the rad covers edition:
Aroha, Anaru Bickford (284 pages) – In the year 2019, Māori teenager Aroha lives in the United States with her aunt and uncle, and is tormented daily by the cousin who holds her responsible for ripping their family apart. Aroha also suffers from dreams that have plagued her since her childhood in New Zealand, in which the world ends in a wall of fire. Are these dreams, or premonition? Nightmare, or prophecy? Aroha’s story is a journey to find love and accept responsibility … at the end of the world.
First lines: “There is a myth that attempts to explain the last days. It describes the end of the world as a coming together of two lovers: the earth and the sky reunited, plunging the world once again into darkness. Let me assure you – the end of the world was nothing that any myth or legend could have prepared you for.”
Return to me, Justina Chen (341 pages) – 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. 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?
First lines: “If you believed my so-called psychic of a grandmother, she predicted that I would almost die. Her eerie, creepy forewarning made no difference at all. I was seven. I still jumped into the murky lake. I still dropped to its mossy bottom. I still almost drowned.”
Steal my sunshine, Emily Gale (333 pages) – Hannah is a fifteen-year-old girl whose greatest desire is to belong and be loved by her family. However, dark family secrets threaten everything. Combined with Hannah’s contemporary story, is her eccentric grandmother’s painful story about a shameful aspect of Australia’s history and how it affected thousands of girls and women: the forced adoptions that saw ‘wayward girls’ and single mothers forced to give up their babies by churches and hospitals.
First lines: “The morning it started Mum freaked out about the Christmas tree. It had been thirty degrees most of the night and I wasn’t sure if I’d been asleep for any of it. I could tell from the safety of my bedroom that Mum had woken up foul: heavy footsteps in the kitchen, cupboard doors slammed in, the dishwasher drawers yanked out and rammed in again.”
Battle lines, Will Hill (702 pages) – The third installment of the epic Department 19 series promises to promises to deliver higher—and sharper—stakes than ever before! Secret government unit Department 19 is recovering from evil vampire Valeri Rusmanov’s deadly attack on their base. The Department’s newest member, teenage operator Jamie Carpenter, is tasked with training up a new squad, as his friends and colleagues desperately search for ways to try to stop what is coming.
First lines: “In the village of Crawthorne is an alarm. A direct copy of a World War Two air-raid siren, it is bright red, and sits atop a pole two metres above the ground.”
Chosen at nightfall, C. C. Hunter (399 pages) – The cover describes this as Shadow Falls novel as “the magnificent final chapter in the breathtaking series!” And based on the reserve queue, more than a few of you are eager to read it! So here it is: Kylie’s most powerful enemy returns to destroy her once and for all, there’s only one way to stop him–to step into her full powers and make a stunning transformation that will amaze everyone around her.
First line: “Kylie Galen looked up from the slice of pepperoni pizza on the fine china plate and tried to ignore the ghost swinging the bloody sword right behind her grandfather and great-aunt.”
By any other name, Laura Jarrat, (355 pages) – Nobody can know the truth – Holly’s life depends on it. Holly is fifteen years old, but she’s only been “Holly” for a matter of months. Because of something that happened, she and her family have had to enter witness protection and have all assumed new identities. All, that is, except her sister Katie, who is autistic. Starting at a new school mid-term is hard enough at the best of times, and Holly has no clue who she is any more. Lonely and angry, she reaches out to friends – new and old. But one wrong move will put all their lives in danger.
First line: They told me to pick something unobtrusive, then they handed me a book of baby names and a cup of hot chocolate from a machine, and they left me there in the white room.”
Inferno, Sherrilyn Kenyon (451 pages) – the fourth ‘Chronicles of Nick’ book finds our protagonist unable to trust anyone but the being he has been warned will ultimately kill him (Death). If Nick is to survive this latest round, he will have to sacrifice a part of himself. However, the best sacrifice is seldom the sanest move. Sometimes it’s the one that leaves your enemies confused.
First line: “Silhouetted by the setting sun, and completely rusted out on the inside from his hatred of every living thing, Nick stood on the top of what remained of the old Jax Brewery building, watching his once beloved city burn to the ground.”
Unravel me, Tahereh Mafi (461 pages) – Juliette has escaped to Omega Point, the headquarters of the rebel resistance and a safe haven for people with abilities like hers. She is finally free from The Reestablishment and their plans to use her as a weapon, but Warner, her former captor, won’t let her go without a fight. Haunted by her past and terrified of her future, Juliette knows that in her present, she will have to make some life-changing choices. It’s the second in a trilogy though so make sure you read Shatter me first.
First lines: “The world might be sunny-side up today. The big ball of yellow might be spilling into the clouds, runny and yolky and blurring into the bluest sky, bright with cold hope and false promises about fond memories, real families, hearty breakfasts, stacks of pancakes drizzled in maple syrup sitting on a plate in a world that doesn’t exist anymore.”
The Subterranean Stratagem, Michael Pryor, (362 pages) – The follow up to The Extinction Gambit finds Kingsley and Evadne, the Extraordinaires, struggling to contain Kingsley’s wolfish side and save their juggling and escapology act. The secret to controlling the wolfishness is in Kingsley’s mysterious past. Was he really raised by wolces? Who were his parents? What happened to them? What begins as a quest to restore Kingsley’s past becomes an adventure that pits the Extraordinaires against forces that could shatter the minds and souls of millions.
First lines: “The giant steel jaws on either side of Kingsley Ward were quivering. Being suspended upside down as he was, it was difficult to judge the trap’s eagerness to close on him, so he ignored the metal monstrosity and focused his attention on wrenching himself free from the straitjacket.”
Emilie and the Hollow World, Martha Wells (301 pages) – While running away from home, Wmilie’s plan to stow away on a steamship go awry. Suddenly she’s on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure. Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine to journey to the dark interior of the planet in search of her new guardian’s missing father. Emilie must take daring action if they are ever to return to the surface alive.
First line: “Creeping along the docks in the dark, looking for the steamship Merry Bell, Emilie was starting to wonder if it might be better to just walk to Silk Harbor.”
We still really love John Green. This doesn’t change even if you skip a month (oops). It’ll be a little while before we get something new from him – “Untitled” is due to be published in January next year. Until then, this post for other reading ideas.
Public service announcement: 1D, the story of One Direction’s X-factor experience: we have only one copy of this book! We asked nicely for more, but unhappily there are none available, so they’re rare things. Consequently we can’t do much about the reserve queue. We have another book about the fab five, here.
1. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [up 1]
2. Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare [down 1]
3. Looking for Alaska, John Green [no change]
4. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [no change]
5. Light, Michael Grant [new]
6. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
7. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
8. Chosen at Nightfall, C C Hunter [new]
9. Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl [down 3]
10. Scorched Earth, Robert Muchamore [down 2]
Beautiful Creatures is on at the movies at the moment, which means the book’s in demand (is Ethan more likeable in the film?).
1. Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare [no change]
2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [no change]
3. Looking for Alaska, John Green [no change]
4. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [up 1]
5. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
6. Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl [old/new]
6. The Indigo Spell, Richelle Mead [new]
8. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
8. Scorched Earth, Robert Muchamore [up 2]
10. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore [down 6]
Ketchup Clouds, Annabel Pitcher (293 pages) – Zoe has a terrible secret that she can’t share with anyone, but secrets need to be shared. She learns about a prisoner on death row in Texas, who would seem to be the ideal recipient of a letter from Zoe, confessing her secret. “These are the letters that she wrote” announces the inside cover of the book, which just makes you extremely curious, right?
First sentence: Dear Mr S Harris, Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner.
Creepy & Maud, Dianne Touchell (202 pages) – Creepy and Maud (not their real names) live next door to each other, indeed their bedroom windows are practically opposite. A perfect scenario for the romance of the century perhaps, but Creepy and Maud (as the names suggest) are both social misfits, for different reasons. Will love conquer all, we wonder? Goodreads.com puts it like so: “Creepy & Maud is a blackly funny and moving first novel that says; ‘You’re ok to be as screwed up as you think you are and you’re not alone in that.’” Nice.
First sentence: My dad has trained our dog, Dobie Squires, to bite my mum.
The Cup and the Crown, Diane Stanley (344 pages) – Handsome King Alaric asks Molly to go in search of one of her grandfather’s loving cups, which bind people together (we think emotionally rather than literally). This quest takes Molly and her friends to the hidden city of Harrowsgode, which – like Hotel California – is hard to leave once you’ve entered. If you’ve read The Silver Bowl, then you’ve probably met Molly.
First sentence: The Great Hall was much as she remembered it: the tapestries, the massive iron candle stands, the enormous fireplace, the great gilt screen behind the dais.
The Wrap-up List, Steven Arnston (236 pages) – Gabriela, out of the blue, receives a letter from Death announcing that she’s got a week to live. She’s shocked and unprepared, but it’s possible that Death has a weakness that, if exploited, could mean he’ll have to let her go.
First sentence: Some people die from heart attacks, and some from falling off ladders.
Colin Fischer, Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz (229 pages) – Colin Fischer is a freshman who has Aspergers Syndrome. He notices every little detail. So, when a gun goes off in the cafeteria, and everyone thinks it’s the school bully who is responsible, Colin turns detective, following the leads that don’t occur to others, even if the school bully is Colin’s especial tormentor.
First sentence: Colin clutched his precious, dog-eared Notebook to his chest.
A Girl Named Digit, Annabel Monaghan (187 pages) – Farrah “Digit” Higgins is a bit of a geek genius. This might mean being not so popular at high school, but it also means being extremely handy at unlocking ecoterrorist codes. The fact that she knows maths is not lost on John, the hot FBI guy. But the world of espionage is a serious place – is Digit up for the challenge? We think she probably is.
First sentence: On the morning of my kidnapping, my mom’s makeup was perfect.
Hostage Three, Nick Lake (368 pages) – Amy is on a luxury yacht with her family in the Indian Ocean – the Maldives, the Seychelles, Comoros… Somali pirates. When their yacht is over run by said pirates, the family is taken hostage, her father Hostage One… Amy Hostage Three. Just like that, their lives are tradeable commodities. A tense thriller!
First sentence: We stand on the diving platform of our yacht, in the brutal sunlight.
Into the River, Ted Dawe (New Zealand author, 279 pages) – Here’s the way the cover excellently puts it: “When Te Arepa Santos is dragged into the river by a giant eel, something happens that will change the course of his whole life. The boy who struggles to the bank is not the same one who plunged in, moments earlier. He has brushed against the spirit world, and there is a price to be paid; an utu to be exacted. Years later, far from the protection of whanau and ancestral land he finds new enemies. This time, with no-one to save him, there is a decision to be made.. he can wait on the bank, or leap forward into the river” .
First sentence(s): There was a tap on the window. Te Arepa sat up.
Lots of John Green love on the Most Wanted list for February again, and Clockwork Princess is due out in March – the much-anticipated third book in the Infernal Devices trilogy (for now).
1. Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare [up 1]
2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [up 3]
3. Looking for Alaska, John Green [up 6]
4. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore [down 3]
5. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [down 2]
6. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 3]
7. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
8. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [down 2]
9. Maximum Ride 5 : The Manga, Narae Lee [new]
10. Reached, Ally Condie [down 4]
10. Scorched Earth, Robert Muchamore [new]
10. Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Edition 4, CLAMP [new]
The next installments in three hot series which will be released this year.
Scorched Earth, Robert Muchamore. The next in the Henderson’s Boys series, which is like CHERUB but with World War II thrown in for good measure. This is described as their final mission. We at the teen blog hope this is because they’re going to retire and sip mocktails in a hammock on an island somewhere, but there is a rumour this may not be true for one character. The official website is quite coy about giving away information.
The Indigo Spell, Richelle Mead. The third in the Bloodlines series, in which Sydney is in for a rough ride. “In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch – a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood – or else she might be next.” (goodreads.com)
Perfect Scoundrels, Ally Carter. The third Heist Society book, but what happens?? Well: “Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting – or stealing – whatever they want … When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir–this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.” (goodreads.com)
The final Most Wanted of the year sees Robert Muchamore on top again, although this has been the year of The Hunger Games, which almost everyone in Wellington has read I think.
1. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore [no change]
2. Reached, Ally Condie [no change]
3. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [up 3]
4. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [no change]
5. Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare [up 3]
6. Finale, Becca Fitzpatrick [down 4]
7. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 3]
8. Days of Blood & Starlight, Laini Taylor [new]
9. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
10. The Rise of Nine, Pitacus Lore [down 4]
Viva Jacquelina!, by L. A. Meyer (360 pages) – The full title for this entry in the continuing tale (this is the tenth!) of Jacky Faber, cabin boy/girl and spy for the Crown, is Viva Jacquelina! Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away. She’s off to Spain in this adventure, meeting Goya, the Inquisition, and battling Napoleon’s army – among other similar adventures.
First lines: ‘“It is time to cut it off, Higgins,” I announce firmly, seating myself in front of my mirror. “If you would be so good. I do not think it would serve me well here in Portugal.”‘
Agent 21 : Reloaded, by Chris Ryan (341 pages) – This is the second Agent 21 book. Zak Darke is the agent, and with a name like that you would probably have to be some sort of action hero. Zak has snuck on board an enemy ship to gather information and then to sink it. It seem pretty straight-forward. How could that go wrong? WELL, you see, GUNS probably
First lines: ‘There are good times and bad times to do almost everything in life. Everything, that is, except visit a grave.‘
The Far West, by Patricia C. Wrede (378 pages) – Eff is keen to go to the unexplored Far West with her twin, her best friend, and other scientiests, magicians, and soldiers. There she encounters new magical creatures, develops her own magical skills, and uncover a major, serious threat to the rest of the continent. Not too different to travelling west from Wellington, haha. Just joking
First lines: ‘It is a true thing that the Far West is a strange and dangerous place. Everybody knows that, which is a little odd. In my experience, the things everybody knows are just exactly the ones that are most likely to be mistaken in some important way or other, if they’re not flat-out wrong right from the start.‘
Feedback, by Robison Wells (312 pages) – This is the sequel to Variant, a sci-fi thriller (with a super twist) about Benson Fisher, who was trapped in a brutal academy/prison. Now he’s escaped but he finds himself in a new kind of weird prison; outside the walls, in a town that may also be under the control of the academy he’d just escaped from.
First lines: ‘Jane stared back at me, motionless. She was older than I remembered – older than the Jane I knew.‘
Breathe, by Sarah Crossan (370 pages) – All the trees have gone, and since trees make oxygen (it is SCIENCE) the world is slowly suffocating. Everyone will die, except for the lucky few who are able to live in the Pod, where there’s air. However, not everyone can afford enough oxygen to live a normal life, and those who rebel against the authority are thrown out of the Pod. Alina, a rebel, to flee her captors escapes (with a little help) from the Pod with only two days of oxygen. A nail-biting dystopic yarn!
First lines: ‘I squeeze Abel’s hand and he looks at me. ‘Now?’ he asks. He puts his other hand in his pocket.‘
Task Force, by Brian Falkner (355 pages) – This is the second Recon Team Angel book (the other is Assault). The world is at war with an alien race, and humanity’s fate depends on Recon Team Angel, a group of teens who have learnt the alien language, familiarised themselves with their weaponry, and now have to infiltrate behind enemy lines.
First lines: ‘The army camped on the Chukchi Peninsula in far north-east Russia was the largest assembled in the Bzadian War, poised for the greatest invasion in Earth’s history.‘
Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up, by Mark Peter Hughes (291 pages) – This is the continuing tale of the band Lemonade Mouth, who were once high school nobodies but are now household names. This is how it all happened! How they became the world’s most famous (fictional in case you wondered) band from Rhode Island. There is a Disney film as well, based on the first book.
First lines: ‘Dear Naomi, Looking back, I can honestly say that I felt the trouble coming before it even arrived. As you know, I sometimes get feelings about these things, and I guess a part of me realised that summer vacation was starting off too well.‘
A World Between Us, by Lydia Syson (272 pages) – During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Felix, a nurse (and a she!) travels from England to aid the Republicans (and also to follow a young guy named Nat). George also comes along behind in pursuit of Felix, for whom he holds a candle. A war of the heart + an actual war = epic historical drama.
First lines: ‘Crowds had never bothered Felix before, so she was surprised to find herself shaking. She really shouldn’t have come this way, not when the Fascists were marching.‘
The Rosie Black Chronicles : Dark Star, by Lara Morgan (393 pages) – This is the third and final book in a series about Rosie Black. Rosie lives 500 years in the future, in an Earth that has beem overwhelmed by centuries of global warming and rising oceans, and the inevitable conflicts between the rich and the poor. DO have a look at the official website, where there’s an outline of the series and a book trailer.
First lines: ‘It was night and moonlight came through the high slit windows, lighting the corridor with pale rectangles like stepping stones in the dark. The air reeked of lemon antiseptic.‘
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]