These are the 10 most requested and taken home young adult items at the moment, featuring New Zealand author Bernard Beckett and his new(ish) novel August, the entire Hunger Games trilogy, plus the usual Most Wanted suspects. Reserve them now, if you haven’t already!
1. City of Fallen Angels, Cassandra Clare [no change]
2. Passion, Lauren Kate [no change]
3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [back again again]
4. Scorpia Rising, Anthony Horowitz [up 1]
5. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 5]
6. Midnight, L J Smith [up 4]
7. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [back again]
8. I Am Number Four, Pittacus Lore [down 4]
8. Plague, Michael Grant [down 3]
10. August, Bernard Beckett [new]
Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins (372 pages) – romantic tension in Paris, where Anna (against her will, go figure) goes to spend a year at school, leaving behind her almost-boyfriend and meeting the marvelous Etienne St Clair Smart who, problematically, has an actual-girlfriend.
First sentence: Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge.
Across the Universe, Beth Revis (398 pages) – this one has an almost retro sci-fi type of cover (which you can’t tell much from the pic over there). Amy is cryogenically frozen, to wake 300 years into the future on a new planet, however her cryo chamber is unplugged and she’s stuck on her spaceship, Godspeed, with the scary Eldest and his son Elder, knowing that someone is trying to kill her.
First sentence: Daddy said, ‘let Mom go first.’
Matched, Ally Condie (366 pages) – The matching screen is a device used by society’s officials to determine who is matched with whom for life. Cassia’s best friend flashes up on the matching screen for her, perfect, she thinks, until she sees another face appear fleetingly. Cassia must choose between two lives, between “perfection and passion”.
First sentence: Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?
Birth of a Killer, Darren Shan (253 pages) – a new series from the horror man! Larten is a young man all alone, until he meets Seba Nile, who teaches him all about being a vampire, but will Larten turn his back on being human and embrace this new world?
First sentence: When Larten Crepsley awoke and yawned one grey Tuesday morning, he had no idea that by midday he would have become a killer.
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, Julie Halpern (245 pages) – Things are changing in Jessie’s world, her friends are getting cooler (she’s not), so she’s on the lookout for a new set of friends. But can she befriend the Dungeons and Dragons crowd without being tainted with their geekdom?
First sentence: I so used to love the first day of school.
The Radleys, Matt Haig (337 pages) – the humorous side of abstaining from being a vampire. The Radleys are a fairly average family (two parents, two kids) living in a fairly average British town, except for the one thing (they’re vampires, but they’re abstaining). Then Uncle Will arrives, the black sheep of the family, and he’s going to shake things up a bit.
First sentence: It is a quiet place, especially at night.
Yellowcake, Margo Lanagan (235 pages) – Ten short stories from one of Australia’s literary fantasy queens.
First sentence (from ‘The Point of Roses’) – Billy flew into the kitchen.
Angel, L A Weatherly (507 pagtes) – Willow doesn’t know what she is, just that she’s different. Alex does know what she is, and that they are enemies. An “epic tale of love, destiny and sacrifice.” With angels, obvs.
First sentence: “Is that your car?” asked the girl at the 7-Eleven checkout counter.
Not That Kind of Girl, Siobhan Vivian (322 pages) – Natalie is the good, bright girl in school, but she nearly gets expelled anyway, so what’s the point in being good? Is it better to be the bad girl?
First sentence: On the first day of my senior year, I happened to walk past the auditorium during the freshman orientation assembly.
Five Flavours of Dumb, Anthony John (338 pages) – Piper is in a band called Dumb, and her bandmates do indeed seem to be a bit that way, plus she’s deaf, which makes being in a band particularly interesting: she has no idea if they’re truly terrible or really good. This doesn’t stop her from determindely finding a gig for them, with some self-discovery along the way.
First sentence: For the record, I wasn’t around the day they decided to become Dumb.
The Andre Norton Award is part of the Nebula Awards, held annually and organised by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. As the name suggests, the awards are for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing, plus there is an award for film. Award winners will be announced on May 21.
This year’s Andre Norton nominees (books published in 2010) are:
The Ray Bradbury Award for Dramatic Presentation also has some interesting nominees:
Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story in which Nailer looks for copper among ship wrecks in order to scrape together an existence, and in one of these wrecks stumbles across a girl who promises him a comfortable, “swank” life of luxury (but is she just trying to save her neck?).
The Printz honour books (= also excellent) were:
Nothing, Janne Teller. Pierre says life has no meaning, so his classmates set out to prove him wrong, and it is in the proving that things slowly turn sinister-ly very wrong. The School Library Journal (since we’re doing the SLJ in this post) suggests (as do others) this is an updated Lord of the Flies (William Golding). Actual WCL librarians (Lucy L) have read (and recommend) this too.
Revolver, Marcus Sedgwick. A thriller set in the Arctic circle where Sig is held captive in a log cabin with the body of his father and Gunther Wolff (his captor, with a rather awesome name you wouldn’t mess with). The revolver in question is his father’s, which he could potentially use to rescue the situation, if he could. just. get. it. The School Library Journal said this has a sort of Jack London (Call of the Wild, White Fang) feel about it (in its arctic-ness).
Stolen, Lucy Christopher. Gemma is kidnapped on her way from England to Vietnam and ends up in the Australian outback. The School Library Journal suggests this is a good counterpoint to Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, A S King. We don’t have this in the library yet (she did say please ignore her) but will soon. For older teens: a love triangle, an untimely death, angst. More tough realistic fiction! [ETA: you can now reserve this one.]
It’s all a box of fluffy ducks this year! Enjoy them for their good writing, suspense, horror and grit, if not their cheery good humour and happiness.
What’s the Printz Award? Have a look here.
Here are last week’s new books, this week! This week’s new books may be announced this week, or next week. Who can say.
Elixir : A Novel, by Hilary Duff (with Elise Allen) (330 pages) – You may have heard of Hilary Duff – she’s been on the telly and recorded some albums I think – and she now turns her hands to writing a novel. Elixir is about Clea, whose photographs begin to show a ghostly/gorgeous man at about the same time her father, a renowned surgeon, disappears.
First lines: ‘I couldn’t breathe. Wedged in the middle of an ocean of people, I gasped for air, but nothing came.‘
Bamboo People : A Novel, by Mitali Perkins (272 pages) – Chiko is forced into the Burmese army; Tu Reh is a refugee, a member of an oppressed Burmese minority, and he’s keen to join the resistance. The two boys’ stories come to a ‘violent intersection’ and an unlikely friendship forms.
First lines: ‘Teachers wanted. Applicants must take examination in person. Salaries start at -‘
Sugar and Spice : An L. A. Candy Novel, by Lauren Conrad (279 pages) – This is the last book in this series about some TV reality show (much like The Hills which made Conrad famous in the first place).
First line: ‘“Over here!” “Let’s get a shot of the two of you!” “Smile, girls!” Jane Roberts felt hands on her shoulders – her publicist? random PopTV assistants? – maneuver her into place as several paprazzi shouted out to her and Scarlett Harp.‘
The Daughters, by Joanna Philbin (297 pages) – A supermodel’s unconventional-looking daughter becomes “the new face of beauty”. Everyone is surprised but they roll with it. The first in a series.
First line: ‘“Katia!” “Katia!” “Over here!” “Over here!”‘
Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly (471 pages) – Andi is about to be expelled from her swanky Brooklyn school, so goes to Paris with her father as some sort of punishment. She finds a diary writen two centuries previously by a girl, Alexandrine, who became involved with a French prince just as the French Revolution begins. Andi finds comfort and distraction in the journal, until the past ‘becomes terrifyingly real’.
First line: ‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t, deejay.’
Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld (Illustrations by Keith Thompson) (485 pages) – This is the second book in the Leviathan Trilogy. We wrote about the first book here. This a great read – it has steam-powered mechs, genetically-engineered flying ships, and a Tesla cannon. That’s right – a freaking TESLA CANNON.
First line: ‘Alek raised his sword. “On guard, sir!”‘
Duff : The Designated Ugly Fat Friend, by Kody Keplinger (280 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Bianca detests Wesley, who calls her “the Duff”. Not Hilary Duff! But family troubles and other circumstantial occurences result in the pair becoming more than enemies. Less than enemies? They fall in love, in any case.
First line: ‘This was getting old.’
Scandal, by Kate Brian (228 pages) – The lastest in the Private series. ‘After her terrifying Carribean vacation,’ says the back cover, ‘Reed can’t wait to get back to Easton and resume her normal life of classes, shopping trips and late-night gossip sessions.’ Reed’s in for a shock, however, as Billings house has been demolished and the Billings girls have been separated by the admin.
First line: ‘We came from all corners of campus.‘
Boost, by Kathy Mackel (248 pages) – Savvy is over six feet tall, and only thirteen. When you’re tall everyone asks you if you play basketball over and over, let me tell you, but Savvy actually does play and loves it. But she’s too light! So she turns to steroids.
First line: ‘I stood at the free throw line, all eyes on me.‘
Jane, by April Lindner (373 pages) – This is a modern re-telling of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s cheery classic novel. This is set in the present, so Rochester becomes Nico Rathburn, world-famous rockstar, and Jane Moore, an orphaned student-turned-nanny is the protaganist. Sticks to the original story while being ’something totally new and captivating,’ according to Cecily von Ziegesar.
First line: ‘The chairs in the lobby of Discriminating Nannues, Inc., were less comfortable that they looked.’
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (260 pages) – From the authors of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which is also a movie! Will this be a movie also? Yes, apparently.
First line: ‘Imagine this: you’re in your favourite bookstore, scanning the shelves.‘
The Three Loves of Persimmon, by Cassandra Golds (211 pages) – Persimmon Polidori owns a florist shop in an underground train station. She meets up with a brave little mouse named Epiphany, and undergoes ‘the trials of love, heartbreak, doubt and the discovery of her own true nature.’
First line: ‘In a tiny hole under the train tracks on the deepest level of a vast underground railway station, lived a mouse called Epiphany.‘
The Blue-Eyed Aborigine, by Rosemary Hayes (247 pages) – This historical novel is based on fact; in 1629, the crew of a Dutch ship mutinied and the boat wrecked near Australia. Two of the crew, a cabin boy and a young soldier, survive and their fates are linked with ‘discoveries that intrigue Australians to this day.’
First lines: ‘Jan Pelgrom was miserable. He’d been a cabin boy for more than five years.‘
The Jumbee, by Pamela Keyes (385 pages) – Esti Legard moves to a Caribbean island for her senior year in high school. There she ‘finds herself torn between a mysterious, masked mentor and a seductive island boy’, in a scenario borrowed from the classic novel, The Phantom of the Opera.
First line: ‘“Paul is dead!”‘
The Ghosts of Ashbury High, by Jaclyn Moriarty (480 pages) – The catalogue has this to say: ‘Student essays, scholarship committee members’ notes, and other writings reveal interactions between a group of modern-day students at an exclusive New South Wales high school and their strange connection to a young Irishman transported to Australia in the early 1800s.’
Raised by Wolves, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (418 pages) – At the age of four, Bryn’s parents were killed by bad werewolves. She was taken and raised by good werewolves! Years later she discovers that her pack are keeping secrets. Dark werewolf secrets about her family, that she’s determined to uncover (the secrets, not her family).
First line: ‘“Bronwyn Alessia St. Vincent Clare!”‘
100% Justin Bieber : First Step 2 Forever : My Story, by Justin Bieber (236 pages) – This is the tween pop star’s official autobiography, discussing his rapid rise to power. Where to next for Bieber? It has loads of photos and a reasonable amount of text.
Thai-riffic!, by Oliver Phommavanh (190 pages) – Lengy’s parents run a Thai restaurant, but Lengy’s favourite food is pizza of all things. Lengy has a new high school to go to, with new friends, teachers, and adventures. Also! He comes to grips with his Thai heritage and perhaps lays off the pizza.
First line: ‘Same same, but different.‘
Morpheus Road : The Light, by D. J. Machale (341 pages) – This is the first book in a trilogy by the author of the fairly popular Pendragon series of books. Teen Marsh Seaver finds that he is being stalked by the Gravedigger, a skeletal horror that he had created in his sketchbook. His best friend disappears and his sister joins with Marsh to find him. “Spooky and fraught with peril”!
First line: ‘I believe in ghosts.‘
The Last Words of Will Wolfkin, by Steven Knight (373 pages) – Toby Walsgrove has been paralyzed since birth, and spends his life in a Carmelite convent in London. When his cat tells him that he is, in fact, the descendent of a great king and must travel to Iceland, oh and now he can talk and walk, Toby is off on a great adventure. BUT is he dreaming?
First line: ‘My name is Toby Walsgrove, and before I begin to tell you my story, I should give you a short explanation of who I am.‘
Virals, by Kathy Reichs (454 pages) – No cover to embed for this one, so allow me to describe it! It’s a girl running away from something. She is in a jungle, or maybe a forest, or even a gardening centre (probably not). Tory Brennan and her pals have grown up near the Loggerhead Research Institute and when they are bitten by a stray wolfdog pup from the lab, they are all altered on a DNA level, making them super-powered.
First line: ‘A gunshot is the loudest sound in the universe.‘
The Legend of the King : The Squire’s Tale, by Gerald Morris (295 pages) – Here it is, the tenth and final installment in The Squire’s Tale series. Sir Terence is now a knight of the Round Table, and Camelot is under attack by dark magic. Will King Arthur and his knights defeat the forces of darkness? Well now, that would be telling. Great first line;
First line: ‘Sir Dinadan of Camelot, knight of Fellowship of King Arthur’s Round Table, emissary of Emporer Alis of Constantinople to the Seljuk Turks, sniffed cautiously at his left armpit.‘
The Web of Titan, by Dom Testa (255 pages) – A bunch of teens are sent off in the starship Galahad. Their mission is to colonise a distant planet, as Earth’s population is decimated by a virus that wipes out adults. This is the second in a series (the first is The Comet’s Curse) and they encounter alien (?) weirdness in the rings of Saturn.
First line: ‘The storm raged quietly along the surface, a swirl of colors colliding, mixing, weaving.‘
The Ghost and the Goth, by Stacey Kade (281 pages) – A misunderstood goth boy is haunted by a dead homecoming queen (she was hit by a bus full of ‘geeks’). He doesn’t want to help her because she was a pain when alive, which is fair enough I guess. A supernatural romance! Colleague Lauren is going to read it and write a review. She promised. The cover is a goth and a ghost, perhaps just as you’d expect.
First line: ‘Dying should have been the worst moment in my life.‘
Blindsided, by Priscilla Cummings (226 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Natalie learns that she is rapidly going blind, and is faced with two options; to hope for a miracle that mightn’t come, or learn the skills that she needs to adapt to blindness.
First line: ‘Like so many of Natalie’s early memories, this one is full of color: the fresh yellow straw, the red blood that was pooling way too fast, the silver bucket kicked aside, the damp, quivering brown fur.‘
Wicked Girls : A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, by Stephanie Hemphill (408 pages) – A fictionalised telling of the Salem Witch Trials, which took place in the 1600s in America. Everyone in the town of Salem went a hysterical and started accusing people of being witches, which, at that time, carried the death penalty. Nineteen people were hanged and one especially unlucky man was crushed to death. Anyway, here’s a novel about it. It’s written in poems.
Is it Night or Day?, by Fern Schumer Chapman (205 pages) – Edith travels from her small German town – where Nazi anti-Semitism is in full swing – to Chicago, in the US, as part of the ‘One Thousand Children’ project. She can not go with her parents, who remain behind. Edith is only twelve, and has lost everything. Based on the author’s mother’s life.
First line: ‘The first long train trip I ever took in Germany was my last.‘
Crescendo, by Becca Fitzpatrick (427 pages) – This is the sequel to Hush, Hush. Nora’s ‘gorgeous guardian angel’, Patch, is spending too much time with her enemy, Marcie, and Nora finds she is drawn to Scott, an old family friend. But he is hiding something! And she is haunted by images of her murdered father.
First line: ‘The fingers of the thorn-apple tree clawed at the windowpane behind Harrison Grey, and he dog-eared his page, no longer able to read through the racket.‘
Me And Death : An Afterlife Adventure, by Richard Scrimger (187 pages) – Fourteen-year-old amateur gangster Jim is hit by a car and dies. He experiences a ‘hilarious, bleak, and ultimately hopeful visit’ to the afterworld. Then! He gets a chance to come back to Earth.
First line: ‘I was walking up Roncesvalles, the big street in my neighborhood.‘
The Interrogation of Gabriel James, by Charlie Price (170 pages) – In this murder-mystery, teen Gabe witnesses two murders and recounts what he saw to the police. The mysteries start to stack up and Gabe takes it upon himself to discover the truth.
First line: ‘I stood at the back of a small crowd in a bleak cemetary north of the Yellowstone River, the second funeral I had attended this week.‘
Center Field, by Robert Lipsyte (280 pages) – “Mike lives for baseball and hopes to follow his idol into the major leagues one day, but he is distracted by a new player who might take his place in center field, an ankle injury, problems at home, and a growing awareness that something sinister is happening at school.” ~ Library of Congress summary.
First line: ‘Mike backed up a the ping of the ball against the metal bat, sensing a long, high fly.‘
Sleepless, by Cyn Balog (215 pages) – Eron is a Sandman, a supernatural being who sends people to sleep. He is not supposed to communicate to his charges but feels drawn to recently bereaved Julia, who is at unknowingly at risk from dangers she doesn’t recognise. Basically he’s in love with her but it’s against the rules.
First line: ‘Griffin Colburn knew something was wrong the moment he slid into the driver’s seat.‘
Golden Web, by Barbara Quick (266 pages) – A fictional retelling of the life of Alessandra Giliani, who has a very interesting story! She was the first woman anatomist (she was born in 1307) and developed a method of draining blood from a corpse and replacing it with a dye. All before the age of 19!
First lines: ‘Nicco was scared. His tutor was going to burst through the door at any moment, and Alessandra was nowhere to be found.‘
Exit Strategy, by Ryan Potter (303 pages) – Zach is desperate to leave his ‘dump’ of a town, Blaine, Michegan, with his wrestler best friend Tank and Ivy League-destined Sarah, Tank’s twin sister. When he discovers Tank’s being given steroids by his coach, the ensuing scandal somehow diminish his chances of leaving the place.
First line: ‘If I have any advice after everything that’s happened it’s this: never fall for you best friend’s twin sister, especially when her brother is an overprotective psycho who also happens to be a three-time state champion wrestler.‘
Shadow, by Jenny Moss (377 pages) – Shadow is tasked with watching the princess, whose death was prophecised to occur when she turns sixteen. Unfortunately for Shadow (and the princess) the prophecy comes true, and Shadow must run for her life with a young knight, Sir Kenway. As the kingdom falls, romance blossoms.
First lines: ‘I stood at the queen’s tall arched window. A blast of cold wind chilled my face, but I kept looking.‘
Flash, by Michael Cadnum (235 pages) – Take it away, Library of Congress summary: “Relates one momentous day in the lives of five young people in the San Francisco Bay Area, including two teenaged bank robbers, a witness [who is legally blind] and a wounded military policeman just back from Iraq.”
First lines: ‘“When will you show them the gun?” asked Milton? He and his brother were sitting in lawn chairs in back of the house.‘
Fever Season, by Eric Zweig (254 pages) – David is orphaned by the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918 (which killed 15 million people). To escape the orphanage he needs to find his uncle, who he thinks lives in Seattle. Fortunately David gets a job with the ice hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, and travels west with them to Seattle.
First line: ‘“Put your coat on,” David Saifert’s mother said.‘
Yes You Can Play Great Rock Guitar : Jam, Shred and Riff in 10 Foolproof Lessons, by Phil Capone and Paul Copperwaite (192 pages) – Can you play the rock guitar? Yes, you can! Accompanied by a CD.
The commercial juggernaut that is the Lorien Legacies books by Pittacus Lore (no it’s not a real person, it is a collection of people writing on behalf of a writer called James Frey) is being made into a movie almost before the first book, I Am Number Four, has hit the shelves. Just to prove it here is the trailer (the film is due out in February next year):
I Am Number Four is listed as one of Amazon’s top 10 books of 2010 (as we posted here). The film stars Alex Pettyfer from Alex Rider: Stormbreaker, who is also Kyle in Beastly, the film based on the book by Alex Flinn, (so many Alexes!) which must make him the go-to guy for people turning young adult fiction into film.
It’s Shadow Wave by several lengths this month, with daylight to Mockingjay. Tomorrow When the War Began and the fast finishing Torment couldn’t be separated in photos for third. (Tis Melbourne Cup Day.)
The queue for Shadow Wave is moving along: if you reserved it at the end of August you should be getting it very soon. We’ve got lots of copies (22). The Mockingjay queue is up to the beginning of September. I Shall Wear Midnight (also a good name for a racehorse) by Terry Pratchett is the last in the series featuring Tiffany Aching (see also Wintersmith, A Hat Full of Sky and The Wee Free Men in reverse order), and sneaks into the Most Wanted list this month. Actually, they’re all smashing racehorse names.
1. Shadow Wave, Robert Muchamore [no change]
2. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
3. Torment, Lauren Kate [up 5]
3. Tomorrow When the War Began, John Marsden [down 1]
4. Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare [no change]
5. Last Sacrifice, Richelle Mead [no change]
6. Crescendo, Becca Fitzpatrick [up 1]
7. Dead of the Night, John Marsden [down 1]
8. I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett [new]
9. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [new again]
10. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [new again]
Zombies Vs. Unicorns (415 pages) – if it came down to it, which team would you be on? Read the stories and pick your team. There’s even extra content that you can access on the interweb if you’ve got a smart phone – there’s a souped up QR-type code on the back cover. We’re thinking it might just be the book trailer (which is here), but we’ve been known to be wrong.
First sentence (from the introduction): Since the dawn of time one question has dominated all others: Zombies or Unicorns?
plus an extra for the cool cover.
Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story, Adam Rex (324 pages) – Actually, really, being eternally a teenager wouldn’t be the greatest, especially if you’re not exactly cut and chiselled, which Doug Lee isn’t. But what he is is a vampire, and has the stars of the reality television show Vampire Hunters after him.
First sentence: Doug came to, lying on his back in what felt smelled like a field.
cool cover again.
Torment, Lauren Kate (452 pages) – get your supernatural romance, fallen angel fix here. The hotly anticipated sequel to Fallen, which stayed atop our Most Wanted list for months and months this year. Daniel must go off and hunt the Outcasts, so he hides Luce at an exclusive academy (!) for gifted students, where she finds out more about her special powers and those freaky shadows. Fallen angels keep secrets though, dangerous ones…
First sentence: Daniel stared out at the bay.
I Am Number Four, Pittacus Lore (440 pages) – the much hyped first book in the Lorien Legacies series where nine, um, people, arrive from another planet methinks, and “walk among us”. Trouble is they’re getting picked off, one by two by three, and number four is next. Again, this comes complete with the promise of *extra material* via the QR code on the jacket. Wikipedia will also tell you who Pittacus Lore really is.
First sentence: The door starts shaking.
Good Oil, Laura Buzo (283 pages) – a straight-up romance with no supernatural creatures, Good Oil tells the story of Amelia, who falls for the much older Chris, an engaging university student. She enjoys spending time with him, and he appears to like her company too, but it’s complicated.
First sentence: ‘I’m writing a play,’ says Chris, leaning over the counter of my cash register.
Perchance to Dream, Lisa Mantchev (333 pages) – the marvellously quirky sequel to the marvellously quirky Eyes Like Stars and some of the most fantastical fantasy that might do your head in. Bertie’s left the Theatre in search of Nate the pirate, who has been captured (perhaps killed?) by the Sea Goddess. With her is Ariel, doing his best to distract her in a love-triangle type of way, and the four fairies, thinking of nothing much other than food. Along the way Bertie learns more about her magic, her father, and which team to pick, Nate or Ariel?
First sentence: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged,’ Mustardseed said, flying in lazy loops like an intoxicated bumblebee, ‘that a fairy in possession of a good appetite must be in want of pie.’
for the Jane Austen reference.
The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher, Doug McLeod (304 pages) – a funny horror, black comedy story. Thomas is a well-bred sixteen year old in 1828 who falls in with Plenitude, a body-snatcher, and is then pursued by all manner of ghoulish types.
First sentence: There are no stars, no moon to illuminate the grounds of the parish church.
iBoy, Kevin Brooks (290 pages) – Tom was attacked by (I extrapolate) a gang on his estate, and bits of his iPhone became embedded in his brain (hopefully the bubble wrap popping app still works) and now he has special powers. Sounds like fun, having a GPS in your brain, but no: he must make difficult choices that lead to “terrifying” consequences. Sinister.
First sentence: The mobile phone that shattered my skull was a 32GB iPhone 3GS.
Dark Flame, Alyson Noel (The Immortals, 320 pages) – Ever tries to help Haven get to grips with being an Immortal, and must also fight “for control of her body, her soul – and the timeless true love she’s been chasing for centuries.” (Book cover)
First sentence: ‘What the fug?’
The Deathday Letter, Shaun David Hutchinson (240 pages) – Ollie receives a letter saying he’s going to die in one day’s time, so his friend suggests he spend that day attempting to win the heart of the girl of his dreams, Ronnie. He does this (attempt to win: I’m not saying if he’s successful).
First sentence: ‘Oliver! Oliver, I need you downstairs right now!’
Party, Tom Leveen (228 pages) – it’s the end of the school year and there’s a party: eleven characters tell the story of why they went and what happened, leading to a conclusion that “no one saw coming.”
First sentence: I’m the girl nobody knows until she commits suicide.
More to come…
The Unwritten Rule, Elizabeth Scott (210 pages) – The unwritten rule is of course don’t fancy your best friend’s boyfriend (a theme from the last batch of new books). This time, Sarah’s doing a pretty good job of avoiding Ryan (being Brianna’s boyfriend), until they’re “thrown together” one night. The first sentence sums it up.
First sentence: I liked him first, but it doesn’t matter.
After Tupac & D Foster, Jacqueline Woodson (151 pages) – Neeka and her best friend form a bond with D Foster, and the three girls explore life, and the music of Tupac Shakur, learning tough lessons in the process. (A Newbery Honor Book)
First sentence: The summer before D Foster’s real mama came and took her away, Tupac wasn’t dead yet.
Stuck on Earth, David Klass (227 pages) – Ketchvar III comes to Earth in order to answer the following question: “Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good?” In order to do this (answer the question, not erase the species) he inhabits the brain of Tom Filber, the geekiest geek, ironically almost an alien himself, so geeky is he. Needless to say, Ketchvar becomes quite involved in Tom’s life, which may well be a good thing for Earth.
First sentence: We are skimming over the New Jersey countryside in full search mode, hunting a fourteen-year-old.
Split, Swati Avasthi (280 pages) – Jace Witherspoon has escaped his abusive home and gone to live with his brother. “A riveting portrait of what happens after,” the cover says.
First sentence: Now I have to start lying.
It’s Not Summer Without You, Jenny Han (275 pages) – the sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty. “Teenaged Isobel ‘Belly’ Conklin, whose life revolves around spending the summer at her mother’s best friend’s beach house, reflects on the tragic events of the past year that changed her life forever.” (Catalogue)
First sentence: It was a hot summer day in Cousins.
Shooting Star, Frederick McKissack Jr (273 pages) – Jomo Rodgers is a very good (American) football player, on the varsity team at school etc. He feels the pressure to be more than very good, cranks up the training and finds himself dealing with the question, to use steroids or not?
First sentence: Breathing is a natural process, yet Jomo Rodgers found himself flat on his back trying to remember how to do it.
Broken Memory, Elisabeth Combres (132 pages) – Emma’s mother is murdered by the Tutsis, and Emma (a Tutsi) is taken in by an old Hutu woman and brought up in her home, gradually coming to terms with her terrible past. A story inspired by the genocide in Rwanda.
First sentence: They are there.
Headgames, Casey Lever (282 pages) – Steven Byrd learns the hard way that girls who think you’re a waste of space and who then invite you to be a part of their secret game are probably up to no good. “Everyone has secrets. But who will be the first to crack?” asks the cover.
First line(s): Bell. Ancient History. Ms Landers was away on Year 9 camp, so the class had been off-loaded onto the Resource Centre.
Lockdown, Alexander Gordon Smith (273 pages) – The first in the Escape from Furnace series. Furnace is a maximum security prison, a mile under the earth’s surface. When Alex Sawyer is convicted of a murder he didn’t commit he is sent there, and realises quickly he must escape or face a life worse than death.
First sentence: If I stopped running I was dead.
No and Me, Delphine de Vigan (246 pages) – Lou lives in a quietly disfunctional family, where her father is barely holding up and her mother hasn’t left their appartment for years. She meets No, a homeless girl, and invites her to live with them. A novel about ” the true nature of home and homelessness”.
First sentence: “Miss Bertignac, I don’t see your name on the list of presentations.”
Daywards, Anthony Eaton (3341 pages) – Book three in the Darklands trilogy. Dara, Jaran, Eyna and their family must leave their home when the ghosts of a dead civilisation return to haunt them.
First sentence: The day Da Janil died, Dara had expected to be let off hunting duty.
The Summer I Got a Life, Mark Fink (195 pages) – Andy and Brad are brothers who don’t exactly get along. When their Hawaii holiday turns into time on their uncle and aunt’s farm in Wisconsin things might seem to be distinctly average, but then Andy meets Laura, who is amazing, and all things considered the summer might end up being not so terrible.
First sentence: I was totally pumped!
Anonymity Jones, James Roy (196 pages)
Finders Keepers, Marilyn Kaye (216 pages, Gifted series)
Where There’s Smoke, John Heffernan (205 pages)