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  • Books, Grimm, Lists

    Amazon’s Best Picks

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

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

    We Were Liars, E Lockhart

    Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer

    Hollow City, Ransom Riggs

    I’ll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson

    Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Laini Taylor

    The Infinite Sea, Rick Yancey

    Isla and the Happily Ever After, Stephanie Perkins

    Cress, Marissa Meyer

    Mortal Heart, Robin LaFevers

    Heir of Fire, Sarah J Maas

    The Winner’s Curse, Marie Rutkoski

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

    Skink, No Surrender, Carl Hiaasen

    Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo

    The Tyrant’s Daughter, J C Carleson

    The Young Elites, Marie Lu

    The Impossible Knife of Memory, Laurie Halse Anderson

    The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, Adele Griffin

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

    The Truth About Alice, Jennifer Mathieu

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

    Show me your teeth!

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

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

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsSmile, Raina Telgemeier

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

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhite Fang, Jack London

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

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsDracula, Bram Stoker

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

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

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

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsChomp, Carl Hiaasen

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

    Cover courtesy of SyndeticsSwamplandia!, Karen Russell

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

  • Books, dystopia, Lists, Rachel

    Reading Rainbow

    07.10.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Reading Rainbow

    One of each colour!

    Syndetics book coverThe extra, Kathryn Lasky

    “The year is 1940. Lilo, 15, and her family are Gypsies (Romani) who have been rounded up by the Nazis and sent to the Maxglan internment camp. It is there that Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s favorite film director, selects Lilo and her mother to serve as extras in her new movie, Tiefland. As shooting of the film begins, Riefenstahl quickly emerges as a beautiful but feral and very, very dangerous woman. As for the extras, they’re little more than slaves who are living not in a cinematic dreamworld but, instead, in a waking nightmare. Aside from her mother, the only bright spot in Lilo’s life is the boy Django, a brilliant survivor and indispensable information-gatherer. But even he can’t know what their fate will be when the filming concludes. Could it be freedom?” (Booklist)

    Syndetics book coverLove in revolution, B.R. Collins

    Esteya is fifteen. As war rumbles closer, Esteya’s brother – an important figure in the Revolutionary Communist Party – is able to protect their family from the worst of the privations of war. Then Esteya meets an extraordinary girl, Skizi, an outcast, shunned by all. But Esteya and Skizi are drawn to each other. Slowly and wonderfully love blossoms and then Esteya’s family are betrayed and forcibly taken away. Skizi disappears. Esteya is left deserted, heartbroken and in terrible danger. But she must find a way to escape – and to find Skizi.

    Syndetics book coverHappyface, Stephen Emond

    “Enter Happyface’s journal and get a peek into the life of a shy, artistic boy who decides to reinvent himself as a happy-go-lucky guy after he moves to a new town.” (Syndetics summary)




    Syndetics book coverThe mark of the dragonfly, Jaleigh Johnson

    “In the future and on a ruined planet, orphaned Piper lives alone, making her living from mending the scraps she finds after the deadly meteor showers and dust storms that beleaguer the towns on the outskirts of civilization. She has an almost magical ability to fix things, and sometimes they will work only for her. One day Piper finds a young girl who is silent, amnesiac, and in terror of the man who hunts her. Marked by the tattoo of a dragonfly, the girl can’t hide until Piper spirits her away and, with the help of Gee, the stowaway girls find a safe home on steam train 401, hurtling through the hostile countryside towards King Aron’s kingdom.” (Adapted from School Library Journal)

    Syndetics book coverLittle blue lies, Chris Lynch

    “Oliver and Junie’s relationship thrives on lies. Together they are glib, sarcastic, and rarely serious, but they’re in love. That is, they used to be, because Junie broke up with Oliver and now she’s gone, possibly on the run from the local mob boss, the One Who Knows. Still desperately in love with her, Oliver wants to find and protect Junie, but how can he help someone who doesn’t want to be found?” (School Library Journal)

    Syndetics book coverA creature of moonlight, Rebecca Hahn

    “Marni, a young flower seller who has been living in exile, must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and a life with the father she has never known–a wild dragon.” (Library catalogue)



    Syndetics book coverShade, Jeri Smith-Ready

    “Sixteen-year-old Aura of Baltimore, Maryland, reluctantly works at her aunt’s law firm helping ghosts with wrongful death cases file suits in hopes of moving on, but it becomes personal when her boyfriend, a promising musician, dies and persistently haunts her.” (Syndetics summary)

  • Books, Lists, Rachel, Top 10

    Top 10: How to…

    23.09.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Top 10: How to…

    This week we’re going to learn a few things. Such as: how to sell toothpaste, how to steal a car (maybe not) and how to be a vampire. Wait, what?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to sell toothpaste, Leonie Thorpe

    Dom has left school and is about to launch into the real world. All his friends have their futures mapped out, but Dom is distinctly lukewarm about the prospect of doing a degree in science. Before he has to commit, however, there is the holiday job painting his dad’s offices. Dad is an award-winning creative in an ad firm, with possibly his greater success being his ability to look younger, and way, way cooler, than his 17-year-old son. Annoyed that his dad has beaten him to the stud earring, the bicep tatt, and the wardrobe, Dom decides to take on his dad on his own turf, an ad campaign. How hard can it be?” (Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to steal a car, Pete Hautman

    Fifteen-year-old, suburban high school student Kelleigh, who has her learner’s permit, recounts how she began stealing cars one summer, for reasons that seem unclear even to her.” (Syndetics)




    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to ruin a summer vacation, Simone Elkeles

    “Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She’s got a serious grudge against her dad for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he’s dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she’s never known, where she’ll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she’ll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer-no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone… Goodbye pride, hello Israel.” (Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to (un)cage a girl, Francesca Lia Block

    A celebration of girls and women in a three part poetry collection that is powerful, hopeful, authentic, and universal.” (Syndetics)




    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to say goodbye in robot, Natalie Standiford

    New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn’t made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It’s not romance, exactly – but it’s definitely love. Still, Bea can’t quite dispel Jonah’s gloom and doom – and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?” (Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to ditch your fairy, Justine Larbalestier

    In a world in which everyone has a personal fairy who tends to one aspect of daily life, fourteen-year-old Charlie decides she does not want hers–a parking fairy–and embarks on a series of misadventures designed to rid herself of the invisible sprite and replace it with a better one, like her friend Rochelle’s shopping fairy.” (Syndetics)


    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to save a life, Sara Zarr (also available as book on CD)

    “Jill MacSweeny just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends–everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one. Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted–to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too? As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy–or as difficult–as it seems.” (Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to be popular : when you’re a social reject like me, Steph L, Meg Cabot

    “Steph Landry’s been top of her school’s unpopularity list ever since she spilt her red Super Big Gulp all over It Girl Lauren Moffat’s white D&G mini-skirt. But now Steph’s got a secret weapon – an ancient book, HOW TO BE POPULAR, which her soon-to-be step-grandmother once used to break into her A-crowd. All Steph has to do is follow the instructions in The Book and wait for the partying begin. But as Steph’s about to discover, it’s easy to become popular – it’s less easy staying that way!” (Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to be a vampire : a fangs-on guide for the newly undead, Amy Gray

    “For those who join the decadent realm of the vampire, eternal life holds juicy perks–charm and strength, shape-shifting and flying, telepathy and super-powered senses. “How to Be a Vampire” is a comprehensive guide to the vampire lifestyle that quenches newcomers’ thirst for lore–and tasteful tips.” (Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow to take the ex out of ex-boyfriend, Janette Rallison

    Sixteen-year-old Giovanna Petrizzo finds it hard enough to fit in. Three years since her family moved to Texas, she’s still the newcomer. It doesn’t help matters when her twin brother, Dante, takes on the mayor’s son by running for class president. The least she could expect, though, would be for her boyfriend, Jesse, to support their cause. But Jesse’s apparent defection triggers Giovanna’s rash emotional side, and before she knows it, she’s turned Jesse from the boy of her dreams to the exboyfriend she dreams of winning back.” (adapted from Syndetics)

  • DVDs, dystopia, Fantasy, Lists, Rachel, Top 10

    Top 10: Spring flower girls

    16.09.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Top 10: Spring flower girls

    In the name of Spring (again), I bring you books featuring girls with flowery and botanical names. Violets, Daisys and Lilys, you’ll find them right here.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow I Live Now, Meg Rosoff

    Fifteen-year-old Daisy thinks she knows all about love. Her mother died giving birth to her, and now her dad has sent her away for the summer, to live in the English countryside with cousins she’s never even met. There she’ll discover what real love is: something violent, mysterious and wonderful. There her world will be turned upside down and a perfect summer will explode into a million bewildering pieces. How will Daisy live then?'” (adapted from Syndetics)

    Featuring awesome protagonist Daisy. We also have the movie version on DVD, but it is R16 so you may have trouble reserving it with a young adult library card. Give us a call if you get stuck!

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCinder, Marissa Meyer

    “Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.” (Syndetics)

    Cinder has one horrible step-sister, but her other, lovely step-sister is named Peony. We also have this book on CD, and Rebecca Soler does an incredible job of narrating all the unique characters.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEmbrace, Jessica Shirvington

    Violet Eden is dreading her seventeenth birthday dinner. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. The one bright spot is that Lincoln will be there. Sexy, mature and aloof, he is Violet’s idea of perfection. But why does he seem so reluctant to be anything more than a friend? Nothing could have prepared her for Lincoln’s explanation: he is Grigori, part angel and part human, and Violet is his eternal partner. Without warning, Violet’s world is turned upside down. As Violet gets caught up in an ancient battle between dark and light, she must choose her path. The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity…” (adapted from Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMarcelo In The Real World, Francisco X. Stork

    Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear–part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify–and he’s always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm’s mailroom in order to experience “the real world.” There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it’s a picture he finds in a file — a picture of a girl with half a face — that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.” (adapted from Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDash & Lily’s Book of Dares, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

    Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?” (Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSoulmates, Holly Bourne

    Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect match for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love, thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems. After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, they are left with an impossible choice: the end of the world, or a life without love?” (Syndetics)

    This one doubly wins because the author (Holly) has a botanical name too!

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsVampire Academy, Richelle Mead

    “St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger… Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.” (Goodreads)

    If one’s not enough, we have the whole series here in our collection!

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOn a Clear Day, Walter Dean Meyers

    Dahlia is a Low Gater: a sheep in a storm, struggling to survive completely on her own. The Gaters live in closed safe communities, protected from the Sturmers, mercenary thugs. And the C-8, a consortium of giant companies, control global access to finance, media, food, water, and energy resources–and they are only getting bigger and even more cutthroat. Dahlia, a computer whiz, joins forces with an ex-rocker, an ex-con, a chess prodigy, an ex-athlete, and a soldier wannabe. Their goal: to sabotage the C-8. But how will Sayeed, warlord and terrorist, fit into the equation?” (Syndetics)

    This one’s actually not out just yet, but you can still reserve it before its release in a couple of weeks.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFlora Segunda, Ysabeau Wilce

    Flora knows better than to take shortcuts in her family home, Crackpot Hall–the house has eleven thousand rooms, and ever since her mother banished the magickal butler, those rooms move around at random. But Flora is late for school, so she takes the unpredictable elevator anyway. Huge mistake. Lost in her own house, she stumbles upon the long-banished butler–and into a mind-blowing muddle of intrigue and betrayal that changes her world forever.” (Syndetics)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Fault In Our Stars, John Green

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.” (Syndetics)

    I couldn’t make this list and NOT include Hazel Grace! It just couldn’t be done. We also have this as an audiobook on CD.

    There are plenty more books that could have made it onto this list – have you got any suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

  • Classic novels, eLibrary, Librarian's Choice, Lists, Rachel

    Write to me, won’t you?

    19.08.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Write to me, won’t you?

    Following on from my last post, you may remember that I mentioned Jaclyn Moriarty often writes in an epistolary style, meaning the narrative is constructed of letters, emails, memos, newspaper clippings, blogs, text messages… You get the idea. Books written in this style can be very quick reads because they can be very casual and conversational, particularly with diary entries. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite epistolary novels (I read quite a lot of them…)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSloppy Firsts, Megan McCafferty

    Sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated when her best friend Hope leaves their hometown of Pineville, New Jersey. Jessica is hyper-observant and without Hope to communicate with, Jessica feels more out of her depth than ever. Now she has to work out how to deal with the craziness of her classmates, her dad’s obsession with Jessica’s track meets and her mother’s obsession with Jessica’s sister Bethany’s lavish wedding – all without any help from Hope, bar the occasional email. And then Jessica begins to strike up an unlikely friendship with the biggest rebel in school Marcus Flutie… Jessica’s diary entries are hilarious, but balance out the humour well by dealing with serious issues, such as death and family drama. And it’s the first in a series of 5!

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAngus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison

    Georgia Nicholson is vain, a bit hysterical and boy-crazy. She has a lot of wild tales to tell about her mad little sister Libby, her feral cat Angus and the time she shaved her eyebrows and dressed up as a stuffed olive. Georgia’s just trying to be a regular 14-year-old girl but it’s not so easy. Set in England, this book (the first in a series) is fabbity fab fab and you’ll be speaking in Georgia’s completely made up slang and bent over in stitches by the time you’re finished with it! We also have this as an Overdrive eBook.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

    Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Junior has never felt like the rez life fitted him, so he takes matters into his own hands and leaves the rez school in order to go to the all-white local high school. Being Indian makes him stand out enough in the school, but he also has “an enormous head, gigantic feet, crazy eyes, ten more teeth than normal, a stutter, and a lisp” but Junior is not a complainer! He just wants to get through school and break away from the life he has been destined to live. The novel is interspersed with drawings and is based partly on the author’s own experiences. It’s a must read!

    Letters From The Inside, John Marsden

    “Mandy wants a pen-pal. Tracey answers the ad. The two girls write to each other about their families, their lives, their ambitions and their fears. But there are dark secrets surrounding Mandy and Tracey – secrets they can hardly bear to confront, let alone share.” Goodreads

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsI Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith

    Seventeen-year-old Cassandra lives with her family in a ramshackle castle in England. Over a turbulent six months, Cassandra attempts to hone her writing skills by chronicling in her diary the changes within the castle and her own first experience in love. I Capture the Castle is a “classic” novel that is timeless and the humour stands up today just as it did when it was first published.

  • Books, Grimm, Lists

    Best YA Novels?

    26.05.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best YA Novels?

    Rolling Stone magazine has published a list of 40 best YA novels. Their list includes classics like The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton; some not quite old enough to be classics like Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan; and some recently published future-classics like Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.

    Some Lots of these picks we totally agree with – browse our librarians’ choice list on Easyfind here.

    If you’re interested in reading Rolling Stone, we’ve got it in print, or also on Zinio, a wondrous online magazine collection which lets you download issues and keep them, for free!

    Cover courtesy of Zinio

  • Great Reads, Librarian's Choice, Lists, Rachel, Sci Fi, Science!

    Dystopias for all!

    29.04.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Dystopias for all!

    You probably know all about The Hunger Games and Divergent by now, right? And if you’re anything like me, they hooked you right in and you just can’t get enough of those dystopian wastelands. So future, much wow. There are heaps and heaps of really great dystopian novels which lurk in the shadows of their better-know literary cousins, but I’m here to shine a spotlight on a few of them.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBumped, Megan McCafferty

    “In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.” (from library catalogue)

    The first in a trilogy, as dystopias tend to be.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsPastworld, Ian Beck

    In 2050, Pastworld is a Victorian London themed park where teenaged Caleb meets 17-year-old Eve, who knows nothing of modern life outside Pastworld. They both become entangled in the diabolical plans of a murderer, revealing disturbing facts about the muddy origins of both Caleb and Eve’s lives.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLife As We Knew It, Susan Beth Pfeffer

    A meteor hits the moon, throwing it ever so slightly out of sync and causing disastrous havoc for everyone on Earth. Tsunamis, earthquakes and eruptions interrupt every day life what with the moon being out of whack. Told through the diary entries of 16-year-old Miranda, Life As We Knew It explores the struggle of Miranda and her family to survive through this catastrophe.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWither, Lauren DeStefano

    Modern science has turned every living human into a genetic timebomb, with men all dying at age twenty-five and women all dying at age twenty. In these cruel and unusual circumstances, young girls are kidnapped and forced to help repopulate the planet. This is the first in the Chemical Garden trilogy.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCinder, Marissa Meyer

    Cinder crosses a classic fairytale with cyborgs… Cyborg-ella! Cinder is a gifted cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing. She is reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entangled with Prince Kai’s, she finds herself forced to confront her own past in order to protect Earth’s future.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsShip Breaker, Paolo Bacigulupi

    Teenage Nailer works as a “ship breaker” scavenging copper from grounded oil tankers. But when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl aboard, Nailer must decide whether to strip the ship of its worth, or save the girl inside. This one is gritty and harsh and completely action-packed. It also has a follow-up companion novel called The Drowned Cities which takes place in the same universe.

    There are so many out there, what are your favourite dystopias?

  • Lists, Rachel, Sci Fi, Space: The Final Frontier

    Space Jam

    08.04.14 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    I loooove books set in outer space. It’s something that most of us will never be able to experience, so to read about it is pretty exciting. Here are some of my picks of books set in outer space:

    Book cover courtesy of Syndetics172 Hours On The Moon, Johan Harstad

    Three teenagers from across the globe have the opportunity to win a place on the next space launch thanks to NASA’s worldwide lottery. It’s been decades since anyone set foot on the moon, and Mia (Norway), Midori (Japan) and Antoine (France) are among the few who will be next. But before they even get to the launch site, things seem off. Something sinister is waiting for them on the moon’s surface, and in the vaccuum of space, no one can help them.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAcross the Universe, Beth Revis

    Seventeen-year-old Amy is cryogenically frozen, along with her parents, and loaded onto the vast spacecraft Godspeed, set to wake up three hundred years in the future. But her hibernation comes to an abrupt end 50 years too early, thrusting her into the thriving living community on Godspeed. Amy discovers out she was awoken not by accident, but by a murder attempt by one of the several thousand people on board. And if she doesn’t act quickly, Amy’s parents could be next.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEnder’s Game, Orson Scott Card

    This one has just been made into a movie. To defend themselves from hostile alien attacks, the human race has begun breeding genius children and training them as soldiers. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is one such child drafted into military training. His skills make him a leader in battle school, but leave him lonely and fearful of the impending alien attack intended to wipe out all humans. Ender could be the military general the battle has been searching for for the last hundred years, but is he prepared to face such huge responsibility?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLosers in Space, John Barnes

    It is the year 2129 and fame is all that matters. Everyone has a rating and the more people that ID you, the better. Susan and her almost-boyfriend Derlock hatch a scheme to stow away with seven of their friends on a Mars-bound spaceship. They figure the stunt and their story of survival will skyrocket their ratings across the globe. But Susan stumbles across a hitch: Derlock is a sociopath. Losers in Space combines an ominous countdown, an awesome heroine and accurate science (!) all bundled up into a great sci-fi novel. What more could you need?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsGlow, Amy Kathleen Ryan

    Decades ago two ships were launched, both bound for mysterious New Earth where they hoped to settle and create new life. The only difference between the ships was their religious following – New Horizons contained the religious crew, and the Empyrean had a non-religious crew. Sixteen-year-old Waverly and Kieran live aboard Empyrean and are expected to marry soon. Waverly’s not so sure about the arrangement, but since she’s supposed to have four children while she’s still young so that the generations won’t die out, there’s not a whole lot of choice involved. What the Empyreans don’t know is that all the young girls on New Horizons have died – and the New-Horizoners plan to kidnap the girls from Empyrean. Suddenly Waverly and Kieran are separated and they quickly learn that not all enemies come from the outside…

    And one about aliens, for good measure:

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe True Meaning of Smekday, Adam Rex

    The True Meaning of Smekday is structured like an essay, written by 12-year-old Gratuity Tucci (Tip) for a contest. The essay contest winner will have their essay included in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, and Tip reckons her unique experience of Smekday will be important to future generations. Smekday (a.k.a Christmas) was the day a huge spaceship filled with Boov (aliens) descended on Earth, declared it a colony named Smekland, abducted Tip’s mother and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod. Tip enlists a renegade Boov mechanic called J.Lo to help her track down her mother at Happy Mouse Kingdom, and together they must try to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.

    172 Hours on the Moon is probably one of my personal favourites – it involves Japanese culture, it’s suuuper creepy, and it’s a translated novel (originally Norwegian) which are all checkboxes for things I like in a novel. Have you got any space-themed favourites, either included on this list, or not?

  • Lists, Rachel


    01.04.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on APRIL FOOLS!

    jklol there’s so many books I could never get through them all! In the spirit of jesting and fun, here are some books featuring jokes and pranks (some are more sinister than others). Maybe you’ll get some inspiration for next year – it’s after midday now so no more prank-pulling today!

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLooking For Alaska, John Green

    Since The Fault In Our Stars was published, John Green’s following has increased massively, and we have had long reserve queues on his books that came out 8 years ago! Looking For Alaska is probably his second most well-known book, after TFIOS (At the time of writing this, TFIOS has 54 reserves on it!)

    Miles “Pudge” Halter’s life has been a big ball of nothing, so he thinks, and his obsession with famous last words only makes his cravings for “The Great Perhaps” even more painful. He decides to finally shake up his life and enrols at Culver Creek Boarding School. There, he meets Alaska Young. She is interesting, clever, and downright fascinating, far from the safe life Miles is used to. Alaska pulls Miles into her tangled world and launches him into his own “Great Perhaps”.

    The prank in Looking For Alaska involves the infamous fox hat. You’ll understand when you’ve read it.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E. Lockhart

    Yep, I’ve mentioned this one a bunch of times, but there’s no way I could NOT include it on a list about prank-pulling! Frankie is sent off to boarding school, where she does well and has a popular boyfriend. But she discovers that said boyfriend is part of a boys-only secret society called the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Frankie can’t stand the ridiculous idea of a boys only club, so she starts giving anonymous instructions to the order to perform outrageous pranks, which they follow! Mayhem ensues.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHacking Harvard, Robin Wasserman

    This one does what it says on the box: Two groups of guys make a bet that they can get their senior class’s worst student ever accepted into Harvard. They plan to hack into the Harvard administration and select “Accept” against the application instead of “Deny”. Not to mention there’s $25,000 on the line for the winner of the bet. The race is on, and with stakes that high, no-one’s giving up without a fight.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Lying Game, Sara Shepard

    The Lying Game is the first in another series from the author of Pretty Little Liars. It follows Emma, a foster kid who can’t seem to catch a break, until one day she discovers she has a long-lost twin sister. Emma’s newfound twin Sutton was adopted by a wealthy family, and Sutton has grown up with a life anyone would be jealous of, even kill for. Then someone does. Emma is distraught, but in order to solve the mystery of Sutton’s death and their shared past, Emma takes over Sutton’s identity, a lifestyle completely alien to her. But can Emma fool Sutton’s friends? Her parents? Her boyfriend? And can Emma keep up the charade once she realises Sutton’s murderer is watching her every move?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsPast Perfect, Leila Sales

    This summer, Chelsea wants just three things:
    1. to hang out with her best friend
    2. to hone her skills as an ice cream connoisseur
    3. to finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. She hoped to do this while working at the Essex Historical Colonial Village (really!) but that plan falls apart on her first day on the job, finding Ezra working there too. Forgetting him is going to be a lot harder than she imagined, but she knows that if she doesn’t learn from the past, she is doomed to repeat it.

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