This week the winners of the New Zealand Post Book Awards were announced, and a YA book took out the main prize. Well done that book!
Winner of the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award, and the Best Young Adult Fiction Award:
Into the River, Ted Dawe. “When Te Arepa Santos is dragged into the river by a giant eel, something happens that will change the course of his whole life. The boy who struggles to the bank is not the same one who plunged in, moments earlier. He has brushed against the spirit world, and there is a price to be paid; an utu to be exacted. Years later, far from the protection of whanau and ancestral land he finds new enemies. This time, with on-one to save him, there is a decision to be made.. he can wait on the bank, or leap forward into the river.” (goodreads.com)
Every so often, a new TV show graces our screens and causes a fashion sensation. Shows such as Mad Men, Gossip Girl and Boardwalk Empire are unanimous with style, and are just as famous for their impeccable, swoon-worthy wardrobe departments as their storylines and characters.
This week, I thought we’d check out a range of fashionable TV shows, past and present (all available on DVD here at the library, naturally), and then knock off their style! Yussssssss!!
When I started this post, I got really enthusiastic and the post became REALLY long… so have had to divide it into two!! So please enjoy part one of our TV style guide:
1. New Girl
No show is causing quite as much of a fashion fuss as New Girl at the mo. Jess Day’s outfits are consistently just SO SWEET – her style is characterised by cute prints, A-line dresses, sweet flats and gorgeously old-school accessories – all finished with a girlish, feminine touch (a LOT of bows feature on this show – swoon). She also rocks a lot of colours, collars and thick-frame glasses – my kinda gal!! There are screeds of websites dedicated to helping you achieve Jess’s look – there is even a website entirely dedicated to What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear (I kid you not). If you go to the New Girl part of the site, you’ll find a complete guide to achieving her look. I found a couple of other good guides too – I recommend you check out this one and this one.
New girl. The complete first season [videorecording] / [created by Elizabeth Meriwether].
A charming, offbeat comedy about friends, flings and modern relationships. After a bad breakup, free-spirited optimist Jess moves in with three bachelors who have plenty of issues of their own. Winston is a former athlete, Nick is a law school dropout, and Schmidt is a wannabe womanizer in love with himself. Together with her super-hot BFF Cece , this New girl discovers that hanging out with the guys can be a challenging, and hilarious, adventure!
2. Mad Men
I LOVE the Mad Men wardrobe department. I also love the return of the “womanly” figure – yay, Christina Hendricks!! Set in the 60s, the show is oozing with hot costumes – hello, wiggle dress!! You can see guides for nailing the look here and here, and I also recommend these books from our collection:
60s fashion : vintage fashion and beauty ads / ed., Jim Heimann ; introduction by Laura Schooling.
“This compendium of clothing advertisements brings back the most prevalent looks from the Swinging Sixties. The ubiquitous miniskirt is here in all its glory, along with mod fashions, Gidget/Beach Boys surfer looks, Correges space age clothing and such iconic items as the Rudi Gernreich topless bathing suit and Yves Saint-Laurent’s Mondrian dress.” (Syndetics summary)
Everyday fashions of the Sixties : as pictured in Sears catalogs / edited and with an introduction by JoAnne Olian.
“This compilation from a style-conscious decade features scores of illustrations with their original captions specifying colors, sizes, prices. Items include apparel for men, women, and children — from lingerie and playclothes to bridal ensembles, Madras jackets, and vinyl slicker coats. Introduction. Over 300 black-and-white illustrations.” (Syndetics summary)
Mad men. Season five [videorecording] / Lions Gate Television Inc. ; [created by Matthew Weiner].
Mad Men is back and plunges into the seductive and intriguing world of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Jon Hamm and the rest of the award-winning cast continue to mesmerize as they adapt to changing times, social revolution, and a radical world.
3. Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl caused a fashion sensation the second it aired, and not hard to see why!! Famously pairing two main characters with very different fashion styles, this show had something for everyone’s fashion tastes. This site breaks down the basics of Blair Waldorf’s girlish, preppy style, and this page will help you nail Serena Van Der Woodson’s edgier, more boho look. Enjoy!!
I know the final series has aired, but it doesn’t have to end just yet!! Did you know that Gossip Girl was based on a series of books?
Gossip girl : a novel / by Cecily von Ziegesar.
“At a New York City jet-set private school populated by hard-drinking, bulimic, love-starved poor little rich kids, a clique of horrible people behave badly to one another. An omniscient narrator sees inside the shallow hearts of popular Blair Waldorf, her stoned hottie of a boyfriend, Nate, and her former best friend Serena van der Woodsen, just expelled from boarding school and “gifted with the kind of coolness that you can’t acquire by buying the right handbag or the right pair of jeans. She was the girl every boy wants and every girl wants to be.” Ages 15-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)
I will always love you : a Gossip Girl novel / created by Cecily von Ziegesar.
“In this special deluxe hardcover edition, the entire original cast–Blair, Serena, Nate, Dan, and Vanessa–returns. With everyone back in the city for the holidays, this break is guaranteed to be filled with makeups, breakups, and shakeups.” (Syndetics summary)
Gossip girl. The complete third season [videorecording] / developed by Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage.
Our beloved Upper East Siders, all grown up. Though high school may be behind most of them, you can be sure a future of love, scandal, and, of course, secrets awaits. Told through the eyes of an all-knowing blogger, Gossip Girl, who, via constant, avidly read text messages, is determined to uncover and fuel every scandal possible on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where gossip rules and affluent young people find themselves with the money, access, and appetite to explore.
Fyi, all DVDs are $4 for one week. So, peeps, I hope you’ve enjoyed the first edition of our TV style guide!! Tune in next week for part two!!
The Princesses of Iowa, M Molly Backes (July) – “Paige Sheridan has the perfect life. She’s pretty, rich, and popular, and her spot on the homecoming court is practically guaranteed. But when a night of partying ends in an it-could-have-been-so-much worse crash, everything changes. Her best friends start ignoring her, her boyfriend grows cold and distant, and her once-adoring younger sister now views her with contempt. The only bright spot is her creative writing class, led by a charismatic new teacher who encourages students to be true to themselves. But who is Paige, if not the homecoming princess everyone expects her to be?” (goodreads.com)
Belle Epoque, Elizabeth Ross (July) – “When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service – the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive. Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil. But Isabelle has no idea her new ‘friend’ is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.” (goodreads.com)
Freedom Merchants, Sherryl Jordan (New Zealand author) – “A riveting tale of piracy and slavery set in the early 1600s in Ireland and Northern Africa. Twenty-five years ago, young Liam’s small fishing village on the Irish Coast was raided and its population decimated by brutal corsair pirates from the Barbary Coast who killed, plundered, and took a number of his people back to Northern Africa as slaves to Muslim masters. And now a pirate ship has been wrecked in Liam’s bay, and survivors are struggling ashore…” (goodreads.com)
You (well a couple of you) asked for the return of Trailer Tuesday so here we go! For your viewing pleasure we bring you two very different films:
From the AH-mazing Sofia Coppola, The Bling Ring
Annnd, for a follow up to the hilarious first instalment, Despicable Me 2
Speaking of requests to us, have you seen our updated procrastination enabling page?
the edition of book titles beginning with ‘the…’
The goddess inheritance, Aimée Carter (294 pages) – During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can’t stop her – until Cronus offers a deal. In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he’ll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead. With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything. Even if it costs her eternity.
First lines: “Throughout his eternal life, Walter had witnessed countless summers, but never one as endless as this. He sat behind his glass desk, his head bowed as he read the petition before him, signed by nearly all of the minor gods and goddesses scattered throughout the world.”
The girl with the iron touch, Kady Cross (377 pages) – the third installment in the Steampunk Chronicles finds mechanical genius Emily being kidnapped by rogue automatons! Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What’s left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends’ lives. To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist’s ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she’s to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn’t know she has.
First lines: “A giant tentacle slapped the front of the submersible, driving the small craft backward in the water. A crack no wider than a hair split across the view screen as suckers the size of dinner plates pulled free.”
The circle, Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandberg (596 pages) – On a night after the apparent suicide of high school student Elias Malmgren, a blood-red moon fills the night sky. The same night, six of his classmates are drawn by an invisible force to an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of town. As the weeks pass, each of them discover they now possess a unique magical power. They are the Chosen Ones. In this gripping first installment of The Engelsfors Trilogy, a parallel world emerges in which teenage dreams, insanely annoying parents, bullying, revenge, and love collide with dangerous forces and ancient magic. This book was originally published in Swedish which is why the names may seem unusual.
First lines: “She’s waiting for an answer but Elias doesn’t know what to say. No answer would satisfy you. Instead he stares at his hands. They are so pale that he can see every vein in the harsh fluorescent lighting.”
The book of broken hearts, Sarah Ockler (357 pages) – Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one. But home all summer without her sisters and with an adorably cute Vargas boy, Jude finds herself wondering if, when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking. Or will history simply repeat itself?
First lines: “The law of probability dictates that with three older sisters, a girl shall inherit at least one pair of cute shorts that actually fit. Agreed?”
The double-edged sword, Sarah Silverwood (333 pages) – Finmere Tingewick Smith was abandoned on the steps of the Old Bailey. Under the guardianship of the austere Judge Harlequin Brown and the elderly gentlemen of Orrery House, Fin has grown up under a very strange set of rules. He spends alternate years at two very different schools and now he’s tired of the constant lies to even his best friends, to hide the insanity of his double life. But on his sixteenth birthday, everything changes. The Judge is killed, stabbed in the chest with a double-edged sword that’s disturbingly familiar, and from that moment on, Fin is catapulted into an extraordinary adventure.
First lines: “Finmere Tingewick Smith sat on the second step of the Old Bailey in the exact spot where he’d been abandoned in a small cardboard box sixteen years earlier. He sniffed, the icy November chill making his nose run.”
The night of the solstice, L. J. Smith (326 pages) – by the same author of The vampire diaries and Night world comes this gripping new magical adventure about four siblings who join forces with a talking vixen to rescue the vixen’s mistress, the sorceress Morgana Shee. For years Morgana guarded the solitary gate between Earth and the Wildworld, a shimmering parallel universe where legends still live. She alone holds the secret of the mirrors that serve as the last passage to enchantment. Armed only with courage and determination, the siblings and the vixen must save Morgana and stop the evil sorcerer Cadal Forge before he can pass through a gate to Earth during the winter solstice.
First lines: “The vixen was waiting. Dapples sunlight fell around her onto the soft dirt beneath the orange trees, gilding her russet fur and striking an occasional brief gleam from her yellow eyes.”
The program, Suzanne Young (405 pages) – Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone — but so are their memories.
First lines: “The air in the room tastes sterile. The lingering scent of bleach is mixing with the fresh white paint on the walls, and I wish my teacher would open the window to let in a breeze. But we’re on the third floor so the pane is sealed shut – just in case anyone gets the urge to jump.”
Number one privilege of being a superstar? Being allowed to privately tour the famously elegant Parisian apartment of Coco Chanel. Jealous much?!
Rihanna recently got the chance to see what it was like to live á la Chanel when in Paris early this month, and was taken on a private tour of the famous Rue Cambon address. And, in true Rihanna style, the tour is well-documented with looooaaads of pics, so check them out!!
I love Chanel as much as the next gal (still madly crushing over their boy bag) but, also like the next gal, I seriously cannot afford to buy any of their sweet gears. The bag I’m coveting is a cool $4,500!! Secondhand! Yep. However, I have scraped together some wam (walkin’ around money) to buy these two beauties:
I know the second one is in a shameful state and in diiiiiiire need of an iron… Tbh, I’m far to afraid to put an iron anywhere near it!! (If anyone has a clothes steamer they wouldn’t mind me borrowing, gimme a holler!) I don’t know if you can see it well in the pic, but it has a tiny Chanel train crossing a bridge. Too cute.
We have seriously tonnes of Coco Chanel materials here at the library. These are a few of my faves; I’ve told you about some of them before (I’m repeating on the Coco avant Chanel dvd ($4 for one week) because you really should watch it; it’s gorgeous):
Mademoiselle : Coco Chanel summer 62 / photographs Douglas Kirkland ; text Karl Lagerfeld ; [edited by Gerhard Steidl].
“Through his introduction and captions to these photographs, we understand how important Chanel’s image has been to the success of the century-old French couture line.” (Syndetics summary)
Chanel : collections and creations : with 159 illustrations, 101 in color / Daniele Bott.
“A lush visual selection from the Chanel archive–essential reading for fashionistas and design aficionados everywhere.” (Syndetics summary)
Chanel : couture and industry / Amy de la Haye.
“For almost a century, the name Chanel has been inextricably linked to elegance, modernity, and fashion innovation. It was Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883-1971) who single-handedly made striped jerseys and loose trousers chic, costume jewelry desirable, the little black dress the height of sophistication, and tweed suits a staple of every fashion-conscious woman’s wardrobe. In this beautifully illustrated book, drawing on the renowned collections of the V&A, fashion historian Amy de la Haye celebrates Chanel as the couturière who changed the way stylish women everywhere dress, then and now. She also examines the creative output of this most famous of fashion houses, from its infancy in the 1920s to the present day as it continues to prosper under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld.” (Syndetics summary)
Coco avant Chanel [videorecording] / a film by Anne Fontaine.
Years after being abandoned at an orphanage by her father, Gabrielle Chanel finds a job in a tailor shop where she meets, and soon begins an affair with French millionaire Etienne Balsan. Through Baron Balsan she is introduced into French society and given the opportunity to design her own style of hats. Though her career takes off, her personal life becomes more complicated when she falls in love with Balsan’s former best friend Arthur Capel.
This weekend marks the halfway point in the solar year. We’re halfway around the sun and a few days out from being halfway to Christmas. Friday night is the longest one of the year and it means from this point on the days are going to start getting longer again. Sending a wi-five at you right now, congratulations you’ve made it. It’s the winter solstice which means, among other things, that our half of the world is as far away from the sun it’s going to get this year. In the day bringer’s absence though the moon has crept on in and will be at perigee or the closest it’s going to get this year-you may have caught wind of a super moon coming, that’s it (BYO cape and Lycra). Another thing you’d have noticed is that your chances of getting a glimpse of the night sky are pretty slim at the moment so in the stars absence here are some space pictures from Today I Learned Something New. Astronomy!
Here’s what’s happening about the town this weekend:
In film Wellington based Inspiring Stories will be screening a selection of short films made by young kiwis. They are a selection of inspiring documentary-style films of varying length and topics from global to local. Saturday at Crossways Community Centre in Mount Vic. Down on Taranaki Street Square Eyes and The Film Archive will be co-hosting an Around The World Matinee screening of films just young folk.
Got some physical energy to burn? Generation Zero will be running “The Race” from Newtown to the CBD – simply it’s your chance to race against a whole bunch of other folks with any method of transport you want! New Zealand pro-wrestling is stopping by to host Brooklyn Brawl.
LUX Wellington are throwing together a Time Warp flashmob. It’s just a jump to the left. Want to see some dance not be some dance? Head to the City Gallery and have a gander at Footnote Dance’s “taster series”.
It’s still Matariki and the good folks at Tapu Te Ranga Marae have a shindig on to celebrate the season.
Need some new music? Jagwar Ma . Off their new album Howlin here’s Man I Need.
An excellent-looking new New Zealand book, a couple of crazy popular series, and the Norse gods’ take on America.
Dear Vincent, Mandy Hager (June/July) – the new novel by the New Zealand author of the Blood of the Lamb trilogy. “17 year old Tara McClusky’s life is hard. She shares the care of her paralysed father with her domineering, difficult mother, forced to cut down on her hours at school to help support the family with a part-time rest home job. She’s very much alone, still grieving the loss of her older sister Van, who died five years before. Her only source of consolation is her obsession with art and painting in particular. Most especially she is enamoured with Vincent Van Gogh: she has read all his letters and finds many parallels between the tragic story of his life and her own. Luckily she meets the intelligent, kindly Professor Max Stockhamer (a Jewish refugee and philosopher) and his grandson Johannes, and their support is crucial to her ability to survive this turbulent time.” (goodreads.com)
Crushed, Sara Shepard (June/July) – the 13th (13!) in the Pretty Little Liars series. “It’s springtime in suburban Rosewood, which means iced soy lattes, fresh manicures in shimmering pastels—and prom. But while everyone else is flipping through the racks at Saks in search of the perfect dress, Hanna, Spencer, Emily, and Aria are on a different kind of hunt: They’re looking for A… Hanna puts her campaign for prom queen on the back burner to volunteer at the burn clinic, where one of A’s victims is recovering. Emily digs into Ali’s past at the mental hospital with some very crazy consequences. Spencer contacts a private eye to help her stalk her stalker. But when their sessions get a little too private, they may forget to keep their eyes on A… And Aria’s worried that A is even closer than she thought. When her dark secret from Iceland finally comes to light, she discovers that maybe, just maybe, the one person she’s been trying to hide the truth from has known all along. The liars are finally taking the fight to A. But no matter what they do, A’s always one step ahead, ready to crush the girls completely.” (goodreads.com)
Black Friday, Robert Muchamore (September) – the 3rd in the Aramov subseries of the über popular CHERUB phenomenon. “The Aramov Clan has splintered into two rival factions and Ryan is joined by more CHERUB agents as his three year mission enters its final phase. Ryan is about to board a plane, knowing that the next twenty-four hours will change everything. His mission is to stop the biggest terrorist attack America’s ever seen. Ryan works for CHERUB, a secret organisation with one key advantage: even a trained terrorist won’t suspect that a teenager is spying on them. For official purposes, these children do not exist.” (goodreads.com)
The Lost Sun, Tessa Gratton (July) – the first in an interesting-sounding new series set in an alternate United States founded by Norse Gods. “Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood – the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd’s Academy. But that’s hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That’s not all Astrid dreams of – the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities. When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they’ve been told they have to be.” (goodreads.com)
Okay so we may be cheating a little bit in this one. We’ve talked about the first book in this Tremendous Trilogy before, back in our ‘books with such long titles you forget what they are before you can find them on the shelf’ post. But then we read it and loved it so much we decided it deserved a second outing, along with the rest of the trilogy. Without further ado, we give you: the Flora Trilogy by Ysabeau S. Wilce.
This trilogy takes place in a world like you will never have encountered before with unusual and fantastical language. It takes a bit of getting used to; handy hint: read it in big chunks as it’s rather hard to follow if you pick it up and put it down a lot. Invest though, and you will be rewarded. Flora is one kick-arse heroine! She’s scrappy, determined, brave and best of all, gets up and keeps going even when things aren’t going her way. Things like, her house changing on her, the elevator not stopping when she tells it too and a magical (if rather diminished) butler trying to steal her soul. In the first book of the trilogy Flora goes on a quest with her best friend to rescue one of her greatest heroes. It’s a quest that will take her far from home into a mind-blowing muddle of intrigue and betrayal that changes her world forever.
Flora’s dare : how a girl of spirit gambles all to expand her vocabulary, confront a bouncing boy terror, and try to save Califa from a shaky doom (despite being confined to her room), Ysabeau S. Wilce
Flora has stood up to her mother; she’s come clean about her desire to be a ranger. But to do so she must master the magical—and dangerous—language of Gramatica. Along the way, she finds herself thrown into yet another life-altering adventure. Would a true ranger be intimidated by a tentacle that reaches for her from the depths of a toilet? Be daunted by her best friend’s transformation into a notorious outlaw, thanks to a pair of sparkly stolen boots? Be cowed by the revelation that only she can rescue the city of Califa from the violent earthquakes that threaten its survival? Never. Saving her city and her best friend are the least a Girl of Spirit can do! As Flora grows up, so too do the issues she faces. While book one was completely (and refreshingly) romance-free, book two introduces a dash of romance, introduces us more to Flora’s world and its history, and provides a much bigger role for the wide cast of fascinating characters and their relationships.
Everything Flora thought she knew about her life has been severely shaken (isn’t it always) and in the final book of the trilogy she’s on a quest to find some answers. To be honest, we’re struggling to write this summary without giving away some serious spoilers. So what we will say (vaguely) is that Flora is venturing further afield on this adventure as she goes looking for someone everyone else thinks is dead. Along the way there’s more than a dash of romance, several kidnapping attempts and general non-stop action. Warning: the final book is incredibly open ended. We’re taking this as a good sign for more adventures in Flora’s world. Especially as Ysabeau S. Wilce has said (on Facebook): “Nini Mo’s comment on the end of the Saga of the Second Flora: ‘Everything has an end, except for sausages, which have two.'” Fingers crossed for more! We were left with too many questions to be happy for this tremendous trilogy to end just yet. Which means that, technically, it would no longer be a trilogy. But as it stands, it is one tremendous trilogy.
Fat Angie, e. E. Charlton-Trujillo (263 pages) – Angie is broken — by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain (or the shouts of “crazy mad cow!”) away. Having failed to kill herself — in front of a gym full of kids — she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, the kind of girl who doesn’t exist in Dryfalls, Ohio. But can the daring new girl really change anything?
First lines: “This was the beginning. Angie bit the end of her thumbnail awaiting the result. She had – unwittingly – found a rival.”
Revenge of the girl with the great personality, Elizabeth Eulberg (261 pages) – Everybody loves Lexi. She’s popular, smart, funny…but she’s never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup). Lexi’s sick of it. She’s sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them, of being ignored by her longtime crush, of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom and she’s sick of having all her family’s money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection. The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren’t going to know what hit them. Because Lexi’s going to play the beauty game – and she’s in it to win it.
First line: “Applying butt glue to my sister’s backside is, without question, not the first way I’d choose to spend a weekend.”
Inheritance, Lisa Forrest (376 pages) – Tallulah has always know she was different. She can communicate without speaking, a secret she shares only with her childhood nanny, Irena, who warns Tallulah that gifts like hers are not always welcome. When Tallulah begins training at the prestigious Cirque d’Avenir school, it soon becomes clear the troupe is not all that it seems. As Tallulah is drawn deeper into a world of dark, ancient powers and centuries-old greed, she must call on the skills Irena taught her – and on the protection of the mysterious cuff Irena gave her for safekeeping.
First line: “Tallulah Thomson could feel an insistent press on her shoulder but she was too exhausted to move; the muggy warmth that hovered on the edge of her consciousness promised no relief from the battle she’d been caught up in.”
Diva, Jillian Larkin, (280 pages) – This is the third in the Flappers series which finds the girls spending the last glorious days of summer sunbathing with socialites at Forrest Hamilton’s swanky villa. But Gloria Carmody is hiding an oh-so-scandalous secret while Clara Knowles is left heartbroken and depressed after Marcus leaves her for another girl. Lorraine Dyer thinks it will be a loveless marriage however and decides to save Marcus from it.
First lines: “All his life, Jerome had dreamed of crowds screaming his name. But this wasn’t what he’d had in mind.”
Nobody’s secret, Michaela MacColl (240 pages) – It’s 1846, and for fifteen-year-old Emily Dickenson, every day follows the same pattern: chores, chores, and more chores. A flirtation with mysterious, handsome young man therefore is a welcome distraction. Even if he playfully won’t tell her his name. That is, until he turns up dead in her family’s pond. Stricken with guilt, Emily sets out to discover who this enigmatic stranger was before he’s condemned to be buried in an anonymous grave. Her investigation takes her deep into town secrets, blossoming romance, and deadly danger.
First lines: “Emily lay perfectly still, hidden in the tall grass, her eyes closed tight. A chain of wildflowers lay wilted around her neck. But no matter how quiet she was, the bee would not land on her nose.”
The lost girl, Sangu Mandanna (390 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Eva is the ultimate insurance policy: she’s an echo, created by the “Weavers” to be an exact replica of her original, an Indian girl named Amarra. Eva’s entire life has been dedicated to studying Amarra’s life; should Amarra die, Eva will replace her, with only Amarra’s family the wiser. Shortly after Eva and Amarra turn 16, Eva is ripped from everything and everyone she holds dear to move from England to India, where echoes are illegal (meaning her death if she is found out), to fulfill her purpose.
First lines: “I remember being in town with Mina Ma. I must have been about ten. She wanted to buy a lottery ticket and I stood outside the newsagent’s and looked in the window of the toyshop next door.”
The originals, Cat Patrick (293 pages) – Lizzie is a clone, one of three 16-year-old “sisters,” raised under the strict supervision of their scientist mother. Everyone outside the house thinks Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey are the same person, Elizabeth Best, since their mother has the girls living in shifts but the girls are growing increasingly resistant to this arrangement, especially after Lizzie and Ella fall for two different boys at school. While the cloning isn’t really explored, it serves as a tool to explore themes of identity, sisterhood, and family.
First lines: “My part is first half. I go to student government, chemistry, trigonometry, psychology, and history at school, then do the rest of the day at home.”
This is what happy looks like, Jennifer E. Smith (404 pages) – Perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet online when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail about his pet pig, Wilbur. The two 17-year-olds strike up an e-mail relationship from opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names. What’s more, Ellie doesn’t know Graham is a famous actor, and Graham doesn’t know about the big secret in Ellie’s family tree. When the relationship goes from online to in-person, they find out whether their relationship can be the real thing.
First lines: “Hey, we’re running pretty behind here. Any chance you could walk Wilbur for me tonight?”
Mind Games, Kiersten White (241 pages) – from the same author who brought you the Paranormalcy trilogy comes a new novel about two sisters, bound by impossible choices but who are determined to protect each other no matter the cost. Seventeen-year-old Fia and her sister, Annie, are trapped in a school that uses young female psychics and mind readers as tools for corporate espionage – and if Fia doesn’t play by the rules of their deadly game, Annie will be killed.
First lines: “My dress is black and itchy and I hate it. I want to peel it off and I want to kick Aunt Ellen for making me wear it.”
The Lucy variations, Sara Zarr (304 pages) – Sixteen-year-old San Franciscan Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. Her chance at a career has passed, and she decides to help her ten-year-old piano prodigy brother, Gus, map out his own future, even as she explores why she enjoyed piano in the first place.
First lines: “Try harder, Lucy. Lucy stared down at Madame Temnikova’s face. Which seemed incredibly gray. Try. Harder. Lucy.”