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And some more new books

Big River, Little Fish, Belinda Jeffrey (263 pages) – Set in South Australia in the 1950s (during the Murray River flood in 1956), this is a coming of age story with a pleasing twist.

First sentence: Tom Downs was a small five pounder when he came out backwards on the sand at Big Bend; a place on the Murray River halfway between the towns of Swan Reach and Nildottie in South Australia.

Embrace, Jessica Shirvington (382 pages) – Violet’s friend (she wishes he was more) drops an outrageous secret on her; that he is a Grigori, part human, part angel. Oh, and she’s his eternal partner. Quite understandably, this takes a bit of getting used to, and while she’s processing this there’s Phoenix (all angel), and the eternal battle between darkness and light. People who enjoy angel fiction have reviewed this favourably, so fans of Fallen and Halo (for example) might like this.

First sentence: Birthdays aren’t my thing.

Swoon, Nina Malkin (421 pages) – the back cover says “Sin is coming… prepare to swoon.” Sin is short for Sinclair, a spirit who in a tricksy fashion gets Dice (Short for Candice) to give him human form. Havoc ensues in Swoon, Connecticut: can Dice sort the mess out, or will she also be engulfed?

First sentence: Love at first sight must be glorious.

Bright Young Things, Anna Godbersen (389 pages) – The creator of The Luxe turns her attention to the 1920s and 30s. Cordelia and Letty arrive in New York, Letty in search of fame and Cordelia in search of her unknown father. Secrets, lies, murder, intrigue, scandal, glamour, jazz: just about everything!

First sentence: It is easy to foget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer.

To Die For, Christopher Pike (408 pages) – Two thrillers in one volume – Slumber Party (first published in 1985) and Weekend (first published in 1986) – with very different settings, the first a ski resort and the second a remote beach. Read them and see if you can guess who done it.

First sentence: Dana Miller’s downshifting, as they rounded the tight mountain turn, was like a kick in the seat of the pants.

Red is for Remembrance, White is for Magic and Silver is for Secrets, Laurie Faria Stolarz – More in the series about Stacey Brown (see here), a witch who must try and prevent her nightmares from coming true.

Cover Cousins: 19th Century Fashion

We here at teen blog frequently notice book cover themes recurring, so we thought we’d highlight some as and when they crop up (similar and related sort of to Title Twins). The first book cover theme to note is the 19th century female figure dressed either in a) impressive finery or b) something a bit more subtle. For example:

A) The Finery

The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, a sort of 19th Century Gossip Girl, is full of rumour, intrigue, scandal and the like. Can similar things be said for Marissa Doyle’s books, Betraying Season and Bewitching Season? Quite possibly! With the added element of magic, and a change of scenery from Manhattan to Ireland.

B) Dressed Down

 

Note the angle of the head and all, but are A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly and the Gemma Doyle books by Libba Bray similar in any way? Well, they’re about female empowerment (can’t really say too much without spoiling things horribly), and they may or may not have similar outcomes for their female protagonists. See the Top 10 list here for similar themed books (it was in here that we noticed the chins).

Til next time.

This Week in New Books

Th1rteen R3asons Why, Jay Asher (288 pages) – (Thirteen Reasons Why) Hannah Baker committed suicide and left several cassettes (those analogue recording things) for Clay Jensen, explaining the thirteen reasons why she killed herself. The cassettes send Clay on a night-long trip around town, learning the truth about Hannah and also himself.

First line: “Sir?” she repeats. “How soon do you want it to get there?”

The Piper’s Son, Melina Marchetta (328 pages) – five years after Francesca was saved, Tom needs a bit of help, as the back cover says: “Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world… in a year when everything’s broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.”

First line: The string slices into the skin of his fingers and no matter how tough the calluses, it tears.

Darklight, Lesley Livingston (310 pages) – the follow on from Wondrous Strange. Kelley is propelled out of rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet and into the Otherworld where she is reunited with Sonny but caught in faerie stuff, which is nearly always potentially deadly, and always intriguing.

First line: The old man lay crumpled on the flagstones in front of a Park Avenue brownstone, his lifeblood oozing from five small holes in his neatly buttoned tweed vest like sap from a maple tree tapped in spring.

The Season, Sarah McLean (343 pages) – Anna Godbersen says, “The Season is frothy, girly, wicked, and wise to the tender, tenuous and sometimes very strong ties between young people throughout the ages.” In other words, in a similar vein to The Luxe, The Season follows elite young women, this time in regency London (being regency it’s probably too early for an exclusive academy though). Lady Alexandra Stafford is more interested in adventure than romance, which proves to be a recipe for espionage, murder, mystery and action. Looks gripping.

First line: The rain fell steadily on the slick rocks marking the edge of the Essex countryside, where the land fell in sheer cliffs to a frigid winter sea.

Wish, Alexandra Bullen (323 pages) – Olivia’s twin sister Violet is gone, leaving her (Olivia) broken hearted. One day a magical dress arrives on her doorstep, entitling her to one wish. She wishes for Violet back.

First line: Some girls are wishaholics.

Sweet Little Lies, Lauren Conrad (309 pages) – subtitled: an L A Candy Novel. Jane and Scarlett are on the reality TV show L. A. Candy. Being in the spotlight means that Jane is tabloid fodder when photos of her are leaked to the press. Secrets and lies…

First line: Jane Roberts sat up on her white chaise longue and gazed at the horizon between the vast blue ocean and the vast blue sky.

This is just a small sample: more next week. Have a good weekend!

Read These New Books

Once again, here’s a large selection of new books, from fairies to vampires to werewolves to survivalists to society’s elite (pirates and witches).

Rapture of the Deep, L A Meyer (454 pages) – for lovers of the Bloody Jack adventures, here’s the next. Jacky thinks she’s getting married, but actually she’s being kidnapped by British Naval Intelligence and made to dive for treasure near Havana, which isn’t necessarily such a terrible thing when you’re the piratical spy type.

First sentence: “Ah, and it’s a bonny, bonny bride ye shall be, Jacky.”
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Re-Gifters, Mike Carey, Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel (graphic novel) – Dixie is a soon-to-be maybe champion of hapkido (a martial art), but her life gets complicated when she meets and falls for surfery boy Adam. Winning her championship and also Adam could be tricky: there are lessons to be learned for Dixie.

Tallow, Karen Brooks (404 pages) – The Curse of the Bond Riders Book 1. Tallow is rescued as a child by a candlemaker. As he grows up, his mysterious and deadly talents are revealed, and all manner of ominous people – both enemies and allies – become interested in him. A fantasy story based on historical Italy with excellent reviews!

First sentence: “I know you’re out there.”
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Splendor, Anna Godbersen (394 pages) – the last of the Luxe novels, or at least I think it is. Will Diana and Henry find a way to be together without having Manhattan’s society up in arms?

First sentence: Fifty years ago every American girl wanted to be a European princess.
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Battleground, Chris Ryan (305 pages) – the SAS supremo writer is back again, this time with the story of 14 year old Ben who finds himself kidnapped in Afghanistan. Which sounds bad, but worse is the fact that he discovers they’ve got a nuclear weapon on them.

First sentence: “Ambush!”
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X Isle, Steve Augarde (477 pages) – see what he’s doing with the title? X Isle is the only way out after the floods come and devastate the globe. Sounds like a grim disaster novel (Adrienne might like it!).

First sentence: The steady chug of the diesel engine drew closer, and eventually the salvage boat emerged from the mist, a blank grey shape steering a middle course between the ghostly lines of chimney stacks that rose from the water.
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Destiny’s Path, Frewin Jones (329 pages) – book two in the Warrior Princess series, good news if you’ve already read the first one. Branwen is still uncomfortable with the idea of being the Chosen One, but then she’s shown a vision of life if she abandons her destiny, and it’s pretty bleak.

First sentence: Branwen Ap Griffith pulled back on the reins and her weary horse gradually came to a halt, snorting softly and shaking its mane.
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Ash, Malinda Lo (264 pages) – A fairy tale; Ash, recovering from the death of her father, dreams that the fairies will “steal her away” then meets Sidhean (a fairy). Because stories need a complication to work (truly they do), she also meets Kaisa (not a fairy) who teaches her to hunt and with whom she becomes friends. The result? A literary tug of war.

First sentence: Aisling’s mother died at midsummer.
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We Were Here, Matt de la Pena (356 pages) – Miguel is sent to juvi, then escapes with Rondell and Mong (great names, together), hoofing it to Mexico where he hopes he’ll have a chance to start over. A story of self-discovery and learning to forgive yourself (among other things).

First sentence: Here’s the thing: I was probably gonna write a book when I got older anyways.
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Taken, Nora McClintock (165 pages) – stress extreme. As mentioned in this post, Stephanie is captured by a serial killer then escapes (good for her) and must survive in the middle of nowhere (bad for her).

First sentence: My stomach clenched as the bus rumbled across the county line.
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Once a Witch, Carolyn MacCullough (292 pages) – Tamsin pretends to be her talented witchy older sister, which might seem like a good idea at the time, but one thing leads to another… this book contains it all; fantasy, romance, witchcraft and time travel.

First sentence: I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper thin adn when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it.
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Ghost Town, Richard Jennings (165 pages) – I’ve filched this from the catalogue because it’s way to complex for me to explain: “Thirteen-year-old Spencer Honesty and his imaginary friend, an Indian called Chief Leopard Frog, improbably achieve fame and riches in the abandoned town of Paisley, Kansas, when Spencer begins taking photographs with his deceased father’s ancient camera and Chief Leopard Frog has his poems published by a shady businessman in the Cayman Islands.”

First sentence: “Well, I guess that makes it official,” I said to Chief Leopard Frog.
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Destroy All Cars, Blake Nelson (205 pages, plus appendices) – James Hoff is into the environment – he wants to, as the title suggests, destroy all cars. His ex-girlfriend, Sadie, is also into the environment, but James thinks she’s soft, merely wanting to build cycleways. Naturally there’s going to be some sort of romantic showdown that may well be a bit messy.

First sentence (sort of): We stand at the edge.
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Suicide Notes, Michael Thomas Ford (295 pages) – Jeff’s in a psychiatric ward, recovering from a suicide attempt, and learning valuable lessons from the “crazies” around him. “Compelling, witty and refreshingly real.”

First sentence: I read somewhere that when astronauts come back to Earth after floating around in space they get sick to their stomachs because of the air here smells like rotting meat to them.
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My Vicksburg, Ann Rinaldi (149 pages) – set during the American civil war. Claire Louise is forced to make a difficult choice between saving a friend’s life and being loyal to family (and state).

First sentence: The only reason we came back to town, and stayed during that terrible nightmare of a time, those forty-seven days of confusion and heartbreak that made up the siege of Vicksburg, was because of Sammy the cat.
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I Lost My Mobile at the Mall: Teenager on the Edge of  Technological Breakdown, Wendy Harmer (319 pages) – the mobile in question even has a photo of Elly’s friend standing next to Hugh Jackman, no less, so it really is a big deal!

First sentences: My name is Elly Pickering. I’ve lost my mobile phone at the mall and am now facing certain death.
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Changeling: Dark Moon, Steve Feasey (325 pages) – Trey Laporte is back, which is just as well since Lucien is lying in a coma and Trey can save him. The back of the book says it so much better: “… to succeed he must face his biggest challenge yet: a portal to the Netherworld, an Icelandic zombie, an evil sorceress, and Trey’s nemesis, the dark vampire Caliban.” All zombies should be Icelandic.

First sentence: The vampire Lucien Charron lay motionless on a high-sided bed in his Docklands apartment.
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Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical (199 pages plus a small graphic short story) – Some famous YA authors contribute to this collection, including Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate), Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels), David Almond (Skellig) and Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize).

First sentence (Aimee Bender): Mom bought me the razor when I was thirteen.
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Nothing Like You, Lauren Strasnick (209 pages) – update: now that I’ve had a read I can summarise. Holly is nearly finished high school and gets herself into really messy relationship issues. This is a well-written book about figuring out the important things in life, learning from mistakes, and love (kind of reminds me a little bit of Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr). A good example of a realistic, non-romantic first person narrator.

Very briefly:

Avalon High: Coronation: Volume 3: Hunter’s Moon, Meg Cabot (graphic novel)

What happened when Blair and Chuck and that grew up?

iwillalwaysIf you’re wanting to know, you might like to reserve I Will Always Love You, an addition to the Gossip Girl series started (but not finished) by Cecily von Ziegesar.

I Will Always Love You documents what Serena et al get up to when they return from their respective colleges for their summer breaks (four in total). There’s bound to be hookups, fights and, well, gossip, but hopefully not that song by Whitney Houston.

New Books to be on the look out for

What do the next few months look like in YA literature? We’ll let you know when they arrive, but you can reserve some of them right now if they grab your fancy.

Witch & Wizard, James Patterson (December). A futuristic dystopian story about Wisty and her brother Whit, who are imprisoned seemingly without reason and then discover they have strange abilities and powers.

Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (October). A steampunk effort from Scott Westerfeld, where World War I is fought with strange machines and futuristic biotechnology.

Once Was Lost, Sara Zarr (October). Sara Zarr’s previous novels, Story of a Girl and Sweethearts, are thoughtful, realistic insights into life. In Once Was Lost, she examines tragedy and the effect it has on hope.

Going Bovine, Libba Bray (September/October). This couldn’t really be more different from the Gemma Doyle books. Sixteen year old Cameron is in hospital with Mad Cow disease. Visited by Dulcie, a punky angel, he’s given hope when she tells him it’s possible to find a cure. So he sets out on a road trip to find it, with a little help from a gamer dwarf and a gnome. I’m not making this up. You can even watch Libba Bray being interviewed about it, dressed up as a cow.

 

Some others that we will be ordering soon:

Splendor, a Luxe novel, Anna Godbersen (November). Luxe fans: this is the fourth and final book. Dangerous secrets, difficult decisions and unexpected happinesses (but for how long?) all feature in a dramatic showdown.

Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider), Anthony Horowitz (November). Alex gets caught up in an epic plot that could destroy an entire East African country. Heavy.

The Looking Glass Wars, Archenemy, Frank Beddor (October/November). The conclusion to the Looking Glass Wars trilogy. Everyone in Wonderland is creatively depleted, including Queen Alyss who must join forces with the evil Redd to keep things from turning worse than pear shaped (as the caterpillar oracles predict). But is this a good idea?

Top 10: Series about fabulous rich girls

The success of the Gossip Girl series has led to a number of similarly-themed series. They tend to have several things in common: the main characters are girls, who are rich, or share the same social circles as the über-rich, and they go to an exclusive private school; the books are usually set in (or near) New York; and most of the characters favour style over substance (afterall, it’s difficult to be friendly towards someone in a denim skirt). Sometimes they’re undead, or even just dead.

So here’s a list (in no particular order):

1. The Gossip Girl – The series so popular it’s now a television series! It’s set on the Upper East Side of Manhatten, which is New York’s Oriental Parade, only vastly more wealthy and stylish. No beach, however. The books are about a group of friends/enemies, their designer clothes and parties. The Gossip Girl herself anonymously writes about them. The school is called the Constance Billard School for Girls. There’s a gazillion books in the series.

2. The It Girl – The ‘It Girl’ in the title went to the Constance Billard School for Girls but was so poorly behaved she was sent to the very exclusive Waverly Prep boarding school. She will do anything – anything! – get to be one of the Waverly elite. This series is one of the two Gossip Girl spin-offs (all were created by Cecily von Ziegesar, but most are written by other people).

3. Gossip Girl: The Carlyles – The Carlyle triplets move from Nantucket to NYC after the death of their grandmother. They go to Constance Billard (and St. Jude’s School for Boys, for one of them is a boy) and quickly prove to be even more vicous – and fabulous – than Serena, Blair, etc. (Official website for Gossip Girl.)

4. The Ashleys, by Melissa De la Cruz – At Miss Gamble’s Preparatory School for Girls the three reigning princesses of popularity are all named Ashley; hence ‘The Ashleys’. New-comer Lauren is determined to enter their group. This series is set in San Francisco, and not New York, which is a shame but there you have it. (Official website.)

5. The Clique, by Lisi Harrison – The Clique are a group of girls who are the top of the popularity food chain at their private school.  The books are notable (according to the Library School Journal) for the characters’ cruelty. Awesome! It’s set in Westchester County, New York, where the X-Men hang out (incidentally). Who would win in a fight? The first book was made into a direct-to-DVD film, newly arrived at the library. (Official website.)

6. Inside Girl, by J Minter – Fourteen-year-old Flan Flood’s family are all incredibly beautiful socialites, but she decided to break with tradition and goes to a typical public school. It’s a spin-off from another series by J. Minter, The Insiders, which is more in keeping with the other series in this list. Set in and around lower Manhattan. (Official website.)

7. Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard – Three years ago the leader (Alison) of a group of girls disappears. Now someone calling themselves ‘A’ is threatening to expose the secrets of the group, who all fit the Gossip Girl mold. With a bit of mystery thrown in, the series has been called ‘Desperate Housewives for teens.’ (Official website.)

8. Blue Bloods, by Melissa de la Cruz – Set amongst Manhattan’s elite teens, Blue Bloods throws vampirism into the mix. (Official website.)

9. Vampire Academy, by Rachelle Mead – St Vladimir’s is a private academy (in Montana, not NY) for vampires and the half-vampires who protect them. The series is notable for being set in a gritty and dark world which doesn’t hold back. Perhaps not so in keeping with this list, but the academy is about as exclusive as it gets and one of the main characters is a princess. A vampire princess. (Official website.)

10. The Luxe, by Anna Godberson – Most reviewers remark that this series is essentially Gossip Girl – Manhattan, rich glamorous people, and so on – set in 1899. I’m not sure what the ‘Luxe’ in the title refers to, but funnily enough 1899 was the year that Lux soap was launched in the UK. (Official website.)

New books

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson (278 pages) – Lia’s best friend Cassie has died from anorexia, and now Lia faces the same fate. ‘One girl’s chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.’

First sentence: ‘So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.’

Because I am Furniture, by Thalia Chaltas (352 pages) – Anke’s father is abusive, though only to her sister and brother. She gradually learns that she can be heard when she joins the volleyball team. Written in poems.

First sentence: ‘I am always there.

Hero Type, by Barry Lyga (295 pages) – Kevin heroically (though accidently) saves someone’s life, and during the unwanted publicity he is photographed being ‘unpatriotic’.

First sentence: ‘ Everywhere you go, it seems like there’s a reminder of what happened, of what I did.

Diary of a Chav: Keeping it Real, by Grace Dent (233 pages) – This is the fourth book in the ‘Diary of a Chav’ series.

The Ant Colony, by Jenny Valentine (215 pages) – from the author of Finding Violet Park. The Ant Colony in question is 33 Georgiana Street in London, a house populated by a disparate bunch of people who seem to get on with their lives without disturbing others, but it doesn’t take much to stir the pot.

First sentence: I saw a girl.

The Bone Tiki, by David Hair (303 pages) – Matiu steals a bone tiki from a tangi (which you think would be a bad place to start). Soon he’s running for his life, in reality and in a world where myths and legends are real and terrifying.

First sentence: ‘Dear Mum, I hope you are OK, and liking it in Taupo.’

Inside Girl: All That Glitters, by J. Minter (229 pages). The series that won our Selector vote-off earlier this year. Flan’s been ‘slumming it’ at a downtown school. When she’s back in her uptown neighbourhood she finds the experience has changed her, and tensions run high.

First sentence: ‘Repeat after me,’ SBB said.

Take a Chance on Me (Gossip Girl: The Carlyles), by Annabelle Vestry (240 pages) – the third in the series, and it looks like the triplets’ love lives need sorting out, which will be well documented by the gossip girl, no doubt. The book begins with a quote from Hamlet.

First sentence (from the non-GG bit (which was waaay too long for me)): ‘Ow!’ Owen Carlyle grunted as a bagel hit him hard, square in the center of his broad shoulders.

Extreme Kissing, by Luisa Plaja (327 pages) – Bethany and Carlota go on a crazy life-changing adventure in London using their favourite magazine as a guide. Kissing is involved, among other things.

First sentence: Are you stressed to the max?

Fire Song, by Libby Hathorn (141 pages) – Ingrid’s family has imploded, and when her mother asks her to do something she knows is wrong, Ingrid finds herself isolated, trying to help her mother and stick to her principles.

First sentence: From the back verandah, Ingrid Crowe watched her dog Blackie chase a stray bird across the garden.

Changeling, by Steve Feasey (266 pages) – the book finishes with a rather menacing “to be continued”. Trey is about to discover – if the back cover is anything to go by – that his friend Lucien is a vampire and he himself is a werewolf.

First sentence: Trey Laporte opened his eyes, wincing against the assault of the late-morning sunshine on his retinas.

One-Way Ticket, by Iona McNaughton (198 pages) – Meg’s happy in Toronto, but when her grandparents send one way tickets to New Zealand for her and her father she finds herself having to adjust to a new country, new school… and a new woman in her father’s life.

First sentence: It’s the same every year.

Also in: a new copy of Nicola and the Viscount, by Meg Cabot, first published in 2002.

Brand New Books

More new books – we seem to get quite a few, which means, sadly, some of the older ones have to go (you may see them in one of our booksales). It is the Circle of Life.

The 10pm Question, by Kate de Goldi (251 pages) – I loved this book, and I recommend you read it too!

You Just Can’t Get Enough : Gossip Girl/The Carlyles, (created) by Cecily von Ziegesar (208 pages) – The real writer of this book is Annabelle Vestry, who also wrote the first Gossip Girl/Carlyles book, and who has her own series about ‘teen stepsisters living the high-life’ coming out later this year.

My Bonny Light Horseman : Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War, by L. A. Meyer (436 pages) – This is the sixth book of Mary “Jacky” Faber’s adventures in the frankly exciting world of the late 18th/early 19th century. In My Bonny Horseman Jacky finds herself spying in France, and then following Napoleon Bonaparte’s army into Germany.

Set in Stone : The Chronicles of Stone Book 2, by Vincent Ford (275 pages) – Set during the Ice Age, this book (and the first one in the series, Scorched Bone) tell the story of twins Trei and Souk and their journeys through prehistoric America.

Murderer’s Thumb, by Beth Montgomery (299 pages) – Adam and his mother move to a rural farming community somewhere in Australia. After finding a body and then a diary, Adam must piece together what happened – but not without some trouble from the menacing locals.

Captain Cook’s Apprentice, by Anthony Hill (263 pages) – This is a travelogue of Captain Cook’s three-year voyage to explore the southern continent, as seen through the eyes of cabin boy Isaac Manley (who would one day become a Rear Admiral). A grand adventure for any young lad, and it really happened!

Top 10: chick lit

Is there such a thing as top chick lit? Feeling intrepid, and spurred on by recent blog posts, I sought to find out. First, I decided to settle on a definition: parameters are always good to work within.

So, chicklit:
~ Must have a pastel-coloured cover (with bonus points for sparkly bits).
~ Must have a female protagonist – preferably finding herself/making her mark on the world/lamenting her lack of mark on the world/experiencing at least one [female] rite of passage. Also: female protagonist must be notably imperfect, but likeably so… must have a flaw (clumsiness is currently a favourite, also outspokenness… some other thing like imperfect features is also good, but they can’t be incorrigibly imperfect), though not so bad as to be fatal, necessarily.
~ Must be written in a playful, confessional style, preferably utilising a first person narrator.
~ Should be set in a city.
~ Could spawn a series.
~ Not too much seriousness, tragedy or hand-ringing please.

  1. book coverSloppy Firsts, Megan McCafferty. Pastel cover? Check (there are pastel elements). Female protagonist? Check. Confessional first person narration? Check.
  2. How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff. Being controversial here, but How I Live Now really does fit the bill in many ways: an example of chick lit with added extras perhaps (a comment on the effect war has on civilians, a relationship lived through better and worse, a narrator looking back on rather than living through her story…). While the cover (at least the one we have in the library) is not pastel, it does feature flowers, or some sort of vegetation, and it is largely red-based, which is dark-pink in another universe.
  3. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ann Brashares. I haven’t read it, but Andree has and she said it was quite good and “if I was fourteen I would have loved it.” This one’s a bit different because it has multiple viewpoints. While the denim colour dominates the cover, the jeans do have some pastel flowers somewhere… Must add: chick lit must be eminently convertible into winning chick flick.
  4. Twilight, Stephenie Meyer. It doesn’t have a pastel cover! Doom! However, it does have a confessional, clumsy narrator/heroine who experiences the first-love-rite-of-passage (albeit with unlikely vampireman).
  5. Fly on the Wall, E Lockhart. The hard cover version has a pink cover (ironic, surely, considering the setting for the story). Gretchen Yee wakes up and discovers she’s a fly on the boys’ locker room wall (I guess being a fly counts as a flaw). Disturbing, especially when the boys arrive and use the locker room… best suited for older teens, apparently. The plot refers to Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, which would usually be too heavy for chick lit, but never mind; chicks are intelligent beings after all.
  6. I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith. Well, here there’s a young heroine discovering love for the first time, getting into a couple of scrapes, coping with her weird family and fending off the unwanted attentions of the Greek-God-like Stephen. Sounds like chick lit to me! Except for the country setting. Ahead of its time, hence no pastel cover (but if they reprinted it in peach or lime green it’d fly off the shelves).
  7. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison. Go figure: this was an honour book for the Michael L Printz Award for Teen Literature in 2001. Almost puts you off a bit, really. In that vein:
  8. book coverThe Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, Carolyn Mackler. An honour book in 2004. Yay for chick lit.
  9. With Lots of Love from Georgia, Brigid Lowry. Thought this list should contain something from New Zealand, and this has got one of those catchy chick-litty titles.
  10. Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding. The one that started the craze, really… the bit where Bridget tries to programme her VCR is hilarious.

Signing off now except: what are nunga-nungas? We want to know, but don’t want to read the book.

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