Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, was first published in 2005. In three years it will be eligible for a Young Adult card.
What is Twilight? Well, it is the story of a girl who falls in love with a vampire (and vice versa) with some rather stressful consequences. It was/is/has been a publishing phenomenon, probably bigger than The Hunger Games although not as big as Harry Potter. There were movies, there was fan fiction, there were lots of similarly-themed books.
We’re wondering how Twilight will fare in a post-apocalyptic dystopian book world. Maybe a bit of supernatural romance will make it seem a better place?
With this in mind, we’ve ordered copies of the 10th anniversary edition. We are told there is extra bonus content. It should be here in October. Reserve it now!
These are two titles we’ve ordered recently, one sci-fi, one urban fantasy with angels.
Ten Thousand Skies Above You, Claudia Gray. This is the second book in the trilogy called Firebird. “Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions. Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.” (goodreads.com)
Unforgiven, Lauren Kate (November). This is the fifth book in the Fallen series, from Cam’s perspective. “Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes. Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails… there’s a special place in Hell just for him. Tick tock.” (goodreads.com)
Forever for a year, B.T. Gottfred
When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other. They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences. When they’re together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can’t happen twice. (Goodreads)
First lines: It was my idea for us to start using our full names. It was going to help us take ourselves more seriously now we were starting high school. It’s like I used to be Carrie, this awkward eighth-grader, but now I was going to be Carolina, this amazing freshman. Oh my gosh, this sounds so dumb when I say it like that. Never mind.
No such person, Caroline B. Cooney
Murder. One of the Allerdon sisters has been charged with a pre-meditated killing and taken to jail. It doesn’t seem possible–but it’s happening. What was supposed to be a typical summer is anything but for this seemingly ordinary family. Shortly after they arrive at their cozy family cottage on the river, Lander meets and is smitten witha handsome young man, and they begin to date. Miranda has a bad feeling about her sister’s new boyfriend. And when the family must deal with an unimaginable nightmare, Miranda can’t help feeling that the boyfriend has something to do with it. The police say they have solid evidence against Lander. Miranda wants to believe in her sister when she swears she is innocent. But as Miranda digs deeper into the past few weeks of Lander’s life, she wonders why everything keeps pointing to Lander’s guilt.(Goodreads)
First lines: At first the police are casual. She too is casual. Puzzled, but not worried. The questions become more intense. The questions frighten her. Where are the police going with this? They are not giving her time to think. Her tongue is dry and tastes of metal. Her hands are damp. Her breath is ragged.
Silver in the blood, Jessica Day George
Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate… or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.(Goodreads)
First lines: Dearest Lou,
Whoever said that travel was exotic and full of adventure has clearly not sailed on the White Lady. Before you worry yourself sick that I am sitting in some squalid cabin, suffering from seasickness, fear not! Of course it is all that is respectable and luxurious, and I would never do anything so horribly undignified as become seasick.
Shadowshaper, Daniel Jose Older
Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on. Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future. (Goodreads)
First lines: “Sierra? What are you staring at?”
Blatant lie. Sierra glanced down from the scaffolding to where Manny the Domino King stood with his arms crossed over his chest.
“You sure?” he said.
The cut out, Jack Heath
Fero isn’t a spy. But he looks exactly like someone who is: Troy Maschenov – a ruthless enemy agent. But what starts as a case of mistaken identity quickly turns into a complicated and dangerous plan. Fero is recruited to fight for his country. He will have to impersonate Troy, enter enemy territory, hunt down a missing agent and bring her home in time to prevent a devastating terror attack. Fero is in way over his head. Hastily trained, loaded up with gadgets and smuggled across the border, he discovers the truth about espionage. Getting in is easy. Getting out alive is hard. (Goodreads)
First lines: “We shouldn’t be here,” Fero said.
“Will you relax?” Irla demanded. “It’s about to start.”
Irla didn’t look relaxed. She was shifting her weight from foot to foot on the cobblestones.
Adrift, Paul Griffin
Matt and his best friend, John, only came out to Montauk for the summer to make a little extra cash and then head back home. A seemingly basic plan for two guys from Queens.
And then Matt meets Driana. Because it’s always about a girl, right? The girl leads to a party, the party leads to a boat, which leads to being adrift at sea with three rich kids who have no clue about how to navigate a boat, let alone actually survive. Matt and John are used to creating stability in unstable situations, but Matt’s busy falling in love at the worst possible time, and John can rub people the wrong way when he’s focused on survival. Driana is trying to keep the peace, but her friends JoJo and Stef aren’t making it easy. The longer they are out there, the lower everyone’s reserves of mental and emotional strength, which is a problem since the biggest mistakes can happen when people are tired and hungry and have no hope. How far will each of them go to survive? (Goodreads)
First lines: The surfers called it The End for its killer waves. To Everyone else it was the end of Long Island. Montauk. It’s a town of beaches and bluffs on the tip of the south fork.
The glass arrow, Kristen Simmons
In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning. (Goodreads)
First lines: Run. My breath is sharp as a dagger, stabbing through my throat. It’s all I hear. Whoosh. Whoosh. In and out. They’re here. The Trackers. They’ve followed Bian from the lowland village where he lives. The fool lead them right to us.
The accident season, Moira Fowley-Doyle
The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear. But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free? (Goodreads)
First lines: So let’s raise our glasses to the accident season,
To the river beneath is where we sink our souls,
To the bruises and secrets, to the ghosts in the ceiling,
One more drink for the watery road.
Hit count, Chris Lynch
Arlo Brodie loves being at the heart of the action on the football field, getting hit hard and hitting back harder. That’s where he belongs, leading his team to championships, becoming “Starlo” on his way to the top. Arlo’s dad cheers him on, but his mother quotes head injury statistics and refuses to watch games. Arlo’s girlfriend tries to make him see how dangerously he’s playing; when that doesn’t work, she calls time out on their relationship. Even Arlo’s coaches begin to track his hit count, ready to pull him off the field when he nears the limit. But Arlo’s not worried about tallying collisions. The winning plays, the cheering crowds, and the adrenaline rush are enough to convince Arlo that everything is OK—in spite of the pain, the pounding, the dizziness, and the confusion. (Goodreads)
First lines: “All I ever wanted to do was hit people, is that so bad? Does that make me a bad guy?”
That would have been funny if Lloyd was trying to be funny but he wasn’t.
“That’s not so bad, Lloyd,” I told him, “And you are not a bad guy. I think you should stop that though.”
Reawakened, Collen Houck
When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification. And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind. But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world. (Goodreads)
First lines: In the great city of Itjawy, the air was thick and heavy, reflecting the mood of the men in the temple, especially in the countenance of the king and the terrible burden he carried in his heart. As King Heru stood behind a pillar and looked upon the gathered people, he wandered if the answer his advisers and priests had given was their salvation or instead, their utter destruction.
Lair of Dreams, Libba Bray
After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to “read” objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities…Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? (Goodreads)
First lines: Every city is a ghost. New buildings rise upon the bones of the old so that each skinny steel beam, each tower of brick carries within it the memories of what has gone before, an architectural haunting. Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of these former incarnations in the awkward angle of a street or a filigreed gate, an old oak door peeking out from a new façade, the plaque commemorating the spot that was a battleground, which became a saloon and is now a park.
Legacy of Kings, Eleanor Herman
Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise. Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters. (Goodreads)
First lines: Katerina races across the meadow, scanning for any roots or rocks in her way. Her heart thumps wildly in her chest. Her legs ache. The gazelle leaps slightly ahead of her, its hooves barely touching the grass. it is a blur of tan and white, with long, black-ringed horns; a creature not fully of the earth, but also of the sky.
Gotham Academy (graphic novel), Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl
Welcome to Gotham Academy, the most prestigious school in Gotham City. Only the best and brightest students may enter its halls, study in its classrooms, explore its secret passages, summon its terrifying spirits… Okay, so Gotham Academy isn’t like other schools. But Olive Silverlock isn’t like other students. After a mysterious incident over summer break, she’s back at school with a bad case of amnesia, an even worse attitude…and an unexplained fear of bats. Olive’s supposed to show new student Maps Mizoguchi the ropes. Problem: Maps is the kid sister of Kyle, Olive’s ex. Then there’s the ghost haunting the campus…and the secret society conducting bizarre rituals. Can Olive and Maps ace the biggest challenge of their lives? Or are they about to get schooled? (Goodreads)
To this day: for the bullied and the beautiful, Shane Koyczan
In February 2013, Shane Koyczan’s passionate anti-bullying poem “To This Day” electrified the world. An animated video of the lyric narrative went viral, racking up over 12 million hits to date and inspiring an international movement against bullying in schools. Shane later performed the piece to sustained applause on the stage of the 2013 annual TED Conference.
Now this extraordinary work has been adapted into an equally moving and visually arresting book. Thirty international artists, as diverse as they are talented, have been inspired to create exceptional art to accompany “To This Day.” Each page is a vibrant collage of images, colors and words that will resonate powerfully with anyone who has experienced bullying themselves, whether as a victim, observer, or participant. Born of Shane’s own experiences of being bullied as a child, “To This Day” expresses the profound and lasting effect of bullying on an individual, while affirming the strength and inner resources that allow people to move beyond the experience. A heartfelt preface and afterword, along with resources for kids affected by bullying, make this book an invaluable centerpiece of the anti-bullying movement. (Goodreads)
This week, the sequel to a smash-hit, the third book in a really popular New Zealand series, and something new.
Girl Online On Tour, Zoe Sugg. This is the follow up to the runaway smash hit Girl Online and it’s due to be released at the end of October. “Penny’s bags are packed. When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can’t wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah’s jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she’s really cut out for life on tour. She can’t help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot… and her blog, Girl Online. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?” (goodreads.com)
Being Magdalene, Fleur Beale. This is the follow-up to I Am Not Esther and I Am Rebecca (in that order) and it should be here soonish. “Four years have passed since Rebecca ran away. The community simmers with tension and rumours of an approaching split, and life has become terrifying for Rebecca’s remaining siblings as Elder Stephen seizes any chance to take revenge on them. Twelve-year-old Magdalene lives in fear that her strong-willed little sister, Zillah, will be his next target. The girls have run out of people who can protect them. To Zillah their path is clear but Magdalene is torn. How can she cause more hurt and shame for her parents? But, equally, how can she face a life with no freedom to be herself? And another question scares her most of all. Without the elders’ suffocating rules that tell her how to live, who would Magdalene be?” (goodreads.com)
Dangerous Lies, Becca Fitzpatrick. This is the new book by the author of the Hush, Hush series (due in November). “Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life. After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer. But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows. As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…” (goodreads.com)
Ever wanted to create your own website or online game? Book your place at the two FREE coding workshops during the October School Holidays.
Building with jQuery – 1Oct, 9.30am-3.30pm, Wellington Central Library (Mezzanine Meeting Room)
-Confidence with writing HTML and CSS
-Familiarity with copying, renaming and moving files
-A Mac or Windows computer with Internet access
-Admin rights to install new applications
-Excitement about learning jQuery!
Attendees leave the workshop at the end of the day with their work published online as a live website.
This workshop is free, and open to those aged 10-18yrs old (and any teachers that want to learn also!). Places are limited, registrations are essential. Go to gathergather.co.nz for more info and to register
Building with Python – 2Oct, 9.30am – 3.30pm, Wellington Central Library (Mezzanine Meeting Room)
A great option for beginners with little or no prior programming experience, Building with Python offers a broad taster of the language, while providing a solid basis for more advanced programming.
-Familiarity with copying, renaming and moving files
-A Mac or Windows computer with internet access
-Python 3 pre-installed (from Python.org)
-Excitement about learning to code!
Attendees leave the workshop at the end of the day with a simple text-based game of their own creation.
This workshop is free, and open to those aged 13-18yrs old (and any teachers who want to learn also!). Places are limited, registrations are essential. Go to gathergather.co.nz for more info and to register.
September is BIG in the fashion world. It’s when the new year and new season of fashion starts; all the biggest fashion weeks happen all over the world and September fashion magazine issues are always super fat – crammed with all the looks and collections for the upcoming season. As Candy Pratts Price of Vogue fame claims: “September is the January in fashion”.
If you haven’t seen The September Issue, then you need to get it out now. It’s all about the preparation that went into the publication of Vogue’s September 2007 issue. A bit of an oldie (released 2009) but such a goodie – it gives an amazing insight into the making of the world’s most famous fashion magazine, as well as a front row seat to watch the politics play out between editor Anna Wintour and style guru Grace Coddington. It also features cameo appearances by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta and always hilarious Andre Leon Talley. A must-watch!
People are saying good things about these books!
Stone Rider, David Hofmeyr. “In the vein of The Outsiders and the early Western novels of Elmore Leonard, this inventive debut novel, a cross between the cult classic Mad Max movie series and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, blends adrenaline-fueled action with an improbable yet tender romance to offer a rich and vivid portrayal of misfits and loners forced together in their struggle for a better life. Adam Stone wants freedom and peace. He wants a chance to escape Blackwater, the dust-bowl desert town he grew up in. Most of all, he wants the beautiful Sadie Blood. Alongside Sadie and the dangerous outsider Kane, Adam will ride the Blackwater Trail in a brutal race that will test them all, body and soul. Only the strongest will survive. The prize? A one-way ticket to Sky-Base and unimaginable luxury. And for a chance at this new life, Adam will risk everything.” (goodreads.com) The Outsiders, westerns, Mad Max, and super-depressing apocalyptic literature? Sounds exciting!
The Fixer, Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The first book in a planned new series. “Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems. And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting – and complicated – for Tess. Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.” (goodreads.com)
Took, a Ghost Story, Mary Downing Hahn. Everyone loves a good ghost story. “Thirteen-year-old Daniel Anderson doesn’t believe Brody Mason’s crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid … a ‘stuck-up snot’ from Connecticut. But Daniel’s seven-year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll. When she disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been ‘took’?” (goodreads.com)
I Crawl Through It, A. S. King. From the author of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. “Four talented teenagers are traumatized – coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults – and they’ll do anything to escape the pressure. They’ll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them… until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.” (goodreads.com) Surreal is the word!
Terry Pratchett was one of the best loved and most prolific authors of all time. He’s best known for his Discworld series, as well as his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens. He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, and then died on March 12, aged 66. This is a brief summary, of course: there will be longer obituaries that do real justice to this warm, funny man who advocated for environmental issues, freedom of speech and the right to die. He leaves behind his loving family and many friends. But I don’t feel qualified to write about his life, really, but I do know I can talk about his books. I’ve read them avidly since I was 12 and was still avidly reading them 14 years later, eagerly anticipating each new title. It’s hard to believe there’ll be no more – they’ve been such a fixture of mine and many other people’s lives for so many years. But the books that he left are so utterly brilliant that we could have had half their number and still been blessed with one of the funniest, wisest and most true series of books that have ever been written.
The Discworld series were, for me, the height of the comedic fantasy genre. But they weren’t just funny. They were clever. The Discworld series showed a fantasy world that changed: what happens, he asked, when a fantasy world develops the printing press? The Mail System gets reformed? The invention of paper money? The characters changed too: Tough-as-nails copper Sam Vimes fought dragons and other such odd antagonists until he found himself (much to his discomfort) a Duke. Susan, the granddaughter of Death went from being an orphaned schoolgirl to helping save existence. Then there was Tiffany Aching, an eleven year old girl who wanted to be a witch and became one. I’m sure there are many of you who grew up with her. Or how about Moist Von Lipwig, a small time hustler to (semi) reputable government official? This is leaving aside the Lancre Witches and the rest of the Anhk-Morepork City Watch, of course. Everyone grew. Everyone changed. This was not an immaculate fantasy world but one that lived and breathed and was absolutely recognisable even despite the trolls and dwarves and dragons. The Discworld series never felt anything less than inhabited, as if even the bit-players could wander off the page and live their own complete lives, far away from the main storyline.
There was so much heart in the stories of these people. They struggled through their fights with the big bads, yes, but the books never wandered from that sense of playful absurdity. But they never felt less realistic for it. It seemed perfectly feasible that a world that contained an orang-utan librarian at a university could also contain some of the best literary depictions of the poor, the sad, and the truly evil. Evil was not ever separate, either: Pratchett depicted it in all its forms, from external supernatural horror to, even worse, the evil that ordinary people are capable of when they can. He shone a harsh light on the ignorant and the greedy. But this was balanced out by a sense of hope – sometimes people can be better than the sum of their parts. Sometimes people can be noble, good, brave or kind. Sometimes all four at once. And sometimes that was all that was needed to win the battle, if not the war.
It seems that I’m leaving the most important bit until last: these books were laugh-out-loud funny.
So reading The Shepherd’s Crown, the final Discworld book, was a heart-rending experience. Not just because the book is, in itself, very sad, but because also I know there’ll be no more. It’s a bittersweet end; we’re all leaving the Discworld for good. But what Terry Pratchett left us was a wealth of books, an enduring legacy, a world that you can discover anew every time you open one of his books. Not only that, but Terry Pratchett the man left his mark on philanthropic works, such as Alzheimer’s Research UK, and was a Orangutan Foundation Trustee.
The tributes have flowed thick and fast, and this is just one of the many. But they are well deserved.
“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal