Our next feature is on the Thieves Like Us trilogy by Stephen Cole. This series is a genuine action-adventure story filled with nail biting antics, loads of fun and wonderfully sarcastic heroes.
Thieves Like Us is the first book that the trilogy takes its name from. Jonah Wish is a teenage computer-hacking delinquent with an awesome name, a perfect recipe for a member of a teen thievery ring. He joins Patch, Motti, Con and Tye, each with their own special skill which is instrumental in the execution of the plans they come up with. The team work under the watchful eye of Nathaniel Coldhardt as they race from one exotic location to the next to find the ancient artifacts outlined in Coldhardt’s missions. The artifacts may bring riches, or perhaps uncover a long lost secret the human race would like to know about…
In The Aztec Code (also published as Thieves Til We Die) the team return empty-handed after Coldhardt requested the retrieval of the lost sword of Cortes, which had been used to conquer and destroy the Aztecs. In the wake of the mission’s failure, Tye is kidnapped from under their noses and the other teen geniuses are desperate to get her back. Coldhardt is less concerned. The team uncover an organisation called the Sixth Sun, which could be the key to the location of both Tye and the lost sword. Again racing from one exotic location to the next, this time they are against the clock, counting down until they potentially lose Tye forever.
The Bloodline Cipher is (regretfully!) the last in the trilogy. “Jonah and the rest of the elite team of teenage thieves have been sent on a mission by Coldhardt to retrieve an ancient grimoire. He believes it to be a magical book of the law of the dead. Something like that could fetch a very good price in the right market. But when they go in to get it, the discover another team of thieves has beaten them to it. Even more disturbingly, this team is better trained, and better informed. It seems Coldhardt’s old mentor, a man he thought was dead, is not only very alive, but has a highly efficient rival organisation, and a devilish plan to wipe out Coldhardt. Only the best will make it. In a thrilling adventure with brilliant plotting and fiendish twists, join Jonah faces his toughest challenge yet – but will it be his last?” - Goodreads
After I (Rachel) finished book three, I went feverishly searching for the next in the series when I came upon Thieves Til We Die (which I first encountered as The Aztec Code) and was hopeful for all of a second that I had a new book to read, but it wasn’t to be. This is a warning so you don’t make the same disappointing mistake as I did.
We’re slightly sheepish about recommending this trilogy because we feel it had so much more to give than just a trilogy and we fear you might end up wishing as much as we do that it had gone on longer! It felt like the series had a lot more to give, at the very least with two more books so that each of the main gang of five had their ‘own’ featured book. Alas, there are only three and we will forevermore be saying to ourselves (and everyone else, for that matter) “what if?”
Allegiant! The title of the new book in the popular Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth was announced last week, and unhappily it is not ‘Detergent’ as suggested. They’re not as forthcoming with the book cover – this (on the right) is all we’ve got at the moment. We’ll let you know as soon as we’ve ordered it – the book is due to be published at the end of October, so watch this space. Here’s Veronica Roth’s title announcement.
In the mean time, we’ve been ordering other interesting things:
Scarlet in the snow, Sophie Masson. “A deserted mansion. Empty picture frames. A perfect red rose in a snowy garden. There is rich and powerful magic here, and a mystery to unravel… When Natasha is forced to take shelter from a sudden, terrible blizzard, she is lucky to see a mansion looming out of the snow. Inside it’s beautiful: the fire lit, the table set. But there is no one there. And on the walls, instead of paintings, are empty frames. In the garden, she finds one perfect red rose about to bloom, a vivid splash of scarlet against the snow. Dreamily she reaches out a hand… Only to have the master of the house appear – a terrifying, gigantic creature who looks like a cross between a bear and a man – and demand vengeance on her for taking his rose. So begins an extraordinary adventure that will see Natasha plunged deep into the heart of a mystery… Inspired by two beautiful Russian fairytales – The Scarlet Flower (the Russian version of Beauty and the Beast) and Fenist the Falcon, Scarlet in the Snow is a beguiling mix of magic, romance, adventure and mystery.” (goodreads.com)
Sinking, David Hill – the new novel by the New Zealand author of See Ya Simon and Duet. “A grim secret. A life in danger. When a crazy old man leaps out of the bushes at Conrad on his way to swimming training, he gets the fright of his life. And when he discovers the man’s granddaughter is that weird horse-riding girl from school, he decides to steer clear of them. But fate has other ideas… and he is drawn into a grim secret. What’s the old man’s connection to a death from long ago? And whose life is in danger now…” (Children’s Bookshop, Kilbirnie)
Ghostheart, Ananda Braxton-Smith – the next in the Secrets of Carrick series after Merrow and Tantony. “Her brothers and sisters are fearless, light as scuds, quick as hoppers. Not Mally. She knows too many secrets, that one. She is frighted, all right. Frozen at the edge of the shore, lonely as a cornstalk in a saltmarsh. But in Carrick things are changing and Mally needs to change too. Out of nowhere has come Dolyn Craig – a sneak and a bully but that’s not the worst of it. He’s also unexpected with it. What could he want with poor frightened Mally?” (goodreads.com) These books have fantastic covers!
This week marks the halfway point through one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Split across two three day weekends The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Annual Festival (or just Coachella) in the southern California Desert showcases a plethora of bands from world-wining super acts to underground heroes. What’s the use in knowing that this is happening if it’s on the other side of the world you might say? This time of year heralds the festival drought for us but the Northern Hemisphere’s where the good time’s at! A whole array of fabled behemoth events spring up, taunting us from afar and while our imaginations may be tempted with envy one, at least, has decided to share itself with the rest of the world. So, if you find yourself bored in front of the interwebs this weekend or just keen to experience some big gig flavour be sure to tune into the Coachella Youtubechannel so you can catch up on weekend one and take in some of the highlights (why not start with this The Lumineersset out-take>).
It’s really quite a joyous weekend on the musical front with the sixth annual Record Store Day consuming the globe on Saturday. Some of our great Wellington record stores will no doubt be getting in on the action (including Evil Genius, Slow Boat & Rough Peel). We aren’t quite a music store but we’ve got one heck of a music collection you can flick through, thousands of CD’s I tell you. One of the great things about Record Store Day is that a whole lot-a artists get on board and release some sweet merch’ or diddy’s for the day. For the full list click here, some surface-scratching favourite’s partaking include; Foals, Grizzly Bear, Iron & Wine & MGMT with this cassingle (preview only).
To celebrate their two huge years of global success on the back of Passive Me, Aggressive You kiwi band The Naked And Famous have released their One Temporary Escape recording in San Francisco free to all.
All ages treat and Auckland Fringe Festival “Best Performance” winner Squidboy hits town at Bats in its current form on Dixon and Cuba. It’s had some sweet reviews like “impossible not to love.”
Rather get some sport going? The Hurricanes have a home game at Westpac Stadium against Perth’s Western Force – dum, dum, dum (that was a drum roll) who’s gonna win?
And of course a viral video to end the week on. Na-na-na-na batman.
This morning, a beautiful new book landed on my desk and I can’t wait to read it. But, alas, when I went to reserve it, there were 27 people in the reserves queue! 27!!!! So if you are also wanting to read this book, I recommend you reserve it prooooonto.
Grace : a memoir / Grace Coddington with Michael Roberts.
“Coddington, creative director of the American Vogue magazine, has much to impart. Fashionistas, rejoice, because not only does she chronicle the life and times of a former model turned editor; she also discusses those whose names appear in any celebrity column. What saves this from becoming a download of the activities of the rich and famous is, first, her amazing candor. We learn, for instance, that marriages don’t agree with her, that her sister Rosemary died of a combination OD-hospital malfeasance issue, and that editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is not as portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada. And, second, her charming and lively pen-and-ink illustrations grace every chapter and almost every page. Just what you would ask for from a revered behind-the-scenes magazine editor is what you get here.–Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)
I SO enjoy and admire Grace Coddington’s work – cannot wait to read this one! If you can’t wait either (and, sadly, the 27 people in the reserves queue means you’ll probably have to), then check this in the meantime:
Grace : thirty years of fashion at Vogue / [edited by Grace Coddington ; essay by Michael Roberts].
“Grace Coddington’s celebration of fashion has danced along its cutting edge for over 30 years. Abandoning a highly lucrative career as a leading model on the 60s London scene, Coddington signed on in 1968 as a junior fashion editor at British Vogue. She quickly established herself on the other side of the camera, coordinating photo shoots with David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton, Sarah Moon, and the eccentric Guy Bourdin. A close working relationship with royal photographer Norman Parkinson produced a series of startlingly vibrant location shoots that have come to be considered classics. At British Vogue, Coddington also introduced the sweeping narrative epic, a familiar feature of her work nowadays at American Vogue, where she has been creative director for the past 14 years. GRACE: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue is not only a collection of Coddington’s greatest work, it is a visual reminiscence of her life in fashion.” (Amazon.com)
She also features predominantly in this DVD* (which I loved, by the way!) Watch it, watch it, watch it.
Am wondering what ya’ll think of the see-through clutch trend? It is huge at the mo and am guessing it will hit us next spring / summer. I am torn on it, to be honest… I think they can look a bit cheap and nasty. They need to be signicantly adorned and blinged out in order to be beautiful – otherwise, they can end up looking like a pencil case. I love the top two in this pic – so pretty! Valentino, Chanel and Gucci have all done them with enough glam appeal to keep it luxe, although I feel this Prada one is walking a fine line between cheap and chic… the elaborate diamond clasp only just saves it, methinks.
Accessorising intensifies. Matching your handbag contents to your outfit… pressure!
However, have just seen an idea which may explain some of their appeal. This one here, by Charlotte Olympia, has a range of different inners available, so you can completely change the look of it to match your outfit. Genius! But what do you think? See-through for the win?
You may have noticed that when it comes to non-fiction books, adults get the most choice (there’s two floors of it here at central to half a floor of fiction) followed by kids and then finally, there’s a small and select non-fiction section dedicated to our lovely YA patrons. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with good stuff! And to help you find all those gems, we give you: R n R’s guide to non-fiction. We’ll start with the 600s.
Under the Dewey Decimal system, the books classified as 600s are all those pertaining to technology. In the children’s section you’ll find lots of books about how planes, trains and automobiles work. But in the much more selective ya section the 600s are limited to four major subject headings; 610 – Health, 641 – Food, 646 – Fashion and 650 – Working Life.
The ‘health’ category also includes mental health and issues like eating disorders or depression which are alarmingly common. Although no book can give a quick fix for depression, My Kind of Sad : what it’s like to be young and depressed by Kate Scowen has a whole lot of information to help you get through it, or to help you understand it if someone you know is going through it. Depression is messy, confusing and very rarely makes sense. If you need to, then also check out the depression.org.nz site for more information.
Is by and large ruled by Sam Stern’s cookbooks. Which is a good thing because they’re awesome. He started with Cooking up a Storm (the teen survival cookbook) in 2005 and has since written another five cookbooks to date! The latest, Virgin to Veteran: how to get cooking with confidence is a comprehensive guide to all things kitchen related. It’s divided into food types (chicken, dairy, beef, puddings, salads and so on) with each section having its own guide before the related recipes. For example the section on lamb explains which cuts are best for which meals, how to store it, what to look for when buying lamb, cooking times, flavouring and all sorts of other handy tips.
Another great here is Girlosophy : real girls eat by Anthea Paul which is so much more than a cookbook! It’s extremely pretty to look at, while also extolling the virtues of taking time to prepare food that provides one’s body with needed nutrition and celebrating the spiritual connection between body and soul. Along with the recipes there are anecdotes, healthy eating information (as opposed to dieting) and information about cultural differences in food. The Girlosophy books have a lusciously loving vibe and if you’re yet to discover them then this one is a great place to start! Spoiler alert: the rest will probably be featured in the guide to non-fiction (300s) post.
Are you particularly crafty and creative? Or just bored with your current wardrobe? Rather than spending a small fortune on a new one why not turn your old stuff into new stuff! I wanna make my own clothes by Clea Hantman can help you do just that! This book promises to teach you how to make wrap skirts and halter tops out of old tee shirts, kickin’ cargo pants out of blah pants, and chokers and other stylish accessories out of the scraps. The 646 fashion books are all about making your own fashion, if you’re after the fashion-bible-coffee-table-books full of fashion advice then you need to check out the 700s. The guide to which is still coming. In the meantime, The book of styling : an insider’s guide to creating your own look by Somer Flaherty is a nice mix of DIY tips and fashion advice.
In this section you’ll find books with some seriously practical advice about working. From job hunting to cv writing (bonus points if you know what cv stands for) and tips on how to ace a job interview. For all this information and more check out Getting a brilliant job : the student’s guide by Karen & Jim Bright. If you want information on more than just getting a job but on how to start your own busisness then there are books about that as well. Start it up : the complete teen business guide to turning your passions into pay by Kenrya Rankin for example provides an A-to-Z on getting a business going and making it successful, whether it’s baking, dog walking, house painting or something else.
So that’s the 600s done. Keep an eye out for more non-fiction guides, they’re on their way we promise!
The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Both these books had been rattling about in my brain for a wee while and I finally managed to think of them side by side. Having looked at them both closely, the font actually isn’t identical but it does look extremely similar! After some further investigation, I think they were both drawn by Sarah J. Coleman who has done some really awesome work (check out her website here) and a whole bunch of great book covers which have the distinct mark of her work! She certainly has a new fan over here at the teen blog!
Oh and as for the books themselves, we’ve read both of them over here and both of them were great. Thumbs up!
The big buy-up continues! Here are some popular sequels and series enders (and one stand-alone novel) which lots of people have been hanging out for. Or maybe just me? Hopefully not!
Requiem, Lauren Oliver – the last book in the Itrilogy. “Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven – pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.” (goodreads.com)
Nascent = “Emerging: just coming into existence” (thank you Wiktionary, I have learned a new word). Incidentally but related, we have also ordered the Delirium short stories – these focus on Hana, Annabel and Raven.
Dark Triumph, Robin LaFevers – this is the companion novel to Grave Mercy which we loved last year, partly because it has assassin nuns. “Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?” (goodreads.com)
Light, Michael Grant – this is the sixth and final book in the über popular Gone series. “In the time since everyperson over the age of fourteen disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach, California, countless battles have been fought: battles against hunger and lies and plague, and epic battles of good against evil. And now, the gaiaphage has been reborn as Diana’s malicious mutant daughter, Gaia. Gaia is endlessly hungry for destruction. She yearns to conquer her Nemesis, Little Pete, and then bend the entire world to her warped will. As long-standing enemies become allies, secrets are revealed and unexpected sacrifices are made. Will their attempts to save themselves and one another matter in the end, or will the kids of Perdido Beach perish in this final power struggle?” (goodreads.com)
Return to Me, Justina Chen Headley. Justina Chen wrote the excellent and popular North of Beautiful. “Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She’s weeks away from starting college–at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad’s last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there’s the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast. And if that isn’t enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb’s dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her “perfect” boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?” (goodreads.com)
Highlights this week; term time’s almost up, we’re seven days into having brought the sun forward for winter and apparently the rain’s coming back for a visit. Enough small talk though, here’s this week’s ender-entry to give you a two day break from the school work.
If you’re an adventurous titan, and like to work alliteratively, here are some things to do on Saturday – that start with ‘S’:
Skating takes over the waterfront in two forms. The Richter City roller derby season kicks off on Saturday night at the TSB arena in a home season battle between Smash Malice and Comic Slams. For a quick scrub-up on the ins and outs of the game look no further than Y/A novel Whip It and its sister movie starring Ellen Page.
Still keen on skating but not so sure about all the aggression – why not try your hands, or feet – or feet then hands, on the ice? The ice rink is in full operation on Queens wharf just a short hop from the TSB. For our older readers Blades Of Glory might be a quick introduction on how not to act on the ice but for some pointers and to figure out if you can make a career out of it why not check out some of our literature?
Okay, okay enough with the skates. I wouldn’t leap into the water at the moment on account of its chill factor but one way you could get some surfing in is by checking it this sweet free free flick by Alex Monteith at The Dowse Gallery in Lower Hutt.
And here’s a quick weekly musical digest to help shape your weekend playlist:
Pete Wentz’s Fall Out Boy graced our shores this week on the back of their latest album drop.
Kiwi band Tahuna Breaks are in town this weekend for their Shadow Lights album release tour and are currently sitting near the top of the NZ album charts.
Ever wondered how animals eat their food? Here’s this weeks viral vid’ – courtesy Mister Epic Mann;
Around this time of year, when it’s just starting to get dark (sob) and cold (shudder), I think we all need a wee pick-me-up… These are some of the fashion things that have been doing it for me lately! My latest Love-it List. In no particular order:
Prettiest. Case. Ever.
1. Yves Saint Laurent lipstick
This YSL lipstick is both beautiful to hold and to wear… perfect for wearing on a day when you’re feeling (and looking) super tired. Instant pick-me-up.
Just twist the ring top around to get at the sweet fragrance within – genius.
2. Marc Jacobs Lola solid perfume ring
I got this gorg ring for Christmas and I love it! Filled with Marc Jacobs’ uber popular Lola fragrance as a solid perfume, this thing is genius! Perfume you can wear (gettit). Perfect for a hit of fragrance when you’re out and about.
3. Michael Kors indigo clutch
For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed huge handbags. I am the type of person that has a mini first aid kit, a selection of no less than 12 lipsticks and glosses, a multitude of hairties and bobby pins as well as mini deodorant, solid perfume, oh and money, phone and keys, wherever I go. Plus any other necessities which I may require. But my latest handbag crush is this sweet wee number; I love the rich colour and the luxe gold chain handles. Also, my shoulders are getting a well-deserved break from carrying around about 3 kilos daily!
4. Gold lapis luzuli ring
I bought this ring recently from etsy and I am in LOVE with it. You can’t see it well in this photo, but the lapis also has tiny flecks of gold running through it… gorgeous. Ever the nerd, I was also impressed by the fact that it was made in Israel by a boutique jewellery maker and arrived covered in Israeli stamps. So cool.
5. Marcs floral skirt
Marc Jacobs is not paying me to write this, I swear. (Although if he is reading and he’d like to; CALL ME!) I snapped this skirt up on sale and I love it. Gorgeous pattern, beautiful colours and perfect length. Tick, tick, tick. It also came with a really pretty navy bow belt which I now wear with everything.
6. Salvatore Ferragamo wallet
This, I received as a birthday gift – yep, someone loves me! (I know, there are some themes building here - a. I am quite spoilt and b. My loved ones really know what I like.) As you know, I’m a huge Salvatore Ferragamo fan but could never afford to purchase such a thing. I love it because it is neutral but glam, and it still smells like leather. Love.
The toughest part of compiling this list was choosing what to include and what had to be left out… boo! So here is a big shout out to my rad Roberto Cavalli tote and my beautiful peacock dress which, sadly, had to be cut from the list.
If you’d like to know more about any of these designers, I recommend you check out the following:
“Marc Jacobs’s reputation is that of a rule-breaker. When one of his 2007 runway shows started two hours late, he found himself at the center of a public war of words with some very influential fashion critics. And some of his most memorable designs-a grunge collection he created as head of Perry Ellis in 1992-resulted in his firing from the label. Jacobs now designs for three major labels: Marc Jacobs; Marc by Marc Jacobs; and the French luxury house Louis Vuitton. Rule-breaking aside, critics have hailed Jacobs as one of the most influential fashion designers of his generation.Famous Fashion Designers celebrates the lives of the most important designers in the history of fashion. These biographies examine the creative inspiration and career trajectory of the tastemakers who have influenced the way we dress. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)
“The company Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A., founded in 1927 by designer Salvatore Ferragamo, is a luxury brand with more than 450 stores in over 55 countries. It sells footwear, handbags and small leather goods, scarves and ties, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, bijoux, watches, fragrances and eyewear. Salvatore Ferragamo made the name famous in California, first in Santa Barbara and then in Hollywood, creating footwear for the most beautiful women in the world–the “divas” of emerging American cinema. This book is also the catalogue of an exhibition that took place at the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (29 March-7 May 2008) to celebrate the eighty-year anniversary of the company. Photographs, sketches, and drawings explore design processes and showcase shoes, handbags, and accessories–a magnificent selection of fashion works embodying social and cultural changes over time.” (Syndetics summary)
“Le grand couturier Yves Saint Laurent has been challenging the fashion establishment for nearly half a century. One of the first to revolutionize street style with his 1960s “Beat Look” collection, and credited with the creation of the pantsuit — his le smoking, a tuxedo tailored for women, provoked the androgynous movement in fashion — Saint Laurent continues to produce sexy, vibrant lines. Now, the French television network Canal+ has documented the making of his Spring 2002 collection for its upcoming film, 5, avenue Marceau — the address of his famed couture house.This deluxe, definitive volume follows YSL through every stage of his preparations for his 2002 spring collections. Also included are never-before-published quotes from YSL as well as photographs from his early years and pages from his mother’s scrapbook. The clippings are lovingly annotated in her own handwriting and illustrate a personal dedication to one of fashion’s greatest talents.” (Syndetics summary)