Some good-looking things this week:
Black Ice, Becca Fitzpatrick (October) - from the author who brought you Nora and Patch in the Hush, Hush series comes a new romantic thriller involving tramping and murder. “Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants – but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there.. and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?” (goodreads.com)
Mortal Heart, Robin LaFevers (November) – the next book in the series about assassin nuns I have to admit I am crazy about. “Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has. But across Brittany, the tides of war are drawing ever nearer, with France pressuring the beleaguered duchess from all sides. Annith’s search for answers threatens to rip open an intricate web of lies and deceit that sit at the heart of the convent she serves. Yet to expose them threatens the very fabric of her existence and risks an unforeseen chance at love, one that she can no longer deny. Annith must carefully pick a path and, gods willing, effect a miracle that will see her country – and her heart – to safety.” (goodreads.com)
Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld (September) – Scott Westerfeld (author of the Uglies trilogy, and Leviathan) has been quiet for ages, so we’re happy to hear about this new novel-within-a-novel! “Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.” (goodreads.com)
Donnel’s Promise, Anna MacKenzie (New Zealand author) - the sequel to Cattra’s Legacy. “When Risha takes up her mother’s throne there is celebration – for some. In the murky world of politics, how can you know who to trust, when to fight, when to run? As war between the Five Duchies threatens everyone Risha loves, the hidden truth of Cattra’s legacy is revealed – but for Risha there is no time to learn to use her arcane talent, even less to save those sacrificed in her name.” (goodreads.com)
These books we ordered recently look interesting:
Wild, Alex Mallory – this is a retelling of Tarzan, with a sort of dystopian twist. “The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, surviving - that’s all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he’s the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger… Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy - he’s stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion. Thrust back into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he’s not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it. As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade’s past tear them apart?” (goodreads.com)
Guardian, Alex London – the sequel to Proxy. “In the new world led by the Rebooters, former Proxy Syd is the figurehead of the Revolution, beloved by some and hated by others. Liam, a seventeen-year-old Rebooter, is Syd’s bodyguard and must protect him with his life. But armed Machinists aren’t the only danger. People are falling ill – their veins show through their skin, they find it hard to speak, and sores erupt all over their bodies. Guardians, the violent enforcers of the old system, are hit first, and the government does nothing to help. The old elites fall next, and in the face of an indifferent government, Syd decides it’s up to him to find a cure… and what he discovers leaves him stunned.” (goodreads.com) This – it is suggested – will interest people who enjoyed Alex Rider, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, and Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, which leads nicely to:
The Young Elites, Marie Lu (October) – the new series by the author of Legend. “Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars – they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites. Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.” (goodreads.com)
Kiss of Deception, Mary E Pearson. The first novel in a new series (The Remnant Chronicles) by the author of The Adoration of Jenna Fox. We hear this has a killer twist. “In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight – but she doesn’t – and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom – to a prince she has never met. On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive – and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets – even as she finds herself falling in love.” (goodreads.com)
Illusive, Emily Lloyd-Jones. This is described as The X Men meets Ocean’s Eleven. So mutants and action and trickery then? “When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She’s what’s known as an illusionist… She’s also a thief. After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn’t? The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.” (goodreads.com)
Finally, some romance:
Through to You, Lauren Barnholdt. “It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn – resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital ‘T.’ And okay, smolderingly sexy. Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention – and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything. Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings. Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster – exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride…” (goodreads.com)
The long-awaited series edition!
Clariel, Garth Nix (October) – this book deserves special mention. It is the new novel in the Old Kingdom
trilogy series, which is super-popular (for lots of excellent reasons). The series began with Sabriel in 1995, and the last addition, Abhorsen, was published in 2003. So fans have been waiting 11 years! This is a long time in book-land. There is to be a fifth book in the series (hopefully published before 2025).
“Clariel is the daughter of the one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most importantly, to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, there are rumors that her mother is next in line for the throne. However, Clariel wants no part of it—a natural hunter, all she ever thinks about is escaping the city’s confining walls and journeying back to the quiet, green world of the Great Forest.But many forces conspire against Clariel’s dream. A dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she discovers hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?” (goodreads.com)
Lone Wolf, Robert Muchamore – this is the next instalment in the CHERUB series 2. “Fay has spent eighteen months locked up in a Secure Training Centre. Drug deals and rip-offs are the only things this teenager knows. Now she’s back on the street, looking to settle old scores. CHERUB agents Ryan and Ning need Fay’s knowledge to unearth a major drug importer. They’re trained professionals with one essential advantage: even experienced criminals never suspect that children are spying on them. But Fay’s made a lot of enemies and she’s running out of time …” (goodreads.com)
The Hunted, Charlie Higson – the sixth book in the series that began with The Enemy in which people over the age of 14 are struck down by an illness that leaves them as zombies. “The others had promised that the countryside would be safer than the city. They were wrong. Now Ella’s all alone except for her silent rescuer, Scarface – and she’s not even sure if he’s a kid or a grown-up. Back in London, Ed’s determined to find her. But getting out of town’s never been more dangerous – because coming in the other direction is every SICKO in the country. It’s like they’re being called towards the capital and nothing is going to stop them…” (goodreads.com). This is the second-to-last book in the series, so expect the ending to be a total cliffhanger.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Maggie Stiefvater (October/November). This is the third book in the Raven Cycle. We must confess to being a bit excited and a lot mystified by this top-secret book. While waiting we’ll just have to re-read the others. Also, we think that Blue (on the cover) looks like she’s auditioning for Gorillaz.
Rebels: The Story of Lex and Livia, Kendall & Kylie Jenner (July). Why is that name familiar? we asked. Well, because they are Kardashian sisters! So we were curious enough to order this book. “In a world of the far future, the great city of Indra has two faces: a beautiful paradise floating high in the sky, and a nightmare world of poverty carved into tunnels beneath the surface of the earth.” (goodreads.com). The first in a series (City of Indra) of course!
The Astrologer’s Daughter, Rebecca Lim (August). “Avicenna Crowe’s mother, Joanne, is an astrologer with uncanny predictive powers and a history of being stalked. Now she is missing. The police are called, but they’re not asking the right questions. Like why Joanne lied about her past, and what she saw in her stars that made her so afraid. But Avicenna has inherited her mother’s gift. Finding an unlikely ally in the brooding Simon Thorn, she begins to piece together the mystery. And when she uncovers a link between Joanne’s disappearance and a cold-case murder, Avicenna is led deep into the city’s dark and seedy underbelly, unaware how far she is placing her own life in danger.” (goodreads.com)
Don’t forget to come into the library for something to read these school holidays.
We’ve recently splashed out on new copies of 20th century classics for the Young Adult fiction collection, including a couple of new additions:
The Princess Bride, William Goldman. I always get William Goldman and William Golding confused and wonder how the person who wrote Lord of the Flies could have also written The Princess Bride (and how cool if he did), but he didn’t! Details are important! The Princess Bride is a modern classic. It also has the best movie adaptation ever, which you must also watch (possibly after reading the book). Summary from catalogue: “A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts.” What’s not to love?
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath. Not sure if there’s a book more different to The Princess Bride than The Bell Jar? This is Sylvia Plath’s lone novel, first published in 1963 just before she died, and tells the story of Esther and her struggle with depression. “When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control…” (Catalogue summary).
We’ve also got more of To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), The Outsiders (S E Hinton), Lord of the Flies (William Golding), and The Catcher in the Rye (J D Salinger) coming. Look out for them at a library near you very soon!
For more on classic novels visit our Classic Novels (in Haiku) page here.
Additionally, on the subject, we’ve recently ordered:
I Kill the Mockingbird, Paul Acampora. “When Lucy, Elena, and Michael receive their summer reading list, they are excited to see To Kill A Mockingbird included. But not everyone in their class shares the same enthusiasm. So they hatch a plot to get the entire town talking about the well-known Harper Lee classic. They plan controversial ways to get people to read the book, including re-shelving copies of the book in bookstores so that people think they are missing and starting a website committed to ‘destroying the mockingbird.’ Their efforts are successful when all of the hullabaloo starts to direct more people to the book. But soon, their exploits start to spin out of control and they unwittingly start a mini revolution in the name of books.” (goodreads.com)
Today, one-word titles:
Gasp, Lisa McMann – the third book in the Visions series (after Crash and Bang). “After narrowly surviving two harrowing tragedies, Jules now fully understands the importance of the visions that she and people around her are experiencing. She’s convinced that if the visions passed from her to Sawyer after she saved him, then they must now have passed from Sawyer to one of the people he saved. That means it’s up to Jules to figure out which of the school shooting survivors is now suffering from visions of another crisis. And once she realizes who it is, she has to convince that survivor that this isn’t all crazy – that the images are of something real. Something imminent. As the danger escalates more than ever before in the conclusion to the Visions series, Jules wonders if she’ll finally find out why and how this is happening – before it’s too late to prevent disaster.” (goodreads.com)
Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier (June/July) - the long-awaited new novel from the author of Liar and How to Ditch Your Fairy. “The setting: Razorhurst, 1932. The fragile peace between two competing mob bosses – Gloriana Nelson and Mr Davidson – is crumbling. Loyalties are shifting. Betrayals threaten. Kelpie knows the dangers of the Sydney streets. Ghosts have kept her alive, steering her to food and safety, but they are also her torment. Dymphna is Gloriana Nelson’s ‘best girl’, experienced in surviving the criminal world, but she doesn’t know what this day has in store for her. When Dymphna meets Kelpie over the corpse of Jimmy Palmer, Dymphna’s latest boyfriend, she pronounces herself Kelpie’s new protector. But Dymphna’s life is in danger too, and she needs an ally. And while Jimmy’s ghost wants to help, the dead cannot protect the living…” (goodreads.com)
Exposure, Kathy Reichs – the fourth in the Virals series from the creator of the Bones TV series. “When twin classmates are abducted from Bolton Prep, Tory and the Virals decide there’s no one better equipped than them to investigate. But the gang has other problems to face. Their powers are growing wilder, and becoming harder to control. Chance Claybourne is investigating the disastrous medical experiment that twisted their DNA. The bonds that unite them are weakening, threatening the future of the pack itself. The Virals must decipher the clues and track down a ruthless criminal before he strikes again, all while protecting their secret from prying eyes. And everyone seems to be watching.” (goodreads.com)
And a book about the Divergent film:
Inside Divergent: the Initiates’ World, Cecilia Bernard. “This eye-catching volume takes you inside the film version of Divergent. With more than 100 photographs – many never before seen – Inside Divergent will immerse you in the thrilling dystopian world of futuristic Chicago, where you’ll meet the initiates and discover the factions.” (goodreads.com)
Perfect winter reading:
Silver Shadows, Richelle Mead (July/August) – the next in the Bloodlines series by the author of Vampire Academy. “In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists. Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him…” (goodreads.com)
Sinner, Maggie Stiefvater (July) – and we thought the Wolves of Mercy Falls series was finished! If you liked Cole and Isabel you’ll want to read on. “Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret – his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?” (goodreads.com)
Just Call My Name, Holly Goldberg Sloan (August) – the sequel to I’ll Be There. “Emily Bell has it all. She’s in love with a boy named Sam Border, and his little brother has become part of her family. This summer is destined to be the best time of their lives – until a charismatic new girl in town sets her sights on Sam. Now Emily finds herself questioning the loyalty of the person she thought she could trust most. But the biggest threat to her happiness is someone she never saw coming. Sam’s criminally insane father, whom everyone thought they’d finally left behind, is planning a jailbreak. And he knows exactly where to find Emily and his sons when he escapes… and takes his revenge.” (goodreads.com). Fingers crossed for a happy ending for this one!
A couple of new series, the next instalment in a super-popular one, and a stand alone novel for people sick of series!
The Revenge of Seven, Pittacus Lore (August) – the fifth in the Lorien Legacies series (five already!). Seven figures running and hiding from the Mogodorians is not really working (they’ve already managed to kill four of them), so Seven has decided that attack may be the best form of defence. Seven, the other living numbers, and a new ally (???) are going to fight back. This sounds messy; we hope the numbers don’t dwindle even more!
Dangerous Creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (May/June) – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl return to the Beautiful Creatures world with this new novel. “Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she’s a bad girl. She’s Dark. She’s a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she’s around. Lucky for her, Wesley ‘Link’ Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn’t hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.” (goodreads.com)
The Taking, Kimberley Derting (May) – the first book in a new series by the author of the Bodyfinder series. “When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ‘n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed… yet she hasn’t aged a day. Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth…” (goodreads.com)
Love and Other Foreign Words, Erin McCahan (May) – they say this is perfect for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell (what a duo). “Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue – the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn’t always like, and the best friend who hasn’t said a word – at least not in a language Josie understands.” (goodreads.com)
This week, a historical fantasy from a Christchurch-based author, two short stories from a popular series, a moving novel about grief and loss, and a holocaust story of survival.
Awakening, Natalie King (New Zealand writer) – “When Zelie Taylor pulls a lost necklace out of the icy waters of the lake, she has no idea what the consequences will be. At first the pendant is just freezing cold – unnaturally so – but then she hears a voice inside her head and Zelie thinks she must be going mad. She’s not. Seventeen-year-old Tamas’ soul has been trapped in the silver necklace since 1918. His body is nearby, sleeping, and Zelie must help him awaken. At first Zelie would like nothing better than for Tamas’ moody, enigmatic presence to be out of her life, but after a while she isn’t so sure. And what is waiting for Tamas when he does emerge? It seems that the sinister force that trapped him all those years ago has returned and is growing more powerful. A hundred-year-old mystery steeped in dark magic will make Zelie question everything she thought she knew.” (goodreads.com)
Tales from the Half-Continent, D M Cornish – this is number 3.5 in the Monster Blood Tattoo series, and it’s really two short/long stories: ‘The Corsers’ Hinge’ and ‘The Fuller and the Bogle’. “Bunting Faukes has a debt and no way to repay it – times are tough for grave robbers. But a way out is presented in the person of Atticus Wells, a sleuth with strange eyes that see into everything — Virtue Bland is alone in the world. Packed off to Brandenbrass to serve the household of her late father’s employer, she has only her old pa’s olfactologue to remember him by. But with it she can smell monsters.” (goodreads.com)
The Year of the Rat, Clare Furniss. “The world can tip at any moment … a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mum dies after giving birth to her baby sister. Told across the year following her mother’s death, Pearl’s story is full of bittersweet humour and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mum, but also the fact that her sister – The Rat – is a constant reminder of why her mum is no longer around…” (goodreads.com)
Alexander Altmann A10567, Suzy Zail. “Fourteen-year-old Alexander Altmann doesn’t need to look at the number tattooed on his arm. A10567; he knows it by heart. He also knows to survive Auschwitz, he must toughen up. Being soft will get him killed. Alexander will take any chance he’s given – and when that chance is caring for the German officers’ horses he grabs it. He just can’t let them know he’s scared.” (goodreads.com)