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    YA News & Reviews for September By Trish Milburn
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  • Published: Sep 17th, 2009

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YA News

The CW’s The Vampire Diaries finally debuted last week. While I liked it, they’ve taken vampire diariesliberties with the story. Elena is now not only brunette instead of blond but also a much softer version than in the initial books of L.J. Smith’s series. She’s also got a troubled younger teen brother instead of a much-younger sister, and Matt and Vicky are now brother and sister instead of classmates. And only one of Elena’s two best friends, Bonnie, appears in the TV series, and she doesn’t look anything like I pictured her. Meredith is nowhere to be found. But, having said all that, I’m willing to overlook early episodes in a series and give it time. After all, early episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were a little clunky too, and it went on to become one of my favorite shows.

glee1And speaking of premieres, we’re launching into a new season of fall shows. New drama Melrose Place and fellow remake 90210 debuted Sept. 8. New teen comedy Glee premiered Sept. 9. Sept. 10 brought back a new season of Supernatural (Yes!), right after The Vampire Diaries. Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill returned on Sept. 14. A couple of upcoming premiere dates:

Smallville – Sept. 25

Friday Night Lights – Oct. 28

YA Reviews

Hunger_CollinsI think one of the biggest compliments an author’s book can receive if she’s writing a series is if someone finishes a book in the series and then immediately wants to start the next. That’s how I felt after reading the last page of The Hunger Games earlier this year, and once again when I finished reading the second in the series, Catching Fire, just a few days ago. I can’t believe I have to wait another year to find out what happens! Oh, the agony. I’ve seen a couple of other less-than-stellar reviews for this book, and I honestly don’t know what bookFire_Collins those reviewers were reading because I loved Catching Fire.

It starts out several months after the conclusion of the Hunger Games depicted in the first book, and we see the aftermath of the first Hunger Games ever to have two victors and how the all-powerful Capitol is reacting to that and the actions of our heroine, Katniss Everdeen. She’s glad to be alive, but she’s suffering from nightmares caused by the Games, guilt, fear for those she loves, and the knowledge that what she did in the Games might very well have been the spark that ignites the districts into rebellion against the Capitol that forces them to send their children off to die in the Games each year. But of all the retribution the Capitol could have taken against her, she’s not prepared for what they dish out. Once again, she and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark, who proclaimed his love for her for the entire nation to hear during the Hunger Games, are thrust into even more danger.

Visit Suzanne Collins’ Website

soul_vincentHarlequin Teen launched in July with Rachel Vincent’s My Soul to Take, and I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed this debut title and hope that Harlequin Teen has many more releases to come. In My Soul to Take, Kaylee Cavanaugh has the ability to sense when someone near her is going to die. The only problem is that she can’t do anything to stop it because when she senses the imminent death, she also has to fight the nearly uncontrollable urge to scream. She can’t open her mouth to warn anyone because the only thing that will come out is an inhumanly piercing scream.

Strangely, it’s when she’s on the verge of screaming that she attracts the attention of Nash Hudson, the best-looking guy in school. But with his almost unbelievable attraction to her also comes an odd ability to calm her when she’s on the verge of screaming. How does he do that? And why does he seem to know more about the source of her screaming than she does? Kaylee has a lot of questions, and she’s determined to get answers – from Nash, from the aunt and uncle with whom she lives, and from her absentee father.

This is the first in Vincent’s Soul Screamers series, and I’m looking forward to reading the next, My Soul to Save, due out in January 2010. There is also a prequel novella, My Soul to Lose, available for free download on Vincent’s site.

Visit Rachel Vincent’s Website.

I finished reading the third in the Vampire Diaries series, The Fury, and my attitude toward Elena has changed from what I wrote in this column after reading the first two books. I like her a lot more now. So if you’re like me and iffy about the first book, keep reading. I’m still not going to say it’s my favorite series ever, but Elena shows growth that keeps me turning pages. Next up: Dark Reunion.

Visit LJ Smith’s Website.

So, have any of you read these titles? Watched the shows mentioned? What good teen fiction have you read lately?

For more information about author Trish Milburn visit her website.

21 Responses to “YA News & Reviews for September By Trish Milburn”

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  1. Marisa
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 6:39 am

    Hi Trish! Another great column! I too watched Vampire Diaries and my first thoughts were – wow, what a beautifully filmed and edited show. Visually it’s stunning. Second thought was – Stephan – a vampire with angst, lots and lots of angst. I’m so curious as to what secrets his character holds. I haven’t read the books so I’m not as disconcerted by the ‘looks’ of the characters but I do wonder how the author must feel when the producers take such liberties with the characters.

    I also watched Glee, and this quirky, out of the box, from left field show definitely has my interest. The difference between Vampire Diaries and Glee is so vast. One of the reasons I think I’m enamored of Glee is that there are students who actually LOOK like students I went to high school with; as opposed to Vampire Diaries where there are so many ‘beautiful people’ in one place, its visually exciting and at the same time a bit off putting.

    You’ve sold me and I’ve got Hunger Games and Catching Fire on my TBB list!

    Thanks a million Trish!


  2. Andrea
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 8:09 am

    Hey, Trish! Another great post!

    Oh, I love Glee! It’s such a great show and takes me back to my high school days. 🙂

    Trish, can’t wait to see you at M&M!


  3. Trish Milburn
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 9:45 am

    Marisa, wow, that’s a sexy photo from The Vampire Diaries. I hadn’t seen that one. It’s no wonder I like Stephan (vampire with angst and self-loathing) because I’m a huge Angel fan.

    I saw somewhere where L.J. Smith was asking her fans to give the show time. I think authors would love for their work to be adapted faithfully but also understand that film is a different medium and what works in print doesn’t always work on film.


  4. Trish Milburn
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 9:47 am

    Andrea, Glee is fun and quirky. I’ve got this week’s episode on the TiVo to watch. I like the guy teacher who has taken over glee club. It was kind of funny last week when he wanted them to do disco and they did a routine to Salt N Pepa isntead. 🙂


  5. Rosemary Clement-Moore
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 10:07 am

    I have managed to miss just about all the cool premieres so far! I did watch the pilot of Glee (thank you, iTunes!), and it was funny but a little painful– as I guess those on the mark high school comedies are.

    Hunger Games and Catching Fire are so good–I recommend them to everyone!


  6. Trish Milburn
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 10:22 am

    Hey, Rosemary. With TiVo, iTunes, network sites and Hulu, it’s great to be able to catch shows after the fact. Still, I’m going to be juggling on Thursday nights in the 7 p.m. Central time slot. I kid you not, there are nights where there’s barely anything on I want to watch and then there’s 4 things in that time slot!

    BTW, your “Highway to Hell” is next up on my TBR.


  7. Jo Robertson
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 11:16 am

    Great reviews, Trish! I don’t normally gravitate to YA fiction, but as my grandchildren get older, I’ve found myself checking out the titles in the bookstore.

    This is more a tweener book than a YA, but Lauren Myracle’s series, ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN are the best books EV-ah according to my 10 yo granddaughters. They’re a good series to start young reluctant readers on.

    Myracle also wrote TTYL and TTFN, but I haven’t read those.


  8. Trish Milburn
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 11:19 am

    Thanks for mentioning those books, Jo. I’ll have to check them out. I’ve not read a ton of middle grade — at least not since I was that age.


  9. Buffie
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 11:31 am

    Hey there Trish! Even though the family was vacationing in Orlando, I was lucky enough to catch the premiere of The Vampire Diaries. Like Marisa, I too have not read the books. But I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of the show. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happen next. I was shocked to see one of the young actors on the show used to be on As The World Turns. Boy did I love him there!


  10. Buffie
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 11:31 am

    Oops — forgot to say . . . See you in 2 weeks Trish!!!!! 🙂


  11. Kathryn Smith
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 11:46 am

    Great post, Trish! I was so excited to have Sam and Dean back on TV! As for the Vampire Diaries, I’m going to give it a chance. The CW is known for casting beautiful people which certainly makes their shows easy to watch, but doesn’t always make for instantly relatable characters.

    As for Glee, I’m just discovering it. So far I love it!

    Anyone watch Skins on BBC America? Now those are some imperfect, perhaps too realistic kids!


  12. Trish Milburn
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 12:09 pm

    Buffie, which actor was it? I’m not a soap fan, so I’m pretty unfamiliar with that world.

    And looking forward to seeing you!

    Kathryn, I don’t have BBC America so I haven’t heard of Skins. What’s it about?


  13. Natalie J. Damschroder
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 12:29 pm

    Hey, Trish!

    Haven’t watched last week’s VD yet, and have seen mixed enough reviews that I have no idea what my reaction will be. 🙂

    Aware of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but hadn’t seen Rachel Vincent’s full blurb, so thanks! Gonna check it out!


  14. Trish Milburn
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 1:27 pm

    I hope you enjoy the books, Natalie.


  15. Buffie
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 2:45 pm

    Trish — I don’t have all the character names down yet, but it’s the football player. Elena’s ex boyfriend

    Kathryn — I have watched Skins a couple of times. Can’t decide if I like it or not 🙂


  16. Jeanne AKA The Duchesse
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 4:28 pm

    Hey Trish! Great reviews! I’m excited about the fall season too, so many good shows, so little time. We got DVR though, this summer, so I’m going to learn how to use it. Ha! :> You’ve given me some great reading suggestions here. Thanks!


  17. Trish Milburn
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 4:56 pm

    Ah. Buffie, that’s Matt. He’s the character who I think most looks like how the characters are described in the books.

    Happy reading and viewing, Jeanne.


  18. Brandy
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 9:50 pm

    I’ve recently read My Soul To Take and am also looking forward to the next book due out in January 2010. *G*


  19. Trish Milburn
    on Sep 17th, 2009
    @ 10:02 pm

    Brandy, glad to hear you liked the launch Harlequin Teen title.


  20. Vanessa
    on Sep 18th, 2009
    @ 7:31 am

    Hi, Trish! I’ll have to give ‘Glee’ another go. I saw only the last ten minutes of the first ep and had no clue of what was going on. Glad to hear the Harlequin Teen line is off to a great start.

    ~ Vanessa


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    on Sep 25th, 2009
    @ 5:33 am

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