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Month: July 2010 Page 2 of 3

Review: Little Bird by Penni Russon

4 stars! Ruby-Lee feels tiny in the world like a “Little Bird” as her older sister, Shandra, is organizing her wedding day to marry her fiancée, Damien.

The first 2 chapters of the book were quite boring because it was mainly talking about Shandra and her wedding dress & wedding day and not about the main character of the book, Ruby-Lee. But it picked up with excitement later on in the book when Ruby- Lee babysits little baby Maisy and meets Maisy’s father, Spence, and starts to fall in love with him as they hang out together.

This would be a good book for 13-15 year old girls who have annoying older siblings and don’t really know what love is yet.

It’s a good book and I enjoyed it in the end with all the drama in it. This is now one of my preferred books.

Little Bird by Penni Russon reviewed by Jayne

New Mags 21/07/2010

Here are the latest, most recent additions to our major YA mag collection.

Teen Vogue August 2010 – The ‘Denim Issue’ (no ‘jorts’ thankfully) | Also, military styles seem in | “Bangs look gorgeous on all hair types”
White Dwarf July 2010
XBox 360 : Official Australian Magazine #56 – Crysis 2 | Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II | Deus Ex : Human Revolution | etc
Entertainment Weekly
#1109 – The stars of Eclipse | Stars | Glamour | The Silver Screen | etc
Simpsons Comics
#163 – etc
July 2010 Includes an Eclipse ‘magazine’ | “I didn’t wash my hair for a year” | Dress like Dakota Fanning | Latest Glee Goss (Gless? Glossip?)

Some new (mostly purple) books

There aren’t many new books this week. No doubt there will be LOADS next week. Most of this week’s books’ covers have similar colouring! Weird, eh.

Withering Tights : The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, by Louise Rennison (351 pages) – Louise Rennison is the author of the always-popular Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. This is the first in a new series about Tallulah Casey, who has just enrolled in a Performing Arts College in Yorkshire (hence the title, if you know your classics). The back blurb made me laugh! “Alex had everything a dream boy should have. Back, front, sides. A head.”

First lines: ‘Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College.

Swapped by a Kiss, by Luisa Plaja (344 pages) – Rachel sees her boyfriend, David, kissing their friend Jo, who is the nicest girl at the school. Rachel, enraged, wishes she was Jo and suddenly she finds herself in Jo’s body. Being Jo isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Shouldn’t you just be yourself? Yes.

First line: ‘I am in the doorway of a dance tent and my boyfriend is inside, kissing a girl who is not me.

To Catch a Pirate, by Jade Parker (228 pages) – Annalisa Townsend is discovered hiding in the hold of a ship by James Sterling, pirate and charmer. Determined to find her father’s treasure she sets out a year later to try to find Sterling. Will she get the treasure? Or will he also capture her heart with his suave seadog stylings?

First line: ‘Annalisa Townsend didn’t know which terrified her more: the razor-sharp edge of the dagger pressed against her throat or the ruthless glare of the pirate who’d shoved her against the wall with the harsh words, “Hold your tongue or I’ll remove it.”

Rebel Girl : Secrets at St Jude’s, by Carmen Reid (289 pages) – Four girls at St Jude’s School for Girls face different problems of various magnitude (Niffy wants to be gorgeous! Min is studying too much and missing out on fun! Amy’s rich dad goes broke! Gina’s got a wandering eye!). So they get in touch with their inner rebel.

First line: ‘Long after midnight, Gina lay wide awake in her narrow dorm bed.

Boyology : A Teen Girl’s Crash Course in All Things Boy, by Sarah O’Leary Burningham (167 pages) – This is non-fiction! And it intended to assist teens who want to understand the male psyche. Chapter headings include, ‘The Firsts of First Dates: And the Rest of the Dating Game‘, ‘You Wear the Pants: Setting Your Boundaries‘, and ‘Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.

Sam Stern’s Eat Vegetarian, by Sam Stern and Susan Stern (187 pages) – This is the Sterns’ fifth book, and is packed with some very nice-looking recipes. Meat-free, so are probably cheaper to make if you’re on a budget! Which is good.

Sam Stern has a website worth looking at if you want some of his recipes. Or get out one of his other books maybe.

Chocolate Cake With Hitler, by Emma Craigie (204 pages) – Helga Goebbels, daughter of the Nazi’s head of propaganda, spent the last ten days of her life (she was twelve) stuck in Hitler’s bunker. Her parents and the other adults become more and more tense and Helga soon begins to realise that her childhood wasn’t the fairytale it seemed.

First lines: ‘I’m sitting with Papa on a bench beside the sea. I must be about three years old.

Much Wanted Sequels in 2010

Have you read and loved Fallen, Hush Hush or Beautiful Creatures? If  yes, then you’ll be interested to know that you can now reserve their sequels! Be first(ish) in the queue and reserve them now(ish).

On the subject of book covers that look alike: both Torment and Crescendo look, well, tormented and stormy. Maybe dark grey is the new black as far as supernatural romances are concerned?

  1. Torment, Lauren Kate – October. The sequel to the horrendously popular Fallen. Fallen reminded me of Beautiful Creatures (see below), and Evernight (by Claudia Gray). Luce is in hiding at Shoreline, a school for “unusually gifted” kids; Daniel is hunting outcasts who want to hurt her (Luce), and he’s hiding things (because that’s what mysterious supernatural types do).
  2. Crescendo, Becca Fitzpatrick – October. The follow up to Hush Hush. Now Nora is coming to terms with being a Nephilim, and having a guardian angel (the most dodgy guardian angel in the world, in Patch), and the fact that she’s in constant danger.
  3. Beautiful Darkness, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – October. The next after Beautiful Creatures. Ethan sees strange visions, Lena is behaving secretively after a tragic loss and there are more supernatural happenings in the Deep South (and, hopefully, grits).

Also availabe for reserving: Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater (sequel to Shiver).

Book Covers: Hands and Glass

Is there something secretive and maybe a bit thriller-ish, spectral, about books with mysterious shadowy hands and/or glass? Perhaps, mostly: here are some book covers we thought looked like they shared some genes.

Wish You Were Dead, by Todd Strasser: someone writes on their blog that they hate Lucy and they wish she was dead, and lo and behold, Lucy mysteriously disappears. Then another, and another. Madison must try and find out what’s going on, while dodging social networking threats.

Chasing Brooklyn, Lisa Schroeder: another novel in verse by the writer of I Heart You, You Haunt Me. Lucca is accidentally killed by Gabe in a traffic accident, and Gabe, guilt-stricken, commits suicide. Brooklyn and Nico are haunted by their ghosts, and each must find out what the spirits are demanding.

Beautiful Malice, Rebecca James: a really good psychological thriller, told in alternating past and present storylines. Katherine is starting over after a family tragedy and meets the magnetic Alice at her new school. Alice is gregarious, beautiful, popular, and perhaps a little bit dangerous. We know from the first sentence of the book that Alice is dead, but the question is why.

Black Box by Julie Schumacher: not so much a thriller, but a story about depression. Elena’s sister and best friend Dora is hospitalised with depression, and when she gets out she’s quite different, skipping school and lying. Elena has to deal with her feelings of guilt about her sister’s illness, and the seemingly new person Dora has become.

New Books

Compromised, by Heidi Ayarbe (452 pages) – After Maya’s con-man father goes to prison, and she finds no joy in foster homes, she decides to try to find a long-lost aunt. It’s a long, dangerous journey (400 miles!) and the aunt mightn’t even exist.

First line: ‘First they take our flat screen.’

My Boyfriend’s Dogs : The Tales of Adam and Eve and Shirley, by Dandi Daley Mackall (265 pages) – High-school senior Bailey Daley turns up at a diner soaking wet and leading three wet dogs. The diner’s owner invites her in and listens to her story of searching for the perfect boyfriend (and obtaining three dogs).

First line: ‘“My mother says that falling in love and getting dumped is good for you because it prepares you for the real thing, like it gets you ready for true love and all, but I’m thinking it’s more like climbing up the St. Louis Arch and falling off twice.

Paper Daughter, by Jeanette Ingold (215 pages) – Maggie Chen’s journalist dad is killed in a hit-and-run accident, and her research (for she is a journalist also) soon uncovers illegal activity that may be connected to him. She is determined to uncover the truth, and discovers more about her family’s past than she expected.

First line: ‘“Your, Maggie.” Mom pushed an envelope from the Herald down the counter where I was putting out bread for sandwiches.‘ 

Sweet 15, by Emily Adler and Alex Echevarria (240 pages) – Destiny Lozada is turning 15, and so a traditional quinceañera (a religious ceremony with party, tiaras and ballgowns) is planned by her parents. Her older sister thinks it’s an outdated and misogynistic ritual. So! Destiny doesn’t want  to take sides and, in fact! would rather be skateboarding and watching TV.

First line: ‘Here’s how it went down, the beginning of The End. Breakfast: out of the blue, my mom, in a red bathrobe, with her makeup already on, making coffee in our big yellow kitchen, hit me over the head with “Destiny is having a quinceañera!”

Home Beyond the Mountains : A Novel, by Celia Barker Lottridge (224 pages) – It is 1918, and the Turkish army is eradicating the Assyrian and Armenian peoples in the eastern parts of the Ottoman empire. Nine-year-old Samira and her surviving family members are forced from camp to camp for many years before the opportunity to return home presents itself. Based on a true story.

First line: ‘A sound, a very quite sound, woke Samira.

Little Miss Red, by Robin Palmer (254 pages) – A summary prepared earlier: ‘Sixteen-year-old Sophie’s dream of meeting her soul mate during spring break in Florida seems to have come true, but she must determine if Jack is really the romantic hero he seems to be, or if ex-boyfriend Michael could be.’

First line: ‘I’m very big on signs. So when the captain announced that our flight to Florida would be delayed because of some last-minute passengers, I took that as yet another sign that this trip was going to be a disaster.‘ 

For Keeps, by Natasha Friend (267 pages) – Josie lives with her mum, and her father has never been part of the family. Until suddenly he turns up! And Josie also may have found her first, real boyfriend. ‘A fresh, funny, smart story.’

First line: ‘It’s the last Friday night in August, and instead of dancing on a table at Melanie Jaffin’s party with the rest of the soon-to-be junior class, I am crouched behind a tower of Meow Mix in the pet-food aisle of Shop-Co, watching my mother hyperventilate.

The Hunchback Assignments, by Arthur Slade (278 pages) – Modo is rescued from a freakshow by the mysterious Mr Socrates as a wee baby. He is subsequently trained as a first-class secret agent for the Permanent Association, who are pitted against the evil Clockwork Guild. Steampunk in a Victorian setting! Based on a true story (just kidding).

First line: ‘Six hunting hounds had perished in previous experiments.

Only the Good Spy Young, by Ally Carter (265 pages) – This is the fourth Gallagher Girls book. Gallagher Girls are spies-in-training! Cammie ‘The Chameleon’ is being hunted by an ancient terrorist organisation, and might not be able to trust even her classmates! Ever the way, I suppose.

First line: ‘“Target’s acquired, ten o’clock.” My best friend’s voice was as cool as the wind as it blew off the Thames.

The Demon’s Covenant, by Sarah Rees Brennan (442 pages) – This is the sequel to The Demon’s Lexicon, about a world of magicians and demons (obvs).

First line: ‘“Any minute now,” Rachel said, “something terrible is going to happen to us.”

Happy as Larry, by Scot Gardner (291 pages) – ‘An extraordinary tale of an ordinary family’, says the cover. ‘Laurence Augustine Rainbow is born into an ordinary family, and seems set for an ordinary life. But as the world around him changes, so does the happiness of his own family,’ says the catalogue, which points out that it is also ‘unique, dark and ultimately uplifting.’ We can trust the catalogue, I feel.

First line: ‘Laurence Augustine Rainbow was born in July 1990.

The Mission, Jason Myers (361 pages) – When Kaden’s older brother is killed in Iraq, he follows his late brother’s advice and heads to San Francisco to visit his cousin. His previously sheltered life hasn’t prepared him for what he encounters there, and family secrets further rock his world.

First line: ‘The car creeps to the end of the driveway and turns onto the gravel road, the tires kicking up a small cloud of dust that whips into a spiral in the dead air before disappearing just as quickly as it came.’

Sugar Sugar, by Carole Wilkinson (337 pages) – Jackie leaves Australia  and heads to Paris, dreaming of becoming a world-famous fashion designer. Somehow she ends up in Afghanistan! With New Zealanders!

First line: ‘I was dreaming of the sea when the moonlight woke me.

The Resurrection Fields : Book Three of The Promises of Dr. Sigmundus, by Brian Kearney (158 pages) – The final installment  of this ‘concoction of science fiction, horror, and fantasy’ – ‘Although beset by otherworldly perils, Dante and his best friend Bea continue to be dedicated to the overthrow of Sigmundus and the dark powers that have latched on to his methods of authoritarian mind-control.’ Not based on a true story, but it would be cool if it was.

First line: ‘The storm that had raged over the south of Gehenna had finally blown itself out.

The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa (363 pages) – Meghan Chase, the back cover says, has a secret destiny. She is about to learn why she’s never really fit in, and why there’s a stranger watching her… and find love in the process.

First sentence: Ten years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared.

The Keening, A LaFaye (163 pages) – Set in 1918 which, Twilight fans might know, is when an influenza pandemic roared across the United States. Lyza feels like she’s the talentless member of an artistic family, but when her mother dies and she (Lyza) must help her father find his feet, uncovering her own gifts in the process.

First sentence: As a child who waded in the head-high grass of our cliffside home, I’d harbored a peculiar fondness for funeral marches – the sight of all those people in one long line, each face holding a memory.

The Complete History of Why I Hate Her, Jennifer Richard Jacobson (181 pages) – “Wanting a break from being known only for her sister’s cancer, seventeen-year-old Nola leaves Boston for a waitressing job at a summer resort in Maine, but soon feels as if her new best friend is taking over her life,” says the catalogue.

First sentence: Song is hanging on my arm, afraid I’m going to slip onto the bus and out of her life as quickly as I made the decision to go.

Toads and Diamonds, Heather Tomlinson (276 pages) – a fairytale set in India (in fact a retelling “of the Perrault fairy tale set in pre-colonial India” to be precise (the catalogue comes to the rescue yet again!)). Diribani and Tana both receive something from a goddess, one a blessing and the other a curse, at least this is how it first appears, but “blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem” (book cover).

First sentence: Diribani ran toward the stepwell.


Alice in Wonderland: A Visual Companion, Mark Salisbury – to the movie, that is. Full of interesting photos and other graphics, and info about how this visual symphony was made.

Reader Review from Miria

City of Bones, Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments series is a very good series and not to long as many series are. Yes it does have some lovey dovey things in it, and let me tell you I don’t really go for this sort of thing but the tension that’s wrapped into this book will wake you up. Clary and Jace (the main characters) are very likely characters and the story line is amazing. At the start it seems like a normal teenage life when suddenly you are hurled into a world you’ve never known before, never even contemplated! A very good series. 5 stars

~ Miria of Wadestown

Figure this out why don’t you


New Magazines 8/7/10

It’s been ages since the last New Mags post. An eternity in magazine years.

Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #11 – Funny! And scary (not really).
Transworld Skateboarding July 2010 – The AM issue | Today’s best AMs | AM AM AM
Creme August 2010 – Are you the girl for Justin Bieber? | Have a Twilight-themed sleepover | Creme meets TayLaut
Kiwi Surf #119 – Surf | surfing | surfers
Dolly June/July 2010 – ‘My stalker became my boyfriend’ | Dolly Teen Choice Awards 2010 | etc
Playstation Magazine July 2010 – Games reviewed | etc
Entertainment Weekly #1107 – True Blood | etc
Entertainment Weekly #1108 – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo | etc

We want you!

Coming soon…

You get the chance to tell us what you want over some nibbles. Want in…?

Email: adrienne.hannan@wcc.govt.nz

Phone or text: 021 227 8637

  Beware of the Book

We’re looking for people aged 13-18 years old to tell us what you want the library to do for you; we’ve got a couple of questions for you too.

4.30pm on Thursday 29th July at the Central Library.

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