November 2014

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  • dystopia, Espionage, Horror, Nicola, Non-fiction, Sci Fi

    New books

    26.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on New books

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsA song for Ella Grey, David Almond

    Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story – as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final. (Goodreads)

    First lines: I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both, knew how they lived and how they died. It didn’t happen long ago. I’m young, like them. Like them? Can that be possible? Can you be both young and dead?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe boy with the tiger’s heart

    When Nona’s guardian kills himself, she is immediately suspected of murdering him. In a world where nature and darkness are feared, where wild animals are killed or held captive and cities are illuminated by permanent light, who will believe her innocence? Nona must flee with her only friend – a bear who is strangely human. In their desperate attempt to escape capture, Nona and her bear encounter two strange boys, Caius and Jay. Together, the four of them will hide, and fight, and make the deadliest of enemies in their desperate race to a forbidden place called The Edge – where nature is unrestrained, where there is light and shade, forest and mountain, and where there are no shackles or boundaries. (Goodreads)

    First lines: The snow falls heavily that night and in the morning lies in deep drifts, which smooth over the shapes of the edges of the jagged rocks and grassy knolls. It hides the bog holes that lie at the edge of the marshes and covers the recks of the burnt-out cars.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMortal Heart (The fair assassin book III), Robin LaFevers

    Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has…(Goodreads)

    First lines: For most, the bleak dark months when the black storms come howling out of the north is a time of grimness and sorrow as people await the arrival of winter, which brings death, hunger and bitter cold in its wake. But we at the convent of Saint Mortain welcome winter with open arms, for it is Mortain’s own season, when he is full upon us.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTalon, Julie Kagawa

    Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
    Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George. Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. (Goodreads)

    First lines: “Ember, when did your parents die, and what was the cause of death?”
    I stifled a groan and tore my gaze from the car window, where the bright, sunny town of Crescent Beach shimmered beyond the tinted glass. The air in the black sedan was cold and stale, and, annoyingly, the driver had engaged the child safety locks so I couldn’t roll down the window.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe hangman’s revolution (W.A.R.P book II) Eoin Colfer

    Young FBI agent Chevie Savano arrives back in modern-day London after a time-trip to the Victorian age, to find the present very different from the one she left. Europe is being run by a Facsist movement known as the Boxites, who control their territory through intimidation and terror. Chevie’s memories come back to her in fragments, and just as she is learning about the WARP program from Professor Charles Smart, inventor of the time machine, he is killed by secret service police. Now they are after Chevie, too, but she escapes–into the past. She finds Riley, who is being pursued by futuristic soldiers, and saves him. Working together again, it is up to Chevie and Riley to find the enigmatic Colonel Clayton Box, who is intent on escalating his power, and stop him before he can launch missiles at the capitals of Europe. (Goodreads)

    First lines: Towards the end of the twentieth century, Scottish professor Charles Smart succeeded in stabilizing a time tunnel to Victorian London (constructed from exotic matter with negative energy density, duh). Within months the FBI had established the Witness Anonymous Relocation Program to stash federal witnesses in the past.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRevolution, Deborah Wiles

    It’s 1964, and Sunny’s town is being invaded. Or at least that’s what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi, are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. They’re calling it Freedom Summer. Meanwhile, Sunny can’t help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool — where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs. (Goodreads)

    First lines: The first thing we do, me and Gillette, is make sure everybody is asleep. Daddy and Annabelle (I still can’t call her Mama) go to bed after watching the Lawrence Welk show on television. Parnell will be home at midnight, after he sweeps the floors and locks the doors on the corner of Fulton and West Washington Streets. Little Audrey-champion sleeper- has been snoring for hours, so we don’t worry about her.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsParanoia (Book II of the Night Walkers), J.R Johansson

    In the aftermath of the events that nearly killed him, Parker Chipp is trying to learn to cope better with life as a Watcher. And it seems to be working…until he wakes up in jail with a hangover and 12 hours of missing time. Darkness has somehow taken control and Parker doesn’t have a clue how to stop him. He finds an unlikely ally in Jack, the mysterious guy in the motorcycle jacket who offers to help Parker master his abilities as a Watcher. But even as they practice, the darkness inside Parker is getting more and more powerful, taking over Parker’s body and doing everything he can to destroy Parker’s life. When Jack reveals that there is another kind of Night Walker, known as a Taker, Parker starts to wonder if the strange things happening in Oakville are more than just a coincidence. After all, people are more than just sleepwalking. They’re emptying their savings accounts with no memory of doing so, wandering into strange parts of town and disappearing, they’re even killing other people–all in their sleep. If Parker wants to find out what’s happening or have any hope of seeing his father again, he’ll have to defy Jack and put his own life in danger…because the more he learns about these other Night Walkers, the more certain he becomes that his life isn’t the only one that could be lost. (Goodreads)

    First lines:Weird stuff was going down in Oakville, and this time I was definitely – well, fairly – sure that I had nothing to do with it. The Sunday morning news headline on the muted television above the kitchen counter read: Another mysterious withdrawal.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFiendish, Brenna Yovanoff

    When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged. (Goodreads)

    First lines: When I was little, everything twinkled. Trees and clouds all seemed to shine around the edges. At night, the stars were long tails of light, smeared across the sky like paint. The whole county glowed.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBlind, Rachel De Woskin

    Imagine this: You are fourteen, watching the fireworks at a 4th of July party, when a rocket backfires into the crowd and strikes your eyes, leaving you blind. In that instant, your life is changed forever. How do you face a future in which all your expectations must be different? You will never see the face of your newborn sister, never learn to drive. Will you ever have a job or fall in love? This is Emma’s story. The drama is in her manysmall victories as she returns to high school in her home town and struggles to define herself and make sense of her life, determined not to be dismissed as a PBK – Poor Blind Kid. This heartfelt and heart wrenching story takes you on Emma’s journey and leaves you with a new understanding of the challenges to be faced when life deals a devastating blow. (Goodreads)

    First lines: Going blind is a bit like growing up. Maybe because the older you get, the more you have to close your eyes partway. From the time I was tiny, if I thought the words, When I die, I’ll be dead forever, I could actually understand, in my bone marrow, what forever meant.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe truth against the world, Sarah Jamila Stevenson

    When Olwen Nia Evans learns that her family is moving from San Francisco to Wales to fulfill her great-grandmother’s dying wish, she starts having strange and vivid dreams about her family’s past. But nothing she sees in her dreams of the old country–the people, the places–makes any sense. Could it all be the result of an overactive imagination . . . or could everything she’s been told about her ancestors be a lie?Once in Wales, she meets Gareth Lewis, a boy plagued by dreams of his own–visions he can’t shake after meeting a ghost among the misty cairns along the Welsh seaside. A ghost named Olwen Nia Evans.

    First lines: “Right over there, behind the old church.” Gareth’s mother pointed. “You used to love rolling down that hill. Over and over until you got dizzy.” She laughed, the wind blowing her pale hair out of its ponytail and whipping it around. Gareth glanced up from his phone. The hill looked a lot smaller than it had seemed in his memory.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe fire wish, Amber Lough

    Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love. (Goodreads)

    First lines: The earth and all her layers sped past while I traveled to the surface. I was smoke and flame, swirling through granite, through shale and sand. It took only a moment, then I emerged, myself again.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMayday, Jonathan Friesen

    Seventeen-year-old Crow will stop at nothing to protect her younger sister—even if it costs her her own life. But then she’s given a chance to come back and make things right. There are a few catches, though. First, she won’t come back as herself. And before she can set things straight, she’ll have to figure out what’s what—and things aren’t exactly as clear-cut as she remembered.
    (Goodreads)

    First lines: Let’s start with where I’m not. I’m not in dark tunnel walking toward a bright light. I’m not drifting toward heaven, looking down on my body. I’m seated in the front of an amubulance -alone- waiting. I’me not sure if this is a normal rest stop before the long trip; I’ve never died before.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsStarbreak, Phoebe North

    The Asherah has finally reached Zehava, the long-promised planet. There, Terra finds harsh conditions and a familiar foe—Aleksandra Wolff, leader of her ship’s rebel forces. Terra and Aleksandra first lock horns with each other . . . but soon realize they face a much more dangerous enemy in violent alien beasts—and alien hunters.
    Then Terra finally discovers Vadix. The boy who has haunted her dreams may be their key to survival—but his own dark past has yet to be revealed. And when Aleksandra gets humanity expelled from the planet, it’s up to Terra, with Vadix by her side, to unite her people—and to forge an alliance with the alien hosts, who want nothing more than to see humanity gone forever.
    (Goodreads)

    First lines: I’ve never kept a journal before. Never thought about it. It’s not how my brain works, not really. I see colours, the way shadows mingle with light. But words? I could take them or leave them, or so I always thought. One of my ancestors kept a journal. All about how she arrived on the Asherah, how she came to live inside the dome. How she hated it there. She thought she was trapped in the deepness of space. She could never forget it- how her freedoms had been taken from her, one by one, by the High Council.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsI’m just me, M.G Higgins

    Nasreen and Mia are two very different girls. But they stand out at Arondale High. And kids make assumptions about the only Muslim and the new black girl–the only African American–in school. “Who let you into the suburbs?” Samantha asks. Everyone gawks. Nasreen has kept her head down for years. Eighteen months and she’s out, she tells herself. Off to college. Mia is bold. Yeah, she wishes she were somewhere else, but she’s not going to take the bullying lying down. She has to live her life. Graduate. Get into a good school. The school administrators are ignorant. And worse. The bullying escalates. Both at school and online. The girls come up with a plan to fight back. To regain some dignity. To turn the tables on the bullies. (Goodreads)

    First lines: I knock on my brother’s door. His rap music is so loud, I’m sure he can’t hear me. I pound louder. “Jaffar! Open up!”
    The volume goes down. He opens his door a crack and glares at me.
    “What?”
    I clear my throat. He never lets me forget he’s older than me.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEvil librarian, Michelle Knudsen

    When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!

    First lines: Italian class. The shining highlight of my Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Not because I am any good at Italian (I’m not), or because I like the teacher (I don’t.) It’s because Ryan Halsey sits one row over and two rows up from where I sit, which is absolutely perfect for forty-five minutes of semi-shameless staring.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEden, Joanna Nadin

    After her cousin Bea is killed in a house fire, Evie returns to her childhood home of Eden, full of guilt for what might have been. She is not the only one seeking redemption. Bea’s boyfriend, Penn, arrives in Cornwall, desperate to atone for a terrible mistake. And as Penn and Evie’s feelings for each other intensify, Evie slowly unravels the dark truth behind Bea’s tragic death.

    First lines: I still dream of Eden. Not the burnt, broken shell it is now, now even the sweating, stifling coffin it became that last summer, when it was shrouded in dust sheets, awaiting burial like a corpse. No, the Eden in my mind if the one from my childhood, when my entire world was contained within it’s cool, granite walls and high hedges, and my imagination played out on its velvet lawns and in the creeping dampness of the woods.

    Non fiction

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBrown girl dreaming, Jaqueline Woodson

    Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. (Goodreads)

    First lines: I am born on a Tuesday at University Hospital
    Columbus, Ohio
    USA
    a country caught
    between Black and White


  • Books, Chloe

    Book Cover Lookalikes: Black and White

    24.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Book Cover Lookalikes: Black and White

    This week’s book cover lookalikes are all black and white. Just like a really old photograph!

    Anna Dressed in Blood book coverTeeth book coverHollow City book coverStarters book coverAroha book coverBroken book coverA Waste of Good Paper book coverWhite Space book coverThe Intern book coverA Monster Calls book coverCuckoo Song book coverReturning to Shore book cover


  • Books, Grimm, Lists

    Amazon’s Best Picks

    20.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Amazon’s Best Picks

    Amazon.com has announced its best YA books of the year, and We Were Liars by E Lockhart has come out on top. We do like E Lockhart, and we did like We Were Liars, so, yay! Amazon’s taste is quite good actually (for a gargantuan online shop), and the list below has got some really good things. Hollow City! Dreams of Gods and Monsters! Cress! Mortal Heart! It’s a good starting point for summer, post-exam reading.

    We Were Liars, E Lockhart

    Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer

    Hollow City, Ransom Riggs

    I’ll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson

    Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Laini Taylor

    The Infinite Sea, Rick Yancey

    Isla and the Happily Ever After, Stephanie Perkins

    Cress, Marissa Meyer

    Mortal Heart, Robin LaFevers

    Heir of Fire, Sarah J Maas

    The Winner’s Curse, Marie Rutkoski

    Egg and Spoon, Gregory Maguire (Children’s Fiction)

    Skink, No Surrender, Carl Hiaasen

    Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo

    The Tyrant’s Daughter, J C Carleson

    The Young Elites, Marie Lu

    The Impossible Knife of Memory, Laurie Halse Anderson

    The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, Adele Griffin

    The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye J Walton

    The Truth About Alice, Jennifer Mathieu


  • Books, Chloe

    Book Cover Lookalikes: At All Angles

    19.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Book Cover Lookalikes: At All Angles

    Welcome to our new super-visual blog series of cover lookalikes, hosted by Chloe!

    While shelving at the library, we always find ourselves going “huh, I feel like I’ve seen that before” and more often than not we have, at least in some form. Our series brings a whole bunch of books with similar covers based on a theme together into one megapost per week (and we have got enough themes to keep us going for several months, just fyi). Our first theme is girls that are upside down, sideways, or kind of dead looking. Clicking the cover will take you through to the book record so you can reserve it, if you wish!

    Live Through This book coverThe Goddess Inheritance book coverBetrayal book coverBetween the Lines book coverBy Any Other Name book coverWhen the Sea is Rising Red book coverRevived book coverOut of Reach book coverA Girl Named Digit book coverThe Dead and Buried book coverKiss of Death book coverHaunting Violet book cover


  • Classic novels, Graphic Novels, Lists, Rachel, zombies

    Show me your teeth!

    18.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Show me your teeth!

    Hello! Apologies for my absence over the last couple of weeks, I was busy getting some of my wisdom teeth taken out. I wouldn’t recommend it as a lifestyle choice, but it’s not so bad in the long run. To honour of my loss of wisdom (and teeth) I thought I would feature some toothy books, ranging from orthodontic problems to toothy beasties. Sink your teeth in!

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsSmile, Raina Telgemeier

    “Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.” (Goodreads)

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhite Fang, Jack London

    “In the desolate, frozen wilds of northwest Canada, White Fang, a part dog, part wolf cub soon finds himself the sole survivor of a litter of five. In his lonely world, he soon learned to follow the harsh law of the North – kill or be killed. But nothing in his young life prepared him for the cruelty of the bully Beauty Smith, who buys White Fang from his Indian master and turns him into a vicious killer – a pit dog forced to fight for money. Will White Fang ever know the kindness of a gentle master or will he die a fierce deadly killer?” (Goodreads)

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsDracula, Bram Stoker

    “Jonathan Harker is sent by his law firm to Castle Dracula to discuss business with Transylvania noble Count Dracula. His nightmare experience there is just the start of a macabre chain of events. Harker soon finds himself in a race against time to free his wife, Mina, and other souls who are in thrall to the evil count. Dracula must be destroyed at all costs…” (Syndetics summary)

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan

    “In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best, and the fence that protects her village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth must remain intact. After fence is breached, Mary’s world is thrown into chaos, and she must choose between her village and her future.” (Syndetics summary)

     
    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsChomp, Carl Hiaasen

    “Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of critters, but his father is the unpredictable one. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called “Expedition Survival!”, Wahoo figures he’ll have to do a bit of wrangling himself — to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show’s boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. And Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna — a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out. They’ve only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun…” (Adapted from Goodreads)

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsSwamplandia!, Karen Russell

    “The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, its island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a competitor. To save her family, Ava must journey on her own to a perilous part of the swamp called the Underworld.” (Syndetics summary)


  • Books, Comedy, Espionage, Mysteries, New

    New Fiction

    13.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Fiction

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsStrike, D.J MacHale

    #1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale is back with the third book in the SYLO Chronicles. Once again, Tucker Pierce and friends must fight for their lives against the better-equipped SYLO. All bets are off in Strike—with twists so big readers will never see them coming—while the action and pulse-pounding suspense remain as high as ever. Fans will be sure to devour this incredibly satisfying conclusion. (Goodreads)

    First lines: “Strap in, this is going to get bumpy.”
    Not words you wanted to hear from a pilot who has your life in his hands. Six of us were trapped in a military helicopter that was under attack, spinning out of control and headed for the ground. Fast.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe rules for breaking, Ashley Elston

    Anna Boyd almost lost her life to get what she wanted most in the world: freedom. But just when it seems that her family has finally escaped Witness Protection, the illusion that Anna could resume a normal life comes crashing down. The deadly man Anna knows as Thomas is still on the loose, and now he’s using her as a pawn in a dangerous game with the drug cartel determined to silence her forever. When Thomas and a mysterious masked man capture not only Anna but also her fragile younger sister and her boyfriend, Anna decides it’s time to break all the rules-even if it means teaming up with the lesser of two evils. Anna will do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves and win her life back once and for all. But her true enemies are hidden in plain sight. Before long, Anna will learn that putting her trust in anyone may be the last mistake she ever makes. (Goodreads)

    First lines: “Can you teach me how to shoot a gun?”
    I’ve been putting off asking Ethan this question for a week. It’s now or never. We’re in his truck, headed to the farm, and there is a practice range there that Ethan and his dad use to sight in their guns before hunting season. If he agrees, I won’t have time to back out before the turnoff.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsPromises to keep, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

    It all begins with a wrong turn and a crashed party, and from there it’s an epic clash of elements and the promise of more chaos still to come. At the center of the storm is Jay, a young vampire hunter that no one would ever have predicted might be earth’s best bet to thwart the rise of a vampire-controlled slave empire called Midnight. Teens will find themselves drawn to Jay, who struggles to prove his worth even while he has his own fears that those who have written him off may be right to do so. (Goodreads)

    First lines: When she first woke, Brina thought the stench and noise that greeted her were an extension of her nightmares. The stink of smoke and scalded flesh accompanied wails of pain and fear that echoed through Midnight’s stone halls.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSacrifice, Brigid Kemmerer

    Michael Merrick understands pressure. He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way. His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She’s got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment. But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s ‘bad luck’. Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war. They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown. (Goodreads)

    First lines: Michael Merrick stepped off the porch, put his bare feet in the grass, and waited for a bullet. He’d done this every night for a week. The air held still, waiting with him, cloaking the yard in darkness. Breath eased from his lips, fogging in the early November chill.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe perfectionists, Sara Shepherd

    In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke…until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them. (Goodreads)

    First lines: In many ways, Beacon Heights, Washington, looks like any other affluent suburb: Porch swings creak gently in the evening breeze, the lawns are green and well kept, and all the neighbours know one another. But this satellite of Seattle is anything but average. In Beacon, it’s not enough to be good; you have to be the best.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBlack Ice, Becca Fitzpatrick

    Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. (Goodreads)

    First lines: The rusted Chevy pickup truck clanked to a stop, and when Lauren Huntsman’s head thumped the passenger window, it jolted her awake. She managed a few groggy blinks, Her head felt strewn with broken memories, shattered fragments that, if she could just piece them together, would form something whole.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBad luck girl, Sarah Zettel

    After rescuing her parents from the Seelie king at Hearst Castle, Callie is caught up in the war between the fairies of the Midnight Throne and the Sunlit Kingdoms. By accident, she discovers that fairies aren’t the only magical creatures in the world. There’s also Halfers, misfits that are half fairy and half other–laced with strange magic and big-city attitude. As the war heats up, Callie’s world falls apart. And even though she’s the child of prophecy, she doubts she can save the Halfers, her people, her family, and Jack, let alone herself. The fairies all say Callie is the Bad Luck Girl, and she’s starting to believe them.(Goodreads)

    First lines: Once upon a time, a girl from the Dust Bowl travelled across the country to rescue her parents (with some help from her best friend, Jack) from the evil fairy king who’d locked them in his enchanted castle. Now, normally that’d be the whole story, and there’d be the happy ending and all afterward. But that wasn’t the way things turned out.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDrowned, Nichola Reilly

    Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.
    Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.(Goodreads)

    First lines: I write things on the sand so I won’t forget them. Things I like.
    Darkness.
    Dreams.
    Clam.
    Buck kettlefish.
    Things I want.
    A warm dry place.
    A long night of sound sleep.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSix feet over it, Jennifer Longo

    Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:
    Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.
    At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).
    Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?(Goodreads)

    First lines: For the body you go to the mortuary. A lot of people don’t know this. Kids at school don’t know this. They think bodies come to us. They also thing we’re out here at dusk with a pickaxe and a kerosene lantern, digging up graves with a shovel, rotting, moonlit hands reaching from the upturned earth to pull us down with them.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFleabrain loves Franny, Joanne Rocklin

    Franny Katzenback, while recovering from polio, reads and falls in love with the brand-new book Charlotte’s Web. Bored and lonely and yearning for a Charlotte of her own, Franny starts up a correspondence with an eloquent flea named Fleabrain who lives on her dog’s tail. While Franny struggles with physical therapy and feeling left out of her formerly active neighborhood life, Fleabrain is there to take her on adventures based on his extensive reading. (Goodreads)

    First lines: One thing Franny knew. Angels did not exist in real life. But there they were, floating all around her. Some leaned close, almost touching Franny’s nose. Others waved at her from some impossible distance, whizzing about a cathedral ceiling.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSnow like Ashes, Sarah Raasch

    Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
    Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own. (Goodreads)

    First lines: “Block!”
    “Where?”
    “I can’t tell you where – you’re supposed to follow my movements!”
    “Well, then, slow down.”

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe cure for dreaming, Cat Winters

    Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. (Goodreads)

    First lines: The Metropolitan Theatre simmered with the heat of more than a thousand bodies packed together in red velvet chairs. My nose itched from the lingering scent of cigarette smoke wafting of the gentlemen’s coats- a burning odour that added to the sensation that we were all seated inside a beautiful oven, waiting to be broiled.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRed shadow, Paul Douswell

    Russia, 1940. Fifteen-year-old Misha’s life is about to transform when his father is offered a job in Stalin’s inner circle. They move into a luxurious apartment in the Kremlin, but doubts about the glorious new Russia quickly surface. Misha realises that the secret police can do whatever they like. His own mother is arrested and sent to prison, but Misha and his father daren’t complain. Then as German troops advance on Moscow, the atmosphere in the Kremlin ignites. Misha and a friend find themselves at the heart of a battle against the mighty state in this powerful evocation of one of the most turbulent places and periods of the 20th century, told by a master storyteller. (Goodreads)

    First lines: Misha looked at the grey clouds and shivered. That afternoon it was cold enough for a thin layer of ice to appear on the puddles on Moscow’s pavements. He was pleased, he supposed, at this first sign of very cold weather because it meant an end to the Rasputista – the season of soggy rain and mud that preceded the winter and summer.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe protected, Claire Zorn

    Hannah’s world is in pieces and she doesn’t need the school counsellor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister, who wouldn’t have problems?Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn’t afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?(Goodreads)

    First lines: I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMy true love gave to me: twelve holiday stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins

    If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. (Goodreads)


  • Books, Grimm, New

    Upcoming new YA fiction

    12.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Upcoming new YA fiction

    All Fall Down, Ally Carter. If you’re a fan of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls and Heist Society novels then you could be interested in her new series, called Embassy Row. “Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things: 1. She is not crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay. As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her – so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door who is keeping an eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands. Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace – no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her… and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down” (goodreads.com)

    Rogue Wave, Jennifer Donnelly. The second Waterfire Saga book, after Deep Blue. “Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six… As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn’t know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave” (goodreads.com)

    Across the Barricades, Joan Lingard. The sequel to Twelfth Day of July. Not exactly new, in fact practically a modern classic, but we’re getting new copies and we think you should read this take on Romeo and Juliet set in politically troubled Belfast in the 1970s. Sadie is a protestant and Kevin is a Catholic. They just want to be together, but life is dangerous in  a tense and violent Northern Ireland where they (Kevin and Sadie) are supposed to be on opposing sides.

     


  • Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

    Makeup for glasses gals

    07.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Makeup for glasses gals

    Attn: glasses-wearing girls!!

    glasses

    If you’ve ever wondered what kind of eye makeup would look best with your beloved frames, Bobbi Brown has you covered:

    Syndetics book coverEverything eyes : professional techniques, essential tools, gorgeous makeup looks / Bobbi Brown with Sara Bliss.
    “Bestselling author and world-famous makeup artist Bobbi Brown reveals her expert techniques for creating show-stopping eyes-from everyday natural to smoky to party sparkle. Everything Eyes covers basic eye care, essential brushes and tools, and step-by-step tutorials for 10 stunning looks. Famous for her signature glasses look, Bobbi also shares her tried-and-true tips for selecting frames and wearing makeup with glasses. This chic, take-anywhere hardcover is the manual for all women who want gorgeous eyes.” (Syndetics summary)

    I’ve been really enjoying this latest book from Bobbi Brown – it offers a range of makeup looks that are especially created with your glasses frames in mind. Finally!


  • Books, Grimm, Most Wanted

    Most Wanted: November 2014

    05.11.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Most Wanted: November 2014

    These are the 10-ish most requested Young Adult titles for the month. We have recently got more copies of the Maze Runner series, so good news if you’re waiting to read it or re-read it!

    1. The Maze Runner, James Dashner [up 1]
    2. The Scorch Trials, James Dashner [new but old]
    3. Minecraft: construction handbook [no change]
    4. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [down 3]
    5=. Minecraft: combat handbook [no change]
    5=. The Revenge of Seven, Pittacus Lore [down 1]
    7. Four: a Divergent Collection, Veronica Roth [down 1]
    8. Divergent, Veronica Roth [up 2]
    9. If I Stay, Gayle Forman [down 3]
    10=. Insurgent, Veronica Roth [down 1]
    10=. Allegiant, Veronica Roth [back]