Releases are light again this week, as the stores focus on selling, rather than unpacking boxes. It’s notable that the only book with a significant first printing is a Y.A. title, The Darkest Minds, the first in a new dyspotian romance trilogy. A new collection of stories in the ever-expanding Amish fiction category lands just as another Amish TV series begins. Also arriving is the tie-in to the eighth movie based on a Nicholas Sparks‘ novel, which hits theaters on Valentine’s Day.
Alexandra Bracken, The Darkest Minds, (Disney/Hyperion)
There’s high hopes (as in a 100,000-copy first printing) for this first in a new dystopian romance trilogy by an author with just one previous YA title (Brightly Woven, Egmont, 2010). A YALSA galley mailing made an impact; it’s been mentioned on recent YA GalleyChats. It is also on the Winter ’12 Kid’s Indie Next list. The three prepub reviews are strong. Only one, Booklist, raises an objection, saying that, although Bracken is skilled at ramping up the action, “there is so much going on here, it’s hard to keep it all straight.” PW says the author “has created a gritty, economically devastated near-future America where children are hunted and feared, and danger lurks even in the aisles of an abandoned Wal-Mart” and that “the story’s quick-paced action leads to a heartbreaking cliffhanger that will have readers eager for the next book in this planned trilogy.” That one will be coming in the Fall 2013.
This collection of three Amish romance novellas is the next in a series of such collections, the most recent was last year’s An Amish Wedding. The three contributors have each written several books in the genre. TV has also discovered the Amish; a new series, Amish Mafia begins on Wednesday.
No wonder Sparks appears in The Hollywood Reporter’s first list of “Power authors;” this is the eighth movie based on one of his novels. It is directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who also headed up the adaptation of Sparks’ Dear John (his other credits include Cider House Rules, Chocolat and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen).
Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel star in this next potential blockbuster, which debuts on Valentine’s Day.