So many new books!
Everything Sucks : Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool, by Hannah Friedman (256 pages) – Hannah Friedman re-invented herself when she won a scholarship to an exclusive private school, and soon had a millionaire boyfriend, a designer wardrobe, and became super-popular. This is a true story! And these things come with a cost (addictions, eating disorders, etc.)
Hostage, by Karen Tayleur (191 pages) – Tully is abducted and for 24 hours she is a hostage. The blurb says, ‘Or so she says …‘ Was she or wasn’t she? I can not answer that.
First line: ‘The thing I remember, the one thing that is really clear to me, is that the chemist floor had a large black scuff near the counter.‘
Darkwood, by M. E. Breen (273 pages) – Annie Trewitt is an orphan whose uncle has terrible plans for her. So she runs away, into the forest, where the sinister kinderstalk live, and soon discovers they ain’t so bad afterall.
First line: ‘The sun sets so quickly in Howland that the people who live there have no word for evening.‘
The Book of the Maidservant, by Rebecca Barnhouse (232 pages) – Joanna is maidservant to Dame Margery Kempe, who wrote the first autobiography in English in the mid-1400s. She was very religious! Joanna goes with her on a pilgrimage to Rome but is abandoned in a foreign land, and must somehow get to Rome herself.
First line: ‘My mistress says you mustn’t stare into the fire lest the devil look out at you from the flames.‘
Love You Hate You Miss You, by Elizabeth Scott (276 pages) – Amy’s best friend Julia died in a car crash, and now Amy is struggling to cope with the loss. She feels a bit responsible. But maybe things before the accident weren’t as perfect as she thought?
First line: ‘Dear Julia – Get this, I’m supposed to be starting a journal about “my journey.”‘
Beautiful World, by Anastasia Hollings (209 pages) – Amelia has been moved from boarding school to boarding school (her dad’s an untenured professor) and so never quite gets to get in with all the rich & beautiful people she schools with. She’s also a clever liar! So she gets in with an ‘Upper East Side heiress’ who allows Amelia to live like Blair Waldorf. But only through lying! Might be the beginning of a series?
First line: ‘You’ve seen their faces, perfectly tanned all year-round, smiling at you from the society pages and socialite rankings.‘
Bite Me!, by Melissa Francis (296 pages) -A.J. Ashe is seventeen. Her ex-boyfriend is now her step-brother, and she’s being stalked by a former classmate. She’s also a vampire. Also! She has to save the world.
First lines: ‘My mother’s wedding day. I should be thrilled she’s getting hitched to the man of her dreams.‘
The Set-Up : The Medusa Project : Book One, by Sophie McKenzie (293 pages) – Four teenagers develop psychic powers. (When they were babies they were implanted with the ‘Medusa gene’ by a scientist who has since died.) Someone sinister wants the gene, however, and they will do anything to get it.
First line: ‘I’m Nico and what I’m about to tell you is Secret and Dangerous and True.‘
Breathing, by Cheryl Renee Herbsman (265 pages) – Savannah falls in love with Jackson, a boy who she reckons is different from the rest. He follows his mother’s strict dating rules, and when she’s hospitalised with an asthma attack he stays by her side. But he has to help his family and he mightn’t be back.
First line: ‘Strange feelings come over me sometimes, kind of like deja vu, only before it happens.‘
Purge, by Sarah Darer Littman (234 pages) – Janie is sent to a psychiatric hospital to get help for her bulimia. She’s holding some trauma deep inside her, and in order to stop purging she must ‘fish painful memories out of her emotional waters‘.
First line: ‘At least they’ve given me a journal, even if it’s just a cheapo notebook like everyone else’s.‘
Ice, by Sarah Beth Durst (308 pages) – Cassie’s grandmother used to tell her how her mother made a deal with the Polar Bear King, and Arctic castles made of ice. Now older, Cassie is suddenly made aware that fairytales could be true, and makes her own deal with the Polar Bear King,
First line: “Once upon a time, the North Wind said to the Polar Bear King, “Steal me a daughter, and when she grows, she will be your bride.”‘
Love the One You’re With : Gossip Girl – The Carlyles, by Annabelle Vestry (213 pages) – The Carlyle triplets are off to the tropics for Thanksgiving. They are taking their friends, and as a matter of course there are ’sultry poolside encounters’ and a character named ‘Baby.’
First lines: ‘“So, what’s up for Thanksgiving? What does your family usually do?” Avery Carlyle asked her friends Jack Laurent and Jiffy Bennett.‘
Lots of sequels and series titles are coming your way this year. I have tracked down a selection for you to keep an eye out for.
Ballad, Maggie Stiefvater (sequel to Lament) - available now!
The Secret Army, Robert Muchamore (Henderson’s Boys) - February
Gone, Lisa McMann (Wake) – March
Hourglass, Claudia Gray (Evernight 3) – March
The Piper’s Son, Melina Marchetta (kind of a sequel to Saving Francesca) - March
Radiant Shadows, Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely series) - April
Spells, Aprilynne Pike (sequel to Wings) - May
Monsters of Men, Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking book 3) – May
Linger, Maggie Stiefvater (sequel to Shiver) – July. What’s going to happen to Grace and Sam?
The Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices book 1) - September
Shadow Wave, Robert Muchamore (CHERUB) – September
The Hunger Games‘ Unnamed Third Baby, Suzanne Collins – September
Some time in 2010: Mastiff, Tamora Pierce (Beka Cooper trilogy, book 3); Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore (sequel to Graceling). As for Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy, in December his blog said he was researching in Turkey, which isn’t a good sign for 2010 (unless he’s a really quick writer).
Will keep you posted.
Amerie may not have the chart topping success of contemporaries like Beyonce and Rihanna, but she is every bit their equal when it comes to making quality, post-2k R&B. Latest work Love & War continues her strong run of form, earning well-deserved critical plaudits. Also, her full name is Amerie Mi Marie Rogers, which is mildly amusing.
Ministry Of Sound have been busy compiling the dance music, putting it on 3CD sets, then releasing it in little boxes for many years now. Two new little 3CD boxes they’ve just put out are Anthems II, which includes tracks from 1983-2009 and The Annual 2010, which is what they suppose this year will sound like on the inside of dance clubs.
Here are the latest new books to arrive in the YA collection. I know that all we’ve written about lately are books, but we are a library! We can not be faulted.
These are only half the new books. btw. Xmas has been busy.
The Demon King : A Seven Realms Novel, by Cinda Williams Chima (506 pages) – This is the first in a series. It is a fantasy series, set in a world threatened by the Demon King, and the protaganist is a reformed thief who falls for a princess.
First line: ‘Han Alister squatted nest to the steaming mud spring, praying that the thermal crust would hold his weight.‘
Betraying Season, by Marissa Doyle (330 pages) – It is 1838. Penelope Leland heads to Ireland to study magic. Niall Keating is instructed to woo her by his evil mother – will he fall for Penelope, or is he a real son of a witch?
First line: ‘“Saints preserve us!” The shocked cry and a wild jangle of harness yanked Pen Leland from her reverie.‘
Border Crossing, by Jessica Lee Anderson (174 pages) – Texan teen Manz lives with his alcoholic mother and her boyfriend. Life is rough and isn’t helped by the many voices he hears in his head. As they get louder he finds it difficult to tell reality from delusion.
First line: ‘My room blazed red.‘
The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance (324 pages) – Bethany has always considered herself a geek, so when she makes the varsity cheerleading squad she finds she needs to learn more than just swinging about those pom-pom things.
First line: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a high school boy in possession of great athletic ability must be in want of … a bowl of oatmeal.‘
All the Lovely Bad Ones : A Ghost Story, by Mary Downing Hahn (182 pages) – Travis and his sister, Corey, drum up business for their grandmother’s inn in Fox Hill, Vermont, by faking a haunting. But! They awaken a real haunting, and only by uncovering the secret horrors of Fox Hill can they put the ghosts to rest.
First line: ‘Grandmother met us at the Burlington airport, a big smile on her face and her arms open for a hug.‘
Angel Fish, by Lili Wilkinson (246 pages) – Gabriel joins Stephan, who claims that an army of children can free the Holy Lands from the Saracen. The so-called Children’s Crusade is a disaster, and Gabriel must confront his doubts. A historical novel based on an actual event.
First lines: ‘A boy has come to Machery. I think he might be an Angel.‘
Oathbreaker : A Prince Among Killers, by S. R. Vaught and J. B. Redmond (420 pages) - This is the sequel to Oathbreaker : Assassin’s Apprentice. The apprentice is Aron, who with the help of his friends must battle the leaders who want to destroy the land.
First line: ‘In a time before written history, humans conquered Earth’s magical societies.‘
Kira : Shadow of the Dragon : Book One, by Kate O’Hearn (307 pages) – Kira is the daughter of a retired dragon knight. War is declared, and her family is taken away to serve the king. Kira and her sister are unmarried, which is a crime for all girls over the age of thirteen, so they are locked up. They escape! And there is a baby dragon also!
First line: ‘“I don’t want to get married!”‘
Where the Streets Had a Name, by Randa Abdel-Fattah (227 pages) – Thirteen-year-old Hayaat wants to bring her dying grandmother some soil from the garden she left behind many years ago. It’s only a few miles away, but to get to it Hayaat must cross to Jerusalem from Bethlehem, in the West Bank, and there’s a massive – and well-guarded – wall in the way.
First line: ‘It’s six-thirty in the morning.‘
Over the End Line, by Alfred C. Martino (304 pages) – Jonny and Kyle are best friends, although Kyle is like number one at soccer and popular at school. Jonny is neither of those things until he scores a winning goal at the county football champs. A blend of ‘fast-paced sports action … memorable characters, and … suspense in a powerful yet dark story of popularity, violence, and terror.’
First lines: ‘It’s morning. I’m awake. I wish I wasn’t.‘
Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have, by Allen Zadoff (311 pages) – Andrew is fifteen and the second fattest kid in his sport-crazy high school. He falls for April, and decides to join the football squad. Not soccer! American football, where it might help to be heavy?
First lines: ‘My name is Andrew Zansky. I’m fifteen years old, and I weigh 307 pounds.‘
Here’s a selection of films that will be coming soon(ish) to a theatre near you.
Fantastic Mr Fox. On now. We posted about the trailer here.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (March). The Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan are super popular in the children’s fiction collection.
How to Train Your Dragon, with America Fereira and Gerard Butler (3D - March). From the books about Hiccup and Toothless by Cressida Cowell. I mention this because it’s 3D and it therefore looked cool (when I saw it at Avatar).
Alice in Wonderland (3D - March). But is Johnny Depp making the Mad Hatter seem too much like Willie Wonka? Visit the trailer here, and mind the teacups.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (April). Based on the best selling series of books by Jeff Kinney, which are apparently ravingly good and funny. There’s no trailer to be found (by me)!
Toy Story 3 (June/July). Here’s a link to the trailer.
Eclipse (July). The question is, is this the last one, or are they game enough to try and make a film out of Breaking Dawn?
Beastly (based on novel by Alex Flinn – see this post about classics remixed) starring Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris, Mary-Kate Olsen and some guy called Alex Pettyfer. Will be at the movies in September, although the trailer says July which is confusing. The trailer:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 (November). Then it’s just another six or seven months before the final instalment.
ps The Mortal Engines quartet by Philip Reeve is being made into a movie, with Peter Jackson involved, but that’s not this year.
Most popular City of? City of God.
Having read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I must admit that I was a bit dubious about reading the sequel. I mean- how could the sequel be as captivating as the first book, which caused me to be late back to work from my lunch breaks every day?
But Catching Fire is surprisingly good! Better yet… I’m now looking forward to the third book in the series (rumoured to be released in late 2010). Catching Fire throws the reader straight back into the suspenseful drama and action as Katniss and Peeta (plus their families and Gale) find themselves teetering on the edge of a rebellion, which they are blamed for causing. The games also makes a reappearance as a bunch of people are thrown back into the arena to fight to the death.
Don’t try to predict the ending; you’ll never guess it – it arrives quickly, from above, and leaves us with more questions then answers.
Stephanie Meyer had this to say: “Catching Fire not only lived up to my high expectations, it surpassed them. It’s just as exciting as The Hunger Games, but even more gut wrenching, because you already know these characters, you’ve already suffered with them.”
There’s a whole bunch of new books here, all by Kate Brian. They are all in the Private series, about Reed Brennan and her new school’s elite sorority. She joins them! And they are posh and rich and are called the Billings girls. There are about eleven in the series, and should you want to read them in order they are Private, Invitation Only, Untouchable, Confessions, Inner Circle, Legacy, Ambition, Revelation, Paradise Lost, Suspicion, and Last Christmas, which is actually a prequel.
Also there is a spin-off series, as is so often the case! This series is the Privilege series; Privilege, Beautiful Disaster, and Perfect Mistake. The titles are a little grim, and that is because the books are also a little grim! It’s as if Patricia Highsmith wrote Gossip Girl, maybe?
If you’re wondering about Fallen, the back cover says that it is “dangerously exciting and darkly romantic” and that it is “a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.” Plus it’s the beginning of a series. We don’t have it yet, but you can reserve it.
So, at the beginning of this year these things are most wanted: