Suzanne Collins

25 Great Pieces of Life Advice From Literature

Everyone could use a bit of advice now and then. But what if you’re the type who eschews all human contact and prefers to converse only with characters in your books? Well, er, then even they might not be able to help you. All kidding aside, as any avid reader will know, many of the great works of literature are filled with wisdom, which you could do worse than to take to heart — especially in these back-to-school weeks, a time when a little extra advice can always help. Here, you’ll find a few nuggets of humanhood as doled out by literary (read: fictional!) characters who know a thing or… Read More

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The Fascinatingly Flexible Political Subtext of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Catching Fire, the second film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy (a trilogy which, true to their current style, Hollywood is adapting into four films), arrives on screen with the confidence of a film that knows it’s going to gross a bajillion dollars. It is a brisk, exciting, well-acted entertainment, and those elements, in addition to the built-in audience of Collins’ voracious readers, are the most logical explanation for the franchise’s massive popularity. But in viewing the two films back-to-back this week, another theory seems worth mentioning as well: the series’ political subtext, which is present and potent, yet flexible enough to latch on to the ideology of your choice. The Hunger Games is “political” without actually having to stand for anything. … Read More

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50 Books That Define the Past Five Years in Literature

Five years ago this month saw the publication of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 in English. The book topped almost every year-end list and signaled a shift in literary tastes, creating larger audiences for works in translation, historical storylines, and narrative complexity. Between the uncertain future of the publishing industry, the rise of indie presses, new literary magazines, and the Internet and ereaders, the years that followed were bittersweet for the book industry but also a unique and fruitful time for readers. The following 50 books provide several clues as to why that is, and also give a glimpse into the future of… Read More

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8 Classic YA Books That Will Screw You Up For Life

Over at The Hairpin, yesterday, an essayist complained that Sweet Valley High had utterly screwed up her expectations of high school. I hear that, though really I feel the document which most warped my expectations was Saved by the Bell. (The book nerds are never friends with the popular girls. It just doesn’t happen.) … Read More

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What Is ‘Divergent’? A Guide for Grown-Ups

This week, the trailer for the latest attempt at Building a YA Empire, Divergent, dropped onto the web. Shailene Woodley, its star, is a particular favorite of mine, so of course I recommend you see the movie when it appears next March. But those of you who are not either teenagers or parents… Read More

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Publishers’ Craziest Schemes to Avoid Book Spoilers

The news that the translators of Dan Brown’s new book Inferno were basically isolated from the world for two months to avoid any chance of them leaking its plot was enough to elicit a collective bewildered shaking of the head at Flavorwire central. Still, it’s not even the batshit craziest thing that publishers have done over the years to avoid details of their precious books leaking before publication — as an industry, publishing has embraced the embargo-based insistence on secrecy so beloved of Hollywood, especially when it comes to books likely to sell in the bazillions (i.e., anything by JK Rowling). Here are some of the craziest schemes concocted to avoid leaks. … Read More

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The 10 Greatest Dystopian Love Stories in Literature

This week saw the release of the brilliant Ariel Djanikian‘s debut novel, The Office of Mercy. Djanikian’s book drops you into a deliciously paranoid world that we’re confident will go down in history with the best of them, so we asked her to put together a list of her favorite dystopian love stories (just be sure to mentally add The Office of Mercy to her list). Here’s what she told us: “Dystopian tales seem to go hand-in-hand with scintillating, high-octane love stories: perhaps because dire circumstances have a knack of drawing people together, perhaps because claustrophobic repression makes the highs and lows of love affairs that much more potent. These ten books boast plenty of heart-stopping love triangles, as well as romantic pairings with some changes: robots, clones, and cyborgs get in on the action. They are love affairs that question how much feeling we have to offer, and how much trust we can risk in the face of political pressures. Love is never the cure-all for these characters, but it can be an intervention, as Jeanette Winterson says, against powers of destruction.” … Read More

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Suzanne Collins’ First Post-‘Hunger Games’ Book Will Be… a Picture Book?

J.K. Rowling followed up her wildly successful YA series Harry Potter with The Casual Vacancy, a literary novel that dealt with weighty themes and garnered mixed reviews. But Suzanne Collins, whose YA trilogy The Hunger Games has become a similarly massive phenomenon, doesn’t appear to harbor any secret literary pretensions. The author has announced her… Read More

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10 YA Novel to Film Adaptations That Kept Their Edge

The Perks of Being A Wallflower, the film adaptation of the ’90s cult young adult novel by Stephen Chbosky, is out in wide release today, and we couldn’t be more excited. While some of its critics are saying the film packs in more issues then the entire canon of after school specials, no one is accusing it of shying away from the dicier topics that made the novel so relatable to its teenage readers. This, unfortunately, is not always the case for adaptations of classic YA books — The Princess Diaries, for example, was totally Disney-fied, much to our chagrin. To inform your viewing, here are some other movies based on YA books that managed to keep their edge. … Read More

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10 of the Best “Makeovers” in Literature

Yesterday, Emma Straub’s excellent debut novel Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures waltzed onto bookshelves everywhere. We loved the book, which follows a young girl’s rise to stardom in Old Hollywood, as she transforms from a sunny country bumpkin to a savvy brunette bombshell to something else entirely. Inspired by the novel, which is full of many transformations, both literal and somewhat more metaphorical, we’ve put together a few of our favorite makeovers in literature — from the kind achieved with a little spit and polish to the sort that requires a vast internal sea change. Click through to see which we picked, and let us know if we missed your favorite in the comments. … Read More

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