More new books from last week and this week. Christmas week!
Last Kiss of the Butterfly, by Jill Hucklesby (287 pages) – Jaz is a London girl and proud of it, but her mother – who has cancer – wants the two of them to spend a final summer in a cottage on the marshes. Not quite what Jaz wants, until she meets Ethan, who’s quiet but a bit of a stunner.
First sentence: ‘Here with me.’
Hunting Elephants, by James Roy (339 pages) – Harry’s Uncle Frank’s Vietnam War experiences threaten to exacerbate family tensions. And! There may be a crazed gunman in the bushes.
First sentence: ‘Harry was dying.’
The Celebutantes : In The Club, The Celebutantes : To The Penthouse, and The Celebutantes : On The Avenue, all by Antonion Pagliarulo (327, 356, and 340 pages respectively) – The Hamiton triplets are named Madison, Park, and Lexington, and are rich heiresses living in New York. Sort of like the Gossip Girl books, but with richer, more famous girls.
First sentences (in order): ‘She reached for her sunglasses.’ ‘The Ambassadors for the Arts Luncheon, held annually in the legendary Conrad Suite of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, had officially begun.’ ‘Night fell cool and crazy over Manhattan, the streets buzzing with the first hint of spring.’
Antsy Does Time, by Neal Shüsterman (247 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Ansty (short for Anthony) learns about life when his terminally-ill friend (with the awesome name, Gunnar Ümlaut) feels hopeful for the future.
First sentences: ‘It was all my idea. The stupid ones usually are.’
Into the Dark : An Echo Falls Mystery, by Peter Abrahams (262 pages) – Super-sleuth Ingrid Levin-Hill finds a body while out snowshoeing (which is when you walk on snow while wearing shoes that resemble tennis racquets). Unfortunately, the body is on her grandfather’s land and he’s sent to jail. Ingrid needs to uncover the past to find out the truth.
First sentence: ‘“Brucie?” said Jill Monteiro, director of the Prescott Players.’
Gay America : Struggle for Equality, by Linas Alsenas (160 pages)[Non-fiction] - This is an extensive and very interesting history of gay rights in America, written for teen readers.
Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle (352 pages) – There are three stories in this book about high school romance. Although written by different authors the stories are connected. As the title suggests the stories rely rather on a white Christmas – but we’re used to that.
First sentence from each story: ‘It was the night before Christmas.’ ‘JP and the Duke and I were four movies in to our James Bond marathon when my mother called home for the sixth time in five hours.’ ‘Being me sucked.’
A World Away, by Pauline Francis (316 pages) – Nadie is an American Indian girl who is taken by the early settlers of America back to England, to display to Queen Elizabeth I. There she falls in love with Tom, a blacksmith; can he survive with her, back in her own country? I could tell you … but I won’t.
First sentence: ‘Flames light the length of my mother’s body and lick around her slender neck.‘
The Mendini Canticle, by Brian Keaney (201 pages) – This is book three in the science fiction series, Promises of Dr Sigmundus.
First sentence: ‘The storm that had raged over the south of Gehenna had finally blown itself out.’
Crowboy, by David Calcutt (233 pages) – A war-torn city with gangs of warring children. Sort of a cross between Mad Max and Lord of the Flies, according to Amazon (where it reviews well).
First sentence: ‘So I’m outside the city one evening on me usual rounds, sorting through the leftovers and picking me way through the day’s dead.‘
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures : Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (282 pages) [non fiction] - This is a ‘definitive course from concept to comic in 15 lessons’. It’s a very, very nice book, laden with illustrations and guides. I’d go so far as to say that it’s the definitive book for people wanting to write and draw their own comics.
Merry Christmas, yall!