 Newbery Medal. Still, with its cautionary sensibility, its insistence on thinking for oneself, "The Giver" became a literary lightning rod. Winner of a 1994 Newbery, the novel has been equally assigned and challenged and is the defining book of Lowry's career.
August 26, 2012
What do many young-adult bestsellers have in common? The fact that they're not standalones - some of the hottest new titles this fall offer a continuation of many series in the form of sequels or prequels. SEQUELS Reached By Ally Condie Dutton, 384 pp.: $17.99, for ages 12 and up The conclusion to the "Matched" trilogy. (November) Days of Blood & Starlight By Laini Taylor Little, Brown, 528 pp.: $18.99, for ages 15 and up The second book in the "Daughter of Smoke & Bone" trilogy.
August 3, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The intrepid folks at Criterion have put out a fine pair of three-disc sets, each one celebrating a little-known but gifted foreign-language director who has a very particular place in film history. Perhaps most familiar to American audiences is the Samurai Trilogy of Japan's Hiroshi Inagaki, the 1950s trio starring Toshiro Mifune that began the West's enduring fascination with the samurai genre. Mifune plays a fictionalized version of the legendary 17th century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto as he takes the now-familiar journey from country bumpkin to wise killing machine.
July 29, 2012 | By Paula Woods
Shadow of Night A Novel Deborah Harkness Viking: 584 pp., $28.95 Writing second installments of planned trilogies is harder than you think. There has to be enough background from the first novel - but not too much - to give newcomers a grasp of the story while advancing the plot for readers eagerly anticipating the challenges of the new book. Deborah Harkness laid the foundation of her "All Souls Trilogy" with "A Discovery of Witches," which introduces historian Diana Bishop, a witch not fully aware of her powers.
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