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New Books

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCatalyst, Laurie Halse Anderson (231 pages) – Eighteen-year-old Kate, who sometimes chafes at being a preacher’s daughter, finds herself losing control in her senior year as she faces difficult neighbors, the possibility that she may not be accepted by the college of her choice, and an unexpected death.

First lines: “I like to run at night. No one watches me. No one hears my sneakers slipping in the loose gravel at the side of the road.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsQuicksilver, R. J. Anderson (314 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Tori had everything she could want; popularity, money, and beauty. And a one very valuable secret. Now, she must use every ounce of her considerable hacking and engineering skills to escape those who want that secret and live the normal human life she wants to. Sidenote: it’s the companion to Ultraviolet.

First lines: “On June 7, the year I turned sixteen, I vanished without a trace. On September 28 of the same year I came back, with a story so bizarre that only my parents would ever believe it and a secret I couldn’t share even with them.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFuse, Julianna Baggott (461 pages) – Book two of the Pure Trilogy which is set in a post-apocalyptic world where those who dwell within the Dome are safe, and those who live outside struggle to survive. Pressia decodes secrets from the past in an effort to set the Wretches free of their fusings forever while Partridge, in order to save millions of innocent lives, must risk his own by returning to the Dome to face his most terrifying challenge.

First line: “Lying on a thin coat of snow, she sees gray earth meeting gray sky, and she knows she’s back.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSever, Lauren DeStefano (371 pages) – With time ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden Trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

First lines: “In the Atlas the river still flows. The thin line of it carries cargo to a destination that no longer exists.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLife in Outer Space, Melissa Keil (305 pages) – Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he’s totally fine with that. Then Sam meets Camilla. She’s beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his life. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a life of her own – and she’s decided that he’s going to be part of it.

First lines: “I start this Monday by falling flat on my arse. A normal guy might think his day could improve from here. I seriously doubt this is going to be the case.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAsunder, Jodi Meadows (406 pages) – In the second book of the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Asunder explores the beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

First lines: “My life was a mistake. As long as I’d been alive, I’d wanted to know why I’d been born. Why, after five thousand years of the same souls being reincarnated, my soul had slipped through the cracks of existence”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsShadows in the Silence, Courtney Allison Moulton (469 pages) – This is the final installment of the Angelfire trilogy in which Ellie must fight to save Will, humanities and herself from the demonic forces of Hell. It’s a quest that will take her and her allies to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions. Courtney Allison Moulton brings her dark world of epic battles and blistering romance to a blazing conclusion.

First line: “The demonic had tried to break me over and over again, but even with my dress drenched in Will’s blood, I stayed standing.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCinders & Sapphires, Leila Rasheed (389 pages) – Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All these secrets are waiting … at Somerton.

First line: “Lady Ada Averly leaned on the rail of the steamboat Moldavia, feeling the hum of the ship’s huge engines through the steel, a rhythmic shudder like a giant’s breathing.”

New Books

The Last Minute, Eleanor Updale (268 pages) – There’s a sudden explosion in the middle of an English town, creating terrible destruction, confusion and panic. The Last Minute tells the stories of the people of Heathwick, in which there may be clues as to what happened, and why.

First sentences: Dust. A cold wind. The first shards of icy rain.

The Madness Underneath, Maureen Johnson (290 pages) – this is the second in the Shades of London series – the first (The Name of the Star) got librarian’s choiced. Rory returns to London to discover she’s developed the power to extinguish ghosts on contact. The Ripper copycat is gone, but there’s a series of new, unexplained deaths in the city, and Rory’s sure they are linked. But can she convince the Shades that something awful is going on? We do hope so.

First sentence: Charlie Strong liked his customers – you don’t run a pub for twenty-one years if you don’t like your customers – but there was something about the quiet in hte morning that pleased him no end.

Passion Blue, Victoria Strauss (342 pages) – “In fifteenth-century Italy, seventeen-year-old Giulia, a Count’s illegitimate daughter, buys a talisman hoping it will bring her true love to save her from life in a convent, but once there she begins to learn the painter’s craft, including how to make the coveted paint, Passion blue, and to question her true heart’s desire. Includes historical notes and glossary.” (catalogue description)

First sentence: The clouds broke apart and sunlight flooded down, burnishing the rough bark of the apple trees and tossing their shadows across the grass.

Miss Fortune Cookie, Lauren Bjorkman (276 pages) – Erin is the brain behind the advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. All’s going well, and the blog is really popular, but things turn a bit custardy when her former best friend writes in for advice, and then acts on it. Erin tries to fix the ensuing mess, which leads to more craziness (but possibly also love).

First sentence: My friends and I were riding home from school on Muni, clinging to an assortment of slippery handholds, when Linny almost blew my secret identity.

Elemental, Antony John (326 pages) – In the near future, Thomas thinks himself unspecial: he’s the only child born into the Outer Banks colony without the power of an element. When pirates capture the colony’s Guardians and threaten to take over the island, Thomas and his friends run, fighting for survival in an abandoned settlement. There he finds secrets that will turn his world upside down.

First sentence: Thunder rattled the aging wooden cabins, but no one stopped to listen.

Hidden, Marianne Curley (325 pages) – Ebony is snatched at birth from her midwife and brought to earth to be hidden from her relatives who are searching for her. She’s grown up blissfully unaware of her origins, but things are about to change. When Ebony comes of age, she will be “visible” – to both her family and the one who stole her. “Who will find her first?” is the question the cover is asking.

First sentence: Do you ever stare at your reflection and wonder who that person is looking back at you?

Bad Hair Day, Carrie Harris (228 pages) – “Future physician Kate Grable is thrilled to shadow the county medical examiner, but when he is arrested for murder and Kate is left to run the morgue, she discovers that something is killing students – something very hairy and strong.” (catalogue)

First sentences: “Braaaains!” After all the zombie attacks, even the word made me twitchy.

Live Through This, Mindi Scott (289 pages) – Coley Sterling’s life appears to be perfect, and she works hard at this appearance. Underneath, she’s hiding a dreadful secret she’s kept for ten years. When it looks like her crush on Reece might turn into a real romance, the secret threatens to come out and turn her life into a nightmare.

First sentence: I’m on my bed, under the covers, and my boyfriend is kissing my neck.

New Books

Arcadia Awakens, Kai Meyer (394 pages) – Rosa Alcantara comes from a New York Sicilian family. On a visit back to the home country, Rosa is introduced to the world of the Mafia, but with a large twist. Not only is the underworld of crime and deadly family rivalries alive and well, but there seems to be a mysterious, supernatural element to it: strange beasts roam the hills of Sicily, and the feuding families have dark, dangerous secrets. It is perhaps unwise, then, to fall in love with a member of the enemy family. But then who’s wise? (Not Rosa, nor Alessandro.)

First sentence: “One day,” she said, “I’ll catch dreams like butterflies.”

The Convent, Maureen McCarthy (419 pages) – “Peach is nineteen and pretty happy with the way things are. She has her university work, two wildly different best friends, her sister, Stella, to look after and a broken heart to mend. But when she takes a summer job at a cafe in the old convent, her idea of who she is takes a sharp turn – into the past. Where once there were nuns, young girls and women who had fallen on hard times, Peach discovers secrets from three generations of her family. As their stories are revealed, Peach is jolted out of her comfort zone. But does she really want to know who she is?” (Book cover)

First sentence: My sister and I often rode past the convent that summer.

Another Faust, Daniel & Dina Nayeri (387 pages) – this novel is a companion to Another Pan, and Another Jekyll, Another Hyde. Set in an exclusive academy (which we like). Five children from various cities across Europe mysteriously disappear, only to turn up seeveral years later in New York, together with an unusual governess. Together they attend the Manhattan Marlowe School, exhibiting unusual powers bestowed on them by their governess. Having unusual powers is a bit of a head rush, but there’s a dangerous side, which they may discover to their detriment.

First sentences: Victoria didn’t have time to play. She didn’t have time for friends or laughing or jumping or any other things little kids do.

The Kill Order, James Dashner (327 pages) – For Maze Runner fans. Before the Maze, there were the sun flares, and the infectious disease of the mind that drove the people of the eastern United States to madness, threatening humanity. Amongst all the chaos, Mark and Trina wonder if there is something they can do to stop the devastation of civilisation as they knew it.

First sentence: Teresa looked at her friend and wondered what it would be like to forget him.

Such Wicked Intent, Kenneth Oppel (310 pages) – the disturbing story of young Victor Frankenstein continues (after This Dark Endeavour). Victor has turned away from alchemy, but can’t resist the temptation when another possible way to cheat death presents itself. He, Elizabeth, Henry and Konrad travel through a portal into the spirit world and “unknowingly unlock a darkness from which they may never return” (cover).

First sentence: The books flew open like startled birds trying to escape the flames.

Endless, Jessica Shirvington (449 pages) – the fourth Violet Eden book. “Angels are real. They aren’t always kind. Violet Eden is certain of all this because she is Grigori – part angel, part human. She has felt the influence of both light and dark. When Hell unleashes its worst, Violet must embrace every facet of her angel self to save the people she cares about and the world as she knows it. But death is not the worst thing that Violet will face. For her, the endless question ‘Can love conquer all?’ will finally be answered.” (goodreads.com)

First sentence: What do you do the moment your father discovers your dead mother is still alive, standing in his apartment looking not a day older than the day she died – over seventeen years ago?

Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas (405 pages) – Celaena is an assassin, freed from hard labour by Crown Prince Dorian, provided she defeat 23 other assassins and assorted killers in a gladiatorial competition. The winner becomes King’s Champion. Sounds simple enough, except that before the competition begins the competitors all start dying in mysterious and horrible circumstances. Something evil is afoot, and can Calaena find the cause before her world is destroyed?

First sentence: After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Calaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.

New Books

A couple of angels, fairies (perhaps!), a shade, a troubled teen, and twins.

Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce (414 pages) – One day (Christmas, to be exact), Peter gets a phone call from his parents to say that his sister, Tara, has arrived home. Tara has been gone for twenty years, and she’s back with incredible tales of adventure. But Tara looks the same as she did when she disappeared, and Peter wonders if there’s something a bit different about her (and do the woods around their parents’ home have something to do with it?).

First sentence: In the deepest heart of England there is a place where everything is at fault.

Fury, Rebecca Lim (368 pages) – the fourth book in the Mercy series. “Heartbreak. Vengeance. Fury. Mercy is an exiled angel cast down to earth and forced to live out thousands of different lives for her own protection. Betrayed by her eternal love, Luc, Mercy burns with fury. The time of reckoning is here and now she must wage open war with Luc and his demons. Ryan’s love for Mercy is more powerful than ever, but loving an angel is mortally dangerous. As their two worlds collide, Mercy approaches her ultimate breathtaking choice.” (catalogue)

First sentence: Picture, if you can, the ancient city of Milan in the dead of night, lashed by an unimaginable storm.

Shift, Jeri Smith-Ready (367 pages) – this is the second in the Shade trilogy. “Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to. Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past – the mystery of the Shift. As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets… and her heart” (cover).

First sentence: I held my breath as it began, the last verse of the last song.

Happy Families, Tanita S Davis (234 pages) – Twins Ysabel and Justin have a perfect life and a happy family, and are preparing for life after school (Ysabel as an aspiring jewellery designer, Justin as a college student), when their father makes an announcement that will turn their world on its end.

First sentence: The surge of chattering, pointing, gawking people pours into the massive auditorium, and I feel a shiver crawl up my arms.

Heaven, Alexandra Adornetto (417 pages) – the conclusion to the Halo trilogy. In which Bethany and Xavier take a rather important step in their relationship – a forbidden marriage – and come up against the Sevens, who are (I think) like the angel equivalent of the SAS, and who are bent on keeping Bethany and Xavier apart. Will true love conquer?

First sentence(s): Everything began to rattle. I clutched the edge of the table and watched my engagement ring tumble onto the checkered floor of Sweethearts Cafe.

Trapped Outside a Cage, Ken Benn (237 pages, New Zealand author) – “Rochelle’s brother, Jack, is in prison for the murder of Methsy, and Rochelle is convinced he didn’t do it. But if Jack is innocent, then why has he confessed to the crime? Rochelle is about to find out that something or someone with sinister intentions is behind Jack’s actions” (summary from the publisher – thanks!).

New Books

Time Spirit Trilogy, Melissa Pearl (New Zealand author). The Time Spirit Trilogy is Golden Blood, Black Blood and Pure Blood. Gemma Hart and her family are Time Spirits, able to travel through time (as and when her father desires). This sets her apart from others, and makes her a bit of an outsider at school. But then her crush, Harrison, looks like he might fancy her also: is her growing relationship with him going to jeopardise her family’s secret?

Ngā waituhi o Rēhua, Katerina Mataira (379 pages) – This is a dystopian novel in Māori, or more accurately, four stories in one volume (plus audiobook): Rēhua, Hōkio, Maungaroa, Hokingaroa. The book “follows four teenagers living on Rēhua, a planet settled after Earth is destroyed by ecological disasters and global war. The four raise hōkio, giant mystical birds, which take them on flights to explore their new world. On one flight, they discover an island with another colony of people and are given a quest to interpret a message drawn on cave walls. Deciphering the symbols leads them to appease a gargantuan octopus and help the Tūrehu, fair-skinned sea fairies, who have discovered a way to return to Earth.” (catalogue description)

The Poison Diaries, Maryrose Wood (with The Duchess of Northumberland, 278 pages) – Jessamine Luxton has lived her whole life in a cottage near Alnwick Castle, where she has been learning about the power of plants from her apothecary father and hanging out for the day when he will let her in to his locked, poison garden. One day a traveler called Weed arrives, who – as the name suggests – has an affinity for and knowledge of plants that goes beyond her father’s. Will Jessamine’s growing fascination for Weed draw her into the dangerous secrets of the poison garden? (The Duchess of Northumberland is herself the proud owner of a Poison Garden.)

First sentence: Gray skies; the rain came and went all morning.

Devine Intervention, Martha Brockenbrough (297 pages) – Heidi is a junior in high school and would most like to be an artist but instead must play basketball, on account of her height. Jerome is Heidi’s guardian angel, except he’s not especially good at it (he’s in rehabilitative training). When things go badly wrong (and “the unthinkable happens” – what? what unthinkable??), will the two be able to muddle through and save Heidi?

First sentence: One Monday morning, a couple of years before my cousin Mike shot me in the forehead with an arrow, my eighth-grade homeroom teacher brought two cartons of raw eggs to school.

Lucy in the Sky, Anonymous (267 pages) – “The author of this diary began journaling on her sixteenth birthday. She lived in an upper middle class neighborhood in Santa Monica with her mom, dad, and Berkeley-bound older brother. She was a good girl, living a good life… but one party changed everything. One party, where she took one taste, and liked it. Really liked it. Social drinking and drugging lead to more, faster, harder… She convinced herself that she was no different from anyone else who liked to party. But the evidence indicates otherwise: soon she was she hanging out with an edgy crowd, blowing off school and everything she used to care about, all to find her next high. But what goes up must come down, and everything, from her first swig, to her last breath is chronicled in the diary she left behind.”

First sentence(s): Dear Diary. That’s ridiculous. Who writes “Dear Diary” in a diary?

Keeping the Castle, Patrice Kindl (261 pages) – Someone suggests this is like I Capture the Castle meets Pride and Prejudice. We shall see! Althea is under pressure to “marry well” in order to keep her mother and brother and sisters in a manner to which they are accustomed, and to stop the family castle – Crawley Castle – from crumbling into ruins. Enter Lord Boring. Althea decides he’s a good candidate, and swings into action, only to find Lord Boring’s business manager, Mr Fredericks, has plans of his own that may foil Althea’s.

First sentence(s): We were walking in the castle garden. The silvery light of early spring streaked across the grass, transforming the overgrown shrubbery into a place of magic and romance.

Interrupted, Rachel Coker (247 pages) – “After the loss of her mother, Allie is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Betrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Clinging to the past is comforting but will it cost Allie her chance to be loved?” (catalogue)

First sentence(s): I stared at the ceiling in silence. Although it was so dark I don’t think it could really be called staring at all.

Waiting on Wednesday

This week: some best selling and award winning novelists’ latest offerings, from angels to soldier boys. Reserve one now if it takes your fancy.

Rapture, Lauren Kate. Fans of the Fallen series will be happy to hear that Rapture will be available in June! You can reserve it now. This is the final book in the series, in which things really get shaken up: “Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this – live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies… and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her – and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters. In the fight for Luce, who will win?” (amazon.com) Plus another excellent, dreamy cover.

The Golden Lily, Richelle Mead. This is the next in the Bloodlines series. “Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students – children of the wealthy and powerful – carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.” (amazon.com). This is also available in June!

The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi. This is a companion novel to Ship Breaker (winner of the Printz Award in 2011). “In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man – a bioengineered war beast named Tool – who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.” (amazon.com) Available soon.

Most Wanted: November 2011

Here’s the top ten most reserved young adult items for November. New entries include Daughter of Smoke & Bone – a supernatural romance/thriller about angels and devils set in exotic parts (well, Marrakesh, and Prague for example) – Clockwork Prince –  the second in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare – Hades – the angelic follow up to Halo – and Crossed – sequel to Matched, in which Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces to find Ky. Happy reserving!

1. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore [no change]
2. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini [up 1]
3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
4. Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick [up 1]
5. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
6. Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare [new]
7. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [down 1]
8. Hades, Alexandra Adornetto [new]
9. Crossed, Ally Condie [new]
9. Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor [new]
9. The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore [down 2]

Now, back to Angry Birds!

New Books

Here is a selection of newly arrived fiction. Completely randomly a theme emerged in the tower of new books, which makes for some serious reading.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs (352 pages) – this includes very cool (peculiar) Victorian-style portrait photographs (of the peculiar children). Jacob is sent to an island off the coast of Wales (go Wales!), on which there lie the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (an orphanage). As you would, Jacob explores the ruins, learning about the children, discovering that by “peculiar” people might have meant “dangerous”: there was a reason why Miss Peregrine’s Home is on an island. (Wrestle this one out of the hands of a librarian today!)

First sentence: I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Annabel Pitcher (226 pages) – The title is a reference to Jamie’s sister’s ashes. Five years on from her death, the family is still struggling to come to terms. Jamie’s father drinks, and his mother has left, and Jamie is trying to make sense of the tragedy.

First sentence: My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece.

Hades, Alexandra Adornetto (422 pages) – the sequel to Halo. Bethany is tricked, and finds herself in Hades (the underworld), Jake is back in town, and is going after Xavier, to get at Bethany. So to spare Xavier’s life, must Bethany make the ultimate sacrifice?

First sentence: When the final bell sounded at Bryce Hamilton, Xavier and I gathered our things and headed out onto the south lawn.

She Loves You, She Loves You Not, Julie Anne Peters (278 pages) – Alyssa is disowned by her father, so she must move away from her girlfriend Sarah, to live with her mother who she doesn’t know in a new town, starting over again (and trying not to repeat the mistakes of the past).

First sentence: The night Sarah and Ben showed up out of the blue.

Sorta Like a Rock Star, Matthew Quick (355 pages) – Amber, her mother, and her dog, live in the back of the school bus her mother drives (one of those big yellow buses). Even so, Amber is an optimist, visiting people in a nursing home, and teaching English to Korean women, but then something terrible happens that tips Amber over the edge into depression.

First sentence: Lying down, shivering on the last seat of school bus 161, pinned by his teensy doggie gaze, which is completely 100% cute – I’m such a girl, I know – I say, “You won’t believe the bull I had to endure today.”

The Girl is Murder, Kathryn Miller Haines (342 pages) – set in New York in 1942. Iris’ father owns a detective agency, so naturally she is dead keen to help him on some of his cases. When he refuses to let her – and he’s working on a case involving a boy at her school – she decides to do some secret detective work of her own.

First sentence: Pop’s leg was across the room when I came downstairs. (And the next sentence: I didn’t ask him how it got there.)

Putting Makeup on Dead People, Jen Violi (326 pages) – Donna’s father has been dead for four years and she’s never really got over it. Then one day, she discovers a calling to become a mortician. A story of “how one girl learns to grieve and say good-bye, turn loss into a gift, and let herself be exceptional” (cover).

First sentence: I’m mixing a can of tomato soup with a can of two percent milk for dinner that no one will eat.

A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie, Matt Blackstone (248 pages) – Rene is an obsessive-compulsive superhero in the making, convinced he is responsible for bad things that happen by doing things in the wrong order, or moving at the wrong time. He has one friend, Gio, who is determined to teach him how to “play it cool” – one imagines Gio has his work cut out for him.

First sentence: Legs are my favorite part.

Between, Jessica Warman (454 pages) – “By weaving through her memories and watching the family and friends she left behind, eighteen-year-old Liz Valchar solves the mystery of how her life ended in the Long Island Sound.” (catalogue)

First sentence: It’s a little after two a.m.

Most Wanted: October 2011

Here’s the top ten most reserved young adult items for October. Enjoy!

1. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore [no change]
2. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins [no change]
3. Inheritance, Christopher Paolini [up 1]
4. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins [up 5]
5. Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick [up 2]
6. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins [no change]
7. The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore [down 2]
8. Passion, Lauren Kate [down 5]
9. Bloodlines, Richelle Mead [up 1]
10. Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard [down 2]

Also new and popular in town: Hades, by Alexandra Adornetto (sequel to Halo), All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Plus also, also Ouran High School Host Club 7 and Vampire Knight 13.

Some More New Books

If you love a good thriller, then read on! (There’s a few in here.) There’s also some fantasy, reality, and the all-conquering supernatural romance.

Heart of Danger, Fleur Beale (315 pages) – The third in the Juno series, so if you’ve read Juno of Taris and Fierce September make sure you read this! “Juno and her family arrive at their new home, but almost immediately danger threatens Hera and they move to Willem’s protection in New Plymouth, the city Juno most hoped to avoid. Fairlands school is too like Taris, and Hilto’s son Thomas is a pupil there. The handsome Ivor is also there and soon begins to pay attention to Juno in a way she finds both confusing and exciting. Juno’s special mind powers are called upon to help her save Hera.” (from the publisher). Romance for Juno?

First sentence: A girl about the same age as me stood on our doorstep.

Fury of the Phoenix, Cindy Pon (359 pages) – Ai Ling joins Chen Yong on his quest to find his father, but she’s plagued by the knowledge that Zhong Ye the sorcerer is not in fact dead, but trapped in Hell and still a threat, particularly to Chen Yong. The sequel to Silver Phoenix.

First sentence: Chen Yong was already on board the ship.

The Fox Inheritance, Mary E Pearson (294 pages) – If you’ve read The Adoration of Jenna Fox you know what happened to Jenna, but what about Locke and Kara? Two hundred and sixty years on from the accident Locke and Kara are brought back to life in new manufactured bodies. They’re haunted by 200+ years of memories of being trapped in a digital netherworld, and having to adjust to a new world knowing nobody (except Jenna).

First sentence: My hands close around the heavy drape, twisting it into a thick cord.

All These Things I’ve Done, Gabrielle Zevin (351 pages) – in a New York of the future, Anya is given an impossible choice by the District Attorney after being arrested for attempted murder. She must choose between her family’s safety and the boy she loves. Things are complicated: the boy she loves is the DA’s son, and her family is really involved in organised crime.

First sentence: The night before junior year – I was sixteen, barely – Gable Arsley said he wanted to sleep with me.

Okay for Now, Gary D. Schmidt (360 pages) – at the end of the book someone says “Haven’t you ever heard of New Zealand?”. We want to know why! Anyway, this one is set in 1968 in New York state and features Doug Swieteck, as first seen in The Wednesday Wars. Everyone’s on a mission in 1968, the Apollo shuttles are on missions to space, the US army are on missions in Vietnam, and Doug’s on a mission discovering a passion for art, and other life lessons.

First sentence: Joe Pepitone once gave me his New York Yankees baseball cap.

Death Sentence, Alexander Gordon Smith (261 pages) – this is book three in the Escape From Furnace series, in which Alex is bearing the consequences of his second attempt at escape from Furnace Penitentiary. Horrifyingly, the warden is injecting him with stuff, turning him into a “superpowered minion of Furnace” (<3 the description). So now Alex must excape not so much the prison outside, but the prison inside.

First sentence: I died in that room.

Shut Out, Kody Keplinger (273 pages) – a reimagining of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, set in an American high school. The football (American) team and soccer (football) team are serious rivals, to the point of school wars. Lissa, girlfriend of the QB, is sick of it all, so she decides to lead the girlfriends in a revolt. Trouble is, this develops into a new war, girls against boys, and the leader of the boys (Cash) is quite distracting. The author’s website (complete with book trailer) is here.

Die for Me, Amy Plum (341 pages) – the first in a new supernatural trilogy. After the death of her parents, Kate and her sister Georgia move to Paris to live with their grandparents. There, Kate meets Vincent, who’s dreamy, but also not your normal human being. He’s a ___________ (couldn’t possibly say), and he has dangerous enemies, and this means danger for Kate and her family too.

First sentence: The first time I had seen the statue in the fountain, I had no idea what Vincent was.

Texas Gothic, Rosemary Clement-Moore (404 pages) – Amy Goodnight’s family are witches, surrounded by friendly spirits. But when she and her sister go to look after their Aunt’s ranch, they encounter a not-so-friendly spirit. It appears there’s a ghostly uprising. Something dangerous is going on “deep in the heart of Texas” (back cover). So Amy, Phin (her sister) and Ben (handsome cowboy) must investigate.

First sentence: The goat was in the tree again.

Paper Covers Rock, Jenny Hubbard (181 pages) – When Alex is unable to save a schoolmate from drowning, he and his friend Glenn (a witness) decide to lie about what happened. But Alex is plagued by guilt, and works through it by writing poetry in his journal. His English teacher, Miss Dovecott, decides to nurture his growing talent, but it’s possible she knows something about what happened – at least Glenn thinks something’s up.

First sentence: When my dad gave me this journal two years ago and said “Fill it with your impressions,” I imagine he had a more idyllic portrait of boarding school life in mind.

Shift, Em Bailey (304 pages) – Olive has made a clean break from the group of friends that got her into so much trouble. Then she notices that there’s a new girl, Miranda, making friends with her former best friend. But there’s something creepy about Miranda, and terrible rumours are circulating about her. What if they are true? Will anyone believe Olive’s suspicions?

First sentence: There were two things everyone knew about Miranda Vaile before she’d even started at our school.

Choker, Elizabeth Woods (233 pages) – Cara is a loner who’s been bullied at school, so she’s happy to be reunited with Zoe, a childhood friend. But then a girl goes missing, and Zoe starts acting strangely: can Cara trust her?

First sentences: “Come out, come out, little frog. We’ve made you a nest. It’s under a log.”

Two angels to end:

Angelfire, Courtney Allison Moulton (453 pages) – “A seventeen-year-old girl discovers she has the reincarnated soul of an ancient warrior destined to battle the reapers–monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell.” (catalogue)

First sentence: I stared out the classroom window and longed for freedom, wanting to be anywhere in the world other than gaping up at my economics teacher like the rest of my classmates.

Angel Burn, L. A. Weatherly (449 pages) – “In a world where angels are fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans and drain them of their vitality, a ruthless teenaged assassin of angels falls in love with a half-angel half-human girl, with devastating consequences.” (catalogue) This is the sequel to Angel.

First sentence: “Is that your car?” asked the girl at the 7-Eleven checkout counter.

New Stuff on the Horizon

It’s time for a new batch of soon-to-be-published bestselling titles – reserve your preferred sequel / series continuer / riveting conclusion now, so you don’t have to wait!

The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore. This is the next in the Lorien Legacies, after I Am Number Four (the DVD has arrived in the library recently), and it focuses on Number Seven (who’s got a bit more breathing room than Number Four). There’s an exclusive extract here, or you can become a follower of Lorien Legacies on Twitter for more tips and things.

Crossed, Ally Condie (November/December 2011). Sequel to Matched, in which Cassia takes off to the Outer Provinces to track down Ky, which is a very basic straight forward summary of a mission that will be far from straight forward or basic. Have a look at the series website, or visit Ally Condie’s blog here.

Bloodlines, Richelle Mead (August/September 2011). Vampire Academy fans will be pleased to hear that this is the first in a new series, a Vampire Academy spinoff series even, and so you’ll recognise the world of vampire princesses and their protectors, so thumbs up! Read more about it here.

Inheritance, Christopher Paolini (November/December 2011). The final book in the Inheritance cycle will finally be here! Will Eragon and Saphira get the better of Galbatorix? You can read and excerpt here, watch some images of swords, dragon scales and eyes in the book trailer below, or catch up with more Inheritance news at Christopher Paolini’s website here.

People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore (August/September 2011). Meet 12 year old Ryan, CHERUB’s new recruit. Has he got what it takes to take on the most ambitious CHERUB mission yet? In the mean time visit the CHERUB campus for more info.

Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick (October/November 2011). The final in the Hush, Hush trilogy. There is an official Hush Hush fanclub – fallenarchangel. The site has FAQs, playlists, and more photos of and info about the famous cover model for Hush, Hush. There’s an official Silence countdown widget to be got at the author’s website here (perhaps the perfect gift for the reader who has everything?).

The Fear, Charlie Higson (September/October 2011). The next in the Enemy series, in which everyone over the age of 14 has become a zombified predator. Dog Nut and his mates must travel across London in search of lost friends, avoiding the terrifying, blood-thirsty adults. You can read Charlie Higson’s blog post about the book here.

The Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare (December 2011). This is the next in Cassandra Clare’s Victorian Steampunk with Shadowhunters series (the first being Clockwork Angel), and we will be ordering it next month!

New Books Again

A box of chocolates: horror, angels, love triangles, the origins of a New York icon, memoirs of addiction, high fantasy, gritty realism, dramas, and short stories, oh and chimpanzees again!

Non-fiction

We All Fall Down: Living With Addiction, and Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines, by Nic Sheff – Two memoirs with rave reviews on the subject of drug addiction, and companions to the book Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff. On Tweak: “The author details his immersion in a world of hardcore drugs, revealing the mental and physical depths of addiction, and the violent relapse one summer in California that forever changed his life, leading him down the road to recovery.” (Library catalogue)

Fiction

Half Brother, Kenneth Oppel (377 pages) – Oh fab! Ben’s father is a behavioural scientist, and on Ben’s 13th birthday, Zan comes to live with the family, as an experiment: Zan is a chimpanzee. Cool, you’d think. Well yes indeed!, although having a chimpanzee for a half-brother can have its hairy moments, and then when things start going wrong can Ben save Zan? (From what, I want to know, hoping it’s not horrible, and that it has a happy ending like the Chimpanzee movie.)

First sentence: This is how we got Zan.

Angry Young Man, Chris Lynch (167 pages) – Xan (not to be confused with Zan) is an angry young man, becoming increasingly involved in hard-core activism and groups of anarchists. Robert, his older brother, is completely different, steady and together. But when Xan appears to spiral out of control will Robert be able to rescue him, and is Robert such a solid, dependable hero anyway?

First sentence: I want you to understand my brother.

Huntress, Malinda Lo (371 pages) – High fantasy (complete with map) inspired by the I Ching, and prequel (by several centuries) to Ash, in Huntress the human kingdom is suffering: the sun never shines and strange creatures have begun appearing. Two seventeen year old girls are chosen to go on a dangerous journey to save the kingdom. Along the way they fall in love, but then it becomes clear that there should only be one Huntress saviour: will they be torn apart?

First sentence: She saw a beach made of ice, and she felt her heart breaking.

Summer and the City, Candace Bushnell (409 pages) – sequel to The Carrie Diaries and therefore also prequel to Sex and the City. Carrie’s having a good summer, enjoying the shopping, the parties, and the men the Big Apple provide, plus she’s in a writing class learning what will become her trade. During the summer she will meet two of her BFFs, Samantha and Miranda, and become more Carrie Bradshaw-ish.

First sentence: First Samantha asks me to find her shoe.

Dramarama, E Lockhart (305 pages) – Sadye (Sarah) and Demi (Douglas) become instant best friends when they meet at the auditions for a prestigious drama camp. When they both get in things look exciting – the chance to study under one of New York’s leading directors, for example, but it’s drama camp in more ways than one: can their friendship survive?

First sentence: Transcript of a microcassette recording: Demi: Is it on?

We’ll Always Have Summer, Jenny Han (291 pages) – the conclusion to the trilogy that began with The Summer I Turned Pretty. Belly and Jeremiah have been together for two years. Things should be happily ever after, but they aren’t really. Belly has unresolved feelings for Conrad, and when Jeremiah proposes marriage she must choose between the two, possibly breaking one of their hearts in the process. Obviously you must read this if you’ve read the others! And bring a hankie!

First sentence: On Wednesday nights when I was little, my mom and I would watch old musicals.

The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Ocean of Blood, Darren Shan (247 pages) – The prequel to Cirque Du Freak, where you get to learn more about Larten: what he was like as a teenager, rebelling against vampire authorities and hitting the road with his brother, leaving a trail of human destruction behind them. But are there dangers for him in this wanton, destructive lifestyle?

First sentence: The vampire known as Quicksilver threw a knife high into the smoke-clogged air of the tavern.

Fallen Angel, Heather Terrell (310 pages) – Ellie is shy and withdrawn around everyone except her friend Ruth, until she meets Michael. Together, she and Michael discover they have a similar secret: otherworldly powers, which will come in handy when they’re pitched into the eternal conflict, the battle between good and evil.

First sentence: I watched my curtains billow in the early autumn wind that wafted through my opened bedroom window.

Virgin Territory, Jame Lecesne (218 pages) – Set around the time of September 11 2001. Dylan’s father moves the family from New York to a small Florida town after the death of his mother. Dylan finds himself drifting through summer, losing a sense of his future while his past – and memories of his mother – appears to fade. When the Blessed Virgin Mary is sighted in town, interesting new arrivals bring a new perspective for Dylan: can he forge ahead and carve out a new future for himself?

First sentence: I’m staring out the passenger window of Doug’s banged-up Ford Explorer as we speed along I-95.

The Kissing Game: Short Stories, Aidan Chambers (215 pages) – including several pieces of flash fiction, which we like as a concept. The cover says, “In these sixteen short stories, acclaimed author Aidan Chambers examines moments of truth in which a conversation or an event suddenly reveals a surprising, sometimes life-altering meaning.”

First sentence (‘Cindy’s Day Out’): Enough! she said to herself.

New Books

Subject Seven, James A Moore (327 pages) – Subject Seven is an as-yet not activated lethal assassin in the body of a teenager. When he escapes from his lab intent on finding others of his kind and destroying their creators action ensues! And lots of it!

First sentence: The quiet of the compound was complete.

Enticed, Jessica Shrivington (413 pages) – the sequel to Embrace, with Emblaze coming soon. In which Violet Eden, Grigori, must protect humans from exiled angels, a quest that takes her to the Sacred Mountains of Jordan in search of “the one thing that could forever tilt the balance of power” (back cover).

First sentence: The angel had been ordered to make his choice.

Running in Heels, Helen Bailey (312 pages) –  A riches-to-rags story in which Daisy finds her life takes a dive after her father is sent to jail for corruption – now she lives above a kebab shop and is getting a hard time from the school bully. We’re rooting for you Daisy!

First sentence: Even if I hadn’t woken up this morning to find fourteen missed calls, seven Where the hell are you when I need you? texts and one tearful voice mail on my iPhone saying something totally terrible had happened and to get my bony butt into town, like, yesterday, as I hurry along the pavement at our Starbucks rendezvous I can immediately tell from Mia’s body language she’s super-stressed.

The Freak Observer, Blythe Woolston (201 pages) – Loa’s life is turned upside down by the death of her younger sister. “A starling debut about death, life, astrophysics, and finding beauty in chaos” (book cover – the picture does appear to be a heart)

First sentence: Your beloved physics teacher, Mr Banacek, likes to sleep on a bed of nails.

Dark Goddess, Sarwat Chadda (371 pages) – the sequel to Devil’s Kiss. Billi SanGreal, Knight Templar, rescues a girl from a werewolf attack, to discover she is no ordinary girl. Not only are the werewolves after her, the Dark Goddess also wants her as a sacrifice, to harness her powers. Can Billi protect the girl and save the world?

First sentence: The Rottweiler’s head lay in a bush, just off the snow-sprinkled path.

Trickster’s Girl, Hilari Bell (281 pages) – a novel in the paranormal romance/thriller genre, but with an environmental twist. The world is dying, and Kelsa must help Raven (gorgeous, but maybe crazy? or maybe he is a mythological creature, as he says) pull it back from the brink, even if this means endangering herself.

First sentence: Raven had spent too long on the hunt.

New Books

Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins (372 pages) – romantic tension in Paris, where Anna (against her will, go figure) goes to spend a year at school, leaving behind her almost-boyfriend and meeting the marvelous Etienne St Clair Smart who, problematically, has an actual-girlfriend.

First sentence: Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge.

Across the Universe, Beth Revis (398 pages) – this one has an almost retro sci-fi type of cover (which you can’t tell much from the pic over there). Amy is cryogenically frozen, to wake 300 years into the future on a new planet, however her cryo chamber is unplugged and she’s stuck on her spaceship, Godspeed, with the scary Eldest and his son Elder, knowing that someone is trying to kill her.

First sentence: Daddy said, ‘let Mom go first.’

Matched, Ally Condie (366 pages) – The matching screen is a device used by society’s officials to determine who is matched with whom for life. Cassia’s best friend flashes up on the matching screen for her, perfect, she thinks, until she sees another face appear fleetingly. Cassia must choose between two lives, between “perfection and passion”.

First sentence: Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?

Birth of a Killer, Darren Shan (253 pages) – a new series from the horror man! Larten is a young man all alone, until he meets Seba Nile, who teaches him all about being a vampire, but will Larten turn his back on being human and embrace this new world?

First sentence: When Larten Crepsley awoke and yawned one grey Tuesday morning, he had no idea that by midday he would have become a killer.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, Julie Halpern (245 pages) – Things are changing in Jessie’s world, her friends are getting cooler (she’s not), so she’s on the lookout for a new set of friends. But can she befriend the Dungeons and Dragons crowd without being tainted with their geekdom?

First sentence: I so used to love the first day of school.

The Radleys, Matt Haig (337 pages) – the humorous side of abstaining from being a vampire. The Radleys are a fairly average family (two parents, two kids) living in a fairly average British town, except for the one thing (they’re vampires, but they’re abstaining). Then Uncle Will arrives, the black sheep of the family, and he’s going to shake things up a bit.

First sentence: It is a quiet place, especially at night.

Yellowcake, Margo Lanagan (235 pages) – Ten short stories from one of Australia’s literary fantasy queens.

First sentence (from ‘The Point of Roses’) – Billy flew into the kitchen.

Angel, L A Weatherly (507 pagtes) – Willow doesn’t know what she is, just that she’s different. Alex does know what she is, and that they are enemies. An “epic tale of love, destiny and sacrifice.” With angels, obvs.

First sentence: “Is that your car?” asked the girl at the 7-Eleven checkout counter.

Not That Kind of Girl, Siobhan Vivian (322 pages) – Natalie is the good, bright girl in school, but she nearly gets expelled anyway, so what’s the point in being good? Is it better to be the bad girl?

First sentence: On the first day of my senior year, I happened to walk past the auditorium during the freshman orientation assembly.

Five Flavours of Dumb, Anthony John (338 pages) – Piper is in a band called Dumb, and her bandmates do indeed seem to be a bit that way, plus she’s deaf, which makes being in a band particularly interesting: she has no idea if they’re truly terrible or really good. This doesn’t stop her from determindely finding a gig for them, with some self-discovery along the way.

First sentence: For the record, I wasn’t around the day they decided to become Dumb.

Popular New Books!

Delirium, Lauren Oliver (441 pages) – It’s another Lauren book! says Lauren. What’s more dystopian than a world without love? Lena lives in a world where love is a disease (delirium), and without love life is predictable, orderly and safe. On your eighteenth birthday you get treatment to ensure you don’t become deliriously in love. But in the lead up to Lena’s eighteenth something happens…

First sentence: It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.

The Monstrumologist, Rick Yancey (454 pages) – “Monsters are real” says the back cover, and Will Henry is apprentice to a monstrumologist. When the body of a girl and a supposedly extinct headless monster show up, Will and the monstrumologist must race to get to the bottom of this mystery, and stop further deaths.

First sentence: The director of facilities was a small man with ruddy cheeks and dark, deep-set eyes, his prominent forehead framed by an explosion of cottony white hair, thinning as it marched toward the back of his head, cowlicks rising from the mass like waves moving toward the slightly pink island of his bald spot.

Prom and Prejudice, Elizabeth Eulberg (231 pages) – The inspiring Jane Austen! This one’s a reworking of Pride and Prejudice (as the title suggests), set in “the very prestigious Longbourn Academy”. Lizzie is a scholarship kid, her friend Jane is not. Jane is in love with Charles Bingley, which Lizzie is happy about. She’s less happy about Will Darcy, Charles’ snobbish friend… For Pride and Prejudice fans, but not purists who might get upset about revisionings.

First sentence: It s a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.

Romeo & Juliet & Vampires, Claudia Gabel (via William Shakespeare, 231 pages) – includes an excerpt from the upcoming Little Vampire Women, another in the mashups genre. This time the Montagues want to suck the Capulets’ blurd. New meaning to “blood feud” and all that. Romeo and Juliet fall in love, worryingly, and you kind of know how it’s going to end. Differently from Twilight, that is.

First sentence of Chapter One (the prologue seemed to be all about Vlad the Impaler): Juliet sat on her bed and stared at her reflection in an ornate gilded mirror, which she held close to her face.

Far From You, Lisa Schroeder (355 pages) – another novel in verse form from the author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me. After the death of her mother, Ali reluctantly goes on a road trip with her new stepmother and her baby. Trapped by a snowstorm, Ali must confront her sense of loss, as well as look to the heavens for rescue.

First verse: We’re alone / with only / the cold / and dark / to keep up / company.

Blessed, Cynthia Leitich Smith (454 pages) – continuing from Tantalize and Eternal, with characters from both, Blessed follows Quincie as she comes to terms with her vampireness, and restaurateur-ness, and also tries to get Kieren (werewolf) off murder charges while stopping Bradley Sanguini (also a vampire) in his evil tracks. In order to help with this overload of work she hires Zachary (angel) as a waiter, which is probably a good move: can he help save Quincie’s soul?

First sentence: Have you damned me? I wondered, staring over my shoulder at the lanky devil in dark formal-wear.

Firelight, Sophie Jordan (323 pages) – Dragons! Jacinda is a draki, a dragon shapeshifter, Will is a hunter of  draki, star-crossed lovers of the most dangerous kind. “Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide,” says the book cover, nicely put.

First sentence: Gazing out at the quiet lake, I know the risk is worth it.

Vesper, Jeff Sampson (288 pages) – Emily is discovering that she and her classmates are genetically engineered and have powers that come into effect at night. They’re also being hunted by a murderer.

First sentence: I was halfway out my bedroom window when my cell rang.

A Love Story: Starring My Dead Best Friend, Emily Horner (259 pages) – Cass goes on the road trip she planned with her best friend Julia just before Julia was killed in a car crash, with a bicycle, and Julia’s ashes in a tupperware container. The adjectives on the back are good: poignant, life-affirming, tender, vibrant, plus there’s a “kookiest”.

First sentence: I spent the summer with the smells of rain and grass and sky, and the horizon stretching out for ten miles in front of me.

Old Books

Just kidding! These are new books. Not to dismiss older books though! They’re still worth reading.

Anyway, this week’s new books are serious, or grim, or thrilling, or kind of funny, or supernatural, romantic and also scary. Or a mixture of those!

Dark Water Rising, by Marian Hale (233 pages) – In 1900 a hurricane hit Galveston, a city in Texas. It was the USA’s deadliest natural disaster. This is the story of Seth, a boy whose family has just moved to Galveston and will need to try to survive through the storm (which struck before hurricanes were given names).

First line: ‘The train clicked on its rails, rumbling past cow pastures and summer-parched fields of grain and hay.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A. S. King (326 pages) – Vera’s best friend, who she secretly loves, goes and dies shortly after betraying her in retaliation for something she didn’t actually do. She can clear his name, but only if she can forgive him.

First line: ‘The pastor is saying something about how Charlie was a free spirit.

Fall For Anything, by Courtney Summers (230 pages) – Eddie Reeves’ father was a successful photographer until he killed himself. Eddie needs to know why her father took his own life, and the mystery of his death deepens when she meets and falls for Culler Evans, an ex-student of her father’s.

First lines: ‘My hands are dying. I keep trying to explain it to Milo, but he just looks at me like I’m crazy.

The Last Ghost, by Helen Stringer (356 pages) – Belladonna Johnson can talk to ghosts, including those of her parents. When the spirits start to disappear, she and her pal Steve have to travel to the Other World to see what’s what in spirit land.

First line: ‘It was Wednesday – the day of the week when it feels like Friday will never arrive.

Sequins, Stars & Spotlights, by Sophia Bennett (327 pages) – This is the third book in the Threads series, about some friends in London who are getting their sequined? feet through the door of the fashion industry. In this, the final book of the series, the four chums are so close to beginning ‘glittering careers’ but! their ‘challenges suddenly seem so overwhelming.’

First line: ‘I’m sitting in the back row of a mega-tent in Paris, surrounded by fashion students, buyers, editors and movie stars, and watching THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CATWALK SHOW I WILL EVER SEE IN MY LIFE.

Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand (432 pages) – At the age of fourteen Clara learnt that she was part-angel. Now she is sixteen and she must complete a rite of passage – her purpose – that every part-angel must do. She soon finds that she is only a small part of some major celestial battle between angels and bad angels, the Black Wings. ‘Supernatural powers, forbidden romance’!

First line: ‘In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees.

Tyme’s End, by B. R. Collins (319 pages) – Bibi finds refuge in a deserted house called Tyme’s End. She bumps into its owner, who has been away for the past decade, and together they are pulled towards the ‘romantic, beguiling, sinister and malevolent’ house. Terror awaits them. And the reader!

First lines: ‘I’ve had enough. There’s only so long anyone can stand being shouted at, and I’m way past it.’

Entice, by Carrie Jones  (263 pages) – Evil pixies are kidnapping teens, Zara and her friends anticipate an all-out war. Zara’s soulmate, Nick, has been taken to Valhalla however, and the good guys need all the warriors they can get. BUT Zara gets pixie-kissed! So obviously that hampers things.

First line: ‘“Am I really not allowed to complain about being here?” I ask as we enter Bedford High School about an hour late for the winter ball.

And some more new books

Big River, Little Fish, Belinda Jeffrey (263 pages) – Set in South Australia in the 1950s (during the Murray River flood in 1956), this is a coming of age story with a pleasing twist.

First sentence: Tom Downs was a small five pounder when he came out backwards on the sand at Big Bend; a place on the Murray River halfway between the towns of Swan Reach and Nildottie in South Australia.

Embrace, Jessica Shirvington (382 pages) – Violet’s friend (she wishes he was more) drops an outrageous secret on her; that he is a Grigori, part human, part angel. Oh, and she’s his eternal partner. Quite understandably, this takes a bit of getting used to, and while she’s processing this there’s Phoenix (all angel), and the eternal battle between darkness and light. People who enjoy angel fiction have reviewed this favourably, so fans of Fallen and Halo (for example) might like this.

First sentence: Birthdays aren’t my thing.

Swoon, Nina Malkin (421 pages) – the back cover says “Sin is coming… prepare to swoon.” Sin is short for Sinclair, a spirit who in a tricksy fashion gets Dice (Short for Candice) to give him human form. Havoc ensues in Swoon, Connecticut: can Dice sort the mess out, or will she also be engulfed?

First sentence: Love at first sight must be glorious.

Bright Young Things, Anna Godbersen (389 pages) – The creator of The Luxe turns her attention to the 1920s and 30s. Cordelia and Letty arrive in New York, Letty in search of fame and Cordelia in search of her unknown father. Secrets, lies, murder, intrigue, scandal, glamour, jazz: just about everything!

First sentence: It is easy to foget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer.

To Die For, Christopher Pike (408 pages) – Two thrillers in one volume – Slumber Party (first published in 1985) and Weekend (first published in 1986) – with very different settings, the first a ski resort and the second a remote beach. Read them and see if you can guess who done it.

First sentence: Dana Miller’s downshifting, as they rounded the tight mountain turn, was like a kick in the seat of the pants.

Red is for Remembrance, White is for Magic and Silver is for Secrets, Laurie Faria Stolarz – More in the series about Stacey Brown (see here), a witch who must try and prevent her nightmares from coming true.

Some New Books

Lots more supernatural romance, bad dreams, terrifying zombie adults, and a TV spin-off.

Pegasus, Robin McKinley (404 pages) – Princess Sylvi, as a member of the royal family, is supposed to have a pegasus as an “excellent friend”, but her friendship with Ebon becomes too excellent for the powers that be; will Sylvi and Ebon threaten the safety of their nation?

First sentence: Because she was a princess she had a pegasus.

Night Star, Alyson Noel (302 pages) – the new book in the Immortals series. Haven plans to destroy Ever and Damen and Jude; will Ever be able to foil her plan, and what is the terrible secret about Damen that is hidden in her past life?

First sentence: “You’ll never beat me.”

The Wager, Donna Jo Napoli (262 pages) – The handsome Don Giovanni makes a deal with the devil in exchange for unlimited wealth. He will not bathe or change his clothes for three years, three months and three days. We all are wondering if it’s worth it, especially if in taking a bath he will lose his soul.

First sentence: Don Giovanni looked out the castle window over the strait that separated the island of Sicily from the mainland.

Early to Death, Early to Rise, Kim Harrison (228 pages) – This copy here is autographed. Madison is the dark timekeeper, “in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate.” (The ‘murky guidelines’ involve killing people.) Not happy with the status quo, she forms a renegade group to change things up a bit, never an easy task.

First sentence: Seventeen, dead, and in charge of heaven’s dark angels – all itching to kill someone.

Mice, Gordon Reece (309 pages) – After Shelley is bullied by her ex-friends, she and her mother move to a cottage in the country. One night a creak on the stairs wakes Shelley. A thriller

First sentence: My mum and I lived in a cottage about half an hour outside of town.

The Dead, Charlie Higson (450 pages) – The sequel to The Enemy. Jack and Ed are on the run with a bunch of other kids, and Greg who’s an adult (and a butcher, horror!) who says he’s immune to the disease that turns adults into flesh eating zombies. Then (while I’m preoccupied with worrying about whether Greg is dodgy) “a fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London”, to make matters so much worse. Blimey.

First sentence: When the video is posted on YouTube it’s an instant hit.

Blue is for Nightmares, Laurie Faria Stolarz (283 pages) – Stacey’s nightmares have recently been about her friend Drea being stalked, trouble is Stacey’s nightmares come true. Can her magic gifts help her save Drea? Trouble is (again) her magic is supposed to be secret.

First sentence: They’re always the same.

Dark Heart Forever, Lee Monroe (372 pages) – More bad dreams! Jane lives in two worlds, one, a freaky dream world with supernatural creatures and a mysterious green-eyed boy, and the real world, with her romance-laced friendship with the lovely Evan. Which way will she lean?

First sentence: Branches whipped my face as I ran and my cheek stung where it had been lashed.

Noah’s Law, Randa Abdel-Fattah (338 pages) – Noah’s father wants to sort him out, so makes him work for the summer in a law office. It turns out to be a good move, as Noah gets the chance to see the grey areas of law and life.

First sentence(s): Fine. I’ll admit it was an immature thing to do.

Huge, Sasha Paley (259 pages) – April and Wil are fat camp roommates and friends with very different goals, one to lose, one to gain weight in the face of her parents’ disapproval. Based on a TV series that’s on in the states (from the producers of Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries, the book says).

First sentence: “Faster, faster!” Wil Hopkins’ trainer, Heather, yelled over the sound of crashing waves.

New Books

Thai-riffic!, by Oliver Phommavanh (190 pages) – Lengy’s parents run a Thai restaurant, but Lengy’s favourite food is pizza of all things. Lengy has a new high school to go to, with new friends, teachers, and adventures. Also! He comes to grips with his Thai heritage and perhaps lays off the pizza.

First line: ‘Same same, but different.

Morpheus Road : The Light, by D. J. Machale (341 pages) – This is the first book in a trilogy by the author of the fairly popular Pendragon series of books. Teen Marsh Seaver finds that he is being stalked by the Gravedigger, a skeletal horror that he had created in his sketchbook. His best friend disappears and his sister joins with Marsh to find him. “Spooky and fraught with peril”!

First line: ‘I believe in ghosts.

The Last Words of Will Wolfkin, by Steven Knight (373 pages) – Toby Walsgrove has been paralyzed since birth, and spends his life in a Carmelite convent in London. When his cat tells him that he is, in fact, the descendent of a great king and must travel to Iceland, oh and now he can talk and walk, Toby is off on a great adventure. BUT is he dreaming?

First line: ‘My name is Toby Walsgrove, and before I begin to tell you my story, I should give you a short explanation of who I am.

Virals, by Kathy Reichs (454 pages) – No cover to embed for this one, so allow me to describe it! It’s a girl running away from something. She is in a jungle, or maybe a forest, or even a gardening centre (probably not). Tory Brennan and her pals have grown up near the Loggerhead Research Institute and when they are bitten by a stray wolfdog pup from the lab, they are all altered on a DNA level, making them super-powered.

First line: ‘A gunshot is the loudest sound in the universe.

The Legend of the King : The Squire’s Tale, by Gerald Morris (295 pages) – Here it is, the tenth and final installment in The Squire’s Tale series. Sir Terence is now a knight of the Round Table, and Camelot is under attack by dark magic. Will King Arthur and his knights defeat the forces of darkness? Well now, that would be telling. Great first line;

First line: ‘Sir Dinadan of Camelot, knight of Fellowship of King Arthur’s Round Table, emissary of Emporer Alis of Constantinople to the Seljuk Turks, sniffed cautiously at his left armpit.

The Web of Titan, by Dom Testa (255 pages) – A bunch of teens are sent off in the starship Galahad. Their mission is to colonise a distant planet, as Earth’s population is decimated by a virus that wipes out adults. This is the second in a series (the first is The Comet’s Curse) and they encounter alien (?) weirdness in the rings of Saturn.

First line: ‘The storm raged quietly along the surface, a swirl of colors colliding, mixing, weaving.

The Ghost and the Goth, by Stacey Kade (281 pages) – A misunderstood goth boy is haunted by a dead homecoming queen (she was hit by a bus full of ‘geeks’). He doesn’t want to help her because she was a pain when alive, which is fair enough I guess. A supernatural romance! Colleague Lauren is going to read it and write a review. She promised. The cover is a goth and a ghost, perhaps just as you’d expect.

First line: ‘Dying should have been the worst moment in my life.

Blindsided, by Priscilla Cummings (226 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Natalie learns that she is rapidly going blind, and is faced with two options; to hope for a miracle that mightn’t come, or learn the skills that she needs to adapt to blindness.

First line: ‘Like so many of Natalie’s early memories, this one is full of color: the fresh yellow  straw, the red blood that was pooling way too fast, the silver bucket kicked aside, the damp, quivering brown fur.

Wicked Girls : A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, by Stephanie Hemphill (408 pages) – A fictionalised telling of the Salem Witch Trials, which took place in the 1600s in America. Everyone in the town of Salem went a hysterical and started accusing people of being witches, which, at that time, carried the death penalty. Nineteen people were hanged and one especially unlucky man was crushed to death. Anyway, here’s a novel about it. It’s written in poems.

Is it Night or Day?, by Fern Schumer Chapman (205 pages) – Edith travels from her small German town – where Nazi anti-Semitism is in full swing – to Chicago, in the US, as part of the ‘One Thousand Children’ project. She can not go with her parents, who remain behind. Edith is only twelve, and has lost everything. Based on the author’s mother’s life.

First line: ‘The first long train trip I ever took in Germany was my last.

Crescendo, by Becca Fitzpatrick (427 pages) – This is the sequel to Hush, Hush. Nora’s ‘gorgeous guardian angel’, Patch, is spending too much time with her enemy, Marcie, and Nora finds she is drawn to Scott, an old family friend. But he is hiding something! And she is haunted by images of her murdered father.

First line: ‘The fingers of the thorn-apple tree clawed at the windowpane behind Harrison Grey, and he dog-eared his page, no longer able to read through the racket.

Me And Death : An Afterlife Adventure, by Richard Scrimger (187 pages) – Fourteen-year-old amateur gangster Jim is hit by a car and dies. He experiences a ‘hilarious, bleak, and ultimately hopeful visit’ to the afterworld. Then! He gets a chance to come back to Earth.

First line: ‘I was walking up Roncesvalles, the big street in my neighborhood.

The Interrogation of Gabriel James, by Charlie Price (170 pages) – In this murder-mystery, teen Gabe witnesses two murders and recounts what he saw to the police. The mysteries start to stack up and Gabe takes it upon himself to discover the truth.

First line: ‘I stood at the back of a small crowd in a bleak cemetary north of the Yellowstone River, the second funeral I had attended this week.

Center Field, by Robert Lipsyte (280 pages) – “Mike lives for baseball and hopes to follow his idol into the major leagues one day, but he is distracted by a new player who might take his place in center field, an ankle injury, problems at home, and a growing awareness that something sinister is happening at school.” ~ Library of Congress summary.

First line: ‘Mike backed up a the ping of the ball against the metal bat, sensing a long, high fly.

Sleepless, by Cyn Balog (215 pages) – Eron is a Sandman, a supernatural being who sends people to sleep. He is not supposed to communicate to his charges but feels drawn to recently bereaved Julia, who is at unknowingly at risk from dangers she doesn’t recognise. Basically he’s in love with her but it’s against the rules.

First line: ‘Griffin Colburn knew something was wrong the moment he slid into the driver’s seat.

Golden Web, by Barbara Quick (266 pages) – A fictional retelling of the life of Alessandra Giliani, who has a very interesting story! She was the first woman anatomist (she was born in 1307) and developed a method of draining blood from a corpse and replacing it with a dye. All before the age of 19!

First lines: ‘Nicco was scared. His tutor was going to burst through the door at any moment, and Alessandra was nowhere to be found.

Exit Strategy, by Ryan Potter (303 pages) – Zach is desperate to leave his ‘dump’ of  a town, Blaine, Michegan, with his wrestler best friend Tank and Ivy League-destined Sarah, Tank’s twin sister. When he discovers Tank’s being given steroids by his coach, the ensuing scandal somehow diminish his chances of leaving the place.

First line: ‘If I have any advice after everything that’s happened it’s this: never fall for you best friend’s twin sister, especially when her brother is an overprotective psycho who also happens to be a three-time state champion wrestler.

Shadow, by Jenny Moss (377 pages) – Shadow is tasked with watching the princess, whose death was prophecised to occur when she turns sixteen. Unfortunately for Shadow (and the princess) the prophecy comes true, and Shadow must run for her life with a young knight, Sir Kenway. As the kingdom falls, romance blossoms.

First lines: ‘I stood at the queen’s tall arched window. A blast of cold wind chilled my face, but I kept looking.

Flash, by Michael Cadnum (235 pages) – Take it away, Library of Congress summary: “Relates one momentous day in the lives of five young people in the San Francisco Bay Area, including two teenaged bank robbers, a witness [who is legally blind] and a wounded military policeman just back from Iraq.

First lines: ‘“When will you show them the gun?” asked Milton? He and his brother were sitting in lawn chairs in back of the house.

Fever Season, by Eric Zweig (254 pages) – David is orphaned by the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918 (which killed 15 million people). To escape the orphanage he needs to find his uncle, who he thinks lives in Seattle. Fortunately David gets a job with the ice hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, and travels west with them to Seattle.

First line: ‘“Put your coat on,” David Saifert’s mother said.

Yes You Can Play Great Rock Guitar : Jam, Shred and Riff in 10 Foolproof Lessons, by Phil Capone and Paul Copperwaite (192 pages) – Can you play the rock guitar? Yes, you can! Accompanied by a CD.

Heaps of New Books

Zombies Vs. Unicorns (415 pages) – if it came down to it, which team would you be on? Read the stories and pick your team. There’s even extra content that you can access on the interweb if you’ve got a smart phone – there’s a souped up QR-type code on the back cover. We’re thinking it might just be the book trailer (which is here), but we’ve been known to be wrong.

First sentence (from the introduction): Since the dawn of time one question has dominated all others: Zombies or Unicorns?

fishhookfishhookfishhookfishhook plus an extra fishhook for the cool cover.

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story, Adam Rex (324 pages) – Actually, really, being eternally a teenager wouldn’t be the greatest, especially if you’re not exactly cut and chiselled, which Doug Lee isn’t. But what he is is a vampire, and has the stars of the reality television show Vampire Hunters after him.

First sentence: Doug came to, lying on his back in what felt smelled like a field.

fishhook cool cover again.

Torment, Lauren Kate (452 pages) – get your supernatural romance, fallen angel fix here. The hotly anticipated sequel to Fallen, which stayed atop our Most Wanted list for months and months this year. Daniel must go off and hunt the Outcasts, so he hides Luce at an exclusive academy (!) for gifted students, where she finds out more about her special powers and those freaky shadows. Fallen angels keep secrets though, dangerous ones…

First sentence: Daniel stared out at the bay.

I Am Number Four, Pittacus Lore (440 pages) – the much hyped first book in the Lorien Legacies series where nine, um, people, arrive from another planet methinks, and “walk among us”. Trouble is they’re getting picked off, one by two by three, and number four is next. Again, this comes complete with the promise of *extra material* via the QR code on the jacket. Wikipedia will also tell you who Pittacus Lore really is.

First sentence: The door starts shaking.

Good Oil, Laura Buzo (283 pages) – a straight-up romance with no supernatural creatures, Good Oil tells the story of Amelia, who falls for the much older Chris, an engaging university student. She enjoys spending time with him, and he appears to like her company too, but it’s complicated.

First sentence: ‘I’m writing a play,’ says Chris, leaning over the counter of my cash register.

Perchance to Dream, Lisa Mantchev (333 pages) – the marvellously quirky sequel to the marvellously quirky Eyes Like Stars and some of the most fantastical fantasy that might do your head in. Bertie’s left the Theatre in search of Nate the pirate, who has been captured (perhaps killed?) by the Sea Goddess. With her is Ariel, doing his best to distract her in a love-triangle type of way, and the four fairies, thinking of nothing much other than food.  Along the way Bertie learns more about her magic, her father, and which team to pick, Nate or Ariel?

First sentence: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged,’ Mustardseed said, flying in lazy loops like an intoxicated bumblebee, ‘that a fairy in possession of a good appetite must be in want of pie.’

fishhookfishhookfishhook for the Jane Austen reference.

The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher, Doug McLeod (304 pages) – a funny horror, black comedy story. Thomas is a well-bred sixteen year old in 1828 who falls in with Plenitude, a body-snatcher, and is then pursued by all manner of ghoulish types.

First sentence: There are no stars, no moon to illuminate the grounds of the parish church.

iBoy, Kevin Brooks (290 pages) – Tom was attacked by (I extrapolate) a gang on his estate, and bits of his iPhone became embedded in his brain (hopefully the bubble wrap popping app still works) and now he has special powers. Sounds like fun, having a GPS in your brain, but no: he must make difficult choices that lead to “terrifying” consequences. Sinister.

First sentence: The mobile phone that shattered my skull was a 32GB iPhone 3GS.

Dark Flame, Alyson Noel (The Immortals, 320 pages) – Ever tries to help Haven get to grips with being an Immortal, and must also fight “for control of her body, her soul – and the timeless true love she’s been chasing for centuries.” (Book cover)

First sentence: ‘What the fug?’

The Deathday Letter, Shaun David Hutchinson (240 pages) – Ollie receives a letter saying he’s going to die in one day’s time, so his friend suggests he spend that day attempting to win the heart of the girl of his dreams, Ronnie. He does this (attempt to win: I’m not saying if he’s successful).

First sentence: ‘Oliver! Oliver, I need you downstairs right now!’

Party, Tom Leveen (228 pages) – it’s the end of the school year and there’s a party: eleven characters tell the story of why they went and what happened, leading to a conclusion that “no one saw coming.”

First sentence: I’m the girl nobody knows until she commits suicide.

More to come…

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