Fairies are having a renaissance, (thankfully not just fairies of the Rainbow Magic variety) so it’s really easy to find books and whatnot that feature them. This is not so much a Top 10 as it is a selection.
Some things to note about lots of fairy books in 2009:
At long last – the latest, newest books. In no particular order.
Stargazer, by Claudia Gray (329 pages) – This is a sequel to Evernight. Bianca’s parents are vampires, and she’s destined to become one (they’re glam vampires, rather than the scarier, cadaverous vampires, probably). But she falls in love with a vampire hunter, which throws a spanner in the works.
First line: ‘Frost began to creep up the walls.‘
Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler (290 pages) – Sixteen-year-olds Anna and Frankie go to California for a holiday. They conspire to find a boy for Anna’s first kiss, but Anna has a secret – she’s already had a boyfriend, and it was with Frankie’s brother Matt who died tragically a year ago. Quite sad.
First line: ‘Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day.‘
Faketastic : A Frenemies Novel, by Alexa Young (244 pages) – Halley, Avalon, and Sofee (!) are all friends. Then enemies! Then friends! This is the second Frenemies book, and it looks like there will be more.
First line: ‘“Isn’t it amazing?” Avalon Greene breezed up behind Halley Brandon and gave her best friend’s shoulder an affectionate squeeze.‘
The Warriors of Ethandun, by N. M. Browne (371 pages) – the third and final book in The Warriors Trilogy. Unfortunately, we don’t have the second book, but we do have the first. Two time-travellers return from King Arthur’s era to the present, but are unable to fit back in. So back they go! This time they’re up against Vikings and something more …
First line: ‘Dan stepped out of the Veil of mist.‘
Bridge of Tears : Usagi Yojimbo vol. 23, by Stan Sakai (246 pages) – This is the latest Usagi Yojimbo collection. It’s a graphic novel, and the series is outstanding, even if you don’t usually like comics. I promise.
Zelah Green, Queen of Clean, by Vanessa Curtis (245 pages) – Zelah Green has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is always, always on the watch out for dirt and germs. Her stepmother sends her to a camp to try to help her, and there Zelah meets Sol, who is gooorgeous. He doesn’t speak however.
First line: ‘My name is Zelah Green and I’m a Cleanaholic.‘
After Dark : A Vamps Novel, by Nancy A. Collins (180 pages) – The third in The Vamps series. The ultra-rich and ultra-dead girls of the exclusive Bathory Academy in New York are a little Gossip Girl, and a little Twilight, if that makes sense.
First line: ‘Cally had been to Rauhnacht parties before, but none as elaborate as this.‘
Renegade : Hell’s Underground 3, by Alan Gibbons (359 pages) – ‘Entertainingly gruesome’, ‘definately scary’, gripping, action packed story’. The book has a very creepy skull on the cover also. We’d love someone to review this for us!
First line: ‘Chaim Wetzel learned at an early age that the streets of London were as likely to be paved with horror as with gold.‘
New Girl : a Secrets at St Jude’s novel, by Carmen Reid (331 pages) – Gina spent all her money on clothes and failed at school, so her mother sends her to a boarding school in Scotland. Which is quite a contrast to California.
First line: ‘Gina Peterson didn’t hear the electric gates slide open, or the silver Mercedes convertible purr through into the drive.‘
First line: ‘I am a vampire, and that is the truth.‘
Tuck, by Stephen Lawhead (443 pages) – The third book in the King Raven series, which are based on the legend of Robin Hood. Good historical fiction!
First line: ‘King William stood scratching the back of his hand and watched as another bag of gold was emptied into the ironclad chest: one hundred solid gold byzants that, added to fifty pounds in silver and another fifty in letters of promise to be paid upon collection of his tribute from Normandie, brought the total to five hundred marks.‘ phew
Revolver, by Marcus Sedgwick (219 pages) - The Arctic Circle, 1910; Sig, a teenaged Swede, is stuck in a cabin with the frozen corpse of his father. Sound grim, and can only get worse before it gets better. Full of twists! Here’s a glowing review.
First line: ‘Even the dead tell stories.‘
La Roux means “red-haired one” in French – this is a good name for them since singer Elly Jackson has red hair. They’ve been topping the UK charts for a few months now with an impressive run of 80’s synth-pop inspired singles and have now released La Roux, their self-titled debut.
French electro-rockers Phoenix have been around for a while now, but recent release Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix sees them mastering their craft and conjuring up some of the catchiest pop of the year. If you dig MGMT and Empire Of The Sun, pick this record up.
Fantasy Ride, Ciara’s third is the type of album that will get plenty of play in the clubs this upcoming summer. Guests include Justin Timberlake and MIssy Elliott, the production is supremely glossy and the grooves danceable. Also included is a DVD where you can watch Ciara in the studio and at rehearsals and things.
Blindspott broke up in 2007 to focus on solo commitments playing a final set to a sold out Powerstation, this show has now been released on a handy dandy CD + DVD combo as Sold out: live @ Powerstation, for everyone who wasn’t there, or wants to relive the night. As expected from Blindspott, it’s a largely shouty, noisy affair. It also works as a sort of greatest hits package if you want it to do that to.
This summer looks to be the summer of beloved childrens books being turned into good movies. With Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, and now Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox set for cinematic release one can only speculate what will be next. Personally, I’d like to see Willard Price’s Adventure series get a turn. Anyway, here is the trailer for Fantastic Mr. Fox, starring George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and directed by Wes Anderson.
Not so long ago we asked which magazines should get added to the Young Adult (YA) magazine collection. Not too many people responded, but that’s okay! We’re not too disappointed! As a consequence we have added Entertainment Weekly to the YA collection – it means you can issue it for free on a YA card. (If you reserve it through the catalogue be sure to reserve the YA copy.)
We are also adding Shonen Jump. It’s not yet in the system but there is a website. Good news for manga fans, is it not. Okay, cool.
The Wellington City Council would like your opinion as to which name they should use for an upcoming photography competition for the youth of Wellington (i.e. most of you).
The options are:
Which is best? Leave a comment below. Thanks!
Civil wars are rich material for fiction (conflict, critical choices, tales of transformation and beating the odds etc) and unsurprisingly there’s a lot written about the subject. Here’s a selection.
Three of them actually. 1977’s Let There Be Rock, 1980’s Back In Black and 1990’s The Razor’s Edge, making all of them too old to get a YA card [see here for reference - G]. Even though they’re getting on a bit, they still rock totally hard and you can catch them in Wellington next January. Until then, why not practise your screechy vocals along with the albums?
Well not quite, but if you’re at the central library next Tuesday the 25th of August between 7 and 8pm you’ll pick up a few invaluable tips on how to keep yourself safe. The Safe and Sound seminar goes a little something like this:
- A mini Body Combat warm up class with Alice Khaw from Les Mills (what’s Body Combat?);
- A session with Tony Moore from the Ministry of Youth Development, ex police and current black belt.
Should be fun and informative. Be there and bring a friend (wearing clothes that you can, you know, bend in)!