The elderly – um, right?
When I was a teenager a 21 year old seemed positively ancient, but according to Refinery 29 grandmas are the new ‘it girls’. Now I’ve been into granny chic for a while (though not literally grannies), so maybe there’s something we can all learn from 70+ crowd? Let’s face it style does come in all shapes and sizes – AND ages!
Advanced Style is a whole street-style blog dedicated to fashionable seniors. They even have their own youtube channel – check it out.
(There’s an even better clip for Advanced Style that you can watch over at Nowness that I love too).
To begin with, here is an actual government website from the US on how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared!
In the Wellington City Libraries we also have…
This wonderful book from the non fiction section covers everything you need to get prepared when the undead attack. Need to defend a building? Head out into the bush? Which weapon works best against the undead? Seriously it’s all covered. And one of the important things I learnt from this book – NEVER set fire to a zombie. They take a long time to burn and keep walking. Major fire hazard.
Sure, surviving is definitely going to be a priority at least initially. But after a while it’s just not going to be enough. This book will help you work out a plan to not just make it through the zombie attacks – but take over the world at the same time. Also covers disasters involving ninjas, pirates and parents.
Zombies vs Unicorns/ Compiled by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
As well as being a great read, this book is excellent for researching possible scenarios for outbreaks, and everyday life once zombies are a widespread problem. What if you are babysitting kids that seem to have bad balance and are kept in a locked room? What if you are a zombie and fall in love with a human who has a father who hunts zombies? What if the zombies are also pirates? Also good for unicorns – particularly the wanting to kill people kind of unicorn for some reason.
Zombie Cupcakes / Zilly Rosen
Because you can. Yummy, yummy zombies.
Battle Dress, by Amy Efaw (290 pages) – West Point is a really, really old school in New York for officer cadets in the US Army. It is steeped in tradition! But don’t just take my word for it; check wikipedia! Seventeen-year-old Andrea Davis has been accepted, which gives her the chance to escape her dysfunctional family and to ‘prove to herself that she has what it takes’. But is she prepared for what the training (which is called “Beast” by the cadets, so presumably it’s far from easy). Battle Dress is based on the author’s own experiences.
4First line: ‘The morning I left for West Point, nobody showed up at my house to say good-bye.‘
Family, by Micol Ostow (376 pages) – Melinda Jensen is seventeen, and flees to San Francisco to escape her abusive home life. She falls in with Henry, a charismatic leader of a cultish ‘family’ of people. It is the seventies! Henry is a bit Charlie Manson-ish! This book is written in the form of episodic verse (poems).
First line: ‘I have always been broken‘
Purple Daze, by Sherry Shahan (207 pages) – 1965, and the times were changing very quickly! Riots, assassinations, wars, and all the kinds of other social upheavals that made the decade famous. For those things. You know what I mean. This group of high school friends live through it all, and their stories are told via letters, diaries, notes, and poems. Mainly poems, for it is written in the form of episodic verse.
First line: ‘We’re slumped on the front seat of a low-slung Pontiac, cherry paint job.‘
Long Lankin, by Lindsey Barraclough (454 pages) – Long Lankin is a very old folk song about a man who murders his lord’s wife and infant son when he’s not paid for some work he did on the lord’s castle. I didn’t say it was a happy song! Grim were the days before Fair Go, haha. ANYWAY, this book is about two girls who go to stay with their great-aunt who lives in ye olde house, Guerdon Hall. The aunt isn’t too happy they’re there; the last time two young girls were there her life was ‘devasted’. And now an old evil presence has been awakened …
First line: ‘There’s too much sky, and the further out of London we go, the more of it there is.‘
Venomous, by Christopher Krovatin (323 pages) – High-school junior Locke Vinetti has a problem with his anger. He can not control it, and he calls it ‘the venom’. Now he’s a bit of a loner! He meets Renee, the ‘beautiful, messed-up goth girl of his dreams’. But can he get rid of the venom also? This book is interspersed with comic-style illustrations!
First line: ‘The city is absolutely gray today.‘
Rampart, by Diana Peterfreund (402 pages) – Astrid Llewelyn’s boyfriend is rendered unable to take her to the prom when he is attacked by a killer unicorn. Astrid had always ignored her mother’s belief in killer unicorns (can you blame her) and now she’s off to Rome to train as a killer unicorn hunter at the ancient Cloisters, for she is descended from one of the greatest killer unicorn hunters that ever hunted. Killer unicorns!
First lines: ‘“‘I will never really leave,’ said the unicorn. Diamond sparkles floated from the tip of its glittering silver horn. ‘I will always live in your heart.’” I swallowed the bile rising in my throat and forced myself to continue reading.‘
Crusade, by Linda Press Wulf (245 pages) – A boy atop a white charger rides into Georgette’s village. He is surrounded by other children, and he wants more to join his Crusade to the Holy Lands. It is a journey of great danger and peril! And one that may have happened, and most likely failed disastrously. (Another book set during the Children’s Crusade is Angel Fish, by Lili Wilkinson.)
First lines: ‘Foundling. Orphan. Parish child. All these names belonged to him but he didn’t want to belong to them.‘
Steel, by Carrie Vaughn (294 pages) – Jill is sixteen and a master fencer. She goes on holiday with her family to the Bahamas and finds a old, broken, piece of a rapier blade. It transports her back it time, and she winds up on the deck of a seventeenth-century pirate ship. Luckily she can use a sword! ‘Time travel, swordplay, and romance’, says the blurb, accurately.
First lines: ‘Jill shook her legs out one at a time. Rolled her shoulders. Rearanged her hold on her weapon once again, curling gloved fingers around the grip.‘
Shine, by Lauren Myracle (359 pages) – When sixteen-year-old Cat’s former best friend, Patrick, is founded nearly beaten to death for being gay, she swears vengeance on the attackers. She doesn’t believe the sherriff, who reckons it was done by out-of-towners, but Cat is sure it was someone in their isolated rural community. ‘Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone in the name of justice.’
First lines: ‘Patrick’s house was a ghost. Dust coated the windows, the petunias in the flower boxes bowed their heads, and spiderwebs clotted the eaves of the porch.‘
Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier (330 pages) – Gwen is a normal teenaged girl living in an exclusive part of London. Her family haven’t told her about the ability some of the women have to time travel, since it seems that the gene skipped over her. But! When she started time travelling she doesn’t know what’s going on, and so goes on a crash course in time travel, secret societies, living in the olden days, and Gideon, a gorgeous fellow time traveller.
First lines: ‘Hyde Park, London: 8 April 1912. As she fell to her knees and burst into tears, he looked all around the park. Just as he’d expected, it was empty at this early hour.‘
Through Her Eyes, by Jennifer Archer (377 pages) – Tansy Piper moves to a tiny Texan town with her mother. They move into an old, spooky house, and Tansy finds some things that belonged to Henry, a mysterious and troubled man who lived (and died!) there long ago. She can visit his world through the lens of her camera and soon she becomes more involved with his life than the real life of the present. oOooOo ghoooooosts oOooOo
First line: ‘I died on a bitter, cold night.‘
Some movie/book news:
Maybe people have been wondering what Stephenie Meyer has been doing with her time? Well, she’s going to be producing a movie, Austenland to be exact, starring Keri Russell (from Felicity), Bret McKenzie (from Wellington! and Flight of the Conchords!), and James Callis (from Battlestar Galactica). The movie is based on the book Austenland by Shannon Hale (Goose Girl, etc).
Segueing away, once the final instalment of the Twilight series has finished at the movies, you can expect to see a host of other young adult fiction adaptations: The Mortal Instruments (by Cassandra Clare) and of course The Hunger Games, other rumours/news are/is of Matched (Ally Condie), Shiver (Maggie Stiefvater), Fallen (Lauren Kate), Divergent (Veronica Roth) for example. They’re currently casting The Mortal Instruments, including Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace (he was Caius in the Twilight movies) and Lily Collins as Clary (she was in 90210).
Most of these books above are series, with some follow ups arriving in the next few months: Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater, Crossed by Ally Condie (will be published in November this year), and Passion by Lauren Kate (which should be available very very soon, having just arrived in the library), plus Divergent is the first in a planned trilogy, so this means many more movies, lots of them having the world falling apart. Goodie.
Sort of connected to the movies and books, and related to our earlier post about Pottermore, now you sort of know what it is and if you’re keen, Pottermore is giving you the chance to enter the site early – so mark the 31st of July in your calendars and go visit the site to find out more. Pottermore is also tweeting updates and previews.
In the mean time, enjoy Harry Potter 7P2!
My dreadful memory – I keep forgetting to mention the Vogue New Zealand exhibition that’s currently running at Te Papa until September. Did you know that New Zealand had their own Vogue magazine during the 1950s? Amazing!
You should go, cos you know I’m going to forget again.
Fancy yourself as a bit of a writer?
Register now for a place at the Creative Writing Workshop, places are limited, so be quick about it.
28th July at Karori Library, 10 am – 3 pm, $40. Email email@example.com to book. For 13-18 year olds.
Suck It And See – The Arctic Monkeys
You shouldn’t take the
title literally, tastes like
plastic and cardboard
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
How they resisted
temptation to include Pink
Floyd is beyond me
The End Of The World Party – I See Stars
instrument is listed as
“screams” in liner notes
Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? – Paloma Faith
But, Paloma, you’re
beautiful. Does this mean you
don’t exist? #confused
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
an architectural style.
The more you know, huh?
Fight Or Flight – Emily Osment
franchise spawns another
teen pop sensation
From sibling tragedy through the assassination of a prime minister, to an alternate dystopian 1950s (can the past be dystopian?): here’s a small collection of new fiction.
Karma, Cathy Ostlere (517 pages) – Maya travels with her father to India to return her mother’s ashes to their final resting place. It is 1984, and on their arrival Indira Gandhi is killed, causing chaos, and thousands are murdered in a bloody massacre. Separated from her father, Maya must disguise herself and accept the help of Sandeep to save herself. Written in verse.
First lines: How to begin. Click. How. To. Begin. Click. Click. Click.
Hush, Eishes Chayil (340 pages) – Set in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn (New York), Hush tells the story of Gittel, who witnesses the abuse of her best friend Devory, causing her to question her ideas about her community and her faith and her upbringing.
First sentences: Devory? Devory? Devory, can you hear me?
The Iron Thorn, Caitlin Kittredge (492 pages) – this is the one about the alternate 1950s where everything’s pretty bleak: “mechanically gifted fifteen-year-old Aoife Grayson, whose family has a history of going mad at sixteen, must leave the totalitarian city of Lovecraft and venture into the world of magic to solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance and the mysteries surrounding her father and the Land of Thorn”. (cover summary)
First sentence: There are seventeen madhouses in the city of Lovecraft.
Love, Inc, Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout (409 pages) – Three girls meet in group counseling for children whose parents divorce, finding they’ve got a lot in common, including a cheating boyfriend (Eric/Rico/Rick). So begins Project Payback, a roaring success, which leads them to establish a consultancy service for those similarly duped in love (the service being called Love, Inc).
First sentence: Senora Mendoza keeps a hand on the doorknob and her eyes on the clock.
Sean Griswold’s Head, Lindsey Leavitt (274 pages) – Payton is seeing a guidance counselor to help her deal with her father’s multiple sclerosis. The counselor suggests she focus on an object, so naturally Payton chooses Sean Griswold’s head, since she sits behind him in class every day. Her project soon turns into a crush (then perhaps a friendship?), then hopefully it will lead her to “focus on herself” (book cover).
First sentence: Nothing creates a buzz like an Executive Deluxe day planner.
Between Here and Forever, Elizabeth Scott (250 pages) – Abby’s sister, Tess, is the perfect one, but following an accident Tess is in a coma and Abby – who has always been in her shadow or, worse, invisible – discovers she’d rather live with her than without. So she plans to bring Tess back, with the help of gorgeous Eli, only to discover her sister has secrets…
First sentence: I lean forward and look at Tess.
Trapped, Michael Northrop (232 pages) – Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason, plus four others, are left stranded at their school during a blizzard. Sounds like an opportunity to have some fun, but then the power goes, and the heat, and the running water, and it’s not fun any more at all, and “the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision” (book cover).
First sentence: We were the last seven kids waiting around to get picked up from Tattawa Regional High School.
We have loads of new books. We are overwhelmed! Something to do with the financial year ending, and budgets being spent. Today is the first day of the new financial year, so happy new financial year? Let us celebrate with some new YA fiction, as is traditional from times gone by.
Rot & Ruin, by Jonathan Maberry (458 pages) – It is the near future. And the world is no longer safe for anyone, thanks to a zombie apocalypse. Humans live in small settlements, and all teens have to start working at the age of 15 or they won’t get fed. Benny, who has just hit 15, reluctantly agrees to become a zombie-killing bounty hunter with his dull brother, Tom. What he thought would be a boring (!) job turns out to be … not boring at all.
First line: ‘Benny Imura couldn’t hold a job, so he took to killing.‘
The Betrayal of Maggie Blair, by Elizabeth Laird (423 pages) - Sixteen-year-old Maggie is accused of witchcraft, and flees for her life. For it is Scotland during the 1600s! Her grandmother, also accused, is hanged, so Maggie runs to her uncle’s place. Her uncle is part of a movement rebelling against the English crown, and she can not entirely escape her past (the whole ‘witch’ thing) when an old enemy puts in an appearance.
First line: ‘I was the first one to see the dead whale lying on the sand at Scalpsie bay.‘
You Killed Wesley Payne : A Novel, by Sean Beaudoin (359 pages) – Dalton Rev has just transferred to a new school. Dalton is a ‘hard-boiled PI’ and also seventeen, and he is going to take on his hardest case ever; to discover who killed Wesley Payne? A ’smart, slick, and hilarious detective novel.’
First line: ‘Dalton Rev thundered into the parking lot of Salt River High, a squat brick building at the top of a grassless hill that looked more like the last stop of the hopeless than a springboard to the college of your choice.‘
Pull, by B. A. Binns (310 pages) – David is (understandably!) distraught after his father kills his mother, and he – and his sisters – move to a new, tough inner-city school in Chicago. He tries to make a new life for himself, all the while dealing with the burden of his grief, but ends up having to make a very difficult choice; to take a basketball scholarship, or quit school to work and support his family.
First line: ‘It’s fourth period, and so far not one teacher has questioned who I am.‘
Enclave, by Ann Aguirre (262 pages) – From the catalogue! ‘In a post-apocalyptic future, 15-year-old Deuce, a loyal Huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the Freaks outside her enclave, but when she is partnered with the mysterious outsider, Fade, she begins to see that the strict ways of the elders may be wrong – and dangerous.’ According to Publishers Weekly, this book is for fans of The Hunger Games. Which is nearly everyone! So you can’t go wrong.
First line: ‘I was born during the second holocaust.‘
Divergent, by Veronica Roth (487 pages) – Another dystopian story! This is the first in a series set in a future Chicago, where everyone at the age of 16 must choose one of five factions to join. Each faction is dedicated to a certain virtue. Beatrice Prior has to choose between staying with her family or being true to herself (i.e., she doesn’t belong to any one faction and is, in fact, a Divergent.) She very quickly discovers that her world isn’t as perfect as she thought. ’Edgy,’ says Publishers Weekly. ‘Definately not for the fainthearted,’ they add.
First lines: ‘There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs.‘
How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy, by Crystal Allen (283 pages) – Thirteen-year-old Lamar is a champion ten-pin bowler, but he is overshadowed by his uber-talented basketball-playing older brother. Lamar has no luck with the ladies, either. So a scheme to make money backfires he ruins his brother’s chance at getting into college as well as every relationship in his life. How can he mend everything? How?! ‘Heartwarming and humorous.’
First line: ‘Since Saturday, I’ve fried Sergio like catfish, mashed him like potatoes, and creamed his corn in ten straight games of bowling.‘
Like Mandarin, by Kirsten Hubbard (388 pages) – Catalogue says, ‘When shy, awkward fourteen-year-old Grace Carpenter is paired with the beautiful and wild Mandarin on a school project, an unlikely, explosive friendship begins, but all too soon, Grace discovers that Mandarin is a very troubled, even dangerous, girl.’ Thanks, catalogue!
First line: ‘The winds in Washokey make people go crazy.‘
The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff (343 pages) – Mackie Doyle is a changeling, and was left in a human baby’s crib 16 years ago; although he would rather fit in to our world, all the iron, blood, and consecrated ground here are slowly killing him. When Tate – the girl he fancies – loses her baby sister, Mackie is drawn back to Mayhem to try to find her. Here’s the catalogue’s summary (I know I keep copying from it, but this sounds really good!); ‘“Edward Scissorhands” meets “The Catcher in the Rye” in this wildly imaginative and frighteningly beautiful horror novel about an unusual boy and his search for a place to belong.‘
First line: ‘I don’t remember any of the true, important parts, but there’s this dream I have.‘
The Lost Tohunga, by David Blair (368 pages) – Mat is on holiday in Taupo, and all he wants to do there is study and catch up with his magical mentor. But! Warlocks, determined to dominate the hidden land of Aoteoroa, seek Te Iho, and soon Mat is caught up in a deadly no-holds-barred struggle. This is the sequel to The Taniwha’s Tear, itself the sequel to The Bone Tiki.
First line: ‘Auckland, 1956 – Whenever the girl heard the crunch of boots on the gravel path outside, she imagined that her father had come to take her away.‘
New entries in this month’s Top 10(ish) Most Wanted include Pretty Little Liars, the first in the popular series by Sara Shepard (the popularity has been given a boost by the TV series, we think); Forgotten, a romance/thriller mystery involving weird, supernatural goings on in London Lane’s memories; and the latest from Glee (’Try a Little Tenderness’, ‘Isn’t She Lovely’, and the ‘I Feel Pretty’/'Unpretty’ combo, plus more).
1. Passion, Lauren Kate [up 1]
2. City of Fallen Angels, Cassandra Clare [down 1]
3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
4. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
4. Midnight, L J Smith [up 2]
6. Glee: The Music: Volume 6 [new]
7. August, Bernard Beckett [up 3]
7. Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard [new/old]
7. Scorpia Rising, Anthony Horowitz [down 3]
10. Forgotten, Cat Patrick [new]
10. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [back again]