There is, we hope, something for almost everyone in this week’s selection of new books!
Endure, Carrie Jones (262 pages) – This is the climactic conclusion to Zara’s story! “When evil pixies cause mass destruction and chaos in Bedford, Maine, sixteen-year-old Zara prepares for war, aligning her team of pixies with the humans she loves so much, a task made more difficult by her growing feelings for pixie king Astley.” (catalogue) Nick, or Astley? Astley, or Nick? I couldn’t decide!
First sentences: “Do you want some more spaghetti?” Nick’s voice is so abrupt and unespected that it actually makes me jump in the dining room chair.
This might possibly be a bit like: Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr; Wings, Aprilynne Pike; Abandon, Meg Cabot.
The Last Echo, Kimberly Derting (360 pages) – the next in the Body Finder series. Violet is now working with a special investigative team, and hopes that her ability to sense the dead will do some good, and save lives and catch killers. But her life is about to get very complicated: she has a connection with Rafe, her partner, which creates tension with her boyfriend, Jay. And then “the collector” appears to have her in his sights: will she be his next victim?
First sentence: Violet strained, searching for the sensation through the suffocating blackness.
This might possibly be a bit like: The Dark Divine, Bree Despain; The Vision, Jen Nadol; Deadly Little Voices, Laurie Faria Stolarz.
Radiant Days, Elizabeth Hand (287 pages) – Merle is in her first year of art school and it’s 1978. Arthur Rimbaud is a young poet on the verge of genius and it’s 1870. “The meshed power of words and art thins the boundaries between the present and the past – and allows these two troubled, brilliant artists to enter each other’s worlds.” (cover) Arthur Rimbaud really was a teenage poet.
First sentence: Clea was twenty-three, five years older than me.
This might possibly be a bit like: Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly; Francesca Lia Block.
The Book of Blood and Shadow, Robin Wasserman (431 pages) – “While working on a project translating letters from sixteenth-century Prague, high school senior Nora Kane’s best friend is murdered, with her boyfriend the apparent killer. She is caught up in a dangerous web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all searching for a mysterious ancient device purported to allow direct communication with God.” (catalogue) A new thriller from the author of Skinned!
First sentence: I should probably start with the blood.
The Final Four, Paul Volponi (244 pages) – Four basketball players face off in college basketball’s equivalent of the NBA play-offs. As the clock ticks down we find out how they all came to be here – and eventually (we hope!) who will win: the Spartans or the Trojans? (Will history repeat?)
First sentence: Just because the game clock has stopped, don’t believe for a single second that the hearts of the ten basketball players on the court have quite pounding.
The Berlin Boxing Club, Robert Sharenow (403 pages) – Karl Stern is a Jewish boy living in Berlin. Hitler’s Nazi party is in power, and even though Karl’s family are not practising Jews, they are under attack, and Karl longs to prove his worth. Max Schmeling is a German boxing champion who makes a deal with Karl’s father – he will give Karl boxing lessons. Through these lessons Karl gains the confidence to protect his family, but at the same time things are escalating towards World War 2. Max Schmeling really was a boxing champion.
First sentence: As Herr Boch finished the last lecture of the school year, I sketched one final caricature of him into the margins of my notebook.
Deadly Little Voices, Laurie Faria Stolarz (343 pages) – this is the second to last book in the Touch series. Camelia feels like she’s on the brink of losing it: not only can she sense the future, but now she can also hear voices, telling her she’s worthless. So, when she senses that someone’s in danger can she hold it together to help them?
First sentence: A voice startles me awake.
This might possibly be a bit like: The Dark Divine, Bree Despain; The Vision, Jen Nadol; The Last Echo, Kimberly Derting.
The Obsidian Blade, Pete Hautman (308 pages) – and this, the cover tells me, is the first book of The Klaatu Diskos. What then is the Klaatu Diskos? This is a hint: “The first time Tucker saw the disk, his father disappeared into thin air. The Reverend Adrian Feye had climbed onto the roof to fix a loose shingle – and suddenly he was gone. An hour later, the Reverend came walking up the road, tattered and sunburned, bringing with him an unspeaking, yellow-haired, dark-eyed girl.” (cover)
First sentence: The first time his father disappeared, Tucker Feye had only just turned thirteen.
This might possibly be a bit like: I Am Number Four, Pittacus Lore; 172 Hours on the Moon, Johan Harstad.
This week’s selection! Quite a serious bunch, this one.
Ripper, Stefan Petrucha (426 pages) – “Adopted by famous Pinkerton Agency Detective Hawking in 1895 New York, fourteen-year-old Carver Young hopes to find his birth father, but when he becomes involved in the pursuit of notorious killer Jack the Ripper, Carver discovers that finding the truth can be worse than ignorance” (catalogue summary). Creepy! We all love Jack the Ripper stories of course.
First sentences: “Let me show you a secret.” Elizabeth B. Rowley liked the man’s confidence.
Take a Bow, Elizabeth Eulberg (280 pages) – set at a performing arts school (remember my name! fame!). Emme, Sophie, Carter and Ethan are all performers, with varying backgrounds and concerns in their senior year, but they all feel the pressure to perform well in the senior recital, to cement their future careers.
First sentence: My life has been one big audition.
Wanderlove, Kirsten Hubbard (338 pages) – Bria yearns to wander the world, travelling to exotic places. To take the first step, she signs up for a Central American tour, only to discover it’s a tour for oldies (with matching leisure suits, etc.). Luckily she’s rescued from tour hell when she meets Rowan and Starling, an adventurous brother and sister, who promise more interesting travels off the beaten track. A novel about backpacking and finding yourself in the rainforests of Belize.
First sentence: As soon as I see the blond girl bouncing down the aisle, I know she’s heading for the empty seat beside me.
Fever, Lauren DeStefano (341 pages) – book two in the Chemical Garden trilogy. “In a future where genetic engineering has cured humanity of all diseases and defects but has also produced a virus that kills all females by age twenty and all males by the age twenty-five, teenaged Rhine escapes her forced marriage and journeys back to New York to find her twin brother.” (catalogue description) It sounds like a grim future indeed!
First sentence: We run, with water in our shoes and the smell of the ocean clinging to our skin.
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy, Bil Wright (219 pages) – for a less alarming change of pace! Carlos Duarte has a flair for makeup, and it’s his dream to become a celebrity makeup artist. When he gets a part time job at Macy’s it seems like his career is on the right trajectory, but the makeup world is a cutthroat world: can he make it to the top?
First sentence: When I was twelve, I convinced my mother to let me do her makeup for Parents’ Night.
After the Snow, S D Crockett (288 pages) – another dystopian world, this time it’s a cold one! Willo’s life is as settled as it can be, with his family living in the wilderness, and him a successful hunter. When one day he comes back from a hunting trip to find his family gone, Willo packs up and heads for the mountains, planning on finding a way of getting them back. Things become (more) complicated, however, when he finds a staring girl and boy.
First sentence: I’m gonna sit here in my place on the hill behind the house.
Boy 21, Matthew Quick (250 pages) – Basketball is the winner in this book about life in a really tough neighbourhood. Finley has jersey number 21, and basketball is the one really good thing in his hard life. Russ has just moved into town following a tragedy, and refuses to play basketball, although he is known only as Boy21, after his former jersey number. “A moving novel about hope, recovery, and redemption” (cover).
First sentence: Sometimes I pretend that shooting hoops in my backyard is my earliest memory.
Drowning Instinct, Lisa J Bick (346 pages) – a serious one here, again. Jenna is sixteen, and troubled. Her family life is a shocker, then her older brother – who she looks up to – leaves for Iraq. She finds support in a relationship with an older man – a teacher, in fact. Which could make everything so much worse.
First sentence(s): “Look,” says the detective. He stares down at the girl huddled on the gurney.
The Poisoned House, Michael Ford (319 pages) – goodie! We do love ghost stories. This one looks rather spooky, too. Abi is a scullery maid in 19th century London. There’s something “otherwordly” in the house where she works, though, and Abi – I think – may find herself uncovering its deadly secret.
First sentence: The stone steps to the basement were ice cold under my bare feet.
Desert Angel, Charlie Price (233 pages) – Angel lives in a trailer in the California desert with her mother and her mother’s loser boyfriend, Scotty. One morning she wakes to discover her mother murdered and the boyfriend vanished. Fearing for her life – the boyfriend has excellent tracking skills – Angel escapes into the unforgiving desert, where she discovers a community of people who will help her. But Scotty is always just a few steps behind. Golly.
First sentence: The fight started after midnight, Scotty drunk, Angel’s mother shrill on crystal.
The Beginning of After, Jennifer Castle (425 pages) – Laurel’s family is killed in a horrific car accident, caused by her neighbour, who survived, but is in a coma. Laurel must adjust to life on her own, where it’s hard to tell if her relationships are built on pity or are genuine, and where she has a problematic attraction with the son of her neighbour.
First sentence: Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: it’s all about Before and After.
Dead to You, Lisa McMann (243 pages) – from the author of the Wake trilogy. Ethan was abducted when he was seven. Now, nine years later, he has been returned to his family. This should be fantastic! But, inevitably, there’s friction in the family, and some terrible things that Ethan can’t remember.
First sentence(s): There are three of them. No, four.
Grave Mercy, Robin LaFevers (549 pages) – the girl on the cover is wearing a killer red dress and carrying a crossbow. She’s Ismae, and she’s sought refuge in the convent of St Mortain, only to discover that the god of Death has blessed her with certain gifts. She is to be the handmaiden of Death, an assassin. Her first assignment finds her in the court of Brittany. Her target is Gavriel Duval. Seems simple enough, except she’s not prepared for the intrigues at court, or the intrigues of Gavriel Duval.
First sentence: I bear a deep red stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hip, a trail left by the herbwitch’s poison that my mother used to try to expel me from her womb.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M Danforth (470 pages) – Cameron Post’s parents die in a car crash (another car crash!), right around the time that Cam is discovering that she is attracted to girls. Moving to Miles City, Montana, to live with her conservative aunt and grandmother, means she will have to appear to tow the line. When Cam meets Coley and they hit it off and begin a close friendship, Cam’s aunt decides to try and “fix” Cam, but can you deny who you really are?
First sentence: The afternoon my parents died I was out shop-lifting with Irene Klauson.
Some quick random headlines to distract you from work:
The World Cup in Book Form
You will be pleased to read that New Zealand publishers are working overtime to produce books commemorating the epic victory. The NZ Booksellers site reports that the first books may be available from as early as tomorrow, which is also an epic effort, but doesn’t get a cup or a medal unfortunately.
Hunger Games Movie Poster Teasers
This week Hunger Games movie posters have been popping up on different sites all over the world wide web: see here for a summary of opinions. As for the posters: here are a few links:
Chaos at the Movies
Fans of the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness will be pleased to read that this is also going to be made into a movie(s)! The films are being made by the Hunger Games movie people, so they’ll appear in a couple of years. Go Manchee.
Today in History
And finally, because today’s news is tomorrow’s history: today and yet 121 years ago the first Labour Day was celebrated: read about it.
Good luck with your exam study! (Although you won’t need any luck, you’ll be amazing.)
While the Rugby World Cup is in action Wellington City Libraries have a competition running that gives you the chance to win an official RWC rugby ball, shirt, scarf, pins & keyring (RRP $200) kindly donated by the Wellington City Council. What do I have to do to win all that sweet swag you say? Well, have a look at the silhouettes of the eight famous number tens below…
Do you recognise any of them? Yes, no, maybe? You can take a guess and enter here (the names are listed, so even if you’re not a rugby scholar like me you still have a good shot). You have to be 14 and over to enter and the winner will be announced on the 30th of October so get your entries in before then, ok?
Please note: the judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
The Rugby World Cup begins tonight (as if you weren’t already aware), these links will help set the mood.
Google has been rugby-fied
Do you like fantasy sports? Play fantasy World Cup here
Stuff are doing a live blog
The library News Blog has a Cup Diary
The official youtube channel will keep you informed and entertained
There, now you are ready to settle in with some tasty snacks and catch the action. Who do you think will win? Who do you think will be the player of the tournament? Will the fact that I drew England in our office sweepstake cause me internal conflict?
It will be a fun six weeks.
The Central Library has recently expanded its’ YA non-fiction collection – just today actually – but because it has expanded so much I cannot possibly cover all of the new material in a single post. So for now, here are the newest sport titles.
Mana by James Kerr, photographs by Nick Danziger. This features page after page of black and white photos of the All Blacks playing, practicing the haka, listening quietly in meetings, relaxing (they seem pretty like pretty chill bros in these ones), eating, working out and showing off their sweet tats. Kind of “a day in the life” deal. Also there are photos of kids playing rugby, just like the real All Blacks, but smaller!
Golden Girls: Celebrating New Zealand’s six female Olympic gold medalists by Margot Butcher. The title of this book sparked quite some debate at Teen Blog HQ, is it “medallist” or “medalist”? Spellcheck, the Oxford Dictionary and we say “medalist”, but this book and the MacMillan UK Dictionary say “medallist”. All confusion aside, you can expect six stories about six champion female athletes.
Dan Carter: A tribute to the All Black’s perfect 10 by John Matheson. Like a biography, but in coffee table book form and with more photos. Follow his story from precocious youngster to the hyperbolic quote generating machine (eg. “… is the ‘Koh-i-Noor’ diamond of his time”) he is today. Not sure if it mentions his clothing chain or not.
All White Fever: New Zealand’s road to the World Cup by John Matheson. Remember that time the All Whites made it to the Football World Cup in South Africa? It was pretty sweet. If you’ve forgotten some of the glorious details (tsk) or just want to relive it in text with photos form, now you can. It still makes me feel proud to see a photo of Tim Brown tackling Cesc Fabregas.
WWE Encyclopedia: The definitive guide to World Wrestling Entertainment by Brian Shields and Kevin Sullivan. All the information you could possibly fit into a coffee table sized book on wrestling! From Abe “knuckleball” Schwartz to Zeus and all the Honkytonk Men and Ric Flairs in between. Pro wrestling in the 1980’s was hi-larious btw.
Fight by Eugene S. Robinson. Covers pretty much everything you could think of about fighting. From the greatest boxing matches to knife techniques, there is even mention of my favourite ’so terrible it’s fantastic’ martial arts movie, Gymkata. If that isn’t exhaustive enough, then I don’t know what to tell you.
If these new titles prove popular (and really, why wouldn’t they?) there will be more YA non-fiction popping up at branches too. Fashion and arts coming tomorrow.
Rose Sees Red, Cecil Castellucci (197 pages) – It is 1982 in New York and Rose is a ballet dancer who attends the High School of Performing Arts. Yrena is Rose’s neighbour, a visiting Russian dancer who, due to the Cold War between USSR and the United States, is all but a prisoner in her apartment. One night Yrena, intent on experiencing New York life, escapes through Rose’s apartment window, and the two hit the town for a wild night of adventure.
First sentence: I was black inside so I took everything black.
The Children of the Lost, David Whitley (357 pages) – the second book in the Agora trilogy that began with The Midnight Charter. Mark and Lily are exiled from the city of Agora, and find refuge in a small nearby village. Lily is happy, but Mark longs to return to Agora to take revenge and find answers.
First sentence: Gradually, Lily became aware that she was being watched.
Kick, Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman (197 pages) – Ross Workman wrote to Walter Dean Myers saying he was a fan of his books and Walter Dean Myers replied saying let’s write a book together, so they did. True story. Kick is about a troubled boy who’s an excellent football (soccer) player, on his way to the state cup final, until he ends up in jail. Can he and his mentor, a policeman called Sergeant Brown, turn his life around?
First sentence: Bill Kelly and I had been friends since we played high school basketball together.
I Was Jane Austen’s Best Friend, Cora Harrison (342 pages) – Jenny Cooper is Jane’s cousin, and goes to live with the Austens, which is an education in the world of balls, beautiful dresses, turns about the room, gossip, and other such things. When she (Jenny) falls in love, Jane is there to help her out.
First sentence: It’s a terrible thing to write: Jane looks like she could die – but it’s even worse to have the thought jumping into your mind every few minutes.
Pathfinder, Orson Scott Card (657 pages) – Rigg is able to see into people’s paths, a secret he shares only with his father. When his father dies, Rigg learns that he’s been keeping a whole lot of other secrets, about Rigg and his family. Rigg has other powers…
First sentence: Rigg and Father usually set the traps together, because it was Rigg who had the knack of seeing the paths that the animals they wanted were still using.
Firespell, Chloe Neill (278 pages) – Lily is a new girl at an exclusive academy and she doesn’t fit in and has no friends apart from her roommate Scout. When she discovers that Scout has magical powers and protects the city from supernatural monsters, Lily is keen to help, but can she, if she has no powers of her own?
First sentence: They were gathered around a conference table in a high-rise, eight men and women, no one under the age of sixty-five, all of them wealthy beyond measure.
The Body at the Tower, Y S Lee (344 pages) – the second book in the Agency Victorian detective series (the first is A Spy in the House). Mary Quinn, under cover, investigates the mysterious scandals surrounding the building of the Houses of Parliament, but there are distractions (suspicious workmates, past secrets, and the return of James Easton).
First sentence: A sobbing man huddles on a narrow ledge, clawing at his eyes to shield them from the horror far below.
The Doomsday Box, Herbie Brennan (328 pages) – a Shadow Project book. Time travel is possible, trouble is someone (secret codename Cobra) has used it to transport the black plague into the 21st Century. The supernatural teen spies of the Shadow Project must avert disaster, while also averting their own disaster, on the run from the KGB in Moscow in the 1960s.
First sentence: Opal fastened the strap around her ankle and stood up to admire her new shoes.
Zora and Me, Victoria Bond and T R Simon (170 pages) – based on events in the life of author Zora Neale Hurston. When a young man’s body is found on train tracks in a small Florida town Zora thinks she knows who did it, so she and her friends set out to prove her theory and search for the truth. Narrated by Zora’s best friend Carrie, hence the title.
First sentence: It’s funny how you can be in a story but not realise until the end that you were in one.
The False Princess, Eilis O’Neal (319 pages) – Nalia believes herself to be princess of Thorvaldor, but discovers she’s actually a stand in. She’s cast out, called Sinda, and sent to live with her unwelcoming aunt in a village where she (Sinda) learns she has magic, which is Sinda’s ticket out, albeit a dangerous ticket. This one is called “A dazzling first novel” and “an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance”, which sounds great.
First sentence: The day they came to tell me, I was in one of the gardens with Kiernan, trying to decipher a three-hundred-year-old map of the palace grounds.
Fallout, Ellen Hopkins (663 pages) – the companion to Crank and Glass. About Kristina’s three oldest children, who must climb out from under their mother’s meth addiction and the hold it has over the family. Novel in verse form.
First sentence: That life was good / before she / met / the monster, / but those page flips / went down before / our collective / cognition.
Accomplice, Eireann Corrigan (259 pages) – Two friends stage a kidnapping as a joke and in order to gain notoreity. Of course this is going to be a very bad idea indeed.
First sentence: The picture they usually use is one from the Activities spread of the yearbook.
Some new documentaries on DVD!
“Reptile agent Dr. Brady Barr has spent his entire career studying some of the world’s most amazing and deadliest animals. In the hit series Dangerous Encounters, Barr travels around the globe on a series of death-defying, hair-raising expeditions to study reptiles and other wildlife in their native habitats. His main goal is to study these animals before their habitat is destroyed to better understand what they need to survive in the wild. Best of Dangerous Encounters features Barr’s most dangerous moments with some of the planet’s most unapproachable animals, including his headline-making bite from a 12-foot reticulated python” (cover)
“Every four years the world stops to watch football’s best of the best. Over a billion people tuned in to see if the Netherlands or Spain would be the 2010 FIFA World Cup Champions. Neither country had ever won the cup, so it would be a first for one of them. Here is the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final from start to finish including the presentations – an unforgettable souvenir for every fan of the beautiful game” (cover)
“Here are the highlights of the 2010 FIFA World Cup including all the action from each group – A through to H, Round 16, the quarter finals, semi-finals, and the final itself. The goals, the drama, interviews and excitement – all the highlights are here, followed by the final summary from SBS special commentators Les Murray and Craig Foster” (cover)
Features all three matches played by the New Zealand team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. I don’t want to ruin the ending, but the All Whites ended the tournament as the only undefeated team. Relive the magic.
A group of men, set out on their seventh motorbike adventure together. Then they jump all their bikes of big cliffs and things and they crash, breaking bones and causing fleshwounds while Papa Roach, Powerman 5000, White Zombie etc. shout things. Mission accomplished?
An acoustic performance taped at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993 for the television series MTV Unplugged. Features two songs not originally broadcast plus five previously unreleased rehearsal performances.
“On October 9, 2004, at a sold-out performance in New York’s Madison Square Garden, longtime rap superstars the Beastie Boys revolutionized the formula for concert films by distributing cameras to fifty audience members and encouraging them to shoot their own footage of the musical performance. Capturing the event in a completely fresh and prismatic way, these fifty filmmakers used their diverse points-of-view to bring to life the total experience of a Beastie Boys concert, from the stage to the back rows, from the performers to the adoring fans.” (cover)
It’s been an age since we linked to some parkour/freerunning videos. So we must remedy that! Watch this video and marvel as gravity is defied.
Do you like this? Go to the NZ Parkour Association website!
ETA: some more on parkour, here’s a summary of Chase Armitage (professional free runner (which you can be)) and his talents.
The window is the best bit.
Here are four book covers illustrating how nice a good patch of grass is to lie on (although not in mid winter). It’s all very chilled out and relaxed and happy, or is it? (Read them and find out.)
Footfree and Fancyloose, Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain – carrying on from Bass Ackwards and Belly Up, Harper and her three BFFs are half way through a year in which they pursue their dreams rather than going to college. Good for people with withdrawal from the Pants Sisterhood?
Front and Center, Catherine Gilbert Murdock – the final in the trilogy about the fabulous DJ Shwenk (the first being Dairy Queen – which the central library staff selected as a Librarian’s Choice). DJ has to decide on her future, which is quite complex and political when top line College basketball programmes are involved (did anyone see the movie The Blind Side, which is football but still sort of the same saga?).
The Loser’s Guide to Life and Love, A E Cannon – “Four teens fumble the ball of love in this entertaining romantic comedy based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream” says the Booklist review. Snappy dialogue.
The Vast Fields of Ordinary, Nick Burd – while his parents’ marriage fall apart, Dade comes out of the closet. Rites of passage and coming of age: it’s got good reviews too.