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Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else –

Month: June 2012

Fashion Friday

Syndetics book coverThe tents [videorecording].

I just watched this DVD, which is new to the library, about the tents at Bryant Park that housed the twice yearly New York Fashion Weeks.   (The runway shows have now outgrown Bryant Park and are now held at the swankier Lincoln Centre).  This interesting documentary chronicles how New York’s fashion designers came to be showing their collections in the park, in tents.  The movie gives an exciting glimpse behind the scenes of the superficial glamour of fashion week and talks a bit about the big business of the designer clothing industry.  It interviews the real people who work planning and organising the shows and week – the people you’d never know were there!   Ultimately its about the growth, success and influence of New York Fashion Week.
The Tents is definite must for die-hard fashion history fans.

The 2012 LIANZA Book Awards

LIANZA is the professional association of people working in library and information-related fields in New Zealand. Each year they give awards for excellence in New Zealand literature, including a young adult section. This year the YA finalists are all about thrillers, suspense, action, and a bit of horror.

The Shattering, Karen Healey – “Summerton is perfect: gorgeous weather, stunning scenery, cute out-of-towners to meet. But sharp-tongued Keri has been left shattered with grief by her older brother’s suicide. She discovers her other frineds have also lost brothers in suspicious circumstances. Does Summerton hold dark secrets?” (catalogue)

Read more about The Shattering on the author’s website.

Pyre of Queens, David Hair – “Mandore, India, 769 AD: An evil sorcerer king has devised a deadly secret ritual: he and his seven queens will burn on his funeral pyre and he will rise again with the powers of the demon king, Ravana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of the court poet. Jodhphur, India, 2010: At the site of ancient Mandore, four teenagers meet and realise that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries and fight an ancient battle… one more time.” (catalogue)

This is the first book in the Return of Ravana series, from the author of The Bone Tiki.

Dirt Bomb, Fleur Beale – “Jake’s life is sweet and he wouldn’t change a thing. He’s got no money and doesn’t have a mobile, but he’s got two best mates; Buzz and Robbie. Buzz is generous and doesn’t mind buying stuff for his mates. Robbie has the idea of rescuing an old wreck from a ditch and making it into a paddock basher. Buzz, however, puts a spanner in the works by saying he’s not paying for it all, it’s even stevens or no deal. Robbie gets a job, but Jake refuses. It’s just not his style to work for a boss. But he desperately wants to drive that car, and the others are going to go ahead without him.” (catalogue)

Fleur Beale won the Young Adult award last year for Fierce September, and is the author of the New Zealand young adult classic I Am Not Esther.

The Bridge, Jane Higgins – “The city is at war. Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation. They’re hungry to cross the river. Cityside, ISIS is in charge, the brains behind the war. Its job—keep the hostiles at bay. ISIS only recruits the best for its elite command. Nik is smart. Very smart. So why does ISIS reject him? Before he can find out, his school is bombed. The hostiles take the bridges, and they’ve kidnapped Fyffe’s brother Sol. Now Nik is on the run. And Fyffe is going with him. Across the bridge.” (author’s website)

There’s more information about the book (including a map) at the author’s website.

Recon Team Angel: Assault, Brian Falkner – “It is 2030, and the world is at war with an alien race. The Bzadians. The battleground: Earth. Recon Team Angel, made up of teenagers from around the world, has been training for years. They have learned Bzadian languages. Learned how to operate their weapons. How to work, eat, and think like them. Now it is time to act. Six recon soldiers must slip behind enemy lines, right into the top-secret alien facility inside Uluru/Ayers Rock. But what they discover will shock not just them, but all of humanity.” (author’s website)

Brian Falkner is the author of the hugely popular Brainjack.

Waiting on Wednesday

Today, a couple of New Zealand books, which are being released very soon (nowish).

The Nature of Ash, Mandy Hager. This is a new novel by the author of the popular Blood of the Lamb trilogy. “Set in NZ 20-odd years in the future, corporations have carved up resources for themselves, leaving the local population disconnected from the land and living with water and food shortages, depleted oil and gas supplies, climate change effects and a divided and impoverished society where only those at the top have any wealth or power. Ash (Ashley) McCarthy is an 18-year-old living in a student hostel. The novel opens with Ash and his friends embarking on a night of heavy drinking, to settle their fears over the torpedoing of an Australian ship in NZ territorial waters after a prolonged dispute. Ash receives the terrible news that his father has died in a bomb blast. Nothing is ever the same again as Ash must deal with his father’s death, look after his handicapped brother and leave town as the threat from offshore gets seriously worrying. Ash is thrown into a fast-paced series of disasters, finally learning the awful truth about his mother.” (The Children’s Bookshop, Kilbirnie)

Red Rocks, Rachael King. This one has the added bonus of being set in Wellington (yes those Red Rocks). “While holidaying at his father’s house, Jake explores Wellington’s wild south coast, with its high cliffs, biting winds, and its fierce seals. When he stumbles upon a perfectly preserved sealskin, hidden in a crevice at Red Rocks, he’s compelled to take it home and hide it under his bed, setting off a chain of events that threatens to destroy his family. Red Rocks takes the Celtic myth of the selkies, or seal people, and transplants it into the New Zealand landscape, throwing an ordinary boy into an adventure tinged with magic. With its beautiful writing and eerie atmosphere, junior readers will be thrilled and moved by this captivating story.” (The Children’s Bookshop, Kilbirnie)

In other upcoming news, Laini Taylor, author of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, has announced that the sequel will be published in November this year (we will let you know when you can reserve it). It’s called Days of Blood & Starlight, and she will be releasing sample chapters. The book cover is here on her blog.

Divergent procrastinations

Veronica Roth‘s Divergent trilogy is super popular at the moment. While you’re waiting in the queue for Insurgent, here’s some stuff to read or do:

– Read Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story on the Divergent Facebook page (it’s one of the tabs). Although I wouldn’t do this if you’ve not read Divergent yet. It is, as the title suggests, Four talking about his first meeting with Tris. Ah.

– An interview on Here Veronica Roth talks about interesting things like how her dystopian society of factions started out as a utopia, and what authors and ideas have influenced her.

– Do a faction quiz, to find out where you’d end up.

– Visit a fan site for much info, like Divergent Lexicon, Divergent Fans, Divergentish (fan art), the Factionless livejournal community.

It’s like a growing internet phenomenon.

New Books

In time for the long weekend (happy Queen’s Birthday to you)!

From Simon:

The Dreamwalker’s Child, by Steve Voake (300 pages) – Young Sam lives in the country and hates it. He has no pals and everything is relaxed and peaceful slow and dull. Until he’s in an accident which sticks him in a coma. However! His mind wakes in another world run by giant smart insects who want to wupe humanity from the face of Earth with mosquito-spread disease. It’s up to Sam and his allies to stop this from happening.

First line: ‘When they are first born, most people find the world a fascinating, magical place.

The Girl in the Mask, by Marie-Louise Jensen (311 pages) – It is 1715 or so, and Sophie’s duty is to look pretty and get hitched ASAP. She hate all the balls and dances and so on required of her, so when it’s dark she secretly moonlights as a highway robber. Which seems reasonable. She also gets involved with the failed Stuart rebellion, just to add a touch of historical context.

First lines: ‘I didn’t hear my cousin’s voice at first. It wasn’t until the library door was flung open with a bang, making me jump, that I came back down to earth.

The Calling, by Kelley Armstrong (326 pages) – This is the second book in the Darkness Rising series (the first is The Gathering). Maya. who has a pawprint birthmark and can talk to animals (I think?), and her similarly supernatural friends have all been kidnapped. They escape! And are now being chased through the Vancouver wilds.

First line: ‘I don’t know who was more anxious – Daniel or Kenjii – but they weren’t making this emergency helicopter evacuation and easier.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline (372 pages) – In a vast virtual reality world (designed by Willy Wonka’s futuristic twin), Wade Watts escapes the ecological wasteland that is Earth in 2044. The world’s founder died a few years previously and had left his fortune to whoever can solve numerous 1980s-pop-culture riddles throughout the world. 1980s pop culture! Well I am sold. Ready Player One has been showered with praise and awards probably and I think a movie is on its way.

First line: ‘Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when the first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulletin broke in on my video feed, announcing the James Halliday had died during the night.’

From Grimm, since Simon is sickathomewithacold:

Lovetorn, by Kavita Daswani (250 pages) – Shalini has moved from India to Los Angeles, which is a rather large cultural shock (accent, hair, clothes etc.). Additionally, and most differently of all, she is set to marry Vikram (and has been almost her whole life). Then there’s Toby at school, who is bound to turn Shalini’s sense of her destiny on its head.

First sentence: In a carved wooden frame on my mother’s bedside table sits a photograph of me taken on the day that I got engaged.

The Difference Between You and Me, by Madeleine George (256 pages) – Jesse and Emily are really rather different. One is an activist (or rather, the only member of NOLAW – the National Organization to Liberate All Weirdos) the other is vice president of the student council. But they are attracted to one another. Things get complicated when they end up on opposite sides of an issue – what will win over, their relationship or their commitment to their causes?

First sentence: Jesse is in the sophomore hall girls’ bathroom, the farthest stall from the door, one huge, scuffed fisherman’s boot propped up on the toilet seat so she can balance her backpack on her knee and rifle through it.

Trafficked, by Kim Purcell (384 pages) – Hannah struggles to look after her grandmother in Moldova, so she leaps at the chance to go to Los Angeles to work as a nanny. However, the family treats her like a captive slave, and when she is caught sneaking out the house to visit Colin, her neighbour, she is threatened with prostitution. Hannah, fortunately, has a lot of gumption, and her investigations into her employers captors may lead to the truth about a missing uncle who disappeared mysteriously in Moldova, but they may also put her in danger.

First sentence: Hannah took two small steps forward in the immigration line entering America at LAX.

When the Sea is Rising Red, by Cat Hellisen (296 pages) – Felicita lives an elite life as a member of Pelimburg’s founding family, but she has few choices. When her friend throws herself off a cliff rather than marry the man she’s been assigned to, Felicita fakes her own suicide and escapes to the city’s slums. There she meets Dash (a “charismatic renegade”, what’s not to like?) and the vampire Jannik. Things take a turn for the disturbing when pale corpses begin washing up on the beach. In her death, Felicita’s friend has (maybe unknowingly?) unleashed some sinister magic from the sea, which those who want to overthrow the powerful classes of Pelimburg might use to start a rebellion.

First sentence: She’s not here.

Frost, Marianna Baer (396 pages) – Strange goings on are going on at Frost House, a boarding school with a rather creepy name. Door slam, pictures fall off walls. Leena’s room mate, Celeste, thinks it’s the other students trying to scare her off, but Leena is not so sure, and fears increasingly for her safety: “does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind… or in Frost House itself?” (book cover). Warning: this book may also contain a love interest named David.

First sentence: Before I lived here, before any of this happened, I imagined Frost House as a sanctuary.

Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am, Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis (148 pages) – Ben is a bit of a star: he’s bright, popular, and talented. He surprises everyone when he enlists in the army straight out of high school, saying he feels compelled to serve his country. But things go horribly wrong when he’s serving in Iraq, and Ben returns with a brain injury: he comes back hardly able to speak or walk, and with no memory of who he is.

First sentence: The knife came out of nowhere.

Fashion Friday

1920s style is a recurring trend in fashion. It was a very stylish decade after all, one that gave birth to Coco Chanel and modern fashion as we know it.  Literature from that period has always helped set the scene for designers and none more so than the classic novel by F. Scott. Fitzgerald, ‘The Great Gatsby’

(Elle France – Fashion gone Rogue)

The Great Gatsby is about to enjoy yet another resurgence with the release (much) later ths year of Baz Luhman’s 3D-movie-extravaganza interpretation of the book.  The anticipation of the movie has already inspired the latest rounds of 1920s trends – you have been warned.  Here’s the trailer below to get you hooked.

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