Words, words, and more words.
Zomburbia, Adam Gallardo
My name is Courtney Hart, and I’m here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I’d actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains. I’ve noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that’s even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing…(Goodreads)
First lines: The night shifts at Bully Burger are the absolute worst. It’s like sitting through a five-hour History lecture from Mr. Chanders, only you have to wear a festively colored polyester uniform while you do it. Maybe a car an hour comes through the drive-thru, and you get really tired of that fearful look people have in their eyes after dark.
Of metal and wishes, Sarah Fine
There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally. Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her…for a very long time.
As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it. (Goodreads)
First lines: If I believed in the devil, I’d give him credit for the shift whistle at the Gochan One factory. Its shriek rips me from a dream of the wind whispering through flowering dogwood trees. I fold the pillow over my ears, crush it down, and think of my mother singing me to sleep.
Circus of the unseen, Joanne Owen
After an accident at her grandmother’s house, Rosie is transported to a strange and sinister world populated by a cast of carnivalesque characters who reside in the Circus of the Unseen. They are reigned over by an old woman called Madam Matushka, who guards the threshold between life and death and has extraordinary powers over all around her.
This is an in-between world, a bizarre and trapped existence, but Rosie is not like the others here. She seems to be hovering between the worlds of the living and the dead, and she is a challenge to Madam Matushka. Can Rosie escape Madame Matushka’s malevolent rule and a world in limbo? And can she help resolve another mystery – one at the heart of her grandmother’s life?(Goodreads)
First lines: Long ago, when the world was young and people still though of the marsh and the mists and the witch in the woods, there lived a girl called Vasilia, whose mother fell gravely ill. On her deathbed, Vasilia’s mother called for her daughter.
Oh yeah, Audrey! Tucker Shaw
It’s 5:00 a.m. on Fifth Avenue, and 16-year-old Gemma Beasley is standing in front of Tiffany & Co. wearing the perfect black dress with her coffee in hand—just like Holly Golightly. As the cofounder of a successful Tumblr blog—Oh Yeah Audrey!—devoted to all things Audrey Hepburn, Gemma has traveled to New York in order to meet up with her fellow bloggers for the first time. She has meticulously planned out a 24-hour adventure in homage to Breakfast at Tiffany’s; however, her plans are derailed when a glamorous boy sweeps in and offers her the New York experience she’s always dreamed of. Gemma soon learns who her true friends are and that, sometimes, no matter where you go, you just end up finding yourself.(Goodreads)
First lines: It’s not like I officially ran away. Actual running away is when you just can’t take it anymore – your family or school or life in general- and you hop on a bus to some big city, change your name, and find a job clearing plates or checking coats at a restaurant.
Monstrous affections: an anthology of beastly tales, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant
Fifteen top voices in speculative fiction explore the intersection of fear and love in a haunting, at times hilarious, darkly imaginative volume.
Predatory kraken that sing with – and for – their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as to repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side-by-side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling, to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these, and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.(Goodreads)
First lines: Let’s be honest. We have questions about monsters. That’s why we put this book together. That’s why you’re reading this book right now. On old maps, cartographers would draw strange beasts around the margins and wrote phrases such as “Here there be dragons.” That’s where monsters exist: in the unmapped spaces, in the places where we haven’t filled in all the gaps, in outer space or the deepest parts of the ocean.
It’s almost a Trailer Tuesday post, because I’m here to tell you about a movie, but it’s only “almost” because there actually isn’t a trailer yet. Oops. But that’s because this news is as fresh as can be!
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews was recently made into a movie – had you heard? I hadn’t, until I heard it won two of the biggest prizes at this year’s Sundance festival! It won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the Dramatic category it was entered in. Pretty impressive! The last movie to win both these awards was Whiplash, and that movie had 5 Oscar nominations!
It might not be out for a while, considering there’s not even a teaser trailer available, but in the meantime you can reserve the book or search for cast interviews on Youtube.
This photo is a taster of Orla Kiely’s upcoming London Fashion Week show which is inspired by, you guessed it, the library!! I can not wait to see this collection; having always loved Orla Kiely’s preppy vintage style and super cute prints, I can only imagine how amazing the collection is going to be with a twist of ‘library’ thrown in. eeeeeeeeee!!
If you want to learn more about Orla Kiely in the meantime…
Pattern / Orla Kiely.
“The world of Orla Kiely is one where pattern reigns. Giving a personal account of what informs her work and inspires her designs, Orla looks at pattern in all its manifestations – the impact of scale and proportions, rhythm and texture, and the all-important dimension of colour.” (Syndetics summary)
Fashion designers’ sketchbooks. Two / Hywel Davies.
“Following the success of Fashion Designers’ Sketchbooks, this second volume shines a light on the work of a new line-up of major names in the fashion industry. Photographs, sketches, moodboards, line-ups, toiles, swatches and more all feed the creative processes that forge fashion designs, and here they are brought together to reveal how the final collections are conceived and developed. Orla Kiely, Rick Owens, Clements Ribeiro and Marios Schwab are just some of the prominent designers featured.” – library catalogue
I love books in a series. I got addicted to them when I was a kid and read Harry Potter. Basically when I see a book that has a sequence I will try to read all of them
I started the series Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry a while back and I really like the way she can make a Young Adult romance look so mature, in a good way, without losing innocence, and at the same time she puts the characters through really tough situations. What intrigues me the most is the way that she decided to carry on the series with a different main character in each book.
Pushing the limits / Katie McGarry.
“Told in alternating chapters, this intriguing novel delves into the psyches of Echo, whose own mother tried to kill her, and Noah, an orphaned bad boy. When Mrs. Collins, the school counselor and keeper of their sought-after files, suggests that good-student Echo tutor Noah, neither is receptive to the idea. But as they come to lean on and trust one another, tension starts to burn up the pages. Romance readers will likely embrace the love story of two troubled teens who, together, find a path toward healing.” (adapted from Booklist)
Dare you to / Katie McGarry.
“Narrated from alternating viewpoints, this contemporary novel tells the story of 17-year-old Beth, a troubled “skater girl” with a hard past, and Ryan, a high school jock with a seemingly perfect life. It all starts when Ryan’s friends dare him to get Beth’s phone number, and she turns him down. Their lives become intertwined after she is uprooted from her abusive home and is forced to move to a small town and transfer to Ryan’s school. At first he sees it as an opportunity to win the dare, but she resists his offers of friendship. Nonetheless, the two gradually fall in love and learn to trust each other with their secrets.” (adapted from School Library Journal)
Crash into you / Katie McGarry.
“A good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane. The girl with straight As and the perfect life, that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy family, and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves drag racing in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker, a guy she has no business even talking to but when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.” (adapted from publisher’s web site)
Take me on / Katie McGarry.
“Bottling up her emotions has become Haley’s way to deal with her problems from her dad losing his job, to the family living under authoritarian rule at her Uncle’s house. West, on the other hand, has problems controlling his emotions while dealing with his tumultuous relationship with his parents. Haley and West’s lives and narratives intertwine after West nearly hits Haley with his SUV and a conflict with her ex-boyfriends younger brother results. To protect West and her family from retaliation, Haley trains West to battle it out with her ex in the octagon.” (adapted from School Library Journal)
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Grimm’s away this week, but I’m still here to report the most exciting books we’ve ordered recently! If they sound interesting to you, go ahead and reserve them now, although they won’t arrive for a little while yet.
The cage / Megan Shepherd
“When Cora wakes up in the middle of a desert, the last thing she can remember is driving to a ski resort with her brother. She comes across five other teenagers in this unfamiliar world, and they learn that they have been selected by highly intelligent aliens as study subjects; they are watched and controlled at all times. Each captive has been paired with another-with the charge to procreate within 21 days or face a fate worse than captivity. Cora can’t forget home, and her constant search for an escape puts her at odds with the rest of the group, who begin to see her as a threat to their survival.” (School Library Journal)
The Glass Arrow / Kristen Simmons
“In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.” (Goodreads)
Dearest / Alethea Kontis
“Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?” (Goodreads)
Weird Fiction is my jam. And when I’m talking about weird fiction I’m not talking about slightly odd werewolves who own an infinite number of jean shorts. I’m talking about the highly unusual - as in surfer messiahs, a buffalo who know exactly what you should do in any given situation, people sentenced to die by sinking slowly into a tar pit, teenagers who discover the edge of the world and toddlers who escape murderers by hiding in graveyards. If you’re keen to have your brain blasted by some strange and unusual tales here are a couple you may well love:
Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
“Through the lens of Link’s vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look. From the multiple award-winning The Faery Handbag, in which a teenager’s grandmother carries an entire village (or is it a man-eating dog?) in her handbag, to the near-future of The Surfer, whose narrator (a soccer-playing skeptic) waits with a planeload of refugees for the aliens to arrive, Links stories are funny and full of unexpected insights and skewed perspectives on the world.” (Goodreads)
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
“Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part. Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs. Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.” (Goodreads)
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this book – the stories are so bizarre with ugly angels fighting one another in unreal lands. “In this extraordinary short story collection, human frailty is put to the test by the relentless forces of dark and light, man and beast. Each tale offers glimpses into familiar, shadowy worlds that push the boundaries of the spirit and leave the mind haunted with the knowledge that black juice runs through us all.” (Goodreads)
Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Please read this - please, oh please! This would have to be my favourite collection of weird stories that I read in 2014. “Breathtakingly illustrated and hauntingly written, Tales from Outer Suburbia is by turns hilarious and poignant, perceptive and goofy. Through a series of captivating and sophisticated illustrated stories, Tan explores the precious strangeness of our existence …. Whether it’s discovering that the world really does stop at the end of the city’s map book, or a family’s lesson in tolerance through an alien cultural exchange student, Tan’s deft, sweet social satire brings us face-to-face with the humour and absurdity of modern life.” (Goodreads)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
“After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…” (Goodreads)
Time travel is one of my absolute favourite plot tropes, and it can be handled very differently from story to story. Sometimes more serious, sometimes less so. It’s also interesting to see how different interpretations deal with time continuity, and what happens when the past (or future) is altered. Here are a few time-travel picks which I hope you’ll enjoy!
The here and now / Ann Brashares.
“Prenna and her doctor mom are not your average immigrants. No, they have immigrated to New York from the 2090s, a future of climate-change extremes and mosquito-borne plagues that wipe out entire families and civilizations. The few who have survived the plagues and the journey back to 2010 have been charged with two challenges: change the course of environmental history and assimilate into the culture without disclosing their origins or becoming intimate with the natives. Prenna knows her friendship with Ethan is red-flag behavior. When an elderly homeless man warns her that she and Ethan must prevent a murder on May 17, 2014 just days away she realizes she must defy the community and its counselors for civilization’s greater good.” (Booklist)
The 57 lives of Alex Wayfare / MG Buehrlen.
“For as long as Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Vivid visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair. It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth; her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender — capable of traveling back in time to her past lives. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. And they will stop at nothing to make this life, her fifty-seventh, her last.” (Syndetics)
Tempest / Julie Cross.
“The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun. That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future. Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities. But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.” (Goodreads)
A thousand pieces of you / Claudia Gray.
“Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him. Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.” (Goodreads)
Timebound / Rysa Walker.
“When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and speaks of time travel, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence. Kate learns that the 1893 killing is part of something much more sinister, and Kate’s genetic ability to time-travel makes her the only one who can stop him. Risking everything, she travels to the Chicago World’s Fair to try to prevent the killing and the chain of events that follows. Changing the timeline comes with a personal cost, however—if Kate succeeds, the boy she loves will have no memory of her existence. And regardless of her motives, does she have the right to manipulate the fate of the entire world?” (Goodreads)
After Eden / Helen Douglas.
“Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she’s hooked. On the face of it, he’s a typical American teenager. So why doesn’t he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn’t heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he’s taking in her. As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan’s bedroom – a biography of her best friend – written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose … and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.” (Goodreads)
Steel / Carrie Vaughn.
“Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure. The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate’s life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.” (Goodreads)
TimeRiders / Alex Scarrow.
“Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026. Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand …’ But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren’t rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose—to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That’s why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world…” (Goodreads)