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

Month: October 2012 Page 1 of 2

Breaking Dawn Part 2: Mini Clips

Hard to imagine, but after next month there will be no more Twilight movie trailers ever. Until then, here’s a couple of little jigsaw pieces of clips of Breaking Dawn Part 2:

 And here:



Breaking Dawn Part 2 opens in theatres in the middle of next month.

Books for Halloween

Halloween is not so spooky in New Zealand, largely on account of the bright, perky evenings and the fact that pumpkin’s not really in season. Here are some book suggestions to fill the void:

The teen blog slightly random-ish list of quality fiction about horror and ghosts.

Some zombie books that are a little bit gruesome.

A list of good Halloween reads from The Horn Book (if the picture books don’t interest you so much, look further down for an excellent selection).

An updated list of recommendations from allhallowsread.com.

Or you can read up about Halloween at history.com.

Blog Crushes

I have been crushing on some fabulous blogs lately and you will too.

Amber Sweet at www.sweetsweetamber.com

This Wellington-owned and operated blog is a favourite of mine; the flawless combination of impeccable style and sheer hilariousness kills me. So good! You will love.

This blog is super simple but daaaaaang it’s fabulous. The pics are gorgeous; there are SO MANY that I want to pinch to show you guys. J’adore!

I am obsessed with this online store so, naturally, am completely enamoured with their blog.

Mandy Ferrugia at

I only discovered this website today and am already obsessed! This blog is a great blend of fashion, food, cute crafts and pure paraphernalia. I will be spending my life here from now on. Love.

I know this is not strictly a blog, but it should be your first stop for news and views from high-fashion runways.


Amy Moss at

This is my fave blog EVER. Not strictly a fashion blog; it’s more of a lifestyle blog but has seeeeriously pretty things and the fashion picks are exquisite. To be honest, I could do an entire post just on this blog! So much gloriousness. The blogger also does freebies from time to time – DIY cutouts, iPhone wallpaper and the like. Get in!

Also, if you follow the super popular cupcakes and cashmere blog, you should check out the book of the same title! Recently published by the blogger, it contains loads of awesome bits from her site.

candcCupcakes and cashmere : a guide for defining your style, reinventing your space, and entertaining with ease/ Emily Schuman




So, that should be your next hour used up, at the very least! You’re welcome.

Looking forward to:

This week, a feudal, Eastern dystopian fantasy adventure, flying shapeshifters, and Russian spies who are after potions during the Cold War.

Stormdancer, Jay Kristoff (The Lotus War number 1). “Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task. But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected. Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it. Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?” (goodreads.com)

The Girl With Borrowed Wings, Rinsai Rossetti. “A stunningly written tale of an isolated girl and the shape-shifting boy who shows her what freedom could be – if only she has the courage to take it. Controlled by her father and bound by desert, Frenenqer Paje’s life is tediously the same, until a small act of rebellion explodes her world and she meets a boy, but not just a boy – a Free person, a winged person, a shape-shifter. He has everything Frenenqer doesn’t. No family, no attachments, no rules. At night, he flies them to the far-flung places of their childhoods to retrace their pasts. But when the delicate balance of their friendship threatens to rupture into something more, Frenenqer must confront her isolation, her father, and her very sense of identity, breaking all the rules of her life to become free.” (goodreads.com)

The Apothecary, Maile Meloy. “It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows – a fascinating boy who’s not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies – Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.” (goodreads.com). This book also has illustrations by Ian Schoenherr, who drew the bridges and maps in Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (they are cool bridges and maps).

Wild Night with Rhys Darby and also Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls is going to be in Wellington on the 30th of November, hosted by Rhys Darby.

If you’re a Bear fan, you might like to revisit some Man Versus Wild episodes in the mean time, including the New Zealand special, in which Bear eats a weta (I think – my cat tells me they don’t taste so good).

Bear’s live on stage website is here.

Enjoying the LBJ

Karl Lagerfeld strikes again! This time with a très chic photographic exhibition. The Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibition is now on in London, featuring 113 shots of celebrities and fashionistas, including Dakota and Ella Fanning, Georgia May Jagger and Kanye West, wearing the iconic black jacket designed and made famous by Coco Chanel. All shots were taken by kl, who also curated the selection alongside Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris.  The exhibition is touring nine cities (Sydney’s as close as we get, hmph) but you can see the virtual exhibition on the official Chanel lbj website. Amaze!

I do love me a little black jacket, and while the iconic Chanel piece is undoubtedly to-die-for, it’s vaaaaaaaaaaastly out of my price range ($1,500 much?!). But there are loads of gorg lbjs out there, and lots of them are at much more reasonable prices. So here I have a few different ways to wear and style the lbj, be it Chanel or otherwise!

Click on the links below to check out The Style Edit:

♥ Shorts are the perfect item to style your lbj down. I love this look; casual with a big shout out to the neon trend. Loving this woman’s hair, also.

♥ I, personally, am not in support of these pants, but I do really like the simplicity of the lbj with pants and a fresh white tee – constant chic,but without looking like you care toooo much.

♥ Miranda Kerr has a great take on the lbj and pants combo. Simple yet gorgeous; I like a lot. Glam handbag doesn’t hurt, either!

♥ Lbj over a dress is a great way to go for a glam look, but the key here is to keep your lbj little! Long or puffer styles won’t work with this look because anything too large or over-sized will swamp your gorg dress underneath. Am so sold on the colour and ruffles of this particular dress, too.

♥ Lbj paired with cute skirt is another sure way to instant glam. Small dog optional.

♥ Wear your lbj over a pretty blouse for a cute, yet dressed up look– I love the effectiveness of the simple black and white colour palette here.

However, if you just lust for the genuine Chanel article, we have some items in our collection that will quench your craving. My favourites are these:

chanel1 Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style / Jérôme Gautier
This one is full of glossy, full-page pictures; a real feast for the eyes. Perfect if you don’t fancy doing much reading.




Chanel 2 The gospel according to Coco Chanel : life lessons from the world’s most elegant woman / Karen Karbo ; illustrated by Chesley McLaren.
A slightly lighter look at the world of Chanel.





chanelThe little black jacket: Chanel’s classic revisited / Karl Lagerfeld.
This one is the official catalogue of the Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibtion, and a very lush browse indeed.



I also HIGHLY recommend the movie Coco Avant Chanel ($4.00 for one week). I’ve watched pretty much all the Chanel DVDs on offer and this is definitely my fave. Starring Audrey Tatou as Chanel, it chronicles the life of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel before her founding of the luxe Chanel brand. Such a good watch!

Finally, for an insight into the somewhat odd life and mind of Karl Lagerfeld, I suggest watching Lagerfeld Confidential ($4/week). Quite funny and, at points, very astonishing. Pure entertainment!

New Books!

I am typing this in Wadestown library! Sort of like New Books on Tour. Haha. Haaa.

Blink Once, by Cylin Busby (290 pages) – West wakes up in a hospital bed, strapped down. He is paralyzed. The girl in the neighbouring bed, Olivia, is the only one who can communicate to him. But why? Why is she in hospital? How is she connected to all his nightmares? What is going on here, guys.  Publishers Weekly says that readers rush to the end to answer these questions, and ‘they won’t be disappointed by what they discover’, which is frankly very appealing.

First lines: ‘Someone is crying. A girl. Not a pretty kind of crying, like actresses do, tears delicately streaming down a beautiful face. This is sobbing, sniffling, gasping for air.

The Demon Catchers of Milan, by Kat Beyer (278 pages) – Mia’s distant family from Italy have come to visit. Just in the nick of time! As she has been possessed by a powerful demon, and they are actually all demon hunters. Once her cousins have exorcised her, she heads back to Italy with them to learn Italian, get more involved with the family business (i.e. killing demons) and fall in love with Italians. Not her cousins though! I don’t know.

First line: ‘I used to be the kind of girl who would check under the bed and in the closet every night before going to sleep.

Embers & Echoes, by Karsten Knight (461 pages) – This is the follow-up to Wildefire, about a bunch of gods who have reincarnated as teens. Ashline Wilde is the reincarnation of Pele, a Polynesian volcano goddess, and when her sister is taken by some evil gods she must join up with Wes, a reincarnated Aztec god, who has his own vendetta to hash out. ‘More X-Men than Clash of the Titans,’ says the Library School Journal, which is really quite a compliment.

First line: ‘Ashline Wilde lay battered on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway and watched her boyfriend emerge from the fiery car wreck, back from the dead.

Unfed, by Kirsty McKay (307 pages) – This follows on from Undead, about a zombie apocalypse during Bobby’s school trip. She survived it! Unfortunately, he best pal is missing and it’s up to her to find him in the zombie-infected wastelands AND and find an antidote before it’s all over for the human race. ‘Hysterically funny,’ says The Times.

First line: ‘When you’re staring into the jaws of death at the age of fifteen, there’s not a whole lot of life to flash before your eyes.

So Close To You, by Rachel Carter (313 pages) – Lydia’s great-grandfather disappeared, along with others, it is rumoured, because of some weird army experiment called the Montauk Project which occurred at the spooky abandoned military base near her home. When a portal opens up and takes her back to 1945, six days before her great-grandad disappears, she becomes part of the experiment. The first in a planned trilogy.

First line: ‘The bonfire in the clearing spits out flames and smoke. Red, yellow, orange sparks fly up into the night sky.

Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson (292 pages) – Before Peter Pan met Wendy there was Tiger Lily, who faced all kinds of hurdles to be with Peter (and not this guy her family and tribe wanted her to marry). And then of course Wendy comes along to Neverland on an English boat and things get messy. A clever retelling of the Peter Pan story, as narrated by Tinkerbell. ‘Perplexing’ to those familiar only with the Disney version, which of course doesn’t include any Teen Blog readers.

First line: ‘She stands on the cliffs, near the old crumbling stone house. There’s nothing left in the house but an upturned table, a ladle, and a clay bowl.

What’s Left of Me : The Hybrid Chronicles, by Kat Zhang (343 pages) – Eva and Addie were born in the same body, but are two distinct souls, or hybrids. However in this alternate reality, hybrids are against the law, so they must keep their dual existence a secret from the government and their family. Reviews say this is very well written, with a great ending, so go on reserve it why don’t you.

First lines: ‘Addie and I were born into the same body, our souls’ ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our very first breath.

Don’t Turn Around, by Michelle Gagnon (310 pages) – Noa, a rebellious teen orphan, has woken on an operating table with no memory. She joins with Peter, a computer hacker from a wealthy background, to take down a large and evil corporation. ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens’, a reviewer writes, if that’s a good thing?

First line: ‘When Noa Torson woke up, the first thing she noticed was that her feet were cold. Odd, since she always wore socks to bed.

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo (358 pages) – Gonna let the catalogue describe this one – ‘Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.’

First line: ‘The servants called the malenchki, little ghosts, because the haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.

The Broken Lands, by Kate Milford (455 pages) – This is the prequel to steampunky The Boneshaker, and is set in New York, 1877. Two teenaged orphans – Sam and a pyromaniac girl named Jim – must battle ancient dark forces from turning the city into Hell.

First line: ‘A crossroads can be a place of gerat power; this should not come as any surprise. It is a place of choosing, of testing, of transition, and there is power in all of those things.

Looking forward to:

Promised, Caragh O’Brien (October/November) – this is the third in the popular Birthmarked trilogy. “After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever. She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland. In Gaia’s absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher. Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what–or whom–she loves most?” (goodreads.com)

The Other Normals, Ned Vizzini (this month) – from the author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story (that got turned into a movie ($4 for one week)). Perry (long name Peregrine) is an epic nerd, who lives for Creatures & Caverns, a role playing game. He much prefers C & C to his real world, so he’s gutted when his parents send him to summer camp. But! At summer camp he meets Mortin Enaw, the writer of the C & C manual, and very soon Perry finds himself in the world of The Other Normals, where he must embark on a quest to save the other normals’ princess. His RPG skills will no doubt prove completely indispensible, and may save the day.

Oblivion, Anthony Horowitz (October/November) – This is the last in the Gatekeepers series (book number 5). “Having escaped from Hong Kong, the five gatekeepers – Matt, Pedro, Scott, Jamie and Scarlett – are scattered in a hostile and dangerous world. As they struggle to re-group and plan their next move, the malevolent King of the Old Ones gathers his forces in Oblivion: a desolate landscape where the last survivors of humanity must fight the ultimate battle.” (goodreads.com)

Eve and Adam, Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate (October/November) – by the authors of the Gone series and the Animorphs series for kids. “And girl created boy” says the cover. Eve and Adam is the story of Evening, who, after a car crash, must recuperate in her mother’s research facility. The research at the facility is all about genetics, and genetic engineering. To cure Evening of her boredom, her mother sets her the task of creating the perfect boy – Adam, of course – which Evening sets about doing. (But will he end up being more like Frankenstein’s monster? We wonder.)

Top 10: Zombies

Can you take a zombie seriously? Sometimes yes, sometimes no (it depends largely on whether there is supposed to be kissing).


This is Not a Test, Courtney Summers – this book is a horror story: imagine being trapped inside your school building with five other students, with moaning masses of the undead outside, lying in wait, when you know it’s only a matter of time before the water supply runs dry, you eat your last food, and face the prospect of either starving to death or running the zombie gauntlet outside, to who knows where. What makes it worse is how the horror plays out in the way that you and your schoolmates cope. And then, when you think you’ve barricaded the school building enough, someone gets in.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan – to quote an earlier post: “Mary lives in a fenced village in the middle of the forest of hands and teeth; fenced, because the forest of hands and teeth is peopled with zombies (the Unconsecrated) with an undying drive to bite. When the village’s fortifications are compromised Mary must flee in the ensuing chaos, down the paths that run through the forest, following mysterious symbols that might lead her to the sea she dreams of.”

Rot & Ruin, Jonathan Maberry – the School Library Journal likes this series, perhaps even better than The Forest of Hands and Teeth: they say it “appears to be a retelling of Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth but with a male protagonist. But Maberry’s vision of a zombie-infested future has more action, more violence, and more emotional depth” (School Library Journal). It must be good then! Instead of a forest, here there’s the Rot and Ruin where – Benny (the male protagonist) learns – the zombies actually aren’t even the scariest prospect. 

The Enemy, Charlie Higson – the latest in the series (The Sacrifice) has recently arrived. When a sickness sweeps through London, affecting everyone over the age of 14, leaving them either (mercifully) dead or the walking undead, those under 14 find themselves in a fight to survive. Some, sensibly, hole up in supermarkets (the lucky ones in Waitrose, which is quite posh), while they must attempt to make their way to the relative safety of Buckingham Palace. But if they get to Buckingham Palace, what will they find? A zombie queen? Or something more problematic? We should’t be too flip: this one’s grim and doesn’t pull any punches.

Not quite as seriously:

Dearly Departed, Lia Habel – this series is called “Gone with the Respiration” (a salute to Gone With the Wind), so I think it’s safe to say it’s a bit fun. “Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead – or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?” (Goodreads.com). This brings a whole new meaning to the expression “undying love”.

You Are So Undead to Me, Stacey Jay – the first in the series about Megan Berry, Zombie Settler. Homecoming (and people’s lives) are in peril when someone starts using black magic to turn the average, bumbling undead of an Arkansas town into souped-up zombies. Can Megan save the day? Can she what! (I’m picking).

I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It, Adam Selzer – take that Katy Perry. Ali meets the mysterious Doug – a strong, silent, Goth-type of singer – and falls madly in love with him before, doh, someone points out he’s actually a zombie. Naturally Doug’s mysteriousness is not all that attractive any more, but when Ali tries to dump him she learns it’s not so easy to get rid of a zombie. She also learns, along the way, that vampires don’t like their music being critiqued.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith – I think you have to give credit to someone who basically invents a new genre in the 21st century. This was the first Classic Novel Horror Mashup, and there’s a bunch of others, including Romeo and Juliet, Sense and Sensibility, and P & P & Z even has it’s own sequels and prequels. Excellent.

A mixed bag:

Zombie Blondes, Brian James – Hannah is the new girl in a town where the many houses for sale and the, well, deathly quiet suggest something’s wrong. Hannah seems oblivious on her first day of school, when she meets the popular crowd: a group of cheerleaders who all look remarkably the same, and who Hannah really wants to be like.

Zombies Versus Unicorns – more to the point, can you take a unicorn seriously? One or two writers have had a crack at it in this oddly fab collection of short stories.

Fashion Fairytales

We have some super cute new books in our collection that you should know about.  Author Camilla Morton has collaborated with Manolo Blahník, Christian Lacroix and now also Dianne von Furstenburg to produce these gorgeous editions: designer biographies, written in the style of well-known fairytales and lavishly illustrated by the designers themselves. Negl, I am in LOVE! 
blahnikcoverManolo Blahník and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker / Camilla Morton ; illustrated by Manolo Blahník




Lacroix coverChristian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty / Camilla Morton; illustrated by Christian Lacroix





vonFurstenbergcoverDiane von Furstenberg and the Tale of the Empress’s New Clothes / Camilla Morton; illustrated by Diane von Furstenberg.




Manolo Blahník’s famous illustration style in this wee gem is BEAUTIFUL. Christian Lacroix’s artworks are super expressive and there’s so much to look at, you must see to believe! What I love about these books is that they’re a quick read; the fun narration coupled with the beautifully vivid drawings makes for a light yet satisfying romp through the pages. I’ve never been able to read a whole book in a day but, honestly, you can knock this over in half an hour! Can not WAIT until our Diane von Furstenburg copy arrives. Reserve it here.

birdscoverWe also have this exquisite edition by Sandra Bark. Birds of a Feather Shop Together: Aesop’s Fables for the Fashionable Set is a light look at various life lessons, all given a humorous high-fashion twist and inspired by Aesop’s famed fables. Again, the illustrations are colourful, luscious and to-die-for; you’re gonna love it!

As it turns out, designers are feeling the fashion fairytale love as well. (My advice? Don’t google the term ‘fashion fairytale’. You’ll get a whole lot of results on Barbie. NOT necessary.) Marchesa’s dreamy, fairytale gowns from New York Fashion Week are a must-see. Ellie Saab’s all over it as well; check out some footage from her fairytale-inspired Spring/Summer 2012 runway show at Paris Fashion Week.  

And who can forget Annie Leibovitz’s Alice in Wonderland themed shoot in Vogue ’03?! Amaze! An oldie, I know, but daaang, it’s a goodie. View the full shoot (and swoon) here. Loving John Galliano as the Queen of Hearts. And Tweedledum and Tweedledee’s chic make-over is pretty much amaze, a la Viktor & Rolf. Sigh… ♥

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