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Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else –

Month: April 2011 Page 2 of 3

Fashion Friday


My research for Fashion Friday consists of trawling the internet for pictures of attractive people in stylish clothing, i.e. reading LOTS fashion blogs.  I’m always looking for new sources and ‘revelations’ to wow you with. is an online fashion community that’s great for discovering new inspiration.  You can follow and comment on other users, create lookbooks of your fave looks or upload outfit posts of your own.  Its kind of like having a friendlier, more inclusive blog.


These are two other blogs I’ve been following lately.  (of) aly the bird is by a student from Utah (of all places!) and is more arty than fashiony, though there is the odd outfit post.  It has lots of lovely photos and images.  What Olivia did is by London student Olivia.  She writes about her fashionable life and is enviably gorgeous and stylish.  What’s interesting about this lot is that they’re all teens (aged 19 and 17) and they all use different mediums (Tumblr, blogger, Flicka) to get themselves ‘out there’.  And I was thinking while reading these particular blogs – this could be you guys!  Way back in February Simon did a post about blogging (check it out – Be a Blogger).   It’s super easy so that’s certainly not an excuse and who knows, maybe you’ll end up as famous as Tavi aka Style Rookie.


Nerd boyfriend
Men and fashion – it a pretty murky combination.   What do you think guys should wear?!

~~~ A Cappella ~~~

We’ve started a new YA  CD collection devoted to the voice, and mostly the human voice in harmony. I’d recommend these CDs to anyone who’s enjoyed Glee (The Warblers, especially!) or has listened to (and enjoyed) your local college’s barber shop quartet.

An American programme called The Sing Off has just been renewed for its third season and has seen a resurgence in interest in ‘a cappella’ singing, which Wikipedia describes as ‘solo or group vocal or singing without instrumental sound.’ Watch a clip from Nota, the winners of the 2009 Sing Off competition here.

Here are some of the CDs in the a cappella collection!

The Sing Off : The Best of Season 2
by Nota
The Sing Off : Harmonies for the Holidays
With a Twist, by Straight No Chaser
University A Cappalla!, by Ben Folds

Teen Only Night

Karori Library will be open this Friday night just for you. Yup. No old people, no kids; just high school students or those aged 13-18 *

We’ll have free internet and gaming, Guitar Hero, Kinect and Wii, there will be free pizza and lollies, and since it’s the last day of term we thought that we’d ramp it up a level, and get you some live music too.

Here’s a taste of Friday…

Imogen and Bridie performing Weather with You


Friday 15th April, 6.30-9pm, Karori Library
*bring your YA card or your school ID.

New Books

Subject Seven, James A Moore (327 pages) – Subject Seven is an as-yet not activated lethal assassin in the body of a teenager. When he escapes from his lab intent on finding others of his kind and destroying their creators action ensues! And lots of it!

First sentence: The quiet of the compound was complete.

Enticed, Jessica Shrivington (413 pages) – the sequel to Embrace, with Emblaze coming soon. In which Violet Eden, Grigori, must protect humans from exiled angels, a quest that takes her to the Sacred Mountains of Jordan in search of “the one thing that could forever tilt the balance of power” (back cover).

First sentence: The angel had been ordered to make his choice.

Running in Heels, Helen Bailey (312 pages) –  A riches-to-rags story in which Daisy finds her life takes a dive after her father is sent to jail for corruption – now she lives above a kebab shop and is getting a hard time from the school bully. We’re rooting for you Daisy!

First sentence: Even if I hadn’t woken up this morning to find fourteen missed calls, seven Where the hell are you when I need you? texts and one tearful voice mail on my iPhone saying something totally terrible had happened and to get my bony butt into town, like, yesterday, as I hurry along the pavement at our Starbucks rendezvous I can immediately tell from Mia’s body language she’s super-stressed.

The Freak Observer, Blythe Woolston (201 pages) – Loa’s life is turned upside down by the death of her younger sister. “A starling debut about death, life, astrophysics, and finding beauty in chaos” (book cover – the picture does appear to be a heart)

First sentence: Your beloved physics teacher, Mr Banacek, likes to sleep on a bed of nails.

Dark Goddess, Sarwat Chadda (371 pages) – the sequel to Devil’s Kiss. Billi SanGreal, Knight Templar, rescues a girl from a werewolf attack, to discover she is no ordinary girl. Not only are the werewolves after her, the Dark Goddess also wants her as a sacrifice, to harness her powers. Can Billi protect the girl and save the world?

First sentence: The Rottweiler’s head lay in a bush, just off the snow-sprinkled path.

Trickster’s Girl, Hilari Bell (281 pages) – a novel in the paranormal romance/thriller genre, but with an environmental twist. The world is dying, and Kelsa must help Raven (gorgeous, but maybe crazy? or maybe he is a mythological creature, as he says) pull it back from the brink, even if this means endangering herself.

First sentence: Raven had spent too long on the hunt.

Trailer Tuesday

Thor! Two and a half minutes of him! Including a funny bit with a cup of coffee! He will be in 3D in May.

Plus here is four seconds (count ’em: four!) from the still-in-production Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The ape here is by Weta, and he looks a bit very creepy and intelligent. Read the original classic novel!

And finally this week, the book trailer for Abandon by Meg Cabot, which will be released at the end of this month.

Until next Tuesday.

Four slightly different books

What if your world was slightly different? Four books that look at the world in a different way, or try to make it different.

Flowers for Algernon/Daniel Keyes

If you read one book off this list, this is the one I think you should get. It’s written as a series of progress reports from Charlie, an intellectually handicapped man who undergoes experimental treatment to make him more intelligent. The reports follow his development over the course of the treatment, and then Algernon, the mouse who was the original experiment, starts to go downhill and then dies. The book shows Charlie wanting to be better/brighter to have more friends, and then getting it – but finding that it doesn’t give him everything he wants. It’s also about how people can be both kind and cruel to people who are different, no matter in what way they are different. And if you could have everything in the world that you wanted, but it might be taken away from you and leave you worse off, would it still be worth it?

I’d recommend this to strong readers from about 13 yrs with no upper age – it’s a great book. If you’re looking for it, it will be in the adult science fiction and fantasy section of the library.

The Book Thief / Markus Zusak

WW2 fiction about a German girl who stole books. Written from the perspective of Death, so quite interesting and not always in the expected order. Not paced as an action story at all, but still very easy to keep reading. There are lots of reviews on this book already so I won’t write much more here – but I enjoyed it, it’s quite a different book.

A mango-shaped space : a novel/ Wendy Mass

A girl who has a secret – she sees sounds, letters and names as colours and shapes. Her cat is called Mango, because that’s what the sounds he makes look like to her, yellow and orange. She has trouble with maths, because the numbers all have colours and she can’t make an x equal a 5 when they look different. Her family is all a bit strange, and most people think she’s more “normal” but she feels that she is actually the strange one. Interesting book to think about how we perceive the world, keeping secrets and what is “normal”. Good for people who prefer real world books to fantasy.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe/Markus Zusak

Another one written by Markus Zusak. Two teenage brothers join an illegal fighting ring. Written from the perspective of the younger brother watching his older brother fight and always win, and finding out that his older brother is jealous of his ability to keep getting up even when he has lost. Very relatable book, could be set in any small town anywhere really. An easy read, but very much about issues such as job loss, family pride and wanting something more from life.

I’d recommend this to anyone who has a brother or sister. Could be good for NCEA reading lists.

New Magazines 9/4/11

Once again I have left the latest magazines to build up until they resemble, I dunno, a telephone book? Yeah, a telephone book. Here is this week’s ‘telephone book-sized’ stack of new magazines.

White Dwarf March 2011 – This month’s cover story is ‘Orcs and Goblins’, about orcs, goblins and the people who love them
Entertainment Weekly #1145, #1146, #1147 – There’s so much in these magazines that I could write about, were I so inclined
Dolly April 2011 – Bursting with articles. BURSTING
Transworld Skateboarding March 2011 –  Skateboarding was created by surfers who needed something to do when there were no waves. This is true!
Teen Vogue April 2011 –  The prom (American for ‘school ball’) issue aaaand loads of other things
Girlfriend April 2011 – ‘Are you an emotional sponge?’
Seventeen April 2011 – ‘Get your dream hair!’ Crimped!  Twisted! Braided! Glam! Chic! Romantic!
Playstation Magazine – April 2011 – Overviews, reviews, previews, counterviews, purviews and worldview rereviews.

Most Wanted: April 2011

Here they are, the Most Wanted for April 2011, resplendant and somewhat belated.

1. City of Fallen Angels, Cassandra Clare [no change]
2. Angel, James Patterson [no change]
3. I Am Number Four, Pittacus Lore [new]
4. Passion, Lauren Kate [up 6]
5. Grey Wolves, Robert Muchamore [down 1]
6. Glee: The Music: Volume 5 [new]
7. The Third Day, The Frost, John Marsden [no change]
8. Plague, Michael Grant [new]
8. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [no change]
10. Midnight, L J Smith [new]
10. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [no change]
10. Awakened, P C and Kristin Cast [down 5]

Mo Music, Mo Poems



 white lies

Ritual – White Lies
fills every second of
available songs

the drums

The Drums – The Drums
Heir apparents to
eighties indie empire start
out pleasingly strong.

keri hilson

No Boys Allowed – Keri Hilson
She only wants men.
I think that was the main
takeaway at least.

aha shake

Aha Shake Heartbreak – Kings Of Leon
Before they cut their
hair and shaved their beards, the songs
were much, much better?

youth and young manhood

Youth & Young Manhood – Kings Of Leon
Does this make them the
music version of Samson?
Yes, actually.


Lasers – Lupe Fiasco
Light amplifica-
tion by stimulated e-
mission of photons.


Burlesque – Soundtrack
Christina Aguil-
era sings most of the songs
but Cher chips two in.

Tarot Card Rock – Barnaby Weir
Vaguely predicting
people’s futures through the rock
and roll medium.

The BNZ Literary Awards 2011

The BNZ Literary Awards are possibly New Zealand’s most famous awards for short story writing. Previous winners include such luminaries as CK Stead, Frank Sargeson, Maurice Shadbolt and Keri Hulme.

There is a Young Writer’s award for secondary school students (prize is $1,500, plus the kudos of winning your school a further $2,000).

Entries for the Young Writer’s award close on 31 May 2011.

Most interesting (from a teen blog perspective) is the Short Short Story competition they are running this year. Here at the teen blog we love short short stories, so we approve of this addition. The short short story competition runs from 25 April to 16 May and must be submitted through Facebook – note the closing date is different for this award, and don’t miss out! 150 words: no problem.

For more information, and to enter your story, visit the BNZ Facebook page (if you like them they’ll also send you alerts and updates about the competition).

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