It’s Wednesday! Here’s a small selection of interesting titles we’ve ordered recently. Reserve them if they take your fancy.
Soonchild, Russell Hoban (illustrated by Alexis Deacon). Russell Hoban, creator of Captain Najork and Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, was once called “the strangest writer in Britain”. Sadly, he is retiring soon, and this is his second to last book! You must read it! In all seriousness, here’s what it’s about:
“Somewhere in the Arctic Circle, Sixteen-Face John, a shaman, learns that his first child, a soonchild, cannot hear the World Songs from her mother’s womb. The World Songs are what inspire all newborns to come out into the world, and John must find them for her. But how? The answer takes him through many lifetimes and many shape-shifts, as well as encounters with beasts, demons and a mysterious benevolent owl spirit, Ukpika, who is linked to John’s past…” (goodreads.com)
The Girl in the Steel Corset, Kady Cross. A steampunk romance! “In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one… except the ‘thing’ inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch… Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help – and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on – even if it seems no one believes her.” (amazon.com)
Pure, Julianna Baggott. The first in a new dystopian series (the next one will be called Fuse, when it is published). This is the story of Pressia and Partridge. After a nuclear holocaust, people are - for the most part – horribly disfigured, and society corrupt. Pressia is one of the disfigured, Partridge is one of the “pure”. The Pure are the ones who made it to the Dome in time, their bodies unmarked. Inside the Dome Partridge is protected from the people who will burn him, as some type of living sacrifice. Pressia also has problems, since she’s come of age and must join the militia (as a soldier, if she’s physically capable, or as a “live target” if she’s not). When Partridge learns that his mother (who didn’t make it to the Dome) may still be alive, he makes the dangerous decision to venture out in search of her, and “when Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.”
If you’re learning to drive at the moment you’ll know all about giving way to your left, and sitting and thinking about whether you’re the top of the T.
The New Zealand Road Code, in print form, has not caught up with these rule changes yet, but the online version has.
If you want to try out your intersection skills, here’s a cool interactive test: watch out for cyclists.
If you’d love to relive the romance, passion, suspence and drama of Breaking Dawn Part 1, now is your chance! For only 80 cents (if you have a young adult library card)! Which is quite a bargain, really. Reserve your copy now.
Also: have a great weekend!
Tavi Gevinson really is a teen icon. Not because she’s really 25 and pretends to be a teen, like in movies or on television, but because she actually is a teenager.
Tavi writes about fashion as an expression of her 15-year-old self, as experienced by her 15-year-old self. Not as a young woman trying to be something she’s not, but more as an authentic teenage voice.
If you haven’t checked out her online magazine Rookie then you really should. It is Tavi’s vision and worldview, and it is all about being a teenager. And that has appeal to anyone who’s ever been 15 or to high school.
If you’re waiting in the queue for The Hunger Games, or if you’ve read it and want to read something similar, then here are some ideas:
Read your way through our Dystopian, Futuristic and Speculative Fiction booklist. There’s a selection of more than 30 books, including Divergent by Veronica Roth, Legend by Marie Lu, The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner, and more!
Keep an eye on the dystopia tag, for new books, and news on the subject.
The goodreads.com Hunger Games page has other suggestions, plus book lists, video clips, trivia and quotes.
Before there was Katniss there was Gregor. Read The Underland Chronicles, by Suzanne Collins!
There are now 170 people in the queue for The Hunger Games, but don’t fear! If you really need to read it, there are bestseller copies available at the central library for $5.00 for one week (check on the red shelves on the ground floor the next time you come in – you might strike it lucky). In the mean time, go see the movie! Then write us a review!
1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [no change]
4. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare (on order) [up 2]
5. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini [down 1]
6. Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare [down 1]
7. The Prisoner, Robert Muchamore [up 1]
8. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore [down 1]
9. Mastiff, Tamora Pierce (on order) [no change]
10. The Hunger Games: the Official Illustrated Movie Companion, Kate Egan (on order) [new]
Here are this week’s fortnight’s month’s new books, where I literally judge books by their covers.
Article 5, by Kristen Simmons (364 pages) – It is the near future and things have changed! The US has revoked its Bill of Rights, and replaced it with some ‘Moral Statutes’. Instead of police, law is enforced by soldiers, who don’t hesitate to arrest for bad behaviour. When Ember’s rebellious single mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes, she leaves her previously unassuming and safe life behind and becomes a rebel with a cause. The Handmaid’s Tale for teens maybe!
First lines: ‘Beth and Ryan were holding hands. It was enough to risk a formal citation for indecency, and they knew better, but I didn’t say anything.‘
The Catastrophic History of You and Me, by Jess Rothenberg (375 pages) – Brie is sixteen, and tastes great on crackers with quince. Just kidding! She is an actual human who is sixteen, and when her boyfriend tells her he doesn’t love her, she dies of a broken heart. And now, stuck in limbo, she must watch everyone deal with her death, while she too must go through the five stages of grief. Luckily (to balance the whole unluckily dying situation) she has the ghost of a boy who died in the 80s to help her.
First line: ‘There’s always that one guy who gets a hold on you. Not like your best friend’s brother who gets you in headlock kind of hold.’
What Boys Really Want, by Pete Hautman (297 pages) – Lita and Adam are both sixteen, and have been friends for ages. They try not to interfere with one anothers’ love lives, mistaken though they think the other is, but when Adam steals content from Lita’s anonymous blog for a self-help book he is writing, What Boys Really Want, things get hilariously complex.
First line: ‘The idea for the book came to me as a bunch of us were tubing down the Apple River on a nice, sunny day, the last weekend before school started.‘
The Survival Kit, by Donna Freitas(351 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Rose is popular! But when her mother dies, none of that matters so much. Rose’s late mother has left her a ‘Survival Kit’; an iPod, a picture of peonies, a crystal heart, a paper star, a box of crayons, and a tiny handmade kite. What can they mean? Well you will have to read the book won’t you.
First line: ‘I found it on the day of my mother’s funeral, tucked in a place she knew I would look. There is was, hanging with her favorite dress, the one I’d always wanted to wear.‘
Tiger’s Voyage, by Colleen Houck (543 pages) – This is book three in the Tiger’s Curse series. Books one and two are already in! I don’t recall seeing them, but they’re in the catalogue. And the catalogue never lies. Here’s what it says about this part of the series: ‘After battling the villanous Lokesh, Kelsey and the Indian princes Ren and Kishan return to India, where Kelsey learns that Ren has amnesia, and five cunning dragons try to keep the trio from breaking the curse that binds them.’
First line: ‘Behind the thick glass of his Mumbai penthouse office once again, Lokesh tried to control the incredible rage slowly circling through his veins.‘
Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi (376 pages) – After some kind of ecological apocalypse, humanity splits – some live in the Reverie, a kind of haven from the storms that assault the planet, while others survive on the earth, mutated and living pretty primitive lives. Aria leaves the safety of the Reverie to find her missing mother, and meets Perry, an outsider who is also searching for someone. His mutation seems to be looking like a male model! They fall in love! A forbidden romance. ‘Should appeal to both teen and adult readers far beyond dystopia fans’, says Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.
First lines: ‘They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod “the Death Shop.” A million ways to die out there. Aria never thought she’d get so close.‘
Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley (228 pages) – Here is what the catalogue says: ‘Seventeen-year-old Cullen’s summer in Lily, Arkansas, is marked by his cousin’s death by overdose, an alleged spotting of a woodpecker thought to be extinct, failed romances, and his younger brother’s sudden disappearance.’ However! There is a lot more to this multi-award winning book than just that short sentence!
First lines: ‘I was seventeen years old when I saw my first dead body It wasn’t my cousin Oslo’s. It was a woman who looked to have been around fifty or at least in her late forties.‘
Someone Else’s Life, by Katie Dale (485 pages) – Another book about a girl coping with her dead mum. Rosie learns that she might have inherited Huntington’s disease, which has recently killed her mother … or she might not, since she also learns that she was actually switched at birth. She discovers a secret that could ’shatter the lives of everyone around her,’ which can’t be much fun for Rosie, or the girl who might actually have inherited Huntington’s. Sounds grim.
First lines: ‘Sunlight dances over the little girl’s dark curls as she toddles clumsily through the dry grass.‘
Immortal Beloved, by Cate Tiernan (389 pages) – From the catalogue! ‘New name, new town, new life. Nastasya has done it too often to count. And there,s no end in sight. Nothing ever really ends . . . when you’re immortal.’ And now, from Youtube!
First line: ‘Last night my whole world came tumbling down. Now I’m running scared.‘
(We also have the sequel, Darkness Falls.)
Advent, by James Treadwell (439 pages) – This is book 1 in the ‘Advent Trilogy’. Gavin, a disenfranchised youth is sent to his eccentric aunt’s place in Cornwall. At the same time magic returns to the world, 500 years after it was locked away. Its return to the modern world is disruptive and not at all benign. And! Some reviews suggest that this could be the new Tolkien, so there you go.
First line: ‘On a wild night in deep winter in the year 1537, the greatest magus in the world gathered together and dismissed his household servants, wrapped himself in his travelling cloak, took his staff in one hand and in the other a small wooden box sealed with pitch and clasped with silver, and stepped out into the whirling sleet, bound for the harbour and - so he expected – immortality.‘
Hollow Pike, by James Dawson (314 pages) – Witchcraft! Horror! Lis London has nightmares that someone is trying to murder her. She dismisses the local legends of witchcraft but … should she? Probably not! This has been enjoyably reviewed on Amazon, where it gets a pretty good rating of 4.5 stars.
First line: ‘Lis knew she was dreaming, although this brought little comfort as the blood ran over her face.’
No, I haven’t been completely ignoring The Hunger Games – the biggest teen phenomenon since Twilight – I’ve just been waiting for the right fashion-related news. Finally the star of the movie, Jennifer Lawrence, has provided it by becoming quite the red carpet star! And as the movie opens next week I’m sure there’s going to be lots more glamourous Jennifer pics to ogle.
There have been images of the actual movie fashions or costumes leaked onto the internet too. I can’t show you the actual images, but here’s a link. Also, someone kindly directed me to this - a very comprehensive post about a range of Hunger Games nail polishes called Capitol Colours. Awesome – if only we could buy them in NZ! Or can we – does anyone know?!
Are you getting excited about the prospect of seeing The Hunger Games on the silver screen? We are. It premiered in Los Angeles last night, and now that everyone in the world is on Twitter and we all tweet about everything we do and see, it’s easy to find out what the people that were lucky enough to be there thought of it. The Huffington Post handily collected some tweets in a slideshow, here. By all (of these) accounts, Suzanne Collins will be very pleased with the adaptation.
Oh, and if you need to read the book first to compare them, do so here.
Some titles that will be published soon:
172 Hours on the Moon, Johan Harstad. Johan Harstad is a Norwegian author: this one was published as DARLAH in Norway, and won awards.
“Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2-a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now. The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world. But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now-a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun.” (goodreads.com)
The Fame Game, Lauren Conrad. For a complete change of pace: Lauren Conrad’s latest novel finds Madison Parker (frenemy of Jane Roberts in L A Candy) about to become famous in Hollywood. But this comes with the usual backstabbing, rumours and negativity. To top it off, there’s a new girl in town who threatens to eclipse Madison’s star. Who’s going to win the fame game?
Insurgent, Veronica Roth. The anticipated sequel to Divergent which will be released in May. “War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.” (goodreads again)
Here is the author’s tumblr, in which she answers random questions about her books and other stuff.
Thanks to Stephanie for the selections.
In other upcoming news: Markus Zusak, author of the über-popular The Book Thief will be publishing a new novel in September this year, called Bridge of Clay. It’s about time! This is how it is summarised so far: “It’s about a boy. His name is Clay. He’s building a bridge. And he wants that bridge to be something truly great and miraculous.” (goodreads.com). This is suitably mysterious. We will let you know when you can reserve a copy!
In other Australian author news, Melina Marchetta recently blogged about the cover of the upcoming concluding chapter in the Lumatere Chronicles, Quintana of Charyn. You can see it right here. She looks suitably confrontational. Quintana will be published in October this year (can’t hardly wait). In the mean time you should recap on the other two: Finnikin of the Rock, and Froi of the Exiles. Rave, rave <3.