Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

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

Month: November 2012

New Books

Here are some of the new books we’ve got in the library! Just some, mind you. This is not a representative sample. Oh no no

Time Between Us, by Tamara Ireland Stone (368 pages) – This book is set in 1995, which, incredibly for some of us, was nearly eighteen years ago. I am almost too depressed to continue. Haha ha. Anna, who lives back then, meets Bennett, who is from the now (2012) but can travel through time. They fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the whole time travel thing. You might say it is literally tested by time.  

First line: ‘Even from this distance I can see how young he looks. Younger than the first time I saw him.

Crewel : A Novel, by Gennifer Albin (360 pages) – Crewel is not a mispelling of ‘cruel’*, as I thought, but it is a type of embroidery, and teen Adelice is able to embroider the very fabric of reality. She is manipulated by the Manipulation Services into becoming a Spinster, which means living apart from her home and family. Part one of the ‘Crewel World’ series.
* the pun still stands though

First lines: ‘They came in the night. Once, families fought them, neighbours coming to their aid. But now that peace has been established, and the looms proven, girls pray to be retrieved.

My Book of Life by Angel, by Martine Leavitt (246 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Angel is taken in by Call, who soon has her addicted to drugs and working on the streets. It’s when her best friend disappears and she has an innocent to save that she finds she has the strength to do what she couldn’t for herself. Told entirely as a long, kind of depressing poem.

First line: ‘When Serena went missing
I look in all the places she might go

A Corner of White, by Jaclyn Moriarty (413 pages) – This is the first in a series called ‘The Colours of Madeleine.’ Madeleine lives in Cambridge, and discovers a crack in reality between our world and the Kingdom of Cello, just large enough for her and Elliot to exchange letters. Can Madeleine help Elliot solve the mystery of his father’s whereabouts and his mother’s illness?

First line: ‘Madeleine Tully turned fourteen yesterday, but today she did not turn anything at all.

Origin, by Jessica Khoury (393 pages) – Pia has been genetically breed to produce a new race of humans who will never die. She lives in a compound deep in the Amazon rainforest, but when she finds a secret way out she meets Eio, a nearby village with whom she forms an attachment. The pair of them begin to work out the details of Pia’s life, and she discovers that there is much more to life than living forever.

First lines: ‘I’m told that the day I was born, Uncle Paolo held me against his white lab coat and whispered, “she’s perfect.” Sixteen years later, they’re still repeating the word.

Glass Heart, by Amy Garvey (310 pages) – Wren Darby has powers that are actually quite impressive, but when she uses them she risks losing control. She forms an attachment with Gabriel, who warns her not to go overboard on the reality altering, and she discovers things about her family that are shocking revelations. Yikes, Wren!

First line: ‘I’m flying, soaring, swooping, dizzy with power and the sharp bite of the December air on my cheeks.

Call The Shots, by Don Calame (457 pages) – This is a follow on from Swim the Fly and Beat the Band. Sean is jealous that his two best friends have awesome girlfriends. His parents are going to have a baby soon, and his sister is convinced that he’s gay. SO to remedy all this he plans to make their own horror film, and then enter it in a competition. But making a film isn’t easy!

First lines: ‘“It’s my best idea yet.” Coop’s got a huge grin on his face as he wrestles his ice skate onto his left foot. “It came to me last night while I was launching a mud missile.”

Eve & Adam, by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate (291 pages) – Eve (short for ‘Evening’) is in a nasty car crash, and rushed to her mother’s research facility to recuperate. Bored, she gets the chance to create a boy using an ‘amazing simulation’ that teaches human genetics – it makes eyes, hair, even personality. WILL he be perfect?

First line: ‘I am thinking of an apple when the streetcar hits and my leg severs and my ribs crumble and my arm is no longer an arm but something unrecognisable, wet and red.

Flock, by Wendy Delsol (394 pages) – Here’s what the catalogue has to say. ‘Katla’s hopes of dodging unfinished business during her senior year are dashed by the arrival of two “Icelandic exchange students,” Marik and Jinky, who have come to collect Katla’s frail baby sister and take her to the water queen.’ The sequel to Frost.

First line: ‘Spending the morning ball-and-chained to a new kid was not my idea of a good kickoff to our senior year.

Be My Enemy, by Ian McDonald (269 pages) – Everett Singh continues his search of the multiverse for his missing father, who could be anywhere – there are billions of parallel universes out there. Here he must visit three Earths: one that is frozen and barren; one that has had aliens occupying the moon since the 60s; and the third where nanotechnology has cornered what remains of humanity in the ruins of London. Sequel to Planesrunner.

First line: ‘The car came out nowhere. He thought it might have been black in the split second that he saw it.

Amazon’s Top Ten Books for Teens in 2012

Terrifyingly it’s already that time of year when Amazon produces its best books of the year lists. The Top 20 list for teens is here. It’s an interesting, varied collection, with some of our favourites of 2012.

  1. Reached, Ally Condie – we’re still waiting patiently for this. You can reserve it though!
  2. The Fault in our Stars, John Green
  3. Son, Lois Lowry – we’ve just ordered this one.
  4. Insurgent, Veronica Roth
  5. Days of Blood & Starlight, Laini Taylor – again, we’re waiting patiently (join the queue!).
  6. The Kill Order, James Dashner – The Maze Runner prequel.
  7. Dodger, Terry Pratchett
  8. The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater – one of our favourites of the year. Perfect for after-exam recovery (you can suspend your reserve until after you’ve finished).
  9. Every Day, David Levithan
  10. The Diviners, Libba Bray – Grimm is half way through (it’s quite epic).
  11. Seraphina, Rachel Hartman
  12. Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver
  13. Cinder, Marissa Meyer
  14. Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas
  15. Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo
  16. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein – loved this book. One of our favourites of the year also.
  17. Why We Broke Up, Daniel Handler – who is also Lemony Snicket.
  18. Grave Mercy, R L LaFevers – again, this was a great read.
  19. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M Danforth
  20. For Darkness Shows the Stars, Diana Peterfreund – we’ve just ordered this one too.

Book Spine Poems

We at the teen blog salute poetry (especially in haiku form), and we’re good for a poetry challenge, so we love Book Spine Poetry (see here, here and here for some references). It is oddly satisfying (and a particularly good way to waste pass time, as it involves staring at bookshelves in a contemplative fashion).

Here are our first attempts:


The Drowned Cities Embrace Fierce September


Pretty Monsters Torment Everything Beautiful in the World

Thank you to Steph for the pinterest link, and to Brooklyn library for the inspiration.

David Malo’s The Revival

Get excited because I have a treat for you this week! My very good and hip friend Gavin has agreed to be our guest blogger for the week, giving us all the goss on a super-glam hair and beauty night he attended here in Wellington recently.

“Local hairdresser David Malo, who spent time in LA doing the likes of X Factor presenter Khloe Kardashian, showcased his experimental styles last week in ‘The Revival’ at BambaZonke hairdressing in Wellington’s CBD.

Channelling 80s looks and striking colour, David put together a combination of five retro looks for a showcase of his talents.

Hot runway looks interpreted with a fashion twist included his Desperate Housewives meets Welli cool – big big hair with lots of body and volume. His Cuba Street kids meets high fashion red and black colouring was also a great hit opening the runway show. The glam and fabulous of Wellington’s social scene were out in force to support David’s brave attempt to bring hair showcases to our capital city.”




All photos courtesy of Chris Park at NZ Style Collective.

Exams: don’t panic!

It’s exam time again, but never fear! Come to the library to study. Also, here’s some useful stuff:

Past Exam Papers. You can download these off the NZQA website here (you can print exam papers out at the library – printing costs 20c for an A4 black and white page).

The 2012 Exam Timetable. Here’s a link to the timetable (PDF).

NCEA Study Guides. You can borrow these from the library (for one week). If someone’s got the one you want, there are reference copies at the central library. Just bring your library card to the children’s enquiries desk.

Forum for students. Ask advice and talk to teachers and other students at studyit.

Revision tools for NCEA Science. At No Brain Too Small.

Exam tips from the good people at NZQA here.

Online Databases. The library’s got a wealth of information available through MyGateway. The Study and Homework page has got a collection of all-round useful websites and databases, but also have a look at Science, History, or Books & Reading, for example.

Exam Info Alerts. Find out the latest information from NZQA via Twitter.

Studystop Pages. Useful links and hints are here.

WCL Teens at Facebook. While you’re on a study break, like us on Facebook to waste some time.

The teen blog wishes you all the best for your exams!

Most Wanted: November 2012

Here are the top 10 requested and borrowed young adult items at Wellington City Libraries. Numbers 2 to 10, although they’ve ganged up in pairs, have still got a ways to go to topple Robert Muchamore, spy king, from his perch.

1. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore [no change]
2. Reached, Ally Condy (on order) [up 3]
2. Finale, Becca Fitzpatrick (on order) [up 5]
4. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [up 2]
4. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
6. The Rise of Nine, Pitacus Lore [down 2]
6. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
8. One Shot Kill, Robert Muchamore [new]
8. Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare [new]
10. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [down 8]

Become a Youth Council Member

The Wellington City Council is looking for new Youth Council members for 2013! If you are interested in council issues and youth-related activities in Wellington, this could be your opportunity to get involved.

The Youth Council has had a busy year in 2012, focusing on emergency preparedness and economic development. They have made submissions to the WCC, the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Government on a range of issues, plans and policies, including on vulnerable children, public transport, the WCC’s Long Term Plan, and local government reform. Youth Council members have also attended conferences such as the Human Rights Commission’s national youth forum on cultural diversity.

Youth Council members must live in Wellington City, be 12 to 24 years old, and be able to attend meetings at 4pm on Wednesdays. Applications close in February 2013, when interviews will be held. This gives you heaps of time to think, decide and fill out the application form. You can also attend a Youth Council meeting to see the inner workings: the final meetings for 2012 are the 14th and 28th of November.

If you want to know more about the Youth Council, visit the webpage or have a look at the Facebook page to see what they’ve been up to. If you have any questions email youth.council@wcc.govt.nz.

Scarf Love

As you’ll have noticed, scarf print is EVERYWHERE at the mo, so I thought I’d celebrate with my own wee Ode to the Scarf.

I have an obsession a confession.PA302240
I am a lover of scarves. This is just over half of my collection.

I can’t resist them. Oh the love! ♥ They’re such an easy way to dress up or completely change an outift.


Most of them are cheapies picked up at various vintage and second hand stores, or the usual suspects of fashion chains. There are also loads that I’ve been given (woohoo). For instance, the sassy red and blue Oroton you can spy in the picture above was given to me by our very own Chic Librarian. She found it for some insanely cheap price (like, less than $5, if memory serves!) and gave it to me when she heard of my addiction to fondness for scarves.

I think my fave at the mo is this one, I picked it up for the grand total of ten bucks. I love the colours and the retro vibe; the pastels and the fun print are so on trend right now. And the whimsical cadillacs; cute! I wore it to a local beloved tea room recently and got the THRILL OF MY LIFE when a staff member asked if it was a Prada scarf. Their spring/summer 2012 collection is delicious; retro-America themed with very pretty colours. Love!

There are also a couple of, shall we say, investment pieces in my collection…

PA302260Possibly the love of my love, this one is from Salvatore Ferragamo.





This Hermès scarf is the result of a LOT of internet trawling.





PA302263And the grand finale! Please note that this scarf from Alexander McQueen is ON THE FLOOR for the sake of this blog.


There are loads of books in our collection that share the scarf love. These are my picks:

Syndetics book coverThe printed square : vintage handkerchief patterns for fashion and design / Nicky Albrechtsen.
Suitable for collectors of printed textiles, fashion lovers and designers, this title features over 200 designed handkerchiefs that have been selected to reflect the magnificent array of printed designs that emerged between the 1920s and 1950s.

Syndetics book coverThe Hermès scarf : history & mystique / Nadine Coleno.
“A sumptuous selection of Hermes scarves chosen from seven decades of creative innovation.” (Syndetics summary)


For some inspiration for ways to wear your scarf, there are BILLIONS of sites online telling you all about it. I thought this one was the best. Of course, the Hermes knotting cards are the ultimate in scarf-tying how-to, but until I have the vast amounts of cash required to invest in those, I will be making do with thorough internet stalking research.

Rookie Yearbook

Tavi Gevinson is hardly what you’d call a rookie now: she’s been blogging on fashion since she was eleven (a whole five years ago), she’s editor-in-chief of Rookie magazine, a website for teen girls, and Lady Gaga called her “the future of fashion journalism”. Library fashionistas kind of like her too.

Not to be outdone by herself (since there aren’t that many other fashion publishing whirlwinds out there), she’s recently published Rookie Yearbook One, celebrating one year of Rookie magazine: “A 352 page collection of articles, interviews, photo editorials, and illustrations from Rookie’s first year – now in print. Included: stickers created by Rookie illustrators, a paper crown designed by Meadham Kirchoff, and a flexidisc with songs by Supercute! and Dum Dum Girls” (rookiemag.com).

You can reserve a copy now!

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