Wellington City Libraries

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Teen Blog

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

Month: June 2009 Page 2 of 4

Fortnightly Wrap

There’s been a bit happening at the library over the last couple of weeks, what with astronomical stuff and Matariki events, and on the teen blog:

But then what’s with the pig, you ask? What is with the pig will be revealed very shortly. Like, next week, so y’all come back now y’hear.

More New Books

All book titles link to their catalogue entry.

Wicked : A Pretty Little Liars Novel, by Sara Shepard (310 pages) – This is the fifth in the Pretty Little Liars series of books. See the official website for more information, or look for it on central library’s revamped series shelves in the YA area.

First line: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly what people are thinking?

Reality Check, by Peter Abrahams (330 pages) – College football star, Cody, has everything. An injury puts an end to the season’s sport and his girlfriend, who has gone to boarding school across the country, disappears. Cody then discovers his inner detective when he attempts to find her.

First line: ‘Except for football fridays, Cody Laredo’s favourite day of the school year was always the last.

Adored : An It Girl Novel, created by Cecily von Ziegesar (224 pages) – This is the eight It Girl novel, and having not read any of them I can not even begin to summarise it. But! Don’t hesitate to look for them in the Central library’s wonderful new series area!

First line: ‘Jenny Humphrey leaned against a dark oak window frame in Dumbarton 303 on the Tuesday evening after Thanksgiving break.

Some Kind of Wonderful : An Inside Girl Novel, by J. Minter (242 pages) – Fran Flood, fabulous Manhattan socialite, heads to the beach to work for the summer at a resort. He ex-best friend is also going, unfortunately. Stink! See the new YA series area at the central library for the others in the series etc. etc.

First line: ‘Like it or not, my life changes fast.

The Phoenix Files : Arrival, by Chris Morphew (295 pages) – The first book in a ‘thrilling new series’. Luke moves to a town called Phoenix, where there are no cars, phones, or Internet. He discovers that someone is planning to wipe out the human race in 100 days … and Phoenix is the safest place in the world.  

First line: ‘The end of the world is one of those things that you never really expect to end up being your problem.

The Awakening : Book 2 of The Darkest Power, by Kelley Armstrong (360 pages) – Chloe is able to see and raise the dead, thanks to being genetically altered by some sinister scientists at birth. She’s on the run now with three similarly gifted teens; a sorcerer, a witch, and a werewolf.

First line: ‘When the door to my cell clicked open, the first thought that flitted through my doped-up braind was that Liz had changed her mind and come back.

Carter Finally Gets It, by Brent Crawford (300 pages) – From the catalogue: ‘Awkward freshman Will Carter endures many painful moments during his first year of high school before realizing that nothing good comes easily, focus is everything, and the payoff is usually incredible.’

First line: ‘In the back room of the Pizza Barn, with only two weeks before the start of high school, my boys and I are at the Freshman Mixer.

Love is Hell, by Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfield, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin, and Laurie Faria Stolarz (263 pages) – A collection of short stories about love – with a touch of the supernatural.
Everything is Fine, by Ann Dee Ellis (154 pages)

Absolutely Virtually Fabulous

Have you ever wondered what you might look like with Jennifer Garner’s hairstyle? Or lipstick? Or something? Now you can find out with a Hollywood makeover. At last, the Internet is complete.

Fun with Google

Well, by ‘fun’ I mean it’s more like educational fun. Edutainment? Funucation? I don’t know. Anyway, you can now convert measurements and units of weight by just typing it into Google. Say you want to know how many kilometres are in five miles; you can ask Google ‘how many km are in five miles?‘  And there it is. But! You might want to know what 80 knots is in kilometres per hour. I often do, so I can type in ‘how many km/h is in 80 knots?‘ Or ‘how many cubits in 3 hand?‘ ‘How many acres in 4000 square metres?

Also, if you need to know the time somewhere, just type in ‘time [city name]’ and it comes up. (For example, ‘time reykjavik’.) That’s not so much fun as it is a helpful hint. (It also works with ‘weather’ (e.g., ‘weather ohakune‘), and ‘define’ and some other keywords.)

Google Squared builds information tables out of data on the internet. It’s a bit hit or miss – a search for ‘Wellington City Library‘ is fairly useful, but ‘Twilight’ tells us that Bella is a guinea pig.

Drum Roll and Deep Breath

Someone kind forwarded me this exciting link (spoilers in link!). The new book in The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, which I blogged about here… and here… and here… now has a name (A Conspiracy of Kings) and a publication date (April 2010), meaning it’s real and not something lost in the future ether. I am very happy.

New Books

There are heaps of new books this week. Heaps!

The Dead Girls’ Dance : The Morganville Vampires Book Two, by Rachel Caine (248 pages)
Midnight Alley : The Morganville Vampires Book Three, by Rachel Caine (245 pages)
Feast of Fools : The Morganville Vampires Book Four, by Rachel Caine (242 pages)
Lord of Misrule : The Morganville Vampires Book Five, by Rachel Caine (244 pages) – These bring the library’s collection of these big-in-the-US vampire books up-to-date. The next book is due out this month, and book six is due later this year.

Damosel : In Which the Lady of the Lake Renders a Frank and Often Startling Account of Her Wondrous Life and Times, by Stephanie Spinner (198 pages) – The Lady of the Lake, as everyone knows, was the one who gave King Arthur his sword. This is as adaption of the myth with her as its central character.

First line: ‘I am so well versed in The Rules Governing the Ladies of the Lake that I could recite them backward on a dare, but the wisdom I treasure most was gleaned not from that vast, ancient compendium, but from my own earnest blundering.

Something, Maybe, by Elizabeth Scott (217 pages) – Hannah’s parents are famous and notorious, and she’s managed to live life under the radar. But! Nothing is ever that simple, especially with crazy parents and falling in lurve.

First line: ‘Everyone’s seen my mother naked.

Highway to Hell, by Rosemary Clement-Moore (357 pages) -Maggie Quinn and friend Lisa look forward to spending their spring break (which is a holiday in the US when everyone goes to the beach) in a waterfront hotel and taking a break from fighting evil. But! They get stuck in a small town in Texas, where weird, probably evil things are happening.

First line: ‘Some people think that Texas has only one season, that it’s summer all year long.

Walkaway, by Alden R. Carter (202 pages) – Andy is fed up with his family and decides to walk away, into the Wisconsin woods. His skills allow him to survive but can he escape own ’emotional demons’? It’s like Man vs Wild but with a dysfunctional family.

First line: ‘I’m between the car and the garage door.

First Strike, by Jack Higgins and Justin Richards (295 pages) – Twins Jade and Rich have saved the life of the US President, and during a tour of the White House they find themselves embroiled in a potential third world war.

First line: ‘Rich watched the tanks rolling down the main street.

Jarvis 24, by David Metzenthen (255 pages) – So far, Marc E. Jarvis has lost a white football boot, a school tie and a best friend. But when he completes ‘work experience’ at a local car yard he is truly shaken up. Then he meets Electra and nothing will ever be the same again. (From the book cover)

First line: ‘I tend to worry, I know I do, but only because I think there is lots of things to worry about.

The Dust of 100 Dogs, by A. S. King (330 pages) – In the seventeenth century, ‘famed teenage pirate’ Emer Morrisey was cursed to have to live the lives of 100 dogs. Now, centuries later, she’s a contempary American teenager with only one goal; to dig up her buried treasure in Jamaica.

First line: ‘With one last, almighty roar, the Frenchman fell to his knees and died.

Freefall : Book Three of The Tunnels Series, by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams (579 pages) – This follows Tunnels and Deeper in a series. A pretty popular series, too. Learn more about it all at the official website.

First line: ‘“Herrrrrph,” Chester Rawls groaned softly to himself.

The Thirteenth Child : Frontier Magic Book 1, by Patricia Wrene (344 pages) – Eff is a thirteenth child (bringing bad luck), and her twin brother is a seventh son (bringing good luck); I had to think about this for a few moments, but it does make sense. Their father is to be a professor of magic at the frontier (the magical divide that protects settlers from the beasts of the wilderness) and all kinds of crazy stuff goes down.

First line: ‘ Everybody knows that a seventh son is lucky.’

In brief:

Triple Shot Bettys In Love, by Jody Gehrman (249 pages)
Running on the Cracks, by Julia Donaldson (335 pages)
A Year in Girl Hell 2 : Dumped, by Meredith Costain (154 pages)
The Sweetest Thing : An Inside Girl Novel, by J. Minter (248 pages)

Some New Short Stories

We’ve got a couple of new short story anthologies that girls in particular will be interested in.

Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls (186 pages) – “edgy” stories written by mostly (if not all) Canadian authors about girls who do things a bit differently,  who “challenge convention and girls who wish they could.” Could be worth a look if you’re doing short stories at school, or just for a feel good experience.

Does This Book Make Me Look Fat? Stories about loving – and loathing – your body (214 pages) – this collection opens with a quote from Miss Piggy, so it’s got to be good. Contributors such as Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts), Sarra Manning, Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt…) and Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)… it’s an impressive list of authors who write about girls of substance.

Your Favourite Books Part Deux

In our (well, my) efforts to organise the world into groups of ten, I’ve collected a group of ten popular authors sourced from the books you told us were your favourites. I thought I’d add some awards as well, since there were some cool choices.

The Nostalgia Award for Making People Want to Learn to Sail
Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome

The Yay For Original Fantasy Award* [I’m allowed to be biased]
Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones

The Zombie-Free Classic Novel Award
Emma, by Jane Austen

The Fang Award
Alex Duval, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Stephenie Meyer, Scott Westerfeld

Here’s the 10 (in library order):

  1. Meg Cabot
  2. Orson Scott Card
  3. Malorie Blackman
  4. Anthony Horowitz
  5. John Marsden
  6. Stephenie Meyer
  7. Robert Muchamore
  8. James Patterson
  9. Tamora Pierce
  10. J K Rowling

Is your favourite author not on this list? If you feel so moved then comment and defend their marvellousness.

* This was difficult. So many good books.

Update on your Favourite Books

Well, nobody said it would be easy.

Calling all readers who haven’t yet let us know what your favourite books are! Visit this post here and quickly tell us your top three (or more if you want).

So far we’ve had heaps of responses that are many and varied – so varied in fact that I now want more! Lots more! In the mean time: you like books by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes to Gabrielle Zevin, About a Boy to the Vampire Beach series, Emma to Graceling. Old hat, new hat… it’s almost all there.

The grand master list of favourite things will be published very soon, with a bang rather than a whimper.

BTW: have you ever come across a book that you thought the library should buy? If you ever do, you can make a suggestion to buy online – just go to this page.

Have a good weekend!

Product placement

Borders (the bookshop) has a Facebook page for teens and teen-books called Borders Ink. It’s has lots of updates and links about all things YA-book-related. You will (of course) need to be a member of Facebook to read it.

Borders also has a blog devoted to science fiction, and it’s really rather good. Read it here, sci-fi fans! They also have some YA booklists; even one called Banned Books You’ve Gotta Read, many of which we have at the library (I’ll add it to our fantastic booklists at some stage).

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