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

Month: May 2013 Page 1 of 3

Winter Revamp

If you feel you’re in need of a style shake-up before the winter sets in, then look no further! We have oodles of new books bound to give you just that; targeting your hair, skin, make up and, of course, your style. Yusssss!!

Syndetics book coverLove your hair : 24 easy-to-follow recipes for effortlessly sexy hair / Richard Kavanagh ; photographed by Steven Chee.
“How to create high-fashion hair styles at home, by top stylist Richard Kavanagh … has put together 24 recipes to show clearly and simply how to create a range of fabulous looks in your own home. Step-by-step instructions, with clear photos to make it easy, plus information on hair types, haircare, styling tools and much more. A stunning fashion book as well as a how-to guide”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverThe wow factor : insider style secrets for every body and every budget / by Jacqui Stafford.
“A style expert shares professional secrets on how to appear fashionable regardless of budget and body type, offering advice for identifying a personal style, making the most of an existing wardrobe, and knowing what trends to follow.”


Syndetics book coverSkin rules : trade secrets from a top New York dermatologist / Debra Jaliman.
“Skin Rules is a concise and practical instruction manual from a renowned Fifth Avenue dermatologist on how to attain beautiful skin, a taut and sculpted body, and a much younger appearance. Actors, models, and newscasters go to Dr. Jaliman for her cutting-edge technology and the latest in skin care, as well as for her reputation for being the “last stop” doctor, the one who fixes what others can’t. Skin Rules has something for everyone, no matter where they live or how much money they have to spend. This small, invaluable guide supplies the same advice Dr. Jaliman gives to her celebrity patients, from lasers to remove sun damage and turn back the clock to suggestions for simple products and habits anyone can adopt for a small outlay of time and money. In Skin Rules readers will learn: about the one ingredient that should NEVER be in sunscreens, but often is; how to use inexpensive Aquaphor to heal wounds and prevent scarring; which drugstore products really work for acne and wrinkles”–Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverParis street style : a guide to effortless chic / by Isabelle Thomas & Frédérique Veysset ; under the direction of Caroline Levesque ; illustrations by Clèment Dezèlus ; photographs by Frédérique Veysset ; [translated from the French by Anthony Roberts].
“One city always seems to win the award for most-wanted style—Paris, where people walking down the avenues mix timeless and trendy pieces in a way that appears effortless. French fashion writers Isabelle Thomas and Frédérique Veysset break down the “je ne sais quoi” of Paris street style, describing the essential elements that should be in everyone’s wardrobe. Renowned experts on French style—designers, stylists, editors, and celebrities—also chime in to reveal their favorite accessories and how to create multidimensional looks and make affordable clothing appear luxurious. Starring both fashion icons and anonymous women met on the streets of Paris and richly illustrated with hand-drawn sketches and Veysset’s striking photographs, Paris Street Style is an inspirational fashion guide that will allow you, no matter where you are from, to cultivate an everyday style of timeless glamour, careless, easy chic—votre style français.” (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe power of style : everything you need to know before you get dressed tomorrow / Bobbie Thomas ; [illustrations by Elizabeth Romaner].
“Get your style therapy with Power of Style: Everything You Need to Know Before You Get Dressed Tomorrow by Today Show style editor Bobbie Thomas.
This thoughtful and inspiring guide provides the information you need to feel stylish, smart, sexy, and satisfied—with a look that’s uniquely your own—in order to become your most confident and beautiful self.
You’re invited to gain self-awareness, clarity, and confidence, and take full advantage of the fashion tips, tools, and lessons that Bobbie Thomas lays out, including how to identify your best colors, how to select the most flattering clothes for your individual shape, how to edit your closet, and how to shop smart—to harness the power of self-expression.
The foreword by fashion icon Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, and color illustrations throughout, reinforce Bobbie’s mantra of self-expression: “Style is the way you to speak to the world without words.” (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverQuick looks: beautiful makeup in minutes
“From the phenomenal artist behind Express Makeup and Timeless Makeup, here are the real secrets to looking gorgeous in just minutes.
Rae Morris is a veteran of major international runway shows, where speed is critical, so she knows how to achieve beautiful looks fast. Here she reveals all the tricks and trade secrets she’s learned over her highly successful career, from how to apply razor-sharp eyeliner to how to transform your face with the perfect brow shape. Rae’s number one tip: When you’re in a hurry, always do your eyes first, as you can easily apply foundation and lipstick in your compact or rearview mirror. Full of sensational looks, with step-by-step photographs and easy to follow instructions on how to achieve them, this the perfect handbag-sized book for women who want to look flawless in no time at all.” (amazon.com)

And quickly, before this goes up!! I have just fallen in LOVE with this book:

Syndetics book coverFashion house : illustrated interiors from the icons of style / Megan Hess.
It’s kind of in between a fashion book and an interior design book and DAAAANG, it’s fine!! It’s full of the prettiest illustrations and is a guide to creating a beautifully chic home (or bedroom!). Also features the swank digs of lots of fab fashion icons so you can A- see how they live and B- knock off their style. Seriously, get this book out! You will love.

Winging Your Way Way Through The Weekend, 1-2 June

Kia ora folks!

Wintry splendour is raining down on us with things to do this weekend. It’s a pretty special one because we get one more day than usual – sweet! It’s the Queens Birthday (but not really, her real birthday’s in April. We’re just kind minions and let her have two). One way you could spend your extra day off is revelling in the glory of our monarch or you could do some of these things:

Te Papa re-opens the Visa Platinum Gallery with an Andy Warhol exhibit. “Warhol: Immortal” celebrates Mr. Pop Art himself. He did all sorts of really great things and liked Campbells Soup too. Not to be confused with The Dandy Warhols.

Geeks unite! The closest thing to a Comic-Con on our shores, Armageddon, visits Wellington for the first time this year.

Less Dance Dance Revolution more… real dance? Stage Challenge/J-Rock hit Wellington (starting tonight).

Another Film Festival is in town. Out Takes with the pun-tastic byline, “reel queer film festival” is screening a few choice youth flicks.

Maybe you’re one of the fine few who aren’t having a “weekend” and are instead working it away? Here’s an endgame for those hard earned pingers – they’re building Springfield!

To end NZ Music Month Shapeshifter release “Delta” just in time for the weekend playlist.


Looking forward to:

Mortal Fire, Elizabeth Knox (June) – the new fantasy novel from one of New Zealand’s premier writers. “When sixteen-year-old Canny of the Pacific island, Southland, sets out on a trip with her stepbrother and his girlfriend, she finds herself drawn into enchanting Zarene Valley where the mysterious but dark seventeen-year-old Ghislain helps her to figure out her origins.” (Children’s Bookshop, Kilbirnie) Margo Lanagan said, “It has brains; it has heart; it has people to fear and to fall in low with; and it all takes place in a totally beguiling world full of natural beauties, glittering puzzles and earthy problems.”

Chantress, Amy Butler Greenfield (June) – “This historical fantasy imagines an alternate 17th-century England where the tyrannical Lord Protector has hunted down anyone with magical power. The last ‘Chantress,’ 15-year-old Lucy, lives in exile on a deserted island, knowing only that she should never sing and tap her dangerous latent talent.” (goodreads.com) Described as “atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic”.

The Rules for Disappearing, Ashley Elston (June/July) – “She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky… But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last. Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules – and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself. But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters – survival” (goodreads.com)

Don’t judge these books by their covers

And here’s why: did you know some authors often don’t have any say over the covers of their books? Even someone as huge as Maureen Johnson! What started as an idle musing on twitter about her book covers generally, led to her asking her fans to coverflip some of their favourite books. What’s a coverflip you ask? Well, you know how a lot of YA fiction, particularly those by female authors, have “girly” book-covers with curly-cue fonts, lots of pink, or a picture of a stereotypically pretty girl? Imagine if instead that “girly” (or “dudely”) cover was redesigned to target the opposite audience. Change the sex of the author. How does this gendering of a book cover affect your desire to read it?

For example if the cover of A game of thrones looked like this, would you pick it up? What about these other ones?


images via the Huffington Post

Personally, we think this a beyond fantastic idea. Although we do spend a lot of our time (especially Rachel) looking at book covers so we may have a slightly vested interest. Anyway, in the spirit of coverflips we give you some brilliant books whose content doesn’t quite match their covers. This is entirely subjective and just our opinion, so feel free to disagree!

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThis lullaby : a novel, Sarah Dessen

This is far from your traditional love story. The heroine, Remy, has a distinctly cynical view of love. Mainly because at the start of the book she’s watching her mother getting married for the fifth (yes, fifth!) time. Remy’s all about ending a relationship before it gets to the emotional attachment stage. Of course there is a boy, a messy and impulsive musician named Dexter – a stereotype that doesn’t scream commitment. So everyone’s surprised that they’re still together. It’s a complicated romance, especially with Remy’s issues about relationships, which we don’t think is suggested at all by the cover.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHex Hall, Rachel Hawkins

One goodreads user describes this cover as looking like “a Disney movie” which we have to agree with. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good Disney movie but it doesn’t fit this books supernatural and super sarcastic heroine. Sophie Mercer isn’t a very good witch. In fact it’s a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong in the human world that gets her exiled to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium (witches, faeries, and shapeshifters). There, Sophie learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFly on the wall, E. Lockhart

This is a fantastic book centred around an intriguing idea; what if you could be a fly on the wall for a week in the boys’ locker room – just to learn more about guys. What are they really like? What do they really talk about? Are they really cretins most of the time? Imagine how much easier it would be to talk to them if you understood them! We adore E. Lockhart and it was on the strength of that and the concept that we both read this book rather than a captivating cover. The new edition cover goes in another direction completely (check it out here) but we’re not sure the hot pink captures the spirit of Gretchen Yee either. 

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCracked up to be, Courtney Summers

Personally, this cover reminds me of Gossip Girl, the early seasons when they wore those plaid school uniform skirts. Which I love for many reasons but it’s very different to Courtney Summers’ writing. Cracked up to be is about perfect high school senior Parker Fadley who has quit the cheerleading squad, broken up with her popular boyfriend, and is in danger of not graduating with her class, but she refuses to tell anyone what has precipitated this sudden change in her attitude and behavior, insisting that she only wants to be left alone. Courtney Summers has a way of pulling you through an emotional roller coaster in her books; they’re powerfully hard hitting which I don’t think you get from the cover. Which makes it that much more surprising. So maybe it’s better, who knows.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Thief, Megan Whalen Turner 

We both loved this book (and the rest of the series) because of its combination of adventure and mystery and an almost recognisable fantasy world and the twist at the end and the hero, Gen. The set up is this: the king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities because the stone is the key to securing his kingdom’s future. And while the stone makes it onto the cover, we feel there is a whole lot more at the heart of this story (the mystery and adventure and the relationship between Gen and the magus for example) that isn’t captured by its cover.

To us, a book’s cover and content are intrinsically linked. Don’t believe us? Look at this six-year-old guessing the content of some classics based on their covers. So here are some covers that we think beautifully capture the content and tone of their books:

book cover courtesy of Syndetics book cover courtesy of Syndetics

We genuinely want to know what you think of cover flipping! Agree with us? Disagree? What makes you pick up a book? We want to know!

New Books

The lads edition:

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsStrike three, you’re dead, Josh Berk (250 pages) – There are red herrings galore in this baseball-filled middle-grade murder mystery. Lenny Norbeck and his friends, Mike and Other Mike, may be dorks, but they don’t back away from the curveballs their first big case throws at them.

First lines: “No one gets killed in the suburbs. I say this out loud, more to myself than anyone else. I keep saying it. Over and over, like the words might form a shield to protect me.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHeroic, Phil Earle (290 pages) – This book was inspired by S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders which is one of my all time favourite’s and it’s one of the few YA books I’ve seen about soldiers who come home from war. Brothers Jammy and Sonny McGann have always been very different; one is calm where the other is angry, one is a planner while the other is impulsive. But when Jammy returns from Afghanistan a very different man to the one who left, it is up to Sonny to save the brother who always put him first. It promises to be “a devastating novel about brotherhood and sacrifice” (back cover).

First lines: “Talk is cheap, which explains a lot. Explains why every day of my life has been a shouting match, why, even with the phone held away from my ear, all I could hear was banter. White noise.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhen love comes to town, Tom Lennon (288 pages) – Neil’s the perfect Irish guy: he’s great on the rugby field, got decent grades, and snogged girls in the in-crowd. He’s also got a secret that he can’t reveal to just anyone: he’s gay. Now on the verge of turning eighteen, he’s determined to find his real self and friends to support him. All he needs is the courage to go out at night in Dublin, to finally talk to that guy Ian, to tell – and live – the truth. It was written in the 1990s though so don’t be thrown by the references to a ‘walkman’ – it’s brilliant.

First line: “Neil rested his elbows on the window ledge, sank his chin into his hands, and stared out across the neighborhood gardens.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCrap Kingdom, D. C. Pierson, (360 pages) – Tenth-grader Tom Parking’s dream of being swept away to a fantasy land where he becomes a hero nearly comes true when he finds himself the Chosen One of a nameless world, the most annoying, least “cool” place in the universe. The kingdom is mostly made of garbage from Earth. The king hates Tom and the princess likes to wear fake mustaches. Being Chosen One seems to consist mainly of cleaning out rats’ noses at the Royal Rat-Snottery so Tom turns the job down. But when Tom is replaced by his best friend Kyle, who’s always been cooler, more athletic, and better with girls, Tom’s on a hilarious quest to get Crap Kingdom back at any cost.

First line: “The problem was, his life wasn’t bad enough.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLife after theft, Aprilynne Pike (345 pages) – The tagline reads “Being dead is just the beginning…” for what you may ask? For meangirl Kimberlee, it’s just the beginning of her journey to make amends for her kleptomaniac ways when she was living. There’s a cute boy, Jeff, to help her (even though he doesn’t really want to at the start) and it’s from his perspective that this story is told (which is why it’s included in the lads edition). Jeff’s the only one who can see Kimberlee so it’s up to him to help her ‘move on.’

First lines: “I hate this school. I tugged at the lame plaid tie that was about three millimeters away from suffocating me and revised. I hate this tie.”

Heroes, Ireland, romance, baseball, ghosts and soldiers! Hopefully there’s something in there for everyone… Enjoy!

Knitwear Wishlist

I have a beautiful new jumper to show you!!

photo 2photo 1

It’s from Markus Lupfer and is SO cool; it may be the new love of my life (sorry, Ferragamo scarf). I can’t wait to wear it with my black pleat skirt, stockings, black studded brogues and neon pink lipstick.

Jumpers and knits are a new thing for me… In past winters I have preferred to dress up plain merinos with cute skirts and chic scarves but this year, I have a real thing for proper knitted jumpers worn with a collared shirt underneath. I’m really enjoying the old school combination of elegance and simplicity and it is sooo cosy!

These are my faves that I’ve seen around recently:

Spotty, sparkly beauty; LOVE. (Roll on payday!)

♥ Who can resist a unicorn jumper?

♥ Have been crushing on this top for a while…

This jumper is sooo pink it kills me! Gorgeous.

♥ I really love the bold print on this jumper, and can visualise a million different ways to wear it.

♥ I have a vague distaste for (okay, fear of) horses, yet love this cardi. Go figure!

♥ And adore the cutesy appeal of this one!

This dreamy top comes at a slightly nightmarish price… but sooo pretty.

So here’s to keeping toasty warm! Long live the knit.

Looking forward to:

Fox forever, Mary E Pearson – the conclusion of the Jenna Fox trilogy. “Locke Jenkins has some catching up to do. After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the shadowy resistance group known as the Network. Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance – and into Raine’s life.” (goodreads.com)

Paper valentine, Brenna Yovanoff. “The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls. For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness. With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life – and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.” (goodreads.com)

Dr Frankenstein’s daughters, Suzanne Weyn. “A new generation is creating a monster…. Giselle and Ingrid are the twin daughters of Doctor Victor Frankenstein, but they are very different people, and when they inherit his castle in the Orkney Islands, Giselle dreams of holding parties and inviting society -but Ingrid is fascinated by her father’s forbidden experiments.” (goodreads.com)

Prisoner B-3087, Alan Gratz. Based on a true story. “As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek himself is taken prisoner – his arm tattooed with the words PRISONER B-3087. He is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him. He encounters evil he could have never imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope amid the horror. He just barely escapes death, only to confront it again seconds later. Can Yanek make it through the terror without losing his hope, his will – and, most of all, his sense of who he really is inside?” (goodreads.com)

These books shouldn’t take too long to make their way to Wellington – reserve one today!

Black City Lights

It’s still New Zealand Music Month! There are so many awesome New Zealand acts around right now, but have you heard of Black City Lights?

They’re a Wellington duo consisting of Calum Robb and Julia Catherine Parr, a producer and vocalist respectively, and they are certainly on the way to making it big. Just over a year ago they released their debut EP called Parallels (which you can listen to here) and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. They’ve opened for Grimes, Baths and Van She, and done a whole bunch of headlining shows too. They received two highly sought-after grants which allowed them to make this stunning video for their song Parallels:

Their song Rivers is a personal favourite, so check that one out too! Black City lights are just about to begin releasing their new material (a new single is being released on Thursday) leading up to their debut album release in August. AND they’ll be heading to the States shortly touring the East and West coasts for three months! Phew!

If you get a chance, check them out playing live as they are incredible! I’ve seen them at least three times and they impress me more every time.


R n R

New Books

the rad covers edition:

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAroha, Anaru Bickford (284 pages) – In the year 2019, Māori teenager Aroha lives in the United States with her aunt and uncle, and is tormented daily by the cousin who holds her responsible for ripping their family apart. Aroha also suffers from dreams that have plagued her since her childhood in New Zealand, in which the world ends in a wall of fire. Are these dreams, or premonition? Nightmare, or prophecy? Aroha’s story is a journey to find love and accept responsibility … at the end of the world.

First lines: “There is a myth that attempts to explain the last days. It describes the end of the world as a coming together of two lovers: the earth and the sky reunited, plunging the world once again into darkness. Let me assure you – the end of the world was nothing that any myth or legend could have prepared you for.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsReturn to me, Justina Chen (341 pages) – Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She’s weeks away from starting college – at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad’s last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her. And then there’s the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast. Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?

First lines: “If you believed my so-called psychic of a grandmother, she predicted that I would almost die. Her eerie, creepy forewarning made no difference at all. I was seven. I still jumped into the murky lake. I still dropped to its mossy bottom. I still almost drowned.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSteal my sunshine, Emily Gale (333 pages) – Hannah is a fifteen-year-old girl whose greatest desire is to belong and be loved by her family. However, dark family secrets threaten everything. Combined with Hannah’s contemporary story, is her eccentric grandmother’s painful story about a shameful aspect of Australia’s history and how it affected thousands of girls and women: the forced adoptions that saw ‘wayward girls’ and single mothers forced to give up their babies by churches and hospitals.

First lines: “The morning it started Mum freaked out about the Christmas tree. It had been thirty degrees most of the night and I wasn’t sure if I’d been asleep for any of it. I could tell from the safety of my bedroom that Mum had woken up foul: heavy footsteps in the kitchen, cupboard doors slammed in, the dishwasher drawers yanked out and rammed in again.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBattle lines, Will Hill (702 pages) – The third installment of the epic Department 19 series promises to promises to deliver higher—and sharper—stakes than ever before! Secret government unit Department 19 is recovering from evil vampire Valeri Rusmanov’s deadly attack on their base. The Department’s newest member, teenage operator Jamie Carpenter, is tasked with training up a new squad, as his friends and colleagues desperately search for ways to try to stop what is coming.

First lines: “In the village of Crawthorne is an alarm. A direct copy of a World War Two air-raid siren, it is bright red, and sits atop a pole two metres above the ground.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsChosen at nightfall, C. C. Hunter (399 pages) – The cover describes this as Shadow Falls novel as “the magnificent final chapter in the breathtaking series!” And based on the reserve queue, more than a few of you are eager to read it! So here it is: Kylie’s most powerful enemy returns to destroy her once and for all, there’s only one way to stop him–to step into her full powers and make a stunning transformation that will amaze everyone around her.

First line: “Kylie Galen looked up from the slice of pepperoni pizza on the fine china plate and tried to ignore the ghost swinging the bloody sword right behind her grandfather and great-aunt.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBy any other name, Laura Jarrat, (355 pages) – Nobody can know the truth – Holly’s life depends on it. Holly is fifteen years old, but she’s only been “Holly” for a matter of months. Because of something that happened, she and her family have had to enter witness protection and have all assumed new identities. All, that is, except her sister Katie, who is autistic. Starting at a new school mid-term is hard enough at the best of times, and Holly has no clue who she is any more. Lonely and angry, she reaches out to friends – new and old. But one wrong move will put all their lives in danger.

First line: They told me to pick something unobtrusive, then they handed me a book of baby names and a cup of hot chocolate from a machine, and they left me there in the white room.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsInferno, Sherrilyn Kenyon (451 pages) – the fourth ‘Chronicles of Nick’ book finds our protagonist unable to trust anyone but the being he has been warned will ultimately kill him (Death). If Nick is to survive this latest round, he will have to sacrifice a part of himself. However, the best sacrifice is seldom the sanest move. Sometimes it’s the one that leaves your enemies confused.

First line: “Silhouetted by the setting sun, and completely rusted out on the inside from his hatred of every living thing, Nick stood on the top of what remained of the old Jax Brewery building, watching his once beloved city burn to the ground.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsUnravel me, Tahereh Mafi (461 pages) – Juliette has escaped to Omega Point, the headquarters of the rebel resistance and a safe haven for people with abilities like hers. She is finally free from The Reestablishment and their plans to use her as a weapon, but Warner, her former captor, won’t let her go without a fight. Haunted by her past and terrified of her future, Juliette knows that in her present, she will have to make some life-changing choices. It’s the second in a trilogy though so make sure you read Shatter me first.

First lines: “The world might be sunny-side up today. The big ball of yellow might be spilling into the clouds, runny and yolky and blurring into the bluest sky, bright with cold hope and false promises about fond memories, real families, hearty breakfasts, stacks of pancakes drizzled in maple syrup sitting on a plate in a world that doesn’t exist anymore.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Subterranean Stratagem, Michael Pryor, (362 pages) – The follow up to The Extinction Gambit finds Kingsley and Evadne, the Extraordinaires, struggling to contain Kingsley’s wolfish side and save their juggling and escapology act. The secret to controlling the wolfishness is in Kingsley’s mysterious past. Was he really raised by wolces? Who were his parents? What happened to them? What begins as a quest to restore Kingsley’s past becomes an adventure that pits the Extraordinaires against forces that could shatter the minds and souls of millions.

First lines: “The giant steel jaws on either side of Kingsley Ward were quivering. Being suspended upside down as he was, it was difficult to judge the trap’s eagerness to close on him, so he ignored the metal monstrosity and focused his attention on wrenching himself free from the straitjacket.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEmilie and the Hollow World, Martha Wells (301 pages) – While running away from home, Wmilie’s plan to stow away on a steamship go awry. Suddenly she’s on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure. Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine to journey to the dark interior of the planet in search of her new guardian’s missing father. Emilie must take daring action if they are ever to return to the surface alive.

First line: “Creeping along the docks in the dark, looking for the steamship Merry Bell, Emilie was starting to wonder if it might be better to just walk to Silk Harbor.”

I <3 Flamingos

I’ll admit it; I have a bit of a crush at the moment. On… flamingos. Yes, you read right. Basically, if I see ANYTHNG with flamingos on it, I need to own it straight away.

I recently bought this dress online and am soooo excited for it to arrive.

I also have a brand new phone cover! Flamingo-themed! Yusss! I have a newly-acquired LOVE for Ted Baker accessories, they are so feminine and chic and shiny. (See here, here and here for my most lusted-after pieces…) This phone case combined my Ted Baker love with the… thing I have for flamingos, so double win.

photo 1photo 2

I have had this fabulously flamingo top for a wee while and I absolutely killed it over summer (with my bangin’ teal pencil skirt – best buy ever). Am already counting down until the warmer months come around so I can start wearing it again! Unfortunately, this is a top which is tricky to make trans-seasonal (cute blazer over top is not gonna cut it on a Wellington winter’s day).

photo 2.JPGfphoto 1.JPGaphoto 3

I was also dangerously close to buying this skirt, but bf did not look pleased. Although I wish I had now, because I still love it! So cute. I also have a mad crush on this dress, but when I counted up my digits it was going to be waaaay too short. Alas.

The next items on my list are a silk square flamingo scarf (naturally) and a flamingo wall print (am thinking this one).

And, on a non-flamingo note. We have this sassy new number:
Syndetics book coverThe closet stylist : your guide to personal style / Anna Caselberg.
“Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes but you still can’t find the right thing to wear? Do you find yourself buying the latest season’s styles but then never wear them? Do you put off buying clothes until you can shift those last few kilos? Then fashion stylist Anna Caselberg is here to give you expert advice on how to dress to suit your body shape; mix and match outfits; choose the most flattering styles; shop on a budget; update your wardrobe while including last season’s styles. By following Anna’s style tips and wardrobe advice you’ll discover your inner stylist and learn to create the most flattering looks to suit your body shape and lifestyle”–Publisher information.

I am particularly excited about this book because it’s written by a New Zealand author, which means the things she writes about will generally be available here. Yay! If this sounds like your thang, I recommend you reserve it pronto (beware: wee queue) as it’s proved pretty popular so far.

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