If you’re reading a Melina Marchetta book for NCEA/school (or just because), you might be interested to hear (read) that she’s guest featuring on the blog Between the Lines over the next few days. She’s posting about her thoughts on her books, providing some background and insights into the characters. So far she’s written about Saving Francesca, and Looking for Alibrandi, but there’s more to come, so keep checking in with her.
Also, Froi of the Exiles is due out soon.
(Thanks to Kym, my personal MM RSS reader.)
While the Rugby World Cup is in action Wellington City Libraries have a competition running that gives you the chance to win an official RWC rugby ball, shirt, scarf, pins & keyring (RRP $200) kindly donated by the Wellington City Council. What do I have to do to win all that sweet swag you say? Well, have a look at the silhouettes of the eight famous number tens below…
Do you recognise any of them? Yes, no, maybe? You can take a guess and enter here (the names are listed, so even if you’re not a rugby scholar like me you still have a good shot). You have to be 14 and over to enter and the winner will be announced on the 30th of October so get your entries in before then, ok?
Please note: the judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore (406 pages) – from the perspective of Number Seven as well as Number Four, this is the continuing story of the nine chosen Lorien teenagers sent to earth to escape the Mogadorians, those of the really bad teeth. Number Seven is in hiding in a convent with her minder, and they are at odds about the possibility of a Lorien uprising. Number Seven is keen to track down the now-famous Number Four, and leaves the convent, the Mogadorians in hot pursuit. Bernie Kosar most likely makes an appearance, you will be pleased to hear.
First sentence: My name is Marina, as of the sea, but I wasn’t called that until much later.
Sweetly, Jackson Pearce (310 pages) – based on Hansel and Gretel. Gretchen’s twin sister disappeared several years ago while they were hunting a witch in the woods. Now Gretchen and her brother Ansel live with Sophia, a chocolatier, in South Carolina, and life does seem to be sweet, literally and metaphorically, until a handsome stranger arrives saying the witch is still around and Gretchen’s the next target. Gretchen decides to face the witch story head on, and her investigations dig up disturbing secrets.
First sentence: The book said there was a witch in the woods.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M Valente (247 pages) – it’s arrived! Mentioned in this post here.
First sentence: Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents’ house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog.
Sometimes It Happens, Lauren Barnholdt (312 pages) – It’s the first day of senior year, and Hannah gets to start fresh after her boyfriend dumped her on the last day of junior year. But things are going to go really awry because over summer Hannah has fallen for her friend Ava’s boyfriend, and Ava knows.
First sentence: I really should not be so scared.
Dreams of Significant Girls, Cristina Garcia (238 pages) – Set in the 1970s. Shirin is an Iranian princess, Ingrid is German-Canadian, and Vivien is a Cuban-Jewish girl from New York City. The three girls meet at a Swiss boarding school where they spend three consecutive summers becoming friends. It sounds idyllic, but they all have challenges to face and things to learn about love, hate, friends, and family expectations.
First sentence: Sometime I think my parents sent me to Switzerland because they didn’t want me around.
First sentences: I couldn’t breathe. There was a hand covering my mouth and another shaking my shoulder, startling me out of a heavy sleep.
The Deserter, Peadar O Guilin (441 pages) – the second in the Bone World trilogy, after The Inferior. There are two worlds, the stone-age Surface, and the hi-tech Roof above. Stopmouth, cannibal, and resident of the Surface must leave his world in search of Indrani, the woman he loves, as she’s the only one who knows how to save Surface. But he’s hunted by Roof agents, with their gadgetry and technology: can he prevail and save his world?
First sentence: They’re hunting for Indrani, combing the Roof, projecting her picture everywhere.
Blood Magic, Tessa Gratton (405 pages) – “Silla is damaged and lost since the death of her parents. Nick is the new boy in town with a chilling past of his own. A mysterious spell book steeped in blood magic will bind Silla and Nick together. But at what cost?” (Book cover).
First sentence: It is impossible to know who you really are until you spend time alone in a cemetery.
The Rugby World Cup begins tonight (as if you weren’t already aware), these links will help set the mood.
Google has been rugby-fied
Do you like fantasy sports? Play fantasy World Cup here
Stuff are doing a live blog
The library News Blog has a Cup Diary
The official youtube channel will keep you informed and entertained
There, now you are ready to settle in with some tasty snacks and catch the action. Who do you think will win? Who do you think will be the player of the tournament? Will the fact that I drew England in our office sweepstake cause me internal conflict?
It will be a fun six weeks.
The fashion-internet was abuzz last week over this hilariously cute video from Lanvin. We mightn’t be able to buy the clothes, but we can laugh at the dancing models.
And speaking of models – New York Fashion Week has started . You can watch the shows streamed live on this Youtube channel Liverunway.
Here’s the top ten most reserved young adult items, as of now, the second week of September. They’re a melting pot of what’s hot in young adult fiction: spies, thrillers, dystopias, angels, aliens, action, romance, fantasy, exclusive academies, movie and tv-show adaptations. Enjoy!
1. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore [up 5]
2. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. Passion, Lauren Kate [down 2]
4. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini [new]
5. The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore [up 5]
6. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [up 3]
7. Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick [new]
8. Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard [down 4]
9. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
10. Bloodlines, Richelle Mead [new]
Maybe it’s a bit counter intuitive to post about American football in the lead up week to the Rugby World Cup, however here are two similar covers that couldn’t slink under the radar:
Payback Time, Carl Deuker – told from the perspective of an un-athletic school sports reporter, Payback Time tells the story of a successful Seattle high school football team, and most particularly their secret weapon Angel.
Leverage, Joshua C Cohen – a challenging story of steroids, football, and bullying, and the way that things can escalate out of control in a terrible way.
There are more book cover patterns here.
Fantasy fans might be interested to hear about a couple of upcoming releases, brought to you by the colour red.
Froi of the Exiles, Melina Marchetta (October/November) – If you’ve read Finnikin of the Rock you might remember Froi, although maybe not fondly (to say he’s a bit of a jerk is being kind). Like him or not, you’ll want to read the follow-up to Finnikin. It is three years after Lumatere was released from its curse and Froi is sent on a secret mission to Charyn where things are, I think, a bit nuts. Here’s an interview with the author (thanks to Kym for the link). Nice cover too.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M Valente (soonish) – If there were a prize for book titles this one would have a good shot. Originally published online, this one is neatly illustrated by Ana Juan. September is 12 years old and living in Omaha. One day she is visited by a Green Wind who tells her she’s needed in Fairyland where September must find a particular talisman for the Marquess or else she (the Marquess) will make life difficult for Fairyland. A School Library Journal reviewer said, “Think The Phantom Tollbooth crossed with The Wizard of Oz infused with the absurdity of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” which sounds awesome (you can read another SLJ review of it here).
The author’s website is here, and below is the rather stylish book trailer:
Antsy feels like he is invisible. He isn’t as good at school as his brother and sister and spends his time at home making peace between his mother and father. He doesn’t think he has ever done anything noteworthy except by accident and a lot of the time he feels unimportant and unnoticed. Calvin Schwa actually is nearly invisible. He can sit in a room and no one will see him or remember that he was there. Half his class think he isn’t real, just an urban legend. But Antsy gets to know him, and by helping the Schwa he manages to stand up for himself, get in a lot of trouble and have a go at making both of them more noticed.
A book all about being seen, how people can be very different from what you hear and making decisions about your own life. This book is nothing like Neal Shusterman’s Unwind (although that’s also an awesome book in different ways!). Recommended if you liked The 10pm Question by Kate De Goldi.
In Antsy Does Time, Antsy finds out completely by chance that a friend is dying. He only has 6 months left. To try and make him feel better Antsy officially gives him 1 month of his own life, signed and witnessed. And then suddenly everything gets out of hand. He’s a hero, he has a secret, and somehow he has to make things right again with his family, the crazy old man who’s threatening to fire his Dad, his girlfriend, his ex-girlfriend and most of the town. Plus he’s managed to kill off all the plants in most of one street.
A crazy, funny story that’s pretty much all about death and dying. Read after reading The Schwa Was Here – it’s a different story, but you do need to know who the characters are and how they got where they are.