Yes. There are lots of new books! Read them all, that’s my challenge.
Legacies : A Shadow Grail Novel, by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill (320 pages) – This is the first book in the Shadow Grail series, about a teen girl named Spirit White, whose family die and she’s shipped off to Oakhurst Academy. Everyone there is some sort of magic user! Students start disappearing, and a mystery has got to be solved.
First lines: ‘Someone was moaning. Spirit wished whoever it was would be quiet.‘
Dark Life, by Kat Falls (297 pages) – The oceans have risen, and people either live on the tiny pieces of land or deep under the ocean. The ocean is a rough, dangerous place to live! Ty and Gemma find themselves venturing into this underwater frontier (for noble reasons!) and discover some dark secrets.
First lines: ‘I peered into the deep-sea canyon, hoping to spot qa toppled skyscraper. Maybe even the Statue of Liberty.‘
Juggling Fire, Joanne Bell (171 pages) – Rachel grew up in the mountains in Yukon, but she has to move to the city. Then her father disappears, and Rachel – wanting to know why – hikes back through the mountains, where she must confront danger (bears!) and the past.
First line: ‘Mom doesn’t cry when I heave the packs from the pickup; she only blinks hard, squeezes my shoulders and whirls around, like she has to get away from me fast.‘
Crawlers, by Same Enthoven (261 pages) – Nine kids go to the theatre to see a play and in one evening of sheer horror they encounter some sinister and disgusting mind-controlling hairless, blubbery spidery-octopus things. I will never eat takoyaki again!
First line: ‘In the dark pit that had been my prison for almost three hundred and fifty years, Steadman’s latest victim was regaining consciousness.‘
Indigo Blues, by Danielle Joseph (231 pages) – Adam is an indie music sensation, and Indigo is the girl who dumped him. He subsequently wrote a song about her, and now she is almost as famous as he is. She’s not too pleased! And he’s still calling her, and she’s like, no way.
First line: ‘When I found out that “Indigo Blues” hit number one on the Billboard charts this morning, I ran to the bathroom and threw up.‘
The Alchemist and the Angel, by Joanne Owen (224 pages) – It is the 16th century, and Jan, an alchemist’s apprentice, is searching for the elixir of life. He travels to Prague, a city rich with alchemy and corruption, and while there he meets a mysterious girl (the ‘Angel of the Ghetto’). This book is beautifully illustrated!
First line: ‘Emperor Rudolf II – Ruler of the World, Aficionado of Alchemy, Collector of Curiosities – shifted in his throne.’
My Rocky Romance Diary by Kelly Ann, (really) by Liz Rettig (313 pages) – The saga of Kelly Ann’s romantic life continues in this, the fourth of her diaries.
First line: ‘First day of term and Mum woke me up at eight but I’d two free periods first thing so I mumbled ‘Leavemealoneandgoaway’.
Reality Check, by Jen Calonita (277 pages) – Catalogue says, ‘When a television executive signs Long Island sixteen-year-old Charlie and her three best friends to be the stars of a new reality television show, their lives are suddenly not the same.’
First line: ‘It’s only 3:47 PM. How can that be? It feels like I’ve been here for hours, not just forty-seven minutes.’
The Fire Opal, by Regina McBride (293 pages) – ‘While invading English soldiers do battle in sixteenth-century Ireland, Maeve grows up with a mystical connection to a queen who, centuries before, faced enemies of her own.’ Thanks, Catalogue!
First line: ‘When I was seven years old, my mother and I spent a July afternoon on the foreshore collecting kelp, which we planned to dry and burn for summer fires.‘
Notes From The Dog, by Gary Paulsen (133 pages) – Okay, this is from the Catalogue again: ‘When Johanna shows up at the beginning of summer to house-sit next door to Finn, he has no idea of the profound effect she will have on his life by the time summer vacation is over.’
First line: ‘Sometimes having company is not all it’s cracked up to be.’
So Punk Rock (And Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother), by Micol Ostow (Art by David Ostow) (246 pages) – Ari Abramson’s band, made up of four teens from a wealthy Jewish school, suddenly become popular overnight. They now must navigate the ‘minefield of inflated egos, misplaced romance, and the shallowness of indie-rock elitism.’ Comedy!
First line: ‘There are many things that Jonas Fein does well.‘
Freak Magnet, by Andrew Auseon (297 pages) – Gloria is a ‘freak magnet’, and in fact keeps a record of all the weirdos who talk to her. Charlie is a freak, so it’s only a matter of time before he ends up in her Freak Folio. However! They’re both burdened by grief and loss*, and so form a connection.
First line: ‘When the world’s most beautiful woman walks into the room, it’s hard to keep from throwing up.‘
Runaway Storm, by D. E. Knobbe (223 pages) – This is the first in a series (there’s an excerpt of the next book included). Nate has stolen a kayak and has run (paddled?) away from home to some remote Canadian island. He encounters smugglers, real runaways, and a massive, deadly storm.
First lines: ‘Nate slouched out of the elevator and crossed the lobby of the apartment building. The apartment, this building, New York – they had never felt like home.‘
Beyond Evie, by Rebecca Burton (200 pages) – Charlotte’s life is pretty swell, apart from having lost her father and later falling in love (obsessively!) with Evie, who breaks her heart. ‘Perceptive,’ ‘powerful,’ and ‘psychologically intense’ (yet ‘optimistic’ also!).
First lines: ‘You, Evie, told me I was beautiful. I thought you meant you liked me, but I was wrong.‘
Two Good Thieves, by Daniel Finn (386 pages) – In the Third World slums in a city somewhere in South America, Demi and Baz fight for a better life in a ‘city of thieves’ in this fast-pace, gritty thriller. (It’s also published as She Thief, which we have as a new book this week.)
First lines: ‘The city’s burning. The city is always burning.‘
Tripwire, by Steve Cole and Chris Hunter (238 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Felix Smith is a soldier, a spy, and a covert bomb disposal expert. He works for ATLAS, who use teenagers for military operations (the enemy don’t expect teenagers!).
First line: ‘Got you. The sight of the bomb hit Felix like a punch in the guts.‘
Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto, by Eric Luper (293 pages) – Seth’s girlfriend dumps him and his father is spotted out on a date with a woman who is not Seth’s mother. So Seth begins an anonymous podcast about the mysteries of love. Soon his life is picking up – he holds a job, makes new friends, and tracks down his father’s mystery date.
First lines: ‘“Come on Seth. Say something.” Veronica stares at me like I’m the one who should be doing the explaining – like I’m the one who just turned everything upside down.‘
Rush, by Jonathan Friesen (295 pages) – Jake loves taking risks, just to feel the rush. He’s offered a job with a group of firefighters who rappel into wildfires. Very risky! His friend and secret crush, Salome, gets caught up in taking risks also, and the consequences are devastating.
First lines: ‘“Pure insanity.” I whisper at the sky as sheets of rain sting my face.‘
Sea : A Novel, by Heidi R. Kling (327 pages) – A romance set in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that struck Indonesia. Sienna Jones travels with her father to Asia to help with an internation relief team, and she meets the ‘most handsome boy she’s ever seen,’ Deni. He though his father died in the disaster but he learns that mightn’t be the case; together, they make the heartbreaking journey to the epicentre of the tsunami’s destruction.
First line: ‘I’m sitting alone on the other side of the world talking to a sea turtle that might be my mom.‘
The Six Rules of Maybe, by Deb Caletti (321 pages) – Scarlet spends all her time worrying about others, and trying to help them and fix their lives. Often when it means ignoring her own needs! But then she falls in love with her newly pregnant sister’s husband, and finds herself at the centre of a drama (and then some!) for the first time.
First line: ‘You could tell something was different about Juliet the moment she stepped out of the truck.‘
Smiling Jack, by Ken Catran (271 pages) – Robert’s well-respected father and uncle are killed in a road accident. He finds a defaced playing-card Jack at the accident site. Soon more people are dying, and the same card is found near each death. A murder mystery with a startling and unexpected twist!
First line: ‘Smiling Jack came into my life about ten-thirty, one November night.‘
Lies : A Gone Novel, by Michael Grant (447 pages) – This is the follow up to Gone and Hunger, about a world where all adults disappear and the remaining kids get all Lord of the Flies/Mad Max on one another. They also have powers! There are mutants, and dark supernatural forces.
First line: ‘Obscene graffiti. Smashed windows. Human Crew tags, their logo, along with warnings to freaks to get out.‘
Daniel X : Demons and Druids, by James Patterson and Adam Sadler (243 pages) – Alien hunter Daniel X travels to England with his friends to find Beta, an outlaw that takes the form of fire and who killed Daniels parents when he was a wee toddler. Daniel can create anything, has superspeed, can shapechange, and has superstrength! He travels through time as well, and meet Merlin.
First lines: ‘I bet I can see London from here, I was thinking. I was literally 150 feet in the air above a grassy field, outside a charming little village called Whaddon.‘
Classy : Be a Lady, Not a Tramp, by Derek Blasburg (230 pages) – This is a manual for older teen girls who want to be a classy; how to dress, etiquette to adopt, even what to read and watch. A modern Miss Manners!
Here are the latest magazines:
Entertainment Weekly #1115 – Always good for a twenty-minute read, for it is Quite Interesting.
XBox 360 : Official Australian Magazine #58 – Mafia II | Mortal Kombat | Loads of other games | Wouldn’t it be cool if we had games?
Seventeen September 2010 – Beauty Master Class | Secrets to the Best Date Ever! | 823 (!) Fashion and Beauty Ideas
Girlfriend September 2010 – perfumes | prints | Perry | Patterson | pin-ups
The Poison Eaters And Other Stories, by Holly Black (212 pages) – A collection of stories, all ‘gritty, grim, and fabulous’, by the author of the Modern Faerie Tales (some of the stories in this collection are in the same setting) and the Spiderwick Chronicles. To sweeten the deal! there are illustrations.
The Emerald Casket : The Billionaire Trilogy Book II, by Richard Newsome (378 pages) - This continues this detective/mystery series about a billionaire (lucky!) who recovers stolen jewels, solves murders, and has some pretty sweet adventures. (The author, Richard Newsom, was born in New Zealand. We shall claim him as our own.)
First lines: ‘A meaty hand slapped down on top of the alarm clock. Of all the sounds that Constable Lethbridge of the London Metropolitan Police might want to hear on a Sunday, a buzzer at six o’clock in the morning was not high on the list.‘
Infinity : Chronicles of Nick, by Sherrilin Kenyon (464 pages) – This is the first in a series, I guess? About Nick Gautier, who is sarcastic and wise to the ways of the streets. He is accidently drawn into the world of the Dark-Hunters*, and there are vampires, werewolves, and zombies, everywhere.
*These are a related series for adults. This is her first YA book
First lines: ‘Free will. Some have called it the greatest gift bestowed on humanity.‘
The Boneshaker, by Kate Milford (372 pages) – Natalie’s love of machinery means only she is able to save her small Missouri town from the threat posed by Doctor Jake Limberleg’s Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show. Historical fantasy (it is 1913!) meets steampunk and magic. This book has great illustrations and – this might just be me! – a wicked cool typeface*
First line: ‘Strange things can happen at a crossroads.’
Epitaph Road, by David Patneaude (266 pages) – It is 2097, and a virus has wiped out 97% of all men. Now women rule the world and there is no war, crime, hunger, and poverty. Fourteen-year-old Kellen tries to find his outcast father (the surviving males lead a restricted life) and ‘uncovers a secret so frightening that his life and the future of the world will never be the same again.’
First line: ‘Charlie frowned as muted sunlight leaked through the ragged umbella of evergreen boughs overhead.‘
The Exile of Gigi Lane, by Adrienne Maria Vrettos (340 pages) – The catalogue says, ‘Heathers meets Bring It On in this story of a high school queen bee’s fall from glory,’ which is, if you’ve never seen Heathers, a pretty favourable comparison. Gigi – the high school queen bee – does fall from grace, but she won’t stand for it.
First line: ‘I’m Gigi Lane and you wish you were me. Oh my God, that has to be the most powerful affirmation in the history of the world.‘
Empire of the Undead : Chronicles of Blood, by Gary Cross (298 pages) – This is the second book in a series. As the title might suggest! the series is about vampires. LOADS of them in fact. It is also 1666. (Gary Cross is a NZ writer, so if there’s still an NCEA requirement that you read a NZ author, here’s a good one.)
First line: ‘Fifteen-year-old Mary Shire hated being undead.‘
Here are some non-fiction books! The titles tell you all you need to know, I’m thinking.
Max Your Marks : Tip From Top Students on How to Conquer Year 13, by Rowena Austin, Annie Hastwell, & Dorothy Vinicombe (273 pages)
Living With a Willy : The Inside Story, by Nick Fisher (151 pages)
The Twilight Saga : Eclipse – The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, by Mark Cotta Vaz (140 pages)
There aren’t many new books this week. No doubt there will be LOADS next week. Most of this week’s books’ covers have similar colouring! Weird, eh.
Withering Tights : The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, by Louise Rennison (351 pages) – Louise Rennison is the author of the always-popular Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. This is the first in a new series about Tallulah Casey, who has just enrolled in a Performing Arts College in Yorkshire (hence the title, if you know your classics). The back blurb made me laugh! “Alex had everything a dream boy should have. Back, front, sides. A head.”
First lines: ‘Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College.‘
Swapped by a Kiss, by Luisa Plaja (344 pages) – Rachel sees her boyfriend, David, kissing their friend Jo, who is the nicest girl at the school. Rachel, enraged, wishes she was Jo and suddenly she finds herself in Jo’s body. Being Jo isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Shouldn’t you just be yourself? Yes.
First line: ‘I am in the doorway of a dance tent and my boyfriend is inside, kissing a girl who is not me.‘
To Catch a Pirate, by Jade Parker (228 pages) – Annalisa Townsend is discovered hiding in the hold of a ship by James Sterling, pirate and charmer. Determined to find her father’s treasure she sets out a year later to try to find Sterling. Will she get the treasure? Or will he also capture her heart with his suave seadog stylings?
First line: ‘Annalisa Townsend didn’t know which terrified her more: the razor-sharp edge of the dagger pressed against her throat or the ruthless glare of the pirate who’d shoved her against the wall with the harsh words, “Hold your tongue or I’ll remove it.”‘
Rebel Girl : Secrets at St Jude’s, by Carmen Reid (289 pages) – Four girls at St Jude’s School for Girls face different problems of various magnitude (Niffy wants to be gorgeous! Min is studying too much and missing out on fun! Amy’s rich dad goes broke! Gina’s got a wandering eye!). So they get in touch with their inner rebel.
First line: ‘Long after midnight, Gina lay wide awake in her narrow dorm bed.‘
Boyology : A Teen Girl’s Crash Course in All Things Boy, by Sarah O’Leary Burningham (167 pages) – This is non-fiction! And it intended to assist teens who want to understand the male psyche. Chapter headings include, ‘The Firsts of First Dates: And the Rest of the Dating Game‘, ‘You Wear the Pants: Setting Your Boundaries‘, and ‘Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.‘
Sam Stern’s Eat Vegetarian, by Sam Stern and Susan Stern (187 pages) – This is the Sterns’ fifth book, and is packed with some very nice-looking recipes. Meat-free, so are probably cheaper to make if you’re on a budget! Which is good.
Chocolate Cake With Hitler, by Emma Craigie (204 pages) – Helga Goebbels, daughter of the Nazi’s head of propaganda, spent the last ten days of her life (she was twelve) stuck in Hitler’s bunker. Her parents and the other adults become more and more tense and Helga soon begins to realise that her childhood wasn’t the fairytale it seemed.
First lines: ‘I’m sitting with Papa on a bench beside the sea. I must be about three years old.‘
Compromised, by Heidi Ayarbe (452 pages) – After Maya’s con-man father goes to prison, and she finds no joy in foster homes, she decides to try to find a long-lost aunt. It’s a long, dangerous journey (400 miles!) and the aunt mightn’t even exist.
First line: ‘First they take our flat screen.’
My Boyfriend’s Dogs : The Tales of Adam and Eve and Shirley, by Dandi Daley Mackall (265 pages) – High-school senior Bailey Daley turns up at a diner soaking wet and leading three wet dogs. The diner’s owner invites her in and listens to her story of searching for the perfect boyfriend (and obtaining three dogs).
First line: ‘“My mother says that falling in love and getting dumped is good for you because it prepares you for the real thing, like it gets you ready for true love and all, but I’m thinking it’s more like climbing up the St. Louis Arch and falling off twice.“
Paper Daughter, by Jeanette Ingold (215 pages) – Maggie Chen’s journalist dad is killed in a hit-and-run accident, and her research (for she is a journalist also) soon uncovers illegal activity that may be connected to him. She is determined to uncover the truth, and discovers more about her family’s past than she expected.
First line: ‘“Your, Maggie.” Mom pushed an envelope from the Herald down the counter where I was putting out bread for sandwiches.‘
Sweet 15, by Emily Adler and Alex Echevarria (240 pages) – Destiny Lozada is turning 15, and so a traditional quinceañera (a religious ceremony with party, tiaras and ballgowns) is planned by her parents. Her older sister thinks it’s an outdated and misogynistic ritual. So! Destiny doesn’t want to take sides and, in fact! would rather be skateboarding and watching TV.
First line: ‘Here’s how it went down, the beginning of The End. Breakfast: out of the blue, my mom, in a red bathrobe, with her makeup already on, making coffee in our big yellow kitchen, hit me over the head with “Destiny is having a quinceañera!”‘
Home Beyond the Mountains : A Novel, by Celia Barker Lottridge (224 pages) – It is 1918, and the Turkish army is eradicating the Assyrian and Armenian peoples in the eastern parts of the Ottoman empire. Nine-year-old Samira and her surviving family members are forced from camp to camp for many years before the opportunity to return home presents itself. Based on a true story.
First line: ‘A sound, a very quite sound, woke Samira.‘
Little Miss Red, by Robin Palmer (254 pages) – A summary prepared earlier: ‘Sixteen-year-old Sophie’s dream of meeting her soul mate during spring break in Florida seems to have come true, but she must determine if Jack is really the romantic hero he seems to be, or if ex-boyfriend Michael could be.’
First line: ‘I’m very big on signs. So when the captain announced that our flight to Florida would be delayed because of some last-minute passengers, I took that as yet another sign that this trip was going to be a disaster.‘
For Keeps, by Natasha Friend (267 pages) – Josie lives with her mum, and her father has never been part of the family. Until suddenly he turns up! And Josie also may have found her first, real boyfriend. ‘A fresh, funny, smart story.’
First line: ‘It’s the last Friday night in August, and instead of dancing on a table at Melanie Jaffin’s party with the rest of the soon-to-be junior class, I am crouched behind a tower of Meow Mix in the pet-food aisle of Shop-Co, watching my mother hyperventilate.‘
The Hunchback Assignments, by Arthur Slade (278 pages) – Modo is rescued from a freakshow by the mysterious Mr Socrates as a wee baby. He is subsequently trained as a first-class secret agent for the Permanent Association, who are pitted against the evil Clockwork Guild. Steampunk in a Victorian setting! Based on a true story (just kidding).
First line: ‘Six hunting hounds had perished in previous experiments.‘
Only the Good Spy Young, by Ally Carter (265 pages) – This is the fourth Gallagher Girls book. Gallagher Girls are spies-in-training! Cammie ‘The Chameleon’ is being hunted by an ancient terrorist organisation, and might not be able to trust even her classmates! Ever the way, I suppose.
First line: ‘“Target’s acquired, ten o’clock.” My best friend’s voice was as cool as the wind as it blew off the Thames.‘
The Demon’s Covenant, by Sarah Rees Brennan (442 pages) – This is the sequel to The Demon’s Lexicon, about a world of magicians and demons (obvs).
First line: ‘“Any minute now,” Rachel said, “something terrible is going to happen to us.”‘
Happy as Larry, by Scot Gardner (291 pages) – ‘An extraordinary tale of an ordinary family’, says the cover. ‘Laurence Augustine Rainbow is born into an ordinary family, and seems set for an ordinary life. But as the world around him changes, so does the happiness of his own family,’ says the catalogue, which points out that it is also ’unique, dark and ultimately uplifting.’ We can trust the catalogue, I feel.
First line: ‘Laurence Augustine Rainbow was born in July 1990.‘
The Mission, Jason Myers (361 pages) – When Kaden’s older brother is killed in Iraq, he follows his late brother’s advice and heads to San Francisco to visit his cousin. His previously sheltered life hasn’t prepared him for what he encounters there, and family secrets further rock his world.
First line: ‘The car creeps to the end of the driveway and turns onto the gravel road, the tires kicking up a small cloud of dust that whips into a spiral in the dead air before disappearing just as quickly as it came.’
Sugar Sugar, by Carole Wilkinson (337 pages) – Jackie leaves Australia and heads to Paris, dreaming of becoming a world-famous fashion designer. Somehow she ends up in Afghanistan! With New Zealanders!
First line: ‘I was dreaming of the sea when the moonlight woke me.‘
The Resurrection Fields : Book Three of The Promises of Dr. Sigmundus, by Brian Kearney (158 pages) – The final installment of this ‘concoction of science fiction, horror, and fantasy’ – ‘Although beset by otherworldly perils, Dante and his best friend Bea continue to be dedicated to the overthrow of Sigmundus and the dark powers that have latched on to his methods of authoritarian mind-control.’ Not based on a true story, but it would be cool if it was.
First line: ‘The storm that had raged over the south of Gehenna had finally blown itself out.‘
The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa (363 pages) – Meghan Chase, the back cover says, has a secret destiny. She is about to learn why she’s never really fit in, and why there’s a stranger watching her… and find love in the process.
First sentence: Ten years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared.
The Keening, A LaFaye (163 pages) – Set in 1918 which, Twilight fans might know, is when an influenza pandemic roared across the United States. Lyza feels like she’s the talentless member of an artistic family, but when her mother dies and she (Lyza) must help her father find his feet, uncovering her own gifts in the process.
First sentence: As a child who waded in the head-high grass of our cliffside home, I’d harbored a peculiar fondness for funeral marches – the sight of all those people in one long line, each face holding a memory.
The Complete History of Why I Hate Her, Jennifer Richard Jacobson (181 pages) – “Wanting a break from being known only for her sister’s cancer, seventeen-year-old Nola leaves Boston for a waitressing job at a summer resort in Maine, but soon feels as if her new best friend is taking over her life,” says the catalogue.
First sentence: Song is hanging on my arm, afraid I’m going to slip onto the bus and out of her life as quickly as I made the decision to go.
Toads and Diamonds, Heather Tomlinson (276 pages) – a fairytale set in India (in fact a retelling “of the Perrault fairy tale set in pre-colonial India” to be precise (the catalogue comes to the rescue yet again!)). Diribani and Tana both receive something from a goddess, one a blessing and the other a curse, at least this is how it first appears, but “blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem” (book cover).
First sentence: Diribani ran toward the stepwell.
Alice in Wonderland: A Visual Companion, Mark Salisbury – to the movie, that is. Full of interesting photos and other graphics, and info about how this visual symphony was made.
Harmonic Feedback, by Tara Kelly (280 pages) – Drea has ‘a touch of Asperger’s’, and is obsessed with music. When she moves to a new town AGAIN she – at long last! – makes some friends, and even finds love maybe.
First lines: ‘One in thirty-eight. Bet on a single number in roulette, and those are the odds of winning.‘
Boys That Bite : A Blood Coven Vampire Novel, by Mari Mancusi (262 pages) – Looks like we’ve got a new (and ‘refreshingly different’) vampire series. Sunny is dragged to something called Club Fang by her sister, Rayne, and finds out that the members are not just playing dress-up – she gets bitten and has a week to undo it.
First line: ‘You know, being bitten by a vampire one week before prom really sucks.‘
90 Packets of Instant Noodle, by Deb Fitzpatrick (307 pages) – Joel and his chum Craggs drink, steal, and generally cause havoc together. SO Joel’s dad, with the police, send them off to a remote bush shack for 90 days. Where, presumably! all they have to eat are noodles.
First line: ‘It was Dad who finally snapped over what had been going on.‘
Thirteen Days to Midnight, by Patrick Carman (296 pages) – Jacob Fielding is given the rather enviable power of indestructability, and begins to use his new power for good. BUT there’s a curse to the ability, and he has thirteen days to sort it out.
First line: ‘Jacob Fielding stood in a small room and stared at a body.‘
The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruis Zafon (202 pages) – A ‘haunting story of magic, mystery and adventure’, about a boy who moves to a house overlooking the sea and the mysterious (and terrifying!) Prince of the Mist. And a weird, staring cat.
First line: ‘Max would never forget that faraway summer when, almost by chance, he discovered magic.‘
Every Little Thing in the World, by Nina de Gramont (282 pages) – Sydney is sixteen, and going off the rails. So her parents send her to one of those ‘hard-love’ wilderness camps in the Canadian wilds for four weeks of Bear Grylls-lite survivalism. But! She is pregnant. Whatever will she do?
First line: ‘Natalia and I stole her mother’s new blue Cadillac and drove out to Overpeck to find Tommy.‘
The Cardturner : A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker, by Louis Sachar (336 pages) – Alton’s rich, old and blind uncle asks him to attend bridge games with him. Which is a good plan when there’s an inheritance to think about! Alton soon learns a lot about his family history and himself as one mystery after another are discovered.
First line: ‘Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve had it drilled into me that my uncle Lester was my favourite uncle.‘
With a Sword in My Hand, by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem and Pat van Beirs (266 pages) – An ‘enthralling medieval adventure’ about Marguerite, who refuses to conform to type, and learns how to use a sword, ride horses, and outwit the boys. The Court of Flanders has other ideas! This has won loads of awards, and is based on the real Marguerite van Male.
First line: ‘The knights of Flanders and Brabant will swear allegiance to the infant in its cradle.‘
The Beastly Bride : Tales of the Animal People, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (500 pages) – This is a large collection of original stories and poems about shapechangers – werewolves, vampires, and so on – with illustrations by Charles Vess.
I Love You Zelda Bloo, by Gretel Killeen (183 pages) – Zelda Blookwell is the daughter of famous parents. She gets kidnapped when she goes with her mother to interview child soldiers, and while trying to survive she meets – and falls in love with! - Saro.
First line: ‘Help me. Can you help me? Please!‘
Palace Beautiful, by Sarah DeFord Williams (232 pages) – Sadie and best friend Bella find a secret room in the attic of their house, and there they discover a diary written one Helen during the 1918 ‘flu epidemic (which killed 50 million people worldwide!). As the girls try to find out what happened to Helen, Sadie’s ‘worries about her own family come closer to reality.’
First line: ‘My sister Zuzu says no one can remember the day they born, but I do.‘
Dancing in the Dark, by Robyn Bavati (290 pages) – Ditty’s very religious parents forbid her to take ballet lessons. So she starts ballet in secret! Of course the will come a point when the two world clash.
First line: ‘I’m lying on my bed, staring at the peeling paper on the wall in my room.‘
Henrietta Hornbuckle’s Circus of Life, by Michael de Guzman (152 pages) – Twelve-year-old Henrietta is a clown, as are her parents. In fact! Everyone she knows is a clown, because she is with a small travelling circus. She (and the other clowns) are on their way to New York City for a ‘climactic performance’, but first life throws a pie right in her kisser.
First line: ‘She stood at the stern of the ferry as it pulled away from the Connecticut shore.‘
The Alpha Bet, by Stephanie Hale (233 pages) – The admirably-named Grace Kelly Cook is only sixteen when she graduates from high school, and decides to join the Alpha Sorority at college. She lies a little bit on her application! So now she’s fearful of being discovered. And also she has to do something called the ‘Alpha Bet’, a super-secret series of tasks.
First line: ‘“It’s a dorm, Mom, not the Playboy Mansion,” I whisper in her ear, hoping she’ll stop throwing her evil eye looks around at all the kids in my new dorm.‘
Beautiful Monster, by Kate McCaffrey (231 pages) – All this typing! I will just C&P this book’s synopsis. “Tessa’s brother is dead, and her Mum is so deeply enmeshed in grief she might as well be too. Tessa is left with no-one to turn to but Ned. He’s been her staunchest ally, privy to her deepest secrets. But even Ned has a dark side. He knows all her weak spots and will exploit every one to keep her by his side.”
First lines: ‘The school bus hisses to a stop. Tessa Edwards looks up from her maths book as Camilla lifts her bag onto her shoulder.‘
Choppy Socky Blues, by Ed Briant (259 pages) – Jason’s father is a movie stuntman and a karate blackbelt. He’s also a liar who left his family, according to Jason, who vows to never do karate as a consequence. But then Jason meets Tinga, who is gorgeous and is going for her blue belt – Jason (rashly!) says he is too, and the only one who can help him is his dad.
First line: ‘My name is Jason Smallfield, I’m fourteen, and my father is an Imperial storm trooper.‘
Raven Speak, by Diane Lee Wilson (254 pages) – Asa and her horse Rune make a run for it when her clan’s wise man – who is hungry for power (and horsemeat) while Asa’s Viking chief father is away – demands Rune be sacrificed. Asa finds shelter with an old, one-eyed woman with a pair of ravens. The old woman also demands a sacrifice …
First line: ‘In the pale light of a wintry morning seven men saddled their ship across bucking white waves.‘
Split, by Swati Avasthi (282 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Jace is thrown out of his home by his abusive father, and goes to live with his older brother, who long ago left to escape the abuse.
First line: ‘Now I have to start lying. While I stare through the windshield at the building my brother lives in, I try to think up a good lie.‘
A Wizard of Mars, by Diane Duane (549 pages) – This here book is number nine in the Young Wizards series, in which Kit and Nina ‘manage to wangle their way onto an elite team sent to investigate the mysterious, long-sought “message in a bottle” that holds the first clues to the secrets of the ancient Martian race‘
First lines: ‘The problem, Kit thought, scowling at the paper, isn’t the basic shape, so much. It’s what to do with the legs …‘
My Private Pectus, by Shane Thamm (278 pages) – ‘A story about footy, cars and a young man who discovers that revealing his greatest secret is the only way to hold on to the people he loves.‘ (I just copied that from the back cover.)
First line: ‘Dad just landed the job as assistant rugby league coach at St Philip’s College.‘
There are LOTS of new books this week! There are far too many to go into any great detail, so we will have to be mercilessly brief with most of them. Click through to the catalogue for more information about them why don’t you.
A Conspiracy of Kings, by Megan Whalen Turner (316 pages) – This is the fourth in a series (the other titles are The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia) which has AT LONG LAST arrived. We’ve written about the series before, actually, because we like it a lot! This one seems to be more about Sophos? (I haven’t read it yet.) One of my favourite characters and so I’m as pleased as Punch.
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, by Josh Berk (248 pages) – Will Halpin is ‘hefty’ and deaf, and when he is transferred to a new school he is bullied or ignored. This doesn’t stop him from teaming up with the second least popular kid at school, and solving the mystery that surrounds the death of a popular football player
Into the Wilderness : Book two of Blood of the Lamb Trilogy, by Mandy Hager (336 pages) – The first book in the series – The Crossing - is up for a NZ Post Book Award in the YA fiction category. The series is written by a Wellingtonian! And is about a not-too-distant dystopian future, set on a (fictitious) Pacific island
This World We Live In, by Susan Beth Pfeffer (239 pages) – The third book in a series; a meteor has crashed into the moon, and the Earth’s climate is catastrophically changed
Possessed, by Kate Cann (327 pages) – A girl gets a job in the country, away from her tedious London life, and is befriended by a spooky group of people in an eerie old house
Happyface, by Stephen Emond (306 pages) – Another school-transferral-type-story: this one told in an illustrated journal by someone who reinvents himself at his new school
Crazy Beautiful, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (193 pages) – S0rt of a retelling of the Beauty & the Beast, shifted to the present and the beast is Lucius, who lost both hands in an accident and chooses to wear hooks
City of Cannibals, by Ricki Thompson (268 pages) – High drama during the English Reformation
Crash Into Me, by Albert Borris (257 pages) – Four suicidal teens find reasons to live during road-trip
A Non-Blonde Cheerleader in Love, by Kieran Scott (240 pages) – Non-blonde cheerleader falls in love?
The Billionaire’s Curse, by Richard Newsome (355 pages) – Book 1 of trilogy about teen billionaire sleuths
Back Home, by Julia Keller (194 pages) – A girl’s war-injured dad returns and he ain’t the same
Dawn, by Kevin Brooks (250 pages) – A teen girl’s abusive upbringing leads her to contemplate killing God
Day of the Assassins : A Jack Christie Novel, by Johnny O’Brien (211 pages) – Jack is sent back in time to stop WWI, but someone is out to stop him
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod : Eleventh Grade Burns, by Heather Brewer (309 pages) – Vladimir Tod is the only half-vampire around, which is a bit like being the vampire world’s Harry Potter – special, but loads of enemies
The Crowfield Curse, by Pat Walsh (319 pages) – A medieval ghost story, shortlisted for the Times Children’s Fiction Competition 2008
My So-Called Afterlife, by Tamsyn Murray (184 pages) – Lucy is a ghost, who discovers that being dead doesn’t mean you can’t meet gorgeous guys and hunt down your murderer
Me, Myself, and Ike, by K. L. Denman (192 pages) – Kit used to have a lot of friends, but as he progressively develops schizophrenia he stands to lose everything
Beautiful : Truth’s Found When Beauty’s Lost, by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma (266 pages) – Ellie is beautiful, but when she loses her looks in an accident she must reconsider her life and her Christian beliefs
Duplikate, by Cherry Cheva (242 pages) – Kate somehow develops a computer-generated twin, handily
Coffeehouse Angel, by Suzanne Selfors (276 pages) – Katrina gives a cup of coffee to a homeless guy, who tells her that he’s an angel and in recompense will fulfill her deepest wish for true happiness
Cathy’s Ring, by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman (149 pages) – The sequel to Cathy’s Book and Cathy’s Key
Tapas and Tears, by Chris Higgins (264 pages) – Jaime is forced to go to Spain for a school exchange trip, and her life is changed FOREVER
Albatross, by Josie Bloss (229 pages) – “Taut and emotionally wrenching” – Meg Cabot
Nobody Girl, by Sara Manning (368 pages) – Bea heads to Spain but heads off to Paris to find her father, and falls in love on the way
Tangled, by Carolyn Mackler (308 pages) – Four teens stay in a Caribbean resort and their lives are changed FOREVER
They Never Came Back, by Caroline B. Cooney (200 pages) – A page-turner about identity, greed, and fugitives
Sweet, Hereafter, by Angela Johnson (118 pages) – Sweet leaves her family to live with Curtis, who has just been recalled to Iraq
The Squire’s Quest, by Gerald Morris (272 pages) – This is the ninth and latest book in The Squire’s Tales series, in which the hero goes on his longest and most fantastical adventure yet
Jameela, by Rukhsana Khan (177 pages) – Jameela lives in a devasted village in Afghanistan, and when her new stepmother doesn’t want her, she’s left alone in an orphanage
Daughter of Fire and Ice, by Marie-Louise Jensen (325 pages) – Thora is kidnapped by Vikings and manages to escape on a boat set for Iceland with the gorgeous Bjorn
Rikers High, by Paul Volponi (246 pages) – Martin is in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, but when he gets to go to the prison’s highschool he has a chance to turn his life around
After Ever After, by Jordan Sonnenblick (260 pages) – A ‘tender, hopeful, and funny story’ about Jeffrey, who is no longer a boy with cancer but rather a teen in remission
Epitaph Road, by David Patneaude (266 pages) – It is 2097 and the world is run by, and populated with, women, after 97% of men have been wiped out by a virus
Flash Burnout, by L. K. Madigan (325 pages) – A comedy romance about a boy with a camera, a girlfriend, and a friend who is a girl
The Ring, by Bobbie Pyron (252 page) – Mardie is a teenage girl whose life is going off the tracks, but when she joins a boxing club her life is changed FOREVER
Here are the latest new books to arrive in the YA collection. I know that all we’ve written about lately are books, but we are a library! We can not be faulted.
These are only half the new books. btw. Xmas has been busy.
The Demon King : A Seven Realms Novel, by Cinda Williams Chima (506 pages) – This is the first in a series. It is a fantasy series, set in a world threatened by the Demon King, and the protaganist is a reformed thief who falls for a princess.
First line: ‘Han Alister squatted nest to the steaming mud spring, praying that the thermal crust would hold his weight.‘
Betraying Season, by Marissa Doyle (330 pages) – It is 1838. Penelope Leland heads to Ireland to study magic. Niall Keating is instructed to woo her by his evil mother – will he fall for Penelope, or is he a real son of a witch?
First line: ‘“Saints preserve us!” The shocked cry and a wild jangle of harness yanked Pen Leland from her reverie.‘
Border Crossing, by Jessica Lee Anderson (174 pages) – Texan teen Manz lives with his alcoholic mother and her boyfriend. Life is rough and isn’t helped by the many voices he hears in his head. As they get louder he finds it difficult to tell reality from delusion.
First line: ‘My room blazed red.‘
The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance (324 pages) – Bethany has always considered herself a geek, so when she makes the varsity cheerleading squad she finds she needs to learn more than just swinging about those pom-pom things.
First line: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a high school boy in possession of great athletic ability must be in want of … a bowl of oatmeal.‘
All the Lovely Bad Ones : A Ghost Story, by Mary Downing Hahn (182 pages) – Travis and his sister, Corey, drum up business for their grandmother’s inn in Fox Hill, Vermont, by faking a haunting. But! They awaken a real haunting, and only by uncovering the secret horrors of Fox Hill can they put the ghosts to rest.
First line: ‘Grandmother met us at the Burlington airport, a big smile on her face and her arms open for a hug.‘
Angel Fish, by Lili Wilkinson (246 pages) – Gabriel joins Stephan, who claims that an army of children can free the Holy Lands from the Saracen. The so-called Children’s Crusade is a disaster, and Gabriel must confront his doubts. A historical novel based on an actual event.
First lines: ‘A boy has come to Machery. I think he might be an Angel.‘
Oathbreaker : A Prince Among Killers, by S. R. Vaught and J. B. Redmond (420 pages) - This is the sequel to Oathbreaker : Assassin’s Apprentice. The apprentice is Aron, who with the help of his friends must battle the leaders who want to destroy the land.
First line: ‘In a time before written history, humans conquered Earth’s magical societies.‘
Kira : Shadow of the Dragon : Book One, by Kate O’Hearn (307 pages) – Kira is the daughter of a retired dragon knight. War is declared, and her family is taken away to serve the king. Kira and her sister are unmarried, which is a crime for all girls over the age of thirteen, so they are locked up. They escape! And there is a baby dragon also!
First line: ‘“I don’t want to get married!”‘
Where the Streets Had a Name, by Randa Abdel-Fattah (227 pages) – Thirteen-year-old Hayaat wants to bring her dying grandmother some soil from the garden she left behind many years ago. It’s only a few miles away, but to get to it Hayaat must cross to Jerusalem from Bethlehem, in the West Bank, and there’s a massive – and well-guarded – wall in the way.
First line: ‘It’s six-thirty in the morning.‘
Over the End Line, by Alfred C. Martino (304 pages) – Jonny and Kyle are best friends, although Kyle is like number one at soccer and popular at school. Jonny is neither of those things until he scores a winning goal at the county football champs. A blend of ‘fast-paced sports action … memorable characters, and … suspense in a powerful yet dark story of popularity, violence, and terror.’
First lines: ‘It’s morning. I’m awake. I wish I wasn’t.‘
Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have, by Allen Zadoff (311 pages) – Andrew is fifteen and the second fattest kid in his sport-crazy high school. He falls for April, and decides to join the football squad. Not soccer! American football, where it might help to be heavy?
First lines: ‘My name is Andrew Zansky. I’m fifteen years old, and I weigh 307 pounds.‘