Books, Grimm, Most Wanted

Most Wanted: November 2014

05.11.14 | Permalink | Comment?

These are the 10-ish most requested Young Adult titles for the month. We have recently got more copies of the Maze Runner series, so good news if you’re waiting to read it or re-read it!

1. The Maze Runner, James Dashner [up 1]
2. The Scorch Trials, James Dashner [new but old]
3. Minecraft: construction handbook [no change]
4. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [down 3]
5=. Minecraft: combat handbook [no change]
5=. The Revenge of Seven, Pittacus Lore [down 1]
7. Four: a Divergent Collection, Veronica Roth [down 1]
8. Divergent, Veronica Roth [up 2]
9. If I Stay, Gayle Forman [down 3]
10=. Insurgent, Veronica Roth [down 1]
10=. Allegiant, Veronica Roth [back]


Books, Comedy, dystopia, Fantasy, GLBT, Horror, Mysteries, Nicola, Non-fiction

New books

30.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Book cover coutesy of SyneticsWhen Mr. Dog bites, Brian Conaghan

Dylan Mint has Tourette’s. For Dylan, life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in – the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that escapes whenever he gets stressed. And, as a sixteen-year-old virgin and pupil at Drumhill Special School, getting stressed is something of an occupational hazard. But then a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he’s going to die next March.
So he grants himself three parting wishes: three ‘Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It’.
It isn’t a long list, but it is ambitious, and he doesn’t have much time. But as Dylan sets out to make his wishes come true, he discovers that nothing – and no-one – is quite as he had previously supposed. (Goodreads)

First lines: When I found out, the first thing I did was type “100 things to do before you die” into Google. The Internet is, like, wow! How do those Google people make their thingy whizz about the world in a mega-swoosh style before sending me, Dylan Mint, all this big-eye info? No one could answer that question – I know this for a fact because I’ve googled it myself, six tines, and there is nada on it.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe summer I wasn’t me, Jessica Verdi

Lexi has a secret. She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good. Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there’s nothing she wants more than to start over. But sometimes love has its own path… (Goodreads)

First lines: My mother drives right past the New Horizons sign.
“Um, Mom?” I touch her arm gently. She doesn’t respond. She’s zoning out again. But these moments have been happening a lot less often lately. Maybe soon they won’t be happening at all.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe astrologer’s daughter, Rebecca Lim

Avicenna Crowe’s mother, Joanne, is an astrologer with uncanny predictive powers and a history of being stalked. Now she is missing.
The police are called, but they’re not asking the right questions. Like why Joanne lied about her past, and what she saw in her stars that made her so afraid. But Avicenna has inherited her mother’s gift. Finding an unlikely ally in the brooding Simon Thorn, she begins to piece together the mystery. And when she uncovers a link between Joanne’s disappearance and a cold-case murder, Avicenna is led deep into the city’s dark and seedy underbelly, unaware how far she is placing her own life in danger.(Goodreads)

First lines: My mother always called it the eventuality. Not the maybe, or the probably.
“It’s going to happen,” she would tell me calmly. “I even know when. It’s a twist in my stars. It’s written there, and we have to accept it.”
My mother, Joanne Nielsen Crowe. She has a name, she’s not a was.

Book cover courtey of SyndeticsAmity, Micol Ostow

When Connor’s family moves to Amity, a secluded house on the peaceful banks of New England’s Concord River, his nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons. destruction, and revenge. Dreams he kind of likes. Dreams he could make real, with Amity’s help.
Ten years later, Gwen’s family moves to Amity for a fresh start. Instead, she’s haunted by lurid visions, disturbing voices, and questions about her own sanity. But with her history, who would ever believe her? And what could be done if they did?
Because Amity isn’t just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a violent end as she’s done before. As she’ll do again. And again. And again.(Goodreads)

First lines: Here is a housel bones of beam and joints of hardware, stone foundation smooth, solid as the core of the earth, nestled, pressed, cold and flat and dank against the hard-packed soil and all of its squirming secrets.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsKate Walden directs: Night of the zombie chickens, Julie Mata

Night of the Zombie Chickens is supposed to be Kate Walden’s breakout film. But her supporting actresses-her mother’s prize organic hens-are high maintenance, to say the least. Thank goodness Kate’s best friend Alyssa is the star. She’s great at screaming and even better at killing zombies in creative ways. But when Alyssa turns into a real-life soulless zombie and ditches Kate for the most popular girl in seventh grade, Kate suddenly finds herself both friendless and starless. Now, thanks to Alyssa’s new crowd, Kate is the butt of every joke at school and consigned to the loser table at lunch. If movies have taught Kate anything, it’s that the good guy can always win-with the right script. And her fellow social outcasts may be the key to her own happy ending. Kate hatches the perfect revenge plot against her former best friend, but even though her screenplay is foolproof, Kate soon realizes that nothing-in filmmaking or in life-ever goes exactly as planned. Especially when there are diabolical hens out to get you.(Goodreads)

First lines: The last normal day of my life is a Saturday, and it starts pretty much like every other morning. When I go downstairs to the kitchen, my dad rattles his newspaper and my mother mumbles something in my direction and yawns.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsForget me, K.A Harrington

On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as “Evan Murphy.” She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive. Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents’ involvement in this massive web of lies.(Goodreads)

First lines: He lied to me. That was my first thought when I saw him. I was alone in my car, on the way to the party where Toni and my other friends were waiting. As I drove down Lincoln Road, my eyes went to the tall chain-link fence that bordered the old amusement park.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAs red as blood, Salla Simukka

In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.
Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls. But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business. As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.(Goodreads)

First lines: All around lay glittering white. Over old snow, a new, clean layer of soft flakes had fallen fifteen minutes earlier. Fifteen minutes earlier everything had still been possible. The world had looked beautiful, the future flickering somewhere in the distance, brighter, freer, more peaceful.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMonument 14, Emmy Laybourne

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.(Goodreads)

First lines: Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t hug her and tell her that you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not – you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe ghosts of Heaven, Marcus Sedgewick

A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future. Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. (Goodreads)

First lines: She is the one who goes on,
when the others remain behind.
The one who walks into the darkness,
when others cling to the light.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe young elites, Marie Lu

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites. Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.(Goodreads)

First lines: I’m going to die tomorrow morning.
That’s what the Inquisitors tell me, anyway, when they visit my cell. I’ve been in here for weeks- I know this only because I’ve been counting the number of times my meals come.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFeral, Holly Schindler

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.
But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened. But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley…(Goodreads)

First lines: In the rugged, underbrush-riddled rural town of Peculiar, Missouri, at the beginning of a January sleet storm, and beneath the dimming orange hues of dusk, a body lay half out of the window that led to the high school basement.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsI hunt killers, Barry Lyga

Jasper “Jazz” Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say. But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal’s point of view. And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod. In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?(Goodreads)

First lines: By the time Jazz got to the field outside town, yellow police tape was everywhere, strung from stake to stake in a sort of drunken, off-kilter hexagon. The field was thick with cops – state troopers in their khakis, a cluster of deputies in their blues, even a crime-scene tech in jeans and a Windbreaker.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe fall, Bethany Griffin

Madeline Usher is doomed. She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.
Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.(Goodreads)

First lines: The first thing I notice is that my blanket is gone. The last of my nightly rituals is to pull it all the way to my chin, and it never falls away, no matter what nightmares I wrestle before I wake.

Non Fiction

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSome assembly required, Arin Andrews

Seventeen-year-old Arin Andrews shares all the hilarious, painful, and poignant details of undergoing gender reassignment as a high school student in this winning memoir. We’ve all felt uncomfortable in our own skin at some point, and we’ve all been told that it’s just a part of growing up. But for Arin Andrews, it wasn’t a phase that would pass. He had been born in the body of a girl and there seemed to be no relief in sight. In this revolutionary memoir, Arin details the journey that led him to make the life-transforming decision to undergo gender reassignment as a high school junior. In his captivatingly witty, honest voice, Arin reveals the challenges he faced as a girl, the humiliation and anger he felt after getting kicked out of his private school, and all the changes, both mental and physical, he experienced once his transition began. Arin also writes about the thrill of meeting and dating a young transgender woman named Katie Hill and the heartache that followed after they broke up. Some Assembly Required is a true coming-of-age story about knocking down obstacles and embracing family, friendship, and first love. But more than that, it is a reminder that self-acceptance does not come ready-made with a manual and spare parts. Rather, some assembly is always required.(Goodreads)

First lines: Getting dumped at prom sucks. I mean, getting dumped period sucks, obviously. But to have it happen in formal wear in front of hundreds of people adds a humiliating slap across the face that an I-just-want-to-be-friends text can’t compete with.

Image courtesy of Syndetics120 ways to annoy your mother (and influence people), Ana Benaroya

Ana Benaroya, a brilliant, young, independent American illustrator, has brought together 120 tips that provide an ironic, witty and gently subversive twist on all the guides to life for would-be prom queens and cheerleaders. This book provides the things that really matter for a teenage rebel, including How Not to Make Eye Contact with Your Mother and How to Turn Your Life into a Soap Opera, alongside humorous pointers for cultural and social advancement, such as How to Appreciate Jazz Music, and dreamy, surreal ideas, such as How to Fly and How to Breathe Fireballs. (Goodreads)


Books, Grimm, New

YA fiction we’ve recently ordered

29.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

This randomly, accidentally, turned into a horror special, complete with some pretty nice book covers, we think.

The Mark of Cain, Lindsey Barraclough. The sequel to Long Lankin! The horror! Perfect timing for Halloween reserves. This one introduces the charming Aphra (1567). “Four years have passed since the death of Ida Guerdon, and Cora is back in Bryers Guerdon in the manor house her aunt left to her. It is a cold, bitter winter, and the horrifying events of that sweltering summer in 1958 seem long past. Until Cora’s father arranges for some restoration work to take place at Guerdon Hall, and it seems that something hidden there long ago has been disturbed. The spirit of Aphra Rushes – intent on finishing what she began, four centuries ago” (goodreads.com)

Evil Librarian, Michelle Knudsen. How could we not order a book called Evil Librarian? “When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact… a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!” (goodreads.com).

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.com)

Blackfin Sky, Kat Ellis. “When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened. Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it.” (goodreads.com)


Books, Horror, Mysteries, Rachel

Spooky books for Halloween

28.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, it’s kinda fun to have an excuse to dress up and be scary (or scared). Here are some creepy (creppy!), kooky and spooky (spoopy!) books to help you get excited for Halloween, whether you plan to go trick-or-treating or not.

Syndetics book coverThe Halloween tree, Ray Bradbury

“Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin’s.” (Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs

“A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.” (Goodreads)

Syndetics book coverAnna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake

“For three years, seventeen-year-old Cas Lowood has carried on his father’s work of dispatching the murderous dead, traveling with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat, but everything changes when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before.” (Syndetics)

 

 

Syndetics book coverThe name of the star, Maureen Johnson.

“Flip-flop-wearing, Cheez Whiz-eating 18-year-old Rory has left her Louisiana home to spend her senior year at an esteemed London school, Wexford. Her arrival, though, is met by a series of grisly murders precisely mirroring the 1888 killings of Jack the Ripper and Wexner is right in the center of Saucy Jack’s stomping grounds. After a near-death experience, Rory finds herself with the ability to see the shades, ghosts drifting about London. This ability brings her to the attention of a squad of young people with similar talents who are working with the authorities to sniff out the copycat killer before the final murder takes place.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverAsylum, Madeleine Roux

“Dan is thrilled to be spending the summer before his senior year at the New Hampshire College Prep program. He doesn’t mind that his dorm, Brookline, was once an asylum for the criminally insane, in fact, he begins exploring the old passageways at night. At first, Dan and his friends think it’s fun to sneak around in the dark and look at old patient records, but soon the things they find begin to frighten them. When people start dying, Dan is convinced that the killer’s identity is buried in his dorm’s darkest history and that his own strange connection to the institution may be the key to stopping the murders.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverPaper valentine, Brenna Yovanoff

“The small-town community Hannah Wagnor grew up in used to feel safe, but now, during a record-breaking July heat wave, a serial killer is targeting young girls. Depressed since her friend Lillian’s death six months earlier, Hannah goes through the motions of daily life, with Lillian’s ghost a constant presence at her side. As more bodies are discovered, Hannah begins to see ghosts of the murdered girls. Investigating the deaths, she begins to wonder how much she really knows about Finny Boone, the cute bad boy she’s known forever but is only just beginning to understand. ” (School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverLong Lankin, Lindsey Barraclough

“It’s 1958, and sisters Cora and Mimi are unceremoniously dumped by their father into the arms of Aunt Ida, a haunted, solitary woman who lives in the small town of Bryers Guerdon. All is not well in the dank, depressed village to say the least and slowly, with the help of two new friends, the girls begin to turn up ancient and ghostly clues about a vicious child-stealing creature named Long Lankin.” (Booklist)


Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

New fashion and beauty

24.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

I’m so excited about these two new books (and my new kitty jumper from Orla Kiely!):

fashion

I’ve already raved about The Dress: 100 Iconic Moments in Fashion over on our tumblr, but you also need to see The Daily Face. It takes after this very popular blog and is written by Annamarie Tendler, who is a makeup artist and is one of the contributors for online beauty mag Glamour. It has lots of different makeup looks in it, including three different cats eye looks. Three!! Very helpful with great illustrations and easy-easy instructions; sweet!

photo

Syndetics book coverThe dress : 100 iconic moments in fashion / Megan Hess.
“From Ms Hepburn’s elegant black shift to Lady Gaga’s meat gown, The Dress relives the marvellous and unforgettable dresses of fashion: think Liz Hurley’s safety-pin ensemble, Princess Di’s neverending wedding dress, or that unforgettable white halter sported by Marilyn in The Seven Year Itch. Megan Hess’ fabulous illustrations celebrate a collection of frocks that take readers on a decadent romp through fashion history, from the haute to the hot. This is a compendium of gowns that have captured a moment in history, the spirit of a generation and the indefinable energy of a fashion icon, and an exploration of why they continue to resonate with audiences, decades on.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe daily face : 25 makeup looks for day, night, and everything in between! / Annamarie Tendler ; photographs by Justin Ouellette.
“Makeup artist Annamarie Tendler’s Daily Face feature on her hugely popular Tumblr blog has inspired hundreds of thousands of followers. Now in her first book, she takes readers around the clock with 25 easy-to-achieve looks for everything from an afternoon first date to a retro-glam cocktail party or a sultry smoky-eyed late night. She even throws in some head-turning costume ideas. It’s all about personal expression. Step-by-step photos make it easy for anyone (even the makeup challenged) to follow along. Tendler’s pro tips and “less is more” philosophy will appeal to women who want to look amazing without spending hours in front of the mirror. A chic, purse-sized flexi paperback, this is the perfect guide for the girl on the go.” (Syndetics summary)


Books, Grimm, New

Coming up in YA fiction

22.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Featuring damsels, or anti-damsels rather.

The Cure for Dreaming, Cat Winters. We like the sound of this, plus, great cover. “Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl – a suffragist – in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women.” (goodreads.com)

Damsel Distressed, Kelsey Macke. An addition to the fairytale retelling genre, from a different perspective. “Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an ‘emotionally disturbed’ special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status. When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace – the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant – aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time. While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.” (goodreads.com)

No Life But This, Anna Sheehan. A kind-of sequel to A Long, Long Sleep which I loved, featuring another not-so-damsel. “Rose spent most of her life asleep. Otto spent his as an object. Rose Fitzroy woke from her long sleep to a changed world and new life. Her friend Otto watched her from afar, longing for what he felt he couldn’t have. But just when things seem to be going right, his own biology backfires, sending him into a deathly spiral that neither of them can stop. His only hope lies on the distant ice moon of Europa, where an experimental treatment might bring him back from the brink. But Europa is in a state of revolution, and Otto’s brother Quin is tangled up in it. With Otto going slowly insane, and Rose haunted by ghosts of her old life, more than one world may soon be destroyed around them.” (goodreads.com)


Classic novels, dystopia, Movies, Rachel

Coming (not very) soon to a cinema near you

21.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

A bunch of movies have been announced for release next year, but some aren’t to be seen until the year after! So we’ll be waiting a while. But here are some of the book to movie adaptations we are excited to hear about, no matter how far away they are:

Cover courtesy of SyndeticsPaper Towns (by John Green)

There is no news on this yet – no cast or director announced – but it has a release date already! July 31, 2015. They had better get onto it then, that’s not even very far away!

Pan (based on Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

Starring Rooney Mara, Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried, this sounds like it will be amazing (although Rooney Mara’s casting as Native American Tiger-Lily is questionable). It’s directed by Joe Wright (who also directed Hanna, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice (with Keira Knightley), Anna Karenina… With few exceptions, he sure does seem to direct a lot of adaptations of classic novels.
According to ScreenRant: “The story not only reveals how young Peter found his way to Neverland, but also how be initially befriended the pirate James Bartholomew Hook – in the days before the latter’s surname became quite literal, after he lost one of his hands, replaced it a hook, and become Pan’s sworn enemy.” Sounds interesting!

Cover courtesy of SyndeticsMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (by Ransom Riggs)

All we know is it stars Eva Green and will be directed by Tim Burton. We’re sold. (We also have the book as a graphic novel, if you want a peek into the potential visuals.)

And then there a whole bunch of extremely exciting ones which we have zero details on, aside from the fact that they’re a happening thing:

Cover courtesy of Syndetics- A Great and Terrible Beauty (by Libba Bray)
- Wicked Lovely (by Melissa Marr)
- The Scorpio Races (by Maggie Stiefvater)
- Wither (by Lauren DeStefano)
- The Diviners (also by Libba Bray)
- The Night Circus (by Erin Morgenstern)
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone (by Laini Taylor)
- Matched (by Ally Condie)

We are waiting anxiously to see all of these! What are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen?


eBooks, Fantasy, Rachel, Sci Fi

Lunar Chronicles free online novellas

18.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Cover courtesy of SyndeticsSo, you’re a fan of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. Wait, you are, aren’t you? If not, why not?! They are an action-packed series about androids, cyborgs, spaceships, queens and princes, and a lost princess. What’s not to like? Each book is based on a different fairytale – Cinder has elements of Cinderella, Scarlet refers to Red Riding Hood and Cress takes some influence from Rapunzel – but they all play out in unexpected ways. Even if you think you know what’s going to happen next because you read the story of Cinderella hundreds of times when you were younger, think again. These versions include cyborgs, after all.

When you’ve read all those, and while we’re waiting for the fourth book Winter to come out next year, did you know that Marissa Meyer has written a series of novellas connected to the series? And, even better, they are free to read via Marissa’s website! Glitches and The Little Android are prequels to the series (volumes 0.5 and 0.6 respectively) and The Queen’s Army comes after Cinder and before Scarlet. Another novella will be released in January, before the release of Winter. It will be volume 3.5 titled Fairest and will tell the story of the devious Queen Levana.

That should keep us busy for a little while, at least!


GLBT, New, Nicola, Sci Fi

New Fiction

17.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsI’ll give you the sun, Jandy Nelson

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. (Goodreads)

First lines: This is how is all begins.
With Zephry and Fry – reigning neighbourhood sociopaths- torpedoing after me and the whole forest floor shaking under my feet as I blast through air, tree, this white-hot panic.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLies my girlfriend told me, Julie Anne Peters

When Alix’s charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee’s room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee’s cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: “Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you.”
Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life–secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she’s been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee’s phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news. Brought together by Swanee’s lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they’d thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to–but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?(Goodreads)

First lines: An earthquake shakes the ground beneath me and I swim to consciousness, grasping for a handhold. Mom’s voice slithers into my dream state.
“Alix? Honey?”

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsUncaged, John Saniford and Michelle Cook

Shay Remby arrives in Hollywood with $58 and a handmade knife, searching for her brother, Odin.
Odin’s a brilliant hacker but a bit of a loose cannon. He and a group of radical animal-rights activists hit a Singular Corp. research lab in Eugene, Oregon. The raid was a disaster, but Odin escaped with a set of highly encrypted flash drives and a post-surgical dog.
When Shay gets a frantic 3 a.m. phone call from Odin—talking about evidence of unspeakable experiments, and a ruthless corporation, and how he must hide—she’s concerned. When she gets a menacing visit from Singular’s security team, she knows: her brother’s a dead man walking. What Singular doesn’t know—yet—is that 16-year-old Shay is every bit as ruthless as their security force, and she will burn Singular to the ground, if that’s what it takes to save her brother.(Goodreads)

First lines: The naked girl stared at herself in the motel mirror, a little sick with what she was about to do. She was slender, with muscles in her arms and shoulders, and red hair that fell to her waist.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIllusions of fate, Kiersten White

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.(Goodreads)

First lines: Dear Mama,
I am most certainly not dead. Thank you for your tender concern. I will try to write more often so you don’t have to worry so between letters. (Because a week’s silence surely means I have fallen prey to a wasting illness or been murdered in these boring, grey streets.)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMessenger of Fear, Michael Grant

I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.
And then the games began. The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear. But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out…(Goodreads)

First lines: My eyes opened. I was on my back. A mist pressed close, all around me, so close that it was more like a blanket than a fog. The mist was the colour of yellowed teeth and it moved without a breath of breeze, moved as if it had a will.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMisty Falls, Joss Stirling

Misty is a one-girl disaster zone. Born with a Savant ‘gift’ that means she can never tell a lie, her compulsive truth-telling gets her into trouble wherever she goes.So when she meets Alex: gorgeous, confident, and impossibly charming, Misty instantly resolves to keep her distance . . . Someone so perfect could never be hers, surely? But a dark shadow has fallen across the Savant community. A serial killer is stalking young people who have these special mental powers. Soon one of them will be taken to the edge of death . . . and beyond.(Goodreads)

First lines: “On the Misty scale of disasters, one to ten, where would you put it?” Summer asked me.
I stared miserably at my two best friends as they clustered together on the screen of my laptop. Summer looked sympathetic, Angel amused.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCity of halves, Lucy Inglis

London. Girls are disappearing. They’ve all got one thing in common; they just don’t know it yet…
Sixteen-year-old Lily was meant to be next, but she’s saved by a stranger: a half-human boy with gold-flecked eyes. Regan is from an unseen world hidden within our own, where legendary creatures hide in plain sight. But now both worlds are under threat, and Lily and Regan must race to find the girls, and save their divided city.(Goodreads)

First lines: “Okay, so what have we got?” Lucy’s Dad paced the kitchen in his shirt and tie, running his fingers through his fading blond hair.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFalls the shadow, Stefanie Gaither

When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced. She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.
At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.(Goodreads)

First lines: I took some of the flowers from my sister’s funeral, because I thought her replacement might like them as a welcome-to-the-family present. An hour’s drive later, most of the velvety petals had little tears and creases in them, because I couldn’t seem to get my fingers to hold still.


Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

Weekend Fashion Read

17.10.14 | Permalink | Comment?

book

Yep, that’s a lot of rain outside. Not ideal for a spring Friday! Lucky I have this new fashion book for the weekend:

Syndetics book coverFashion manifesto : the guide for the style-savvy / written by Sofia Hedström ; photos by Anna Schori ; foreword by Vivienne Westwood ; translated by Sarah Snavely.
“Fashion Manifesto will forever change your relationship to clothes and fashion. Refuse to be a fashion slave and start thinking creatively about your own outfit! Renew your wardrobe and your style, but without having to shop! Master the seven essential fashion rules for streamlining your closet and explore over fifty different ways to reinvent garments. Equal parts memoir, manifesto, and how-to, this book chronicles the experiences of Sofia Hedstrom, as she subjected her overweight wardrobe to a detox and stopped clothes-shopping for one year. Her mission was to become fashion fit, and together with well-known photographer Anna Schori, she found a thriving frugal fashion movement and discovered the secrets of both young fashionistas and expert masters of style from around the world. Hedstrom proves that we can all be “style smart”!” (Syndetics summary)

I’m pretty excited to read this book and see how I can stretch my wardrobe $$$ further. This is also probably the closest I will ever get to not buying any clothes for a year…


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