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November 2011

The Archives

  • Grimm, New

    New Books This Week

    10.11.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Books This Week

    Could ghosts be the new vampires? Here at the teen blog we’ve recently noticed a whole bunch of interesting ghost stories are being published, some of them with Victorian, 19th-century sensibilities. Could this be the new black? we wonder. We will keep an eye out for more.

    The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater (409 pages) – The Scorpio Races happen each year in November, where riders race waterhorses (presumably underwater). They’re a dangerous sport, and some riders don’t survive. Sean Kendrick has, he’s the current champion, back to defend his title. Then there’s Puck, who is going to be the first female rider ever, not fully aware of what she’s got herself in for. We’re thinking everyone’s going to get more than they bargained for.

    First sentence: It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.

    Human.4, Mike A. Lancaster (231 pages) – When Kyle volunteers to be hypnotised at a talent show, he doesn’t expect the world to be completely changed when he wakes up. Now everyone behaves like he doesn’t exist, and TVs and computers just display a weird language. So, is this a new real world, or is Kyle still lost in a nightmare?

    First sentence (Kyle Straker’s First Tape): … Is this thing on?

    Drink Slay Love, Sarah Beth Durst (386 pages) – (The title is an Eat, Pray, Love reference, if you hadn’t already noticed.) Pearl is your average run of the mill vampire until one day she is stabbed through the heart by a unicorn. Now she can be out in daylight, which is kind of useful for vampires, and her vampire family agrees, and puts Pearl to use, enrolling her in high school with the intention of luring innocent humans to the vampire King’s feast (as, you know, the feast). But Pearl starts having second thoughts – especially about one particular cute guy – and finds herself torn between having her friends killed and being killed herself.

    First sentence: “One hour until dawn,” Pearl said.

    The Summer I Learned to Fly, Dana Reinhardt (216 pages) – Drew is a loner who hangs out in her mother’s cheese shop and owns a pet rat. One day she meets Emmett, a boy with an endless amount of mysteries surrounding him, and begins her first real friendship. The cover says “[it’s] about a cautious girl swept up by new feelings. It’s about a charismatic boy in search of a miracle. It’s about what happens when they find each other”, which is quite nice.

    First sentence: For some people it’s the smell of sunblock.

    He’s So Not Worth It, Kieran Scott (360 pages) – the sequel to She’s So Dead to Us. “Told in two voices, Allie and Jake continue to be bombarded by family issues and pressures from the “Cresties” and their poorer counterparts as they spend a summer dealing with the fallout of their breakup.” (Catalogue)

    First sentence: I had imagined my reunion with my father so many times over the past two years, I had every last detail down.

    Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake (316 pages) – Cas Lowood is a ghost-killer who travels the country with his mother and cat, following legends and stories to hunt down harmful ghosts and, well, kill them. They arrive in a new town on the trail of the ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood, who has killed every person who has entered the house she haunts – except, mysteriously, she decides to spare Cas.

    First sentence: The grease-slicked hair is a dead giveaway – no pun intended.

    Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor (418 pages) – newly arrived, and featuring in our Most Wanted list: this one is “a sweeping and gorgeously written modern fantasy about a forbidden love, an ancient and epic battle, and hope for a world remade” (cover), which makes it sound fabulous!

    First sentence: Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.

    A Long Long Sleep, Anna Sheehan (342 pages) – This is a kind of fairytale-meets-futuristic-semi-dystopian-tale, which sounds really interesting. Rosalinda Fitzroy’s mega rich parents organised for her to “sleep” for sixty years in a stasis tube. When she is kissed awake by a strange boy she discovers the world quite changed, and must reestablish herself. But when an assassin threatens her life, things are turned up a notch, and Rose is forced to uncover some past truths and face the deadly threat head on.

    First sentence: I’d try to hold on to my stass dreams as long as I could.

    Haunting Violet, Alyxandra Harvey (344 pages) – Set in the 19th century. Violet’s mother is a fake medium, who holds séances to relieve various willing members of society of their cash. But at one particular session Violet is confronted by the ghost of a murder victim, who won’t rest until the killer is brought to justice.

    First sentence: I was nine years old when my mother decided it was time I took part in the family business.

  • Grimm, Most Wanted

    Most Wanted: November 2011

    08.11.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Most Wanted: November 2011

    Here’s the top ten most reserved young adult items for November. New entries include Daughter of Smoke & Bone – a supernatural romance/thriller about angels and devils set in exotic parts (well, Marrakesh, and Prague for example) – Clockwork Prince –  the second in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare – Hades – the angelic follow up to Halo – and Crossed – sequel to Matched, in which Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces to find Ky. Happy reserving!

    1. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore [no change]
    2. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini [up 1]
    3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
    4. Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick [up 1]
    5. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
    6. Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare [new]
    7. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
    8. Hades, Alexandra Adornetto [new]
    9. Crossed, Ally Condie [new]
    9. Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor [new]
    9. The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore [down 2]

    Now, back to Angry Birds!

  • Isn't that cool?, Jack

    Angry Birds Invade Teen Blog!

    08.11.11 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    Are you studying for your exams? Is it frustrating? Well then, why not destroy a website or two? Thanks to Nokia Argentina you can use everyone’s favourite Angry Birds to wreak havoc on web pages (and a few pigs) from right inside your browser. Just drag this bookmarklet onto your bookmarks toolbar, then click it on any webpage to begin. Here’s a demo…

  • Fashion Friday, Le Chic Librarian

    Fashion Friday

    04.11.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Fashion Friday

    I’ve come over all denim this week.
    And if it’s good enough for a Japanese hipster (they’re denim connoisseurs you know), then it’s good enough for me.  I’m quite partial to these – what do you think?

    Seems I’m in good company too as Topshop has just launched a new denim range with this clip.

    What’s your fave denim trend at the moment?

  • Grimm, New

    This Week’s New Books

    04.11.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on This Week’s New Books

    VIII, H. M. Castor (399 pages) – Before he was Henry VIII he was Hal; young, dashing and handsome, and destined to become one of the most famous kings of England (not necessarily for all the right reasons). VIII tells the story of young Hal, tormented by his family’s ghosts and convinced of his path to lead his country. This has good reviews!

    First sentence: I’m still half asleep when I feel strong hands grabbing me.

    So Silver Bright, Lisa Mantchev (356 pages) – the concluding Act in the quirky, effervescent trilogy that began with Eyes Like Stars, So Silver Bright sees Bertie on the up and up, having rescued Nate from Sedna, and having discovered the identity of her father, the Scrimshander. Now she must try and reunite him with her mother, Ophelia, so they can be a family. But of course, things can’t go to plan: her father has disappeared, Sedna’s on the loose, and the Theatre Illuminata and her mother are on the verge of collapse. Plus: Nate, or Ariel?

    First sentence: It is a nipping and an eager air.

    Dark Parties, Sara Grant (313 pages) – Neva has lived in Homeland her whole life, told that the rest of the earth is just wasteland. But this is a lie! Neva is aware of The Missing, people who vanish without warning. She and her friend Sanna decide to start an underground rebellion, to uncover the truths the government has been hiding, but is Neva in danger of becoming one of The Missing?

    First sentence: I’m standing in the dark, not the gentle gray of dusk or the soft black of a moonlit night but pitch-black.

    Compuls1on, Heidi Ayarbe (297 pages) – Jake is obsessed with prime numbers, and this obsession lends him some sort of magic – it’s what keeps his family safe, and makes him so brilliant at football, and it’s what’s going to make his team state soccer champions for the third year in a row (3 = a prime number). He is sure that this final game of the season will set the magic free from the numbers, and he won’t be a freak – but what if this doesn’t happen? A story about obsessive compulsive disorder, obvs.

    First sentence: Tanya Reese’s Tinker Bell taattoo flits on her pale shoulder, blowing on a dandelion, its fluff spiraling down on her back.

    Following Christopher Creed, Carol Plum-Ucci (405 pages) – sequel to The Body of Christopher Creed. A body is found in Steepleton (could it be Christopher Creed?), so college reporter Mike Mavic ups stakes and moves there to follow the story, convinced this is his big break. What he finds, however, is a suffering town (unexplained sickness, accidents), and Justin Creed, Christopher’s brother, who is also obsessed with uncovering the truth of his disappearance.

    First sentence: It happened on a dark and stormy night.

    fishhookfishhookfishhookfishhookfishhook (we do love dark and stormy nights in first sentences)

    Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins (338 pages) – Lola’s life seems perfect. She’s a designer with an outrageous sense of style, and she has a hot boyfriend. But then (there’s always a but then) the Bell twins move back to the house next door, one of the twins being Cricket (yes, Cricket), a gifted inventor, and the boy Lola has unacknowledged feelings for.

    First sentence: I have three simple wishes.

    Cold Kiss, Amy Garvey (292 pages) – When Wren’s boyfriend Danny dies, she’s determined to bring him back… and so she does. Trouble is, new Danny is nothing like old Danny: “his touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it” (salute to Edward?). Wren tries to keep him a secret, but Gabriel DeMarnes arrives in town. He can sense her power and somehow knows what she’s done, and wants to help her, but only Wren can undo what she’s done.

    First sentence: I wasn’t thinking about falling in love the day I met Danny Greer.

    And finally for this week, two retellings:

    Falling for Hamlet, Michelle Ray (348 pages) – Hamlet updated! Ophelia is a high school senior and girlfriend of Prince Hamlet, son of the Danish king. Her life seems glamorous, but there’s the paparazzi, and the controlling royals, and then the suspicious death of the king. Hamlet starts acting oddly – madly – and Ophelia finds herself isolated, and wishing for a normal life (preferably not in a nunnery).

    First sentence: Hamlet’s father had the kind of laugh that made wineglasses vibrate and clink of the staff set them too close together, and Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, loved to hear it so much that she went to great lengths to provoke it.

    Dark of the Moon, Tracy Barrett (310 pages) – “Retells the story of the minotaur through the eyes of his fifteen-year-old sister, Ariadne, a lonely girl destined to become a goddess of the moon, and her new friend, Theseus, the son of Athens’ king who was sent to Crete as a sacrifice to her misshapen brother.” (catalogue!)

    First sentence: It isn’t true what they say about my brother – that he ate those children.


  • Grimm, Top 10

    Top 10: Ballet Fiction

    03.11.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Top 10: Ballet Fiction

    Thanks to Natalie Portman and Black Swan and whatnot, ballet is resurgent and popular! There is plenty of storyline potential in ballet, with dancers driven to succeed, and the mysterious inner workings of dance companies and schools. This list is a sort of companion to the theatre list, and also as a salute to mum, a ballet fiend, and other ballet fiends like her:

    1. Bunheads, Sophie Flack – Great cover! Nice title! Hannah is consumed by her ballet – the hours of rehearsals, the performances – until she meets Jacob, a free-spirit musician. Her growing relationship with him helps give her a new perspective on life, and ballet’s place in it.
    2. Ballet Shoes, Noel Streatfield – this is a classic children’s book, so if you haven’t read it maybe you must? Either that, or you could cheat and watch the DVD with Emma Watson of Hermione fame.
    3. Dancing in the Dark, Robyn Bavati – not the song by Bruce Springsteen. In this a girl born into a strict Jewish family is not allowed ballet lessons, so (as often happens with forbidden things) she learns in secret and begins to question the world she lives in.
    4. The Splendour Falls, Rosemary Clement-Moore – with a supernatural twist! Sylvie’s broken leg ruins her ballet career, and after her father dies her mother ships her off from New York to Alabama. Everyone knows that mysterious, unexplainable things happen in the deep south.
    5. Rose Sees Red, Cecil Castellucci – set in 1982, when the USA was at loggerheads with the USSR. Rose is an American teen who lives to dance, and Yrena is her next door neighbour, a Russian ballet dancer performing in New York and sick of being confined in her apartment. One night, Yrena makes a bold escape, out her bedroom window and into Rose’s, and what follows is a night out on the town, which would be great in New York.
    6. Fish Feet, Veronica Bennett – not exactly a title the screams ballet, but nonetheless! Erik loves ballet and football, but when he decides to audition for the Royal Ballet School he faces the prospect of letting down his football team: you can imagine how understanding they are. A book about branching out, taking a risk, and being different.
    7. A Company of Swans, Eva Ibbotson – Swan Lake in the Amazon jungle! “Defying her father, Harriet runs away to join the ballet on a journey to the Amazon. In a grand opera house, deep in the heart of the wild jungle, she performs Swan Lake – and falls in love with a mysterious British exile. But Harriet’s father has tracked her down… and her new life is under threat.” (catalogue)
    8. The Melting Season, Celeste Conway – “Giselle, the sheltered daughter of two famous ballet dancers, comes to terms with her relationships with both her late father and her mother, realizing some important truths that help her move forward both in her life and with her own dancing.” (catalogue)
    9. The Kings Are Already Here, Garret Freymann-Weir – Phebe takes the summer off from training to be a ballet dancer to stay with her father in Switzerland. There she meets Nikolai, a young chess champion on his own quest to find legendary chess player Stas Vlajnik. Phebe organises a search to find Stas, and together with Nikolai and her father, travels across Europe following her leads.
    10. Audition, Louise Kehoe. Sara wins a scholarship to study ballet. Her life as a full-time dancer in training is hard, but enjoyable (including being the muse of Remington, choreographer), but she starts to question her life’s direction when she discovers a love of writing.

  • Grimm

    Waiting on Wednesday

    02.11.11 | Permalink | 1 Comment

     Here are some interesting upcoming books we’ve ordered recently – thanks to Steph’s hard work!

    The Death Cure, James Dashner (November-ish). This is the third book in the Maze Runner trilogy (I say trilogy, but you can never be sure about these things). Therefore you really must read The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials before tackling this one, but you’ve got time! (Although not too much – it’s being released soon.) A best-selling dystopian series in which Thomas wakes up one day with no memory in the middle of a place called The Maze (and then things get horribly worse). The author’s blog (called The Dashner Dude) is here, and The Death Cure‘s facebook page is here. The book trailer is here:

    Someone Else’s Life, Katie Dale (February 2012). If you’ve read and loved some Jodi Picoult (Her Sister’s Keeper etc.), then this one may interest you. Rosie’s mother has died from Huntington’s Disease, and Rosie must struggle not only with the loss of her mother but also knowing she has a 50% chance of having the disease herself. But her decision to have herself tested for the gene leads to a whole other profound discovery.

    Modelland, Tyra Banks (soon!). ANTM and Tyra fans will be keen to hear that they can now reserve her book! Described as like The Hunger Games, but fashion-y, and with Harry Potter elements, Modelland stars Tookie, who has “untamable hair, [a] large forehead, and [a] gawky body” (amazon.com): can she become one of the Intoxibellas?

    You can read the first chapter at the Barnes & Noble site here. And here, just below, is the book trailer (complete with “smize” pun)!

  • New, Simon, Trailers

    Trailer Tuesday

    01.11.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Trailer Tuesday

    Tuesday trailers! Like Hollywood but at home via your public library. And only for a few minutes.

    Firstly here is some good (?) news – Fraggle Rock is to be turned into a movie! “Get your cares away!” “The trashheap has spoken!” That’s what you will be saying in a few years, probably.

    A new trailer is out for for Mission : Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which seems to have action oozing from every pore.


    The Lorax is a film based on the Dr. Suess book (for children, obviously). Until we saw the trailer we didn’t have much hope for this film here at Teen Blog Laboratories, but it actually seems very funny! And nice to look at. And that’s what you want in a film.

    Here’s a new featurette for the Twilight Saga : Breaking Dawn. Talking about the wedding or something?

    And finally ParaNorman, about a boy who sees dead things? I am not sure what is going on! It is a teaser trailer.

    -~~ T H E    E N D ~~-

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