As another year draws to a close lets take a look at some 2011 round ups – Fashionista’s Most Stylish Ladies in 2011; their fave celebrity nail art from this year; the Fug Girls nominees for ‘Could Be Dressed Better in 2012‘; and finally Buzznet’s ‘Moratorium: Fashion Trends that must Die before 2012’!
What were your favourite fashion moments of 2011? Fashion Friday was mine – of course.
See you in the New Year!
Today: a weaponry face-off.
In the Blue Corner:
In the Red Corner:
You guys, here are some more new books!
12 Things To Do Before You Crash and Burn, by James Proimos (121 pages) – Hercules Martino is 16, and the son of a recently deceased famous self-help guru who was no good as a dad. Staying with his uncle for Summer, Hercules is set twelve tasks that will ‘change the way he sees his past, present, and future.’ A book that is short, funny (as promised by Library Journals LLC) and in all likelihood a satisfying read.
First lines: ‘The casket is close. It was a plane crash, after all.‘
Light Beneath Ferns, by Anne Spollen (206 pages) – Here’s another not-so-long book; this time a ghost story, not a comedy. Elizah moves in with her mother, who is a caretaker at a cemetery. She finds a human jawbone by a river (!!!) and, at the cemetery, she meets Nathaniel, who is mysterious and, you know, maybe not all there. LITERALLY. Fans of supernatural romance probably won’t be disappointed.
First lines: ‘This story does not teach a lesson. It does not explain gravity or the pack rituals of wolves or how the sun will explode one day and leave us all inside a gray welt of ice and famine.‘
Down the Mysterly River, by Bill Willingham (333 pages) – Max “the Wolf” is a champion boy scout who – inexplicably! – wakes up in a strange forest with no memory of how he got there. With him is a badger, a bear, and a barn cat who are similarly clueless but can talk. They realise that they are being hunted, and it’s up to Max to solve the mystery of what’s what. This is by the writer of the Fables comics, with drawings by the comic artist throughout. ~the more you know~
First line: ‘Max the Wolf was a wolf in exactly the same way that foothills are made up of real feet and a tiger shark is part tiger, which is to say, not at all.‘
Vintage Veronica, by Erica S. Perl (279 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Veronica gets a summer job in the Clothing Bonanza, a second-hand clothing store. She is pretty happy about that! She loves fashion, and her job is to sort out the quality stuff from the rubbish, and she doesn’t have to deal with customers (she has low self-esteem). Two ‘outrageous yet charismatic’ salesgirls befriend her and encourage her to stalk the stock boy as a joke. Soon Veronica realises she will need to come out of her (proverbial! obviously) shell when romance blossoms.
First lines: ‘I’m sure you don’t know me. But you’ve probably seen me around. I’m that fat girl. You know, the one who dresses funny. The one who wears those ridiculous poufy skirts from the fifties that look like she hacked off the top of an old prom dress (because actually, I did).‘
How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr (341 pages) – Here is the catalogue synopsis for what might be a little grim but ultimately uplifting book; ‘Told from their own viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Jill, in grief over the loss of her father, and Mandy, nearly nineteen, are thrown together when Jill’s mother agrees to adopt Mandy’s unborn child but nothing turns out as they had anticipated.’
First line: ‘Dad would want me to be here. There’s no other explanation for my presence.‘
Kiss of Death, by Lauren Henderson (307 pages) – This is the final book in the series that began with Kiss Me Kill Me. Unfortunately we don’t seem to have the second and third books in the series! We will buy them. IN THE MEANTIME, here’s a brutal abridgement of the catalogue synopsis: ‘Scarlett [and] Taylor arrive in Scotland […] Old friends and enemies […] explore […] passages under Edinburgh […] [and] someone is out to get [Scarlett] […] and that person has deadly plans for her. Is it time to kiss our heroine goodbye?’
First line: ‘This is absolutely the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.‘
The Espressologist, by Kristina Springer (184 pages) – Jane is seventeen and a barista (someone who makes coffee). She has a theory that you can tell a lot about someone by the coffee they drink*, and she uses this to set people up on dates. She’s pretty good at it, so her boss develops it as an instore promotion. BUT she matches her best friend with Cam, which in hindsight was silly since she maybe is a little bit in love with him?
*Probably wouldn’t work in NZ where we all drink flat whites, pretty much
First line: ‘“Excuse me,” the customer says, stepping up to the counter. I quickly stop scribbling in my notebook and slide it onto the shelf under the espresso machine.‘
The Warlock ‘s Shadow, by Stephen Deas (291 pages) – The follow-up to The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice. When the thief-taker is hired to protect a prince, Berren (the apprentice) is pleased to get away from the tedium at the temple. He meets a girl, who happens to be a Dragon Monk, the best sword fighters ever to wield a sword. But the prince needs protection for a reason – people want to kill him and anyone who stands in their way, including young Berren. Especially Berren! Maybe
First line: ‘Kasmin didn’t see the three men come into the tavern but he knew they were there almost at once.‘
Unleashed : Wolf Springs Chronicles, by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie (385 pages) – Katelyn moves to a new town, to live with her grandfather in the middle of a forest. Her new school is Wolf Springs High. Judging from the cover and the blurb on the back that says, ‘a dark exciting tale that will have you believing in werewolves,’ I am willing to bet this is about werewolves! Book one in a series
First lines: ‘I can fly. Katelyn Claire McBride was the girl on the flying trapeze.‘
Hunters : Phantom – The Vampire Diaries, not really by L. J. Smith (413 pages) – This is a brand-new VD story. Apparently it was written by a ghostwriter, since the publisher who holds the copyright fired L. J. Smith. That seems a bit strange actually! Anyway, Damon is dead, Elena and Stefan can be together, but Elena dreams of Damon. And she loves him a little too. A lot maybe! Soon everyone is threatened by a new darkness.
First line: ‘Elena Gilbert stepped onto a smooth expanse of grass, the spongy blades collapsing beneath her feet.‘
The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson
Rory (short for Aurora) moves to London from Louisiana to go to boarding school when her parents get jobs nearby in Bristol. On her arrival, Rory finds out there’s a murderer on the loose who is mimicking the murders of Jack the Ripper from over a hundred years ago. Shortly after she arrives, Rory comes into contact with the killer, but it seems as though she’s the only one who can see him…
There are a number of times when Rory is confused by British-isms somewhat endearingly, and while suspenseful the novel is also humorous. The first in a trilogy with the next one expected in late 2012!
The Golden Day, Ursula Dubosarsky
“The golden day is a novel set in Sydney in 1967, ending in 1975, about a group of schoolgirls whose teacher bizarrely goes missing on a school excursion, apparently murdered.”–Author’s note.
The language in this was lovely, simple and well thought out. A little like Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Well look, some trailers. I haven’t been able to find too many new ones lately, regardless of how many hours I spend watching Youtube.
Jack The Giant Killer is based on Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, which, if you don’t remember, is about Jack, giants, and beanstalks. Also Nicholas Hoult is in it, so the film automatically gets 5 stars. Thanks.
G. I. Joe : Retaliation is the second G. I. Joe film. Do you remember the first film? All I can recall is how bad it was. So I guess a second film is, in its way, retaliation, for giving viewers it (and Dragonball : Evolution) the benefit of the doubt and hoping for at least a few hours of mindlessly enjoyable action. Anyway, here’s the trailer.
Men in Black 3. Part two was released nine years ago, which is a long time in movie franchise years.
Here’s a trailer for an ebook download! It’s the Yellow Submarine (by popular British band, The Beatles) and it is interactive. Our first interactive ebook trailer – truly a milestone! MERRY XMAS!
LATE ADDITION: Wrath of the Titans (i.e. the sequel to Clash of the Titans) has a trailer. Watch it here! Also Dark Knight Rises has a trailer you can watch here, if you are into Batman (and you are).
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, by Annabel Pitcher
“Ten-year-old Jamie Matthews has just moved to the Lake District with his Dad and his teenage sister, Jasmine for a ‘Fresh New Start’. Five years ago his sister’s twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb. His parents are wrecked by their grief, Jasmine turns to piercing, pink hair and stops eating. The family falls apart. But Jamie hasn’t cried in all that time. To him Rose is just a distant memory. Jamie is far more interested in his cat, Roger, his birthday Spiderman T-shirt, and in keeping his new friend Sunya a secret from his Dad. And in his deep longing and unshakeable belief that his Mum will come back to the family she walked out on months ago. When he sees a TV advert for a talent show, he feels certain that this will change everything and bring them all back together once and for all.” (Catalogue description)
Here are some new books! We provide so many ideas for things to read it is just ridiculous. Ridonkulous.
Belle’s Song, by K. M. Grant (298 pages) – Belle’s father can not walk thanks to an accident that she was responsible for. It is the 14th century so it is kind of important that he be mobile! So she heads to Canterbury with Chaucer (YES THAT CHAUCER) and handsome squire, Walter, in the hope that the pilgrimage has a miraculous outcome. However Belle is being blackmailed and Chaucer is up to his neck in politics and politics back then could be torturous, if you know what I mean. Hard times!
First lines: ‘Tragedy and opportunity, conspiracies and compulsions. And love. Unexpected love.‘
Wherever You Go, by Heather Davis (309 pages) – Holly’s boyfriend Rob died in an accident, and she has to spend most of her time caring for her sister and her grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s. Her late boyfriend’s best friend, Jason, steps in to help, and her grandfather says he is communicating with Rob’s ghost (who is in fact narrating the story from beyond the grave), meaning Holly has some tough and unexpected decisions to make.
First lines: ‘You’ve been by her side for six months, but she hasn’t noticed you.‘
Legend, by Marie Lu (295 pages) – The USA is now at war with itself; the Republic on one side, and the Colonies on the other. In this dystopian future some kids – one rich, the other not at all! – join together to fight against the injustice that authority has become. Nonstop action, a little romance, the ‘characters are likeable, the plot moves at a good pace, and the adventure is solid’, writes the Library Journal. The first in a series, and written about by us previously here (+ book trailer).
First lines: ‘My mother thinks I’m dead. Obviously I’m not dead, but it’s safer for her to think so.‘
Clockwork Prince : The Infernal Devices Book 2, by Cassandra Clare (502 pages) – Because this is the second book in the second series and I haven’t read any of it, here is the synopsis from the catalogue. Okay! ‘As the Council attempts to strip Charlotte of her power, sixteen-year-old orphaned shapechanger, Tessa Gray works with the London Shadowhunters to find the Magister and destroy his clockwork army, learning the secret of her own identity while investigating his past.’
First lines: ‘The fog was thick, muffling sound and sight. Where it parted, Will Herondale could see the street rising ahead of him, slick and wet and black with rain, and he could hear the voices of the dead.’
Dearly Departed, by Lia Habel (451 pages) – Nora Dearly encounters a ‘crack unit’ of teen zombies. They are the good guys! The bad guys are monsters hoping to boost their evil, foetid ranks. Nora begins to fall for one of the good zombies, Bram, who is ‘surprisingly attractive.’ Not sure if the good guys are decomposing or if they’re somehow frozen in a freshly dead state? Is that still gross? The cover depicts them as a little pale but I can’t see any bones or exposed muscle. Still you have to consider these things. Though not too closely!
First lines: ‘I was buried alive. When the elevator groaned to a stop in the middle of the rocky shaft, I knew that I was buried alive.’
Wildefire, by Karsten Knight (392 pages) – Ashline Wilde is having it harsh at her school – her boyfriend cheated on her and her runaway sister, Eve, has returned to cause trouble. So Ashline starts at a new, private school in California, hoping for a fresh beginning. Buuuuut, Ashline discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have all been summoned to this one particular place. And she is one of them! Soon a war between the gods threatens sunny Blackwood Academy. Don’t know about you but that sounds like just another day for me.
First line: ‘Ashline Wilde was a human mood ring.‘
That’s about it for now! Check back later in the week for some more.
Froi of the Exiles, Melina Marchetta
The second book in the Lumatere Chronicles (the first being Finnikin of the Rock). In Finnikin, Froi was a street urchin with no moral compass. In Froi he has become a model student and an efficient assassin in waiting, devoted to his code of conduct and to the Queen of Lumatere. When Froi is sent to Charyn to assassinate the king it seems like an opportunity to prove his worth, but he finds himself embroiled in a chaotic uprising reminiscent of the French Revolution (hangings instead of the guillotine), and in a mysterious curse whose repercussions reverberate around Charyn, and appear to be knocking on the door of Lumatere.
This book is wonderful and epic (600 pages, but you’ll hardly notice). At its heart are really real characters, great dialogue, keen observations of the way people are, and an awesome rag tag group of wanderers that reminded me rather a lot of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca etc. from Star Wars. Plus: there’s a very twisty twist at the end (third book due next year).
Blood Red Road, Moira Young. A fantastic futuristic journey through a wasteland world, with land yachts, cage fighting, an epic quest, and a cool bird. Made me think of the Mad Max movies. Good thing that it’s going to be a movie then, by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator…).
The Floating Islands, Rachel Neumeier. A really successful, original fantasy world (with a mystical, Eastern element): had to try not to think of the movie Avatar with the floating islands idea, because it’s quite different. The potential romanceyness was well restrained, which is nice for a bit of a change.
Never fear! Here are some ideas: