The big buy-up continues! Here are some popular sequels and series enders (and one stand-alone novel) which lots of people have been hanging out for. Or maybe just me? Hopefully not!
Requiem, Lauren Oliver – the last book in the Itrilogy. “Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven – pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.” (goodreads.com)
Nascent = “Emerging: just coming into existence” (thank you Wiktionary, I have learned a new word). Incidentally but related, we have also ordered the Delirium short stories – these focus on Hana, Annabel and Raven.
Dark Triumph, Robin LaFevers – this is the companion novel to Grave Mercy which we loved last year, partly because it has assassin nuns. “Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?” (goodreads.com)
Light, Michael Grant – this is the sixth and final book in the über popular Gone series. “In the time since everyperson over the age of fourteen disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach, California, countless battles have been fought: battles against hunger and lies and plague, and epic battles of good against evil. And now, the gaiaphage has been reborn as Diana’s malicious mutant daughter, Gaia. Gaia is endlessly hungry for destruction. She yearns to conquer her Nemesis, Little Pete, and then bend the entire world to her warped will. As long-standing enemies become allies, secrets are revealed and unexpected sacrifices are made. Will their attempts to save themselves and one another matter in the end, or will the kids of Perdido Beach perish in this final power struggle?” (goodreads.com)
Return to Me, Justina Chen Headley. Justina Chen wrote the excellent and popular North of Beautiful. “Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She’s weeks away from starting college–at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad’s last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there’s the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast. And if that isn’t enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb’s dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her “perfect” boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?” (goodreads.com)
We’re back after a short pause with some interesting books we’ve ordered recently; they shouldn’t take too long to arrive, so reserve them now!
Battle Lines, Will Hill. If you’ve read the other Department 19 books, then you’ll be hanging out for this one. “Secret government unit Department 19 is recovering from evil vampire Valeri Rusmanov’s deadly attack on their base. The Department’s newest member, teenage operator Jamie Carpenter, is tasked with training up a new squad, as his friends and colleagues desperately search for ways to try to stop what is coming. The timing couldn’t be worse for a coordinated, global attack on a number of maximum security prisons and hospitals – with the already-dangerous inmates now on the loose and turned into vampires. One of the escapees has a deep connection to one of the darkest moments in the history of Department 19 and embarks on a quest that threatens to expose the existence of vampires to the public. And with each day that passes, the regenerated Dracula gets stronger, bringing Zero Hour closer.” (goodreads.com)
Sweet Damage, Rebecca James. “When Tim Ellison finds a cheap room to rent in the perfect location in Sydney it looks like a huge stroke of luck. In fact the room comes with a condition, and the owner of the house, the mysterious Anna London, is unfriendly and withdrawn. When strange and terrifying things start happening in the house at night, Tim wonders if taking the room is a mistake. But then his feelings for Anna start to change, and when her past comes back with a vengeance, Tim is caught right in the middle of it. A thrilling rollercoaster of a story – read it with the lights on!” (goodreads.com)
Between the Lives, Jessica Shirvington. The new book from the popular author of the Violet Eden series. “For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life – a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she’s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she’s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other. With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted… But just what – and who – is she really risking?” (goodreads.com)
Catalyst, Laurie Halse Anderson (231 pages) – Eighteen-year-old Kate, who sometimes chafes at being a preacher’s daughter, finds herself losing control in her senior year as she faces difficult neighbors, the possibility that she may not be accepted by the college of her choice, and an unexpected death.
First lines: “I like to run at night. No one watches me. No one hears my sneakers slipping in the loose gravel at the side of the road.”
Quicksilver, R. J. Anderson (314 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Tori had everything she could want; popularity, money, and beauty. And a one very valuable secret. Now, she must use every ounce of her considerable hacking and engineering skills to escape those who want that secret and live the normal human life she wants to. Sidenote: it’s the companion to Ultraviolet.
First lines: “On June 7, the year I turned sixteen, I vanished without a trace. On September 28 of the same year I came back, with a story so bizarre that only my parents would ever believe it and a secret I couldn’t share even with them.”
Fuse, Julianna Baggott (461 pages) – Book two of the Pure Trilogy which is set in a post-apocalyptic world where those who dwell within the Dome are safe, and those who live outside struggle to survive. Pressia decodes secrets from the past in an effort to set the Wretches free of their fusings forever while Partridge, in order to save millions of innocent lives, must risk his own by returning to the Dome to face his most terrifying challenge.
First line: “Lying on a thin coat of snow, she sees gray earth meeting gray sky, and she knows she’s back.”
Sever, Lauren DeStefano (371 pages) – With time ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden Trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.
First lines: “In the Atlas the river still flows. The thin line of it carries cargo to a destination that no longer exists.”
Life in Outer Space, Melissa Keil (305 pages) – Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he’s totally fine with that. Then Sam meets Camilla. She’s beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his life. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a life of her own – and she’s decided that he’s going to be part of it.
First lines: “I start this Monday by falling flat on my arse. A normal guy might think his day could improve from here. I seriously doubt this is going to be the case.”
Asunder, Jodi Meadows (406 pages) – In the second book of the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Asunder explores the beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.
First lines: “My life was a mistake. As long as I’d been alive, I’d wanted to know why I’d been born. Why, after five thousand years of the same souls being reincarnated, my soul had slipped through the cracks of existence”
Shadows in the Silence, Courtney Allison Moulton (469 pages) – This is the final installment of the Angelfire trilogy in which Ellie must fight to save Will, humanities and herself from the demonic forces of Hell. It’s a quest that will take her and her allies to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions. Courtney Allison Moulton brings her dark world of epic battles and blistering romance to a blazing conclusion.
First line: “The demonic had tried to break me over and over again, but even with my dress drenched in Will’s blood, I stayed standing.”
Cinders & Sapphires, Leila Rasheed (389 pages) – Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All these secrets are waiting … at Somerton.
First line: “Lady Ada Averly leaned on the rail of the steamboat Moldavia, feeling the hum of the ship’s huge engines through the steel, a rhythmic shudder like a giant’s breathing.”
One of the better things about working in a library is opening boxes of new books.
Clockwork Princess, the final instalment of the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, has just arrived. The 57 people waiting will be happy to hear this. Place a reserve now if you haven’t already – to the right you will see we have 13 copies (about half a leg’s worth).
We’ve also just received today the third book in the Chemical Gardens trilogy, Sever by Lauren Destefano, if dystopia is more your thing.
Here’s a book trailer:
Ketchup Clouds, the second novel by Annabel Pitcher has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for 2013. In Ketchup Clouds, Zoe deals with a secret (and enormous guilt) by sharing it with a prisoner on death row in America.
The Last Minute, Eleanor Updale (268 pages) – There’s a sudden explosion in the middle of an English town, creating terrible destruction, confusion and panic. The Last Minute tells the stories of the people of Heathwick, in which there may be clues as to what happened, and why.
First sentences: Dust. A cold wind. The first shards of icy rain.
The Madness Underneath, Maureen Johnson (290 pages) – this is the second in the Shades of London series – the first (The Name of the Star) got librarian’s choiced. Rory returns to London to discover she’s developed the power to extinguish ghosts on contact. The Ripper copycat is gone, but there’s a series of new, unexplained deaths in the city, and Rory’s sure they are linked. But can she convince the Shades that something awful is going on? We do hope so.
First sentence: Charlie Strong liked his customers – you don’t run a pub for twenty-one years if you don’t like your customers – but there was something about the quiet in hte morning that pleased him no end.
Passion Blue, Victoria Strauss (342 pages) – “In fifteenth-century Italy, seventeen-year-old Giulia, a Count’s illegitimate daughter, buys a talisman hoping it will bring her true love to save her from life in a convent, but once there she begins to learn the painter’s craft, including how to make the coveted paint, Passion blue, and to question her true heart’s desire. Includes historical notes and glossary.” (catalogue description)
First sentence: The clouds broke apart and sunlight flooded down, burnishing the rough bark of the apple trees and tossing their shadows across the grass.
Miss Fortune Cookie, Lauren Bjorkman (276 pages) – Erin is the brain behind the advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. All’s going well, and the blog is really popular, but things turn a bit custardy when her former best friend writes in for advice, and then acts on it. Erin tries to fix the ensuing mess, which leads to more craziness (but possibly also love).
First sentence: My friends and I were riding home from school on Muni, clinging to an assortment of slippery handholds, when Linny almost blew my secret identity.
Elemental, Antony John (326 pages) – In the near future, Thomas thinks himself unspecial: he’s the only child born into the Outer Banks colony without the power of an element. When pirates capture the colony’s Guardians and threaten to take over the island, Thomas and his friends run, fighting for survival in an abandoned settlement. There he finds secrets that will turn his world upside down.
First sentence: Thunder rattled the aging wooden cabins, but no one stopped to listen.
Hidden, Marianne Curley (325 pages) – Ebony is snatched at birth from her midwife and brought to earth to be hidden from her relatives who are searching for her. She’s grown up blissfully unaware of her origins, but things are about to change. When Ebony comes of age, she will be “visible” – to both her family and the one who stole her. “Who will find her first?” is the question the cover is asking.
First sentence: Do you ever stare at your reflection and wonder who that person is looking back at you?
Bad Hair Day, Carrie Harris (228 pages) – “Future physician Kate Grable is thrilled to shadow the county medical examiner, but when he is arrested for murder and Kate is left to run the morgue, she discovers that something is killing students – something very hairy and strong.” (catalogue)
First sentences: “Braaaains!” After all the zombie attacks, even the word made me twitchy.
Live Through This, Mindi Scott (289 pages) – Coley Sterling’s life appears to be perfect, and she works hard at this appearance. Underneath, she’s hiding a dreadful secret she’s kept for ten years. When it looks like her crush on Reece might turn into a real romance, the secret threatens to come out and turn her life into a nightmare.
First sentence: I’m on my bed, under the covers, and my boyfriend is kissing my neck.
If you’ve been following our blog (long shot we know) then you may have worked out that we’ve got some favourite authors. Because even librarians aren’t impartial. But what do you do when you’ve read everything that your favourite author has written? Well, why not check out what they’re reading instead! The wonderful Goodreads makes this ever so easy. All you need to do is look up an author and if they have “(Goodreads author)” beside their name they will most likely have a ‘bookshelf’ – in Goodreads lingo, a list to the rest of us – of their favourite books. Here are a few favourites from our favourties:
Neil Gaiman it appears, is a big fan of fairy tales. Which really isn’t that surprising if you consider the content of his books. Here in the library we have a fantastic collection of fairy tales (although sometimes you need to look past the covers) which range from the classic Grimm’s fairy tales to less known stories from all round the world. Why not check out some Korean or Greek folklore? Neil Gaiman in particular recommends Alan Garner.
Maggie Stiefvater’s books have some consistently gorgeous covers. As do these three that she’s rated highly on Goodreads recently. A coincidence? Well yes, probably. Because good covers and good books are not synonymous as we’re sure you know. However, so often it is a good cover that makes you pick up a book in the first place. So why not check out these gorgeous covers?
Karen Healey is one of our newest faves. Check out next week’s blog post to find out the reasons behind our infatuation! Sneak peak though: she has a fantastic list bookshelf of recommendations on Goodreads including Q & A by Vikas Swarup (the original title of Slumdog Millionaire before the movie came out), Paper Towns by John Green (another of our faves), Graceling by Kristen Cashore (see below), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (which we’ve recommended before), several of Sarah Dessen’s books and the classic Anne of Green Gables (a must read for every independent young woman).
Robert Muchamore isn’t a Goodreads author but, like most contemporary authors, he does have a website which includes a page of recommendations. As well as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins the list includes Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie and The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony McGowan. It’s not a huge list but does give a few suggestions of where to go while you’re eagerly awaiting the next CHERUB or Henderson’s Boys instalment.
Kristen Cashore is another one who isn’t a Goodreads author and therefore we had to search further afield for her recommendations. But really all we did was search “currently reading” on her blog and will now give you some of the results. The Hunger Games makes it onto the list as well as The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (which we both loved and are still finding a list to fit it into) and the D.J. Schwenk trilogy (Dairy Queen, The Off Season and Front and Center) which feature the awesome heroine D.J. who, “in case you haven’t met her, is a high school gal who’d much rather spend Friday night playing linebacker than painting her toenails and going to a dance” in the words of the wonderful Kristen Cashore.
Goodreads is really good at recommending books based on what you’ve already read, so if you’ve run out of ideas (and have exhausted our extensive and ongoing list of recommended reading!) then we suggest making a Goodreads account and to start rating some books! Enjoy
Here are some action-filled books we’ve got coming in the next few months. Some steampunk, even!
Quicksilver, R J Anderson (May) - the sequel to Ultraviolet. “Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want – popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it. Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual… talents. Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab. She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills – and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.” (goodreads.com)
Level 2, Lenore Appelhans (soon) – “Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend… and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her. Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.” (goodreads.com)
Emilie & the Hollow World, Martha Wells (April) – “While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure. Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father. With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.” (goodreads.com)
Did you know that Wellington City Libraries has a collection of books in languages other than English? We do! Some of them you may recognise.
Lauren Kate: Duo luo tian shi (Fallen in Chinese)
P C and Kristin Cast: a selection of the House of Night series in Chinese.
So if you’re at home in another language, or you’re looking for a challenge, this is the perfect place to start. Here’s a complete list of teen fiction books in other languages, including some non-translated titles.
If there’s something in another language you think the library should definitely get, then let us know (you can fill in a suggestion to buy here).
Hello! As of tomorrow, it will be (drum roll please) New Zealand Book Month! There’s heaps of cool events happening around Wellington and all over the country. Here in the Central Library we’re hosting a Three Bears Breakfast at 10.30am on Saturday the 9th of March to celebrate a new take on a favourite fairy tale. If that’s not your cup of tea then check out our guide to a few of our favourite New Zealand authors! In compiling this list we realized what an extraordinary range of genres and topics are covered by our homegrown authors. They’re also quite prolific and if you enjoy one, chances are you’ll find some more…
We begin with the names you’ve probably heard:
The magnificent and marvellous Margaret Mahy. My personal favourite novel of hers is The Tricksters which is about the classic Kiwi family Christmas at the beach. Harry (real name, Ariadne) Hamilton is seventeen years old and caught between her two older, more exciting (she feels) siblings and two much younger ones. Feeling alone in a large family she spends her time writing. This Christmas however, the family is joined by three fascinating but rather sinister brothers and Harry finds her stories and reality blurring together in an alarmingly complex way. This is one of my favourite summer reads and will be pulled out again this year.
For more Mahy, check out Alchemy, (which won the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award for best young adult novel), the post-apocalyptic adventure Maddigan’s Fantasia (re-released as Maddigan’s Quest) which also became a tv series and finally, and for slightly younger readers, the Cousin’s Quartet (also about large families, this time without the sinister component); The Good Fortunes Gang, A Fortunate Name, A Fortune Branches Out and Tangled Fortunes.
Kate de Goldi is far less prolific than Mahy but is also incredible. Her latest novel, The 10pm Question, has won a number of prestigious awards and with very good reason. It’s one of those books that is very difficult to put down, it’s hugely compelling. But at the same time, if I had cheated, if I had read the ending first, then the pleasure I got from reading it would have been destroyed. The 10pm Question introduces us to the eccentric but endearing family of Frankie Parsons. With every detail we’re given, there are more questions raised about Frankie’s world. Difficult questions that Frankie doesn’t want to think about but that he knows someone, the new girl Sydney, is going to ask him. The 10pm Question is an expert combination of poignant storytelling and subtle humour that gives the novel a broad appeal. According to GoodReads it “will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart.”
And back to the prolific: Maurice Gee. You may have read Under The Mountain or the Land of O books when you were younger (which are still awesome when re-read by the way). If you enjoyed them then check out the Salt series which is set entirely in a fantasy universe where one group of citizens, Company, exploit everyone else. However, Hari – one of the exploited groups – has a secret gift: he can communicate with animals. With this and his own smarts he sets out to rescue his father from Deep Salt, the mysterious mines from which no one returns. With him is the beautiful Pearl, born into Company, she runs from a life of subservience as a married woman and has learned forbidden things from her mysteriously gifted maid Tealeaf.
And now the slightly less well known:
Bernard Beckett has written in an extraordinarily wide range of genres. From the deeply philosophical August to the historically set Home Boys to the thriller Jolt to the comedic Malcolm and Juliet. The New Zealand Book Council praises Malcolm and Juliet for combining “quirky humour with a sophisticated literary and theatrical style elevating the story into something more than simply farce or satire. Cleverly and tightly plotted with strong dialogue reflecting the novel’s origins in a stage-play, this book challenges readers and keeps them guessing. Loose ends are tied up in an appropriately stylised, Shakespearean way.” Don’t let the reference to Shakespeare put you off, Malcolm and Juliet is very easy to read and my favourite of Beckett’s work. It’s funny and fast paced making it very easy to read. If you like this one then check out some of Beckett’s plays.
Joanna Orwin’s latest book Sacrifice was a finalist in the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. The book follows Taka and Matu on a quest to find the kumara (called “kuma”) which has died out (along with all the other crops) in their post-apocalyptic world. It is these such details that set this story apart from your typical quest storyline, giving the book a distinctly New Zealand flavour. Owl is based on the Maori myth of Pouakai, a brutal man-eater bent on destruction. It’s about Tama the city kid, and Owl the country kid. They couldn’t be more different, until the discovery of some ancient Maori cave paintings releases the aforementioned monster and brings them together in order to defeat the creature and save themselves. In Out of Tune, a much earlier novel, the link to New Zealand is much less evident. Out of Tune is about Jaz, a teenage girl desperate to fit in with the cool kids at school and get her parents attention. As she spins out of control, the only person she feels she can confide in is her great-grandmother Gi-Gi. Like so many other New Zealand authors, Joanna Orwin explores several genres and by all accounts does so very well.
V. M. Jones’ Juggling with Mandarins is a really sweet coming-of-age story about Pip (named because his mum’s favourite author is Charles Dickens) who is a boy who can’t seem to please his overly-competitive father, and learns that he must please himself instead. It is a story about finding the thing that you love, and knowing why you’re doing it. For Pip, that is rock-climbing, not soccer (as his father and brother pressure him into). Juggling is used as a challenge (real and metaphorical) to learn a new skill, to focus, and to stick with it for the right reasons. Pip’s final realization about the differences between himself and his father are profound. It’ll leave you emotional and wanting to know what happens next in which case there is the follow up Shooting the Moon.
This is just a very small collection of some of our favourite authors. There are many, many more gems just waiting to be discovered and what better time than New Zealand Book Month! If you’re an aspiring author yourself then this month is an excellent opportunity to get tips and hints from other authors so check out that events page!
Until next time,
R n R