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Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

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

Tag: Book lists Page 1 of 4

8 reasons why you should check out our updated Teen book lists! (Number 3 will shock you)

Hopefully the excitingly click-bait-y title has managed to grab your attention. Let’s get into it!

We are always in the process of updating our Teen book lists. You can find them by clicking that link I just gave you, or by clicking on the “Book lists” tab under the “Teen Blog” header. And I am here to tell you about all the exciting reasons you should go read them!

1. New booklists = new books
When we update our book lists, we make sure we include recently released titles to give you something fresh and exciting to read. Maybe you’re a romance reader who’s read their way through every YA romance published before 2018 and desperately needs to find something new. Well never fear, because in our new-and-improved Romantic fiction book list you will find titles such as The Henna Wars (published in 2020), and Love in English (published in 2021)!

2. We’ve got your genre

Whatever genre you’re into, we’ll have something for you. We have many different lists of individual titles for you, as well as a list of the all the languages other than English we have books in and which libraries you can find them at.

Whether you’re into Horror, Dystopia, or Manga, we’ve got you covered!

3. They can help with your NCEA independent reading

If you’re looking for things to read for school, we can help! Our lists will definitely have something new to you, and you’ve got a lot to choose from. Choosing a book award winner or classic novel will almost certainly impress your teacher, or you could read a Māori author or a book from around the world.

We’ve also got a list specially tailored to those of you who are new to high school which covers many different genres

4. We pay attention to what you’re looking at

Over here on the Teen Blog, we pay attention to what you’re reading (as part of our mission to overtake the Kids Blog readership numbers!). And we noticed that quite a few of you have been browsing the “New Zealand Books” tag. So you didn’t ask, but we have listened and we have created a brand new New Zealand fiction book list just for you!

Yes, you.

5. Get recommendations from the best

While it may be a little proudful to claim that we are the best, this is our job and I think we’re doing pretty well. We work with books, we read a lot of books, and we know books. If there’s a book on one of our lists there’s a high chance it has been read and loved by one of your librarians (like The long way to a small, angry planet. Ugh, so good). So you can trust us! Or at least know that we’re doing our best.

And that leads me towards the next reason which is…

6. We’ve put a lot of work into these

As I’ve said, we try our best to make these lists the best they can be. The best example here is the Books from around the world list. This list features authors who write works set in their own countries, and it is one of our longest lists because our goal is to have at least one book for every country in the world! And what’s more, we’re not just picking books willy-nilly, no, we’re making sure that each book on this list (even if it’s not in the Young Adult collection) features kids or teens in prominent places in the story!

So it’s not that I’m begging you to look at our lists, but we did a useful thing – look at it please?

7. We’re always waiting for your recommendations

While we do rely on our own knowledge and reading preferences, we love hearing from you about what you’re reading and what you think. Whether you’re chatting with the librarian at your local branch or submitting a book review for the Teen Blog, we do want to hear what you think! And maybe your recommendations will make their way onto a list…

And that’s the end of my list of reasons why you should check out our Teen book lists. Like every clickbait article, I have made sure to promise more reasons than I have actually delivered, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not number 3 shocked you.

So go forth! Investigate, issue, reserve, and read!

Cool Books from Booktok

Kia ora koutou!

I don’t know about you all, but during lockdown I spent a lot of hours on Tiktok. Specifically, I found myself taking a deep-dive into Booktok, the side of Tiktok where people share what books they’re reading. I am someone who always has about 20 books on reserve, a Goodreads list so long that it has probably developed its own personal anxiety disorder and an indecent amount of books TAKING UP ANY FREE SPACE IN MY ROOM THAT I CAN FIND. The last thing a person like me needs is a limitless supply of MORE RECOMMENDATIONS. Will I continue to create an irresponsibly long to-read list? Yes. Will I encourage you to do the same? Of course. 

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Real footage of me every time I have to move houses and I discover just how many books I have.

If you have found yourself on Booktok, and want to read some trending books, check out this list! Here are some Booktok favs that we have at Wellington City Libraries!

Remember, reserves are free and you can request a book to be sent to any of our branches. Comment below with more books we should add to this list!

Blood heir / Zhao, Amélie Wen
“A fugitive princess with a deadly Affinity and a charismatic crime lord forge an unlikely alliance in order to save themselves, each other, and the kingdom.” (Catalogue)

A good girl’s guide to murder / Jackson, Holly
“The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But having grown up in the small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final-year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

House of salt and sorrows / Craig, Erin A
“In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed. Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last…and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

One of us is lying / McManus, Karen M.
“When the creator of a high school gossip app mysteriously dies in front of four high-profile students, all four become suspects. It’s up to them to solve the case” (Catalogue)

We were liars / Lockhart, E
“Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect Sinclair family meets on their private island. Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat are a unit, especially during “summer 15,” marking their fifteenth year on Beechwood– the summer that Cady and Gat fall in love. Cady became involved in a mysterious accident, in which she sustained a blow to the head, and now suffers from debilitating migraines and memory loss. When she returns to Beechwood during summer 17 issues of guilt and blame, love and truth all come into play.” (Catalogue)

They both die at the end / Silvera, Adam
“In a near-future New York City where a service alerts people on the day they will die, teenagers Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio meet using the Last Friend app and are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day.” (Catalogue)

These violent delights / Gong, Chloe
“In 1926 Shanghai, eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love-turned-rival Roma Montagov, leader of the White Flowers, must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city.” (Catalogue)

The Selection / Cass, Kiera
“Sixteen-year-old America Singer is living in the caste-divided nation of Illea, which formed after the war that destroyed the United States. America is chosen to compete in the Selection–a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illea’s prince–but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

It’s Seaweek!

The sea. There’s a lot of it. There are many things in it. Some things, unfortunately, should not really be in there. And there are many things lurking deep down that we only have the slightest inkling of. Which is pretty cool when you think about it!

But anyway, you may be wondering why I am writing about the deep, dark, insurmountable ocean that encircles and embraces our tiny islands down here at the bottom of the world. That’s easy to answer. It’s Seaweek!

Seaweek is an annual week-long celebration of marine science, of sustainable practices (check out our very own page on the environment), and (of course!) the sea. There are a whole lot of exciting events being run all over the country this week, and you’re encouraged to get out there and do your own thing as well.

You could go check out a marine ecology lab, organise your own beach clean-up, or just take some time out of your week to go connect with the sea.

It may now be officially autumn, but only just! I’d advise you to take advantage of what sun we have left to dive off one of the pontoons at Oriental Bay or just swim at your local beach. Or, you know, a not so local beach would do as well. And there are quite a few scattered around the Wellington coast.

Go swimming, or walk along a beach and count the seagulls, or collect a handful of seashells then realise that you have no reason to keep them and leave them behind on the sand. Take a kayak out, go sit on a rock along the south coast and watch the waves, or channel your inner artist and draw, write, or create something inspired by the ocean.

If you’d rather just sit inside away from the blustery sea-breeze (plenty of those in Wellington!) then here are some sea-themed titles to inspire you:

Children of the Sea / Daisuke Igarashi 

“Three sea-touched children are the only ones who can understand the strange message the oceans are sending.

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea that she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the ocean’s fish.” (Catalogue)

Ingo Series / Helen Dunmore  

“As they search for their missing father near their Cornwall home, Sapphy and her brother Conor learn about their family’s connection to the domains of air and of water.” (Catalogue)

Alone on a wide, wide sea / Michael Morpurgo  

“How far would you go to find yourself? When Arthur is shipped to Australia after WWII he loses his sister and his home, but he is saved by his love of the sea. Years later, Arthur’s daughter Allie has a boat her father built her that will take her back to England to search for her long-lost aunt. The lyrical, life-affirming new novel from the bestselling author of Private Peaceful.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the Drowning Deep / Mira Grant  

“Seven years ago Atagaris set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.” (Catalogue)

The Tricksters / Margaret Mahy  

“The Hamiltons look forward to their annual Christmas holiday on the New Zealand coast. Jack and Naomi, their five children and their guests are settling in to the chaotic family atmosphere at the sprawling home known as Carnival’s Hide when the world is thrown out of order by the unexpected arrival of three visitors. Charming, enigmatic and sinister, the three brothers have come to stay. Only 17-year-old Harry questions their strange ways, but even she isn’t sure what is real anymore: are they really related to Teddy Carnival, said to have drowned on that beach many years ago, or are they tricksters – conjured by her overactive imagination? This will be a Christmas to be remembered, where long-buried secrets will be revealed and no one will ever be quite the same.” (Catalogue)

Red Rocks / Rachael King  

“While holidaying at his father’s house, Jake explores Wellington’s wild south coast, with its high cliffs, biting winds, and its fierce seals. When he stumbles upon a perfectly preserved sealskin, hidden in a crevice at Red Rocks, he’s compelled to take it home and hide it under his bed, setting off a chain of events that threatens to destroy his family. Red Rocks takes the Celtic myth of the selkies, or seal people, and transplants it into the New Zealand landscape, throwing an ordinary boy into an adventure tinged with magic.” (Catalogue)

Most Popular of 2015 at WCL

On the subject of best books of 2015 we thought we’d crunch some numbers and find out what’s been going out at Wellington City Libraries. Interesting results!

Of the books published this year The Heir by Kiera Cass went out the most (by far) but that’s partly because we have billions of copies. So, we thought, let’s make it interesting and see what went out the most per copy*. Here is an interesting Top 10 list of the hardest-working 2015 books in the YA fiction collection:

1. All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
2. I Was Here, Gayle Forman
3. Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard
4. Frostfire, Amanda Hocking
5. All That Glitters, Holly Smale
6=. Shadow Scale, Rachel Hartman
6= . Mind Games, Teri Terry
8. Love Hurts (short stories)
9. The Orphan Queen, Jodi Meadows
10=. Mosquitoland, David Arnold
10=. Love, Lucy, April Lindner

For people who like statistics, All the Bright Places went out an average of 13.2 times per copy which is a top effort considering books are issued for up to 3 weeks!

*And see what we need to get more of 🙂

Top 10: Spring flower girls

In the name of Spring (again), I bring you books featuring girls with flowery and botanical names. Violets, Daisys and Lilys, you’ll find them right here.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHow I Live Now, Meg Rosoff

Fifteen-year-old Daisy thinks she knows all about love. Her mother died giving birth to her, and now her dad has sent her away for the summer, to live in the English countryside with cousins she’s never even met. There she’ll discover what real love is: something violent, mysterious and wonderful. There her world will be turned upside down and a perfect summer will explode into a million bewildering pieces. How will Daisy live then?'” (adapted from Syndetics)

Featuring awesome protagonist Daisy. We also have the movie version on DVD, but it is R16 so you may have trouble reserving it with a young adult library card. Give us a call if you get stuck!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCinder, Marissa Meyer

“Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.” (Syndetics)

Cinder has one horrible step-sister, but her other, lovely step-sister is named Peony. We also have this book on CD, and Rebecca Soler does an incredible job of narrating all the unique characters.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEmbrace, Jessica Shirvington

Violet Eden is dreading her seventeenth birthday dinner. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. The one bright spot is that Lincoln will be there. Sexy, mature and aloof, he is Violet’s idea of perfection. But why does he seem so reluctant to be anything more than a friend? Nothing could have prepared her for Lincoln’s explanation: he is Grigori, part angel and part human, and Violet is his eternal partner. Without warning, Violet’s world is turned upside down. As Violet gets caught up in an ancient battle between dark and light, she must choose her path. The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity…” (adapted from Syndetics)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMarcelo In The Real World, Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear–part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify–and he’s always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm’s mailroom in order to experience “the real world.” There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it’s a picture he finds in a file — a picture of a girl with half a face — that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.” (adapted from Syndetics)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDash & Lily’s Book of Dares, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?” (Syndetics)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSoulmates, Holly Bourne

Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect match for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love, thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems. After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, they are left with an impossible choice: the end of the world, or a life without love?” (Syndetics)

This one doubly wins because the author (Holly) has a botanical name too!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsVampire Academy, Richelle Mead

“St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger… Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.” (Goodreads)

If one’s not enough, we have the whole series here in our collection!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOn a Clear Day, Walter Dean Meyers

Dahlia is a Low Gater: a sheep in a storm, struggling to survive completely on her own. The Gaters live in closed safe communities, protected from the Sturmers, mercenary thugs. And the C-8, a consortium of giant companies, control global access to finance, media, food, water, and energy resources–and they are only getting bigger and even more cutthroat. Dahlia, a computer whiz, joins forces with an ex-rocker, an ex-con, a chess prodigy, an ex-athlete, and a soldier wannabe. Their goal: to sabotage the C-8. But how will Sayeed, warlord and terrorist, fit into the equation?” (Syndetics)

This one’s actually not out just yet, but you can still reserve it before its release in a couple of weeks.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFlora Segunda, Ysabeau Wilce

Flora knows better than to take shortcuts in her family home, Crackpot Hall–the house has eleven thousand rooms, and ever since her mother banished the magickal butler, those rooms move around at random. But Flora is late for school, so she takes the unpredictable elevator anyway. Huge mistake. Lost in her own house, she stumbles upon the long-banished butler–and into a mind-blowing muddle of intrigue and betrayal that changes her world forever.” (Syndetics)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Fault In Our Stars, John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.” (Syndetics)

I couldn’t make this list and NOT include Hazel Grace! It just couldn’t be done. We also have this as an audiobook on CD.

There are plenty more books that could have made it onto this list – have you got any suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

Best YA Novels?

Rolling Stone magazine has published a list of 40 best YA novels. Their list includes classics like The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton; some not quite old enough to be classics like Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan; and some recently published future-classics like Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.

Some Lots of these picks we totally agree with – browse our librarians’ choice list on Easyfind here.

If you’re interested in reading Rolling Stone, we’ve got it in print, or also on Zinio, a wondrous online magazine collection which lets you download issues and keep them, for free!

Cover courtesy of Zinio

The In Crowd

Here at the library we keep tabs on which books and authors are most popular and we also create lists. So, here’s a couple:

Most Issued YA Titles, 2013

  1. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
  2. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
  3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  4. Guardian Angel, Robert Muchamore
  5. Insurgent, Veronica Roth
  6. The Fault in our Stars, John Green
  7. Shadow Wave, Robert Muchamore
  8. People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore
  9. Brigands M.C., Robert Muchamore
  10. City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare

Most Issued YA Authors, 2013

  1. Robert Muchamore
  2. Cassandra Clare
  3. Sara Shepard
  4. James Patterson
  5. Suzanne Collins
  6. Anthony Horowitz
  7. Tamora Pierce
  8. John Marsden
  9. Michael Grant
  10. Meg Cabot

Obviously the more books you’ve published the better your chance of featuring on this list (hello James Patterson), so Suzanne Collins has done well to be at number 5 with only 3 young adult books! The Hunger Games trilogy was borrowed 902 times last year, which is amazing really.

Amazon’s Best of 2013

Amazon.com has announced that their best YA book of this year was Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: well done that book! Their top 10 (not in favourite order) is:

Allegiant, Veronica Roth

Champion, Marie Lu

Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell

Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson

Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell

The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey

The Lord of Opium, Nancy Farmer

Scarlet, Marissa Meyer

Requiem, Lauren Oliver

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black

We’ve got lots of these on book on CD also, if you prefer listening (we find audiobooks are great if you run, bike, have insomnia, or do anything for a long time that isn’t already reading).

The 2013 Amelia Bloomer Project

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

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

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

New year, new you?

Or so the saying goes. Have you made a list of resolutions yet? You know, that list that you start with such energy, but then sometime in March you take a day, a week, a month off from that exercise plan and suddenly it’s November and you’re struggling to remember what you wrote the year before. Ahem. Only I do that? Well, moving on then. This collection of gems is all about resolutions. These protagonists are on a mission of some sort or another, they have a goal and we get to watch as they achieve it (or don’t).

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, Ann Brasharesbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

We start with a lighthearted resolution. These four friends are on a mission to stay best friends as they each go their separate ways over the summer. And they’ve got a unique way of doing it. As the title rather hints at, they share a pair of pants. Each week, the pants pass from girl to girl with an accompanying letter of the adventures they had while wearing them. In this way the girls maintain their friendship throughout the events of their four very different summers. Spoiler alert: they complete their mission to stay friends (although there are three more books with the same mission and it gets harder as they get older) but more importantly, this is a beautiful coming of age story and well worth a read.

First lines: ‘Once upon a time there was a pair of pants. They were an essential kind of pants – jeans, naturally, blue but not that stiff, new blue that you see so often on the first day of school.

Small Steps, Louis Sacharbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

Have you read Holes? If you loved it, or even vaguely enjoyed it, then you’re sure to love Small Steps which follows Armpit (real name: Theodore) after his return from Camp Green Lake. He sets five goals for himself: 1. Graduate High School, 2. Get a job, 3. Save his money, 4. Avoid situations that might turn violent, and 5. Lose the name Armpit. In completing what he thought were five small steps, he finds himself in a situation he could never have imagined. With new friends and old, Armpit Theodore is on a mission to improve his life.

First line: ‘Once again Armpit was holding a shovel, only now he was getting paid for it, seven dollars and sixty-five cents an hour.

Recovery Road, Blake Nelsonbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

And on to the much more serious resolutions. Recovery Road is a teenage girl’s mission to get sober after her drinking and anger problems land her in rehab. So many books that take on these kind of massive issues have deeply unlikeable (read: whiny) protagonists. Maddie however is powerful and engaging, her story heartbreaking. Her mission to stay sober after she leaves rehab is constantly under threat, her world seems constantly on the point of unravelling but always, always I was wholeheartedly rooting for her. Also, Blake Nelson appears to like alliteration almost as much as we do. If you like this one then check out Paranoid Park as well.

First lines: ‘You can’t tell what Spring Meadow is from the road. The sign, nestled beneath a large oak tree, could be for a retirement village. It could be a bed-and-breakfast.

Before I Die, Jenny Downhambook cover courtesy of Syndetics

This one continues down the path of serious subject matter. Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

First lines: ‘I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger. Whenever I wanted, I could get him out and he’d look at me the way boys do in films, as if I’m beautiful.

Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbonsbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

For curiosity’s sake we’ve included this ‘historical’ novel in case anyone would like to give the very British humour a go. The sensible, sophisticated heroine Flora Poste is on a mission to help her eccentric relatives from, essentially, themselves. She descends upon them at the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm after she is left penniless by the death of her parents. Armed with common sense and a strong will, Flora resolves to take each family member in hand. She’s vivacious and witty making her quest and the story as a whole very funny to read. 

First lines: ‘The education bestowed on Flora Poste by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged; and when they died within a few weeks of one another during the annual epidemic of the influenza or Spanish Plague which occurred in her twentieth year, she was discovered to possess every art and grace save that of earning her own living.

Take Me There, Susane Colasantibook cover courtesy of Syndetics

Based on the first line I would say this book is very much about improving oneself. With a (relatively, compared to the others on this list) lighthearted mission involved; to take a mean girl down a notch. It’s told from the perspective of three teenagers brought together by their mission and by all their respective break-ups. Cue three burgeoning love stories. The story takes place in one week, where many things will happen to the three friends including confessed secrets, messages on sidewalks, delivered flowers, a ton of photocopied notes, one awesome speech, and lots and lots of karma. It’s a quick and easy read about the trials of high school and growing up.

First line: ‘My life could not possibly suck more than it does right now.

An Abundance of Katherines, John Greenbook cover courtesy of Syndetics

More than anything, I picked up this book because of its cover. The story is pretty awesome as well. Colin’s on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl. Unfortunately, all he’s got so far is nineteen exes named Katherine. He’s also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin’s hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.

First line: ‘The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.

So now that you have some literary inspiration, go forth into the new year, confident in your own list of New Years resolutions! Whether you stick to them or not, 2013 is going to be awesome! Personally, we can’t wait for the New Zealand release of the film version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Let us know what you’re looking forward to this year in the comments section!

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