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Teen Blog

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

Month: September 2011 Page 1 of 3

Meet Us On Facebook

Hey, you know what you should do? “Like” us on facebook. It’s a really great time over there, you can waste time on the time wasting tab write stuff on our wall, get our new blog posts in your news feed and all sorts of other neat stuff.

Meet us on facebook

Trailer Tuesday

Jane Eyre is on at the movies at the moment (good news!). So we thought we would spotlight another classic 19th Century adaptation, this time Wuthering Heights:

This one is directed by Andrea Arnold (notice she likes a square screen), and stars Kaya Scodelario who was in Skins. There have been lots of adaptations of Wuthering Heights, there’s a couple in the young adult collection here.

On a completely different subject, we have: whales. More to the point, whales caught under Arctic ice (true story):

And finally, because it’s topical (or it was a few weeks ago) and also polar, here’s Happy Feet 2!

Banned Books Week

It is Banned Books Week! At least it is in America, where books are banned more zealously than here, in NZ, where no one seems to mind. We have a lot of the books that are most often challenged (in the US, of course!) in our fantastic Young Adult collection, where they remain happily unchallenged. Here is a list! (You can read more about each book by clicking on the link, and reading why they were challenged/banned here (pdf) and more recently, here (PDF also). Here’s a handy map, also.)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Twisted and Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Snakehead, by Anthony Horowitz
Baby Be-Bop, by Francesca Lia Block
House of Night series, by P. C. Cast and Kristen Cast
Deadline, by Chris Crutcher
Geography Club, by Brent Hartinger
Vegan, Virgin, Valentine, by Carolyn Mackler
The Bermudez Triangle, by Maureen Johnson
Lesson from a Dead Girl, by Johanna Knowles
Vampire Academy series, by Richelle Mead
Twilight series, by Stephenie Meyer
Forever in Blue : The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood, by Ann Brashares
ttyl, by Lauren Myracle
Living Dead Girl, by Elizabeth Scott
Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
Only in your Dreams : A Gossip Girl Novel, by Cecily Von Ziegesar

Here are some picture of the covers, for added colour.

Fashion Friday

Pleats, pleats, pleated skirts everywhere!  At London and Milan.  You see I’m already rocking  the pleated skirts a la Prada.  (And you can too, for a mere $35 from local shops).

Really loving the wack-a-doo pleats/beading/colours at Burberry too.  SIGH.


If you’re so inclined, and you have fifteen minutes to spare and enjoy watching people walking up and down REALLY slowly,  you can watch the whole Burberry catwalk show below. Enjoy!

SesaGlee Street

Hey Gleeks, this is really funny. It’s a Sesame Street parody of Glee, it makes learning about the letter “G” fun #infotainment.

You can enjoy the real version of Glee right here on DVD and CD and Sesame Street on DVD too.

Some More New Books

If you love a good thriller, then read on! (There’s a few in here.) There’s also some fantasy, reality, and the all-conquering supernatural romance.

Heart of Danger, Fleur Beale (315 pages) – The third in the Juno series, so if you’ve read Juno of Taris and Fierce September make sure you read this! “Juno and her family arrive at their new home, but almost immediately danger threatens Hera and they move to Willem’s protection in New Plymouth, the city Juno most hoped to avoid. Fairlands school is too like Taris, and Hilto’s son Thomas is a pupil there. The handsome Ivor is also there and soon begins to pay attention to Juno in a way she finds both confusing and exciting. Juno’s special mind powers are called upon to help her save Hera.” (from the publisher). Romance for Juno?

First sentence: A girl about the same age as me stood on our doorstep.

Fury of the Phoenix, Cindy Pon (359 pages) – Ai Ling joins Chen Yong on his quest to find his father, but she’s plagued by the knowledge that Zhong Ye the sorcerer is not in fact dead, but trapped in Hell and still a threat, particularly to Chen Yong. The sequel to Silver Phoenix.

First sentence: Chen Yong was already on board the ship.

The Fox Inheritance, Mary E Pearson (294 pages) – If you’ve read The Adoration of Jenna Fox you know what happened to Jenna, but what about Locke and Kara? Two hundred and sixty years on from the accident Locke and Kara are brought back to life in new manufactured bodies. They’re haunted by 200+ years of memories of being trapped in a digital netherworld, and having to adjust to a new world knowing nobody (except Jenna).

First sentence: My hands close around the heavy drape, twisting it into a thick cord.

All These Things I’ve Done, Gabrielle Zevin (351 pages) – in a New York of the future, Anya is given an impossible choice by the District Attorney after being arrested for attempted murder. She must choose between her family’s safety and the boy she loves. Things are complicated: the boy she loves is the DA’s son, and her family is really involved in organised crime.

First sentence: The night before junior year – I was sixteen, barely – Gable Arsley said he wanted to sleep with me.

Okay for Now, Gary D. Schmidt (360 pages) – at the end of the book someone says “Haven’t you ever heard of New Zealand?”. We want to know why! Anyway, this one is set in 1968 in New York state and features Doug Swieteck, as first seen in The Wednesday Wars. Everyone’s on a mission in 1968, the Apollo shuttles are on missions to space, the US army are on missions in Vietnam, and Doug’s on a mission discovering a passion for art, and other life lessons.

First sentence: Joe Pepitone once gave me his New York Yankees baseball cap.

Death Sentence, Alexander Gordon Smith (261 pages) – this is book three in the Escape From Furnace series, in which Alex is bearing the consequences of his second attempt at escape from Furnace Penitentiary. Horrifyingly, the warden is injecting him with stuff, turning him into a “superpowered minion of Furnace” (<3 the description). So now Alex must excape not so much the prison outside, but the prison inside.

First sentence: I died in that room.

Shut Out, Kody Keplinger (273 pages) – a reimagining of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, set in an American high school. The football (American) team and soccer (football) team are serious rivals, to the point of school wars. Lissa, girlfriend of the QB, is sick of it all, so she decides to lead the girlfriends in a revolt. Trouble is, this develops into a new war, girls against boys, and the leader of the boys (Cash) is quite distracting. The author’s website (complete with book trailer) is here.

Die for Me, Amy Plum (341 pages) – the first in a new supernatural trilogy. After the death of her parents, Kate and her sister Georgia move to Paris to live with their grandparents. There, Kate meets Vincent, who’s dreamy, but also not your normal human being. He’s a ___________ (couldn’t possibly say), and he has dangerous enemies, and this means danger for Kate and her family too.

First sentence: The first time I had seen the statue in the fountain, I had no idea what Vincent was.

Texas Gothic, Rosemary Clement-Moore (404 pages) – Amy Goodnight’s family are witches, surrounded by friendly spirits. But when she and her sister go to look after their Aunt’s ranch, they encounter a not-so-friendly spirit. It appears there’s a ghostly uprising. Something dangerous is going on “deep in the heart of Texas” (back cover). So Amy, Phin (her sister) and Ben (handsome cowboy) must investigate.

First sentence: The goat was in the tree again.

Paper Covers Rock, Jenny Hubbard (181 pages) – When Alex is unable to save a schoolmate from drowning, he and his friend Glenn (a witness) decide to lie about what happened. But Alex is plagued by guilt, and works through it by writing poetry in his journal. His English teacher, Miss Dovecott, decides to nurture his growing talent, but it’s possible she knows something about what happened – at least Glenn thinks something’s up.

First sentence: When my dad gave me this journal two years ago and said “Fill it with your impressions,” I imagine he had a more idyllic portrait of boarding school life in mind.

Shift, Em Bailey (304 pages) – Olive has made a clean break from the group of friends that got her into so much trouble. Then she notices that there’s a new girl, Miranda, making friends with her former best friend. But there’s something creepy about Miranda, and terrible rumours are circulating about her. What if they are true? Will anyone believe Olive’s suspicions?

First sentence: There were two things everyone knew about Miranda Vaile before she’d even started at our school.

Choker, Elizabeth Woods (233 pages) – Cara is a loner who’s been bullied at school, so she’s happy to be reunited with Zoe, a childhood friend. But then a girl goes missing, and Zoe starts acting strangely: can Cara trust her?

First sentences: “Come out, come out, little frog. We’ve made you a nest. It’s under a log.”

Two angels to end:

Angelfire, Courtney Allison Moulton (453 pages) – “A seventeen-year-old girl discovers she has the reincarnated soul of an ancient warrior destined to battle the reapers–monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell.” (catalogue)

First sentence: I stared out the classroom window and longed for freedom, wanting to be anywhere in the world other than gaping up at my economics teacher like the rest of my classmates.

Angel Burn, L. A. Weatherly (449 pages) – “In a world where angels are fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans and drain them of their vitality, a ruthless teenaged assassin of angels falls in love with a half-angel half-human girl, with devastating consequences.” (catalogue) This is the sequel to Angel.

First sentence: “Is that your car?” asked the girl at the 7-Eleven checkout counter.

New YA CDs

lmfaoSorry For Party Rocking – LMFAO. After getting a few tracks into this I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re not sorry for party rocking at all. If they were really sorry they’d do something else once in a while, either that or they’re continually wracked with guilt. Fun fact: members RedFoo and SkyBlu are the son and grandson of Motown label founder Berry Gordy.

triviumIn Waves – Trivium. The American metallers took a welcome and fresh approach with this, their fifth album, focussing on “writing for the specifically for the songs. not to show how well [they] could play”. which results in a less complex, more evenly structured set of songs. Not that this means a scaling back on “epic”, far from it.

kelly rowlandHere I Am – Kelly Rowland. Fresh off her chart-topping singles with David Guetta, Kelly Rowland has recaptured the attitude and fire that made Destinys Child so compelling back in the day. Here I Am flits easily between pop, R&B and hip-hop and features appearances from Lil Wayne and Big Sean (when is a rapper going to use “Medium” or “Regular” as a prefix?).

all time lowDirty Work – All Time Low. This is All Time Low’s major label debut and their first to make it onto our library shelves. Hopefully those two (equally important) milestones give them some much needed self-confidence. Seriously, All Time Low, there have been plenty of lower points throughout history than you and your music. Oh, unless it’s sarcastic. Carry on then.

Cool Library Tools

If you’re not happy unless you have your technology all fully customised, and tools are your best friend, then you’ll be interested in this page here, which tells you all the Wellington City Libraries Web 2.0 gadgets you can use. The page features such gems as:

  1. a browser search add-on (you can search the library catalogue from the comfort of the search bar in the top right corner of your browser)
  2. the library lookup link (which allows you to check to see if the library’s got a copy of the book you’re looking at on amazon, or wherever)
  3. a GoodReads custom booklink (again, you can check easily to see if the book on your To Read shelf is available at the library)
  4. and much more.

I sometimes think libraries are like the human brain: we only take advantage of about 5% of their capacity. Here’s your opportunity to put the library through its paces.

Great Reads

The Unidentified, Rae Mariz

The Game, an alternative education system where students learn in a converted mall, playing fun park style games to learn maths, following challenges to gain points and go up levels. Where the sponsors are always watching them, doing market research on what and who is cool or different. Katey/Kid (@kidzero) is fairly happy as she is, she has a few close friends who she records music with and she does quite well in the challenges. She isn’t as connected with the Game as a lot of other players, but it doesn’t really bother her. Until a group calling themselves the “Unidentified” start trying to make a point against the Game. Kid starts to look into their demonstrations and finds herself coming to the attention of the sponsors – and learning that who she is and what she does is something that can be used by other people. Individuality vs being in the crowd, control vs freedom.

I liked this book, it’s actually not far off what happens today and how we share information, and I didn’t guess the ending before it got there. Recommended if you like Scott Westerfeld (particularly So Yesterday) or Candor by Pam Bachorz.

Divergent, Veronica Roth

In Beatrice’s world people are divided up into five factions. People decide if they are brave, selfless, intelligent, honest or peaceful and then dedicate their lives to these ideals. Beatrice grew up in the abnegation faction dedicating her life to helping others. On her birthday, she has the choice – to stay with her family in the abnegation faction, or choose to spend the rest of her life in a different one. At school they have a test that will indicate where they are best suited – everyone should fit easily into one, but Beatrice doesn’t. Something that seems like a small thing, but is regarded as dangerous. It’s called being divergent, and means that whichever faction she chooses, she needs to hide the fact that she doesn’t fit perfectly into the society, while she discovers that the society itself may also not be as perfect as it’s meant to be.

Wonderful book, I loved the details in everything about the world and I really want the next book to come out soon! Alternative world, lots of action – if you liked the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins then you’ll probably like this as well.

Fashion Friday

New York fashion Week is just winding down and guess who popped up as a ‘fresh face’?  New Zealand’s Next Top Model contestant (season 2) Michaela Steenkamp!  Looking pretty good too, I think.


My favourite shows were Jill Stuart – the colours!  The prettyness!  And Rag and Bone – the colours!  The edginess! 
(Double-click the images to enjoy in all their gigantic glory).

My choices are a bit predictable, so for really good NYFW coverage – and lots of pictures – check out the Topshop blog. 
Now onwards to London/Milan/Paris fashion weeks!

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