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Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Month: October 2009 Page 1 of 3

New Books

The week of the short first sentence.

The Enemy, by Charlie Higson (407 pages) – Charlie Higson is the guy who’s been writing the Young Bond series (about James Bond when he was at high school). The Enemy is the first book in a new trilogy with zombies – a whole lot of zombies. Reviews suggest this is rather scary, and overall really rather good. Plus it has black page edges.

First sentence: Small Sam was playing in the park behind Waitrose when the grown-ups took him.

The Bride’s Farewell, by Meg Rosoff (186 pages) – the much anticipated new book from the author of How I Live Now. Pell runs away on the morning of her wedding and hits the road to uncover the secrets of her past.

First sentence: On the morning she was to be married, Pell Ridley crept up from her bed in the dark, kissed her sisters goodbye, fetched Jack in from the wind and rain on the heath and told him that they were leaving.

Fade to Blue, by Sean Beaudoin (201 pages) – “Fade”, one of the chapter headings tells me, is pronounced “Fa-day” and is the last name of Kenny, who is one of the characters whose point of view the reader is treated to, the other being Sophie Blue. As the title suggests, how Sophie and Kenny connect is what this novel is all about. The cover describes this rather complex novel as “part thriller, part darkly comic philosophical discussion, … accompanied by a comic book element.”

First sentence: The place was packed.

Real Life, by Ella West (192 pages) – the final instalment in the Thieves trilogy. Nicky is back at the Project, trapped by a tracking bracelet that can’t be removed. “When terrorists threaten [the Project], Nicky is sent to the dangerous heart of the matter,” says the cover.

First sentence: For a whole week we were free.

Lost, by Jacqueline Davies (235 pages) – set in New York in the early 1900s.  The story of Essie, who lives in virtual poverty with her mother and siblings, is woven into a retelling of two historical events; the disappearance of a New York heiress and the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Nice cover.

First sentence: The new girl was lost.

Fire and Rayne, by Kate Cann (314 pages) – Rayne has escaped from London to the country and takes a job at a mansion house, hoping for peace and quiet. What she gets is ghostly warnings, a sinister new manager, and a jolly good reason to be afraid.

First sentence: Rayne woke screaming.

Warrior Princess, by Frewin Jones (346 pages) – another first in a series, and no, it’s not about Xena. Branwen is in Britain (I think: judging by the author’s and the character’s names, probably Wales more specifically) when the Saxons invade and kill her brother (among others). When a “mystical woman in white” fortells that Branwen will one day save her country, Branwen is forced to choose between her intended life path and that of the warrior princess.

First sentence: Branwen ap Griffith sat on the grassy hillside with her back to an oak tree, gazing out over the rugged landscape of bony hills and steep, wooded valleys that she had known since childhood.

Miss Understanding: My Year in Agony (314 pages) – Miss Understanding is her school agony aunt, but like most agony aunts, she’s rubbish at sorting out her own life problems. Through the course of this book she will become better at it, I think.

First sentence: Hey there you.

Midsummer Meltdown, by Cathy Hopkins (186 pages) – Lia is expecting her mother’s 40th to be the party of the decade, but then an ex of her’s (Lia’s) makes an appearance and things get complicated.

Do Secrets Count as Sabotage?, by Helen Salter (152 pages) – Holly is trying to keep gorgeous Luke a secret from her mother. Is this possible when jealous best friends are involved?

Jack’s Badge Making Business

Jack’s been making 100 badges for the Twilight Trivia Night tomorrow night. Because he’s going to be busy setting up sound gear and stuff tomorrow he’s not going to be able to make any last minute badges, so you’ll need to send in your badge request before 6pm tonight if you haven’t already! If you haven’t been able to before now never fear, he’s got some non-customised Twilight-y badges too.

If you’re registered and ready to go you’ll be united with your badges at the info desk at the central library shortly after 6pm. See you then.

p.s. If you weren’t able to make it to the quiz you might be interested to hear that we’ll be posting quiz questions on this blog in some form very soon.

New Anime

More new anime has arrived (I mentioned it earlier but now it’s in the catalogue). We have the final disc of the Mushi-Shi series, which is a slow series but well worth watching in its entirety; volumes 1 to 7 of Fullmetal Alchemist; volumes 1 to 3 of Ranma 1/2; and the final three discs in the infinitely awesome Samurai Champloo series, which is now all in the YA area.

Here’s a complete list of anime based on a manga series held by the library. Here’s a list of anime movies, and here is a list of anime television series.

Robert Pattinson’s face

You can make Robert Pattinson’s face through the gentle art of cross-stitch, thanks to the Guardian online. Here are some books in the library on cross-stitch so that you can learn how to make your own fabric Edward. A good Christmas gift in these lean times. I’m hoping for a cross-stitched Taylor Lautner, as he’d make a great cushion.

Twilight Quiz Questions

We’ve received emails asking about the questions for the Twilight Quiz this Friday. Are they hard? Are they easy? Here are some so you might get an idea. These are ones that didn’t make it in to the quiz! So don’t go thinking they’ll be asked on the night.

Oh and also, some bad news. So many teams have registered we’ve had to close registrations. The room is only so big and if too many squeeze in it might literally drop onto Harris Street. There are that many Twilight fans! Sorry.

Anyhoo, here are those questions. The answers are in white text so you will need to highlight them to read them. Don’t cheat though!

1. Which of Bella’s Forks classmates talks to her first?
2. What sort of car does Rosalie drive?
AnswerRed BMW M3 convertible.
3. What is the name of Sam’s girlfriend?
AnswerEmily (Young)
4. What is the first name of Bella’s stepfather?
5. What’s the name of the Volturi receptionist?
A) Gianna
B) Maggie
C) Irinia
D) Kristina
6. Which British actors play the Volturi vampires Aro and Caius?
Answer Michael Sheen and Jamie Campbell
7. What is the name of the band from Franklin, Tennessee who wrote 2 songs for the Twilight movie and what are the names of the songs?
Answer Paramore – Decode : I caught myself
8. Who sings ‘Tremble for my beloved’?
Answer Collective Soul
9. What song by Muse plays during the baseball scene?
AnswerSupermassive black hole

New Musical Express

cobrastarshipApparently Cobra Starship frontman Gabe Saporta went on a spirit quest into the Arizona desert. There he found his true purpose in life was to “…[teach] hipsters to not take themselves so seriously and by telling emo kids to stop being pussies.” Apparently you do this by contributing to the Snakes On A Plane soundtrack, achieving dance-punk fame [via. MTV] and releasing an album called Hot Mess. Apparently.

sum41Sum 41 seem to have amassed enough hits to put out a best of compilation, All the good sh** : 14 solid gold hits (2000-2008) is that very album. And indeed it does include all their biggest hits including billboard number 1, Fat Lip. Bratty mall-punk abounds.

Missy Elliott’s pal Jazmine Sullivan released the long awaited (she started performing aged 11) Fearless last year. It was a fine debut by all accounts, pick it up from here if you haven’t yet listened to the rising R&B star.

janellemonaeJanelle Monae’s first album has been delux-ified and Metropolis : the chase suite : special edition is the result. It’s a concept e.p. detailing the life of a rebellious soul-equipped android who risks disassembly by falling in love with a human. If you enjoy Andre 3000’s soul wackiness you are advised to issue this. Do it.


X-Men Origins : Wolverine is now in the library and ready to be reserved. If you want to watch it! You probably have seen it. It doesn’t have Taylor Lautner in it, so I might give it a miss.

Here’s X-Men Origins : Wolverine in only 30 seconds, to save time.

They’re New and They’re Books

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

Once was lost, by Sara Zarr (217 pages) – go here for a quick summary.

First sentence: The whole world is wilting.

Going Bovine, by Libba Bray (480 pages) – again, here‘s a blurb.

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.

What’s on the new book horizon?

Here’s a mixed bag of books we’ve ordered recently – take your pick and reserve what grabs your fancy.

Geektastic: stories from the nerd herd. Don’t let the title put you off! There’s nothing wrong with being a geek, especially if being a geek comes in the form of an anthology of stories written by people like John Green, Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, and M. T. Anderson. You can’t really lose. The blurb says subjects are many and varied (in the context of geekdom) from the faintly ridiculous (what happens when Klingons and Jedi collide at a sci-fi convention?) to the more serious (a 15 year old pretends to be her 32 year old sister online). Should stop typing now.

Intertwined, by Gena Showalter. More supernatural romance! Ah. Aden has a tough time because he has four beings inside his head, each providing him with a specific supernatural power. Mary Ann has the one power that Aden needs, the ability to negate supernatural powers, and it is with her that Aden finds peace (and romance perhaps?). But then their world is complicated by more supernatural creatures than you can poke a stick at, all after a new source of power.

In the path of falling objects, by Andrew Smith. Another road trip story (adding to the list), this one sounds a bit rugged: Jonah and Simon are on their own, trying to track down their family. They hitch a ride with a man and a “beautiful young woman” who are both disturbing and potentially dangerous. Set during the Vietnam War.

Once a witch, by Carolyn MacCullough. Tamsin lives in a talented (in the magic sense) family, but she isn’t. When a strange and sinister man arrives and mistakes her for her twin (talented) sister and requests her help in searching for a “family heirloom”, Tamsin jumps at the opportunity to appear magical. This is exciting, reviewers say.

And some other serious stuff:

Almost perfect, by Brian Katcher. A transgender story from a writer who likes to challenge people’s assumptions about the norm.

Positively, by Courtney Sheinmel. Emmy is left to struggle with the HIV virus that her now-dead mother unwittingly passed on to her.

Breathing underwater, by Julia Green. Freya comes to terms with the sudden death of her brother.

Taken, by Norah McClintock. Stephanie is taken hostage in the woods, but escapes and must use all her survivalist knowledge to make it back home. Tense.

We’ll keep you posted on more interesting things. Thanks to Stephanie for the tip offs.

Twilight – The Musical

That’s right, Twilight the musical can be watched online. It’s not official! It’s a parody, in fact! Which means you mightn’t like it (apparently it becomes funnier after the first episode). Oh and you will need broadband probably.

Oh and don’t forget to register for the Twilight Trivia Night. It’s in, like, three weeks, and you will need time to work on a costume (it’s on the night before Hallowe’en, so why not come in costume?).

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