Invisibility, Andrea Cremer & David Levithan (June) – from the author of the Nightshade series and a master collaborator (e.g. Will Grayson, Will Grayson). “Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life – because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible – because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.” (goodreads.com)
The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater (September) – the second in the Raven cycle after The Raven Boys, and featuring lots of Ronan and Chainsaw, and at least one very bad person. “Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…” (goodreads.com)
Winger, Andrew Smith (June) – An American author on rugby, hm. “Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy. With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.” (goodreads.com) Reviewers say it’s funny and sad in equal measures.
This is what happy looks like, Jennifer E Smith (May/June) – From the bestselling author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. “When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?” (goodreads.com). Sounds totes adorbs.
High note… Geddit? Music puns are such fun. Since you’ve all been reading about music after last week’s list in honour of New Zealand Music Month, this week we thought we’d let you know what’s happening!
Unfortunately for us, Auckland seems to be getting most of the action HOWEVER, based on this list of Wellington events, at least lots of the events here are free
NZ Music Month is a promotion run by the NZ Music Commission that takes place each May, in association with other organisations including NZ On Air, RIANZ, APRA, Independent Music NZ, and the Radio Broadcasters Association. You can find out more about the organisers here. NZ Music Month is a 31 day celebration of our homegrown talent across the length and breadth of the country. So get involved! Go to a gig, buy some merchandise, or just rent some New Zealand music from the library this month! Here are our personal favourites:
Flight of the Conchords because, if nothing else, we love a good laugh. And because Bret McKenzie was in the library the other day. But mostly because no one combines comedy and music quite like they do. Don’t believe us? Check out our exstensive collection in the library or check out this rather amusing charity song written for Cure Kids last year.
Essentially that video plays like a who’s who of New Zealand music, including the wonderful Brooke Fraser. We love her, not only for her incredible talents as a singer and songwriter, but also for her willingness to use her fame to get behind a cause. As well as Cure Kids, there’s World Vision (which inspired the song “Albertine”) and in 2010 while on tour in the States, she raised over $54,000 for charity: water to build clean water wells in Ethiopia.
The favourite that you may not have heard of: Ivy Lies. I fell in love with these ladies after hearing “Never Enough” and it’s safe to say the rest of their album, Little Mind Games, is just as good. The girls of Ivy Lies have perfected pop-rock with high energy, aggressive drums and assertive rock guitar, making music that makes you pound your invisible drum sticks.
Not your thing? Come check out the New Zealand music selection here at the library. In case you didn’t know, the YA CDs are FREE on your YA card so really, what’s to lose?
We’ll leave you with some photos of NZ Music Months gone by…
Welcome to the last weekend of the school holidays. First thing’s first, pump up the volume and press play.
Marvel at John Williams conducting. Now there’s suitable ambiance may the fourth be with you! Today is Star Wars day – woohoo. George Lucas’ profound trilogy unleashed a science fiction frenzy on the world just short of 40 years ago and today geeks and not-geeks unite to celebrate the great trilogy-cum-saga. Light saber warbling and “Luke I am your father”-ing is totally appropriate today (and the other 364 days).
Nearly every day or month is a celebration to somebody somewhere. Obviously today (Saturday) has Star Wars covered and tomorrow, for instance, is Children’s Day in South Korea and Japan as well as Cinco de Mayo in The States and Mexico. Cinco de Mayo isn’t the celebration of mayonnaise I will add. Now in that vein I am proud to announce that, for those who aren’t already aware, we are four days into New Zealand Music Month. Throughout the month Teen Blog will bring you all sorts of NZ music know-how. Our libraries will also transform into venues for local musicians to perform – take that shush-fingers!
For a quick scrub-up on what exactly music month is about check out the official website here. In short though it is an epic celebration of the lads and lasses that have gifted ours and the worlds airwaves with amazing music. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll scratch the surface of some of the sweetest acts from the last few decades of kiwi music for weekend playlisting. This week we’ll start with the current decade. Globe conquering has been a bit of a pattern lately with The Naked And Famous first through the gates followed closely by Avalanche City’s Love Love Love (it was originally free to download). Many more have found international success too, especially Hamilton’s favourite child Kimbra. In our local charts Dunedin lads Six60 happened as too did J Williams & Scribe and Wellington’s Brooke Fraser. Away from the top of the charts acts like The Checks, Ladi6 and Cairo Knife Fight hungout with a huge amount of great and fresh music that is just too numerous to list here. As for new stuff be sure to keep an eye on/checkout The Phoenix Foundation, Minuit, Lorde, Shapeshifter and Beastwars.
For the duration of the month The New Zealand Herald will be streaming new and old recordings including their studio Sundae Sessions daily – a concert a day, sweet!
Finally, a video. We’re going to skip viral this week and stay in kiwi theme. Borrowing some funny from 2001 here’s Goodshirt’s Sophie. Enjoy!
Did you know that luxury designer brand Prada is actively supporting arts and academia? Neither did I. But it turns out they are, and they’re hosting a writing competition! Yep!
As you may or may not know, Prada’s creative director Miuccia Prada has a PhD in political science (pretty impressive) and, together with her husband, she has launched the Prada Foundation; a not-for-profit organisation devoted to contemporary art.
The competition is inspired by their new range of prescription glasses, and is seeking out those “who can see the world with a unique, rare gaze.” The brief is “What are the realities that our eyes give back to us? And how are these realities filtered through lenses?” Entries are accepted from all around the world and must be between 4,000 and 8,000 words. They are to be submitted here, via Prada’s website, by June 18.
Winners will be revealed in September with €5,000 up for grabs! So if you, or anyone you know, is a budding (or established, for that matter) writer, you should get IN!
We still really love John Green. This doesn’t change even if you skip a month (oops). It’ll be a little while before we get something new from him – “Untitled” is due to be published in January next year. Until then, this post for other reading ideas.
Public service announcement: 1D, the story of One Direction’s X-factor experience: we have only one copy of this book! We asked nicely for more, but unhappily there are none available, so they’re rare things. Consequently we can’t do much about the reserve queue. We have another book about the fab five, here.
is when one of your senses is triggered but it causes an involuntary response by one or more of your other senses. In this case, we hope you’ll be reading words but hearing music! Or something. It’s a serious disease though.
In a roundabout way, this is a welcome to New Zealand Music Month, and we’re kicking it off with novels about music, musicians and playlists! It’s a challenging thing to write about musicians or bands in a way that is engaging for readers, since the author has to somehow describe the feeling, tone, content and emotion of something which is expressed purely through sound. Here we’ve selected ten who we think have done this pretty well.
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, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy’s dad thinks Curt’s a drug addict and Troy’s brother thinks Troy’s the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. 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.
Be warned, this is not the same book as the Disney movie. As is often the case, the character’s in the book are much more complex although the gist remains. This is the story of how five outcasts in Opoquonsett High School’s freshman class found each other, found the music, and went on to change both rock and roll and high school as we know it. Wen, Stella, Charlie, Olivia, and Mo take us back to that fateful detention where a dentist’s jingle, a teacher’s coughing fit, and a beat-up ukulele gave birth to Rhode Island’s most influential band. This is a book that utilizes multiple points of view really, really well. Especially during the concert chapters, where the point of view changes between about 10 different people.
Four teens suddenly rise to stardom in their band 6X, taking the world by storm and learning the truth first-hand about the real backstabbing world of show biz. The band is made up of 4 members, contradictory to what the book title suggests. There’s Kendall (The Voice), Rich (The Body), Stella (The Boss) and A/B (The Boy) and together they’re on the fast track to pop-rock superstardom. Along the way though, they’ll have to do some serious soul searching, face some hard truths and learn to survive in the glamorous, backstabbing world of pop music.
This high-energy romance follows two high-school seniors through a single, music-fueled night in Manhattan. Nick, the nonqueer bassist in a queercore band, is playing with The Fuck Offs, when he spots his ex-girlfriend, Tris. Once offstage, he propositions a girl he has never met, hoping to make Tris jealous: Would you mind being my girlfriend for five minutes? Norah, also heartbroken (and hoping Nick will drive her home), agrees. What begins as a spontaneous ploy turns into something surprising and real in the course of one night as Nick and Norah roam Manhattan, listen to bands, confront past hurts, and hurtle toward romance. What we loved about this one is the characters’ wild yearning for love, and music, which feels powerful and true.
Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall. But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?
Britain in the 1970s sounds like an incredible place to be. Chaos and punk culture went hand in hand and this book is set right in the middle of it: summer of 1976. It was the summer of so many things. Heat and violence, love and hate, heaven and hell. It was the time I met William Bonney – the boy from Belfast known as Billy the Kid. William’s secrets have been kept for a long time, but now things have changed and the truth is coming out. The story begins with Curtis Ray; hip, cool, rebellious Curtis Ray. Without Curtis, there wouldn’t be a story to tell. It’s the story of a band, of life and death . . . and everything in between.
Raised by a mother who has had five husbands, eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician. Remy goes on a whirlwind ride, avoiding, circling and finally surrendering to Cupid’s arrows. More than the summer romance of this novel, we loved the cast of idiosyncratic characters who watch from the sidelines. There’s the trio of Remy’s faithful girlfriends, all addicted to “Xtra Large Zip” Diet Cokes practical-minded Jess, weepy Lissa, and Chloe, who shares Remy’s dark sense of humor as well as Dexter’s entourage of fellow band members, as incompetent at managing money as they are at keeping their rental house clean. Potential spoiler: it’s far from the fairytale happily-ever-after ending.
California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous! Now rabid fans are invading her school. People (magazine) is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can’t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi. Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.
High school senior Piper, who began to lose her hearing at age six, has mixed feelings about her parents dipping into her college fund to pay for cochlear implants for her hearing-impaired baby sister. But one thing is clear: Piper has to replenish the funds. Opportunity knocks when a disorganized rock band named Dumb invites her to be their manager. However, it soon becomes apparent that the members’ egos are more substantial than their talent. Although Piper’s hearing is a characterizing detail that could have been used solely as a gimmick, her abilities are seen as assets: while lip reading allows her access to public conversation, she is not above using sign language to obscure her intentions. The parallel attention to Piper’s hearing family and the strain her parents’ decision to treat her sister with cochlear implants adds to the greater story and informs the novel’s direction and ending in a satisfying way.
Music is Pete’s life. He’s happiest when he’s playing his Fender Precision bass, whether he’s jamming with his dad at 2 a.m. or covering Top 40 hits. Pete doesn’t care about playing the hottest club or getting the cutest girl. For him, it’s all about the quality of the music. Until he meets the Carlisle brothers. Pete could play circles around Nick and Billy Carlisle-the guys are amateurs. But there’s a power in their sound that’s exciting, and they need a new bass player. Pete joins their band, not quite sure what to expect. Before he knows it, he’s on a wild ride that transforms him from jazz band geek to potential rock god. Is Pete ready for superstardom? More importantly, is it even what he wants?
Hopefully that’s enough to kick of 2013 New Zealand Music Month for y’all! Stay tuned for updates and our favourite homegrown acts.
Me myself Milly, Penelope Bush (183 pages) – What happened to Milly last summer? She can’t talk about it. Instead, she’s writing her journal. About growing up in the shadow of her twin sister Lily. About the American boy who’s moved upstairs. Milly can’t keep her secret forever – can she?
First line: “This week at the counselling session, Mr Jessop – or Ted, as he keeps telling me to call him – suggested I write a journal.”
One Crow Alone, S. D. Crockett (310 pages) – The cold, bitter winters are getting longer, and a state of emergency has been declared across Europe. After the death of her grandmother and the evacuation of her small Polish village, sixteen-year-old Magda is running out of options. With the help of arrogant, yet resourceful Ivan, she smuggles her way to London. But London is nightmarish and far from welcoming. The pair will need all the cunning and know-how they possess to survive.
First lines: “Of course there were summers. But not then.”
Finding Cherokee Brown, Siobhan Curham (331 pages) – When I decided to write a book about my life I thought I’d have to make loads of stuff up. I mean, who wants to read about someone like me? But as soon as I started writing, the weirdest thing happened. I found out I wasn’t who I thought I was. And I stopped being scared. Then everything went crazy! Best of all, I discovered that when you finally decide to be brave it’s like waving a wand over your life – the most magical things can happen.
First lines: “I’ve decided to write a novel. If I don’t write a novel I will kill somebody.”
Another Life, Keren David (340 pages) – Kicked out of yet another boarding school, Archie couldn’t be happier to find himself back in London with old friends and an exciting social life. But he’s worried about his cousin Ty, who is facing a sentence in a Young Offender Institution and doesn’t seem to be coping. And he’s finding that his old friends have moved on and it’s a struggle to keep up with their new lives. When he begins to learn surprising things about Ty, Archie goes on a mission to discover the truth about his cousin’s past.
First line: “There’s a matchbox of weed sitting on the headmaster’s desk – good quality Dutch skunk. I can smell it, sweet and strong, from my uncomfortably low chair.”
Infinite Sky, C. J. Flood (271 pages) – No one should die the way he did. I think about him, in there, with all that space, and I want to stop them. I want to open the coffin and climb in with him. I can’t bear the thought of him being cold. And all the time the same question flails around my head, like a hawk moth round a light bulb. Is it possible to keep loving somebody when they kill someone you love? Sidenote: check out the seriously pretty cover!
First lines: “It was three months after Mum left that the gypsies moved in. They set up camp in the paddock one Sunday night while we were asleep.”
Jepp, who defied the stars, Katherine Marsh (380 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Jepp’s life is changed forever the day he is whisked from the Dutch countryside to the court of the Spanish Infanta. However, Jepp’s happiness soon turns to misery as he discovers that humiliation and cruelty lurk beneath the court’s glittering facade. Jepp must draw on all his courage and charm to win the woman he loves, find his true identity and become the man he wishes to be.
First lines: “Being a court dwarf is no easy task. I know because I failed at it.”
Stormbringers, Philippa Gregory. The sequel to Changeling, and the second of four in the Order of Darkness series. “Italy, 1453. Luca and Isolde grow more and more attracted to each other as they continue their journey to unravel the mysteries throughout Christendom. But their travels are delayed by the uprising of an intense religious crusade that threatens the balance of the civilized world. Death lingers in the air as war ravages on, but this religious conflict is nothing compared to the arrival of an intense and deadly storm. Caught in the midst of unimaginable chaos, Luca and Isolde must rely on one another in order to survive.” (goodreads.com) If you like historical romance with some fantasy, then this might be right up your street.
Zom-B: Angels, Darren Shan. Darren Shan is pumping out the Zom-B books, which is fantastic for zombie fans. They’re not telling us anything about what happens though, not even a small teaser, but we can tell you that the fifth book (Zom-B: Baby) will follow hot on its heels in September. Ah well, you can order it now and just be surprised.
Goddess, Josephine Angelini. The final book in the Starcrossed trilogy. “After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count. To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.” (goodreads.com)
Dare you to, Katie McGarry. Described as the sequel to Pushing the limits, although with new characters I think. “If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does… Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him. But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all…” (goodreads.com)
And one new:
Shipwrecked, Siobhan Curham. This is the first in a new series which is described as “Lost meets Gossip Girl”, which sounds quite intriguing (perhaps like Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, but a bit more serious?). “I jump at the sound of a whispered voice over my shoulder. But when I turn round all I see is sand, and the towering, green wall of the rainforest. I guess it must have been the breeze, but I can’t help shivering. I have the weirdest feeling that we’re being watched… Grace Delaney and her fellow dance students are en route to perform on a South Pacific cruise-ship when a freak storm hits and they find themselves stranded on a deserted island. With the tropical heat rising, passions and tensions swell to breaking point. And the island itself is quietly steaming with a terrible secret…” (goodreads.com)
If you find yourself wandering about Newtown this weekend why not check out Wellington Festival Of Circus? If having clowning & cabaret up in your face isn’t doing it for you maybe Darren Shan could keep you in theme but through the safety of bound text?
If you’re more of a performer then a watcher have you considered entering this years Smokefree Rockquest? It’s the 25th year this right-of-passage is running and man has it fostered all sorts of household name kiwi musicians. Need some inspiration? Here’s a surface scratching list of previous contestants including Kimbra and last years winners New Vinyl. Take yourself on a journey through our CD collection.
The curtain falls on Game Masters at Te Papa this weekend. The amazing exhibition that caters to almost every level of gamer was borrowed from the incredible ACMI in Melbourne’s Federation Square and includes Pacman, Space Invaders and Sonic!
New music on the playlist shelf this week includes ex-Wellingtonian Willy Moon and half New Zealand alt-indie darlings The Veils with their fourth album.
Ever wondered what happens when you wring a soggy towel out in space? Here’s the answer:
I LOVE this image. It’s so chic and glamour, but still kinda edgy… love. I’m really enjoying the black and white monochrome trend at the mo. It’s quite surprising for me, considering I absolutely adore colour and love wearing really outrageously bright tones. But the monochrome look is so simple yet chic, I kinda like it.
It’s definitely a trend I’m wanting to milk this winter. I recently bought this dress and really love it for its versatility – it can be worn with any colour, but also looks so sweet by itself. And, negl, I rock a lot of polka dots. Am also in love with this top! I am obsessed with cat clothing at the moment (think it’s because I’ve made friends with a cat that lives in my building – she’s black and fluffy and SO CUTE. We cuddle daily.) and this sweet shirt is no exception. I love wearing it with my 90s black pleat skirt – swoon! Also really digging this classic houndstooth skirt… it has such a chic vintage London vibe. Who knew just black and white together could be so much fun?