Here are this week’s new books. Further to the First Sentence idea we have added an arbitrary rating of hooks (based on how well the first sentence hooks you in (you see)). The hook looks like this – fishhook. So there’s one fishhook for a pretty meh first line, and fishhookfishhookfishhookfishhookfishhook for the sentence that makes you want to keep reading.

Fire on High, by David Hill (127 pages) – Jonno wins a trip to South America to watch a solar eclipse. While there he becomes alarmed at the increasing civil unrest, and is keen to return home. His return flight, however, is hijacked …

First line: ‘At exactly 10.43 a.m., the sun started to turn black.’

Deathwatch, by Nicola Morgan (279 pages) – Cat McPherson’s revealed a little too much information about herself online, and now someone’s watching her. Does she realise she’s being stalked? A psychological thriller!

First line: ‘In the hooded darkness, he watches from a high window.’

Flygirl, by Sherri L. Smith (275 pages) – 1940s Louisiana, and Ida Mae Jones wants to fly. She’s black, so it’s going to be tough. The opportunity to fly presents itself, but she has to pass herself off as a white girl to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots – and she soon realises that it’s difficult to escape who she really is.

First line: ‘It’s Sunday afternoon, and the phonograph player is jumping like a clown in a parade the way Jolene and I are dancing.

Secret Keeper, by Mitali Perkins (225 pages) – In 1974 when her father leaves New Delhi, India, to seek a job in New York, Asha, a tomboy at the advanced age of sixteen, feels thwarted in the home of her extended family in Calcutta where she, her mother, and sister must stay, and when her father dies before he can send for them, they must remain with their relatives and observe the old-fashioned traditions that Asha hates. [Catalogue description]

First line: ‘Asha and Reet held their father’s hands through the open window.

L. A. Candy : A Novel, by Lauren  Conrad (326 pages) – This book is a semi-autobiographical account of a girl whose internship in L. A. leads to a role in a major reality show. Fame and fortune follow! And perhaps some soul-searching. The book’s author was in The Hills.

First line: ‘Jane Roberts leaned against her dresser, studying the way her white silk nightie looked against her sun-kissed skin.

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater (392 pages) – A supernatural romance with (I think) a werewolf. A possible Twilight substitute, Grimm reckons. A sequel, Linger, is due out in 2010. Also, the entire book is printed in blue ink.

First line: ‘I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves.

Andromeda Klein : A Novel, by Frank Portman (424 pages) – High school sophomore Andromeda, an outcast because she studies the occult and has a hearing impairment and other disabilities, overcomes grief over terrible losses by enlisting others’ help in her plan to save library books–and finds a kindred spirit along the way. [Library catalogue]. Saving library books is something we can all get behind, I say.

First line: ‘The Universe is huge.

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins (391 pages) – This is the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy. It’s incredibly popular, so you’d better reserve it now if you haven’t. It‘s set in a post-apocalyptic future where a new, authoritarian government pits teens against one another on television. The third book is due out next year, and a film is in the works.

First line: ‘I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air.

Watch The Skies : Daniel X, by James Patterson and Ned Rust (251 pages) – Daniel’s parents were killed by an alien, and he now hunts alien monsters using his uber-powers, which include super-speed and the ability to create anything out of nothing (handy in a pinch).

First line: ‘It was a pretty regular early-summer night at 72 Little Lane.

Dull Boy, by Sarah Cross (308 pages) – Avery has superpowers, but in an attempt to remain anonymous he’ll pretend to be as dull and normal as possible. Of course, every superhero has a villain to deal with …

First line: ‘It’s Friday – another afternoon spent pounding the pavement in search of crimes to stop and people to help.

Blue Moon, by Alyson Noel (289 pages) – This is the second book in the Immortals series (the first one was Evermore). Ever travels to another dimension in an effort to save Damen; she soon must choose between his life, and going back into the past and saving her parents’ lives. Quite a toss-up.

First lines: ‘“Close your eyes and picture it. Can you see it?

Also in!

A Student Writing Guide : How to Plan and Write Successful Essays, by Gordon Taylor (266 pages) – This book would be ideal for anyone at any level who wishes to write a cracking good essay. I recommend it!