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Teen Blog

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

Month: April 2011 Page 1 of 3



Single sentence descriptions of the newest graphic novels in the YA section.

Archie Marries… Archie gets married, twice, but only in daydreams.
Doctor Who: Final Sacrifice. A civil war on an alien world equals trouble!
Archie: Best of the Seventies book 2. Archie as Ziggy Stardust amongst other things.
Superman: War of the Supermen. Superman squares off against other supermen.
The Amazing Spiderman: The Gauntlet, Juggernaut. Title says it all really.
The Flash: The dastardly death of the Rogues. Like Minority Report, but if Tom Cruise was super fast.
Thor: The mighty avenger. This comes with two bonus classic Thor stories- value!
Thor: The first thunder. Loki is like Thor’s Joker and he is causing all sorts of mayhem in this one.
Ultimate Thor. More of the Thor, he looks like the bassist in a metal band on the cover.
X-Men forever: Devil in a white dress! Chris Claremont wrote this, which is a big deal.
X-Men forever 2: Back in action! He wrote this one too, also a big deal.
Namor, the first mutant: Curse of the mutants. Nammor decides to join the X-Men – mutant friends!
Excalibur: The legend of King Arthur. You know, sword, stone, Merlin, etc.

New Books

Some reclaiming of the vampire genre, some thrillers and a couple of popular urban fantasy series this week.

Department Nineteen, Will Hill (540 pages) – It’s a vampire story but without the romance and that stuff (see cover). Department 19 is a secret government department dedicated to finding and destroying vampires, with whom humans have been at war since 1892, and the stakes are going to be raised, says the cover. In at least two ways, obvs.

First sentence: Jamie Carpenter was watching TV in the living room when he heard the tires of his dad’s car crunch across the gravel driveway much, much earlier than usual.

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising, Jason Henderson (248 pages) – Van Helsing was the vampire hunter who was Dracula’s downfall (says the person who hasn’t read Dracula). Alex Van Helsing doesn’t know he’s related to the great man (ahem, Alex, the name), so when he starts at an exclusive academy on the shores of Lake Geneva and, hello, meets two vampires in his first couple of days, he’s in for an abrupt adjustment. There’s a deadly vampire known as Icemaker in the area, and Alex’s vampire hunting instincts must kick into action.

First sentence: Alex Van Helsing ran.

Blank Confession, Pete Hautman (170 pages) – Shayne Blank confesses to murder, but how could a sweet teenage boy do such a thing? His long statement to the police reveals all.

First sentence: Five lousy minutes.

The Golden Day, Ursula Dubosarsky (149 pages) – Set in Sydney in 1967, “about a group of schoolgirls whose teacher [Miss Renshaw] bizarrely goes missing on a school excursion, apparently murdered”, the author tells us. What really happened?

First sentence: The year began with the hanging of one man, and ended with the drowning of another.

City of Fallen Angels, Cassandra Clare (424 pages) – it’s here finally, 60-something people in Wellington will be pleased to hear. Everything in New York is happiness and light it seems, until someone starts murdering Valentine’s Shadowhunters, endangering the uneasy relationship between the Downworlders and Shadowhunters. Then Simon’s mother finds out the truth about him, he’s kicked out of home, and everyone (except his mother) wants him on their side. Oh, and Jace has gone all distant and Clary doesn’t know why.

First sentence: “Just coffee, please.”

Red Glove, Holly Black (325 pages) – the second book in the Curse Workers series (the first was White Cat). Cassel’s life is complicated and dangerous, he’s an in-demand curse worker, wanted by both the feds and the mob, who can see how valuable he could be. Plus he’s learned that Lila his girlfriend (who is no longer a white cat) only loves him because his mother cursed her. That’d take the gloss off.

First sentence: I don’t know whether it’s day or night when the girl gets up to leave.

Efrain’s Secret, Sofia Quintero (263 pages) – Efrain longs to get out of the South Bronx and attend an Ivy League school, but his family circumstances mean this is not likely to happen. So, Efrain becomes a drug dealer (while maintaining his grades and reputation as an excellent student) to raise the money (after all, this is what society expects boys from the South Bronx to do).

First sentence: I type “SAT prep” into a search engine when Chingy yells, “Yes!” from the computer station next to me.

XVI, Julia Karr (325 pages) – In this 22nd century dystopia, when girls turn sixteen they’re branded with an XVI on their wrist, proclaiming to the world that they are legal (if you know what we mean). Nina is fifteen, about to have her birthday, when her mother is brutally killed, and just before she dies reveals a shocking secret to Nina about her past that sends Nina on a dangerous quest to discover the truth about herself.

First sentences: “Nina, look.” Sandy jabbed me in the ribs.

Dangerously Placed, Nansi Kunze (274 pages) – Alex Thaler is doing work experience in a company that has a virtual office with workers from around the world. Pretty cool, except someone’s murdered and Alex is the prime suspect. She and her friends must find out who’s responsible before she takes the fall, or worse, becomes the next victim.

Fashion Friday


Some new fashion illustration and photography books from the library for you to snuggle up with on boring rainy days.



Paris Vogue : covers 1920 – 2009 by Sonia Rachline.
The New Age of Feminine Drawing.
Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton.
Nick Knight.


Coachella – a giant concert / festival in Palm Springs, California – just happened.  It’s become popular not just for the hipster bands that play there (and Kanye this year), but for its ‘festival fashion’ too.  All I can say is – there were JORTS everywhere!  They just won’t die will they?!  Sure these people looked good, and it is summer over there, but ENOUGH ALREADY.

Ok, rant over.

New Magazines 26/4/11

Entertainment Weekly #1148 #1149 Robert Pattinson has moved beyond Twilight (so he says) and Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in an animated series called The Governator (seriously?!?)
Bart Simpson #42 Bart rides a camel on the cover. Does so inside too we assume.
Simpsons Comics #150 The name of the story inside is How Sweet It Ain’t
Seventeen May 2011 200+ swimsuits, Look hot in a bikini, 859 ways to get pretty for summer. Summer is a long way off, but get ready now, maybe?
Creme May 2011 I have just calculated that 90% of celebrities claim to have been “the biggest geek” in high school, source – this magazine.
XBOX 360 May 2011 There is a cover story about Skyrim. Man, I want Skyrim sooooo bad. Wake me up in November pls.

Trailer Tuesday

Soul Surfer is the true story of a teenage surf star who lost one of her arms in a shark attack. She made a huge comeback, re-teaching herself to surf one-armed. We have the book by the same name in the library, and you’ll be able to see it on the big screen shortly after Queen’s Birthday-ish sort of time. The trailer is here:

Incidentally, the movie’s catapulted the book to the top of a New York Times best seller list. Can’t beat the movies for raising the profile of books.

The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s weirder efforts, which is not a bad thing; it makes it great material for a movie, and here’s a trailer:

There’s Russell Brand, Djimon Hounsou, and Helen Mirren as Prospera (Prospero, but female – it’s been done before and it works very well, particularly with someone awesome like Helen Mirren). It’s out at the beginning of June. The official site is here.

Speaking of Shakespeare, Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston concludes the urban faerie trilogy started with Wondrous Strange (and featuring a few things Shakespearean). We will be getting the book soon, in the mean time here’s the trailer:

HarperTeen, the publishers, have a sneak peak here.

Fashion Thursday?



This cool photoshoot by Bruce Weber for US Vogue (hmm, I know kinda fuddy-duddy).  How cool is Dakota Fanning though?




The amount of chocolate I am going to eat this weekend – hello pimples.
Have a great Easter Weekend!

PS. Is there no end to Lauren Conrad’s talents?!

New Books Again

We are inundated! Make sure you come into the library these holidays and take some off our hands. This batch is brought to you by the last sentence this time! (Except for when it would be totally giving it away.)

The Lying Game, Sara Shepard (307 pages) – from the author of the Pretty Little Liars series, currently gracing TV2 on Sunday night(ish)es. Emma’s long lost twin sister, the narrator, has died (murdered!), and Emma wants to know what happened, so she takes on the dead narrator’s life, including boyfriend and parents and whatnot. This could be dangerous, with the murderer on the loose.

Last sentence: I’ll see you in the morning… even though you won’t see me.

Strings Attached, Judy Blundell (310 pages) – who wrote What I Saw and How I Lied. This also is set in a historical context, this time the 1950s in New York, where Kit Corrigan is a struggling chorus girl in a Broadway show, who becomes involved with Billy and his father Nate, who is a mob lawyer. Love, deceit, intrigue, and murder, says the cover. Intriguing!

Last sentence(s): Or on an ordinary day, nothing sinister. Nothing noble. Just balloons.

Winter Longing, Tricia Mills (266 pages) – Sob! Winter finally declares her love for Spencer, *and then he dies in a plane crash*. A story of grief, and what it’s like to come through devastation.

First sentence: The drone of a plane engine stopped me in my tracks, and adrenaline surged through my veins.

Alabama Moon, Watt Key (294 pages) – Moon is raised by his father in the Alabama wilderness. When his father dies, Moon finds himself having to adjust to living in an institution. This is also a movie, available on DVD.

Last sentence: “You don’t need to worry about me.”

Desires of the Dead, Kimberly Derting (355 pages) – Violet can sense the dead, and can also tell who killed them. Naturally she’d rather people didn’t know, but she becomes the subject of interest. At the same time, she becomes interested in her boyfriend’s best friend’s tragic past, and stumbles across a deadly secret.

Last sentence: “I think we’re gonna be late,” she whispered, surrendering at last.

Mad Love, Suzanne Selfors (323 pages) – Alice’s mother is a romance novelist. When her mother is secretly admitted to the psychiatric ward of a hospital Alice must maintain the illusion that things are still trucking along as normal, which involves lying to her (Alice’s) boyfriend, answering fan mail… and then writing the next best seller! Luckily (maybe?) she meets a guy who says he’s Cupid and would like her to write about his tragic love with Psyche

Last sentence: Or the one beating inside our hearts, waiting to be set free.

Wither, Lauren DeStefano (358 pages) – a dystopian world where a virus causes males live to the age of 25 and females to just 20. To ensure the survival of the human race therefore girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous relationships in order to have lots of babies. Rhine is married to Linden, who seems okay, but she’s determined to escape (as you would be).

Last sentence: This time, I don’t know where the light will guide us.

Fishtailing, Wendy Phillips (196 pages) – a novel in verse. “Through a series of poems written for English class, interspersed with teacher comments and letters to and from parents, high school students Natalie, Tricia, Kyle, and Miguel describe their lives.” (catalogue)

Last sentence: I smell spring.

Mortal Kiss, Alice Moss (343 pages) – Faye and her friend Liz have to work out what’s going on in their town: there’s a dead body, a motorcycle gang, and the fact that it doesn’t stop snowing. Could these things be related to the fact that there are two new arrivals, “smouldering Finn and sexy Lucas”?

Last sentence: It shook the frost from its fur once, and then trotted out of the open door, disappearing into the dense forest outside.

The Big Crunch, Pete Hautman (280 pages) – “This is a love story for people not particularly biased toward romance” says the cover. The crowd cheers! June* and Wes have an everyday sort of relationship, where you’re not really sure if it’s love, you’re not sure what’s going to happen, you do some stuff you wish you hadn’t, and you might not exactly smoulder.

First sentence: The first time Wes saw June, he thought she was kind of funny-looking.

* Trivia: the cover blurb says she’s *Jen* but she’s not, we checked.

The Music That Has Most Recently Arrived

nelly furtado

The Best Of – Nelly Furtado
Has she now – like a
bird – flown away? Or is this
a stop-gap album?


Queen – Queen
How many dudes do
you know that rocked a mic stand
like this? Not many.

green day

Awesome As F**k – Green Day
Apparently their
live shows are more awesome than
most everything.

london sessions

London Sessions – LCD Soundsystem
I will miss you James
Murphy. Like, a whole lot. Is
this really goodbye?


Angles – The Strokes
Former coolest band
in world returns from lengthy
hiatus to rock

britney spears

Femme Fatale – Britney Spears
Nico reference
excepting, it’s not really
that avant at all.

king of limbs

The King Of Limbs – Radiohead
All summaries pale
compared to animated
.gifs, see example.

plain white ts

Wonders Of The Younger – Plain White Ts
Essential wardrobe
items release another
album. Their sixth.


Seasons Of The Soul – Rumer
“I’d have these moods in
my soul that would come around
like seasons” – Rumer


No More Idols – Chase & Status
Polished dubstep from
United Kingdom duo, plus
many, many guests.


Build A Rocket Boys! – Elbow
Well received alt-rock
featuring nostalgia as
the major motif.

chris brown f.a.m.e.

F.A.M.E. – Chris Brown
Forgiveness rhythm
and blues record? Fans are my
(his) everything.

Trailer Tuesday

Last week we brought you four seconds of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Here’s a couple of minutes more (so cool):

This should be out in August this year. Can’t hardly wait.

On an entirely different note, the William and Kate movie will be released on DVD shortly before the wedding of the year (April 29th, don’t forget to watch on the telly). Here’s its trailer.

There will no doubt also be books commemorating the occasion. Here’s a couple you can already reserve: Katie the Royal Wedding Fairy by Daisy Meadows and Knit Your Own Royal Wedding by Fiona Gobie. No, we’re not making either of those up. For those who especially love a good royal wedding, here’s the commemorative book about Charles and Diana’s (written by Gordon Honeycombe, nice name).

And finally, another digression: not a trailer but a real flash game: make the pig fly! You will, no doubt, be better than me. Thanks, Stu, for passing on the procrastination tool.

New Books

August, Bernard Beckett (204 pages, New Zealand author) – Tristan and Grace are in a car wreck, waiting for rescue (if it happens!). As they wait, as one does, they review their very different lives and philosophies. “A compelling novel about will, freedom and what it means to live” (cover).

First sentence: For a moment the balance was uncertain.

Scorpia Rising, Anthony Horowitz (402 pages) – the final mission, the cover declares! No! Alex must put Scorpia out of business, once and for all, but is this the mission to end all missions, and to end Alex? We hope not!

First sentence: The man in the black cashmere coat climbed down the steps of his private, six-seater Learjet 40 and stood for a moment, his breath frosting in the chill morning air.

Where She Went, Gayle Forman (260 pages) – the follow up to the über popular If I Stay. Three years after Mia ended it with Adam they’re back together for one night in New York City, a chance to put things to rest (or to respark something?).

First sentence: Every morning I wake up and I tell myself this: it’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through.

Plague, Michael Grant (526 pages) – the fourth in the Gone series. Quelle horreur, this one sounds ghastly. There is a plague threatening Perdido Beach (one that is described in graphic detail on the back cover! Guts! Being eaten away from the inside out!), and there’s still the grim reality of what happens to you at fifteen.

First sentence: He stood poised on the edge of a sheet of glass.

Invincible, Sherrilyn Kenyon (420 pages) – The second on the Chronicles of Nick series. Poor Nick is once again challenged by the presence of all manner of horrific supernatural creatures, affecting his life in so many ways, from the inconvenient (his principal thinks he’s gone to the bad, making school a problematic place) to the downright deadly; he must figure out how to raise the dead or he might find himself counted as one of them.

First sentence: They say when you’re about to die, you see your entire life flash before your eyes.

The Running Dream, Wendelin Van Draanen (332 pages) – Puts one’s own annoying, minor running injuries into perspective. Jessica is a runner, until she’s involved in a terrible accident and loses a leg. A story of coming to terms with a significant loss, reestablishing your identity and your place, and overcoming odds.

First sentence: My life is over.

All You Get is Me, Yvonne Prinz (279 pages) – Roar’s father goes all green on her, installing  them on an organic farm, where she must spend the summer adjusting  from her city sensibilities, coping with falling in love, the fact that her mother is gone, and with the fallout from her father’s crusade against the bad working conditions of Mexican farm workers.

First sentence: My mom always promised me she would keep me safe, and then she disappeared.

As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth, Lynne Rae Perkins (352 pages) – Ry’s train strands him in the middle of seriously nowhere and he’s got to get to somewhere, a journey that is peppered by a series of scrapes, mishaps and “comedic calamities” (catalogue).

First sentences: Wait a minute. Was the – had the train just moved?

The Floating Islands, Rachel Neumeier (388 pages) – “The adventures of two teenaged cousins who live in a place called The Floating Islands, one of whom is studying to become a mage and the other one of the legendary island flyers” (library catalogue).

First sentence: Trei was fourteen the first time he saw the Floating Islands.

The Education of Hailey Kendrick, Eileen Cook (256 pages) – Hailey is the perfect girl who never does anything wrong, until one night, together with a secret accomplice, she does something quite wrong and gets into a rather lot of trouble, which her secret accomplice escapes. Now her friends don’t want to know her, her teachers don’t trust her, everything’s a mess, and she’s keeping quiet about the identity of said secret accomplice. Is it worth it?

First sentence: There was a matter of life and death to deal with, and instead we were wasting our time discussing Mandy Gallaway’s crotch.

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