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

Month: September 2013 Page 1 of 2

New Books

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOut of this Place, Emma Cameron (402 pages) – Luke spends his days hanging out at the beach, working shifts at the local supermarket, and trying to stay out of trouble at school until he can be on his own. Bongo gets wasted, blocking out memories of the little brother Social Services took away from his addict mom and avoiding the stepdad who hits him. And Casey, the girl they both love, longs to get away from her strict, controlling father and start anew in a place where she can be free. When their lives all take very different and surprising paths, will these three friends find a way to come together again?

First lines: “A cave on Pebble Beach, /a bike ride from home, /where the sting of salt air /tears away the built-up wondering /of what to do- /on the last day of holidays, /about Casey, /with my life. /Tomorrow, /school will throw a cover /over the last six weeks /and pack it away. /I don’t mind.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLast Chance Angel, Alex Gutteridge (367 pages) – What would you do for another chance at life? When Jess is knocked off her bike in a traffic accident, she finds herself at the gates of heaven before her destined death date. Given one last chance to say goodbye, she heads back to Earth to visit friends and family. Closely kept secrets are revealed to the now-invisible Jess, and one shocking discovery leads her to the biggest choice she’ll ever have to make.

First lines: “It was a spur of the moment decision to take the bike, one of those uncharacteristic impulses which can change your life and your death. We’d been given this really hard maths homework and I’d left it until the last minute. Even my brother, Jamie, couldn’t work it out and he’s two years older than me and went through all the GCSE stress last year. There was no point bothering Mum.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Rose Throne, Mette Ivie Harrison (390 pages) – Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she’s impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father’s court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power – or the magic – to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to let the other live?

First lines: “”Princess Ailsbet, your father demands your attendance at court this morning,” said Duke Kellin of Falcorn, bowing. He was King Haikor’s new favourite, looked hardly older than Ailsbet, and was dark-haired, tall, broad-shouldered, and handsome in a dark sable cloak over a silver-embroedered tunic.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLinked, Imogen Howson (359 pages) – Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed. Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

First lines: “As Elissa and her mother entered the waiting room, the sky above Central Canyon City was a chill, predawn gray, the spaceport a colorless blaze on the horizon. Lines and points of light pricked up from the canyon floor far below.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCatch Rider, Jennifer H. Lyne (279 pages) – Tough-as-nails fourteen-year-old Sid may not have expensive boots like the privileged teen riders in Virginia, but she knows her way around horses. Working with her Uncle Wayne since childhood, she’s learned to evaluate horses, break and train them, care for them . . . and ride like a professional. Amid turmoil at home, she dreams of becoming a catch rider—a show rider who can ride anything with hooves. In this salty, suspenseful teen novel, an unexpected opportunity to ride a top-notch horse in an equitation show takes the small-town girl all the way to Madison Square Garden.

First lines: “It was raining hard and the lightning was getting close. I ran the red gelding down the path in Dunn’s Gap and listened for that moment when a horse is at a full gallop and none of his feet touch the ground, because during that split second, we’re flying.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCrown of Midnight, Sarah J. Maas (418 pages) – After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes. Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

First lines: “The shutters swinging in the storm winds were the only sign of her entry. No one had noticed her scaling the garden wall of the darkened manor house, and with the thunder and the gusting wind off the nearby sea, no one heard her as she shimmied up the drainpipe, swung onto the windowsill, and slithered into the second-floor hallway.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTall Tales from Pitch End, Nigel McDowell (377 pages) – Ruled by the Elders, policed by an unforgiving battalion of Enforcers and watched by hundreds of clockwork Sentries, Pitch End is a town where everybody knows their place. Soon-to-be fifteen-year-old Bruno Atlas still mourns the death of his Rebel father ten years ago, and treasures the book of stories he secretly uncovered: the Tall Tales from Pitch End. After discovering a chilling plot planned by the Elders, Bruno flees, escaping to the mountains where a bunch of disparate young Rebels are planning a final attack on Pitch End. With secrets and betrayal lying around every corner, Bruno will find himself fighting not only for his life, but the life of the town.

First lines: “Bruno Atlas didn’t speak, didn’t scream, only thought with eyes shut tight and a mind full of crimson fireworks: This is it and I’ll be gone soon. I’ll not be here any more. I’m going to die.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWild Awake, Hilary T. Smith (375 pages) – Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away: You will remember to water the azaleas. You will take detailed, accurate messages. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen: A stranger calls who says he knew your sister. He says he has her stuff. What stuff? Her stuff. You tell him your parents won’t be able to— Sukey died five years ago; can’t he— You pick up a pen. You scribble down the address. You get on your bike and go. Things . . . get a little crazy after that. Also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

First lines: “It’s the first day of summer, and I know three things: One, I am happy. Two, I am stoned. Three, if Lukas Malcywyck’s T-shirt was any redder I would lean over and bite it like an apple.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhen You Were Here, Daisy Whitney (257 pages) – Danny’s mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see. Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn’t know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore. When he gets a letter from his mom’s property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother’s memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.

First lines: “When someone you love has died, there is a certain grace period during which you can get away with murder. Not literal murder, but pretty much anything else. “

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAbsent, Katie Williams (180 pages) – When seventeen-year-old Paige dies in a freak fall from the roof during Physics class, her spirit is bound to the grounds of her high school. At least she has company: her fellow ghosts Evan and Brooke, who also died there. But when Paige hears the rumor that her death wasn’t an accident–that she supposedly jumped on purpose–she can’t bear it. Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess living people when they think of her, and she can make them do almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get to the most popular girl in school and stop the rumors once and for all.

First lines: “”When you die,” Lucas Hayes once told me, “it’s like every wound your body has ever had – every skinned knee, paper cut, pimple – opens up and says See? I told you so.” Lucas had held Brooke Lee as she’d jittered and bucked, rolled and foamed, and – yeah – died, so I figured he knew what he was talking about. My best friend, Usha Das, took a different view.”

Spring Lovelist

Oh, spring. Finally!! I recently realised that my wardrobe has a strong bias towards warm weather and summer clothes – things I seldom get to wear here in Wellington!! So I am extra excited to see the return of spring and (hopefully) the start of some nice warm (okay, mild) weather.

To celebrate the start of warmer, brighter days, check out what I’ve been loving lately.

1. Mint bow clutch
I got this little cutie not too long ago, and have been absolutely thrashing it! It’s nice and light to carry, with a touch of vintage whimsy and the gold strap adds both versatility and elegance. Love ♥

photo 1

2. Juicy Couture piñata charm
Negl, I love this SO much. So cute and colourful, this little charm even has a tiny lolly that falls out when you pull it apart. No way!! I’ll admit, it was definitely a splurge purchase, but it was totally worth all the saving up – it’s adorable. Viva la juicy!!

photo 2photo 3

3. Printed pastle snood
I strongly dislike the word ‘snood’… I’m not really sure why. But there’s nothing else to call this thing ’cause it’s a scarf without any ends!! So anyway. Fun print in pastel colours; I wear it a lot. Good price. Win!!

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4. Ted Baker boston terrier tote
I have a HEAP of stuff that I carry to work in the mornings. Lunch, a second pair of shoes, extra layers, books… a girl has to be prepared!! So, in addition to a handbag, I need something extra to cart all my bulkier bits in. This Ted Baker tote, with bucketloads of charm (plus a 3-dimensional red glitter bow, swoon) does the job perfectly.

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5. Betsey Johnson heels
These heels!! I haven’t had nearly enough wear out of these yet, but they are so neutral yet HOT, that I’m sure I will.

 photo 4aphoto 5

6. Corey Lynn Calter leopard dress
I am a huge fan of jungle-themed print on clothing (palm trees, bright tropical flowers, appropriate jungle fauna) but, unfortunately, it’s a style that can look real bad real quick! (Check here for a great example of said nastiness… jungle aerobics, anyone?!) Luckily for me, this Corey Lynn Calter dress gets it so right. Bright, beautiful colours with the obligatory leopard. Will be thrashing this when the warmth comes!!

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7. Fluro french nails
At the risk of becoming seriously unpopular, I’m going to say it anyway – I’m not a big fan of nail art. Aside from the fact that I’m no good at doing it, I think it can sometimes look too fussy. Instead, I’ve been mixing up my nail polish repetoire with bright french tips – I love this fluro pink, and french nails with gold tips look great, too (I’m on the lookout for a fluro yellow cheapie nail polish at the mo – gimme a holler if you’ve seen any!). This is by no means a new thing (it’s aaaaaall over Pinterest) but I find it a super sweet (and easy!) way to add some extra colour and interest.

Image via pinterest

While we don’t have any books or DVDs specifically about these designers, Betsey Johnson is featured in both of these:

Syndetics book coverThe tents [videorecording].
New York. The name is enough to make fashionistas weak at the knees. But only a few years ago, New York’s now-famous fashion scene was a mess of mismanagement. THE TENTS traces the genesis of New York as a fashion powerhouse, the success of which is linked almost exclusively to the setting up of “The Tents” at Bryant Park, which finally brought the couture together under one (removable) roof. Featuring interviews with world class designers and fashion personalities such as Caroline Herrera, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson, Carson Kressley and Miss J Alexander, THE TENTS is an insight into the coveted and glamourous world of New York’s fashion scene…and how it almost failed.

Syndetics book coverPop! : design, culture, fashion, 1956-1976 / Geoffrey Rayner, Richard Chamberlain, Annamarie Stapleton.
>”POP! Design, Culture, Fashion 1955-1976 explores the impact of music, art and personality on the development of the design and fashion of the times …. Pop! Design, Culture, Fashion 1956-1976 covers all aspects of Pop design in Britain and America, from early rock ‘n’ roll to punk. It looks at record covers and packaging designs by Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton, and the work of fashion designers such as Mary Quant, Barbara Hulanicki from Biba, Vivienne Westwood and John Stephen of Carnaby Street fame, as well as their contemporaries in America such as Betsey Johnson of Paraphernalia.”–adapted from Publisher’s Website.

She’s also one of the four authors who contributed to this book:

Syndetics book coverRipped : t-shirts from the underground / edited by Cesar Padilla.





And don’t forget dem nails!

Syndetics book coverNail art : inspiring designs by the world’s leading technicians / Helena Biggs.

New books we’ve ordered

Much action this week, in various forms (zombies, assassins, fairytales gone wrong).

Fire & Ash, Jonathan Maberry – the fourth in the zombie series that started with Rot & Ruin. “Benny Imura and his friends have made it to Sanctuary, they’ve found the jet and they’ve discovered that civilization is struggling to regain its foothold in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. Scientists are on the verge of finding a cure for the zombie plague. It should be time for celebration, but it’s not. Benny’s best friend, Chong, has been infected by an arrow dipped in the flesh of a zombie and he hovers between life and death and Dr McReady, a researcher who may have the critical formula for a cure, has gone missing. So Benny convinces Captain Ledger to mount a search and rescue mission to find the doctor and help Chong. But with the Reapers still pursuing their plan to turn all zombies into super-fast shock troops even if they can save Chong, can they save themselves?” (goodreads.com)

The Elites, Natasha Ngan – “Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension. Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.” (goodreads.com)

Allies & Assassins, Justin Somper – the first book in a new series (I think!) by the author of the Vampirates series. “They killed his brother. Now they’re coming for him… As the second prince of Archenfield, Jared never expected to rule. But behind the walls of the castle is a dark and dangerous court where murder and intrigue are never far below the surface. Now his older brother is dead. The kingdom is his. And the target is on his back. Can he find the assassin before the assassin finds him?” (goodreads.com)

Briar Rose, Jana G. Oliver – one for readers who love fairytale reimaginings (this one, Sleeping Beauty). “For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She’s stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won’t let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who’s spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She’s tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she’s actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes… And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can’t do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she’s met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.” (goodreads.com)

Ornithological subjects

Just for a hoot, we’ve got a bunch of books featuring birds! Sort of. Somehow, they are consistently all very, very good, too. In fact, they almost come out as a ‘best of’ librarian’s choice, since almost all of us here at the teen blog have enjoyed almost all of them. Tweet tweet!

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhere Things Come Back, John Corey Whaley

In a small and dull town in Arkansas, Cullen Witter thinks he knows everything there is to know about the town. But he’s wrong. The summer before Cullen’s senior year, a depressed birdwatcher claims he has spotted a rare Lazarus woodpecker, native to the area but supposedly extinct since the 1940s. The stir this claim raises in the town triggers a series of events, beginning with the disappearance of Cullen’s sensitive younger brother Gabriel. Simultaneously, the story of a young missionary in Africa is revealed, interwoven with Cullen’s story and seemingly unrelated at first, but the moment of connection between the stories is breathtaking. What follows is a tale of melancholy, regret, comedy and absurdity, and it is unforgettable.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBlood Red Road, Moira Young

Saba lives in Silverlake in a dystopian future, where she and her family must scavenge to survive. Saba’s twin brother Lugh is kidnapped by four men on horseback, so Saba joins Jack and the Free Hawks, a revolutionary girl gang, in an attempt to get him back. Saba soon discovers her true strength as a fighter, opponent and survivor. In a unique showdown, Saba discovers she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside, once and for all.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Goose Girl, Shannon Hale

Based on the Grimm brothers fairy tale of the same name, The Goose Girl is the story of Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, also known as Ani. Raised by her aunt, she spent all her early life learning to communicate with animals. However, this left her ill-prepared for speaking to humans, which she never quite mastered. In a mutiny by her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting, Ani has no way to reach out for help. She steals away in disguise, and becomes the goose girl for the king, tending to the animals of the capital. Ani eventually learns to use her special gift to reveal her true destiny.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue watches the parade of the dead with her clairvoyant mother, watching for those who will die in the following year. Usually Blue is invisible to these spirits, but a boy emerges and speaks directly to her. She is startled but intrigued, and soon discovers his name is Gansey, a rich boy attending Aglionby academy. Aglionby students are known as the Raven boys, and they mean trouble, and Blue does her best to stay away from trouble. But Blue is inexplicably drawn to Gansey, and is lured into a mystery of of ley lines, ancient kings and momentous promises.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMockingjay (The Hunger Games #3), Suzanne Collins

We expect you know these by now. But if not, here’s the lowdown. Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 in Panem. Every year there is a ‘reaping’ where a boy and a girl aged 12-18 are selected from each of the twelve districts to compete in the Hunger Games. At the games, the children must fight to the death until there is a sole victor. In the first book, Katniss’s sister is chosen to compete, but Katniss offers herself up for the games instead. Throughout the series, the mockingjay bird is a symbol of hope. In Mockingjay, the final book in the trilogy, a revolution is in full swing and Katniss must both fight for freedom for Panem, and fight for her own life.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTo Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

A classic novel which has a powerful message still relevant today. In Maycomb, Alabama, 6-year-old Scout Finch, her brother Jem and a neighborhood boy are fascinated by and terrified of their reclusive neighbour, Boo Radley. Scout’s lawyer father Atticus has been appointed the defense of a black man in a court case, to much disapproval in the racially charged town. Scout and Jem are tormented for their father’s actions, but Atticus taught his children to always stand up for what’s right. Despite the town’s convictions, Scout stands by her father but experiences some horrific happenings in 1930s America.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFlipped, Wendelin van Draanen

The first time Juli saw Bryce, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. This was pretty much the pattern of their tenuous relationship until eighth grade. When Juli starts to see that maybe Bryce is not so brilliant after all, Bryce is finally opening his eyes to Juli’s greatness. Told in a he-said she-said alternating viewpoint style, Flipped is a comic story of young romance. You can also rent the movie for $4!

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCat Among the Pigeons, Julia Golding (Cat Royal #2)

In the follow up to The Diamond of Drury Lane, Cat Royal, a teen girl who has grown up backstage of the Drury Lane theater is entrenched in yet another mystery of intrigue in the underbelly of London. Disguised as a boy, she infiltrates an aristocratic boys’ boarding school and joins a street gang, all on a mission for justice for her friend Pedro. Pedro’s old slave-master wants him back, but Cat is not going to let that happen. Cat Among the Pigeons is a gripping and extravagant tale of suspense set in 18th century England.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, Evan Roskos

*A note from R ‘n’ R: this title featured in yesterday’s New Books post but it’s brilliant enough to get another mention. From the opening page when James introduced us to YAWPing, we were hooked and we promise you will be to so please forgive the repetition.

James Whitman hugs trees and tries to save animals. He talks to an imaginary pigeon therapist named Dr. Bird. He often hates himself, but loves to recite Walt Whitman because it can be recited with exclamation points! His parents believe that life is better since they kicked his sister, Jorie, out of the house but James feels her absence deeply. How can James continue to wake up with a celebratory YAWP like his namesake poet-hero? James tries to connect the dots around his sister’s mysterious expulsion, but his mission falters as he discovers that some of her secrets are not that different from his own. Secrets that not even Dr. Bird can help with. It’s going to take some radical intervention for James to help his sister and truly celebrate himself.

Speaking of birds, did you know Wellington City Libraries has a Twitter? You can find us @wcl_library

New Books

with leading men:

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBeing Henry David, Cal Armistead (304 pages) – Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything – who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or “Hank”-and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of, Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

First lines: “The last thing I remember is now. Now, coming at me with heart-pounding fists. My eyes shoot open, and there is too much. Of everything. Blurred figures, moving. White lights. Muffled waves of sound. Voices. Music. Chaos.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsPeriod 8, Chris Crutcher (276 pages) – Paul “the Bomb” Baum tells the truth. No matter what. It was something he learned at Sunday School. But telling the truth can cause problems, and not minor ones. And as Paulie discovers, finding the truth can be even more problematic. Period 8 is supposed to be that one period in high school where the truth can shine, a safe haven. Only what Paulie and Hannah (his ex-girlfriend, unfortunately) and his other classmates don’t know is that the ultimate bully, the ultimate liar, is in their midst.

First lines: “Near midnight Paulie Bomb pulls his VW Beetle onto the shoulder of Ridgeview Drive and kills the engine. He’s just finished his shift at The Rocket Bakery and Coffee House, where Hannah kept him company for the last hour. He releases the seat back a couple of inches and breathes deep, staring over the blanket of city lights below.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Freedom Merchants, Sherryl Jordan (426 pages) – In 1615, corsair pirates from the Barbary Coast prowl the coasts of England and Ireland, attacking ships and raiding villages for slaves to sell to masters in the Mediterranean. When 13-year-old Liam’s brother is captured, Liam is desperate to get him back and travels with a small band of monks to the heart of the pirate world, into the turmoil of religious persecution, and the horrors of slavery.

First lines: “Liam was the first to hear the bell. He was sitting huddled by the fire, his fair head bent over the wooden fox he was carving. Behind him, firelight and shadows wrestled together on the rough door, and over his head smoke swirled about the high, thatched roof.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDarius & Twig, Walter Dean Myers (201 pages) – Darius is a supersmart writer, Twig is an outstanding middle-distance runner. Best friends. They need to navigate their Harlem world: the gangs, the bullies, an absent dad, an abusive uncle, the sleazy side of sports, the uncertainty of an artist’s prospects. And they need to figure out how to grow up together, but apart.

First lines: “High above the city, above the black tar rooftops, the dark brick chimneys spewing angry wisps of burnt fuel, there is a black speck making circles against the gray patchwork of Harlem sky. From the park below it looks like a small bird. No, it doesn’t look like a small bird but what else could it be?”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, Evan Roskos (310 pages) – James Whitman hugs trees and tries to save animals. He talks to an imaginary pigeon therapist named Dr. Bird. He often hates himself, but loves to recite Walt Whitman because it can be recited with exclamation points! His parents believe that life is better since they kicked his sister, Jorie, out of the house but James feels her absence deeply. How can James continue to wake up with a celebratory YAWP like his namesake poet-hero? James tries to connect the dots around his sister’s mysterious expulsion, but his mission falters as he discovers that some of her secrets are not that different from his own. Secrets that not even Dr. Bird can help with. It’s going to take some radical intervention for James to help his sister and truly celebrate himself.

First lines: “I yawp most mornings to irritate my father, the Brute. “Yawp! Yawp!” It moves him out of the bathroom faster. He responds with the gruff “All right.” He dislikes things that seem fun.”

Fashion News

Aaaaaaand the fashion events in the capital continue!! This week, I suggest you go check out the WOW exhibition at Te Papa. I was once lucky enough to visit the World of WearableArts Museum in Nelson and, if this exhibition is even remotely like that, it will be amazing and you’re gonna love it!! SO many beautiful outfits. The exhibition started just a couple of weeks ago and there are special WOW events as well, starting this weekend. Check out the guide here.

Photo: Creative Directory

Also, there’s a hot new fashion documentary!! Mademoiselle C, starring esteemed French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, opened in New York this week. Will definitely be requesting the library buys this one! …when it eventually makes it to DVD format. Sigh.

This week brings another hot new fashion release: The World According to Karl. Yep!! Karl Lagerfeld’s quotes, which are as famous as his trademark glasses, have been collected into a book, complete with ilustrations. Yikes!! Don’t worry, I’ll request this one as well. You’re welcome.

Upcoming YA Fiction

This week, sci-fi, horror and paranormal stories, and a companion to the Mortal Instruments series.

Inheritance, Malinda Lo – the sequel to Adaptation. “The triangular spaceship hovered motionless in the sky above Reese Holloway’s house, as inscrutable as a black hole. It had seemed like a good idea when they were inside: to tell the truth about what happened to them at Area 51. It didn’t seem like such a good idea now. Reese and David are not normal teens – not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visiting Earth for decades. Now everyone is trying to get to them: the government, the Imria, and a mysterious corporation that would do anything for the upper hand against the aliens. Beyond the web of conspiracies, Reese can’t reconcile her love for David with her feelings for her ex-girlfriend Amber, an Imrian. But her choice between two worlds will play a critical role in determining the future of humanity, the Imria’s place in it, and the inheritance she and David will bring to the universe.” (goodreads.com)

The Waking Dark, Robin Wasserman – from the author of the Skinned trilogy. “They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand… except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn’t even know why she killed – or whether she’ll do it again. Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander, Kansas – something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who’s not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town – and in themselves.” (goodreads.com)

Unbreakable, Kami Garcia (October) – the first book in a new series by Beautiful Creatures co-author. “When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon – a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night. Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon – battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.” (goodreads.com)

The Shadowhunter’s Codex, Cassandra Clare (November) – this is the shadowhunters’ manual, complete with Clary’s artistic doodlings of her friends and family. “Part encyclopedia, part history, part training manual – complete with commentary from Shadowhunters who have seen it all – this beautiful guide is a perfect supplement to the… series.” (goodreads.com)

Tremendous Trilogies, Volume Eight.

It’s been a while since we did one of these but there have just been so many other exciting topics that needed to be covered! Like Nicola’s brilliant guest posts! (check them out here and here)

In honour of the movie coming out, volume eight of Tremendous Trilogies is Veronica Roth’s Divergent. The trilogy takes place in a dystopian Chicago where society is divided into five factions. Each faction is dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue – Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDivergent

In the first book we are introduced to heroine Beatrice Prior who’s torn by the faction decision she has to make. Stay with her family or be who she really is? She can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves or it might destroy her.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsInsurgent

Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris must continue trying to save those she loves – and herself – while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grow. In times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

book cover courtesy of Syndeticsand the yet to be published Allegiant (October though, not long to go!)

Spoiler Alert!! The faction-based society is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

You can reserve it by clicking on the title 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

New Books

featuring fairy tales and ghosts

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Shadow Girl, Jennifer Archer (325 pages) – For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily’s movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always—but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily’s secret. But when Lily’s father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily’s mother have been keeping secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris, and Lily’s own identity.

First lines: “Ty Collier shivered as he paused in front of the Daily Grind coffee shop to wipe his boots on the mat beside the door. Cold weather was nothing new to him; he had grown up freezing his butt off every winter in Baltimore. But this morning something besides the frigid air raised goose bumps on his skin.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSpy for the Queen of Scots, Theresa Breslin (402 pages) – As lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots, the beautiful Ginette – known as Jenny – is the young queen’s closest childhood friend. Growing up in the elegant but ruthless French court, surrounded by enemies and traitors – not least the jealous, manipulative Catherine de Medici, and Mary’s own scheming half-brother, James – Jenny has always been fiercely loyal to her mistress. But when she overhears a mysterious whispered plot, closely followed by several unexplained deaths at court, she puts her own life in danger and turns spy for Mary. Jenny quickly realises not a soul at court can be trusted, and when she and Mary return to their Scottish homeland for Mary to claim her throne, they face even greater peril.

First lines: “”They are ready for you, my lady.’ ‘But I am not yet ready for them,’ Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, replied abruptly, looking up from her writing desk in a disdainful manner. Then she recovered herself and spoke more kindly to the man standing at the door of her chamber. ‘I need a few extra minutes to prepare. Would you grant me that courtesy?'”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBack to Blackbrick, Sarah Moore Fitgerald (227 pages) – Cosmo’s brother Brian died when he was ten years old. His mum hides her grief by working all the hours God sends and Cosmo lives with his grandparents. They’ve been carefree days as Granddad buys him a horse called John and teaches him all he knows about horses. But the good times have to come to an end and although he doesn’t want to admit it, Cosmo knows his Granddad is losing his mind. So on one of the rare occasions when Granddad seems to recognise him, Cosmo is bemused that he gives him a key to Blackbrick Abbey and urges him to go there. Cosmo shrugs it off, but gradually Blackbrick draws him in. Cosmo arrives there, scared and lonely, and is dropped off at the crumbling gates of a huge house. As he goes in, the gates close, and when he turns to look, they’re rusty and padlocked as if they haven’t been opened in years. Cosmo finds himself face to face with his grandfather as a young man, and questions begin to form in his mind: can Cosmo change the course of his family’s future?

First lines: “My granddad was pretty much the cleverest person I ever met so it was strange in the end to see the way people treated him – as if he was a complete moron. We were waiting for a train one day, not bothering anyone, when this boy said to me, ‘Hey. Hey you. What’s wrong with the old man?'”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsElegy, Tara Hudson (386 pages) – A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths—Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now, in the third of the Hereafter books, her greatest hope is to spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does. Amelia fears she might really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can never see Joshua again. Faced with impossible choices, Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands—and fight back.

First lines: “Once again, I’m staring at my own death. My heart is pounding. My breath is coming in short spurts. And I can’t stop digging my fingernails into the heels of my palms, just so I can feel the little crescents of pain they create.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe New Normal, Ashley Little (222 pages) – Tamar Robinson knows a lot about loss – more than any teenager should. Her younger sisters are dead, her parents are adrift in a sea of grief, and now Tamar is losing her hair. Nevertheless, she navigates her rocky life as best she can, not always with grace, but with her own brand of twisted humor. Life goes on, and regrets are useless. Tamar isn’t the most popular girl at school or the best-looking, but she’s whip-smart, morbidly funny and – most important of all – tenacious.

First lines: “I am losing my hair. I don’t know why. I’m only sixteen. I’m not starving myself. I’m not undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments. But I have been losing shitloads of hair.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe River Charm, Belinda Murrell (302 pages) – When artistic Millie visits a long-lost aunt, she learns the true story of her family’s tragic past. Could the mysterious ghost girl Millie has painted be her own ancestor? In 1839, Charlotte Atkinson lives at Oldbury, a gracious estate in the Australian bush, with her Mamma and her sisters and brother. But after the death of Charlotte’s father, things start to go terribly wrong. There are murderous convicts and marauding bushrangers. Worst of all, Charlotte’s new stepfather is cruel and unpredictable. Frightened for their lives, the family flees on horseback to a stockman’s hut in the wilderness. Charlotte’s mother and the children must fight to save their property, their independence and their very right to be a family. Will they ever return together to their beautiful home?

First lines: “Millie wasn’t sure if she was asleep or awake, but there seemed to be a strangely shimmering girl standing at the end of her bed. The girl hovered there, in an old-fashioned white dress – high-necked, long-sleeved and flowing to her ankles. Her long, dark hair tumbled around her pale, pale face.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Watcher in the Shadows, Carlos Ruiz Zafon (261 pages) – When fourteen-year-old Irene Sauvelle moves with her family to Cape House on the coast of Normandy, she’s immediately taken by the beauty of the place–its expansive cliffs, coasts, and harbors. There, she meets a local boy named Ishmael, and the two soon fall in love. But a dark mystery is about to unfold, involving a reclusive toymaker who lives in a gigantic mansion filled with mechanical beings and shadows of the past.

First line: “Those who remember the night Armand Sauvelle passed away would swear that a purple light flashed across the sky, leaving in its wake a trail of blazing ashes that faded away over the horizon – a light that his daughter, Irene, never saw, but that would haunt her dreams for years to come.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsNameless : a tale of beauty and madness, Lili St. Crow (328 pages) – When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico. Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

First lines: “Of all the cars in New Haven to fall before, I chose Enrico Vultusino’s long black limousine. The Dead Harvest had been dry for once, but Mithrus Eve had brought a cargo of snow, a white Mithrusmas for New Haven after all.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsStill Star-Crossed, Melinda Taub (340 pages) – Romeo and Juliet are gone. Will love live on? Despite the glooming peace that’s settled on Verona after the recent tragedy, Montagues and Capulets are brawling in the streets. Faced with more bloody battles, Prince Escalus concludes that the only way to truly marry the fortunes of these two families is to literally marry them together. Everyone is skeptical, but none more so than the pair selected, for the most eligible Montague bachelor is Benvolio, Romeo’s best friend, still anguished by the loss of his companions, and the chosen Capulet maid is Juliet’s older cousin Rosaline, the girl Romeo first loved and whose refusal of Romeo’s affection paved the way for bloodshed. Contrary to their late cousins, there’s no love lost between Benvolio and Rosaline, yet they forge a bond to end the renewed feud not only to escape their forced betrothal, but to save their lives and the city of Verona itself.

First lines: “In fair Verona’s streets, the sun was hot. Late summer was upon the city, and the sun, oh, it beat. It dazzled off the cobblestones so the beggars groaned and burnt their bare dirty feet. It poured down on the merchants so the sweat trickled down their necks on market day. And the great families – well, they were safe in their cool stone houses, cellars deep enough to hold a bit of chill in, but when they did emerge after sunset, the air was still hot and thick.”

Fashion in the Capital

Do you know what today is (besides Friday)? It’s the middle of the Fashion in the Capital extravaganza that’s currently hitting our city. Starting Wednesday and running for five days, Fashion in the Capital features a whole host of fashion designers, boutiques and jewellery designers hitting the runway. There are lots of events happening over the weekend and tickets start at just $10 (some events are even freeeeeeeee), so you should definitely go!! There are a couple of events I’m looking forward to checking out; view the official calender here and get your weekend plans sorted now.

Photo courtesy of James Yang / fashiongallery.co.nz

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