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Teen Blog

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

Month: January 2010 Page 1 of 2

Upcoming Books Part 2

Recently on the teen blog we highlighted some of the upcoming new books you can expect to see this year. I said I’d be back with catalogue links so that you could place some reserves for your favourites, and, diligently (and hopefully correctly) I’ve put them into the post now. So you can reserve away. More will be ordered in due course.


gleeGood news for Gleeks, Glee : The Music, Volume 2 has arrived amongst our collection. You won’t be able to find it on the shelves though, because lots of you have already reserved it. Jump in the queue and excitedly wait for the most popular music since 1964 – true story, in 2009 the Glee cast had 25 singles in the Billboard hot 100, the most since the Beatles had 31 back then. Just as big really.

nirvanaNirvana’s albums are almost all too old to have a Young Adult card now, and Bleach recently turned 20. To celebrate this occasion, Sub Pop has released Bleach (20th Anniversary Edition). More than just the standard reissued, same old album, but with a new booklet and a couple of token bonus tracks, this one has an entire live concert packaged with it. One that could be rightly considered deserving of a stand alone release. Worthy!

killersAnother nicely packaged package is Live from the Royal Albert Hall by The Killers. You get a career spanning concert performance + behind the scenes doco on the DVD side and an 80 minute chunk of said concert performance on the CD side. No matter where you are you can pretend you’re at a concert! All in all it’s a killer collection, haha.

And if you’d like to hear previews of these CDs they’re all on our bebo page.


Wellington City Council is running a photography competition for 10-18 year-olds in March. You can win a camera, and maybe even get paid for your photos to be added to the Council’s collection of stock images. Paid! Win! Two appealing words. All you need to do is take photos that captures your youthperspective of Wellington.

It runs from Saturday, the 13th of February, to Sunday, the 14th of March. There is a free photography workshop on Saturday, the 13th of February , here, at the Central Library, at 1pm.

There is more information to be found here.

Read More

New Books

Hi! Here are this week’s new books.

Watching Jimmy, by Nancy Hartry (152 pages) – Carolyn’s best friend, Jimmy, is assaulted by his uncle, and is left with brain damage. The uncle tells everyone that Jimmy fell from a swing, but Carolyn knows the truth. She must protect Jimmy from his uncle and also try to raise some funds for Jimmy’s brain surgery.

First line: ‘Uncle Ted said Jimmy bumped his head falling off the swing.

Alphas, by Lisi Harrison (261 pages) – This promises to be the first in a series by the author of The Clique. It’s set in the exclusive Alpha Academy on Alpha Island, where one hundred girls – all ‘exceptional dancers, writers, musicians, and inventors’ – live a kind of Survivor-esque lifestyle? I feel inadequate just reading the blurb. 🙁

First line: ‘There were five Skye Hamiltons in the Body Alive Dance Studio.

The Everafter, by Amy Huntly (144 pages) – Madison is dead, and in a vast & dark space she shares with all the things she lost when she was alive. The items allow her to re-experience and even change moments from her life. She consequently learns truths about her life; and ‘the strength of true love even beyond death.’

First line: ‘I’m dead.

Perfect You, by Elizabeth Scott (282 pages) – Kate is forced to work with her dad, who has quit his job to sell vitamins in a mall. Her best friend’s new-found popularity means she now ignores Kate, and she doesn’t know how to react when the gorgeous Will shows an interest in her. SO. She tries to stop caring about anyone or anything, which is never a good idea is it? No.

First line: ‘Vitamins had ruined my life.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot, by Natalie Standiford (276 pages) – Bea moves to a new town and makes friends with Jonah, a ‘quiet observer’, rather than one of the ‘very cheery, very friendly, very average’ girls she meets on the first day. Jonah’s and Bea’s friendship is intense to say the least. Also they have a thing for Iceland, my favourite country!

First line: ‘Goebbels materialized on the back patio, right before we moved to Baltimore, and started chewing through the wicker love seat.

The Dark Divine, by Bree Despain (372 pages) – A supernatural Christian romance (the first, maybe?) about the daughter of a pastor, Grace Divine, and the apple of her eye, Daniel Kalbi, who comes from a line of demon-hunting werewolves.

First lines: ‘”Grace! You have got to see the new guy.” April bounded up to me in the junior hallway.

Captivate, by Carrie Jones (276 pages) – The sequel to Need, which is about pixes and werewolves. Pixes and werewolves! Captivate adds valkyries to the mix. Might also be a supernatural romance?

First line: ‘There are these bizarre people who actually like physical education class.

The Museum of Mary Child, by Cassandra Golds (329 pages) – Handily annotated by the catalogue: ‘Heloise finds a mysterious doll and is forced to run away, ending up in an orphanage. But one day, she must return to the house where the devastating secret of her past awaits.

First lines: ‘A shaft of moonlight. A barred window. A bed of straw, and a young man, little more than a boy, chained to a wall.

Rage : A Love Story, by Mary Anne Peters (293 pages) – From the catalogue again, as it can be difficult to summarise a book just from the blurb! ‘At the end of high school, Johanna finally begins dating the girl she has loved from afar, but Reeve is as much trouble as she claims to be as she and her twin brother damage Johanna’s self-esteem, friendships, and already precarious relationship with her sister.

First line: ‘I locate the room on the first floor where Mrs Goins asked me to meet her.

Wish You Were Dead, by Todd Strasser (236 pages) – An anonymous blogger wishes the school’s most popularist girl was dead, and the next day she disappears. Her friend, Madison, begins to receive notes that say she’s next; she turns to mysterious new student Tyler for assistance with the mystery.

First line: ‘The red taillights of Tyler Starling’s ugly purple car disappeared into the dark.

Heroes of the Valley, by Jonathan Stroud (389 pages) – Epic fantasy set in an enormous valley, which was once a wild place besieged by bloodthirsty Trows. Now that it’s much calmer, Halli pines for the olden days of legendary heroes. A chance to go on a daring quest unites him with Aud, a girl as headstrong and reckless as he is.

First line: ‘Listen then, and I’ll tell you again of the Battle of the Rock.

Fallen, by Lauren Kate (452 pages) – This book has loads of reserves on it! It looks to be a supernatural romance (a la Twilight etc.) about a girl named Luce, who goes to a new school and meets Daniel, to whom she is irrestibly attracted. He is an angel btw and things get complex.

First line: ‘Luce barged into the fluorescent-lit lobby of the Sword & Cross School ten minutes later than she should have.

Manstealing for Fat Girls, by Michelle Embree (256 pages)
Once a Princess : Sasharia en Garde! Book 1, by Sherwood Smith (278 pages)
Twice a Prince : Sasharia en Garde! Book 2, by Sherwood Smith (265 pages)

Going Bovine is Award Winning

Libba Bray has won the 2010 Michael Printz Award for her book Going Bovine, about Cameron, a sixteen year old with Mad Cow disease and who goes on a road trip with a gaming dwarf. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is such a strange story idea that it’s just begging to be read.

If you want to find out more about award winning books, visit this post.

Rockin’ Robins (well, finches, but I couldn’t think of a finchy pun)

So many new books, not so much with the new CDs. Because you must be hanging out for some music by now, I, Synthesiser Patel, would like to share with you my new favourite song.

New Booooks

We’ve had loads of new books lately. Here are more!

Shadowland : The Immortals, by Alyson Noel (339 pages) – This is the third book in The Immortals series. Ever and Damen have lived through many past lives to be together, but a curse inteferes with their long-awaited destiny. Damen ends up in the Shadowland, and Ever meets a magickal surfer named Jude.

First lines: ‘“Everything is energy.” Damen’s dark eyes focus on mine, urging me to listen, really listen this time.

Suzi Clue : The Prom Queen Curse, by Michelle Kehm (309 pages) – Suzi Clue solves mysteries, is fifteen, ‘fiesty and fabulous’. As the prom queens fall prey to various mishaps, and the prom is threatened with cancellation, Suzi decides the only way to find out what’s happening is by running for prom queen herself.

First line: ‘Kathryn has never been happier in her whole life.

VIP Lounge : A Chole Gamble Novel, by Ed Decter and Laura J. Burns (339 pages) – Chloe Gamble is the hottest thing in Hollywood. She’s a film star and a music sensation, and people around her want in on her money and fame, I guess? The second book in a series!

First lines: ‘Hurricane Chloe. That’s what I called Chloe Gamble in the weeks after she landed her first starring role.

The Van Alen Legacy : A Blue Bloods Novel, by Melissa de la Cruz (369 pages) – This is the fourth Blue Bloods book, and continues the story of rich Upper East Side vampires.

First line: ‘“It is said that Allegra’s daughter will defeat the Silver Bloods.”

The Secret Life of Prince Charming, by Deb Caletti (322 pages) – All the women in Quinn’s life have had their hearts broken at some stage, and after she herself is dumped, she starts to think that there are no good men. When her no-good father turns up she decides to take the bull by its horns and right her father’s numerous wrongs.

First line: ‘When it came to love, my mother’s big advice was that there were WARNING SIGNS.

The Real Real : A Novel, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (310 pages) – From the catalogue synopsis – ‘When Hampton High senior Jesse is cast in a reality television show along with five other, more popular students, drama on and off screen reveals that what the audience and producers want is not the same as what Jesse wants.

First lines: ‘“Single file! Everyone, line up on the LEFT!” Mrs Gesop shouts to be heard over the din of students crowding into the impractically narrow hallway between the stairwell and the auditorium.

Gifted : Better Late Than Never, by Marilyn Kaye (215 pages) and Gifted : Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, also by Marilyn Kaye (213 pages) – Books 2 & 3 in the Gifted series, about nine teenagers who are gifted and can read minds, or see into the future, and so forth.

First lines: ‘Jenna Kelly stood at her bedroom window and gazed outside without really seeing anything.‘ ‘Sometimes Emily wasn’t sure if she was dreaming or having one of her visions.

The Treasure Map of Boys : Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon, and me, Ruby Oliver, by E. Lockhart (224 pages)

Top 10: Authors who published books as teenagers

  1. Sonya Hartnett, Butterfly. Her first book, Trouble All the Way, was published when she was 15.
  2. Christopher Paolini, Brisingr. I picked Brisingr because of the dragony bits which were cool. He was 19 when Eragon was published.
  3. Kenneth Oppel, Starclimber. Although his first published book was Colin’s Fantastic Video Adventure (he was 18). He got it published via a family friend called Roald Dahl.
  4. S E Hinton, The Outsiders. S E Hinton was 17 when she published The Outsiders in 1967.
  5. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, In the Forests of the Night. She was just 14.
  6. Flavia Bujor, The Prophecy of the Gems. Flavia Bujor finished her first novel when she was 12 and it was published two years later.
  7. Alexandra Adornetto, The Shadow Thief. An Australian author, Alexandra Adornetto was 15 when her first book was published in 2007. Since then she has completed the trilogy.
  8. Ned Vizzini, Be More Chill. Although he was a whopping 23 years old when Be More Chill was published, Ned Vizzini wrote as a columnist for the New York Press when he was a teenager.
  9. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. Mary Shelley was a married woman of 18 when she wrote Frankenstein and it was eventually published when she was 21, but things took longer back then. The story goes that Mary, Percy Bysshe (her husband) and Lord Byron were sitting around the fire one day when it was decided that they should have a competition to see who could write the best supernatural story. Guess who won?
  10. Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank of course died in Auschwitz aged 15.

Short Short Story Competition Winner

Congratulations to Bronwyn for winning the 2009 Short Short Story competition with her story ‘A Decision Between Two Hands’. Well done. Bronwyn wins the Cirque du Freak prize pack – enjoy!

Living in the future

Read a children’s book from 1972 (the olden days) which attempted to depict what life would be like in 2010. Which is the year we’re in now, as you are aware! It gets a few thing right, although the robot arm that throws you your toast and the jumpsuits everyone wears are a bit of a stretch.

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