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Category: Books (31-40 of 420)

I'm Still Not Over... the ending switch in 'My Sister's Keeper'

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[SPOILERS follow, although if you've yet to see My Sister's Keeper, you're not missing anything.]

When I first read My Sister’s Keeper, I was devastated. The tale, told from multiple points of view, centers on a teenager with leukemia, Kate, and her younger sister, Anna, who was conceived solely to be a possible donor match for her dying big sister. But one summer, following many painful procedures, Anna decides she doesn’t want to be part of her sister’s medical treatments anymore and sues her parents for medical emancipation. The whole family struggles with the fact that if Anna stops her treatments, Kate will die.

The book grapples with big questions about medical ethics and family responsibilities. It’s a gripping, emotional read, especially in the final pages where, after it comes out that Anna is only stopping the treatments at Kate’s wishes, a judge emancipates Anna from her parents, allowing the choice to be hers. Shortly after that, readers learn that Anna died in a freak car accident, and her kidney was donated to Kate after all — who now, years later, is healthy but without her sister.

It was a great book, and with a cast of compelling characters, it could have been a phenomenal movie — but instead, the 2009 film, directed by Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook) and starring Cameron Diaz as the mom and Abigail Breslin as Anna, was a total hacky mess because someone at the studio had the bright idea to totally change the ending (over complaints from book author Jodi Picoult). The film has Kate, not Anna, pass away in the shocking final moments, thereby changing the entire trajectory of the story. Any theme about the fragility and randomness of life one could read onto the tale was totally shot — or at least misdirected.
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Joe Manganiello talks new book 'Evolution,' makes a plea for his male stripper doc, and passes our Personality Test -- VIDEO

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There are many reasons you might want to check out the new fitness book by Joe Manganiello, Evolution: The Cutting Edge Guide to Breaking Down Mental Walls and Building the Body You’ve Always Wanted. For starters, the blurb his Magic Mike co-star Channing Tatum penned for it claims each purchase comes with a lap dance. “That’s Channing getting me in a lot of trouble, because hopefully I’ll sell a lot of books and that would be a lot of lap dances,” Manganiello tells EW, laughing. “I guess we’ll see how it does.” There’s also a step-by-step guide to the six-week workout program he uses to get camera-ready to play werewolf Alcide on True Blood, and personal stories he hopes inspire people to want to go to the gym. “The people who have read it have found it to be very motivating, and that was definitely the goal,” he says.

One of the most interesting stories is what happened after Manganiello got what he thought would be his big break, being cast as Flash Thompson in 2002′s Spider-Man; he wouldn’t act again for four years.
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This Week's Cover: Our Top 10 movies, TV shows, albums, singles, and books of 2013

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It’s time for Entertainment Weekly‘s annual top 10 lists of the best movies, TV shows, albums, singles, and books. You know, all the things that ruled, shocked, and rocked this year.

Inside this week’s issue find our top 10 lists of…

The Best Movies: Critics Owen Gleiberman and Chris Nashawaty agree: Gravity’s got pull and 12 Years a Slave is brutally brilliant. Find out who fell equally hard for period pieces, high-tech epics, and some surprising thrillers, and who was won over by wrenching romances and harrowing journeys (but still loves himself a little horror).

The Best TV Shows: Critics Jeff Jensen and Melissa Maerz both felt the Netflix effect this year, though they have divergent takes on the final season of Breaking Bad: One critic says a certain franchise’s epic insanity reigned supreme, while the other declares Walter White took down all comers.
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Jane Austen RPG hits Kickstarter goal; what other classics deserve to be videogames?

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A single Jane Austen fan in possession of a computer must be in want of an MMORPG.

In today’s most entertaining bit of brilliant-or-bonkers, a new online role-playing game set in the virtual world of Jane Austen has reached its Kickstarter goal. Creator Judy L. Tyrer’s playable period piece Ever, Jane reached $109,563 of its $100,000 goal yesterday, with the help of 1,600 backers eager to increase their Bow and Curtsy skill or level up in Piano-Forte.
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The Best YA Novel of All Time bracket game: And the winner is...

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… not a novel, but a series. And what a series.

That’s right: EW readers have officially voted J.K. Rowling’s epic, game-changing Harry Potter saga to be the best YA novel — er, novels — of all time. (Why did we pit series against standalone books? Simple: As EW book editor Tina Jordan explained, the list would have been too cluttered “with multiple titles from YA’s most outstanding series” otherwise.)

On one level, this should hardly come as a shock. Harry, after all, is responsible not only for introducing an entire generation to the wonders of reading but also for single-handedly creating a boom in children’s and young adult publishing, one that shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. The film adaptations of Rowling’s series also helped spur a new franchise-based film economy, while arguably ruining movie sequels to boot.

Look back at the way the full bracket progressed, though, and you’ll see that Harry’s ultimate nemesis — not Voldemort, but John Green’s heartbreaking romance The Fault in Our Stars — made its way to the top by summarily crushing franchise after franchise.
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'Catching Fire': 12 big changes from page to screen (and why almost all of them work)

Let the Grumbling Games begin! Er… actually, maybe not.

While The Hunger Games: Catching Fire clocks in at an expansive 146 minutes, it necessarily can’t include every beat from Suzanne Collins’s 400-page novel. And because the sequel, like The Hunger Games movie — and unlike Collins’s series – isn’t limited to showing only Katniss’s perspective, the film also contains several scenes that have no basis in Collins’s narrative.

But here’s the thing — most of the adaptive choices made by director Francis Lawrence and screenwriters Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt are totally defensible, clearly meant to keep the story moving at a quicker pace and expand the world of Panem beyond Katniss’s immediate vicinity. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to name a change that should anger fans — or even really one that feels unnecessary. (Though fine, Finnick’s less revealing Opening Ceremony outfit does seem like a missed opportunity. Have you seen Sam Claflin?)

Agree? Disagree? Let’s go over some of the most notable ways the movie diverges from the book, then discuss. (And you know there will be spoilers here, right?)

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What is the best YA novel of all time? 'Harry Potter' vs. 'The Fault in Our Stars'

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Welcome to the finals of EW.com’s YA novel bracket game, a March Madness style tournament that will determine the best Young Adult novel of all time — as voted by you.

And then there were two — Harry Potter and The Fault in Our Stars. Will Potter take home the crown of best YA novel of all time, or is John Green’s heartbreaking work the one that will win it all?

See the road to the finals in our full bracket here, and vote in the poll below. For more, check out staff picks of books that didn’t make it as far as we would have liked — including The Outsiders, A Wrinkle in Time, Holes and The Earthsea Cycle.

Voting closes at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. The winner will be announced Monday. READ FULL STORY

Another X-Man is out of the closet

One of the newest members of the X-Men, Marvel’s mutant supergroup and long-running platform for various flavors of civil-rights allegory, came out of the closet in this week’s Uncanny X-Men #14. Although that makes it sound like a cosmic revelation, in fact Benjamin Deeds —  a.k.a. Morph — rather casually mentions his homosexuality in conversation in the issue.

Gay characters are becoming more commonplace in superhero comic books. Just last year, occasional X-Man Northstar got married. And, as a representative for Marvel told the Huffington Post, the character’s sexual orientation is just “a small facet of who he is.” (Some context: he also has the power to alter his appearance, which will probably come up more frequently in supervillain fights than with who he shares his bed with.) READ FULL STORY

What is the best YA novel of all time? The final four

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Welcome to EW.com’s YA novel bracket game, a March Madness style tournament that will determine the best Young Adult novel of all time — as voted by you.

You’ve narrowed the field of 64 novels down to four — To Kill a Mockingbird, the Harry Potter series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Fault in Our Stars (which handily overcame The Hunger Games‘ early lead). Which will make it to the championship round?

Check out the full bracket here and vote below! Polls close Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET. READ FULL STORY

What's the best YA novel of all time? The elite eight

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Welcome to EW.com’s YA novel bracket game, a March Madness style tournament that will determine the best Young Adult novel of all time — as voted by you.

Down to the final eight, the matchups become tougher and tougher as The Hobbit battles To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Princess Bride faces Harry Potter, Perks goes up against the Uglies series, and The Hunger Games takes on The Fault in Our Stars. Which books will move on to the final four?

Check out the full bracket here before voting in Round 4 below. Polls close Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. READ FULL STORY

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