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Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else –

Month: February 2013


If you’re familiar with this term: good. If not, let us explain. Galentines is a (soon to be) widely celebrated holiday on the 13th of February, the day before Valentines day. If you’re unlucky in love, or just over the whole idea of Valentines, this is the holiday for you. Invented by the amazing Leslie Knope on the tv show Parks and Recreation, it’s a day to celebrate all your girl pals! No boys allowed. Typically it is celebrated with numerous compliments among friends, needlepoint portraits of one another, and waffles galore! Here’s a picture of our Galentines celebrations from last year:


Excited yet? You should be! In honor of Galentines on Wednesday, we’ve compiled a list of books about great female friendships, which we hope will inspire you to celebrate your own friends.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsA Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray

This one is a Librarian’s Choice pick by many of us librarians! It’s kind of like a Victorian, elongated Gossip Girl, but with fantasy bits. Gemma Doyle has grown up in India, until she has a spookily true vision of her mother’s death. She is then shipped off to Spence Academy for girls in England, where she encounters an exclusive clique. Rejected by the group as well as her less glamorous roommate Ann, Gemma blackmails herself and Ann into the clique. Gemma soon discovers she has been followed from India by a young man named Kartik, who warns her to fight off her ominous visions. Ignoring Kartik, Gemma has a vision one night of a child-spirit, which leads her to discover her visions transport her to another realm. The other girls find a way to accompany Gemma to other realms, but they find everything is not quite so simple or innocent as it first seems.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSloppy Firsts, Megan McCafferty

While I was reading this, everyone I talked to about it was grossed out by the title. But I urge everyone to look past that because this book is brilliant! It’s more about an absent friendship and how to deal with the gap it leaves. Hyperobservant Jessica Darling’s best friend Hope has moved away from their home of Pinesville and Jessica feels more lost than ever, now that the only person she could really communicate with is gone. She can barely stand the Clueless Crew, her other so-called “friends”, her dad is obsessed with her track meets, and her mother won’t shut up about Jessica’s sister’s wedding. Everything feels terrible for Jessica, until a chance encounter with the infamous Marcus Flutie, the elusive ginger dropkick of the school, leaves her mind-bogglingly flustered. Slowly their friendship grows, but what would everyone else think if they found out what was really going on between Jessica and Marcus? This is a great bildungsroman and seriously funny. Also, Marcus Flutie has quite a sizeable group of dedicated online fans, google him if you don’t believe us!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsA Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend, Emily Horner

Sad but uplifting, this book is about both friendship and loss. Cass’s best friend Julia has been working on a secret project for months. When Julia is suddenly killed in a car crash, Julia’s boyfriend and drama friends make it their mission to complete the project: a musical called Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad. Cass doesn’t fit in with the drama kids, and things get infinitely worse when Heather Galloway, the girl that has made her life miserable for years, is cast as the ninja princess. Cass has had enough, so she decides to go through with her original summer plan: a cross-country road trip with Julia. Cass sets off with a bicycle and Julia’s ashes in a Tupperware container for a summer of cleansing, healing and adventure.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAnne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery

“Marilla and Matthew, two siblings living on Prince Edward Island, Canada, decide to adopt an orphan boy to help out on their farm. But when Matthew goes to pick up the boy from the train station, he is shocked to find little red-headed Anne Shirley, and is instantly taken to her, charmed by her enthusiasm and talent for chattering.” – Goodreads review
A new edition of this book came out recently and some people are not very happy about the cover design. What do you think?

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsReunited, Hilary Weisman Graham

Back in middle school, Alice, Summer and Tiernan were best friends. But when their favourite band Level3 split up, so did their friendship. They parted ways into different social paths – popular, rebel and bookworm – but just as they’re getting ready to graduate, Level3 announce a one-time-only reunion show. Now the girls are on a 2000 mile road trip together to see the momentous show. Will their friendship be rekindled or is it over for good?

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Darlings Are Forever, Melissa Kantor

This one’s sort of the opposite of Reunited. Jane, Victoria and Natalya are BFFs with matching necklaces and a motto: “May you always do what you’re afraid of doing.” Then they all begin high school at three different schools across New York, and their friendship seems less certain. Not being together all the time is hard for the girls, and new things are scary when you’re alone. Will their friendship stand the test of time and distance?

Happy Galentines Day everyone!

Vintage Glamour

Image courtesy of Carrie Harwood

If you enjoy beautiful photos, impeccable outfits and a dash of vintage glamour, then I have a treat for you! Check here to visit my new favourite blog. I totally realise I’m more than a bit late to the party with this – after spending aaaages ogling the deliciousness on this blog, I decided to follow on EVERYTHING – instagram, facebook, pinterest, the lot. This talented lady has some serious followers – 1,645 on pinterest, 11,000 on instagram and 6,767 on facebook. Yeow! So clearly I’m totally late with this, and I apologise if you’ve been revelling in the awesomeness of this site for some time.

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Both images courtesy of Carrie Harwood

However! I totally recommend you have a look, it is beautiful. (Fair warning – be prepared to want stuff! This site inspired a serious shopping lust for me. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely something to be aware of.)

We also have some beautiful books here all about vintage glamour, and how to use it in your daily wardrobe. I recommend these in particular:

Syndetics book coverWearable vintage fashion / Jo Waterhouse & Clare Bridge.
“Wearable Vintage Fashion presents desirable, affordable and accessible vintage clothing and accessories in a new and fun format. Covering the looks of the twentieth century from the 20s to the 80s, this insider’s guide will feature the clothing, accessories and styling to recreate the looks of each decade. By presenting timeless, classic vintage pieces, the items will always be stylish regardless of the era they came from or the fashion trend of the moment. The book will, therefore, serve as a visual reference guide to collecting as well as to wearing classic vintage clothing.” – adapted from Amazon.

Syndetics book coverVintage menswear : a collection from the Vintage Showroom / Douglas Gun, Roy Luckett & Josh Sims.
Classic workwear, sports, and military apparel. Curated by connoisseurs of vintage clothing, The Vintage Showroom is a vast collection of rare 20th-century pieces that fashion designers and stylists pay to view, using the cut and detailing of individual garments as inspiration for their own work.

Syndetics book coverVintage fashion
This stylish introduction to vintage fashion showcases the key designs and styles of the main vintage eras of the twentieth century. It includes photographs of film stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly modeling classic designs, as well as garment illustrations and authentic model photo-shoots from all eras. It will be an inspiration to vintage enthusiasts and general readers alike. – Amazon

Happy birthday Pride and Prejudice!

In historical milestone news, last week (the 28th of January to be exact) marked the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen! It’s a great read with a cast of oddball characters, and it will take up that “classics” spot in your school reading log quite nicely.

200 years is a long time, and there have been a whole bunch of different adaptations and versions of P+P. Here are a few of our faves:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Of course.

The 2005 movie with Keira Knightley in it. Bingley, please.

Prom & Prejudice, a modern retelling of P+P. Same names and everything! But set in a high school.

The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, an online video series adaptation in the form of vlogs. It is super good! Also, it was co-created and developed by Hank Green of vlogbrothers fame i.e. brother of John Green.

This excellent cartoon summary version.

And finally, this has got to be the prettiest edition of the book ever:

Book cover courtesy of Syndetics

Check it out in real life to see the extent of its prettiness – bright coloured page edges, embossing and a silky matte cover. It’s designed by Jessica Hische (my favourite graphic designer!) and you can see a few more from this series on her website.

Happy P+P anniversary, enjoy in any way you wish!

The 2013 Amelia Bloomer Project

Each year the Amelia Bloomer Project, the brain child of the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association’s Social Responsibility Round Table (phew!), puts out a list of books published that are “the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18”. The 2013 list is here.

Thanks to Fiona for keeping up to date with the fabulous Amelia Bloomer!

If you’re interested in feminist literature, there’s also the 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader.

Most Wanted: February 2013

Lots of John Green love on the Most Wanted list for February again, and Clockwork Princess is due out in March – the much-anticipated third book in the Infernal Devices trilogy (for now).

1. Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare [up 1]
2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green [up 3]
3. Looking for Alaska, John Green [up 6]
4. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore [down 3]
5. 1D: One Direction: Forever Young [down 2]
6. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 3]
7. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 1]
8. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [down 2]
9. Maximum Ride 5 : The Manga, Narae Lee [new]
10. Reached, Ally Condie [down 4]
10. Scorched Earth, Robert Muchamore [new]
10. Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Edition 4, CLAMP [new]

Fashion Finder

Two things I wanted to share with you this week! Firstly, if you’re online and have some time to kill (or… you are in the mood to shop but have no money to actually do so; story of my life!) then I recommend you have a wee look here. If you join their Fashion Finder community, this site lets you submit your own photos of outfits you love, or even lets you create your own fashion spreads! They also run loads of competitions with sweet prizes. Or, if the process of signing up is all too much for you, you can simply enjoy the screeds of entries. I think it’s such an awesome way to get all the fashion inspiration you need, without leaving the comfort of your desk / bed / couch. Sweet!

Secondly, we have two fab new Bobbi Brown books in our collection. This first one is yet to arrive, but can be reserved now.

Bobbi Brown makeup manual
“This is the book that Bobbi Brown’s fans have been waiting for: her 25-plus years of makeup styling experience distilled into one complete, gorgeous book. Bobbi looks at everything from skincare basics to every aspect of facial makeup–from how to find the right color and type of foundation for any skin tone to how to apply every detail of eye makeup (Brows, Eye Liner, Eye Shadow, and Eye Lashes) no matter your eye color and shape. Of course there are never-before-seen tips on blush, bronzer, lip liners, lipstick, etc. And Bobbi looks beyond the face with informative chapters on “Hands and Feet” and “Body Skin Care.”  Plus, there’s a groundbreaking section of the book that will be of special interest to women who’ve wanted to know how makeup stylists do what they do: the top beauty secrets only these artists know, essential equipment to keep on hand, how to break into the business, and how to work with photographers and celebrities. BOBBI BROWN’S MAKEUP MANUAL will be the only book any woman will need to look absolutely fabulous.” – adapted from Amazon

Syndetics book coverBobbi Brown, pretty powerful : beauty stories to inspire confidence : start-to-finish makeup techniques to achieve fabulous looks / by Bobbi Brown with Sara Bliss.
“From best-selling author and global makeup mogul Bobbi Brown, this beauty guide presents Bobbi’s Pretty Powerful philosophy and inspires women to use makeup to be their best selves. With step-by-step application instructions, face charts breaking down the different looks, and personal stories from real women and celebrities, this book outlines the best tricks and techniques Bobbi has culled from her remarkable career in the beauty industry”. (Syndetics summary)

Perfect if you’re wanting to look your best for an up-coming Valentines date… ♥

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