Books, Lists, Rachel and Rebecca

Green and read all over

22.12.12 | Comment?

Obligatory Christmas post! Christmas colours, you read books, geddit? We love puns.

We’ve gone for a superficially Christmas theme here – we’re looking at books with red and green covers which otherwise have nothing to do with Christmas. While finding treats to feature, we did discover that a LOT of trilogies and series have a mainly red-covered volume followed by a mainly green-covered volume. Is this an intentional plot among book cover designers? We want to know! In the meantime, let’s move on to our discoveries for this week:

Spinning Out, David Stahler JrBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

“High-schooler Frenchy has little ambition beyond hanging out at the smoking rock until his best friend Stewart convinces him to try out for Man of la Mancha. To everyone’s surprise, the guys are a hit. But Stewart’s antics begin to grow obsessive. He wears his costume 24/7, freaks out about little details, and displays an incessant hatred of the high-tech windmills outside of town. Is Stewart spiraling into madness, just like Don Quixote? And can Frenchy battle through his own demons in time to save his friend from self-destruction before it’s too late?” – Goodreads

First lines: ‘“Come on, pass it over.”

Now You See Her, Jacqueline MitchardBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

It’s the twist in this book that makes it interesting. On the surface it’s about an incredibly, and I mean incredibly, self-centered teenage girl who wants to be an actress. She falls in love with the school hunk, she gets the lead in the school play and everything looks perfect for her. She doesn’t have a lot of friends but that’s because everyone is jealous of her talent. It’s fine. So why would this talented teen throw everything away? Why would she fake her own abduction? As Hope (real name Bernadette) explains herself, it becomes apparent that in a world where appearance is everything, nothing is exactly as it seems. Now You See Her explores the function of fantasy, it blurs the line between reality and imagination and is full of teenage angst.

First lines: ‘Hope is vanishing. Does that sound too dramatic?

Ruby Red, Kerstin GierBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

“Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.” – Goodreads

Also, the upcoming third book in this series is green!

First line: ‘As she fell to her knees and burst into tears, he looked all around the park.

A Waltz for Matilda, Jackie FrenchBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

In 1894, twelve-year-old Matilda flees the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm. It’s a time of unrest: drought and desperation have strained the relations between workers and landowners, the poor and the wealthy, and Matilda’s own father is wanted by the troopers. This is, on the one hand, the coming of age story of a young girl and on the other a partial exploration of Australian history. It is through fantastic characters such as the fiercely strong Matilda that Jackie French is able to bring a historical context to life. Ultimately this is a story of the minorities who often get left out of Australian history.

First lines: ‘It was midnight in Grinder’s Alley. The gas lamps flickered in the darkness. Somewhere in those shadows lurked the larrikins of the Push, with their hot breath and cold knives.’

Number 8, Anna FienbergBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

Jackson is a complete “numbers freak” (which I think is code for obsessive compulsive) and has never lived outside the city. But Jackson and his mum are forced to retreat to suburbia after she witnesses a crime at her casino job. Not everything is bad in the suburbs though, as Jackson befriends a fellow number freak, Asim, and a potential girlfriend, Esmerelda. Then things get fishy. A car with the numberplate 777 starts hanging round the neighborhood (7 is Jackson’s unluckiest number of all) and then Esmerelda disappears. Told from the alternating perspectives of Jackson and Esmerelda, this is a gripping read with quirky and relatable characters.

First lines: ‘I think the best number in the whole universe is eight. The way I see it, eight has everything going for it.

Beast, Ally KennenBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

Is about as far from a Christmas based theme as you can get. It starts with a list of the worst things that Stephen has ever done in his life. Some of them are criminal, but he tops the list with a murder he intends to commit. There’s a lot of action, powerful descriptions of really weird, gross situations (within the first couple of chapters, Stephen cuts up a pig and is discovered with the partially dismembered corpse and a saw in his hands), and develops at a perfect pace to keep you reading. As sceptical as I was about the story’s premise (the name gives away the major plot development), I couldn’t help but root for Stephen and his Beast in their adventures.

First line: ‘Here is a list of the ten worst things I have done.

Genesis Alpha, Rune MichaelsBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

“Josh worships his older brother, Max. They both have the same interests, including their favorite massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Genesis Alpha. But Josh and Max have an even deeper connection. It was Josh’s stem cells, harvested when Josh was newly born, that saved his dying older brother’s life. Now Max has been arrested, accused of the brutal murder of a teenage girl. Is Max really a monster, or is it a terrible mistake? And if Max is guilty, does that mean Josh is guilty too? After all, Max wouldn’t exist without him. Before long, Josh will come to a number of searing revelations — revelations that have dire implications not only for Max’s future, but for Josh’s as well.” – Goodreads

First lines: ‘We were playing a computer game the day it happened. Genesis Alpha. It’s the greatest game ever invented, and it’s huge, a whole universe filled with thousands of people from all over the world.

Whip It, Shauna CrossBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

“Meet Bliss Cavendar, an indie-rock-loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas. Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Bluebonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny. Bliss’s escape? Roller Derby. When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the most hard-core derby chick has to learn.” – Goodreads

First lines: ‘I don’t know how it happened or what sort of back-room deal went down, but apparently I’m living in a small Texas town with two culturally clueless imposters for legal guardians, when I just know my real parents are out there somewhere.

Bonus round:

Eldest & Inheritance, Christopher PaoliniBook cover courtesy of SyndeticsBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

Are books 2 and 4 in The Inheritance Cycle series. Which is about dragons. And magic and friendship and epic battles between good and evil. But mostly dragons. So that’s awesome.

Speaking of awesome, it’s almost Christmas! Woo hoo! We hope Santa comes through for you. But if not, your friendly librarians always will 🙂 Once again, if you have any thoughts on underappreciated items in our collection, or any suggestions or feedback for future topics, please leave a comment below. See you in 2013!

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