Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Month: April 2008 Page 2 of 3

SUBTXT Review : Thirteen

SUBTXT 2008 will begin in July! More information will be released on this ‘ere Teen Blog closer to the starting date.  

The Mediator : Mean Spirits
Meg Cabot
218 pages
It is about ghosts and revenge. It highlights how far some people are willing to go to get revenge.

Recommend?: It is a very enjoyable read and I became addicted to this series simply because they have a very interesting and creative topic which is fun to read about (even if it is completely untrue).

Favourite Character: : My favourite character is Suze because she isn’t your everyday hero and risks everything to help others. That is what makes the book so good. I am not saying she is a good role-model but I think that she is very interesting to read about.

Favourite Scene: : My favourite scene is when the four students who were killed in the ‘accident’ are talking to Suze, Father Dominic and Jesse and tell them the truth about their accident. I like this scene because it took me by surprise when the high school students explained the truth. I had no idea that that was how it happened. I like being surprised so that is why I liked that scene.

Score: 4 stars
~ hokeypokey

A virtual world

Otago Museum’s SciCity is an interactive website that is laden with games. What’s notable is that you can create your own avatar, earn SciCity dollars that you can spend on technology, and chat with other users! It’s pretty addictive, but in the good, educational way. Otago Museum also produces the Cosmix Comic books, which are all online. We often have free copies in the library as well.

Start from the back page

We have several new manga series in the library. Angelic Layer is a five-volume series by CLAMP (the group of female manga artists who were responsible for Cardcaptor Sakura). This manga is about a futuristic sport where competitors match tiny robots – or angels – against one another.

We also stock the first fifteen volumes of the bestselling manga Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa. Edward and Alphonse Elric are talented alchemists. An attempt to bring their mother back costs Alphonse his body and Edward some limbs. They seek the fabled Philosopher’s Stone to make them whole again – even though their new prosthetics are really very cool.

These are very popular!

If it's good enough for Terry Pratchett

Roleplaying games are games in which the players take on imagined roles and play collaboratively. Dungeons & Dragons is probably the most well-known RPG out there. In addition to D&D (which aren’t in the young adult collection), we carry these gaming books:

More New Books

More new books have worked their way into the library. Here are a few.

Juicy Writing : Inspiration and Techniques for Young Writers, by Brigid Lowry (201 pages), is a beginner’s guide to writing. And it’s very good, too – there are suggestions and exercises for both new authors and more experienced writers. If you’ve ever wanted to write a short story or novel, graphic novel, or even a blog, this is a very good book to get out.

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex (423 pages). “When her mother is abducted by aliens on Christmas Eve (or “Smekday” Eve since the Boov invasion), 11 year-old Tip hops in the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien Boov mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster” (Library catalogue description). Adam Rex is an artist as well as a writer, and this book has many very cool illustrations and comic strips inside.

The Mob Princess trilogy, by Todd Strasser. Kate Blessing is a senior in High School and finds herself running her family. Her family is a Family, in the same way that the Sopranos are a Family. Imagine a cross between the Gossip Girl books and, uh, the Godfather films. Imagine! By all accounts these are exciting and hilarious books, and are recommended.

Top 10: YA CDs old enough to have a YA card

The Young Adult CD collection is, on the whole, about what’s hot in the popular music world. However, CDs that are just about ready to sit NCEA exams shouldn’t necessarily be sniffed at as something only your parents would bother listening to; some of them are pretty special really.

  1. Nirvana, Nevermind (1991). When Nirvana released ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ (their first commercial hit) they created a stir that hasn’t really been seen since. The song even made a weird, cabaret-style guest starring appearance on Moulin Rouge!, the movie, in 2001. But never mind ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’; there’s also ‘Come as You Are’, ‘Lithium’… Nevermind is a truly classic rock album.
  2. Massive Attack, Blue lines (1991). The first hip hop masterpiece. Massive Attack was cutting edge and they’ve been hugely influential in the hip hop, dance, electronica, dub scene.
  3. Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine (1992). Critics say this is their best. It’s got ‘Killing in the Name’, which is what Rage is best known for… Zack de la Rocha sounding really annoyed and Tom Morello doing weird things with his guitar without – he is quick to point out – pedals and stuff like that.
  4. Stone Temple Pilots, Stone Temple Pilots (1994). ‘Vasoline’ and ‘Interstate Love Song’ are awesome – Allmusic.com calls ‘Interstate Love Song’ “a concise epic as alluring as the open highway”. Scott Weiland’s got a great rock voice, which you can also hear in Velvet Revolver, the band he formed with the Guns n’ Roses musicians.
  5. Soundgarden, Superunknown (1994). You can’t beat Soundgarden; shame about the break up. Soundgarden fans must despair of Chris Cornell doing things like the movie theme for Casino Royale (the Bond movie with Daniel Craig). “How can you sing that after stuff like ‘Spoonman’, ‘The Day I Tried to Live’, ‘Fell on Black Days’ and ‘Black Hole Sun’?” they must ask while crying into their Starbucks coffees and wiping their noses on their plaid shirt sleeves.
  6. Blur, Parklife (1994). ‘Parklife’ the song was really incredibly irritating, because a lot of marginal Blur fans liked to sing it and the only words they knew were ‘Parklife’… over and over… The album is about British life in the early 1990s, so maybe in a couple of years it’ll be a set text for History courses.
  7. The Cranberries, No need to argue (1994). Had to put this one in because it has a girl singer! So, there’s no need to argue…
  8. Shihad, Killjoy (1995). Will be getting its YA card some time this year. Go Wellington music!
  9. Green Day, Insomniac (1995). I was going to put Dookie but someone lost the young adult copy… for shame! Dookie has ‘When I Come Around’ on it of course, but Insomniac is also pretty good. You’ll know Green Day for songs like ‘American Idiot’ and ‘When September Ends’ on the American Idiot album (2004).
  10. Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon collie and the infinite sadness (1995). I could have put Gish here (1991), and critics think that Siamese Dream is their best (1993), but Mellon Collie’s got ‘Tonight, Tonight’ on it, one of my favourite songs ever, and this is my list! It’s a double album with a gazillion songs on it, including ‘1979’ and ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ to name the other well known ones.

So that’s my list. You should check them out, for an education if nothing else.

The twelth SUBTXT review

Does My Head Look Big in This?
Randa Abdel-Fattah
340 pages
It’s about a girl called Amal. She is an Australian-Pakistani-Muslim and the story is basically about her life at school and at home. She goes through various problems which are some of the best bits.

Recommend?: It is a gripping read. It is a great read for girls aged between 13-17. If you’re more into fantasy this most probably isn’t for you but give it a go anyway.

Favourite Character: : My faVourite character is Leila because she is gutsy. If it wasn’t for her half of this book would be a snore.

Favourite Scene: : My favourite part is when Amal, Simone and Eileen are at Adams’ party. I like this bit the best because it shows how much Amal believes in her culture and that amazes me.

Score: 4 stars
~ jenzy321


It is raining outside. Here are some nifty online games for you to play while you browse educational websites and sip hot chocolate.


For those of you who enjoy chick lit, beach reads and bestsellers, Trashionista is an awesome website that “gets to grips with the wonderful world of female fiction.”  It’s one of my favourite blogs because of its lovely layout and thorough content – as well as book reviews the site offers movie news, and interviews with popular female authors.  For girls who are passionate about reading (or writing) female fiction, Trashionista is an essential blog to check out.

Top 5 Music Websites

Music guru Jack has compiled a list of his five favourite music websites. Perfect for a rainy weekend!

  1. allmusic.com – This site is huge and does pretty much what its name would suggest. It covers all music from nu-rave to classical, hip hop to country. You can search by artist, album or song title and find bios, reviews, audio and more. Each artists page has links to artists that influenced them, similar artists, their genre(s),and more. It’s a great place to stop by to check out reviews and find out about older bands/performers. There are even blogs and newly released albums on the front page to keep you totally up to date. The most comprehensive music site on the internet.
  2. lastfm.com – Do you love a particular band and wish you could find more in a similar vein, but find it difficult? Try lastfm. I only came across this one recently, but it’s been a great find. Type in an artists name and you get streaming audio of them and similar artists along with bios. It’s a great way to discover new bands you haven’t heard before and try them out, along with reading the user reviews. This site also works as a great customisable online radio station, type in something you like and away it goes providing great background noise for parties, studying etc.
  3. pitchforkmedia.com – Want something a little more under the radar, a little more obscure and underground? Then it’s on pitchforkmedia. Easily the most music-snobbish site on the list, you can learn what’s hip right now and then make fun of your friends for being behind the times when they discover it 6 months later. They won’t like you anymore, but you’ll feel a sense of superiority. Or you can just enjoy the comprehensive review section and keep up to date with the lastest news in the alternative scene along with links to video and audio.
  4. ilike.com – With ilike you can buy and download new mp3s the legal way. Yay! And you can get exclusive free tracks too as a bonus. A lot of bands signed up with ilike will send you notifications of upcoming release dates and tours and you can also get these via your facebook profile. ilike will also see what bands you’re into and offer you suggestions of what else you could try out. Also on the site is the ilike music quiz which surely must be the most enjoyable time waster ever invented for music lovers.
  5. nzmusic.com – This sort of works like a wikipedia for New Zealand music that you can use to get all the latest news and check out what’s happening in your local area. There are also forums to chat to/argue with other music fans around the country. A good site to keep in mind with New Zealand Music Month just around the corner.

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