Just kidding! These are new books. Not to dismiss older books though! They’re still worth reading.
Anyway, this week’s new books are serious, or grim, or thrilling, or kind of funny, or supernatural, romantic and also scary. Or a mixture of those!
Dark Water Rising, by Marian Hale (233 pages) – In 1900 a hurricane hit Galveston, a city in Texas. It was the USA’s deadliest natural disaster. This is the story of Seth, a boy whose family has just moved to Galveston and will need to try to survive through the storm (which struck before hurricanes were given names).
First line: ‘The train clicked on its rails, rumbling past cow pastures and summer-parched fields of grain and hay.‘
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A. S. King (326 pages) – Vera’s best friend, who she secretly loves, goes and dies shortly after betraying her in retaliation for something she didn’t actually do. She can clear his name, but only if she can forgive him.
First line: ‘The pastor is saying something about how Charlie was a free spirit.‘
Fall For Anything, by Courtney Summers (230 pages) – Eddie Reeves’ father was a successful photographer until he killed himself. Eddie needs to know why her father took his own life, and the mystery of his death deepens when she meets and falls for Culler Evans, an ex-student of her father’s.
First lines: ‘My hands are dying. I keep trying to explain it to Milo, but he just looks at me like I’m crazy.‘
The Last Ghost, by Helen Stringer (356 pages) – Belladonna Johnson can talk to ghosts, including those of her parents. When the spirits start to disappear, she and her pal Steve have to travel to the Other World to see what’s what in spirit land.
First line: ‘It was Wednesday – the day of the week when it feels like Friday will never arrive.‘
Sequins, Stars & Spotlights, by Sophia Bennett (327 pages) – This is the third book in the Threads series, about some friends in London who are getting their sequined? feet through the door of the fashion industry. In this, the final book of the series, the four chums are so close to beginning ‘glittering careers’ but! their ‘challenges suddenly seem so overwhelming.’
First line: ‘I’m sitting in the back row of a mega-tent in Paris, surrounded by fashion students, buyers, editors and movie stars, and watching THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CATWALK SHOW I WILL EVER SEE IN MY LIFE.‘
Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand (432 pages) – At the age of fourteen Clara learnt that she was part-angel. Now she is sixteen and she must complete a rite of passage – her purpose – that every part-angel must do. She soon finds that she is only a small part of some major celestial battle between angels and bad angels, the Black Wings. ‘Supernatural powers, forbidden romance’!
First line: ‘In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees.‘
Tyme’s End, by B. R. Collins (319 pages) – Bibi finds refuge in a deserted house called Tyme’s End. She bumps into its owner, who has been away for the past decade, and together they are pulled towards the ‘romantic, beguiling, sinister and malevolent’ house. Terror awaits them. And the reader!
First lines: ‘I’ve had enough. There’s only so long anyone can stand being shouted at, and I’m way past it.’
Entice, by Carrie Jones (263 pages) – Evil pixies are kidnapping teens, Zara and her friends anticipate an all-out war. Zara’s soulmate, Nick, has been taken to Valhalla however, and the good guys need all the warriors they can get. BUT Zara gets pixie-kissed! So obviously that hampers things.
First line: ‘“Am I really not allowed to complain about being here?” I ask as we enter Bedford High School about an hour late for the winter ball.‘
Here are last week’s new books, this week! This week’s new books may be announced this week, or next week. Who can say.
Elixir : A Novel, by Hilary Duff (with Elise Allen) (330 pages) – You may have heard of Hilary Duff – she’s been on the telly and recorded some albums I think – and she now turns her hands to writing a novel. Elixir is about Clea, whose photographs begin to show a ghostly/gorgeous man at about the same time her father, a renowned surgeon, disappears.
First lines: ‘I couldn’t breathe. Wedged in the middle of an ocean of people, I gasped for air, but nothing came.‘
Bamboo People : A Novel, by Mitali Perkins (272 pages) – Chiko is forced into the Burmese army; Tu Reh is a refugee, a member of an oppressed Burmese minority, and he’s keen to join the resistance. The two boys’ stories come to a ‘violent intersection’ and an unlikely friendship forms.
First lines: ‘Teachers wanted. Applicants must take examination in person. Salaries start at -‘
Sugar and Spice : An L. A. Candy Novel, by Lauren Conrad (279 pages) – This is the last book in this series about some TV reality show (much like The Hills which made Conrad famous in the first place).
First line: ‘“Over here!” “Let’s get a shot of the two of you!” “Smile, girls!” Jane Roberts felt hands on her shoulders – her publicist? random PopTV assistants? – maneuver her into place as several paprazzi shouted out to her and Scarlett Harp.‘
The Daughters, by Joanna Philbin (297 pages) – A supermodel’s unconventional-looking daughter becomes “the new face of beauty”. Everyone is surprised but they roll with it. The first in a series.
First line: ‘“Katia!” “Katia!” “Over here!” “Over here!”‘
Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly (471 pages) – Andi is about to be expelled from her swanky Brooklyn school, so goes to Paris with her father as some sort of punishment. She finds a diary writen two centuries previously by a girl, Alexandrine, who became involved with a French prince just as the French Revolution begins. Andi finds comfort and distraction in the journal, until the past ‘becomes terrifyingly real’.
First line: ‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t, deejay.’
Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld (Illustrations by Keith Thompson) (485 pages) – This is the second book in the Leviathan Trilogy. We wrote about the first book here. This a great read – it has steam-powered mechs, genetically-engineered flying ships, and a Tesla cannon. That’s right – a freaking TESLA CANNON.
First line: ‘Alek raised his sword. “On guard, sir!”‘
Duff : The Designated Ugly Fat Friend, by Kody Keplinger (280 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Bianca detests Wesley, who calls her “the Duff”. Not Hilary Duff! But family troubles and other circumstantial occurences result in the pair becoming more than enemies. Less than enemies? They fall in love, in any case.
First line: ‘This was getting old.’
Scandal, by Kate Brian (228 pages) – The lastest in the Private series. ‘After her terrifying Carribean vacation,’ says the back cover, ‘Reed can’t wait to get back to Easton and resume her normal life of classes, shopping trips and late-night gossip sessions.’ Reed’s in for a shock, however, as Billings house has been demolished and the Billings girls have been separated by the admin.
First line: ‘We came from all corners of campus.‘
Boost, by Kathy Mackel (248 pages) – Savvy is over six feet tall, and only thirteen. When you’re tall everyone asks you if you play basketball over and over, let me tell you, but Savvy actually does play and loves it. But she’s too light! So she turns to steroids.
First line: ‘I stood at the free throw line, all eyes on me.‘
Jane, by April Lindner (373 pages) – This is a modern re-telling of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s cheery classic novel. This is set in the present, so Rochester becomes Nico Rathburn, world-famous rockstar, and Jane Moore, an orphaned student-turned-nanny is the protaganist. Sticks to the original story while being ’something totally new and captivating,’ according to Cecily von Ziegesar.
First line: ‘The chairs in the lobby of Discriminating Nannues, Inc., were less comfortable that they looked.’
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (260 pages) – From the authors of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which is also a movie! Will this be a movie also? Yes, apparently.
First line: ‘Imagine this: you’re in your favourite bookstore, scanning the shelves.‘
The Three Loves of Persimmon, by Cassandra Golds (211 pages) – Persimmon Polidori owns a florist shop in an underground train station. She meets up with a brave little mouse named Epiphany, and undergoes ‘the trials of love, heartbreak, doubt and the discovery of her own true nature.’
First line: ‘In a tiny hole under the train tracks on the deepest level of a vast underground railway station, lived a mouse called Epiphany.‘
The Blue-Eyed Aborigine, by Rosemary Hayes (247 pages) – This historical novel is based on fact; in 1629, the crew of a Dutch ship mutinied and the boat wrecked near Australia. Two of the crew, a cabin boy and a young soldier, survive and their fates are linked with ‘discoveries that intrigue Australians to this day.’
First lines: ‘Jan Pelgrom was miserable. He’d been a cabin boy for more than five years.‘
The Jumbee, by Pamela Keyes (385 pages) – Esti Legard moves to a Caribbean island for her senior year in high school. There she ‘finds herself torn between a mysterious, masked mentor and a seductive island boy’, in a scenario borrowed from the classic novel, The Phantom of the Opera.
First line: ‘“Paul is dead!”‘
The Ghosts of Ashbury High, by Jaclyn Moriarty (480 pages) – The catalogue has this to say: ‘Student essays, scholarship committee members’ notes, and other writings reveal interactions between a group of modern-day students at an exclusive New South Wales high school and their strange connection to a young Irishman transported to Australia in the early 1800s.’
Raised by Wolves, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (418 pages) – At the age of four, Bryn’s parents were killed by bad werewolves. She was taken and raised by good werewolves! Years later she discovers that her pack are keeping secrets. Dark werewolf secrets about her family, that she’s determined to uncover (the secrets, not her family).
First line: ‘“Bronwyn Alessia St. Vincent Clare!”‘
100% Justin Bieber : First Step 2 Forever : My Story, by Justin Bieber (236 pages) – This is the tween pop star’s official autobiography, discussing his rapid rise to power. Where to next for Bieber? It has loads of photos and a reasonable amount of text.
As promised, here are some more new books. Maybe all of them. There are many! If there was an earthquake right now they would fall on me, perhaps injuring me slightly.
Nevermore, by Kelly Creagh (543 pages) – Isobel falls in lurve with the aloof and sarky (and gorgeous) Varen, whose dream world – based on the not-at-all-jolly stories of Edgar Allan Poe – have come to life. She must rescue him before his nightmares devour him!
First line: ‘By the end of fourth period, Isobel’s espresso buzz from that morning’s venti latte had long since worn off.‘
Annexed, by Sharon Dogar (329 pages) – Peter van Pels and his family went into hiding with Anne Frank, and there, in this (imagined) story, he finds himself falling in love with her. As history documents, it’s not a happy love story, and Peter’s experience continues into and beyond the Nazi death camps.
First lines: ‘I think I’m still alive. But I’m not sure.‘
The FitzOsbornes in Exile : The Montmaray Journals Book Two, by Michelle Cooper (451 pages) – Diary-writer Sophie and her family’s home, an island kingdom!, has been overrun by the Nazis, and they all find themselves trying to navigate the English aristocracy while pretty much penniless and/or mad. A sequel (obviously!) to this book.
First line: ‘I write this sitting at an exquisite little Louis the Fifteenth secretaire in the White Drawing Room, using a gold fountain pen borrowed from the King of Montmaray and a bottle of ink provided by one of the footmen.‘
Demon Princess : Reign Check, by Michelle Rowan (292 pages) – Nikki is half human, and half demon, and ‘has had a lot to deal with’. A faery king enrols at her high school to investigate her potential for destroying the world, and Nikki is summoned to the Underworld to appear before a demon council for some reason. And! She’s also madly in love with her Shadow Creature servant, Michael, but it’s forbidden.
First line: ‘Act normal, I told myself as I pushed through the front doors of Erin Heights High School.‘
The Hunt : A Dark Touch Novel, by Amy Meredith (262 pages) – Another supernatural romance, the genre du jour. Demons are on the hunt and Eve must use her powers to fight them. She’s also mad keen on ‘gorgeous’ Luke, who may or may not be something more as well. Do they have a future together? Do they have a future at all? Will anyone have a future?
First line: ‘“Dude, have you decided to give up showering?” Dave Perry called after practice on Monday.‘
Trash, by Andy Mulligan (215 pages) – Everyone seems to be reserving this book! It’s about three friends who live in a dumpsite somewhere in the third world,, making a living from trash. They find something – a deady secret – and shortly afterwards they are ‘hunted without mercy.’ But it has a happy ending; it is ‘utterly original and universal, it will touch the world.’
First line: ‘My name is Raphael Fernandez and I am a dumpsite boy.‘
Kiss Me Deadly : Tales of Paranormal Romance, edited by Trisha Telep (430 pages) -Thirteen stories of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, shapeshifters, fallen angels, zombies (ugh) and other instances of supernatural love. Actually really good even if you’re no fan of supernatural romance; Maggie Stiefvater’s The Hounds of Ulster is a cracking story.
Beautiful Darkness, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (503 pages) – Going to copy and paste this synopsis; ‘In a small southern town with a secret world hidden in plain sight, sixteen-year-old Lena, who possesses supernatural powers and faces a life-altering decision, draws away from her true love, Ethan, a mortal with frightening visions.’
First line: ‘I used to think our town, buried in the South Carolina back woods, stuck in the muddy bottom of the Santee River valley, was the middle of nowhere.‘
Yes, I Know the Monkey Man, by Dori Hillestad Butler (196 pages) – When T. J.’s dad is injured she discovers that she was kidnapped by her father 10 years ago. Not only does she have a mother and a step-father, but also a twin sister. This book also arguably has the best title of any book, ever.
First line: ‘The little red light on our answering machine was blinking on and off when I wandered into the kitchen.‘
Mutation : The Phoenix Files, by Chris Morphew (311 pages) – This is the third book in the Phoenix Files series. We reviewed the first book a while ago. There were 100 days left before the world ends; now there are only 63 days left and (in addition to the whole major catastrophe thing) something weird is happening to the people of Phoenix.
First line: ‘My fists clenched in my lap as Shackletone approached the podium, a hint of his sick, grandfatherly smile still pulling at his lips.‘
Love Sucks!, by Melissa Francis (285 pages) – a sequel to Bite Me!, and if there’s a third book what do you think it will be called? Stake Out! maybe. Pass The Grave-y! probably not. Love at First Bite! Jack reckons. Vampire teen A. J. still suffers being in love with her gorgeous step-brother, and maybe her vampire trainer, who is also gorgeous, and her father wants to take over the world, AND she has to plan the prom.
First line: ‘My mother’s baby shower.‘
The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting (329 pages) – Violet has the cheery ability to psychically detect dead bodies, as well as the imprint that remains on their killers. So now that a serial killer is stalking her small town, she realises that she’s the only one who can find the killer (and she’s being haunted quite a bit). She teams up with best friend Jay, who she’s developing feelings for (he is gorgeous).
First line: ‘Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her.‘
The Secret To Lying, by Todd Mitchell (328 pages) – James was a nerd at his old school, but now that he’s been enrolled in an exclusive academy for mathletes he can easily be the ‘cool guy’ – he makes up a tough background for himself and soon is lying about everything. Unfortunately there are consequences, and in his case they are quite destructive.
First line: ‘I was the guy no one noticed.‘
Once Dead, Twice Shy, by Kim Harrison (232 pages) – More supernatural romance. This one’s particular hook is dead teen Madison, who, with the help of a magic amulet, affects the illusion of a live body, and is involved in the battle between light and dark reapers. There’s also her cute crush, and a guardian angel. A sequel is in the works!
First lines: ‘Everyone does it. Dies, I mean.‘
The Project, by Brian Falkner (343 pages) – Falkner’s last book, Brainjack, won this year’s NZ Post Children’s Book Award in the YA fiction category. So this book should be quite good! It’s about a book (the ‘most boring book in the world’) that hides a terrible secret; when it’s revealed the world may never be the same again.
First line: ‘“I reckon we would have got away with it if it wasn’t for that drunken chipmunk.”‘
Before We Say Goodbye, by Gabriella Ambrosio (144 pages) – Two cousins – Dima and Myriam – are Palestinians living in Jerusalem. Myriam is hopeful of visiting America with Dima, but Dima has no dreams of the future; she has ‘already accepted her destiny: today she will die.’
First line: ‘It was technically springtime on the day that Dima got up from her mattress after a long yet strangely brief and confused night.‘
Girl Saves Boy, by Steph Bowe (280 pages) – A romance, but not supernatural (refreshingly!). Sacha has a terminal disease, his mother has died, and his father is seeing his art teacher. He attempts to drown himself! But luckily is rescued by Jewel Valentine, and it’s all uphill from there.
First line: ‘My brother’s last word was: “Polo.”‘
The Runaway Dragon, by Kate Coombs (292 pages) – The sequel to The Runaway Princess, in which Princess Meg finds a baby dragon. Laddy, the dragon, runs away from home, so the Princess, her friends, and a group of guardsmen go on a quest to find him.
First line: ‘At first Meg visited Laddy a lot, riding her horse from the castle through the Witch’s Wood to Hookhorn Farm, where her friend Cam’s sister lived.‘
Token of Darkness, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (197 pages) – Gorgeous football hero, Cooper, has a car accident, and when he awakens he starts seeing a ghost. Samantha (the ghost) is attractive but is, you know, a ghost, so their relationship is going to be a bit out of the ordinary. Delilah, a clairvoyant cheerleader, and telepathic Brent realise that Cooper’s in trouble. Awoooh.
First line: ‘The darkness was a alive, and it was hungry.‘
There is also a new book about Glee, called 100% Gleek : The Unofficial Guide to Glee!, and a comic version of Anthony Horowitz’s Raven’s Gate called, well, The Power of Five. Book One, Raven’s Gate : The Graphic Novel.
Yes. There are lots of new books! Read them all, that’s my challenge.
Legacies : A Shadow Grail Novel, by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill (320 pages) – This is the first book in the Shadow Grail series, about a teen girl named Spirit White, whose family die and she’s shipped off to Oakhurst Academy. Everyone there is some sort of magic user! Students start disappearing, and a mystery has got to be solved.
First lines: ‘Someone was moaning. Spirit wished whoever it was would be quiet.‘
Dark Life, by Kat Falls (297 pages) – The oceans have risen, and people either live on the tiny pieces of land or deep under the ocean. The ocean is a rough, dangerous place to live! Ty and Gemma find themselves venturing into this underwater frontier (for noble reasons!) and discover some dark secrets.
First lines: ‘I peered into the deep-sea canyon, hoping to spot qa toppled skyscraper. Maybe even the Statue of Liberty.‘
Juggling Fire, Joanne Bell (171 pages) – Rachel grew up in the mountains in Yukon, but she has to move to the city. Then her father disappears, and Rachel – wanting to know why – hikes back through the mountains, where she must confront danger (bears!) and the past.
First line: ‘Mom doesn’t cry when I heave the packs from the pickup; she only blinks hard, squeezes my shoulders and whirls around, like she has to get away from me fast.‘
Crawlers, by Same Enthoven (261 pages) – Nine kids go to the theatre to see a play and in one evening of sheer horror they encounter some sinister and disgusting mind-controlling hairless, blubbery spidery-octopus things. I will never eat takoyaki again!
First line: ‘In the dark pit that had been my prison for almost three hundred and fifty years, Steadman’s latest victim was regaining consciousness.‘
Indigo Blues, by Danielle Joseph (231 pages) – Adam is an indie music sensation, and Indigo is the girl who dumped him. He subsequently wrote a song about her, and now she is almost as famous as he is. She’s not too pleased! And he’s still calling her, and she’s like, no way.
First line: ‘When I found out that “Indigo Blues” hit number one on the Billboard charts this morning, I ran to the bathroom and threw up.‘
The Alchemist and the Angel, by Joanne Owen (224 pages) – It is the 16th century, and Jan, an alchemist’s apprentice, is searching for the elixir of life. He travels to Prague, a city rich with alchemy and corruption, and while there he meets a mysterious girl (the ‘Angel of the Ghetto’). This book is beautifully illustrated!
First line: ‘Emperor Rudolf II – Ruler of the World, Aficionado of Alchemy, Collector of Curiosities – shifted in his throne.’
My Rocky Romance Diary by Kelly Ann, (really) by Liz Rettig (313 pages) – The saga of Kelly Ann’s romantic life continues in this, the fourth of her diaries.
First line: ‘First day of term and Mum woke me up at eight but I’d two free periods first thing so I mumbled ‘Leavemealoneandgoaway’.
Reality Check, by Jen Calonita (277 pages) – Catalogue says, ‘When a television executive signs Long Island sixteen-year-old Charlie and her three best friends to be the stars of a new reality television show, their lives are suddenly not the same.’
First line: ‘It’s only 3:47 PM. How can that be? It feels like I’ve been here for hours, not just forty-seven minutes.’
The Fire Opal, by Regina McBride (293 pages) – ‘While invading English soldiers do battle in sixteenth-century Ireland, Maeve grows up with a mystical connection to a queen who, centuries before, faced enemies of her own.’ Thanks, Catalogue!
First line: ‘When I was seven years old, my mother and I spent a July afternoon on the foreshore collecting kelp, which we planned to dry and burn for summer fires.‘
Notes From The Dog, by Gary Paulsen (133 pages) – Okay, this is from the Catalogue again: ‘When Johanna shows up at the beginning of summer to house-sit next door to Finn, he has no idea of the profound effect she will have on his life by the time summer vacation is over.’
First line: ‘Sometimes having company is not all it’s cracked up to be.’
So Punk Rock (And Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother), by Micol Ostow (Art by David Ostow) (246 pages) – Ari Abramson’s band, made up of four teens from a wealthy Jewish school, suddenly become popular overnight. They now must navigate the ‘minefield of inflated egos, misplaced romance, and the shallowness of indie-rock elitism.’ Comedy!
First line: ‘There are many things that Jonas Fein does well.‘
Freak Magnet, by Andrew Auseon (297 pages) – Gloria is a ‘freak magnet’, and in fact keeps a record of all the weirdos who talk to her. Charlie is a freak, so it’s only a matter of time before he ends up in her Freak Folio. However! They’re both burdened by grief and loss*, and so form a connection.
First line: ‘When the world’s most beautiful woman walks into the room, it’s hard to keep from throwing up.‘
Runaway Storm, by D. E. Knobbe (223 pages) – This is the first in a series (there’s an excerpt of the next book included). Nate has stolen a kayak and has run (paddled?) away from home to some remote Canadian island. He encounters smugglers, real runaways, and a massive, deadly storm.
First lines: ‘Nate slouched out of the elevator and crossed the lobby of the apartment building. The apartment, this building, New York – they had never felt like home.‘
Beyond Evie, by Rebecca Burton (200 pages) – Charlotte’s life is pretty swell, apart from having lost her father and later falling in love (obsessively!) with Evie, who breaks her heart. ‘Perceptive,’ ‘powerful,’ and ‘psychologically intense’ (yet ‘optimistic’ also!).
First lines: ‘You, Evie, told me I was beautiful. I thought you meant you liked me, but I was wrong.‘
Two Good Thieves, by Daniel Finn (386 pages) – In the Third World slums in a city somewhere in South America, Demi and Baz fight for a better life in a ‘city of thieves’ in this fast-pace, gritty thriller. (It’s also published as She Thief, which we have as a new book this week.)
First lines: ‘The city’s burning. The city is always burning.‘
Tripwire, by Steve Cole and Chris Hunter (238 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Felix Smith is a soldier, a spy, and a covert bomb disposal expert. He works for ATLAS, who use teenagers for military operations (the enemy don’t expect teenagers!).
First line: ‘Got you. The sight of the bomb hit Felix like a punch in the guts.‘
Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto, by Eric Luper (293 pages) – Seth’s girlfriend dumps him and his father is spotted out on a date with a woman who is not Seth’s mother. So Seth begins an anonymous podcast about the mysteries of love. Soon his life is picking up – he holds a job, makes new friends, and tracks down his father’s mystery date.
First lines: ‘“Come on Seth. Say something.” Veronica stares at me like I’m the one who should be doing the explaining – like I’m the one who just turned everything upside down.‘
Rush, by Jonathan Friesen (295 pages) – Jake loves taking risks, just to feel the rush. He’s offered a job with a group of firefighters who rappel into wildfires. Very risky! His friend and secret crush, Salome, gets caught up in taking risks also, and the consequences are devastating.
First lines: ‘“Pure insanity.” I whisper at the sky as sheets of rain sting my face.‘
Sea : A Novel, by Heidi R. Kling (327 pages) – A romance set in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that struck Indonesia. Sienna Jones travels with her father to Asia to help with an internation relief team, and she meets the ‘most handsome boy she’s ever seen,’ Deni. He though his father died in the disaster but he learns that mightn’t be the case; together, they make the heartbreaking journey to the epicentre of the tsunami’s destruction.
First line: ‘I’m sitting alone on the other side of the world talking to a sea turtle that might be my mom.‘
The Six Rules of Maybe, by Deb Caletti (321 pages) – Scarlet spends all her time worrying about others, and trying to help them and fix their lives. Often when it means ignoring her own needs! But then she falls in love with her newly pregnant sister’s husband, and finds herself at the centre of a drama (and then some!) for the first time.
First line: ‘You could tell something was different about Juliet the moment she stepped out of the truck.‘
Smiling Jack, by Ken Catran (271 pages) – Robert’s well-respected father and uncle are killed in a road accident. He finds a defaced playing-card Jack at the accident site. Soon more people are dying, and the same card is found near each death. A murder mystery with a startling and unexpected twist!
First line: ‘Smiling Jack came into my life about ten-thirty, one November night.‘
Lies : A Gone Novel, by Michael Grant (447 pages) – This is the follow up to Gone and Hunger, about a world where all adults disappear and the remaining kids get all Lord of the Flies/Mad Max on one another. They also have powers! There are mutants, and dark supernatural forces.
First line: ‘Obscene graffiti. Smashed windows. Human Crew tags, their logo, along with warnings to freaks to get out.‘
Daniel X : Demons and Druids, by James Patterson and Adam Sadler (243 pages) – Alien hunter Daniel X travels to England with his friends to find Beta, an outlaw that takes the form of fire and who killed Daniels parents when he was a wee toddler. Daniel can create anything, has superspeed, can shapechange, and has superstrength! He travels through time as well, and meet Merlin.
First lines: ‘I bet I can see London from here, I was thinking. I was literally 150 feet in the air above a grassy field, outside a charming little village called Whaddon.‘
Classy : Be a Lady, Not a Tramp, by Derek Blasburg (230 pages) – This is a manual for older teen girls who want to be a classy; how to dress, etiquette to adopt, even what to read and watch. A modern Miss Manners!
Here are the latest magazines:
Entertainment Weekly #1115 – Always good for a twenty-minute read, for it is Quite Interesting.
XBox 360 : Official Australian Magazine #58 – Mafia II | Mortal Kombat | Loads of other games | Wouldn’t it be cool if we had games?
Seventeen September 2010 – Beauty Master Class | Secrets to the Best Date Ever! | 823 (!) Fashion and Beauty Ideas
Girlfriend September 2010 – perfumes | prints | Perry | Patterson | pin-ups
We Hear The Dead, by Dianne K. Salerni (422 pages) – The Fox sisters – Maggie and Kate – became famous in the 19th century for their ability to communicate with the spirits of the dead. Of course, they were really faking it! But as their fame increased, the burden of lies becomes a, well, burden. A true story!
First lines: ‘My earliest memories always include Kate. With three years between us, there must have been a time when she was a toddling child in infant’s clothes and I an independent youngster, but I do not remember this.’
Restoring Harmony, by Joelle Anthony (307 pages) – It is 2041; oil, food, and law and order are all in short supply. Sixteen-year-old Molly must leave the safety of her remote farm in Canada and travel through the U.S., which has fallen into chaos. Also, there is romance.
First line: ‘When the plane’s engine took on a whining roar, my grip tightened on my fiddle case.‘
Tell Us We’re Home, by Marina Budhos (297 pages) – Three best friends – Jaya, Maria, and Lola – are all daughters of maids and nannies. They go to the same school as their mothers’ employers’ kids, and when Jaya’s mother is accused of stealing, things turn nasty.
First line: ‘Meadowbrook, New Jersey, looks like it’s right out of an old-time postcard.‘
Whisper, by Phoebe Kitanidis (281 pages) – Joy and her sister, Jessica, can hear ‘Whispers’, or the thoughts of other people. Joy uses her ability to make people happy, whereas Jessica uses her power to make others miserable. Joy hears Jessica thinking about ending it all and - being the nice sister! - she sets out to save her from herself. Also, there might be romance.
First lines: ‘My sister showed me how to Hear a Whisper when I was three. “All you have to do,” she said, “is touch somebody else, and if you don’t Hear one right away, just hold on.“‘
The Water Seeker, by Kimberly Willis Holt (309 pages) – Amos, born in 1833, is the son of a trapper and dowser (someone who tries to locate water with sticks). His mother dies in childbirth, which is only the beginning of a hard life ‘filled with losses, adversity, and adventure’. And finding water!
First lines: ‘Jake Kincaid was known as the dowser. With a forked branch, he’d made his way from the Arkansas Territory to Missouri, stopping at farms to find water for new well.‘
Oracle : Ancient Greece, An Acrobat Brother and a Sister with the Gift of Truth, by Jackie French (342 pages) – Thetis can only tell the truth, and after she and her brother, Nikko, awe the Mycenaean court, Thetis puts a damper on things when she tells the King something about his future he doesn’t want to hear. She’s sent to Delphi, and Nikko and the horse dance, Euridice, travel across Greece to find her.
First line: ‘The wind smelled of rock and ice the night their father took Nikko’s sister out to die.‘
Somebody Everybody Listens To : A Novel, by Suzanne Supplee (245 pages) – Retta Lee Jones leaves high school dreaming of becoming a country music star. She has the name for it, I guess! She goes to Nashville, and begins to ‘forge her own path’.
First line: ‘Even on graduation day, the Starling High School gymnasium smelled just like it always did – a combination of old sweat and dust masked somewhat by cherry-scented disenfectant and floor polish.’
Zen and Xander Undone, by Amy Kathleen Ryan (212 pages) – Zen and Xander are sisters; Zen is a karate blackbelt, and Xander is a scientific genius, who is going off the tracks a bit and Zen can only protect her for so long. Their mother died a year ago! And they go on a road trip to try to solve a mystery.
First lines: ‘My sister, Xander, causes a scandel practically everywhere she goes. Even funeral receptions, I now know.‘
Fen Runners, by John Gordon (136 pages) – A long time ago, when Jenny’s grandfather was a boy, he fell through the ice and into the icey black water of the fens. He returned without a skate and with nightmares of something down there. Now Jenny too feels haunted, and when her friend Kit feels a presence there they decide to unravel the (frankly quite spooky!) mystery.
First line: ‘They stood with their toes curled over the edge of the bridge and looked briefly into the distance.‘
Crown of Acorns, by Catherine Fisher (281 pages) – No synopsis seems to be available, so here’s what the back cover says: ‘Who can escape their past, in a place where it curves and comes up behind you? The Circle is the oldest magic. Three lives exho in a ring of stone …’
First lines: ‘Stop now. To go further is dangerous. The circle is the oldest magic. If you enter it it will enfold you.‘
Fifteen Candles : an Amigas novel, by Veronica Chambers (187 pages) – This is the first in a new series written by Veronica Chambers, created by Jane Startz, and inspired by Jennifer Lopez. It is set in Miami and is ‘a warm celebration of Latin culture, especially the traditional quinceañera,’ (a kind of big coming-of-age party for girls).
First line: ‘Alicia Cruz has the good fortune of being born into wealth, but not spoiled by it.‘
Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater (362 pages) – The much-awaited follow-up to Shiver; ‘As Grace hides the vast depth of her love for Sam from her parents and Sam struggles to release his werewolf past and claim a human future, a new wolf named Cole wins Isabel’s heart but his own past threatens to destroy the whole pack.’
First line: ‘This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.‘
Here are the New Magazines for the week fortnight month! This is the best new books post ever!
Entertainment Weekly #1112 – Ryan Reynolds is as GREEN LANTERN | Tron! | Thor! | New Buffy?!
Transworld Skateboarding August 2010 – Cab backtail bigspin | Frontside feeble | Fakie hardflip! | Cab to backside lipslide! | Backside tailslide frontside shove-it out!
XBox 360 : Official Australian Magazine #56 – Gears of War 3 | The Force Unleashed 2 | a whole lot of other games reviewed/previewed
Playstation August 2010 – Grand Turismo 5 | 18 page E3 coverage | games reviewed/previewed
Girlfriend August 2010 – ‘The pretty myth’ | Can you spot a bully? | ‘What his gaming style says about him’
Creme September 2010 – 10 ways to boots your self-confidence and happiness | What does your hair say about you?
Seventeen August 2010 – Fitness insert, ‘Get your best body’ | Ultimate jeans guide | Dude drama
Teenagers these days, they get up to all sorts when you’re not looking. Not only is everyone here being very sneaky, but these book covers are mostly purple, except for the green one.
Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials, Rosalind Wiseman – maintaining your nice girl image, frenemies, bullies in the lacrosse team, romance. High school is a delicate balancing act.
The Unwritten Rule, Elizabeth Scott – love triangle, shouldn’t date your best friend’s boyfriend story #1.
Something Like Fate, Susane Colasanti – love triangle, shouldn’t date your best friend’s boyfriend story #2. (You really shouldn’t.)
Lost It, Kristen Tracy – we think they’re trying to find it under whatever that green thing is. The School Library Journal called this one “hilarious and poignant”, which sounds like a thumbs up.
The Glass Demon, by Helen Grant (409 pages) – Lin Fox finds a corpse, and nearby there is broken glass. There are more deaths, and more broken glass. A sinister thriller, set in Germany, and sort of based on a true story.
First line: ‘If anyone were to ask me, ‘What is the root of all evil?’ I would say not ‘Money’ but ‘Food’.’
Gimme a Call, by Sarah Mlynowski (327 pages) – Devi Banks can use her cellular to talk to herself – from the future! Future Devi tries to stop Present Devi from falling in love with some guy who breaks her heart. Which is reasonable (I would have a LIST of things to tell my younger self), but changing the past mightn’t be so easy.
First line: ‘I should just return Bryan’s watch to Nordstrom and go home.‘
Gentlemen, by Michael Northrop (234 pages) – Three boys suspect their English teacher has something to do with their friend’s disappearance, and to find him they must ‘navigate a maze of assorted clues, fraying friendships, violence, and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment before learning the truth.’
The River, by Mary Jane Beaufrand (215 pages) – Another chiller/mystery (with an awesome first line). Veronica moves from the city to the country with her parents, and befriends a younger girl whose body is found on the banks of the river that runs through Veronica’s backyard. She become obsessed with solving the girl’s death and its connection to the river.
First line: ‘I suppose there are worse things than being soggy and dateless and shoveling bunny carcasses into a garbage bin on Valentine’s Day, but if there are, I can’t think of any.‘
Wanted : A Pretty Little Liars Novel, by Sara Shepard (259 pages) – This is volume eight in the series about some popular girls who were befriended and tormented by uber-popular-but-missing Alison. It is also the conclusion of the series! Will it end happily?
First lines: ‘They say a picture’s worth a thousand words.‘
Lucy Zeezou’s Glamour Game, by Liz Deep-Jones (319 pages) – This is the follow-up to Lucy Zeezou’s Goal. Lucy ‘Zeezou’ Zoffi is mad for football, but her father – a former Italian soccer star – is against girls playing professional sports. Also, she is a model. This time her parents might be splitting up, and she has to go to Milan.
First line: ‘A barrage of lights flashed in our faces, blinding us, while relentless clicking and snapping sounds polluted the air.‘
She’s So Dead to Us, by Kieran Scott* (278 pages) – Ally Ryan grew up rich, but her father lost all his money and almost bankrupted many others. Now Ally’s back in the swanky Orchard Hill, two years after the event, and all her ex-friends hate her so much and are determined to ruin her chances with dreamy and rich Jake.
*Kieran Scott is Kate Brian’s real name
First lines: ‘“So? What do you think?” Hmm. What did I think? I had to take a moment to sort out an answer to that one. Here’s what I came up with.‘
The Poison Eaters And Other Stories, by Holly Black (212 pages) – A collection of stories, all ‘gritty, grim, and fabulous’, by the author of the Modern Faerie Tales (some of the stories in this collection are in the same setting) and the Spiderwick Chronicles. To sweeten the deal! there are illustrations.
The Emerald Casket : The Billionaire Trilogy Book II, by Richard Newsome (378 pages) - This continues this detective/mystery series about a billionaire (lucky!) who recovers stolen jewels, solves murders, and has some pretty sweet adventures. (The author, Richard Newsom, was born in New Zealand. We shall claim him as our own.)
First lines: ‘A meaty hand slapped down on top of the alarm clock. Of all the sounds that Constable Lethbridge of the London Metropolitan Police might want to hear on a Sunday, a buzzer at six o’clock in the morning was not high on the list.‘
Infinity : Chronicles of Nick, by Sherrilin Kenyon (464 pages) – This is the first in a series, I guess? About Nick Gautier, who is sarcastic and wise to the ways of the streets. He is accidently drawn into the world of the Dark-Hunters*, and there are vampires, werewolves, and zombies, everywhere.
*These are a related series for adults. This is her first YA book
First lines: ‘Free will. Some have called it the greatest gift bestowed on humanity.‘
The Boneshaker, by Kate Milford (372 pages) – Natalie’s love of machinery means only she is able to save her small Missouri town from the threat posed by Doctor Jake Limberleg’s Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show. Historical fantasy (it is 1913!) meets steampunk and magic. This book has great illustrations and – this might just be me! – a wicked cool typeface*
First line: ‘Strange things can happen at a crossroads.’
Epitaph Road, by David Patneaude (266 pages) – It is 2097, and a virus has wiped out 97% of all men. Now women rule the world and there is no war, crime, hunger, and poverty. Fourteen-year-old Kellen tries to find his outcast father (the surviving males lead a restricted life) and ‘uncovers a secret so frightening that his life and the future of the world will never be the same again.’
First line: ‘Charlie frowned as muted sunlight leaked through the ragged umbella of evergreen boughs overhead.‘
The Exile of Gigi Lane, by Adrienne Maria Vrettos (340 pages) – The catalogue says, ‘Heathers meets Bring It On in this story of a high school queen bee’s fall from glory,’ which is, if you’ve never seen Heathers, a pretty favourable comparison. Gigi – the high school queen bee – does fall from grace, but she won’t stand for it.
First line: ‘I’m Gigi Lane and you wish you were me. Oh my God, that has to be the most powerful affirmation in the history of the world.‘
Empire of the Undead : Chronicles of Blood, by Gary Cross (298 pages) – This is the second book in a series. As the title might suggest! the series is about vampires. LOADS of them in fact. It is also 1666. (Gary Cross is a NZ writer, so if there’s still an NCEA requirement that you read a NZ author, here’s a good one.)
First line: ‘Fifteen-year-old Mary Shire hated being undead.‘
Here are some non-fiction books! The titles tell you all you need to know, I’m thinking.
Max Your Marks : Tip From Top Students on How to Conquer Year 13, by Rowena Austin, Annie Hastwell, & Dorothy Vinicombe (273 pages)
Living With a Willy : The Inside Story, by Nick Fisher (151 pages)
The Twilight Saga : Eclipse – The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, by Mark Cotta Vaz (140 pages)
Here are four book covers illustrating how nice a good patch of grass is to lie on (although not in mid winter). It’s all very chilled out and relaxed and happy, or is it? (Read them and find out.)
Footfree and Fancyloose, Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain – carrying on from Bass Ackwards and Belly Up, Harper and her three BFFs are half way through a year in which they pursue their dreams rather than going to college. Good for people with withdrawal from the Pants Sisterhood?
Front and Center, Catherine Gilbert Murdock – the final in the trilogy about the fabulous DJ Shwenk (the first being Dairy Queen – which the central library staff selected as a Librarian’s Choice). DJ has to decide on her future, which is quite complex and political when top line College basketball programmes are involved (did anyone see the movie The Blind Side, which is football but still sort of the same saga?).
The Loser’s Guide to Life and Love, A E Cannon – “Four teens fumble the ball of love in this entertaining romantic comedy based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream” says the Booklist review. Snappy dialogue.
The Vast Fields of Ordinary, Nick Burd – while his parents’ marriage fall apart, Dade comes out of the closet. Rites of passage and coming of age: it’s got good reviews too.
There aren’t many new books this week. No doubt there will be LOADS next week. Most of this week’s books’ covers have similar colouring! Weird, eh.
Withering Tights : The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, by Louise Rennison (351 pages) – Louise Rennison is the author of the always-popular Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. This is the first in a new series about Tallulah Casey, who has just enrolled in a Performing Arts College in Yorkshire (hence the title, if you know your classics). The back blurb made me laugh! “Alex had everything a dream boy should have. Back, front, sides. A head.”
First lines: ‘Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College.‘
Swapped by a Kiss, by Luisa Plaja (344 pages) – Rachel sees her boyfriend, David, kissing their friend Jo, who is the nicest girl at the school. Rachel, enraged, wishes she was Jo and suddenly she finds herself in Jo’s body. Being Jo isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Shouldn’t you just be yourself? Yes.
First line: ‘I am in the doorway of a dance tent and my boyfriend is inside, kissing a girl who is not me.‘
To Catch a Pirate, by Jade Parker (228 pages) – Annalisa Townsend is discovered hiding in the hold of a ship by James Sterling, pirate and charmer. Determined to find her father’s treasure she sets out a year later to try to find Sterling. Will she get the treasure? Or will he also capture her heart with his suave seadog stylings?
First line: ‘Annalisa Townsend didn’t know which terrified her more: the razor-sharp edge of the dagger pressed against her throat or the ruthless glare of the pirate who’d shoved her against the wall with the harsh words, “Hold your tongue or I’ll remove it.”‘
Rebel Girl : Secrets at St Jude’s, by Carmen Reid (289 pages) – Four girls at St Jude’s School for Girls face different problems of various magnitude (Niffy wants to be gorgeous! Min is studying too much and missing out on fun! Amy’s rich dad goes broke! Gina’s got a wandering eye!). So they get in touch with their inner rebel.
First line: ‘Long after midnight, Gina lay wide awake in her narrow dorm bed.‘
Boyology : A Teen Girl’s Crash Course in All Things Boy, by Sarah O’Leary Burningham (167 pages) – This is non-fiction! And it intended to assist teens who want to understand the male psyche. Chapter headings include, ‘The Firsts of First Dates: And the Rest of the Dating Game‘, ‘You Wear the Pants: Setting Your Boundaries‘, and ‘Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.‘
Sam Stern’s Eat Vegetarian, by Sam Stern and Susan Stern (187 pages) – This is the Sterns’ fifth book, and is packed with some very nice-looking recipes. Meat-free, so are probably cheaper to make if you’re on a budget! Which is good.
Chocolate Cake With Hitler, by Emma Craigie (204 pages) – Helga Goebbels, daughter of the Nazi’s head of propaganda, spent the last ten days of her life (she was twelve) stuck in Hitler’s bunker. Her parents and the other adults become more and more tense and Helga soon begins to realise that her childhood wasn’t the fairytale it seemed.
First lines: ‘I’m sitting with Papa on a bench beside the sea. I must be about three years old.‘