Stephanie has bought some new ebooks recently, including a couple of popular series and some intriguing plot-lines.
Stravaganza: City of Masks, City of Stars, City of Flowers, by Mary Hoffman. We have the first three books in this very popular series as ebooks (you can also reserve the paper version of the soon-to-be-published latest, City of Swords). The official series website is here.
Gossip Girl series, created by Cecily von Ziegasar. We’ve recently acquired heaps of these (approximately 13), including the first book, It Had to be You (the prequel), and Don’t You Forget About Me (which we partly mention because that’s the name of the theme song of the excellent The Breakfast Club (outstanding teen movie from the 80s! ($4.00 for 1 week))).
The Académie, Susanne Dunlap. Eliza Monroe is the daughter of the soon-to-be fifth president of the United States (true story!). It is only fitting, then, that she attend an exclusive academy in Paris. She’s not too thrilled at the notion, until she discovers she will be attending with the daughter of Josephine (of Napoleon and Josephine fame), who is marvellously called Hortense de Beauharnais (true story) and the younger sister of Napoleon himself (Caroline). More intriguing: the two girls hate each other. Paris in the early 19th century: what a place to be!
The Pledge, Kimberly Derting. In the far future the world is divided strictly by language, and the language you speak is a matter of life and death. This world is complicated for Charlie, as she is gifted with the ability to understand all languages. When Charlie meets Max, who speaks a language she’s never heard before (but can understand, of course), she’s intrigued, but Max understands the danger Charlie is in: can he protect her as war threatens?
Note: you need Adobe Digital Editions to download ebooks. This step-by-step guide will tell you everything!
For more ebooks, visit our Overdrive homepage.
Rose Sees Red, Cecil Castellucci (197 pages) – It is 1982 in New York and Rose is a ballet dancer who attends the High School of Performing Arts. Yrena is Rose’s neighbour, a visiting Russian dancer who, due to the Cold War between USSR and the United States, is all but a prisoner in her apartment. One night Yrena, intent on experiencing New York life, escapes through Rose’s apartment window, and the two hit the town for a wild night of adventure.
First sentence: I was black inside so I took everything black.
The Children of the Lost, David Whitley (357 pages) – the second book in the Agora trilogy that began with The Midnight Charter. Mark and Lily are exiled from the city of Agora, and find refuge in a small nearby village. Lily is happy, but Mark longs to return to Agora to take revenge and find answers.
First sentence: Gradually, Lily became aware that she was being watched.
Kick, Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman (197 pages) – Ross Workman wrote to Walter Dean Myers saying he was a fan of his books and Walter Dean Myers replied saying let’s write a book together, so they did. True story. Kick is about a troubled boy who’s an excellent football (soccer) player, on his way to the state cup final, until he ends up in jail. Can he and his mentor, a policeman called Sergeant Brown, turn his life around?
First sentence: Bill Kelly and I had been friends since we played high school basketball together.
I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend, Cora Harrison (342 pages) – Jenny Cooper is Jane’s cousin, and goes to live with the Austens, which is an education in the world of balls, beautiful dresses, turns about the room, gossip, and other such things. When she (Jenny) falls in love, Jane is there to help her out.
First sentence: It’s a terrible thing to write: Jane looks like she could die – but it’s even worse to have the thought jumping into your mind every few minutes.
Pathfinder, Orson Scott Card (657 pages) – Rigg is able to see into people’s paths, a secret he shares only with his father. When his father dies, Rigg learns that he’s been keeping a whole lot of other secrets, about Rigg and his family. Rigg has other powers…
First sentence: Rigg and Father usually set the traps together, because it was Rigg who had the knack of seeing the paths that the animals they wanted were still using.
Firespell, Chloe Neill (278 pages) – Lily is a new girl at an exclusive academy and she doesn’t fit in and has no friends apart from her roommate Scout. When she discovers that Scout has magical powers and protects the city from supernatural monsters, Lily is keen to help, but can she, if she has no powers of her own?
First sentence: They were gathered around a conference table in a high-rise, eight men and women, no one under the age of sixty-five, all of them wealthy beyond measure.
The Body at the Tower, Y S Lee (344 pages) – the second book in the Agency Victorian detective series (the first is A Spy in the House). Mary Quinn, under cover, investigates the mysterious scandals surrounding the building of the Houses of Parliament, but there are distractions (suspicious workmates, past secrets, and the return of James Easton).
First sentence: A sobbing man huddles on a narrow ledge, clawing at his eyes to shield them from the horror far below.
The Doomsday Box, Herbie Brennan (328 pages) – a Shadow Project book. Time travel is possible, trouble is someone (secret codename Cobra) has used it to transport the black plague into the 21st Century. The supernatural teen spies of the Shadow Project must avert disaster, while also averting their own disaster, on the run from the KGB in Moscow in the 1960s.
First sentence: Opal fastened the strap around her ankle and stood up to admire her new shoes.
Zora and Me, Victoria Bond and T R Simon (170 pages) – based on events in the life of author Zora Neale Hurston. When a young man’s body is found on train tracks in a small Florida town Zora thinks she knows who did it, so she and her friends set out to prove her theory and search for the truth. Narrated by Zora’s best friend Carrie, hence the title.
First sentence: It’s funny how you can be in a story but not realise until the end that you were in one.
The False Princess, Eilis O’Neal (319 pages) – Nalia believes herself to be princess of Thorvaldor, but discovers she’s actually a stand in. She’s cast out, called Sinda, and sent to live with her unwelcoming aunt in a village where she (Sinda) learns she has magic, which is Sinda’s ticket out, albeit a dangerous ticket. This one is called “A dazzling first novel” and “an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance”, which sounds great.
First sentence: The day they came to tell me, I was in one of the gardens with Kiernan, trying to decipher a three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds.
Fallout, Ellen Hopkins (663 pages) – the companion to Crank and Glass. About Kristina’s three oldest children, who must climb out from under their mother’s meth addiction and the hold it has over the family. Novel in verse form.
First sentence: That life was good / before she / met / the monster, / but those page flips / went down before / our collective / cognition.
Accomplice, Eireann Corrigan (259 pages) – Two friends stage a kidnapping as a joke and in order to gain notoreity. Of course this is going to be a very bad idea indeed.
First sentence: The picture they usually use is one from the Activities spread of the yearbook.
Delirium, Lauren Oliver (441 pages) – It’s another Lauren book! says Lauren. What’s more dystopian than a world without love? Lena lives in a world where love is a disease (delirium), and without love life is predictable, orderly and safe. On your eighteenth birthday you get treatment to ensure you don’t become deliriously in love. But in the lead up to Lena’s eighteenth something happens…
First sentence: It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.
The Monstrumologist, Rick Yancey (454 pages) – “Monsters are real” says the back cover, and Will Henry is apprentice to a monstrumologist. When the body of a girl and a supposedly extinct headless monster show up, Will and the monstrumologist must race to get to the bottom of this mystery, and stop further deaths.
First sentence: The director of facilities was a small man with ruddy cheeks and dark, deep-set eyes, his prominent forehead framed by an explosion of cottony white hair, thinning as it marched toward the back of his head, cowlicks rising from the mass like waves moving toward the slightly pink island of his bald spot.
Prom and Prejudice, Elizabeth Eulberg (231 pages) – The inspiring Jane Austen! This one’s a reworking of Pride and Prejudice (as the title suggests), set in “the very prestigious Longbourn Academy”. Lizzie is a scholarship kid, her friend Jane is not. Jane is in love with Charles Bingley, which Lizzie is happy about. She’s less happy about Will Darcy, Charles’ snobbish friend… For Pride and Prejudice fans, but not purists who might get upset about revisionings.
First sentence: It s a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.
Romeo & Juliet & Vampires, Claudia Gabel (via William Shakespeare, 231 pages) – includes an excerpt from the upcoming Little Vampire Women, another in the mashups genre. This time the Montagues want to suck the Capulets’ blurd. New meaning to “blood feud” and all that. Romeo and Juliet fall in love, worryingly, and you kind of know how it’s going to end. Differently from Twilight, that is.
First sentence of Chapter One (the prologue seemed to be all about Vlad the Impaler): Juliet sat on her bed and stared at her reflection in an ornate gilded mirror, which she held close to her face.
Far From You, Lisa Schroeder (355 pages) – another novel in verse form from the author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me. After the death of her mother, Ali reluctantly goes on a road trip with her new stepmother and her baby. Trapped by a snowstorm, Ali must confront her sense of loss, as well as look to the heavens for rescue.
First verse: We’re alone / with only / the cold / and dark / to keep up / company.
Blessed, Cynthia Leitich Smith (454 pages) – continuing from Tantalize and Eternal, with characters from both, Blessed follows Quincie as she comes to terms with her vampireness, and restaurateur-ness, and also tries to get Kieren (werewolf) off murder charges while stopping Bradley Sanguini (also a vampire) in his evil tracks. In order to help with this overload of work she hires Zachary (angel) as a waiter, which is probably a good move: can he help save Quincie’s soul?
First sentence: Have you damned me? I wondered, staring over my shoulder at the lanky devil in dark formal-wear.
Firelight, Sophie Jordan (323 pages) – Dragons! Jacinda is a draki, a dragon shapeshifter, Will is a hunter of draki, star-crossed lovers of the most dangerous kind. “Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide,” says the book cover, nicely put.
First sentence: Gazing out at the quiet lake, I know the risk is worth it.
Vesper, Jeff Sampson (288 pages) – Emily is discovering that she and her classmates are genetically engineered and have powers that come into effect at night. They’re also being hunted by a murderer.
First sentence: I was halfway out my bedroom window when my cell rang.
A Love Story: Starring My Dead Best Friend, Emily Horner (259 pages) – Cass goes on the road trip she planned with her best friend Julia just before Julia was killed in a car crash, with a bicycle, and Julia’s ashes in a tupperware container. The adjectives on the back are good: poignant, life-affirming, tender, vibrant, plus there’s a “kookiest”.
First sentence: I spent the summer with the smells of rain and grass and sky, and the horizon stretching out for ten miles in front of me.
Here are last week’s new books, this week! This week’s new books may be announced this week, or next week. Who can say.
Elixir : A Novel, by Hilary Duff (with Elise Allen) (330 pages) – You may have heard of Hilary Duff – she’s been on the telly and recorded some albums I think – and she now turns her hands to writing a novel. Elixir is about Clea, whose photographs begin to show a ghostly/gorgeous man at about the same time her father, a renowned surgeon, disappears.
First lines: ‘I couldn’t breathe. Wedged in the middle of an ocean of people, I gasped for air, but nothing came.‘
Bamboo People : A Novel, by Mitali Perkins (272 pages) – Chiko is forced into the Burmese army; Tu Reh is a refugee, a member of an oppressed Burmese minority, and he’s keen to join the resistance. The two boys’ stories come to a ‘violent intersection’ and an unlikely friendship forms.
First lines: ‘Teachers wanted. Applicants must take examination in person. Salaries start at -‘
Sugar and Spice : An L. A. Candy Novel, by Lauren Conrad (279 pages) – This is the last book in this series about some TV reality show (much like The Hills which made Conrad famous in the first place).
First line: ‘“Over here!” “Let’s get a shot of the two of you!” “Smile, girls!” Jane Roberts felt hands on her shoulders – her publicist? random PopTV assistants? – maneuver her into place as several paprazzi shouted out to her and Scarlett Harp.‘
The Daughters, by Joanna Philbin (297 pages) – A supermodel’s unconventional-looking daughter becomes “the new face of beauty”. Everyone is surprised but they roll with it. The first in a series.
First line: ‘“Katia!” “Katia!” “Over here!” “Over here!”‘
Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly (471 pages) – Andi is about to be expelled from her swanky Brooklyn school, so goes to Paris with her father as some sort of punishment. She finds a diary writen two centuries previously by a girl, Alexandrine, who became involved with a French prince just as the French Revolution begins. Andi finds comfort and distraction in the journal, until the past ‘becomes terrifyingly real’.
First line: ‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t, deejay.’
Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld (Illustrations by Keith Thompson) (485 pages) – This is the second book in the Leviathan Trilogy. We wrote about the first book here. This a great read – it has steam-powered mechs, genetically-engineered flying ships, and a Tesla cannon. That’s right – a freaking TESLA CANNON.
First line: ‘Alek raised his sword. “On guard, sir!”‘
Duff : The Designated Ugly Fat Friend, by Kody Keplinger (280 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Bianca detests Wesley, who calls her “the Duff”. Not Hilary Duff! But family troubles and other circumstantial occurences result in the pair becoming more than enemies. Less than enemies? They fall in love, in any case.
First line: ‘This was getting old.’
Scandal, by Kate Brian (228 pages) – The lastest in the Private series. ‘After her terrifying Carribean vacation,’ says the back cover, ‘Reed can’t wait to get back to Easton and resume her normal life of classes, shopping trips and late-night gossip sessions.’ Reed’s in for a shock, however, as Billings house has been demolished and the Billings girls have been separated by the admin.
First line: ‘We came from all corners of campus.‘
Boost, by Kathy Mackel (248 pages) – Savvy is over six feet tall, and only thirteen. When you’re tall everyone asks you if you play basketball over and over, let me tell you, but Savvy actually does play and loves it. But she’s too light! So she turns to steroids.
First line: ‘I stood at the free throw line, all eyes on me.‘
Jane, by April Lindner (373 pages) – This is a modern re-telling of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s cheery classic novel. This is set in the present, so Rochester becomes Nico Rathburn, world-famous rockstar, and Jane Moore, an orphaned student-turned-nanny is the protaganist. Sticks to the original story while being ’something totally new and captivating,’ according to Cecily von Ziegesar.
First line: ‘The chairs in the lobby of Discriminating Nannues, Inc., were less comfortable that they looked.’
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (260 pages) – From the authors of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which is also a movie! Will this be a movie also? Yes, apparently.
First line: ‘Imagine this: you’re in your favourite bookstore, scanning the shelves.‘
The Three Loves of Persimmon, by Cassandra Golds (211 pages) – Persimmon Polidori owns a florist shop in an underground train station. She meets up with a brave little mouse named Epiphany, and undergoes ‘the trials of love, heartbreak, doubt and the discovery of her own true nature.’
First line: ‘In a tiny hole under the train tracks on the deepest level of a vast underground railway station, lived a mouse called Epiphany.‘
The Blue-Eyed Aborigine, by Rosemary Hayes (247 pages) – This historical novel is based on fact; in 1629, the crew of a Dutch ship mutinied and the boat wrecked near Australia. Two of the crew, a cabin boy and a young soldier, survive and their fates are linked with ‘discoveries that intrigue Australians to this day.’
First lines: ‘Jan Pelgrom was miserable. He’d been a cabin boy for more than five years.‘
The Jumbee, by Pamela Keyes (385 pages) – Esti Legard moves to a Caribbean island for her senior year in high school. There she ‘finds herself torn between a mysterious, masked mentor and a seductive island boy’, in a scenario borrowed from the classic novel, The Phantom of the Opera.
First line: ‘“Paul is dead!”‘
The Ghosts of Ashbury High, by Jaclyn Moriarty (480 pages) – The catalogue has this to say: ‘Student essays, scholarship committee members’ notes, and other writings reveal interactions between a group of modern-day students at an exclusive New South Wales high school and their strange connection to a young Irishman transported to Australia in the early 1800s.’
Raised by Wolves, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (418 pages) – At the age of four, Bryn’s parents were killed by bad werewolves. She was taken and raised by good werewolves! Years later she discovers that her pack are keeping secrets. Dark werewolf secrets about her family, that she’s determined to uncover (the secrets, not her family).
First line: ‘“Bronwyn Alessia St. Vincent Clare!”‘
100% Justin Bieber : First Step 2 Forever : My Story, by Justin Bieber (236 pages) – This is the tween pop star’s official autobiography, discussing his rapid rise to power. Where to next for Bieber? It has loads of photos and a reasonable amount of text.
Hello! Revisionings of Jane Eyre and The Phantom of the Opera, a 1920s series from the author of The Luxe, a new book from style doyenne Lauren Conrad, another winning collaboration from David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (as in the writers of Nick and Norah): just some of the titles we’ve just ordered for the young adult fiction collection.
Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld – the next book in the series where the clankers and their mechs are pitted against the Darwinists and their beasties, with Alek and Deryn stuck in the middle. If you haven’t already, read Leviathan first, which is where it all starts. They’ve also got cool illustrations by Keith Thompson.
Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly – from the author of A Gathering Light, which we rather like. The intertwining stories of two girls, one in present day Brooklyn (New York) and the other in revolutionary Paris. Here’s a book trailer (where the author talks about the inspiration for the story):
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn – Lily writes a book of dares designed to entice exactly the right guy for her and leaves it in a beguiling place (a shelf in her favourite bookshop). Dash finds it and is intrigued and game, but is he indeed exactly the right guy?
Jane, April Lindner - yay, a modern retelling of Jane Eyre, where Jane is a nanny for Nico Rathburn (actually his kids, not him), a rock star on his way back to greatness. Since it’s Jane Eyre-ish there will no doubt also be creeping mysteriousness and (I hope!) a mad woman in the attic (I will be a little disappointed if not). Also, Nico better make a good Mr Rochester.
Bright Young Things, Anna Godbersen – Luxe fans (and Gossip Girl fans)! Look here! The gorgeous elite of Manhattan in the 1920s, intrigue among the flappers, with a focus on three girls in particular: Letty and Cordelia (new to the big city) and Astrid. Anna Godbersen also helpfully has put together a playlist (it’s here – mind the html).
Jumbee, Pamela Keyes – one of those books that just sounds intriguing when you summarise: the Phantom of the Opera in the Caribbean! Esti and her mother move to a Caribbean island after the death of her father, a famous Shakespearean actor, where a spectral, mysterious friend (Alan) helps her unlock her thespian potential.
Sugar and Spice, Lauren Conrad – more from L A Candy land.
The Duff, Kody Keplinger – DUFF is the Designated Ugly Fat Friend, sadly. The story of Bianca, a seventeen year old nicknamed Duffy with a razor sharp wit and beautiful friends, who (I think) decides to even things up a bit. Don’t want to spoil things too much. Good for older teens. This is also available as a downloadable audiobook.
Swoon, Nina Malkin – a paranormal romance set in Swoon, Connecticut, with ghosts and demons, bad boys and lurve.
Jump, Elisa Carbone (255 pages) – “a high-adrenaline love story”. P K and Critter both love rock climbing. P K is desperate to leave town, and her parents, and Critter comes along for the ride and they rock-climb their way out west (States), until the police eventually show up and decisions have to be made.
First sentence: Things I know to be true: 1 I am not my body.
The Princess and the Bear and The Princess and the Snowbird, Mette Ivie Harrison – magical, time travelling and shape-shifting books (the first in the series being The Princess and the Hound) with a hint of historical romance.
First sentence for the bear: Long ago, there lived a wild cat that was the sleekest, fastest, and bravest of its kind.
And the snowbird: Thousands of years ago, before humans ruled the world, the snowbirds flew above the earth and watched over the flow of the first, pure aur-magic, spreading the power to all, and making sure that every creature had a share.
Fallen Grace, Mary Hooper (294 pages) – Google Books says “A stunning evocation of life in Victorian London, with vivid and accurate depictions, ranging from the deprivation that the truly poor suffered to the unthinking luxuries enjoyed by the rich: all bound up with a pacy and thrilling plot, as Grace races to unravel the fraud about to be perpetrated against her and her sister.”
First sentence: Grace, holding on tightly to her precious burden, found the station entrance without much difficulty.
Illyria, Elizabeth Hand (135 pages) – Madeline and Rogan, who are cousins, have an intense passion for each other and for the stage. A “creepy”, spooky short novel about a forbidden love, and the winner of the World Fantasy Award.
First sentence: Rogan and I were cousins; our fathers were identical twins.
The Karma Club, Jessica Brody (258 pages) – when Maddy’s boyfriend is caught cheating on her with the perfect girl, and they become the hot new couple, Maddy and her other friends form The Karma Club, “to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind.” High jinks ensue, but also a right mess.
First sentence: I can tell you right now, it’s all Karma’s fault.
My Double Life, Janette Rallison (265 pages) – Lexi discovers that she is a dead ringer for a famous rock star, so she gets paid to be her body double. This might sound like an ideal sort of job, but really life isn’t like that, it’s much more complicated.
First sentence: I didn’t want to write this.
Classic (An It Girl novel – 227 pages) – the latest in the Jenny Humphrey series, where she’s trying to work out why her new boyfriend Isaac is acting “skittish”, and all other sorts of intrigue is going on, which you get at exclusive academies.
First sentence: The cold February wind whipped across the snow-covered Waverly Academy fields, cutting right through Easy Walsh’s thick Patagonia jacket.
Jealousy, Lili St Crow (A Strange Angels novel – 316 pages) – Dru has made it to her exclusive academy equivalent (the Schola Prima, a djamphir training facility). Sergej still wants to suck her blood, or tear her “to shreds”, Graves and Christophe still hate each other and now there’s Anna, who wants to show Dru who’s on top, and who’s after Christophe.
First sentence: I am lying in a narrow single bed in a room no bigger than a closet, in a tiny apartment.
The Thin Executioner, Darren Shan (483 pages) – inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and therefore a road trip type adventure book with horror twists, The Thin Executioner sees Jebel Rum travelling to the home of a fire god in order to get inhuman powers that will make him the most lethal human ever (the thin executioner), taking with him his human slave sacrifice. Things may well get dodgy along the way.
First sentence: The executioner swung his axe – thwack! – and another head went rolling into the dust.
The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya, Nagaru Tangigawa (210 pages) – a novel speckled with manga illustrations. Haruhi is the ringleader of her school’s S.O.S. Brigade, who must keep her from getting bored, because when she gets bored bad things happen and she actually has the power to destroy the world.
First (fabulous) sentence: Looking back, the memorable inauguration of the SOS Brigade, which had left me, not Haruhi, in a state of melancholy, had been back in the beginning of spring, and the incident involving the production of the independent film, which, naturally, had forced me, not Haruhi, to sigh, had technically happened in autumn if you go by the calendar.
Lost for Words, Alice Kuipers (210 pages) – the story of Sophie, who wants to forget the difficult, tragic past but is haunted by it as she struggles to make sense of her life, her friendships and her future.
First sentence: I look at the words, black like inky spiders, and watch the webs they weave.
Divided Souls, Gabriella Poole (A Darke Academy book – 298 pages) – Cassie – new to the academy – is enjoying Istanbul, but she is also torn between old and new loves. She must also choose between old friends and the Few, plus there is a killer on the hunt.
First sentence: This was no chore.
The Demon’s Covenant, Sarah Rees Brennan (440 pages) – a follow up to The Demon’s Lexicon, which got good reviews. Mae’s brother Jamie has started showing magical abilities, and Gerald (an unlikely name for a power-hungry magician?) is after him for his coven.
First sentence: “Any minute now,” Rachel said, “something terrible is going to happen to us.”
Mistwood, Leah Cypress (304 pages) – this intriguing blurb here: “The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.”
First sentence: She knew every inch of the forest, every narrow path that twisted and wound its way beneath the silver branches.
Folly, Marthe Jocelyn (246 pages) – cool cover. A tale set in Victorian London about three lives intertwined; a somewhat innocent if commonsensical country girl, a heartthrob cad and a young orphan boy. Sounds entertaining.
First sentence: I began excceeding ignorant, apart from what a girl can learn through family mayhem, a dead mother, a grim stepmother, and a sorrowful parting from home.
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, Morgan Matson (343 pages) – Amy’s mother wants her to drive the family car from California to Connecticut (aka a very long way), but she’s not been able to get herself to since her dad died. Roger comes to her rescue, a friend of the family (friends of the family not usually being romantic possibilities, specially not ones called Roger), and so they set off and on the way Amy learns “sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.” Another road trip!
First sentence(ish): I sat on the front steps of my house and watched the beige Subaru station wagon swing too quickly around the cul-de-sac.
Free as a Bird, Gina McMurchy-Barber (160 pages) – Ruby Jean has Down syndrome and when her grandmother dies she’s sent to Woodlands School, originally opened in the 19th century as a lunatic assylum. There she learns to survive the horrors of life.
First sentence: My name’s Ruby Jean Sharp an I growed up in Woodlands School.
We’ve also got: new The Vampire Diaries books with the TV tie-in covers (look out for The Struggle at your library). Cirque Du Freak manga.
We Hear The Dead, by Dianne K. Salerni (422 pages) – The Fox sisters – Maggie and Kate – became famous in the 19th century for their ability to communicate with the spirits of the dead. Of course, they were really faking it! But as their fame increased, the burden of lies becomes a, well, burden. A true story!
First lines: ‘My earliest memories always include Kate. With three years between us, there must have been a time when she was a toddling child in infant’s clothes and I an independent youngster, but I do not remember this.’
Restoring Harmony, by Joelle Anthony (307 pages) – It is 2041; oil, food, and law and order are all in short supply. Sixteen-year-old Molly must leave the safety of her remote farm in Canada and travel through the U.S., which has fallen into chaos. Also, there is romance.
First line: ‘When the plane’s engine took on a whining roar, my grip tightened on my fiddle case.‘
Tell Us We’re Home, by Marina Budhos (297 pages) – Three best friends – Jaya, Maria, and Lola – are all daughters of maids and nannies. They go to the same school as their mothers’ employers’ kids, and when Jaya’s mother is accused of stealing, things turn nasty.
First line: ‘Meadowbrook, New Jersey, looks like it’s right out of an old-time postcard.‘
Whisper, by Phoebe Kitanidis (281 pages) – Joy and her sister, Jessica, can hear ‘Whispers’, or the thoughts of other people. Joy uses her ability to make people happy, whereas Jessica uses her power to make others miserable. Joy hears Jessica thinking about ending it all and - being the nice sister! - she sets out to save her from herself. Also, there might be romance.
First lines: ‘My sister showed me how to Hear a Whisper when I was three. “All you have to do,” she said, “is touch somebody else, and if you don’t Hear one right away, just hold on.“‘
The Water Seeker, by Kimberly Willis Holt (309 pages) – Amos, born in 1833, is the son of a trapper and dowser (someone who tries to locate water with sticks). His mother dies in childbirth, which is only the beginning of a hard life ‘filled with losses, adversity, and adventure’. And finding water!
First lines: ‘Jake Kincaid was known as the dowser. With a forked branch, he’d made his way from the Arkansas Territory to Missouri, stopping at farms to find water for new well.‘
Oracle : Ancient Greece, An Acrobat Brother and a Sister with the Gift of Truth, by Jackie French (342 pages) – Thetis can only tell the truth, and after she and her brother, Nikko, awe the Mycenaean court, Thetis puts a damper on things when she tells the King something about his future he doesn’t want to hear. She’s sent to Delphi, and Nikko and the horse dance, Euridice, travel across Greece to find her.
First line: ‘The wind smelled of rock and ice the night their father took Nikko’s sister out to die.‘
Somebody Everybody Listens To : A Novel, by Suzanne Supplee (245 pages) – Retta Lee Jones leaves high school dreaming of becoming a country music star. She has the name for it, I guess! She goes to Nashville, and begins to ‘forge her own path’.
First line: ‘Even on graduation day, the Starling High School gymnasium smelled just like it always did – a combination of old sweat and dust masked somewhat by cherry-scented disenfectant and floor polish.’
Zen and Xander Undone, by Amy Kathleen Ryan (212 pages) – Zen and Xander are sisters; Zen is a karate blackbelt, and Xander is a scientific genius, who is going off the tracks a bit and Zen can only protect her for so long. Their mother died a year ago! And they go on a road trip to try to solve a mystery.
First lines: ‘My sister, Xander, causes a scandel practically everywhere she goes. Even funeral receptions, I now know.‘
Fen Runners, by John Gordon (136 pages) – A long time ago, when Jenny’s grandfather was a boy, he fell through the ice and into the icey black water of the fens. He returned without a skate and with nightmares of something down there. Now Jenny too feels haunted, and when her friend Kit feels a presence there they decide to unravel the (frankly quite spooky!) mystery.
First line: ‘They stood with their toes curled over the edge of the bridge and looked briefly into the distance.‘
Crown of Acorns, by Catherine Fisher (281 pages) – No synopsis seems to be available, so here’s what the back cover says: ‘Who can escape their past, in a place where it curves and comes up behind you? The Circle is the oldest magic. Three lives exho in a ring of stone …’
First lines: ‘Stop now. To go further is dangerous. The circle is the oldest magic. If you enter it it will enfold you.‘
Fifteen Candles : an Amigas novel, by Veronica Chambers (187 pages) – This is the first in a new series written by Veronica Chambers, created by Jane Startz, and inspired by Jennifer Lopez. It is set in Miami and is ‘a warm celebration of Latin culture, especially the traditional quinceañera,’ (a kind of big coming-of-age party for girls).
First line: ‘Alicia Cruz has the good fortune of being born into wealth, but not spoiled by it.‘
Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater (362 pages) – The much-awaited follow-up to Shiver; ‘As Grace hides the vast depth of her love for Sam from her parents and Sam struggles to release his werewolf past and claim a human future, a new wolf named Cole wins Isabel’s heart but his own past threatens to destroy the whole pack.’
First line: ‘This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.‘
Here are the New Magazines for the week fortnight month! This is the best new books post ever!
Entertainment Weekly #1112 – Ryan Reynolds is as GREEN LANTERN | Tron! | Thor! | New Buffy?!
Transworld Skateboarding August 2010 – Cab backtail bigspin | Frontside feeble | Fakie hardflip! | Cab to backside lipslide! | Backside tailslide frontside shove-it out!
XBox 360 : Official Australian Magazine #56 – Gears of War 3 | The Force Unleashed 2 | a whole lot of other games reviewed/previewed
Playstation August 2010 – Grand Turismo 5 | 18 page E3 coverage | games reviewed/previewed
Girlfriend August 2010 – ‘The pretty myth’ | Can you spot a bully? | ‘What his gaming style says about him’
Creme September 2010 – 10 ways to boots your self-confidence and happiness | What does your hair say about you?
Seventeen August 2010 – Fitness insert, ‘Get your best body’ | Ultimate jeans guide | Dude drama
The Glass Demon, by Helen Grant (409 pages) – Lin Fox finds a corpse, and nearby there is broken glass. There are more deaths, and more broken glass. A sinister thriller, set in Germany, and sort of based on a true story.
First line: ‘If anyone were to ask me, ‘What is the root of all evil?’ I would say not ‘Money’ but ‘Food’.’
Gimme a Call, by Sarah Mlynowski (327 pages) – Devi Banks can use her cellular to talk to herself – from the future! Future Devi tries to stop Present Devi from falling in love with some guy who breaks her heart. Which is reasonable (I would have a LIST of things to tell my younger self), but changing the past mightn’t be so easy.
First line: ‘I should just return Bryan’s watch to Nordstrom and go home.‘
Gentlemen, by Michael Northrop (234 pages) – Three boys suspect their English teacher has something to do with their friend’s disappearance, and to find him they must ‘navigate a maze of assorted clues, fraying friendships, violence, and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment before learning the truth.’
The River, by Mary Jane Beaufrand (215 pages) – Another chiller/mystery (with an awesome first line). Veronica moves from the city to the country with her parents, and befriends a younger girl whose body is found on the banks of the river that runs through Veronica’s backyard. She become obsessed with solving the girl’s death and its connection to the river.
First line: ‘I suppose there are worse things than being soggy and dateless and shoveling bunny carcasses into a garbage bin on Valentine’s Day, but if there are, I can’t think of any.‘
Wanted : A Pretty Little Liars Novel, by Sara Shepard (259 pages) – This is volume eight in the series about some popular girls who were befriended and tormented by uber-popular-but-missing Alison. It is also the conclusion of the series! Will it end happily?
First lines: ‘They say a picture’s worth a thousand words.‘
Lucy Zeezou’s Glamour Game, by Liz Deep-Jones (319 pages) – This is the follow-up to Lucy Zeezou’s Goal. Lucy ‘Zeezou’ Zoffi is mad for football, but her father – a former Italian soccer star – is against girls playing professional sports. Also, she is a model. This time her parents might be splitting up, and she has to go to Milan.
First line: ‘A barrage of lights flashed in our faces, blinding us, while relentless clicking and snapping sounds polluted the air.‘
She’s So Dead to Us, by Kieran Scott* (278 pages) – Ally Ryan grew up rich, but her father lost all his money and almost bankrupted many others. Now Ally’s back in the swanky Orchard Hill, two years after the event, and all her ex-friends hate her so much and are determined to ruin her chances with dreamy and rich Jake.
*Kieran Scott is Kate Brian’s real name
First lines: ‘“So? What do you think?” Hmm. What did I think? I had to take a moment to sort out an answer to that one. Here’s what I came up with.‘
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.‘
Spells, by Aprilynne Pike (425 pages) – Laurel is a faerie, placed among the humans when she was a baby. A baby faerie! She still lives in the human world (a boyfriend you see) but the faerie realm is threatened, so she’s got to do something about it.
First line: ‘Laurel stood in front of the cabin, scanning the tree line, her throat constricting in a rush of nerves.’
f2m – The Boy Within, by Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy (330 pages) – Skye is in an all-girl punk band, and her world is turned upside-down when she decides to transition to male. Skye becomes Finn, and his family and friends will need to come to terms with this.
First line: ‘Tick the box. M or F.‘
Where I Belong, by Gillian Cross (340 pages) – Human smuggling, Somalia, and supermodels!
First line: ‘Spin the globe, boy,’ my father used to say.‘
Jaguar Warrior, by Sandy Fussell (212 pages) – Atl is an Aztec boy who runs from captivity (and human sacrifice I think?) towards freedom. Who can blame him!
First line: ‘“Why isn’t that boy dead yet?” When the captain shouts, even the temple walls shiver.‘
Shadow of the Dragon: Book 2 – Elspeth, by Kate O’Hearn (374 pages) – The king’s ‘First Law’ is an incredibly restrictive bunch of rules preventing girls from going anywhere near dragons (torture then execution you see) but Elspeth and her sister Kira aren’t having any of it.
First line: ‘The heavy rain that fell from the stormy skies around them did little to dampen the celebrations of the dragon riders cutting through the thick dark clouds.‘
Witchfinder : Dawn of the Demontide, by William Hussey (337 pages) – The Demontide is coming, and Jake Harker is ‘the only one who can stop it.’ Sounds pretty grim! This is the first book in a planned trilogy. There is an official website here.
First line: ‘“HELP! Someone – anyone – please, help me!”‘
Thief Eyes, by Janni Lee Simner (259 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Haley goes to Iceland with her father to try to find her mother, who disappeared there some time ago. She touches a magic coin Hallgerd (Haley’s ancestor – and a sorceress!) that curses her. Haley now needs to break the spell, and sets off with the gorgeous but dangerous Ari.
First line: ‘ Icy rain blew into my hood and dripped down my neck as I knelt on the mossy stones.‘
Bead, Boys, and Bangles, by Sophia Bennett (304 pages) – This is the second book in the Threads series, which is about four girls and ‘their amazing adventure with fashion.’ In this installment Crow’s designs may be manufactured by children in India!
First line: ‘I’ve never seen Crow look so scared. And this time she’s got a point.‘
First line: ‘They say home is where the heart is. I believed that, once.‘
Borderline, by Allan Stratton (298 pages) – Sami is the only Muslim at his private school. When is father is implicated in a terrorist plot, Sami’s ‘must fight to keep his world from unraveling.’ A thriller!
First line: ‘I’m next door in Andy’s driveway, shooting hoops with him and Marty.‘
Alchemy and Meggy Swann, by Karen Cushman (167 pages) – Meggy is sent from her country village to Elizabethan-era London. From a dire beginning she works her way to improve her lot in the same way that her father, an achemist, attempts to turn base metal into gold.
First line: ‘“Ye toads and vipers,” the girl said, as her granny often had, “ye toads and vipers,” and she snuffled a great snuffle that echoed in the empty room.‘
Burned : A House of Night Novel, by P. C. and Kristin Cast (323 pages) – Book seven in the series, and one of the Most Wanted books this month. Having not read this I do not know what is going on. High Priestesses! Neferet! Bringing back Zoey!
First line: ‘Kalona lifted his hands. He didn’t hesitate.‘
Sources of Light, by Margaret McMullan (233 pages) – Mississippi, 1962, and fourteen-year-old Sam ‘learns to use her camera to look for the shades of gray’ in a black and white world.
First line: ‘The year after my father died, my mother took a job teaching at a small college in Jackson, Mississippi.‘
Spirit Bound : A Vampire Academy Novel, by Richelle Mead (489 pages) – This is the fifth novel in the series. And what happens? ‘Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s and to her best friend, Lissa. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere. He has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. Only this time, he won’t rest until Rose joins him–forever.’ So says the catalogue.
First line: ‘There’s a big difference between death threats and love letters – even if the person writing the death threats still claims to actually love you.‘
Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins (323 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Sophie discovers she’s a witch, but after screwing up a love spell she’s sent to Hecate ‘Hex’ Hall, a reform school for witches, shapeshifters, and faeries. Also ghosts and a vampire. There’s a mystery predator also.
First line: ‘Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom. Again.‘
The Reckoning : The Darkest Power, by Kelley Armstrong (391 pages) – Book three! Chloe is fifteen and is a genetically engineered necromancer, and has feelings for a sorcerer and his brother, a werewolf, all the while on the run from the corporation that created her (and the others).
First line: ‘After four nights on the run, I was finally safe, tucked into bed and enjoying the deep, dreamless sleep of the dead … until the dead decided they’d really rather have me awake.‘
Koh Tabu, by Ann Kelley (260 pages) – A group of girls are stranded on an island after their boat is blown off course. It’s all an adventure to begin with but quickly becomes an all-girl Lord of the Flies + Man Vs Wild mashup.
First line: ‘It all began with my mother changing her mind.‘
Rich and Mad, by William Nicholson (341 pages)
The Island, by Sarah Singleton (294 pages)
Ondine : The Summer of Shambles, by Ebony McKenna (291 pages)
Because I Am Furniture, by Thalia Chaltas (352 pages)