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Teen Blog

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

Month: October 2011 Page 2 of 3

Some Reader Reviews

We like getting reviews: if you’re interested in telling us what you think of something you’ve read, or listened to, or watched, here’s what to do. Here’s a collection of readers’ thoughts over the last wee while:

Down the Rabbit Hole, by Peter Abrahams

Down the Rabbit Hole is the tale of 13-year-old Ingrid Levin-Hill, an ordinary girl with a love of soccer, acting and Sherlock Holmes. She lives in desolate Echo Falls, where mystery is never far away. Ingrid begins investigating the death of a resident in Echo Falls, while trying to land the lead role in a local production of Alice and Wonderland. One thing leads to another, as Ingrid finds herself caught in a web of lies and secrets. She finds life in Echo Falls to become curiouser and curiouser; will she ever escape?

~ Review by E S

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

This book is amazing … It is a sad story but I think it’s great for all readers. I’m 12 and the books do look big but you read them so fast. It’s got some bits that made me cry and other that stopped my heart from beating I loved this book and you will too.

~ Anonymous!

The first book of the awesome Hunger Games triology, Katniss Everdeen steps up for her sister to the cold-hearted, merciless Hunger Games. It is truly a game of kill or be killed. Allies will be made, broken hearts, and a killer awaits… one who none can overthrow, in its own game of cat and mouse.

~ Review by Cameron

Trailer Tuesday

Time for Trailer Tuesday, an occasional regular feature. “One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out” – Heidi Klum. 

The first trailer for The Avengers (the superhero group consisting of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and a few others without their own movies sadly but may have had bit parts in other films, who can remember, frankly?) is out. It is directed by Joss Whedon, who came up with Buffy. So it might be good! But he’s also responsible for The Dollhouse, so it might not be that good! (Sorry, Joss). Anyway, here it is.

Here’s the new video for Beyonce’s latest, Love on Top. Not a trailer, but who makes the rules? ME

A new trailer for the forthcoming Muppet film can be viewed here (along with all the others). It (the film, not the trailer) contains ‘mild rude humor,’ so you might want to be discrete.

War Horse, a Steven Spielberg film based on a Michael Morpurgo book, has a pretty epic trailer. At last; a film that will delight people who like horsies as well as fans of war films.

~ The END ~

Death Bringer

Derek Landy’s next Skulduggery Pleasant book Death Bringer!

It’s wonderful. But I’m not going to say too much in case you are still in the reserve queue for it. And I can see two copies on the Karori reserve shelf from where I’m standing right now, so a couple of people here will be picking up copies very soon… 

My favorite part (okay, there are a few, but this is the one that I’m thinking of right now that I can write down without giving too much away) is when Skulduggery calls Caelan (that vampire that’s following Valkyrie around if you’ve forgotten the name) a “self-pitying Paranormal Romance reject” Oh yeah, guess what book that’s referring to!

There’s a lot going on with everyone, and their evil alter-egos so I didn’t realise until the end that I think a few of the main characters (Tanith for example) were missing in action. So I don’t know what they’ve been up to – I guess we’ll find out next year…

For anyone who hasn’t read Skulduggery Pleasant yet please start here ASAP.

There is also a semi-short story coming that takes place a couple of months after Death Bringer called “The End Of The World” which will be available next year. About 90 pages long, so longer than the other Skulduggery short stories. So much good. Derek Landy’s blog is here.

New Books

Here is a selection of newly arrived fiction. Completely randomly a theme emerged in the tower of new books, which makes for some serious reading.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs (352 pages) – this includes very cool (peculiar) Victorian-style portrait photographs (of the peculiar children). Jacob is sent to an island off the coast of Wales (go Wales!), on which there lie the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (an orphanage). As you would, Jacob explores the ruins, learning about the children, discovering that by “peculiar” people might have meant “dangerous”: there was a reason why Miss Peregrine’s Home is on an island. (Wrestle this one out of the hands of a librarian today!)

First sentence: I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Annabel Pitcher (226 pages) – The title is a reference to Jamie’s sister’s ashes. Five years on from her death, the family is still struggling to come to terms. Jamie’s father drinks, and his mother has left, and Jamie is trying to make sense of the tragedy.

First sentence: My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece.

Hades, Alexandra Adornetto (422 pages) – the sequel to Halo. Bethany is tricked, and finds herself in Hades (the underworld), Jake is back in town, and is going after Xavier, to get at Bethany. So to spare Xavier’s life, must Bethany make the ultimate sacrifice?

First sentence: When the final bell sounded at Bryce Hamilton, Xavier and I gathered our things and headed out onto the south lawn.

She Loves You, She Loves You Not, Julie Anne Peters (278 pages) – Alyssa is disowned by her father, so she must move away from her girlfriend Sarah, to live with her mother who she doesn’t know in a new town, starting over again (and trying not to repeat the mistakes of the past).

First sentence: The night Sarah and Ben showed up out of the blue.

Sorta Like a Rock Star, Matthew Quick (355 pages) – Amber, her mother, and her dog, live in the back of the school bus her mother drives (one of those big yellow buses). Even so, Amber is an optimist, visiting people in a nursing home, and teaching English to Korean women, but then something terrible happens that tips Amber over the edge into depression.

First sentence: Lying down, shivering on the last seat of school bus 161, pinned by his teensy doggie gaze, which is completely 100% cute – I’m such a girl, I know – I say, “You won’t believe the bull I had to endure today.”

The Girl is Murder, Kathryn Miller Haines (342 pages) – set in New York in 1942. Iris’ father owns a detective agency, so naturally she is dead keen to help him on some of his cases. When he refuses to let her – and he’s working on a case involving a boy at her school – she decides to do some secret detective work of her own.

First sentence: Pop’s leg was across the room when I came downstairs. (And the next sentence: I didn’t ask him how it got there.)

Putting Makeup on Dead People, Jen Violi (326 pages) – Donna’s father has been dead for four years and she’s never really got over it. Then one day, she discovers a calling to become a mortician. A story of “how one girl learns to grieve and say good-bye, turn loss into a gift, and let herself be exceptional” (cover).

First sentence: I’m mixing a can of tomato soup with a can of two percent milk for dinner that no one will eat.

A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie, Matt Blackstone (248 pages) – Rene is an obsessive-compulsive superhero in the making, convinced he is responsible for bad things that happen by doing things in the wrong order, or moving at the wrong time. He has one friend, Gio, who is determined to teach him how to “play it cool” – one imagines Gio has his work cut out for him.

First sentence: Legs are my favorite part.

Between, Jessica Warman (454 pages) – “By weaving through her memories and watching the family and friends she left behind, eighteen-year-old Liz Valchar solves the mystery of how her life ended in the Long Island Sound.” (catalogue)

First sentence: It’s a little after two a.m.

Fashion Friday

I thought a little fashion DIY was in order this week.  What a better thing to do during the holidays than make things – or make yourself over!

indexCAI0WPW8First up is this new book from Seventeen mag, ‘Seventeen ultimate guide to style: how to find your perfect look’.  It has all you need to style yourself according to their useful (and kinda hilarious) categories – boho, indie, glam, classic, edgy and girly.  As well as having all the requisite pretty pictures, I actually found it had some good, practical advice.  Adaptable to suit your ‘lifestyle’ too!

The second thing I saw that I thought would make a good little project are these instructions on how to make a beaded collar .  Now you may have noticed elaborate fashiony-collars are everywhere.  And as I am quite taken with the sequinned ones, I’ll be trying to make one for sure!

And finally, if you’re puzzled by how others can style their hair so effortlessly you might find this cool little video on how to make a bun very helpful.

Great Read!

There is no dog by Meg Rosoff

Bob is lazy, moody and self centered. He’s a teenager with a pet Eck (a sort of bird like creature), a job he doesn’t want and a mother with a gambling problem. He’s also, thanks to one of his mother’s wagers, God. And he’s not very good at it. He made the world in six days, then got bored and tired and decided it would have to do. He’s tied his emotions to the weather and unfortunately for everyone, he’s now fallen in love. Which is causing all sorts of crazy things to happen. Mr B, Bob’s assistant does most of the work keeping the earth (mostly) running smoothly. But now even he’s had enough and applied for a transfer, leaving his favorite thing in the world – the whales – in Bob’s care.  Bob’s mother has made things worse by gambling away his pet Eck, the girl he likes is human, and therefore keeps being complicated, and Bob would really rather be chasing her than looking after the world.

Fast paced read, still leaves a few questions at the end, but overall very funny and different. It’s a bit of a strange (but good) book, if you liked Good Omens from Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman or Terry Prachett’s Johnny Maxwell trilogy  then you should have a look at this book.

Waiting on Wednesday

We’ve got some interesting new books arriving over the next few months. Here’s a sampling (you can reserve most of these now):

Goliath, Scott Westerfeld – if you’ve been reading the Leviathan trilogy (Leviathan, Behemoth), then reserve this one! Can Alek and Deryn end the war? Who is the dangerous stranger on board the Leviathan? When will Alek figure out that Deryn is a girl?

Kill All Enemies, Melvin Burgess – if you like realistic fiction that’s quite challenging, then Melvin Burgess is your man. This tells the story of three teens with troubled backgrounds, one the daughter of an alcoholic, one who has an abusive stepdad, and one who is at odds with his middle-class upbringing. Here’s a review from the Guardian.

Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore – Kristin Cashore recently announced on her blog that Bitterblue, the sequel to Graceling will be published in May 2012, so this is advance warning. Read what she has to say about getting the book published, and other things, here.

Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare – and finally, the second in the Infernal Devices trilogy (after Clockwork Angel), will be published in December. With the help of Jem and Will, Tessa must uncover the mystery around the Magister’s hatred of the Shadowhunters, but their every move in their search appears to be anticipated: have they been betrayed? Reserve Clockwork Prince now and get ahead in the queue!

Trailer Tuesday

There’s a new Tintin trailer out and it looks sooo action packed and exciting! Watch the first (more subdued) one here.

This blog is mostly about items in the “Young Adult” area of the library and the trailer below is about a movie called “Young Adult”, just ideal really.

Fans of either dance movies and exploding buses should be entertained by the new Footloose movie. Yes, a bus explodes.

See you next time at the movies!

Most Wanted: October 2011

Here’s the top ten most reserved young adult items for October. Enjoy!

1. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore [no change]
2. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini [up 1]
4. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 5]
5. Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick [up 2]
6. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [no change]
7. The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore [down 2]
8. Passion, Lauren Kate [down 5]
9. Bloodlines, Richelle Mead [up 1]
10. Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard [down 2]

Also new and popular in town: Hades, by Alexandra Adornetto (sequel to Halo), All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Plus also, also Ouran High School Host Club 7 and Vampire Knight 13.

Fashion Friday


Kanye West’s much anticipated and talked about womenswear collection was just shown in Paris.  And reactions have been mixed – from The Times’ Lisa Armstrong’s somewhat harsh ‘Stick to the Day Job’, to The Cut’s Amy Odell kindly weighing up the positives and the negatives of the clothes.   The New York Times article ‘Kanye West, Designer (Yawn)’ – OUCH! – looks at various fashion editors reactions, including US Vogue’s Anna Wintor.  But the fabulous Anna Dello Russo (Japan Vogue editor – DUH!) seemed quite positive, donning this Dw outfit hot off the catwalk.
So while I think it looked a bit weird and ill-fitting,  it’s safe to assume Kanye hasn’t suffered a Lindsay Lohan for Ungaro style crash-and-burn. 

Let’s enjoy his day job then, as an entertaining and stylish rapper.

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