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NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: YA Finalists!

Behold — the shortlist for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults has been announced and it is great. If you want to find out about the books that have been nominated for the children’s lit categories, check out our blog post on the matter, but on this blog we’re all about the YA, baby! Read on for our thoughts on this year’s Young Adult Fiction Award finalists, a slice of the book itself (where we can share it!), and for handy-dandy catalogue links so you can reserve them if you haven’t already read them!

Afakasi woman / Young, Lani Wendt
Our thoughts: Lani Wendt Young’s prose, as always, is searing, insightful, and thought-provoking. This collection of short stories puts a laser focus on the experiences and voices of Pasifika women, always sketched with the deftest of hands that combines a powerful evocation of place and voice with a keen sense for moral relativity throughout. Ultimately, the collection is a really freaking awesomely written exploration and discovery of the joys, trials, and day-to-day lives of women in the Pacific. Read it and discuss!

Aspiring / Wilkins, Damien
Our thoughts: We loved the verbosity and relatability of 15-year-old Ricky’s near-constant internal monologue throughout this book — it’s full of the kinds of observations about life in a small town that we recognise and empathise with. It’s exciting to see the author’s bold and unpretentious voice applied to young adult themes and characters for the first time in this book, and we’re hoping there’s more to come in this space in the future!

Pete’s was where I had an after-school job. There was no one at the restaurant called Pete. The owner’s name was Garth but he hadn’t got around to changing the name. He didn’t want to climb on a ladder and paint it up. ‘Besides,’ Garth said, ‘who’d want to come to a place called Garth’s? Sounds like someone clearing his throat.’

I wouldn’t have needed a ladder.

— Damien Wilkins, Aspiring, Massey University Press, 2020.

The History Speech / Sweet, Mark (coming soon to our libraries!)
Our thoughts: In this book Mark Sweet refuses to shy away from some pretty heavy themes — child abuse, drug use, suicide, sexuality, the works. It’s an engrossing tale set in 1960s New Zealand, only the cheery Kiwiana facade is starting to crumble, revealing the universal (and existential) angst beneath. Callum’s voice and unique perspective kept us turning the pages with alacrity, and his tale of self-discovery is not one we think you should miss.

Posh tea is kept in a tin and had with a slice of lemon and no milk. Regular is from the yellow Bell paper box and had with milk, poured before the tea, although his mother does it the other way round. She says people who pour their milk first don’t know any better. That way the milk is scalded, she says. His mother and his grandfather agree about heating the teapot first with hot water, but not about the milk. He doesn’t take sides when the subject comes up,although he was more impressed by his grandfather’s knowledge of the boiling point of milk than his mother’s explanation that that’s the way the do it in Scotland.

— Mark Sweet, The History Speech, Huia Press, 2019.

Ursa / Shaw, Tina
Our thoughts: It’s always exciting when a new dystopian novel comes out of New Zealand — especially from an author of the calibre of Tina Shaw. She brings her trademark attention to place — the granite cobblestones of the streets, the expressions of the statues on the building-tops — to bear on a compelling and convincing world where the iron fist of those with wealth and power is starting to be tested by those without. The intensely personal story of Leho and Emee, and their trials in seeking change, will resonate with you long after you put the book down.

Wynter’s thief / Jordan, Sherryl
Our thoughts: I have to admit to some bias here — Sherryl Jordan has long been one of my favourite New Zealand authors. Wynter’s Thief is another example of her rich use of language, both to conjure up accurate and engrossing historical referents, and to patiently build in elements of fantasy and magic. The pacing of this story is what really grabbed me — it grows in speed and import as you read. Definitely check this out, and while you’re at it, check out Jordan’s substantial back catalogue — you won’t regret it.

There is a wild danger, a dancing on the knife-edge between sacredness and devilry, when a witch works magic. It is like that today, with the maid. Around her, the burning air shimmers, prickly with suspense. She strides ahead, wand outstretched, bare feet swift on the scorched earth. We follow, feverish with excitement, and musicians march alongside, banging drums and playing pipes. Dust rises about us, bright like a holy cloud, leaving us breathless, dazzled in her wake.

— Sherryl Jordan, Wynter’s Thief, OneTree House, 2019.

New books

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe 57 bus, Dashka Slater

One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever. If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe goose road, Rowena House

Angélique Lacroix is haymaking when the postman delivers the news: her father is dead, killed on a distant battlefield. She makes herself a promise: the farm will remain exactly the same until her beloved older brother comes home from the Front. “I think of it like a magical spell. If I can stop time, if nothing ever changes, then maybe he won’t change either.” But a storm ruins the harvest, her mother falls ill and then the requisition appears… In a last-ditch attempt to save the farm from bankruptcy, Angélique embarks on a journey across France with her brother’s flock of magnificent Toulouse geese. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsKiller T, Robert Muchamore

Harry and Charlie are teenagers whose lives are shaped by a society that’s shifting around them. He is a lonely Brit in his first term at a Las Vegas high school. She is an unlikely friend, who gets accused of mixing a batch of explosives that blew up a football player. The two of them are drawn together at a time when gene editing technology is starting to explode. With a lab in the garage anyone can beat cancer, enhance their brain to pass exams, or tweak a few genes for that year-round tan and perfect beach body. But in the wrong hands, cheap gene editing is the most deadly weapon in history. Killer T is a synthetic virus with a ninety per-cent mortality rate, and the terrorists who created it want a billion dollars before they’ll release a vaccine. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSpillzone: the broken vow, Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland

Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Strange manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. Addison got close enough to the Spill Zone to touch it, literally. She survived the encounter, but came back changed. It turns out she’s not alone. North Korea has its own Spill Zone, and a young man named Don Jae is the only one who made it out alive. Alive, but changed. Now Addison, Don Jae, and, curiously, a rag doll named Vespertine, share an unholy bond and uncanny powers. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSleepless, Sarah Vaughn and Leila Del Luca

Lady ‘Poppy’ Pyppenia is guarded by the Sleepless Knight Cyrenic but becomes endangered when an assassin threatens her life in the new king’s reign. As Poppy and Cyrenic try to discover who wants her dead, they must navigate the dangerous waters of life at court and of their growing feelings for one another. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSadie, Courtney Summers

Sadie’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated Colorado town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. When Mattie is found dead, and the police investigation is botched, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice. She hits the road following a few meager clues. When West McCray, a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America, hears Sadie’s story, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTwo dark reigns, Kendare Blake

Katharine sits on the throne of Fennbirn. Dead bodies have washed up on the shore, but the real Mirabella and Arsinoe are in hiding. There are murmurs of dissent among the people of Fennbirn. The crown has been won, but unexpected renegade is about to wage a war of her own. The battle to be queen is far from done. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEden conquered, Joelle Charbonneau

The Trials of Virtuous Succession have ended. Prince Andreus is king–and Princess Carys is dead. But even as he’s haunted by what he did to win the throne, Andreus discovers that his dream of ruling only brings new problems. The people love his twin even more in death than they did when she was alive. The Elders treat him as a figurehead. And worst of all, the winds of Eden are faltering. But despite what everyone believes, Carys is alive. Exiled to the wilderness, Carys struggles to control the powers that have broken free inside her. And as she grows stronger, so does her conviction that she must return to the Palace of Winds, face her twin and root out the treachery that began long before the first Trials started. The Kingdom of Eden is growing darker with each passing day. Brother and sister, former foes, must decide whether some betrayals cut too deep to be forgiven–and whether one will wear the crown or both will lose everything. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRuin of stars, Linsey Miller

As one of the Queen’s elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and permission to hunt down the lords who killed their family. But Sal still has to figure out who the culprits are. They must enlist the help of some old friends and enemies while ignoring a growing distaste for the queen and that the charming Elise is being held prisoner by her father. But there’s something terribly wrong in the north. Talk of the return of shadows, missing children, and magic abounds. As Sal takes out the people responsible for their ruined homeland, Sal learns secrets and truths that can’t be forgotten. (Publisher summary)

Comicfest 2017!

I hope you’ve heard about our amazing event Comicfest! It’s now a yearly event that celebrates free comic book day and puts the spotlight on some of our amazing local talent. There’s competitions, talks from said local talent, and of course, free comic books!

Check out the Comicfest 2017 Facebook page for details.

New CDs with poetic descriptions

Coast To Coast – Cody Simpson
Talented swimmer
leaves pool behind for a shot
at “Bieber status”

Making Mirrors – Gotye
Ashton Kutcher and
Lily Allen cosigned this
via the twitters

The Fall – Gorillaz
Recorded on tour
with Damon’s iPad, what an
age we live in, huh?

The Essential – Korn
Misspelled cereal
grain’s discography shoehorned
onto two CDs

Neighbourhoods – Blink 182
Together again,
“indefinite hiatus”
over, pop-punk back.

New Manga

Hey, recently we left a box out in Central for people to recommend to us some new manga titles. They are very popular! We received LOTS of suggestions and if you were one of the people who filled in one of the forms (thanks heaps!) you will be pleased to learn that we have purchased some of the suggested titles. These are some of the new titles that you can already reserve (the links go only to the first volume, so to reserve the others do a title search);

Fairy Tale (vols 1-5) – Teenage wizards! Dragons! One of the best shōnen manga in Japan – as decided by Japan!
Pandora Hearts (vols 1-5) – Published by Square Enix, the studio behind the Final Fantasy series in all its forms. Publishers Weekly say, ‘A sharp eye can find many literary references in this exciting fantasy manga. Oz, the main character, is turning 15 and is all set to be part of a ceremony, only to be dragged into a hellish place called the Abyss, for reasons he doesn’t know. Previously, he was a rambunctious rich boy who didn’t treat his servants well, but the Abyss is supposed to only take the worst of the worst. In this dark and disturbing world he meets a girl named Alice, whom he may or may not be able to trust, but who might be the only way out.’
Blue Exorcist (vol 1-3) – ‘Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself.’ – Catalogue summary.

So that’s a few we’re getting! In addition to more volumes of Bakugan, Dragon Ball Z, and Black Butler. Quite a few people wanted us to get that last one, but we already have the first four volumes! Unfortunately it is often out. But we’re getting more for you.

Some New Music That We Have


Cults – Cults
Indie blogosphere
swoons. “Album of the summah!”
– Skinny-jeaned critics.

owl city all things

All Things Bright And Beautiful – Owl City
Starting in parent’s
basement, it stands to reason
that Mum gets guest slot.


Junk Of The Heart – The Kooks
Breezy guitar pop,
hummable choruses and
mostly about girls.

bad meets evil

Hell The Sequel – Bad Meets Evil
Which one is which? Royce
is the “Bad”, Eminem is
the “Evil”
. Oh, thanks.

New YA CDs

lmfaoSorry For Party Rocking – LMFAO. After getting a few tracks into this I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re not sorry for party rocking at all. If they were really sorry they’d do something else once in a while, either that or they’re continually wracked with guilt. Fun fact: members RedFoo and SkyBlu are the son and grandson of Motown label founder Berry Gordy.

triviumIn Waves – Trivium. The American metallers took a welcome and fresh approach with this, their fifth album, focussing on “writing for the specifically for the songs. not to show how well [they] could play”. which results in a less complex, more evenly structured set of songs. Not that this means a scaling back on “epic”, far from it.

kelly rowlandHere I Am – Kelly Rowland. Fresh off her chart-topping singles with David Guetta, Kelly Rowland has recaptured the attitude and fire that made Destinys Child so compelling back in the day. Here I Am flits easily between pop, R&B and hip-hop and features appearances from Lil Wayne and Big Sean (when is a rapper going to use “Medium” or “Regular” as a prefix?).

all time lowDirty Work – All Time Low. This is All Time Low’s major label debut and their first to make it onto our library shelves. Hopefully those two (equally important) milestones give them some much needed self-confidence. Seriously, All Time Low, there have been plenty of lower points throughout history than you and your music. Oh, unless it’s sarcastic. Carry on then.


Ok, it turns out that the entire time I was doing haiku reviews I was actually writing senryu. You see, haikus are about nature and are serious, while senryus are about human nature and are more humorous. How about that? Excuse the lack of poetry in this post, I need to come to grips with this revelation.

b in the mixB In The Mix: The Remixes – Britney Spears. Are your favourite songs on Britney Spears albums always the dance numbers? Do you always skip past the ballads while saying, “Pffft, this lacks a certain energy and I just can’t feel it, yo.”? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re in luck. All of these songs are the dance numbers, only they are even more dancetastic thanks to Justice, Jason Nevins and various other DJs.

ben harperGive ‘Til It’s Gone – Ben Harper. The prolific singer/songwriter has enjoyed such a long career that some of his albums are no longer eligible for a YA card! Sorry, Pleasure And Pain, that Justin Bieber CD is going to cost you $1 now. Ex-Beatle drummer and voice of Thomas The Tank Engine, Ringo Starr guests on this latest effort.

beyonce4 Beyonce. Even though her last album I Am… Sasha Fierce broke the record for most Grammys won by a female artist in one night, I’d like to put it out there that this is even better. Beyonce always has great singles, but on 4 every track is strong, making it one of those rare pop albums you prefer to listen to start to finish, rather than simply cherry picking favourites. #sashafiercewho? #team4bb!

danger mouseRome – Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi. Danger Mouse is not a man who is afraid to take some left turns on the way to crafting a pop album. From inventing the mash-up genre by making unlikely bedfellows of The Beatles and Jay-Z, to spending the early years of his career in a mouse costume, it shouldn’t  really surprise that this project is a soundtrack to a spaghetti western film that doesn’t exisit. Jack White and Norah Jones “guest star” on a couple of tracks.

More new CDs coming soon…

Some New Things To Hear



arctic monkeys

Suck It And See – The Arctic Monkeys
You shouldn’t take the
title literally, tastes like
plastic and cardboard


Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
How they resisted
temptation to include Pink
Floyd is beyond me

i see stars

The End Of The World Party – I See Stars
Someone’s primary
instrument is listed as
“screams” in liner notes

paloma faith

Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? – Paloma Faith
But, Paloma, you’re
beautiful. Does this mean you
don’t exist? #confused

lady antebellum

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
“Antebellum” is
an architectural style.
The more you know, huh?

emily osment

Fight Or Flight – Emily Osment
Hannah Montana
franchise spawns another
teen pop sensation

More New Non-Fiction

Here is some more of the new non-fiction, hurrah!

top gearThe big book of Top Gear 2010. I am sure you have seen the television show and therefore have a pretty good idea of what to expect. The cover says that this time they are slightly on fire, so there is sure to be at least one dangerous mishap. At least.

michipediaWhat on earth are you wearing? A Michipedia of fashion by Chloe Quigley. Before thumbing through this book I was uncertain as to what exactly a “Michipedia” was. I now see that it is like an encyclopedia, but more fashion-y, water colour illustrated and with a humorous intent. Nothing like some fashion lolz.

graffiti planetGraffiti Planet 2 compiled and introduced by KET. It’s a book of graffiti from all over the planet and is the second volume in its’ particular series. More than a hundred images from a bevy of artists. That’s right, a bevy.

how to rapHow to rap: The art and science of the hip-hop MC by Paul Edwards. Rappers explaining how they go about their rapping so that you too can be a rapper. Which is nice of them. Tip: pay closer attention to what the likes of Pharoahe Monch and the Wu-Tang kids have to say than Will.I.Am, you’ll be better off.

how to talk to girlshow to talk to boysHow to talk to boys by Dianne Todaro and How to talk to girls  by Jonathan Toussaint. Two books filled with tips on how to talk to the opposite sex. Then what to do once you’ve used your new-found flirting skills to enter into a meaningful relaish. Also there are authentic real life stories inside.

Even more coming soon!

New Non-Fiction, Sports

The Central Library has recently expanded its’ YA non-fiction collection – just today actually – but because it has expanded so much I cannot possibly cover all of the new material in a single post. So for now, here are the newest sport titles.

manaMana by James Kerr, photographs by Nick Danziger. This features page after page of black and white photos of the All Blacks playing, practicing the haka, listening quietly in meetings, relaxing (they seem pretty like pretty chill bros in these ones), eating, working out and showing off their sweet tats. Kind of “a day in the life” deal. Also there are photos of kids playing rugby, just like the real All Blacks, but smaller!

golden girlsGolden Girls: Celebrating New Zealand’s six female Olympic gold medalists by Margot Butcher. The title of this book sparked quite some debate at Teen Blog HQ, is it “medallist” or “medalist”? Spellcheck, the Oxford Dictionary and we say “medalist”, but this book and the MacMillan UK Dictionary say “medallist”. All confusion aside, you can expect six stories about six champion female athletes.

dan carterDan Carter: A tribute to the All Black’s perfect 10 by John Matheson. Like a biography, but in coffee table book form and with more photos. Follow his story from precocious youngster to the hyperbolic quote generating machine (eg. “… is the ‘Koh-i-Noor’ diamond of his time”) he is today. Not sure if it mentions his clothing chain or not.

all white feverAll White Fever: New Zealand’s road to the World Cup by John Matheson. Remember that time the All Whites made it to the Football World Cup in South Africa? It was pretty sweet. If you’ve forgotten some of the glorious details (tsk) or just want to relive it in text with photos form, now you can. It still makes me feel proud to see a photo of Tim Brown tackling Cesc Fabregas.

wwe encyclopediaWWE Encyclopedia: The definitive guide to World Wrestling Entertainment by Brian Shields and Kevin Sullivan. All the information you could possibly fit into a coffee table sized book on wrestling! From Abe “knuckleball” Schwartz to Zeus and all the Honkytonk Men and Ric Flairs in between. Pro wrestling in the 1980’s was hi-larious btw.

fightFight by Eugene S. Robinson. Covers pretty much everything you could think of about fighting. From the greatest boxing matches to knife techniques, there is even mention of my favourite ‘so terrible it’s fantastic’ martial arts movie, Gymkata. If that isn’t exhaustive enough, then I don’t know what to tell you.

If these new titles prove popular (and really, why wouldn’t they?) there will be more YA non-fiction popping up at branches too. Fashion and arts coming tomorrow.

Mo Music, Mo Poems



 white lies

Ritual – White Lies
fills every second of
available songs

the drums

The Drums – The Drums
Heir apparents to
eighties indie empire start
out pleasingly strong.

keri hilson

No Boys Allowed – Keri Hilson
She only wants men.
I think that was the main
takeaway at least.

aha shake

Aha Shake Heartbreak – Kings Of Leon
Before they cut their
hair and shaved their beards, the songs
were much, much better?

youth and young manhood

Youth & Young Manhood – Kings Of Leon
Does this make them the
music version of Samson?
Yes, actually.


Lasers – Lupe Fiasco
Light amplifica-
tion by stimulated e-
mission of photons.


Burlesque – Soundtrack
Christina Aguil-
era sings most of the songs
but Cher chips two in.

Tarot Card Rock – Barnaby Weir
Vaguely predicting
people’s futures through the rock
and roll medium.

A Long List Of Graphic Novels

x-factorcaptain britainnovaessential dazzlerbatman hong kong

I can scarcely believe the rate at which new graphic novels are arriving. All of the newest ones are listed beneath this sentence.

Patsy Walker, Hellcat. Like Catwoman, but with a yellow costume and more social responsibility.
X-Statix: Volume 1. They use static electricity to stamp out crime.
X-Statix: Volume 2. See above.
X-Statix: Volume 3, Dead Girl. See above and add a dead girl to the mix.
X-Statix: Volume 4, vs The Avengers. See above and add a duel with The Avengers.
Batman: Hong Kong. Batman goes manga!
Sword of the atom. A very tiny man rides a frog and battles snakes. With a sword.
Essential Dazzler: Volume 1. The first (and most?) essential collection of dazzling adventures.
Essential Dazzler: Volume 2. More of the same, really.
Essential X-Factor: Volume 1. Are these guys friends with the X-Men, or am I mistaken?
Essential X-Factor: Volume 2. Yet another companion piece to an above entry.
Nova: Knowhere. Nova looks pretty sweet. Like half Magneto, half Iron Man.
Nova: Secret Invasion. Nova must thwart secret invaders.
Nova: Annihilation Conquest. Nova must thwart a nasty sounding plan.
Nova: Nova Corps. Nova recruits some other dudes into a sort of army to help out.
Nova: War of Kings. Nova has to resolve a dispute between bickering monarchs.
Captain Britain: Vampire State. He has a Union Jack on his chest.
Captain Britain: Hell comes to Birmingham. I guess they are in a relegation battle.
Captain Britain: Secret Invasion. He should probably ask Nova for advice.
Star Wars: The Old Republic, Volume One. It’s based on a video game.
Formerly known as the Justice League. They must be going through a difficult phase. Like Prince.
X-Factor: Time and a half. Superheroes work on holidays too.
Aztek: The ultimate man. Ultimate man? Does he bring breakfast in bed every morning? Hey-oh!

Most. Comic Books. Ever.


There are seventeen new YA graphic novels. Seventeen. Titles and brief descriptions to follow.

X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain, mutated heroes 1940s style.
Spiderman Noir: Eyes without a face, mutated hero 1940s style.
Fall of the Hulks: Prelude, the Hulks begin to fall.
Hulk vs X-Force, heroes square off in Marvel-ous battle. See what I did there?
Four Eyes: Volume One, it’s a dragon with four eyes, not a heroic kid with glasses. A shame.
Daredevil: The Devil’s hand, this is a radically different chapter in our hero’s book.
Siege: Dark Avengers, The Avengers are under siege. When are they not?
Clive Barker’s the thief of always, a haunted holiday house that sucks in children. Scary.
Captain America: Two Americas, imagine if there were two Americas? Six Jonas brothers!
The brave and the bold: Milestone, sounds like a daytime soap. But it’s not.
JSA: Strange adventures, the gang goes on unusual jaunts.
Black Panther: Power, Black Panther is a girl now and she kicks butt.
DC Universe: Origins, how the DC heroes came to be, basically.
Deadpool: Suicide Kings, punching, slicing, shooting, etc.
Superman/Batman: Big noise, when these two get together, cover your ears I guess.
Buffy the vampire slayer: Retreat, Buffy was ahead of it’s time with the vampires and werewolves.

As I was writing this post another twenty-three YA graphic novels arrived, making the title of this post almost immediately redundant. Keep your eyes on this blog and the nifty folder attached to the shelf in Central for all the new stuff.

Twelve Poems About Twelve Albums



Get ‘Em Girls – Jessica Mauboy
What is “’em”? And why
should girls “get” it? Answers are
on track number one.

glee 4

Glee: The Music, Volume Four
Three of these songs are
Britney Spears covers. Rejoice,
fake Britney lovers!

glee 5

Glee: The Music, Volume Five
Similar to the
above entry, but with Biebs
instead of the Brits.


The Sing-Off: The Best Of Season Two
I think this is like
American Idol, but

chiddy bang

The Preview – Chiddy Bang
Two dudes making rap
but with “alt” samples preview
upcoming album.

jessie j

Who You Are – Jessie. J
Spikily lipped Brit
does the Lady Gaga thing,
only with black hair

cee lo

The Lady Killer – Cee Lo Green
Despite swearing at
them, it is still possible
to make ladies swoon.

avril lavigne

Goodby Lullaby – Avril Lavigne
Still in and out of
love, but with sk8er men, no
longer sk8er bois.

justin bieber remixes

Never Say Never: The Remixes – Justin Bieber
Biebs re-imagined.
Biebs re-upped. Biebs re-loaded.
Biebs re-volutions.

Future Is Now – Cornerstone Roots
Future is never
actually now. Now is
always the present.

Pefect Flaws – Black River Drive
Flaws are defined as
imperfections. Another
title is debunked.

EPIC – Various Artists
Iggy Pop, Pixies,
Groove Armada, Basement Jaxx,
Nick Cave, Korn, Tricky.

Songs And Songs And Songs And Songs


Strike – The Baseballs
Favourite modern
pop songs covered by three dudes
with big pompadours

black rebel motorcycle club

Beat The Devils Tattoo – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Dirty, dirty rock
and roll from garage rocking

jazmine sullivan

Fearless – Jazmine Sullivan
Fearlessly sequined,
purple tinged rhythm and blues,
slash hip hop, slash pop.

rocky horror

The Rocky Horror Glee Show
Exactly as it
says on the cover. No more
description needed.


Tron Legacy – Daft Punk
Did you see Tron? This
is how it sounded. Minus
dialogue of course.

beach house

Teen Dream – Beach House
Everyone who went
to Laneways liked these guys quite
a lot. So they said.

Rocked 10 – Various Artists
The hottest new rock
songs of two thousand and ten
all on one CD.

Narrative Works Conveyed Using Sequential Art

Batman; Whatever happened to the caped crusader?Batman; Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader? By Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert. It appears that Batman is dead! Robin reminisces about the time Batman punched a dinosaur in the face and how cool he was. The Joker has a Jokermobile and it’s all so conceptual. Good stuff from Mr. Coraline.

The Avengers; Red ZoneThe Avengers; Red Zone by Olivier Coipel. It’s another pickle for the Avengers! This time Red Skull has infiltrated the American government (which must be particularly galling for Captain America) and he plans to release a biological weapon. Iron Man would probably be ok in his iron suit, but he helps out anyway because he’s just an unselfish and helpful kind of guy.

The Vornov PlotThe Voronov Plot by Yves Sente and Andre Juiliard. Our lads Blake and Mortimer are charged with averting the threat of a biological weapon (yes, another biological weapon) and must also smoke from pipes the entire time (that’s what it looks like anyway). They’d better succeed, as world peace depends on it!

Final Crisis; RevelationsFinal Crisis; Revelations by Greg Rucka, Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion. There’s a new god in town, an evil new god! Darkseid instructs his followers in a religion based on crime, which sounds fun for a little bit, until you realise how inconvenient it would be if eveyone just stole things all day long. Spectre, The Question and Batwoman to the rescue then.

Green Lantern; Rage of the Red LanternsGreen Lantern; Rage of the Red Lanterns by Geoff Johns. Arriving in time to whet your appetite for the upcoming movie are a few new Green Lantern graphic novels, such as this one. This time the Green Lantern is in hot water with the Red Lanterns and must use every inch of his powers to save his hide.

Who Is Arcade Fire?

The 53rd Grammy Awards were held earlier this week in Los Angeles. There were plenty of notable stories from the event, Lady Gaga dressed up as an egg for example. But the one that amused us the most was the reaction to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs winning album of the year, it seems that a large chunk of music fans around the world didn’t even know who they were. And were outraged. Which was hilarious.

We here at Teen Blog clearly approved of the decision as it was the only album of the year nominee on our Librarian’s Choice page.

Latest Sounds

clubbers guide spring 2010

Clubbers Guide, Spring 2010
If you are aware
of Ministry of Sound you
know what to expect

far east movement

Free Wired – Far East Movement
Does electro-hop
sound like something you would be
interested in?

black eyed peas

The Beginning (deluxe edition) – The Black Eyed Peas
The hologram man
includes some of the end with
the beginning

bring me the horizon

There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is A Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret – Bring Me The Horizon
When Death Metal and
Emo collide, it seems that
long titles result

mumford & sons

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
Neatly attired folk
singers nominated for
Grammy with this one

the script

Science & Faith – The Script
Celtic soul trio
get their Maroon 5 on with
the soft rock numbers

Aotearoa Dubsteb Allstarz
Optimus Gryme has
collected New Zealand’s
finest dubsteppers

Some New Graphic Novels

zorroZorro. Volume 2, Clashing Blades by Matt Wagner. Our hero, el Zorro, is pursued by some over zealous military officers who hope to impress a girl by capturing him. The girl of course is in love with the ever rascally Zorro, who will of course escape because he is of course a bad, bad man. Action a-plenty. Adapted from the Isabel Allende novel.

wolverine vs hulkUltimate Wolverine vs. Hulk by Damon Lindelof, illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu. A closely matched fight if ever I saw one, worth a few dollars on pay-per-view for sure. Rather than ruin the ending (you’ll have to read it to find out), here are some interesting facts; the author is a co-creator of TV series Lost and Wolverine also finds time to fight a panda (really, a panda).

the listThe List by Brian Michael Bendis. Fresh off their deathmatch from one paragraph ago, Wolverine and the Hulk are now fighting on the same side against the evil Norman Osborn. They are joined by Spiderman, The Punisher, Captain America, Daredevil and seemingly every other Marvel superhero in excistence. This Norman Osborn chap is quite the fearsome villain you see.

superman new kryptonSuperman; New Krypton volume 2. A long lost part of Krypton is miraculously restored on Earth along with its also long lost Kryptonian citizens. Sadly, humankind doesn’t get along so well with the newcomers and there’s all sorts of conflict. Superman gets torn between his old home and his new home which is emotionally draining. Poor old Superman.

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