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Tag: Mysteries Page 1 of 3

Upcoming Fiction

Introducing a mystery, some futuristic suspense, and an old/new book from the queen of book covers with spectacular dresses.

The Siren, Kiera Cass (January 2016). This is a re-release of a novel the author wrote before the best selling Selection series. “‘You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…’ The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now.” (goodreads.com)

These Shallow Graves, Jennifer Donnelly. “Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.” (goodreads.com)

The Game of Lives, James Dashner. “Michael used to live to game, but the games he was playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, sinking into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s passion. But now every time Michael sinks, he risks his life. The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine—Kaine’s master plan—has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box—if Michael can figure out who his friends really are.” (goodreads.com)

Looking forward to:

Time travel (maybe?), a gritty fairy tale, and the Big Easy.

Back to Blackbrick, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (February/March). “Cosmo’s brother Brian died when he was ten years old. His mum hides her grief by working all the hours God sends and Cosmo lives with his grandparents. They’ve been carefree days as Granddad buys him a horse called John and teaches him all he knows about horses. But the good times have to come to an end and although he doesn’t want to admit it, Cosmo knows his Granddad is losing his mind. So on one of the rare occasions when Granddad seems to recognise him, Cosmo is bemused that he gives him a key to Blackbrick Abbey and urges him to go there. Cosmo shrugs it off, but gradually Blackbrick draws him in… Cosmo arrives there, scared and lonely, and is dropped off at the crumbling gates of a huge house. As he goes in, the gates close, and when he turns to look, they’re rusty and padlocked as if they haven’t been opened in years. Cosmo finds himself face to face with his grandfather as a young man, and questions begin to form in his mind: can Cosmo change the course of his family’s future?” (goodreads.com

Teeth, Hannah Moskowitz (February). “Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house. Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.” (goodreads.com) This is described as a “gritty, romantic modern fairytale”.

Out of The Easy, Ruta Sepetys (February/March). Ruta Sepetys wrote the best-selling and award-winning Between Shades of Gray, about a Lithuanian teenager’s struggle for life during World War II. Here she turns her attention to the French Quarter of New Orleans in the 1950s. “Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.” (goodreads.com)

New Books

Bound, by Erica O’Rourke (353 pages) – This is the third book in the Torn series. Wow have you ever thought that there are so many series in teen fiction? This one is about mortals and magic, and Mo Fitzgerald, who has to choose between the two worlds or else lose everything and everyone.

First lines: ‘The problem with terrible ideas is that the people who have them don’t recognize how truly awful they are until it’s too late. After all, nobody deliberately chooses the worst possible course of action.

Stormdancer : The Lotus War book one, by Jay Kristoff (324 pages) – Well here it is! Feudal Japanese steampunk. Yukiko, the book’s heroine, and her flightless griffin pal must take on the Shogun and his empire. There are also chainsaw swords in this book, a little blurb tells me.

First line: ‘As the iron war club scythed toward her head, Yukiko could help wishing she’d listened to her father. She rolled aside as her cover was smashed to kindling, azalea petals drifting over the oni’s shoulders like perfumed snowflakes.

Bitter Blood : The Morganville Vampires book 13, by Rachel Caine (538 pages) – For ages vampires and humans have co-existed in Morganville, getting up to at least twelve books-worth of adventure and intrigue. Now that the draug – the creatures that kept the vampires in check – have been defeated, the vampires are becoming a little excessive, and the humans want to fight back! Also a reality television show threatens to reveal all to the world.

First lines: ‘Morganville, Texas, isn’t like other towns. Oh, it’s small, dusty, and ordinary, in most ways, but the thing is, there are these – well, let’s not be shy about it. Vampires.’

Break My Heart 1,000 Times, by Daniel Waters (342 pages) – After the Event, everyone could see ghosts. Creepy! Man. Veronica sees the ghost of a teenaged boy in her mirror each morning, but isn’t too worried. However, the ghosts seem to becoming more powerful, and Veronica and chum Kirk uncover a creepier plot of their teacher, whose dead daughter hasn’t come back; he’s now convinced that by killing a living host (i.e., Veronica) his kid might resurface.

First lines: ‘I walk through walls. I whisper at the window when I watch her leave our home. I flicker at the edges of my own memory.

Rivals and Retribution : A 13 to Life Novel, by Shannon Delany (308 pages) – This is the conclusion (and book number five) to the 13 to Life series, about two werewolf families battling it out for the town of Junction. It receives what they call ‘mixed reviews’ on Goodreads, now accessible directly through the library catalogue! Handy

First line: ‘The girl enters the barn, slipping between hay bales and a stack of buckets.

Butter, by Erin Jade Lange (296 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Butter is morbidly obese, and feels alone. So he gets a website – butterslastmeal.com – and decides that he will broadcast his own death by over-eating. As he carries out his (somewhat macabre) plan he discovers that the attention he receiving, though not exactly positive, feels like popularity, and as the deadline approaches, does he still want to go through with it? Very tense with an amazing character is what I distill from the reviews I just read.

First lines: ‘Most people would say the website is where this wild ride began. But for me is started two days earlier, on a Tuesday night in front of the TV in my living room.

Passenger, by Andrew Smith (465 pages) – This is a sequel to The Marbury Lens, about a pair of boys who run away to London and find a lens that transports them to an war-stricken alternate reality. Now they try to destroy the lens, but there is an evil that won’t let them run away so easily, especially when it has their friends. Full of coolness.

First lines: ‘This is it. Of course it wasn’t over. Things like this never end. It has been two and a half months since Freddie Horvath kidnapped some dumb kid who was too drunk to find his way home.

Unwholly, by Neal Shusterman (402 pages) – Book one of the Unwind trilogy. Here is book one! Teens can be harvested – ‘unwound’ – for body parts, which is of course not ideal, but it is the future and it is dystopian. Thrilling, affecting, and really good, I reckon, after skimming through Goodreads.

First line: ‘He’s fighting a nightmare when they come for him. A great flood is swallowing the world, and in the middle of the it all, he’s being mauled by a bear.

For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund (407 pages) – This is a sci-fi post-apocalyptic romance strongly inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. FINALLY. Elliot North reunites with Kai, the boy she loved but refused to elope with, when she’s forced to rent land from the mysterious Cloud Feet group to which he now belongs. He’s got secrets! He’s also kind of unpleasant, but it’s justified (because of the secrets).

First lines: ‘Elliot North raced across the pasture, leaving a scar of green in the silver, dew-encrusted grass. Jeff followed, tripping a bit as his feet slid inside his too-big shoes.

Ashen Winter, by Mike Mullin (576 pages) – This is set in the US, six months after the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupted, as depicted in the first book, Ashfall. (You know that part in that film 2012 when Yellowstone explodes? Well there actually is a supervolcano there! There is one under Taupo and 26,000 years ago it plunged the earth into a volcanic winter and invented pumice.) So in this book, Yellowstone has gone up and the country is pretty post-apocalyptic; protaganist Alex must return to Iowa to find his parents.

First line: ‘Ten months had passed since I’d last seen the sun. The rich blue of that final August sky was fading from my memory.

Son, by Lois Lowry (393 pages) – The conclusion the series begun in The Giver. It is a utopian future! But, sadly, it comes with a heavy cost; a society where regimented eugenics dictates almost every aspect of interpersonal interactions. In this book, Claire, who’d been a Vessel, can not forget her son. She is desperate to get him back, and will stop at nothing to do so.

First lines: ‘The young girl cringed when the buckled the eyeless leather mask around the upper half of her face and blinded her. It felt grotesque and unnecessary, but she didn’t object. It was the procedure.‘ 

Vessel, by Sarah Beth Durst (424 pages) – Liyana’s reason to be is to become the vessel for her tribe’s goddess; she will dance and summon the goddess, who will then bring the rain that her people desperately need. However! It doesn’t work, and Liyana is exiled. She meets a boy reportedly possessed by the trickster god, Korbyn, who seeks Liyana’s help to find five other vessels; the gods are going missing, and they’re needed.

First lines: ‘On the day she was to die, Liyana walked out of her family’s tent to see the dawn. She buried her toes in the sand, cold from the night, and she wrapped her father’s goatskin cloak tight around her shoulders.

New Books

Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow (384 pages) – In near-future England, the law has become really tight with digital downloads. If you’re caught three times your household’s internet is blocked for a year. Which is actually not too dissimilar to NZ, actually. Anyway, sixteen-year-old Trent, moviemaker and downloader, gets banned, nearly destroying his family – they all rely on the internet for work. He runs away to London and joins up with like-minded people who are fighting the wealthy media conglomerates that control the government.

First line: ‘I will never forget the day my family got cut off from the Internet, I was hiding in my room as I usually did after school let out, holed up with a laptop I’d bought thirdhand and that I nursed to health with parts from here and there and a lot of cursing and sweat.

Burning Blue, by Paul Griffin (293 pages) – Rich, popular, and pretty Nicole is attacked by someone who throws acid on her face, disfiguring her. Quiet hacker Jay, who goes to her school, decides that he will find out who it was that attacked Nicole, and in the process he begins to fall for Nicole, whose personality is pretty attractive also, evidently.

First lines: ‘I was at the cemetery when it happened. I didn’t even know Nicole at the time. Well, I knew of her. Everybody did.

All You Never Wanted, by Adele Griffin (225 pages) – Alex is super-pretty, and her parents are rich, so she lives the life. Her sister, Thea, doesn’t quite have the looks, however, and she’s jealous of Alex’s boyfriend, Joshua. They have the house to themselves one weekend and plan a party; Thea also plans to sabotage Alex’s relationship, and she will do anything to get the life that Alex wants. ANYTHING

First line: ‘She gets into the car and then she can’t drive it. Can’t even start the engine for the gift of the air conditioner. She is a living corpse roasting in sun-warmed leather.

The Blood Keeper, by Tessa Gratton (422 pages) – Mab Prowd is a blood witch, and spends her time practising blood magic on the remote Kansas farm where she and other blood witches hang out, doing their thing (i.e., blood magic) and avoiding non-blood magic studies. Mab accidently activates a long-dead and powerful curse, which messes with her magic. It does result in her meeting Will Sanger, a local boy, for whom she develops an attachment. Ooooh

First line: ‘The last thing the Deacon said to me before he died was “Destroy those roses.”

The Lost Prince, by Julie Kagawa (395 pages) – This is book five of The Iron Fey series. It’s about fairies! But not Rainbow Magic fairies, that’s for sure. In this volume Ethan Chase, whose dislike of the Faery realm is such that he ignores them all, has to break his own rules when the Fey start to disappear and his family is endangered.

First lines: ‘My name is Ethan Chase. And I doubt I’ll live to see my eighteenth birthday. That’s not me being dramatic; it just is.

Illumination, by Karen Brooks (664 pages) – This is book III of The Curse of the Bond Riders, following on from Tallow and Votive. Now Tallow ‘sets in motion forces beyond her control. From Serenissima to Farrowfare, enemies – as well as those she has always trusted – plot to ensure her compliance and, ultimately, destruction. But in doing so, they make a fatal mistake – they underestimate her and the power she can wield.’ Yes I just copied and pasted that

First lines: ‘Dawn infused the glade with a sickly light. In the distance, an owl gave a tired hoot and a gentle wind stirred the trees.

The Assassin’s Curse, by Cassandra Rose Clarke (298 pages) – Ananna is told that she has to marry some dude from another pirate clan. She’s not keen so abandons ship, only to have an assassin sent after her. She accidently misuses her magic, cursing them both – her and the assassin – and binding them together. To break the curse they must complete three tasks, and soon romance blossoms betwixt them, yarrr.

First line: ‘I ain’t never been one to trust beautiful people, and Tarrin of the Hariri was the most beautiful man I ever saw.

99 Flavours of Suck, by Tania Hutley (237 pages) – Kane’s mother is a dog-whisperer with her own television show, and together they track down a sheep-killing dog for her show. He gets bitten and transforms into some kind of werewolf, which results in nonstop itching (among other things). The only way to break the curse is a kiss from his soulmate, Pippa, who unfortunately hates his guts.

First line: ‘On my babe-scale, Pippa Jensen shoots past infinity.

The Dark Unwinding, by Sharon Cameron (318 pages) – Katherine is told to sort out her uncle, who is reportedly insane and squandering the family fortune. However, she finds that he’s a genius with clockwork who has employed an entire village of people rescued from London workhouses, and his apprentice is hot. She’s torn between the family she’s part of, the people he’s helping, and the hot apprentice in this romantic gothic adventure.

First lines: ‘Warm sun and robin’s-egg skies were inappropriate conditions for sending one’s uncle to a lunatic asylum. I had settled this point four hours earlier, while miles of road slipped beneath the carriage wheels.

Regine’s Book : A Teen Girl’s Last Words, by Regine Stokke (329 pages) – Regine Stokke was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008, and started a blog in which she  wrote about the last year of her life (she died a year later). This book is reproduction of her blog and many of the comments she received from the hundreds of followers she had, and is full of photos, and you might need a box of tissues with you when you read it.

First line: ‘Tuesday, Nov 4 2008 – Disclaimer; I’ve decided to start a blog about what it’s like to get a life-threatening disease. Some of the content will therefore be too heavy for some people.

The Shadow Society, by Marie Rutkoski (408 pages) – At the age of five, Darcy Jones was abandoned outside a firestation in Chicago. She doesn’t remember much but the new boy – Conn – at her high school awakens old memories. She discovers that she’s in fact from an alternate timeline where the Great Chicago Fire never happened and where Shades prey on humans. She must infiltrate the Shadow Society to reveals what the Shades have planned.

First line: ‘Knowing what I know now, I’d say my foster mother had her reasons for throwing a kitchen knife at me.

Game Changer, by Margaret Peterson Haddix (250 pages) – KT Sutton is the star pitcher of her softball team, and so her life is pretty much softball-centred. However, she blacks out during a game and awakens in a world where sports and academia have reversed roles. Sports is taught all day long, with hours of tedious practice, while everyone obsesses over after-school academic competition.

First lines: ‘KT Sutton swung her arm in a phantom arc. Her hand released a phantom ball. The perfect pitch.

New Books!

I am typing this in Wadestown library! Sort of like New Books on Tour. Haha. Haaa.

Blink Once, by Cylin Busby (290 pages) – West wakes up in a hospital bed, strapped down. He is paralyzed. The girl in the neighbouring bed, Olivia, is the only one who can communicate to him. But why? Why is she in hospital? How is she connected to all his nightmares? What is going on here, guys.  Publishers Weekly says that readers rush to the end to answer these questions, and ‘they won’t be disappointed by what they discover’, which is frankly very appealing.

First lines: ‘Someone is crying. A girl. Not a pretty kind of crying, like actresses do, tears delicately streaming down a beautiful face. This is sobbing, sniffling, gasping for air.

The Demon Catchers of Milan, by Kat Beyer (278 pages) – Mia’s distant family from Italy have come to visit. Just in the nick of time! As she has been possessed by a powerful demon, and they are actually all demon hunters. Once her cousins have exorcised her, she heads back to Italy with them to learn Italian, get more involved with the family business (i.e. killing demons) and fall in love with Italians. Not her cousins though! I don’t know.

First line: ‘I used to be the kind of girl who would check under the bed and in the closet every night before going to sleep.

Embers & Echoes, by Karsten Knight (461 pages) – This is the follow-up to Wildefire, about a bunch of gods who have reincarnated as teens. Ashline Wilde is the reincarnation of Pele, a Polynesian volcano goddess, and when her sister is taken by some evil gods she must join up with Wes, a reincarnated Aztec god, who has his own vendetta to hash out. ‘More X-Men than Clash of the Titans,’ says the Library School Journal, which is really quite a compliment.

First line: ‘Ashline Wilde lay battered on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway and watched her boyfriend emerge from the fiery car wreck, back from the dead.

Unfed, by Kirsty McKay (307 pages) – This follows on from Undead, about a zombie apocalypse during Bobby’s school trip. She survived it! Unfortunately, he best pal is missing and it’s up to her to find him in the zombie-infected wastelands AND and find an antidote before it’s all over for the human race. ‘Hysterically funny,’ says The Times.

First line: ‘When you’re staring into the jaws of death at the age of fifteen, there’s not a whole lot of life to flash before your eyes.

So Close To You, by Rachel Carter (313 pages) – Lydia’s great-grandfather disappeared, along with others, it is rumoured, because of some weird army experiment called the Montauk Project which occurred at the spooky abandoned military base near her home. When a portal opens up and takes her back to 1945, six days before her great-grandad disappears, she becomes part of the experiment. The first in a planned trilogy.

First line: ‘The bonfire in the clearing spits out flames and smoke. Red, yellow, orange sparks fly up into the night sky.

Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson (292 pages) – Before Peter Pan met Wendy there was Tiger Lily, who faced all kinds of hurdles to be with Peter (and not this guy her family and tribe wanted her to marry). And then of course Wendy comes along to Neverland on an English boat and things get messy. A clever retelling of the Peter Pan story, as narrated by Tinkerbell. ‘Perplexing’ to those familiar only with the Disney version, which of course doesn’t include any Teen Blog readers.

First line: ‘She stands on the cliffs, near the old crumbling stone house. There’s nothing left in the house but an upturned table, a ladle, and a clay bowl.

What’s Left of Me : The Hybrid Chronicles, by Kat Zhang (343 pages) – Eva and Addie were born in the same body, but are two distinct souls, or hybrids. However in this alternate reality, hybrids are against the law, so they must keep their dual existence a secret from the government and their family. Reviews say this is very well written, with a great ending, so go on reserve it why don’t you.

First lines: ‘Addie and I were born into the same body, our souls’ ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our very first breath.

Don’t Turn Around, by Michelle Gagnon (310 pages) – Noa, a rebellious teen orphan, has woken on an operating table with no memory. She joins with Peter, a computer hacker from a wealthy background, to take down a large and evil corporation. ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens’, a reviewer writes, if that’s a good thing?

First line: ‘When Noa Torson woke up, the first thing she noticed was that her feet were cold. Odd, since she always wore socks to bed.

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo (358 pages) – Gonna let the catalogue describe this one – ‘Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.’

First line: ‘The servants called the malenchki, little ghosts, because the haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.

The Broken Lands, by Kate Milford (455 pages) – This is the prequel to steampunky The Boneshaker, and is set in New York, 1877. Two teenaged orphans – Sam and a pyromaniac girl named Jim – must battle ancient dark forces from turning the city into Hell.

First line: ‘A crossroads can be a place of gerat power; this should not come as any surprise. It is a place of choosing, of testing, of transition, and there is power in all of those things.

New books

Only a handful of new books. There are lots more! But this has been a draft for a week.

Social Suicide, by Gemma Halliday (277 pages) – This is the second book in the Deadly Cool series.  It looks like it’s a kind of murder-mystery series, set in a highschool. Hartley Featherstone, jouralist, blogger, and detective finds the body of the person – apparently electrocuted while reading Twitter! – she’s meant to interview. It’s pleasing that there’s a new series that isn’t about the supernatural, actually!

First line: ‘You had to be incredibly stupid to get caught cheating in Mr. Tipkin’s class, but then again, Sydney Sanders was known for bet the only brunette blonder than Paris Hilton.

Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls, by Mary Downing Hahn (330 pages) – Based on actual events experienced by the author, this is about the murders of two girl in 1950s Baltimore. The story is told from several points of view, and while the subject matter might be a little dark, the book’s ending is very satisfying.

First lines: ‘He opens his eyes. It’s still dark, way before dawn. He’d willed himself to wake at three a.m., and he’s done it.

Send Simon Savage : Return of the Black Death, by Stephen Measday (312 pages) – This is the second Simon Savage book (the first is here). Besides having the best of all names, Simon has the perfect DNA for work as a ‘temponaut’; a time-traveller working for The Time Bureau. He’s lost his family, and has to find them. And someone has transported the plague through time to the present, risking a pandemic of the Black Death.

First line: ‘1348, a harbour in Venice – Simon Savage had never seen so many rats in his life.

The Poison Diaries : Nightshade, by Maryrose Wood and the Duchess of Northumberland (279 pages) – This is the second book in a gothic-style trilogy set in the 18th Century. The books are inspired by the real Poison Garden that the Duchess of Northumberland herself has created and maintains in her castle. Anyway, in part 2 Jessamine learns that her true love, Weed (that’s his name), is still alive and maybe her father has something to do with it. She will do whatever she can to get him back! Especially with her new-found powers of horticulture and propogation.

First line: ‘I wake, as I usually do, to the sound of Weed’s voice.’

Never Fall Down, by Patricia McCormick (216 pages) – This is a fictionalised account of the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, who grew up in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge’s nightmarish rule of the country. He manages to survive by pretending to be able to play an instrument and then, later ordered to fight. After all the horror he witnessed he became an advocate for human rights and peace.

First lines: ‘At night in our town, it’s music everywhere. Rich house. Poor house. Doesn’t matter.

Waiting on Wednesday

This week: the beginning of a new supernatural series and the end of another. Reserve yours today!

The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater (September). This book is the beginning of a new series which has been receiving a lot of attention (the next big thing). That being said, I very much enjoyed The Scorpio Races (flesh-eating horses).

Blue Sargent is the daughter of the town pyschic and has been told all her life that if she kisses her true love he will die (is this just a parently ploy? Would you risk it?). Blue’s not too cut up about this, sensibly staying away from the boys who go to Aglionby (the local exclusive academy) also known as the Raven Boys. (The Raven Boys are trouble.) But then on St Mark’s Eve, when she and her mother see the spirits of those who will die within the next twelve months, Blue sees Gansey (Raven Boy). Gansey and his friends are on a quest to discover the burial place of Owain Glendower, a legendary Welsh noble people say has been sleeping for centuries, waiting to grant his waker a favour.

A supernatural mystery/thriller! Note to Blue: don’t kiss Gansey in the next twelve months. Just in case!

Finale, Becca Fitzpatrick (October). The end of Hush, Hush! “Fates unfurl in the gripping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Hush, Hush saga. Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen Angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean that they will always be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. And yet their biggest challenge lies ahead. Can their love survive a seemingly insurmountable divide? The lines are drawn, but it’s unclear which sides have been taken. And in the end, will there be enough trust left to rebuild what has been broken?” (goodreads.com)

New Books

Here are some new books! Now Grimm won’t have an excuse to kill me.

The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa (504 pages) – It is the future (I think!) and vampires treat humans like cattle, farming them for blood. Allison lives on the fringes of a vampire city, surviving as a scavenger; she is turned into a vampire, so becoming what she hates the most. Just to make things worse she has to pretend to not be a vampire so her new friends – a ragged band of humands seeking an end to vampirism – don’t kill her.

First lines: ‘They hung the Unregistered in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see.

Fated : The Soul Seekers, by Alyson Noel (325 pages) – This is the first book in a series by the author of the Immortals series. Daire Santos is seeing things and everything is generally pretty weird. Her mother send her to live with her grandmother, who realises that Daire is, in fact, a Soul Seeker, someone who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead, flavoured with Native American mysticism. Also she meets a guy.

First lines: ‘First came the crows. An entire murder of them. Circling the graveyard in strict formation, their dark beady eyes watching, relentlessly watching, their sleek black bodies buffeted by the wind.

The Girl in the Park, by Mariah Fredericks (217 pages) – A haunting psychological thriller about a girl – the school ‘party girl’ – whose murdered body is found in NYC’s Central Park. Her childhood friend, Rain, is determined to untangle the gossip and rumour from the truth and subsequently find the killer.

First lines: ‘In my dream, everyone talks except me. It’s a party, and I’m surrounded by voices.

The Selection, by Kiera Cass (327 pages) – It is the future! America has had a war and is now a dystopian monarchy (called Illea) with a fairly strict caste system. Thirty-five girls are selected and must compete in a televised selection to win the heart of Illea’s prince. America Singer is selected to compete, but she really just wants to be with Aspen, her true love, who happens to be a caste below her. Sooooo I reckon you might like this if you like The Hunger Games but weren’t so keen on all the killing? 

First lines: ‘When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic. She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever.‘ 

Dying to Know You, by Aidan Chambers (275 pages) – Karl is in love with Fiorella, and because is very smart and literate, she insists that he writes her a letter to express his love for her. However! Karl isn’t sure that he can write well enough at all, so he convinces Fiorella’s favourite author to write the letter on his behalf. He agrees! Setting off a chain of events that transforms all their lives.

First lines: ‘“Could I talk to you?”
“Why?”
“You’re a writer?”
“And?”
“I need your help.”

Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse, by Lucas Klauss (403 pages) – Phillip meets and falls for the girl of his dream, Rebekah, who happens to belong to a super-evangelical church, as mainly found in the US. He starts to get involved with the religion in an effort to get to know Rebekah more; or is it because his mother died recently? Anyway. I don’t think an actual apocalypse takes place.

First lines: ‘Ow. Ow. Ow. Pain cuts through my foot each time it hits the pavement. I hobble and curse, and then I stumble onto a nearby lawn.

Everneath, by Brodi Ashton (370 pages) – Nikki gets snatched into the underworld, or the Everneath, and has to spend six months there and six months on Earth with her loved ones. It is like the myth of Persephone, brought into the present! Cole, the smouldering immortal from Everneath, wants Nikki for his Queen, but Nikki just wants to stay with her boyfriend Jack. Cole, Jack. Jack, Cole. Everneath, Earth. Earth, Everneath.

First line: ‘I was picturing his face – a boy with floppy brown hair and brown eyes – when the Feed ended.’

The Haunting of Tabitha Grey, by Vanessa Curtis (295 pages) – Tabitha and her family move into Weston Manor, and soon things start behaving unnaturally. Sounds, smells, and ghostly crying, and soon Tabitha is getting haunted. Like the title says! ‘A classic ghost story with a stunning twist’ says the book cover – correctly, for I read the ending and it’s very good and chilling.

First line: ‘When Dad first crunches the car up the semi-circular gravel drive outside Weston Manor I don’t take much notice.

Red Rocks, by Rachel King (255 pages) – Jessie inadvertedly unleashes a curse on his family by stealing a sealskin he finds at Red Rocks. Wellington’s Red Rocks! He is staying with his father … in Owhiro Bay! Yay Wellington

First line: ‘Waves battered the beach, chattering to the stones as the receded. Jake stood still, watching the rocks, waiting for a movement.

Pretty Crooked, by Elisa Ludwig (360 pages) – Willa takes from all the rich kids – who are ostensibly her ‘friends’ – at her school and gives it to the poorer scholarship kids. Soon the cops get involved and Willa’s noble efforts might get her in trouble, but maybe help comes from the most unlikely people. The first in an ‘adventurous teen caper series’ filled with active social reform mystery and humour.

First line: ‘Go go go go go go! The chant was in my head, because I didn’t have enough breath in my lungs to make sound.

AND NOW here is a list of books that are either sequels or parts of continuing series. Have you read a book that you liked so much that you thought, man, where’s that sequel? WELL it might be here. Who knows.

Angel Fire, by L. A. Weatherly (sequel to Angel)
Alice On Board, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (part of the immensely long Alice series)
The Savage Grace, by Bree Despain (sequel to Lost Saint and part of the Dark Divine series)
Flora’s Fury, by Ysabeau S. Wilce (sequel to Flora’s Dare and Flora Segunda)
Surrender, by Elena Johnson (sequel to Possession)
The Nightmare Garden, by Caitlin Kittredge (sequel to The Iron Thorn)
Thumped, by Megan McCafferty (sequel to Bumped)
Taken at Dusk : A Shadow Falls Novel, by C. C. Hunter
Balthazar, by Claudia Gray (part of the Evernight series)
Until I Die, by Amy Plum (sequel to Die For Me)
Spell Bound : A Hex Hall Novel, by Rachel Hawkins
Freax and Rejex, by Robin Jarvis (sequel to Dancing Jax)

Great Read – So Yesterday: a novel

So Yesterday: a novel by Scott Westerfeld

Some things are in fashion, and everyone knows. But where do these trends start? Someone did it first, before it was cool/trendy/whatever term you like, and then somehow everyone else followed. Hunter doesn’t start these things – he’s the next step, a trendsetter, he gets paid to find and identify things that are actually cool and not just weird. His boss then sells these things onto various companies who sell the “cool” product to consumers everywhere. It’s a good deal for Hunter until he meets Jen, an innovator who designs shoelaces. Together they have to find Hunter’s boss who disappears amidst a brief sighting of the most fantastic shoes Jen and Hunter have ever seen.

A mystery story which is still secondary to the fact that Scott Westerfeld has somehow come up with a (scarily possible) explanation for how trends are started and then spread. Great read, recommended if you like any of his other books or Unidentified by Rae Mariz.

Super Sleuths

The Edgar Awards are given annually for excellent pieces of fiction in the mystery genre. There’s a young adult category! So, if you like a good mystery, Edgar says these are top in 2012*:

Shelter, Harlan Coben

The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson

The Silence of Murder, Dandi Daley Mackall

The Girl is Murder, Kathryn Miller Haines

Kill You Last, Todd Strasser

* winners will be announced in April.

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