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Month: April 2013 Page 1 of 2

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 27-28/4

Kia ora!

Welcome to the weekend. What to do, what to do?

If you find yourself wandering about Newtown this weekend why not check out Wellington Festival Of Circus? If having clowning & cabaret up in your face isn’t doing it for you maybe Darren Shan could keep you in theme but through the safety of bound text?

If you’re more of a performer then a watcher have you considered entering this years Smokefree Rockquest? It’s the 25th year this right-of-passage is running and man has it fostered all sorts of household name kiwi musicians. Need some inspiration? Here’s a surface scratching list of previous contestants including Kimbra and last years winners New Vinyl. Take yourself on a journey through our CD collection.

The curtain falls on Game Masters at Te Papa this weekend. The amazing exhibition that caters to almost every level of gamer was borrowed from the incredible ACMI in Melbourne’s Federation Square and includes Pacman, Space Invaders and Sonic!

New music on the playlist shelf this week includes ex-Wellingtonian Willy Moon and half New Zealand alt-indie darlings The Veils with their fourth album.

Ever wondered what happens when you wring a soggy towel out in space? Here’s the answer:

– Physics, fascinating!

That’s what’s a going down.

Fowler out.

Monochrome Craze

Image from fashiongonerogue

I LOVE this image. It’s so chic and glamour, but still kinda edgy… love. I’m really enjoying the black and white monochrome trend at the mo. It’s quite surprising for me, considering I absolutely adore colour and love wearing really outrageously bright tones. But the monochrome look is so simple yet chic, I kinda like it.

lula-16-149 (1).jpgc

lula-16-151 (1).jpgclula-16-154 (1).jpgc
Images from ArtDepartment.

It’s definitely a trend I’m wanting to milk this winter. I recently bought this dress and really love it for its versatility – it can be worn with any colour, but also looks so sweet by itself. And, negl, I rock a lot of polka dots. Am also in love with this top! I am obsessed with cat clothing at the moment (think it’s because I’ve made friends with a cat that lives in my building – she’s black and fluffy and SO CUTE. We cuddle daily.) and this sweet shirt is no exception. I love wearing it with my 90s black pleat skirt – swoon! Also really digging this classic houndstooth skirt… it has such a chic vintage London vibe. Who knew just black and white together could be so much fun?

New Books

The ladies edition:

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDreamless, Josephine Angelini (503 pages) – Heartbroken and forbidden from being with Lucas, Helen has been tasked with breaking the curse that keeps them apart by killing the Furies. She spends her nights wandering the Underworld in search of them and, tormented by her worst nightmares made real, she’s beginning to suffer from extreme exhaustion on top of her heartbreak. One night, Helen meets another person in the shadowy Underworld: Orion. Still in love with Lucas but drawn to this seductive stranger, Helen must make a choice that could save her life but break her heart…

First lines: “On Monday morning, school was cancelled. Power still hadn’t been restored to certain parts of the island, and several streets in the centre of town were impassable due to damage done by the storm.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAll this could end, Steph Bowe (275 pages) – What’s the craziest thing your mum has asked you to do? Nina doesn’t have a conventional family. Her family robs banks. After yet another move and another new school, Nina is fed up and wants things to change. This time she’s made a friend she’s determined to keep: Spencer loves weird words and will talk to her about almost anything. Spencer and Nina both need each other as their families fall apart, but Nina is on the run and doesn’t know if she will ever see Spencer again.

First lines: “Nina Pretty holds the gun to the boy’s head, her other arm around his neck. Her balaclava itches.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAlex as well, Alyssa Brugman (223 pages) – What do you do when everybody says you’re someone you’re not? Alex wants change. Massive change. More radical than you could imagine. Her mother is not happy, in fact she’s imploding. Her dad walked out. Alex has turned vegetarian, ditched one school, enrolled in another, thrown out her clothes. And created a new identity. An identity that changes her world. And Alex-the other Alex-has a lot to say about it.

First lines: “There are moments in life where something happens and it changes everything forever. You make one decision, and after that you can’t go back. It doesn’t even have to be a big thing.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEtiquette & espionage, Gail Carriger (307 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than in proper manners. Unfortunately for her, her mother is desperate for her to become a proper lady. So Sophronia is sent to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But the school is not what Sophronia, or her mother, expect. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage.

First lines: “Sophronia intended to pull the dumbwaiter up from the kitchen to outside the front parlor on the ground floor, where Mrs. Barnaclegoose was taking tea. Mrs. Barnaclegoose had arrived with a stranger in tow.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsNew Guinea Moon, Kate Constable (275 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Julie is on her way to meet a father she doesn’t know in a country she’s never been to. What will she find when the tiny plane touches down in the lush tropical highlands of New Guinea? She might expect culture shock, she might hope for first love, but the secret she uncovers makes for a truly unforgettable summer.

First lines: “Julie stands in the doorway of the place. The heat slaps her in the face like a hot, wet towel. Passengers crowd at her back, impatient to disembark.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEarth Girl, Janet Edwards (358 pages) – In the far future, the universe is divided into two different groups: the Norms, who can portal between planets, and people like Jarra, the one in a thousand born with an immune system that doesn’t allow them to survive anywhere but Earth.

First lines: “It was on Wallam-Crane day that I finally decided what I was going to do for my degree course Foundation year. I’d had a mail about it from Issette that morning.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFlowers in the sky, Lynn Joseph (232 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Nina Perez is faced with a future she never expected. She must leave her Garden of Eden, her lush island home in the Dominican Republic, to seek out a better life. As Nina searches for some glimpse of familiarity amid the urban and jarring world of Washington Heights, she learns to uncover her own strength and independence.

First lines: “Just about everyone from my country, Republica Dominicana, dreams of moving to New York City, except for me. I did not want to leave my seaside home in Samana on the north coast where the humpback whales come every winter and fill Samana Bay with miracles and tourists.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOut of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys (346 pages) – Josie Moraine wants out of The Big Easy – she needs more than New Orleans can offer. Known as a brothel prostitute’s daughter, she dreams of life at an elite college, far away from here. But then a mysterious death leaves Josie caught between her ambition and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans is luring Josie deeper in as she searches for the truth, and temptation beckons at every turn.

First lines: “My mother’s a prostitute. Not the filthy, streetwalking kind. She’s actually quite pretty, fairly well spoken, and has lovely clothes. But she sleeps with men for money or gifts, and according to the dictionary, that makes her a prostitute.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFractured, Teri Terry (421 pages) – Kyla shouldn’t remember anything from before she was Slated, but dark secrets of her past will not stay buried. Caught in a tug of war between Lorder oppression and the fight for her freedom, her past and present race towards a collision she may not survive. While her desperate search for Ben continues, who can she trust in this world of secrets and lies?

First lines: “Rain has many uses. Holly and beech trees like those around me need it to live and grow. It washes away tracks, obscures footprints.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMermaid : a twist on the classic tale, Carolyn Turgeon (242 pages) – Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. The man is not only a prince, he is also the son of her father’s greatest rival. Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom but it’s one that could cost her, and the mermaid, everything.

First lines: “It was a gloomy, overcast day, like all days where, when the princess first saw them. The two of them, who would change her life.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFire Season, David Weber & Jane Lindskold (287 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Stephanie Harrington and her fellow Provisional Forest Rangers on the planet Sphinx must prevent disaster from befalling a treecat clan caught in a blaze. But Sphinx isn’t the only thing ripe for burning. Stephanie has fallen hard for new arrival to Sphinx, Anders Whittaker. When Anders vanishes without a trace, Stephanie has to choose between her planet and her heart.

First lines: “Climbs quickly’s two-leg was up to something she shouldn’t be doing … again. The emotions surging through her mind-glow made that perfectly clear.”

Tremendous Trilogies, Volume Four.

Our next feature is on the Thieves Like Us trilogy by Stephen Cole. This series is a genuine action-adventure story filled with nail biting antics, loads of fun and wonderfully sarcastic heroes.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThieves Like Us is the first book that the trilogy takes its name from. Jonah Wish is a teenage computer-hacking delinquent with an awesome name, a perfect recipe for a member of a teen thievery ring. He joins Patch, Motti, Con and Tye, each with their own special skill which is instrumental in the execution of the plans they come up with. The team work under the watchful eye of Nathaniel Coldhardt as they race from one exotic location to the next to find the ancient artifacts outlined in Coldhardt’s missions. The artifacts may bring riches, or perhaps uncover a long lost secret the human race would like to know about…

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIn The Aztec Code (also published as Thieves Til We Die) the team return empty-handed after Coldhardt requested the retrieval of the lost sword of Cortes, which had been used to conquer and destroy the Aztecs. In the wake of the mission’s failure, Tye is kidnapped from under their noses and the other teen geniuses are desperate to get her back. Coldhardt is less concerned. The team uncover an organisation called the Sixth Sun, which could be the key to the location of both Tye and the lost sword. Again racing from one exotic location to the next, this time they are against the clock, counting down until they potentially lose Tye forever.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Bloodline Cipher is (regretfully!) the last in the trilogy. “Jonah and the rest of the elite team of teenage thieves have been sent on a mission by Coldhardt to retrieve an ancient grimoire. He believes it to be a magical book of the law of the dead. Something like that could fetch a very good price in the right market. But when they go in to get it, the discover another team of thieves has beaten them to it. Even more disturbingly, this team is better trained, and better informed. It seems Coldhardt’s old mentor, a man he thought was dead, is not only very alive, but has a highly efficient rival organisation, and a devilish plan to wipe out Coldhardt. Only the best will make it. In a thrilling adventure with brilliant plotting and fiendish twists, join Jonah faces his toughest challenge yet – but will it be his last?” – Goodreads

After I (Rachel) finished book three, I went feverishly searching for the next in the series when I came upon Thieves Til We Die (which I first encountered as The Aztec Code) and was hopeful for all of a second that I had a new book to read, but it wasn’t to be. This is a warning so you don’t make the same disappointing mistake as I did.

We’re slightly sheepish about recommending this trilogy because we feel it had so much more to give than just a trilogy and we fear you might end up wishing as much as we do that it had gone on longer! It felt like the series had a lot more to give, at the very least with two more books so that each of the main gang of five had their ‘own’ featured book. Alas, there are only three and we will forevermore be saying to ourselves (and everyone else, for that matter) “what if?”

Looking forward to:

Allegiant! The title of the new book in the popular Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth was announced last week, and unhappily it is not ‘Detergent’ as suggested. They’re not as forthcoming with the book cover – this (on the right) is all we’ve got at the moment. We’ll let you know as soon as we’ve ordered it – the book is due to be published at the end of October, so watch this space. Here’s Veronica Roth’s title announcement.

In the mean time, we’ve been ordering other interesting things:

Scarlet in the snow, Sophie Masson. “A deserted mansion. Empty picture frames. A perfect red rose in a snowy garden. There is rich and powerful magic here, and a mystery to unravel… When Natasha is forced to take shelter from a sudden, terrible blizzard, she is lucky to see a mansion looming out of the snow. Inside it’s beautiful: the fire lit, the table set. But there is no one there. And on the walls, instead of paintings, are empty frames. In the garden, she finds one perfect red rose about to bloom, a vivid splash of scarlet against the snow. Dreamily she reaches out a hand… Only to have the master of the house appear – a terrifying, gigantic creature who looks like a cross between a bear and a man – and demand vengeance on her for taking his rose. So begins an extraordinary adventure that will see Natasha plunged deep into the heart of a mystery… Inspired by two beautiful Russian fairytales – The Scarlet Flower (the Russian version of Beauty and the Beast) and Fenist the Falcon, Scarlet in the Snow is a beguiling mix of magic, romance, adventure and mystery.” (goodreads.com)

Sinking, David Hill – the new novel by the New Zealand author of See Ya Simon and Duet. “A grim secret. A life in danger. When a crazy old man leaps out of the bushes at Conrad on his way to swimming training, he gets the fright of his life. And when he discovers the man’s granddaughter is that weird horse-riding girl from school, he decides to steer clear of them. But fate has other ideas… and he is drawn into a grim secret. What’s the old man’s connection to a death from long ago? And whose life is in danger now…” (Children’s Bookshop, Kilbirnie)

Ghostheart, Ananda Braxton-Smith – the next in the Secrets of Carrick series after Merrow and Tantony. “Her brothers and sisters are fearless, light as scuds, quick as hoppers. Not Mally. She knows too many secrets, that one. She is frighted, all right. Frozen at the edge of the shore, lonely as a cornstalk in a saltmarsh. But in Carrick things are changing and Mally needs to change too. Out of nowhere has come Dolyn Craig – a sneak and a bully but that’s not the worst of it. He’s also unexpected with it. What could he want with poor frightened Mally?” (goodreads.com) These books have fantastic covers!

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 2

This week marks the halfway point through one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Split across two three day weekends The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Annual Festival (or just Coachella) in the southern California Desert showcases a plethora of bands from world-wining super acts to underground heroes. What’s the use in knowing that this is happening if it’s on the other side of the world you might say? This time of year heralds the festival drought for us but the Northern Hemisphere’s where the good time’s at! A whole array of fabled behemoth events spring up, taunting us from afar and while our imaginations may be tempted with envy one, at least, has decided to share itself with the rest of the world. So, if you find yourself bored in front of the interwebs this weekend or just keen to experience some big gig flavour be sure to tune into the Coachella Youtube channel so you can catch up on weekend one and take in some of the highlights (why not start with this The Lumineers set out-take>).

It’s really quite a joyous weekend on the musical front with the sixth annual Record Store Day consuming the globe on Saturday. Some of our great Wellington record stores will no doubt be getting in on the action (including Evil Genius, Slow Boat & Rough Peel). We aren’t quite a music store but we’ve got one heck of a music collection you can flick through, thousands of CD’s I tell you. One of the great things about Record Store Day is that a whole lot-a artists get on board and release some sweet merch’ or diddy’s for the day. For the full list click here, some surface-scratching favourite’s partaking include; Foals, Grizzly Bear, Iron & Wine & MGMT with this cassingle (preview only).

In brief:

To celebrate their two huge years of global success on the back of Passive Me, Aggressive You kiwi band The Naked And Famous have released their One Temporary Escape recording in San Francisco free to all.

All ages treat and Auckland Fringe Festival “Best Performance” winner Squidboy hits town at Bats in its current form on Dixon and Cuba. It’s had some sweet reviews like “impossible not to love.”

Rather get some sport going? The Hurricanes have a home game at Westpac Stadium against Perth’s Western Force – dum, dum, dum (that was a drum roll) who’s gonna win?

And of course a viral video to end the week on. Na-na-na-na batman.

That’s what’s a going down.

Fowler out.

New and See-through

This morning, a beautiful new book landed on my desk and I can’t wait to read it. But, alas, when I went to reserve it, there were 27 people in the reserves queue! 27!!!! So if you are also wanting to read this book, I recommend you reserve it prooooonto.

Syndetics book coverGrace : a memoir / Grace Coddington with Michael Roberts.
“Coddington, creative director of the American Vogue magazine, has much to impart. Fashionistas, rejoice, because not only does she chronicle the life and times of a former model turned editor; she also discusses those whose names appear in any celebrity column. What saves this from becoming a download of the activities of the rich and famous is, first, her amazing candor. We learn, for instance, that marriages don’t agree with her, that her sister Rosemary died of a combination OD-hospital malfeasance issue, and that editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is not as portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada. And, second, her charming and lively pen-and-ink illustrations grace every chapter and almost every page. Just what you would ask for from a revered behind-the-scenes magazine editor is what you get here.–Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

I SO enjoy and admire Grace Coddington’s work – cannot wait to read this one! If you can’t wait either (and, sadly, the 27 people in the reserves queue means you’ll probably have to), then check this in the meantime:

Syndetics book coverGrace : thirty years of fashion at Vogue / [edited by Grace Coddington ; essay by Michael Roberts].
“Grace Coddington’s celebration of fashion has danced along its cutting edge for over 30 years. Abandoning a highly lucrative career as a leading model on the 60s London scene, Coddington signed on in 1968 as a junior fashion editor at British Vogue. She quickly established herself on the other side of the camera, coordinating photo shoots with David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton, Sarah Moon, and the eccentric Guy Bourdin. A close working relationship with royal photographer Norman Parkinson produced a series of startlingly vibrant location shoots that have come to be considered classics. At British Vogue, Coddington also introduced the sweeping narrative epic, a familiar feature of her work nowadays at American Vogue, where she has been creative director for the past 14 years. GRACE: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue is not only a collection of Coddington’s greatest work, it is a visual reminiscence of her life in fashion.” (Amazon.com)

She also features predominantly in this DVD* (which I loved, by the way!) Watch it, watch it, watch it.

The September issue [videorecording] / an A&E Indiefilms production in association with Actual Reality Pictures presents a film by R.J. Cutler.
An unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the making of the coveted September Issue of Vogue in 2007, which was the largest and most sold to date. An intimate, funny and surprising look at the legendary editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team of larger-than-life editors. This is the captivating story of how they create the must-have bible of fashion. At the eye of this hurricane is the two-decade relationship between Anna and Grace Coddington, incomparable creative director and fashion genius.

So, there’s your Grace crisis sorted! Now, to the see-through…

Images courtesy of blackdiamondsky

Am wondering what ya’ll think of the see-through clutch trend? It is huge at the mo and am guessing it will hit us next spring / summer. I am torn on it, to be honest… I think they can look a bit cheap and nasty. They need to be signicantly adorned and blinged out in order to be beautiful – otherwise, they can end up looking like a pencil case. I love the top two in this pic – so pretty!  Valentino, Chanel and  Gucci have all done them with enough glam appeal to keep it luxe, although I feel this Prada one is walking a fine line between cheap and chic… the elaborate diamond clasp only just saves it, methinks. 

Accessorising intensifies.
Matching your handbag contents to your outfit…  pressure!

However, have just seen an idea which may explain some of their appeal. This one here, by Charlotte Olympia, has a range of different inners available, so you can completely change the look of it to match your outfit. Genius! But what do you think? See-through for the win?

* $4 for one week.

R n R’s guide to non-fiction (600s)

You may have noticed that when it comes to non-fiction books, adults get the most choice (there’s two floors of it here at central to half a floor of fiction) followed by kids and then finally, there’s a small and select non-fiction section dedicated to our lovely YA patrons. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with good stuff! And to help you find all those gems, we give you: R n R’s guide to non-fiction. We’ll start with the 600s.

Under the Dewey Decimal system, the books classified as 600s are all those pertaining to technology. In the children’s section you’ll find lots of books about how planes, trains and automobiles work. But in the much more selective ya section the 600s are limited to four major subject headings; 610 – Health, 641 – Food, 646 – Fashion and 650 – Working Life.


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTake it from us, puberty is not all fun and games. But on the bright side, it will get better. In the meantime you could read these books and know that you’re not alone. Let’s start with the body health stuff which is often addressed by gender. So we’ve got The ‘S’ word: a boys’ guide to sex, puberty and growing up or the Girl’s guide to becoming a teen both of which are great but if you’re after some more gender neutral infromation then check out Annie Rose’s Sex and other stuff: the A to Z guide of everything you need to know which is a to-the-point guide to all those terms you may hear but don’t fully understand. Things like depo provera or molluscum contagiosum, as well as the more common ones like abstinence or testosterone.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe ‘health’ category also includes mental health and issues like eating disorders or depression which are alarmingly common. Although no book can give a quick fix for depression, My Kind of Sad : what it’s like to be young and depressed by Kate Scowen has a whole lot of information to help you get through it, or to help you understand it if someone you know is going through it. Depression is messy, confusing and very rarely makes sense. If you need to, then also check out the depression.org.nz site for more information.


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIs by and large ruled by Sam Stern’s cookbooks. Which is a good thing because they’re awesome. He started with Cooking up a Storm (the teen survival cookbook) in 2005 and has since written another five cookbooks to date! The latest, Virgin to Veteran: how to get cooking with confidence is a comprehensive guide to all things kitchen related. It’s divided into food types (chicken, dairy, beef, puddings, salads and so on) with each section having its own guide before the related recipes. For example the section on lamb explains which cuts are best for which meals, how to store it, what to look for when buying lamb, cooking times, flavouring and all sorts of other handy tips.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAnother great here is Girlosophy : real girls eat by Anthea Paul which is so much more than a cookbook! It’s extremely pretty to look at, while also extolling the virtues of taking time to prepare food that provides one’s body with needed nutrition and celebrating the spiritual connection between body and soul. Along with the recipes there are anecdotes, healthy eating information (as opposed to dieting) and information about cultural differences in food. The Girlosophy books have a lusciously loving vibe and if you’re yet to discover them then this one is a great place to start! Spoiler alert: the rest will probably be featured in the guide to non-fiction (300s) post.


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAre you particularly crafty and creative? Or just bored with your current wardrobe? Rather than spending a small fortune on a new one why not turn your old stuff into new stuff! I wanna make my own clothes by Clea Hantman can help you do just that! This book promises to teach you how to make wrap skirts and halter tops out of old tee shirts, kickin’ cargo pants out of blah pants, and chokers and other stylish accessories out of the scraps. The 646 fashion books are all about making your own fashion, if you’re after the fashion-bible-coffee-table-books full of fashion advice then you need to check out the 700s. The guide to which is still coming. In the meantime, The book of styling : an insider’s guide to creating your own look by Somer Flaherty is a nice mix of DIY tips and fashion advice.

Working Life

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIn this section you’ll find books with some seriously practical advice about working. From job hunting to cv writing (bonus points if you know what cv stands for) and tips on how to ace a job interview. For all this information and more check out Getting a brilliant job : the student’s guide by Karen & Jim Bright. If you want information on more than just getting a job but on how to start your own busisness then there are books about that as well. Start it up : the complete teen business guide to turning your passions into pay by Kenrya Rankin for example provides an A-to-Z on getting a business going and making it successful, whether it’s baking, dog walking, house painting or something else.

So that’s the 600s done. Keep an eye out for more non-fiction guides, they’re on their way we promise!

R n R

Cover twins

Book cover courtesy of Syndetics Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Both these books had been rattling about in my brain for a wee while and I finally managed to think of them side by side. Having looked at them both closely, the font actually isn’t identical but it does look extremely similar! After some further investigation, I think they were both drawn by Sarah J. Coleman who has done some really awesome work (check out her website here) and a whole bunch of great book covers which have the distinct mark of her work! She certainly has a new fan over here at the teen blog!

Oh and as for the books themselves, we’ve read both of them over here and both of them were great. Thumbs up!

Catching Fire trailer!

Is out, and it looks gripping!

Don’t forget to read the book: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

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