Fat Angie, e. E. Charlton-Trujillo (263 pages) – Angie is broken — by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain (or the shouts of “crazy mad cow!”) away. Having failed to kill herself — in front of a gym full of kids — she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, the kind of girl who doesn’t exist in Dryfalls, Ohio. But can the daring new girl really change anything?
First lines: “This was the beginning. Angie bit the end of her thumbnail awaiting the result. She had – unwittingly – found a rival.”
Revenge of the girl with the great personality, Elizabeth Eulberg (261 pages) – Everybody loves Lexi. She’s popular, smart, funny…but she’s never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup). Lexi’s sick of it. She’s sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them, of being ignored by her longtime crush, of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom and she’s sick of having all her family’s money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection. The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren’t going to know what hit them. Because Lexi’s going to play the beauty game – and she’s in it to win it.
First line: “Applying butt glue to my sister’s backside is, without question, not the first way I’d choose to spend a weekend.”
Inheritance, Lisa Forrest (376 pages) – Tallulah has always know she was different. She can communicate without speaking, a secret she shares only with her childhood nanny, Irena, who warns Tallulah that gifts like hers are not always welcome. When Tallulah begins training at the prestigious Cirque d’Avenir school, it soon becomes clear the troupe is not all that it seems. As Tallulah is drawn deeper into a world of dark, ancient powers and centuries-old greed, she must call on the skills Irena taught her – and on the protection of the mysterious cuff Irena gave her for safekeeping.
First line: “Tallulah Thomson could feel an insistent press on her shoulder but she was too exhausted to move; the muggy warmth that hovered on the edge of her consciousness promised no relief from the battle she’d been caught up in.”
Diva, Jillian Larkin, (280 pages) – This is the third in the Flappers series which finds the girls spending the last glorious days of summer sunbathing with socialites at Forrest Hamilton’s swanky villa. But Gloria Carmody is hiding an oh-so-scandalous secret while Clara Knowles is left heartbroken and depressed after Marcus leaves her for another girl. Lorraine Dyer thinks it will be a loveless marriage however and decides to save Marcus from it.
First lines: “All his life, Jerome had dreamed of crowds screaming his name. But this wasn’t what he’d had in mind.”
Nobody’s secret, Michaela MacColl (240 pages) – It’s 1846, and for fifteen-year-old Emily Dickenson, every day follows the same pattern: chores, chores, and more chores. A flirtation with mysterious, handsome young man therefore is a welcome distraction. Even if he playfully won’t tell her his name. That is, until he turns up dead in her family’s pond. Stricken with guilt, Emily sets out to discover who this enigmatic stranger was before he’s condemned to be buried in an anonymous grave. Her investigation takes her deep into town secrets, blossoming romance, and deadly danger.
First lines: “Emily lay perfectly still, hidden in the tall grass, her eyes closed tight. A chain of wildflowers lay wilted around her neck. But no matter how quiet she was, the bee would not land on her nose.”
The lost girl, Sangu Mandanna (390 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Eva is the ultimate insurance policy: she’s an echo, created by the “Weavers” to be an exact replica of her original, an Indian girl named Amarra. Eva’s entire life has been dedicated to studying Amarra’s life; should Amarra die, Eva will replace her, with only Amarra’s family the wiser. Shortly after Eva and Amarra turn 16, Eva is ripped from everything and everyone she holds dear to move from England to India, where echoes are illegal (meaning her death if she is found out), to fulfill her purpose.
First lines: “I remember being in town with Mina Ma. I must have been about ten. She wanted to buy a lottery ticket and I stood outside the newsagent’s and looked in the window of the toyshop next door.”
The originals, Cat Patrick (293 pages) – Lizzie is a clone, one of three 16-year-old “sisters,” raised under the strict supervision of their scientist mother. Everyone outside the house thinks Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey are the same person, Elizabeth Best, since their mother has the girls living in shifts but the girls are growing increasingly resistant to this arrangement, especially after Lizzie and Ella fall for two different boys at school. While the cloning isn’t really explored, it serves as a tool to explore themes of identity, sisterhood, and family.
First lines: “My part is first half. I go to student government, chemistry, trigonometry, psychology, and history at school, then do the rest of the day at home.”
This is what happy looks like, Jennifer E. Smith (404 pages) – Perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet online when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail about his pet pig, Wilbur. The two 17-year-olds strike up an e-mail relationship from opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names. What’s more, Ellie doesn’t know Graham is a famous actor, and Graham doesn’t know about the big secret in Ellie’s family tree. When the relationship goes from online to in-person, they find out whether their relationship can be the real thing.
First lines: “Hey, we’re running pretty behind here. Any chance you could walk Wilbur for me tonight?”
Mind Games, Kiersten White (241 pages) – from the same author who brought you the Paranormalcy trilogy comes a new novel about two sisters, bound by impossible choices but who are determined to protect each other no matter the cost. Seventeen-year-old Fia and her sister, Annie, are trapped in a school that uses young female psychics and mind readers as tools for corporate espionage – and if Fia doesn’t play by the rules of their deadly game, Annie will be killed.
First lines: “My dress is black and itchy and I hate it. I want to peel it off and I want to kick Aunt Ellen for making me wear it.”
The Lucy variations, Sara Zarr (304 pages) – Sixteen-year-old San Franciscan Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. Her chance at a career has passed, and she decides to help her ten-year-old piano prodigy brother, Gus, map out his own future, even as she explores why she enjoyed piano in the first place.
First lines: “Try harder, Lucy. Lucy stared down at Madame Temnikova’s face. Which seemed incredibly gray. Try. Harder. Lucy.”
This weeks weekend is all about the stars, every pun intended. It’s official Matariki celebrations have started and as a continuation from last weekend there are a host of events about the town to keep us all entertained.
Like any good New Year shindig Matariki’s all about reflecting on the year that has past and ushering in, hopefully, an even better one. While looking back and forward can mean a whole lot of different things to all of us the spirit of the season is to come together, share and celebrate. So with that in mind here’s a run down of Matariki inspired events to get us out and about with our municipal kinfolk.
As usual our shiny waterfront centrepiece Te Papa has a plethora of things on. They’re putting on a concert series with some great artists appearing Friday night including; Whirimako Black, Mihirangi and J & his geeks for all you NZ’s Got Talent fans. A clebration of the last year in New Zealand film making will happen on Sunday under the moniker of Matariki Film Festival: Whanau Shorts 2013. A Matariki craft village will also pop up on Saturday in the foyer to showcase a wide range of crafts for all you bohemian folk. This year there is an emphasis on navigation and it could be a great time for all you young adventurers to scrub up on South Pacific exploration.
Just outside Te Papa there will also be waka tours on Saturday.
One of our other swell museums, the Museum of Wellington: City & Sea is currently running an exhibition celebrating the creativity of us all here at Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui (the head of Maui’s fish).
In sport the local roller derby girls meet again in TSB for a bout between Smash Malice & Brutal Pageant.
If you’ve tuned in to find something for your playlist this week why not try Portugal. The Man. Off of their new album Evil Friends here’s ‘Atomic Man’. Happy weekend!
What up! Another weekend looms and here’s some sweet stuff to do with it.
No doubt you’ve heard about The Great Gatsby (a lot) by now, it feels like they’ve been building hype for eternity. It’s finally here and it looks pretty suave! (Rated M)
But did you know it was a book first? Sure was, it’s an American Classic by one great F. Scott Fitzgerald. Also, it’s not The GG’s first dance across the silver screen.
Sporty peepz! The Championship Tournament of the Woman’s Basketball League is at Te Rauparaha Arena over at neighb’s Porirua. Maori ball game Ki o Rahi will have a Matariki special in Waitangi Park from 6pm Friday night (brought to you by body R2R).
The other big thing this weekend is our (Wellington’s) Jazz Festival. Before you scoff take note, Jazz is the original bad boy of music. You can thank it for paving the way to all our modern jams and the term “hipster”. Appreciate. There is a caps worthy TONNE of events going down for it. One pretty special looking one is the pop up jams planned for the city streets Friday and Saturday – keep your eyes peeled.
Feeling exhausted yet?
Here’s our weekly run down of what’s on about this splendid city during the weekend.
The mind blowing moving image exhibition “Moving On Asia” has only a fortnight left at Wellington’s City Gallery.
Our freshest up and coming young comedians perform at Bats theatre in “Class Comedians“.
After some free film? The New Zealand Film Archive is currently hosting Samin Son TV – a self titled exhibition of Son’s time in the Korean Army. It sounds pretty interesting and is… the big ol’ price of NOTHING.
The Documentary Edge Film Festival continues.
In music news it’s still New Zealand Music Month. Lorde released the music video for Royals (below) this week – she’s going to be a superstar. The Naked And Famous snuck this single, ‘A Source Of Light’, into the webosphere off of their upcoming remixes and b-sides follow up to Passive Me, Aggressive You.
Big international drops for the weekend playlist include The National’s ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ (itunes streaming), Daft Punk’s ’Random Access Memories’ (itunes streaming) and Vampire Weekend’s ’Modern Vampires Of The City’.
Canada’s most famous (and only) astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield returned to earth this week but not before gifting planet earth another of his amazing videos. Music + science = awesome!
High note… Geddit? Music puns are such fun. Since you’ve all been reading about music after last week’s list in honour of New Zealand Music Month, this week we thought we’d let you know what’s happening!
Unfortunately for us, Auckland seems to be getting most of the action HOWEVER, based on this list of Wellington events, at least lots of the events here are free
NZ Music Month is a promotion run by the NZ Music Commission that takes place each May, in association with other organisations including NZ On Air, RIANZ, APRA, Independent Music NZ, and the Radio Broadcasters Association. You can find out more about the organisers here. NZ Music Month is a 31 day celebration of our homegrown talent across the length and breadth of the country. So get involved! Go to a gig, buy some merchandise, or just rent some New Zealand music from the library this month! Here are our personal favourites:
Flight of the Conchords because, if nothing else, we love a good laugh. And because Bret McKenzie was in the library the other day. But mostly because no one combines comedy and music quite like they do. Don’t believe us? Check out our exstensive collection in the library or check out this rather amusing charity song written for Cure Kids last year.
Essentially that video plays like a who’s who of New Zealand music, including the wonderful Brooke Fraser. We love her, not only for her incredible talents as a singer and songwriter, but also for her willingness to use her fame to get behind a cause. As well as Cure Kids, there’s World Vision (which inspired the song “Albertine”) and in 2010 while on tour in the States, she raised over $54,000 for charity: water to build clean water wells in Ethiopia.
The favourite that you may not have heard of: Ivy Lies. I fell in love with these ladies after hearing “Never Enough” and it’s safe to say the rest of their album, Little Mind Games, is just as good. The girls of Ivy Lies have perfected pop-rock with high energy, aggressive drums and assertive rock guitar, making music that makes you pound your invisible drum sticks.
Not your thing? Come check out the New Zealand music selection here at the library. In case you didn’t know, the YA CDs are FREE on your YA card so really, what’s to lose?
We’ll leave you with some photos of NZ Music Months gone by…
R n R
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]
is when one of your senses is triggered but it causes an involuntary response by one or more of your other senses. In this case, we hope you’ll be reading words but hearing music! Or something. It’s a serious disease though.
In a roundabout way, this is a welcome to New Zealand Music Month, and we’re kicking it off with novels about music, musicians and playlists! It’s a challenging thing to write about musicians or bands in a way that is engaging for readers, since the author has to somehow describe the feeling, tone, content and emotion of something which is expressed purely through sound. Here we’ve selected ten who we think have done this pretty well.
Fat Kid Rules the World, K.L. Going
Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy’s dad thinks Curt’s a drug addict and Troy’s brother thinks Troy’s the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can’t play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy’s own life, forever.
Lemonade Mouth, Mark Peter Hughes
Be warned, this is not the same book as the Disney movie. As is often the case, the character’s in the book are much more complex although the gist remains. This is the story of how five outcasts in Opoquonsett High School’s freshman class found each other, found the music, and went on to change both rock and roll and high school as we know it. Wen, Stella, Charlie, Olivia, and Mo take us back to that fateful detention where a dentist’s jingle, a teacher’s coughing fit, and a beat-up ukulele gave birth to Rhode Island’s most influential band. This is a book that utilizes multiple points of view really, really well. Especially during the concert chapters, where the point of view changes between about 10 different people.
6X: The Uncensored Confessions, Nina Malkin
Four teens suddenly rise to stardom in their band 6X, taking the world by storm and learning the truth first-hand about the real backstabbing world of show biz. The band is made up of 4 members, contradictory to what the book title suggests. There’s Kendall (The Voice), Rich (The Body), Stella (The Boss) and A/B (The Boy) and together they’re on the fast track to pop-rock superstardom. Along the way though, they’ll have to do some serious soul searching, face some hard truths and learn to survive in the glamorous, backstabbing world of pop music.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
This high-energy romance follows two high-school seniors through a single, music-fueled night in Manhattan. Nick, the nonqueer bassist in a queercore band, is playing with The Fuck Offs, when he spots his ex-girlfriend, Tris. Once offstage, he propositions a girl he has never met, hoping to make Tris jealous: Would you mind being my girlfriend for five minutes? Norah, also heartbroken (and hoping Nick will drive her home), agrees. What begins as a spontaneous ploy turns into something surprising and real in the course of one night as Nick and Norah roam Manhattan, listen to bands, confront past hurts, and hurtle toward romance. What we loved about this one is the characters’ wild yearning for love, and music, which feels powerful and true.
The Disenchantments, Nina LaCour
Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall. But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?
Naked, Kevin Brooks
Britain in the 1970s sounds like an incredible place to be. Chaos and punk culture went hand in hand and this book is set right in the middle of it: summer of 1976. It was the summer of so many things. Heat and violence, love and hate, heaven and hell. It was the time I met William Bonney – the boy from Belfast known as Billy the Kid. William’s secrets have been kept for a long time, but now things have changed and the truth is coming out. The story begins with Curtis Ray; hip, cool, rebellious Curtis Ray. Without Curtis, there wouldn’t be a story to tell. It’s the story of a band, of life and death . . . and everything in between.
This Lullaby, Sarah Dessen
Raised by a mother who has had five husbands, eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician. Remy goes on a whirlwind ride, avoiding, circling and finally surrendering to Cupid’s arrows. More than the summer romance of this novel, we loved the cast of idiosyncratic characters who watch from the sidelines. There’s the trio of Remy’s faithful girlfriends, all addicted to “Xtra Large Zip” Diet Cokes practical-minded Jess, weepy Lissa, and Chloe, who shares Remy’s dark sense of humor as well as Dexter’s entourage of fellow band members, as incompetent at managing money as they are at keeping their rental house clean. Potential spoiler: it’s far from the fairytale happily-ever-after ending.
Audrey, Wait!, Robin Benway
California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous! Now rabid fans are invading her school. People (magazine) is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can’t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi. Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.
Five Flavors of Dumb, Antony John
High school senior Piper, who began to lose her hearing at age six, has mixed feelings about her parents dipping into her college fund to pay for cochlear implants for her hearing-impaired baby sister. But one thing is clear: Piper has to replenish the funds. Opportunity knocks when a disorganized rock band named Dumb invites her to be their manager. However, it soon becomes apparent that the members’ egos are more substantial than their talent. Although Piper’s hearing is a characterizing detail that could have been used solely as a gimmick, her abilities are seen as assets: while lip reading allows her access to public conversation, she is not above using sign language to obscure her intentions. The parallel attention to Piper’s hearing family and the strain her parents’ decision to treat her sister with cochlear implants adds to the greater story and informs the novel’s direction and ending in a satisfying way.
Rock Star Superstar, Blake Nelson
Music is Pete’s life. He’s happiest when he’s playing his Fender Precision bass, whether he’s jamming with his dad at 2 a.m. or covering Top 40 hits. Pete doesn’t care about playing the hottest club or getting the cutest girl. For him, it’s all about the quality of the music. Until he meets the Carlisle brothers. Pete could play circles around Nick and Billy Carlisle-the guys are amateurs. But there’s a power in their sound that’s exciting, and they need a new bass player. Pete joins their band, not quite sure what to expect. Before he knows it, he’s on a wild ride that transforms him from jazz band geek to potential rock god. Is Pete ready for superstardom? More importantly, is it even what he wants?
Hopefully that’s enough to kick of 2013 New Zealand Music Month for y’all! Stay tuned for updates and our favourite homegrown acts.
R n R
Welcome to the weekend. What to do, what to do?
If you find yourself wandering about Newtown this weekend why not check out Wellington Festival Of Circus? If having clowning & cabaret up in your face isn’t doing it for you maybe Darren Shan could keep you in theme but through the safety of bound text?
If you’re more of a performer then a watcher have you considered entering this years Smokefree Rockquest? It’s the 25th year this right-of-passage is running and man has it fostered all sorts of household name kiwi musicians. Need some inspiration? Here’s a surface scratching list of previous contestants including Kimbra and last years winners New Vinyl. Take yourself on a journey through our CD collection.
The curtain falls on Game Masters at Te Papa this weekend. The amazing exhibition that caters to almost every level of gamer was borrowed from the incredible ACMI in Melbourne’s Federation Square and includes Pacman, Space Invaders and Sonic!
Ever wondered what happens when you wring a soggy towel out in space? Here’s the answer:
- Physics, fascinating!
That’s what’s a going down.
This week marks the halfway point through one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Split across two three day weekends The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Annual Festival (or just Coachella) in the southern California Desert showcases a plethora of bands from world-wining super acts to underground heroes. What’s the use in knowing that this is happening if it’s on the other side of the world you might say? This time of year heralds the festival drought for us but the Northern Hemisphere’s where the good time’s at! A whole array of fabled behemoth events spring up, taunting us from afar and while our imaginations may be tempted with envy one, at least, has decided to share itself with the rest of the world. So, if you find yourself bored in front of the interwebs this weekend or just keen to experience some big gig flavour be sure to tune into the Coachella Youtube channel so you can catch up on weekend one and take in some of the highlights (why not start with this The Lumineers set out-take>).
It’s really quite a joyous weekend on the musical front with the sixth annual Record Store Day consuming the globe on Saturday. Some of our great Wellington record stores will no doubt be getting in on the action (including Evil Genius, Slow Boat & Rough Peel). We aren’t quite a music store but we’ve got one heck of a music collection you can flick through, thousands of CD’s I tell you. One of the great things about Record Store Day is that a whole lot-a artists get on board and release some sweet merch’ or diddy’s for the day. For the full list click here, some surface-scratching favourite’s partaking include; Foals, Grizzly Bear, Iron & Wine & MGMT with this cassingle (preview only).
To celebrate their two huge years of global success on the back of Passive Me, Aggressive You kiwi band The Naked And Famous have released their One Temporary Escape recording in San Francisco free to all.
All ages treat and Auckland Fringe Festival “Best Performance” winner Squidboy hits town at Bats in its current form on Dixon and Cuba. It’s had some sweet reviews like “impossible not to love.”
Rather get some sport going? The Hurricanes have a home game at Westpac Stadium against Perth’s Western Force – dum, dum, dum (that was a drum roll) who’s gonna win?
And of course a viral video to end the week on. Na-na-na-na batman.
That’s what’s a going down.
Highlights this week; term time’s almost up, we’re seven days into having brought the sun forward for winter and apparently the rain’s coming back for a visit. Enough small talk though, here’s this week’s ender-entry to give you a two day break from the school work.
If you’re an adventurous titan, and like to work alliteratively, here are some things to do on Saturday – that start with ‘S’:
Skating takes over the waterfront in two forms. The Richter City roller derby season kicks off on Saturday night at the TSB arena in a home season battle between Smash Malice and Comic Slams. For a quick scrub-up on the ins and outs of the game look no further than Y/A novel Whip It and its sister movie starring Ellen Page.
Still keen on skating but not so sure about all the aggression – why not try your hands, or feet – or feet then hands, on the ice? The ice rink is in full operation on Queens wharf just a short hop from the TSB. For our older readers Blades Of Glory might be a quick introduction on how not to act on the ice but for some pointers and to figure out if you can make a career out of it why not check out some of our literature?
Okay, okay enough with the skates. I wouldn’t leap into the water at the moment on account of its chill factor but one way you could get some surfing in is by checking it this sweet free free flick by Alex Monteith at The Dowse Gallery in Lower Hutt.
And here’s a quick weekly musical digest to help shape your weekend playlist:
Pete Wentz’s Fall Out Boy graced our shores this week on the back of their latest album drop.
Kiwi band Tahuna Breaks are in town this weekend for their Shadow Lights album release tour and are currently sitting near the top of the NZ album charts.
Ever wondered how animals eat their food? Here’s this weeks viral vid’ – courtesy Mister Epic Mann;