Terrifyingly it’s already that time of year when Amazon produces its best books of the year lists. The Top 20 list for teens is here. It’s an interesting, varied collection, with some of our favourites of 2012.
Here are the top 10 requested and borrowed young adult items at Wellington City Libraries. Numbers 2 to 10, although they’ve ganged up in pairs, have still got a ways to go to topple Robert Muchamore, spy king, from his perch.
1. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore [no change]
2. Reached, Ally Condy (on order) [up 3]
2. Finale, Becca Fitzpatrick (on order) [up 5]
4. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [up 2]
4. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
6. The Rise of Nine, Pitacus Lore [down 2]
6. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
8. One Shot Kill, Robert Muchamore [new]
8. Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare [new]
10. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [down 8]
This week, a feudal, Eastern dystopian fantasy adventure, flying shapeshifters, and Russian spies who are after potions during the Cold War.
Stormdancer, Jay Kristoff (The Lotus War number 1). “Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task. But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected. Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it. Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?” (goodreads.com)
The Girl With Borrowed Wings, Rinsai Rossetti. “A stunningly written tale of an isolated girl and the shape-shifting boy who shows her what freedom could be – if only she has the courage to take it. Controlled by her father and bound by desert, Frenenqer Paje’s life is tediously the same, until a small act of rebellion explodes her world and she meets a boy, but not just a boy – a Free person, a winged person, a shape-shifter. He has everything Frenenqer doesn’t. No family, no attachments, no rules. At night, he flies them to the far-flung places of their childhoods to retrace their pasts. But when the delicate balance of their friendship threatens to rupture into something more, Frenenqer must confront her isolation, her father, and her very sense of identity, breaking all the rules of her life to become free.” (goodreads.com)
The Apothecary, Maile Meloy. “It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows – a fascinating boy who’s not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies – Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.” (goodreads.com). This book also has illustrations by Ian Schoenherr, who drew the bridges and maps in Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (they are cool bridges and maps).
Promised, Caragh O’Brien (October/November) - this is the third in the popular Birthmarked trilogy. “After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever. She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland. In Gaia’s absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher. Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what–or whom–she loves most?” (goodreads.com)
The Other Normals, Ned Vizzini (this month) – from the author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story (that got turned into a movie ($4 for one week)). Perry (long name Peregrine) is an epic nerd, who lives for Creatures & Caverns, a role playing game. He much prefers C & C to his real world, so he’s gutted when his parents send him to summer camp. But! At summer camp he meets Mortin Enaw, the writer of the C & C manual, and very soon Perry finds himself in the world of The Other Normals, where he must embark on a quest to save the other normals’ princess. His RPG skills will no doubt prove completely indispensible, and may save the day.
Oblivion, Anthony Horowitz (October/November) – This is the last in the Gatekeepers series (book number 5). “Having escaped from Hong Kong, the five gatekeepers – Matt, Pedro, Scott, Jamie and Scarlett – are scattered in a hostile and dangerous world. As they struggle to re-group and plan their next move, the malevolent King of the Old Ones gathers his forces in Oblivion: a desolate landscape where the last survivors of humanity must fight the ultimate battle.” (goodreads.com)
Eve and Adam, Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate (October/November) – by the authors of the Gone series and the Animorphs series for kids. “And girl created boy” says the cover. Eve and Adam is the story of Evening, who, after a car crash, must recuperate in her mother’s research facility. The research at the facility is all about genetics, and genetic engineering. To cure Evening of her boredom, her mother sets her the task of creating the perfect boy – Adam, of course – which Evening sets about doing. (But will he end up being more like Frankenstein’s monster? We wonder.)
Here are the top 10 requested and borrowed young adult items at Wellington City Libraries! You can also keep an eye on interesting upcoming releases here.
1. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore [no change]
2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
4. The Rise of Nine, Pitacus Lore [no change]
5. Reached, Ally Condy (on order) [up 2]
6. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [up 4]
7. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [down 2]
8. Finale, Becca Fitzpatrick (on order) [down 1]
9. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare [down 3]
10. Days of Blood and Starlight, Laini Taylor (on order) [new]
Stephanie has bought some new ebooks recently, including a couple of popular series and some intriguing plot-lines.
Stravaganza: City of Masks, City of Stars, City of Flowers, by Mary Hoffman. We have the first three books in this very popular series as ebooks (you can also reserve the paper version of the soon-to-be-published latest, City of Swords). The official series website is here.
Gossip Girl series, created by Cecily von Ziegasar. We’ve recently acquired heaps of these (approximately 13), including the first book, It Had to be You (the prequel), and Don’t You Forget About Me (which we partly mention because that’s the name of the theme song of the excellent The Breakfast Club (outstanding teen movie from the 80s! ($4.00 for 1 week))).
The Académie, Susanne Dunlap. Eliza Monroe is the daughter of the soon-to-be fifth president of the United States (true story!). It is only fitting, then, that she attend an exclusive academy in Paris. She’s not too thrilled at the notion, until she discovers she will be attending with the daughter of Josephine (of Napoleon and Josephine fame), who is marvellously called Hortense de Beauharnais (true story) and the younger sister of Napoleon himself (Caroline). More intriguing: the two girls hate each other. Paris in the early 19th century: what a place to be!
The Pledge, Kimberly Derting. In the far future the world is divided strictly by language, and the language you speak is a matter of life and death. This world is complicated for Charlie, as she is gifted with the ability to understand all languages. When Charlie meets Max, who speaks a language she’s never heard before (but can understand, of course), she’s intrigued, but Max understands the danger Charlie is in: can he protect her as war threatens?
Note: you need Adobe Digital Editions to download ebooks. This step-by-step guide will tell you everything!
For more ebooks, visit our Overdrive homepage.
Arcadia Awakens, Kai Meyer (394 pages) – Rosa Alcantara comes from a New York Sicilian family. On a visit back to the home country, Rosa is introduced to the world of the Mafia, but with a large twist. Not only is the underworld of crime and deadly family rivalries alive and well, but there seems to be a mysterious, supernatural element to it: strange beasts roam the hills of Sicily, and the feuding families have dark, dangerous secrets. It is perhaps unwise, then, to fall in love with a member of the enemy family. But then who’s wise? (Not Rosa, nor Alessandro.)
First sentence: “One day,” she said, “I’ll catch dreams like butterflies.”
The Convent, Maureen McCarthy (419 pages) – “Peach is nineteen and pretty happy with the way things are. She has her university work, two wildly different best friends, her sister, Stella, to look after and a broken heart to mend. But when she takes a summer job at a cafe in the old convent, her idea of who she is takes a sharp turn – into the past. Where once there were nuns, young girls and women who had fallen on hard times, Peach discovers secrets from three generations of her family. As their stories are revealed, Peach is jolted out of her comfort zone. But does she really want to know who she is?” (Book cover)
First sentence: My sister and I often rode past the convent that summer.
Another Faust, Daniel & Dina Nayeri (387 pages) – this novel is a companion to Another Pan, and Another Jekyll, Another Hyde. Set in an exclusive academy (which we like). Five children from various cities across Europe mysteriously disappear, only to turn up seeveral years later in New York, together with an unusual governess. Together they attend the Manhattan Marlowe School, exhibiting unusual powers bestowed on them by their governess. Having unusual powers is a bit of a head rush, but there’s a dangerous side, which they may discover to their detriment.
First sentences: Victoria didn’t have time to play. She didn’t have time for friends or laughing or jumping or any other things little kids do.
The Kill Order, James Dashner (327 pages) – For Maze Runner fans. Before the Maze, there were the sun flares, and the infectious disease of the mind that drove the people of the eastern United States to madness, threatening humanity. Amongst all the chaos, Mark and Trina wonder if there is something they can do to stop the devastation of civilisation as they knew it.
First sentence: Teresa looked at her friend and wondered what it would be like to forget him.
Such Wicked Intent, Kenneth Oppel (310 pages) – the disturbing story of young Victor Frankenstein continues (after This Dark Endeavour). Victor has turned away from alchemy, but can’t resist the temptation when another possible way to cheat death presents itself. He, Elizabeth, Henry and Konrad travel through a portal into the spirit world and “unknowingly unlock a darkness from which they may never return” (cover).
First sentence: The books flew open like startled birds trying to escape the flames.
Endless, Jessica Shirvington (449 pages) – the fourth Violet Eden book. “Angels are real. They aren’t always kind. Violet Eden is certain of all this because she is Grigori – part angel, part human. She has felt the influence of both light and dark. When Hell unleashes its worst, Violet must embrace every facet of her angel self to save the people she cares about and the world as she knows it. But death is not the worst thing that Violet will face. For her, the endless question ‘Can love conquer all?’ will finally be answered.” (goodreads.com)
First sentence: What do you do the moment your father discovers your dead mother is still alive, standing in his apartment looking not a day older than the day she died – over seventeen years ago?
Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas (405 pages) – Celaena is an assassin, freed from hard labour by Crown Prince Dorian, provided she defeat 23 other assassins and assorted killers in a gladiatorial competition. The winner becomes King’s Champion. Sounds simple enough, except that before the competition begins the competitors all start dying in mysterious and horrible circumstances. Something evil is afoot, and can Calaena find the cause before her world is destroyed?
First sentence: After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Calaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.
More stuff! Including more zombies.
Zom-B, Darren Shan (September/October). This is the start of a new series by the horror master. I have read that there’s rather a lot of blood and stuff, so if you’ve got a cast-iron stomach you might love this. “Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its victims. The series combines classic Shan action with a fiendishly twisting plot and hard-hitting and thought-provoking moral questions dealing with racism, abuse of power and more. This is challenging material, which will captivate existing Shan fans and bring in many new ones. As Darren says, “It’s a big, sprawling, vicious tale…a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-count is guaranteed!” (goodreads.com)
Flesh & Bone, Jonathan Maberry (September/October). The third in a trilogy (maybe?) that started with Rot & Ruin. “In the Rot & Ruin… everything wants to kill you” (goodreads.com). Everything means escaped zoo and circus animals, and a new breed of zombie, who are faster and smarter. How is it possible then for Chong and his friends to survive? Tom better have trained them well. Plus we do like the rather disturbing cover.
Iron Legends, Julie Kagawa (September/October). If you’ve been reading Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, then you might like to read these three novellas in one volume (called ‘Winter’s Passage’, ‘Summer’s Crossing’ and ‘Iron’s Prophecy’).
The horror of birds, zombies, and negotiating the criminal underworld in a bleak, futuristic New York.
Because it is my blood, Gabrielle Zevin (October) – The sequel to All These Things I’ve Done. “Since her release from Liberty Children’s Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve – and her heart – will be tested as never before.” (goodreads.com)
Adaptation, Malinda Lo (October) – Birds! Birds are flying into planes and cars, causing horrific crashes and devastation on a vast scale. The US government fears terrorism, grounding all flights and enforcing curfews. Reese and her friend are making their way back from Arizona to San Francisco when all this happens. Their car flips (bird strike) and Reese wakes up in a military hospital and what seems to be a whole new world. When she finally makes it to San Francisco she gets the sense that something’s really off (and that’s not just the sense that someone or something is following her). Can Reese find out what’s going on?
Alice in Zombieland, Gena Showalter (October also) – the first in the White Rabbit Chronicles series. Alice is in a car crash that claims the lives of her whole family (it wasn’t birds). This is tragic, but to make matters truly worse she wakes up in a world populated by zombies: the monsters her father was warning her about. Now she must become a zombie-slayer in order to survive, and also learn how to trust (and get along with) bad boy Cole.
There is a new most-wanted book this month: Robert Muchamore’s CHERUB books are always über popular, and now there’s CHERUB series 2! Other new books to watch out for include The Rise of Nine, the next instalment in the Lorien Legacies sci fi series, and Finale, which promises to be the end to the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick. Series are the winners!
1. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore [new]
2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 2]
4. The Rise of Nine, Pitacus Lore [new]
5. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [down 2]
6. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare [down 2]
7. Reached, Ally Condy (on order) [up 1]
7. Finale, Becca Fitzpatrick (on order) [new]
9. Insurgent, Veronica Roth [down 3]
10. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [down 1]