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  • Comedy, Deadly decadent courts, dystopia, Fantasy, GLBT, Horror, Music, Mysteries, Nicola, Non-fiction, Real Problems, Sci Fi, Short stories, Troubled teens trying to put their past behind them

    New books

    29.01.19 | Permalink | Comment?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHalo: battle born, Cassandra Rose Clarke

    The first original novel based on the mega-hit HALO video game series! The alien alliance known as the Covenant is laying siege to the colony world of Meridian… Can humanity survive? Saskia, Dorian, Evie and Victor aren’t exactly friends at their small high school on the middle-of-nowhere colony world of Meridian. Each has their own problems, from absent parents to supporting their family, getting into a good college to making the next hit holo-film. But those problems are nothing next to the threat now facing their world: the alien alliance known as the Covenant is laying siege to Meridian, for reasons that aren’t very easily explained. With their village in flames, the four teens find themselves stuck above ground, locked out of the town shelter where the rest of the survivors are gathered. Together, Saskia, Dorian, Evie and Victor are thrust into battle with nothing but a few scavenged weapons and an injured Spartan, one of the United Nations Space Command’s super-soldiers. What’s forged from the destruction will determine the fate of Meridian, and tilt the battle for humanity’s survival… (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHold me closer, Necromancer, Lish McBride

    Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right–until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak. Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else. With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin? (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAll out: secret stories of queer teens, edited by Saundra Mitchell

    Seventeen young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens. From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsKiss collector, Wendy Higgins

    Seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe is over relationships. Between getting cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved and watching her parents’ marriage crumble, she decides to turn the tables and go after what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, bad boys–their lips are all on her agenda, and it’s time to collect. Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break. But what starts as a harmless competition leads to a downward spiral of drama. Zae is forced to face the reasons behind her boy angst and starts to wonder if she was wrong about the male race…or at least some of them. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe summer of Jordi Perez, Amy Spalding

    Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she’s thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship. But really, nothing this summer is going as planned. She also unwittingly becomes friends with Jax, a lacrosseplaying bro-type who wants her help finding the best burger in Los Angeles, and she’s struggling to prove to her mother–the city’s celebrity health nut–that she’s perfectly content with who she is. Just as Abby starts to feel like she’s no longer the sidekick in her own life, Jordi’s photography surprisingly puts her in the spotlight. Instead of feeling like she’s landed a starring role, Abby feels betrayed. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image others have of her? (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe bright siders, Jen Wilde

    As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck. Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing. Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own? (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBuried beneath the Baobab Tree, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

    Based on interviews with young women who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, this poignant novel by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani tells the timely story of one girl who was taken from her home in Nigeria and her harrowing fight for survival. Includes an afterword by award-winning journalist Viviana Mazza. A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband–these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone can see that these dreams aren’t too far out of reach. But the girl’s dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life–her future–is hers to fight for. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe girl king, Mimi Yu

    Sisters Lu and Min have always known their places as the princesses of the Empire of the First Flame: assertive Lu will be named her father’s heir and become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while timid Min will lead a quiet life in Lu’s shadow. Until their father names their male cousin Set his heir instead, sending ripples through the realm and throwing both girls’ lives into utter chaos. Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu has no choice but to go on the run, leaving Min to face the volatile court alone. Lu soon crosses paths with Nokhai, the lone, unlikely survivor of the Ashina, a clan of nomadic wolf shapeshifters. Nok never learned to shift–or to trust the empire that killed his family–but working with the princess might be the only way to unlock his true power. As Lu and Nok form a shaky alliance, Min’s own hidden power awakens, a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign . . . or allow her to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could very well turn out to be each other. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDear Rachel Maddow, Adrienne Kisner

    Brynn Haper’s life has one steadying force–Rachel Maddow. She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project–and actually getting a response–Brynn starts drafting e-mails to Rachel but never sending them. Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with her first serious girlfriend, about her brother Nick’s death, about her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she’s stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out. Then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. One student representative will be allowed to have a voice among the administration in the selection of a new school superintendent. Brynn’s archnemesis, Adam, and ex-girlfriend, Sarah, believe only Honors students are worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position, the knives are out. So she begins to ask herself: What Would Rachel Maddow Do? (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLove, hate, and other filters, Samira Ahmed

    Maya Aziz is caught between her India-born parents’ world of college and marrying a suitable Muslim boy, and her dream world of film school and dating her classmate, Phil. In the aftermath of a terrorist attack hundreds of miles away, the community she’s known since birth is transformed by fear, bigotry, and hatred. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLegacy of Light, Sarah Raughley

    The Effigies must uncover the connection between Saul, Blackwell, and the Phantoms before it’s too late in this epic conclusion to the Effigies trilogy. The world is in chaos. After Saul’s strike on Oslo–one seemingly led by Maia herself–the Effigies’ reputation is in shambles. Now they’re being hunted by nations across the globe, grouped in with the very terrorists they’ve been trying to stop. With Maia’s resurrected twin, June, carrying out vicious attacks across the world, everyone believes Maia is a killer. Belle has gone rogue, Chae Rin and Lake have disappeared, and the Sect is being dismantled and replaced by a terrifying new world order helmed by Blackwell. As for Saul, his ultimate plan still remains a mystery. And Maia? No one has seen or heard from her in weeks. It’s all somehow connected–Saul, Phantoms, the Effigies, everything. But if the Effigies can’t put the pieces together soon, there may not be much left of the world they’ve fought so desperately to save. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsUnclaimed baggage, Jen Doll

    Doris–a lone liberal in a conservative small town–has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of “Mr. Popular” whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people’s lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe silence, Mark Alpert

    When Adam joined the Pioneer program, he became one of six teens to forfeit their bodies for a new, digital existence. Together, the Six were unstoppable, protecting the world from artificial-intelligence systems that threatened the human race. But they were more than a team–they were family. Until now. Adam has a complex power within his circuitry that defies the very laws of physics. He wasn’t programmed to have this power, and he can barely control it or its consequences. Adam’s never felt more alone. Amber, the newest Pioneer, knows what it is like to be an outsider. She gets him in a way the others don’t. Except Amber’s software has been corrupted, and until Adam figures out exactly what she’s become, the Pioneers–and the world–are in mortal danger. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLove and war, Melissa De La Cruz

    As the war for American Independence carries on, newlyweds Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are settling into their new adventure- marriage. But Alex is still General George Washington’s right-hand man, sent to the front lines at Yorktown, and his attention these days is nothing if not divided-much like the colonies’ interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza’s relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama. The battles are just beginning in the follow-up to Melissa de la Cruz’s New York Times bestselling Alex & Eliza- A Love Story . (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe curses, Laure Eve

    Picking up the pieces after the chilling events of the previous year isn’t easy, but the Grace siblings are determined to try and get things back to normal – and if that means papering over the cracks, so be it. Summer has had enough of secrets, but sharing a house with someone who’s been resurrected from the dead isn’t something you want the neighbours to know about. As ex-best friend River wreaks havoc with her twisted spells, can the Graces ever escape the curses that have been tearing their family apart for generations? (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of Syndetics29 dates, Melissa De La Cruz

    Jisu’s traditional South Korean parents are concerned by what they see as her lack of attention to her schoolwork and her future. Working with Seoul’s premiere matchmaker to find the right boyfriend is one step toward ensuring Jisu’s success, and going on the recommended dates is Jisu’s compromise to please her parents while finding space to figure out her own dreams. But when she flubs a test then skips out on a date to spend time with friends, her fed-up parents shock her by shipping her off to a private school in San Francisco. Where she’ll have the opportunity to shine academically–and be set up on more dates! Navigating her host family, her new city and school, and more dates, Jisu finds comfort in taking the photographs that populate her ever-growing social media account. Soon attention from two very different boys sends Jisu into a tailspin of soul-searching. As her passion for photography lights her on fire, does she even want to find The One? And what if her One isn’t parent and matchmaker approved? (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe gilded wolves, Roshani Chokshi

    From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change–one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them. It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood. Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive. (Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOutside, Sarah Ann Juckes

    Here’s the thing about being Inside. Ain’t no one believes that they are.Ele is kept captive in a small room by a man known as ‘Him’. She has never been Outside but she knows it’s there and she’s determined to prove it. When Ele eventually escapes, she is forced to question everything she has ever known.An extraordinary and powerful debut in the style of ROOM by Emma Donoghue.(Publisher summary)

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsStain, A.G Howard

    After Lyra–a princess incapable of speech or sound–is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest . . . disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight–for she is his true equal. As Lyra finds her way back to her identity, an imposter princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests–ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not. (Publisher summary)


  • Fantasy, GLBT, Music, Mysteries, New

    New books

    10.08.16 | Permalink | Comments Off on New books

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIris and the tiger, Leanne Hall

    Twelve-year-old Iris has been sent to Spain on a mission: to make sure her elderly and unusual aunt, Ursula, leaves her fortune–and her sprawling estate–to Iris’s scheming parents. But from the moment Iris arrives at Bosque de Nubes, she realises something isn’t quite right. There is an odd feeling around the house, where time moves slowly and Iris’s eyes play tricks on her. While outside, in the wild and untamed forest, a mysterious animal moves through the shadows. Just what is Aunt Ursula hiding? But when Iris discovers a painting named Iris and the Tiger, she sets out to uncover the animal’s real identity–putting her life in terrible danger. (Goodreads)

    First lines: No one had ever asked Iris to spy for them before. She wasn’t totally convinced she’d be any good at it. But Iris also wasn’t in the habit of saying no to her parents – they paid her so little regard as it was – and when they first sat her down to outline their plan, Iris felt the unfamiliar glow of their attention.

    Songs that sound like blood, Jared Thomas

    Roxy May Redding’s got music in her soul and songs in her blood. She lives in a hot dusty town and is dreaming big. She survives run-ins with the mean girls at high school, sings in her dad’s band and babysits for her wayward aunt. But Roxy wants a new start. When she gets the chance to study music in the big city, she takes it. Roxy’s new life, her new friends and her music collide in a way she could never have imagined. Being a poor student sucks… navigating her way through the pressure of a national music competition has knobs on it… singing for her dinner is soul destroying… but nothing prepares Roxy for her biggest challenge. Her crush on Ana, the local music journo, forces her to steer her way through a complex maze of emotions alien to this small town girl. Family and friends watch closely as Roxy takes a confronting journey to find out who the hell she is. (Goodreads)

    First lines: Hanging Dad’s washing on the line straight after school on a Friday was the last thing I wanted to be doing. At least I was listening to Vance Joy and could smell the basil Dad was growing or I might have set his jocks on fire. Drives me crazy how he just leaves his things in the washing machine like that.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBattlesaurus: clash of empires, Brian Falkner

    In this stunning sequel to a unique alt-history adventure, dinosaurs from a forbidden world have been turned into unstoppable weapons by one of the most ferocious military leaders of all time. In the wake of Napoléon’s crushing victory at Waterloo, the vicious French general Marc Thibault and his brigade of giant carnivorous battlesaurs have struck terror across Europe. England stands alone, but an invasion is looming. Its only hope is a secret attack led by a magician’s son named Willem deep inside enemy territory, to the very heart of Napoléon’s terrifying new army. Deception and betrayal threaten the mission from its outset, but the courage and perseverance of Willem the “saur killer” and his friends lead to a clash of titanic proportions.(Goodreads)

    First lines: The young French soldier shivers, and not from the cold, although here at the parapet of the castle the wind is icy and pitiless. From behind him and below come deep grunting sounds and the rattle of chains. That area of the castle courtyard is covered with hastily erected screens of sailcloth to keep out prying, spying eyes.

    Lonesome when you go, Saradha Koirala

    Paige plays base in high school rock band Vox Pop, which means keeping a steady rhythm even in their most raucous rock and roll moments. But in the tense build-up to the Rockfest competition, Paige finds that she can’t control everything in her life, no matter how hard she practises and how loud she plays. There’s stuff happening in the band that she can’t put her finger on, a friend who can’t handle her own secret anymore and a mysterious guy who plays double bass like an angel. But there isn’t much time to sort things out – Rockfest looms and so does the end of school year, when everything will change for good. (Publisher information)

    First lines: The stage is huge. Lighting rigs and speaker systems tower above us and there’s a noise I can’t yet place. Slowly I tune in to the rhythmic roaring of a vigorous crowd. They’re invisible; coloured lights glare down on me and I’m looking out into darkness.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe level, Olivia Levez

    Frances is alone on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. She has to find water and food. She has to survive. And when she is there she also thinks about the past. The things that she did before. The things that made her a monster. Nothing is easy. Survival is hard and so is being honest about the past. Frances is a survivor however, and with the help of the only other crash survivor, she sees that the future is worth fighting for.(Goodreads)

    First lines: They all know what I’ve done. Of course they do. That’s why they leave me well alone. Hi I’m Rufus! is fascinated, like I’m some frickin sideshow. You can tell because his eyes are on me every time I look.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBreathing under water, Sophie Hardcastle

    Ben and Grace Walker are twins. Growing up in a sleepy coastal town it was inevitable they’d surf. Always close, they hung out more than most brothers and sisters, surfing together for hours as the sun melted into the sea. At seventeen, Ben is a rising surf star, the golden son and the boy all the girls fall in love with. Beside him, Grace feels like she is a mere reflection of his light. In their last year of school, the world beckons, full of possibility. For Grace, finishing exams and kissing Harley Matthews is just the beginning. Then, one day, the unthinkable. The sun sets at noon and suddenly everything that was safe and predictable is lost. And everything unravels.(Goodreads)

    First lines: Chilled bones. Red skin. White clouds exhaled as teeth chatter, and the ocean, just waiting for them…Beneath a silk veil of silence, feet sprint across wet grass, wet sand, and then lift.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDrag teen, Jeffrey Self

    Debut YA author Jeffery Self takes us on a road trip with an insecure high school senior who has one goal: to be the first in his family to leave Clearwater, Florida, and go to college. The problem is, he has zero means of paying for school — until his friends convince him to compete in a drag teen competition for a college scholarship. (Goodreads)

    First lines: This isn’t one of those stories about a heartwarming journey toward accepting my cursed homosexual identity. No. First of all, being gay is far from a case. It’s like an extra order of fries at Wendy’s because the lady in the window isn’t paying attention while she fills your bag.


  • Ligia, Lists, Music, NZ Music Month

    All about Music

    28.05.15 | Permalink | Comments Off on All about Music

    To mark the New Zealand Music Month why don’t we read books related to music? It’s a subject that I love and the first two books in the list are my favourites.

    Syndetics book coverEleanor & Park / Rainbow Rowell.
    Bono met his wife in high school, Park says. So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers. I’m not kidding, he says. You should be, she says, we’re 16 . What about Romeo and Juliet? Shallow, confused, then dead. I love you, Park says. Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers. I’m not kidding, he says. You should be.
    Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.” (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverPlaylist for a broken heart / Cathy Hopkins.
    “When Paige finds an old mix CD in a local charity shop, she can’t help but wonder about the boy who made it and the girl he was thinking of when he chose the songs. The tracks tell the story of a boy looking for his perfect girl, a story of being alone, being let down, misunderstood and not knowing where to turn. Following the clues of the music, Paige sets out to find the mysterious boy, going from gig to gig and band to band, hoping to track him down. But will who she finds at the end of the trail, be the boy she’s imagined?” (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverHold me closer : the Tiny Cooper story / by David Levithan.
    “Especially for those of us who ordinarily feel ignored, a spotlight is a circle of magic, with the strength to draw us from the darkness of our everyday lives. Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches. Tiny Cooper has something to say–and he’s going to say it in song. Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, Hold Me Closer is the no-holds-barred (and many-bars-held) entirety of the beloved musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson , the award-winning bestseller by John Green and David Levithan. Tiny Cooper is finally taking center stage . . . and the world will never be the same again.” (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverCoda / Emma Trevayne.
    “Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem-the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid. Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and freewill. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?” (Syndetics summary)


  • Books, Graphic Novels, Great Reads, Movies, Music, NZ Music Month, Playlists, Rachel

    Music is my boyfriend

    27.05.14 | Permalink | 1 Comment

    so claims a song by CSS (they’re pretty rad).

    For some people, music is what keeps them going. It can be an essential part of coping and survival and can help people in ways even they can’t understand. It could be the melody, an intense beat or the maybe lyrics blasting through your headphones which make you think the song was written just for you. For whatever reason, music makes us feel things both good and bad. For some characters in the books below, music is what keeps them going through some especially difficult times.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell

    “Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.” (goodreads.com)

    Eleanor has a pretty difficult home life, and Park enables and encourages her obsession with music. It helps her get through some pretty traumatic times and the 80s tunes Eleanor connects with relate just so to her life and surroundings. AND Rainbow Rowell herself published some playlists on her blog that inspired and represent each of the main characters, so you could listen to those while you read this amaaaazing book and truly immerse yourself in the experience! Just a suggestion. (You can find the playlists here at Rainbow Rowell’s blog)

    P.S. We also have this as a book on cd!

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

    “It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.” (goodreads.com)

    Nick and Norah’s first connection is formed via the playlists Nick makes for his then-girlfriend Tris, who is also Norah’s friend. Tris couldn’t care less about the thought and effort put into these playlists for her, but Norah feels a connection to the person who compiled them and… well you’ll see when you read it 🙂 We also have the dvd, which is just 80c to issue using your YA library card!

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

    “Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.” (goodreads.com)

    We have the movie version of this too! These music books sure lend themselves well to film adaptations, huh?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Vinyl Princess, Yvonne Prinz

    “Allie, a sixteen-year-old who is obsessed with LPs, works at the used record store on Telegraph Ave. and deals with crushes–her own and her mother’s–her increasingly popular blog and zine, and generally grows up over the course of one summer in her hometown of Berkeley, California.” (WCL catalogue)

    The Vinyl Princess covers a bunch of niche areas – LP collecting, zine-making, blogging (although these are all becoming pretty ubiquitous) – so if you relate to any of these pasttimes, this may just be the book for you!

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFat Kid Rules the World, K. L. Going

    Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can’t play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy’s own life, forever. (edited from goodreads.com)

    Fat Kid Rules The World achieves something great in the way music, and particularly the energy of drumming is described. It could so easily fall flat, but Going really captures the energy and essence of a punk drummer.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsChopsticks, Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

    This one looks like it’ll all be sunshine and happiness, but don’t be fooled: “In a love story told in photographs and drawings, Glory, a brilliant piano prodigy, is drawn to Frank, an artistic new boy, and the farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness until the only song she is able to play is ‘Chopsticks.'” So it’s kind of a graphic novel – there’s something for everybody!

    We hope you’ve enjoyed NZ Music Month 2014, maybe came to one (or more!) of our library music events and we look forward to doing it all over again next year! If there were any highlights of NZMM that you’d like to tell us about, please do so in the comments! I’ll be back to regular scheduled posting next week – who’s excited for TFIOS? 😉


  • Librarian's Choice, Music, New Zealand, NZ Music Month, Rachel, Wellington

    NZMM video-fest!

    20.05.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on NZMM video-fest!

    We’re past the halfway mark through NZ Music Month now, so better make the most of it! Don’t forget we have Harriet and the Matches performing at Newtown library this Friday the 23rd of May, we’ll see you there at 7pm!

    In the mean time, have a dance party in your living room to these fab songs and videos from NZ artists!

    Here’s Lorde performing Tennis Court at the Billboard Music Awards the other day

    Settle Down by Kimbra

    Apple Pie Bed by Lawrence Arabia

    It’s Choade My Dear by Connan Mockasin

    Dominion Road by The Mutton Birds (an oldie but a goodie)

    40 Years by The Phoenix Foundation (this one’s directed by Taika Waititi who directed the movie Boy)

    And finally Just A Boy by Pikachunes

    This post was brought to you by Gina at Newtown library’s genius (Gina-us?) suggestions! With much enthusastic nodding and encouragement from myself.


  • Librarian's Choice, Music, New Zealand, NZ Music Month, Rachel, Wellington

    NZ music highlights

    13.05.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on NZ music highlights

    Hopefully you’re celebrating NZ Music Month with us by listening to more local artists! I thought I would highlight a few recent-ish NZ releases we have in our collection, with some help from very music-savvy fellow librarian Kim. Let us know what you agree or disagree with, and please leave us some of your favourite NZ artists in the comments!

    The Love Club EP by Lorde

    Dating earlier than her hit album Pure Heroine, The Love Club EP (first released for free on SoundCloud) contains the ubiquitous ‘Royals’ along with four other songs not on her full length album. ‘Bravado’, ‘Biting Down’, ‘Million Dollar Bills’ and ‘The Love Club’ are all excellent songs, and have a slightly different sound to Pure Heroine – perhaps a little cheekier? In any case, any Lorde fan needs to listen to this EP.

    Brightly Painted One by Tiny Ruins

    I saw Tiny Ruins a.k.a Hollie Fullbrook when she opened for Calexico last year and they were both excellent! Morphing from gentle and folky to classical-sounding with strings and looping back around again, Tiny Ruins keeps it interesting. She has been compared to Beth Gibbons from Portishead AND Nick Drake, so if that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what is.

    Goin’ Steady by Newtown Rocksteady (adult collection, costs $1)

    13-piece Newtown Rocksteady’s extended EP documents their musical progression over the last four years, representing and reinventing the 60s Jamaican vibe known as rocksteady. Rocksteady mixes together reggae, dub, ska and dancehall music, all perfect for a good boogie which they provided in droves at the Newtown and Womad festivals earlier this year. If you get the chance to see them live, do! They provide amazing entertainment and you’ll be blown away by their collective talent, not to mention their 5-piece horn section.

    Louis Baker by Louis Baker (adult collection, costs $1)

    Wellington local Louis Baker is sometimes mellow and completely soulful. His sound has been compared to Jeff Buckley – these are some amazing comparisons being made to our local talents! He’s very talented and grew up in Coromandel Street, Newtown. His self titled EP made it to number 8 in the NZ charts, check it out for yourself!

    And then we have some faves that don’t have CDs out in the library yet:

    Brockaflower Saurus-Rex (and the Blueberry Biscuits)

    This 9-piece band’s first album is full on but spacious, allowing everyone their own instrument space – an impressive feat with so many people and instruments demanding attention. But they make it work, and very harmoniously, too. As for genre, they’re a bit funk, a bit psychedelic and a bit “neo-soul” (who even names music genres these days?) and they’ll keep you grooving with each song full of energy. They have an album out titled “Build It” but we sadly don’t have it in the library. You can listen to it in full here on SoundCloud though!

    Estère

    Speaking of genre names, Estère’s probably takes the cake – “electric blue witch hop”. She is a singer/songwriter/beatmaker/producer from Wellington and this whole album was made and recorded in her bedroom. She uses loops of live instruments, has an MPC named Lola and has been likened to Erykah Badu with her sometimes raspy and always stunning vocals. Although we don’t have her album here in the library yet, you can listen to it on SoundCloud for free, and even download it for free from Estère’s Bandcamp page!


  • Library Serf, Movies, Music, News

    More Divergent countdown trivia

    26.02.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on More Divergent countdown trivia

    In anticipation of the Divergent movie coming out, there’s also the Divergent soundtrack to look forward to. It’s available a couple of weeks before the movie, and the tracklisting is:

    1 ‘Find you’, Zedd, ft. Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant
    2 ‘Beating Heart’, Ellie Goulding
    3 ‘Fight for You’, Pia Mia, ft. Chance the Rapper
    4 ‘Hanging On’ (I See MONSTAS remix), Ellie Goulding
    5 ‘I Won’t Let You Go’, Snow Patrol
    6 ‘Run Boy Run’, Woodkid
    7 ‘Backwards’, Tame Impala and Kendrick Lamar
    8 ‘I need you’, M83
    9 ‘In Distress’, A$AP Rocky, ft. Gesaffelstein
    10 ‘Lost and Found’ (ODESZA remix), Pretty Lights
    11 ‘Stranger’, Skrillex, ft. KillaGraham From Milo & Otis & Sam Dew
    12 ‘Dream machines’, Big Deal
    13 ‘Dead in the water’, Ellie Goulding

    The big winner is Ellie Goulding!

    We will be getting this! We have other movie soundtracks in the Young Adult collection also: The Great Gatsby, Catching Fire, City of Bones, Avengers, Glee (lots of Glee, lots and lots of Glee) and much more.


  • Happenings, Music, Wellington

    Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, July 27-28

    25.07.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, July 27-28

    Another weekend in Wellington is lurking just ahead of us. Here’s some heads-ups for ways to spend it.

    Rūamoko has been a busy lad this week. If you’re keen on a sweet geology-heavy hangtime then you can checkout his antics here.

    Soldout Splendour In The Grass has lured a whole bunch of epic bands down under this weekend but, and it’s a really big but, they’re all the way over in Australia’s New South Wales. If you want to get a sneak peak at some of the big acts (and there are plenty of them) you can do that right here at the “Best-Of-The-Fest” stream.

    There’s no shortage of musical fairy dust in our own town this weekend though with acts like the Veils, Shapeshifter, The Phoenix Foundation playing 18+ shows (links to our CD collection included).

    The Naked And Famous have dropped a new single from their upcoming second album In Rolling Waves.

     

    The Naked And Famous – Hearts Like Ours by The Naked And Famous

    The Wellington season of Young And Hungry, a festival showcasing young playwriting talent, kicks off at BATS Friday night with three sweet plays. More info here.

    The (actual) New Zealand (full and proper, in its entirety) International Film Festival 2013 is finally upon us. Their website and full schedule is here. Looking forward, very much, to seeing The National’s (who’re playing over at Splendour In The Grass) film Mistaken For Strangers about life on the rock ‘n’ roll road.
    Enjoy your first week back at school!

    There’s a good chance you’re not going to get to get to experience them while they’re here if you’re under 18, so here’s a short film with the Veils playing some of their tunes for you.

    Enjoy your first week back at school!


  • Happenings, Music, Wellington, Writing

    Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 13-14 June

    13.06.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 13-14 June

    This weeks weekend is all about the stars, every pun intended. It’s official Matariki celebrations have started and as a continuation from last weekend there are a host of events about the town to keep us all entertained.

    Like any good New Year shindig Matariki’s all about reflecting on the year that has past and ushering in, hopefully, an even better one. While looking back and forward can mean a whole lot of different things to all of us the spirit of the season is to come together, share and celebrate. So with that in mind here’s a run down of Matariki inspired events to get us out and about with our municipal kinfolk.

    As usual our shiny waterfront centrepiece Te Papa has a plethora of things on. They’re putting on a concert series with some great artists appearing Friday night including; Whirimako Black, Mihirangi and J & his geeks for all you NZ’s Got Talent fans. A clebration of the last year in New Zealand film making will happen on Sunday under the moniker of Matariki Film Festival: Whanau Shorts 2013. A Matariki craft village will also pop up on Saturday in the foyer to showcase a wide range of crafts for all you bohemian folk. This year there is an emphasis on navigation and it could be a great time for all you young adventurers to scrub up on South Pacific exploration.

    Just outside Te Papa there will also be waka tours on Saturday.

    One of our other swell museums, the Museum of Wellington: City & Sea is currently running an exhibition celebrating the creativity of us all here at Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui (the head of Maui’s fish).

    If you’d prefer something a bit more literary and find yourself over the age of 15 Patricia Grace’s Tu has been adapted by Hone Kouka and is running at Circa Theatre.

    Want to hang with stars in another way? Author Mal Peet will be popping into the Central Library on Sunday to run a special one off creative writing course for young writers.

    In sport the local roller derby girls meet again in TSB for a bout between Smash Malice & Brutal Pageant.

    If you’ve tuned in to find something for your playlist this week why not try Portugal. The Man. Off of their new album Evil Friends here’s ‘Atomic Man’. Happy weekend!


  • Events, Happenings, Movies, Music, Sport, Wellington

    Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 8-9 June

    06.06.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 8-9 June

    What up! Another weekend looms and here’s some sweet stuff to do with it.

    No doubt you’ve heard about The Great Gatsby (a lot) by now, it feels like they’ve been building hype for eternity. It’s finally here and it looks pretty suave! (Rated M)

    But did you know it was a book first? Sure was, it’s an American Classic by one great F. Scott Fitzgerald. Also, it’s not The GG’s first dance across the silver screen.

    Matariki 2013 celebrations start up in Poneke with the arrival of waka Te Matau a Maui. There’s a calender load of events to keep you busy over the next few weeks of the Maori new year celebration.

    Sporty peepz!  The Championship Tournament of the Woman’s Basketball League is at Te Rauparaha Arena over at neighb’s Porirua. Maori ball game Ki o Rahi will have a Matariki special in Waitangi Park from 6pm Friday night (brought to you by body R2R).

    The other big thing this weekend is our (Wellington’s) Jazz Festival. Before you scoff take note, Jazz is the original bad boy of music. You can thank it for paving the way to all our modern jams and the term “hipster”. Appreciate. There is a caps worthy TONNE of events going down for it. One pretty special looking one is the pop up jams planned for the city streets Friday and Saturday – keep your eyes peeled.

    Shakespeare fans beware this Globe On Screen viewing at Lighthouse Cinema (a nice follow up to the recent Sheila Winn festivities).

    Feeling exhausted yet?

    Here’s a diddy for the weekend playlist. Lorde’s most recent ‘Tennis Court’. Peace!
    Tennis Court by LordeMusic


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