John Green, co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Web 2.0 enthusiast had this to say about the All Whites’ effort against Italy at the World Cup (so we thought it was worth a mention): “A heroic, relentless performance by #NZL. Just unbelievable. I am kind of in tears to be honest.” (In context here. He’s set up a special world cup Twitter account @johnsworldcup, plus his regular Twitter account is @realjohngreen, complete with a million + followers.) Needless to say, we like John Green.
Speaking of Twitter, Wellington City Libraries is on Twitter too (@wcl_library). You can follow us for updates on recently acquired interesting library items, what’s going on at the moment, and notifications of new blog posts, like on this here blog, for example.
This post was brought to you by Library Serf, in the absence of regular football reporter, Roberto B, who is recovering.
(Thanks to Kym for info too.)
The Football World Cup kicks off tomorrow morning, most of us won’t be in attendance because South Africa is a long way away. But thanks to technology you can travel to the stadiums the games will be played in from the comfort of your own home by following this link. Sure, you could just watch the games on TV, but these virtual tours are in 3D thanks to Google Earth and therefore cooler.
For the Wellington Phoenix’s next home game, tomorrow Friday 12th Feb, under 16s can get in for free. Free! Just turn up with an adult and three of you can keep your wallets in your pockets as you walk through the turnstiles. Money saved at the gate can be spent on delicious (?) stadium hotdogs. If you’re older but still studying it’s only $20 anyway. Still a bargain then.
Once again, here’s a large selection of new books, from fairies to vampires to werewolves to survivalists to society’s elite (pirates and witches).
Rapture of the Deep, L A Meyer (454 pages) – for lovers of the Bloody Jack adventures, here’s the next. Jacky thinks she’s getting married, but actually she’s being kidnapped by British Naval Intelligence and made to dive for treasure near Havana, which isn’t necessarily such a terrible thing when you’re the piratical spy type.
First sentence: “Ah, and it’s a bonny, bonny bride ye shall be, Jacky.”
Re-Gifters, Mike Carey, Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel (graphic novel) – Dixie is a soon-to-be maybe champion of hapkido (a martial art), but her life gets complicated when she meets and falls for surfery boy Adam. Winning her championship and also Adam could be tricky: there are lessons to be learned for Dixie.
Tallow, Karen Brooks (404 pages) – The Curse of the Bond Riders Book 1. Tallow is rescued as a child by a candlemaker. As he grows up, his mysterious and deadly talents are revealed, and all manner of ominous people – both enemies and allies – become interested in him. A fantasy story based on historical Italy with excellent reviews!
First sentence: “I know you’re out there.”
Splendor, Anna Godbersen (394 pages) – the last of the Luxe novels, or at least I think it is. Will Diana and Henry find a way to be together without having Manhattan’s society up in arms?
First sentence: Fifty years ago every American girl wanted to be a European princess.
Battleground, Chris Ryan (305 pages) – the SAS supremo writer is back again, this time with the story of 14 year old Ben who finds himself kidnapped in Afghanistan. Which sounds bad, but worse is the fact that he discovers they’ve got a nuclear weapon on them.
First sentence: “Ambush!”
X Isle, Steve Augarde (477 pages) – see what he’s doing with the title? X Isle is the only way out after the floods come and devastate the globe. Sounds like a grim disaster novel (Adrienne might like it!).
First sentence: The steady chug of the diesel engine drew closer, and eventually the salvage boat emerged from the mist, a blank grey shape steering a middle course between the ghostly lines of chimney stacks that rose from the water.
Destiny’s Path, Frewin Jones (329 pages) – book two in the Warrior Princess series, good news if you’ve already read the first one. Branwen is still uncomfortable with the idea of being the Chosen One, but then she’s shown a vision of life if she abandons her destiny, and it’s pretty bleak.
First sentence: Branwen Ap Griffith pulled back on the reins and her weary horse gradually came to a halt, snorting softly and shaking its mane.
Ash, Malinda Lo (264 pages) – A fairy tale; Ash, recovering from the death of her father, dreams that the fairies will “steal her away” then meets Sidhean (a fairy). Because stories need a complication to work (truly they do), she also meets Kaisa (not a fairy) who teaches her to hunt and with whom she becomes friends. The result? A literary tug of war.
First sentence: Aisling’s mother died at midsummer.
We Were Here, Matt de la Pena (356 pages) – Miguel is sent to juvi, then escapes with Rondell and Mong (great names, together), hoofing it to Mexico where he hopes he’ll have a chance to start over. A story of self-discovery and learning to forgive yourself (among other things).
First sentence: Here’s the thing: I was probably gonna write a book when I got older anyways.
Taken, Nora McClintock (165 pages) – stress extreme. As mentioned in this post, Stephanie is captured by a serial killer then escapes (good for her) and must survive in the middle of nowhere (bad for her).
First sentence: My stomach clenched as the bus rumbled across the county line.
Once a Witch, Carolyn MacCullough (292 pages) – Tamsin pretends to be her talented witchy older sister, which might seem like a good idea at the time, but one thing leads to another… this book contains it all; fantasy, romance, witchcraft and time travel.
First sentence: I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper thin adn when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it.
Ghost Town, Richard Jennings (165 pages) – I’ve filched this from the catalogue because it’s way to complex for me to explain: “Thirteen-year-old Spencer Honesty and his imaginary friend, an Indian called Chief Leopard Frog, improbably achieve fame and riches in the abandoned town of Paisley, Kansas, when Spencer begins taking photographs with his deceased father’s ancient camera and Chief Leopard Frog has his poems published by a shady businessman in the Cayman Islands.”
First sentence: “Well, I guess that makes it official,” I said to Chief Leopard Frog.
Destroy All Cars, Blake Nelson (205 pages, plus appendices) – James Hoff is into the environment – he wants to, as the title suggests, destroy all cars. His ex-girlfriend, Sadie, is also into the environment, but James thinks she’s soft, merely wanting to build cycleways. Naturally there’s going to be some sort of romantic showdown that may well be a bit messy.
First sentence (sort of): We stand at the edge.
Suicide Notes, Michael Thomas Ford (295 pages) – Jeff’s in a psychiatric ward, recovering from a suicide attempt, and learning valuable lessons from the “crazies” around him. “Compelling, witty and refreshingly real.”
First sentence: I read somewhere that when astronauts come back to Earth after floating around in space they get sick to their stomachs because of the air here smells like rotting meat to them.
My Vicksburg, Ann Rinaldi (149 pages) – set during the American civil war. Claire Louise is forced to make a difficult choice between saving a friend’s life and being loyal to family (and state).
First sentence: The only reason we came back to town, and stayed during that terrible nightmare of a time, those forty-seven days of confusion and heartbreak that made up the siege of Vicksburg, was because of Sammy the cat.
I Lost My Mobile at the Mall: Teenager on the Edge of Technological Breakdown, Wendy Harmer (319 pages) – the mobile in question even has a photo of Elly’s friend standing next to Hugh Jackman, no less, so it really is a big deal!
First sentences: My name is Elly Pickering. I’ve lost my mobile phone at the mall and am now facing certain death.
Changeling: Dark Moon, Steve Feasey (325 pages) – Trey Laporte is back, which is just as well since Lucien is lying in a coma and Trey can save him. The back of the book says it so much better: “… to succeed he must face his biggest challenge yet: a portal to the Netherworld, an Icelandic zombie, an evil sorceress, and Trey’s nemesis, the dark vampire Caliban.” All zombies should be Icelandic.
First sentence: The vampire Lucien Charron lay motionless on a high-sided bed in his Docklands apartment.
Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical (199 pages plus a small graphic short story) – Some famous YA authors contribute to this collection, including Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate), Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels), David Almond (Skellig) and Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize).
First sentence (Aimee Bender): Mom bought me the razor when I was thirteen.
Nothing Like You, Lauren Strasnick (209 pages) – update: now that I’ve had a read I can summarise. Holly is nearly finished high school and gets herself into really messy relationship issues. This is a well-written book about figuring out the important things in life, learning from mistakes, and love (kind of reminds me a little bit of Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr). A good example of a realistic, non-romantic first person narrator.
Avalon High: Coronation: Volume 3: Hunter’s Moon, Meg Cabot (graphic novel)
Was watching the All Whites big win on the weekend so exciting that you can’t possibly wait until the World Cup in South Africa to get your football fix? If the answer is “yes” here is a suggestion; go to a Phoenix game.
There are six current All Whites in the squad (including Teen Blog fave Leo Bertos), passionate and vocal fans, and the handsomest uniforms in the A-League. What better way is there to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than watching some quality football and shouting loudly? And it’s cheap too, tickets start at $17 for students.
Also, keep up to date with the happenings in the world of football with the libraries’ magazine selection here.
Just for something to do, this week I’ve subcategorised these. Some subcategories only have one – actually the maximum is two anyway – but there you go.
The Eternal Kiss: Vampire Tales (416 pages) – Mwah. Embrassez moi, je suis un vampire. Short stories on the vampire theme by such supernatural stalwarts as Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Rachel Caine, Nancy Holder and many more.
First sentence (courtesy of Karen Mahoney): Theo was late.
Blood Promise (a Vampire Academy novel), by Richelle Mead (503 pages) – Will Rose protect Lissa or hunt down the irresistible Dimitri and keep her promise to him (i.e. kill him, like, dead)?
First sentence: Once when I was in ninth grade, I had to write a paper on a poem.
As featured in an earlier blog post
First sentence: The whole world is wilting.
First sentence: The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World.
Forest Born (The Books of Bayern), by Shannon Hale (389 pages) – the fourth in the series. Rin is uncomfortable in the Forest, so she accompanies her brother Raz to the city and things progressively get more threatening and dangerous: someone wants the Fire Sisters dead.
First sentence: Ma had six sons.
The Pale Assassin (Pimpernelles), by Patricia Elliot (424 pages) – cleverly, the title of the series suggests something to do with the French revolution, unlikely heroes (or heroines, to be precise) and spies and the blurb backs this up (who’d have thought you could express so much in one word?). Eugénie de Boncoeur is caught up in the revolution and must rescue her brother Armand from death (at the hands of the “murderous spymaster” I think, but I could be wrong) and save her own life. A tall order.
First sentence: One summer evening outside Paris, a coach drawn by four black horses was creaking and swaying through the soft country twilight.
Comedy and Romance and Music and-
Blue Noise, by Debra Oswald (271 pages) – Charlie forms a band (Blue Noise), but bands never work, the back cover says (but, you know, don’t judge a book by its cover). “Blue” is a reference to the blues, which is a nice change from rock and roll and all.
First sentence: Ash Corrigan was in Guitar Heaven.
Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God, by Bill Condon (218 pages) – I thought this would be funny if it were a rebuttal of one of those Georgia Nicholson books but no. In 1967 the world is tumultuous, and Neil Bridges is at a Catholic boys’ school toughing it (life) out, but his life is about to get quite complicated and possibly quite dangerous (murder is mentioned). YA writers seem to be doing the Vietnam War at the moment (here and here as well for example).
First sentence: One huge shiver trudging on to the oval, that’s us.
Uh oh, something bad’s happening here
Candor, by Pam Bachorz (249 pages) – Candor is one of those “perfect” towns you just know is not in any way perfect. People are controlled by subliminal messages. Oscar, the son of the town’s founder, is doing a roaring trade smuggling kids out of Candor, and then Nia arrives.
First sentence: Ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk.
The Ghosts of 2012, by Graham Hurley (95 pages) – a quick read. Joe’s preparing for the 2012 Olympics in a military-run UK, but he’s okay with that (he’s preparing for the Olympics after all) until his ex-girlfriend goes missing.
First sentence: Sometimes in your life you get moments that stick out… you remember them forever.
As readers of this blog know, I really like parkour/free-running. (Previous posts.) And you should too. After the ‘more’ there’s an incredible Youtube clip of someone riding a bike up, down, and over all things urban. (It’s really called freestyle BMX.) Enjoy, and don’t try any stunts yourself
This isn’t really a Top 10 list as such, since I know zero about sports fiction and have no idea what’s top and what’s not; this is more a selection of young adult fiction that has sporting themes of different sorts. See what you think anyway. Let me know if you’ve read a good sports book recently too (I refrained from putting my favourite book here, Life at these Speeds, but, oh no, there I go, I’ve mentioned it anyway (athletics)).
If you liked the Almost Amazing Race (or wanted to do it) check out the City Safari, which will take place on the 17th of May. It’s an all-day orienteering competition around Wellington that utilises public transport. School teams may enter. Take a look at the website for more information.
The Superbowl is the championship game for the NFL, which means it’s a bit like the U.S. version of the Rugby World Cup. But with American football, not rugby. It is screened on the telly and about two-thirds of all Americans watch it; it is incredibly popular. Which means that advertisement time is sold at a premium, and many new films show their movie trailers for the first time.
We’re not as interested in the Superbowl (sorry) as we are in the film trailers that premiered on Monday, during Superbowl XLIII. While we can’t embed any of them – they’re not officially on Youtube (I did try!) - they are all available from Quicktime, and include Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G. I. Joe, Land of the Lost, Star Trek, and The Fast and the Furious 4, among others. Enjoy.
Can’t wait for G. I. Joe, as it has ninjas. <3