Monday, August 31, 2009

Autumn preview - Upcoming titles

Booklist has put together a list of titles coming out over the next few months. The whole list is quite long so here's A-C:


Al Capone Shines My Shoes. By Gennifer Choldenko. Sept. 2009. 320p. Dial, $17.99 (9780803734609). Gr. 5–up.

The Amanda Project, Book 1: Invisible I. By Stella Lennon. Oct. 2009. 304p. HarperTeen, $16.99 (9780061742125). Gr. 7–12.

Ash. By Malinda Lo. Sept. 2009. 272p. Little, Brown, $16.99 (9780316040099). Gr. 10–12.

Ballad. By Maggie Stiefvater. Oct. 2009. 360p. Flux, paper, $9.95 (9780738714844). Gr. 9–12.

A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts. By Ying Chang Compestine. Illus. by Coleman Polhemus. Nov. 2009. 224p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano, $16.99 (9780805082081). Gr. 6–up.

Beautiful Creatures. By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Dec. 2009. 640p. Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316042679). Gr. 6–12.

Black Is for Beginnings. By Laurie Faria Stolarz. Illus. by Janina Goerrissen. Sept. 2009. 168p. Flux, paper, $9.95 (9780738714387). Gr. 9–12.

Border Crossing. By Jessica Lee Anderson. Oct. 2009. 192p. Milkweed, $17 (9781571316899); paper, $8 (9781571316912). Gr. 7–12.

Breathless. By Jessica Warman. Sept. 2009. Walker, $16.99 (9780802798497). Gr. 9–12.

Bystander. By James Preller. Oct. 2009. 240p. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (9780312379063). Gr. 5–up.

Candle Man, Book One: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance. By Glenn Dakin. Sept. 2009. 208p. Egmont, $15.99 (9781606840153). Gr. 5–up.

Candor. By Pam Bachorz. Sept. 2009. 256p. Egmont, $16.99 (9781606840122). Gr. 7–12.

Catching Fire. By Suzanne Collins. Sept. 2009. 432p. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780439023498). Gr. 7–12.

Crossing Stones. By Helen Frost. Sept. 2009. 192p. Farrar/Frances Foster, $16.99 (9780374316532). Gr. 7–12.

and D-Z can be viewed here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

TSS: The week in summary (4)

The Sunday
I've got quite a few books on the go at the minute: I've almost finished reading the fourth part of the original Vampire Diaries quartet by L J Smith; I'm part-way through Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink and I've read a few pages of Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber - just enough to confirm that I need to order the omnibus edition (the library not having parts 2 and 3) from the Audiobook-wise I finished The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith last night.

Activity on the blog last week:

Monday - review of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

Tuesday - details of the 2009 YoungMinds Book Award shortlist.

Wednesday - 'Waiting on Wednesday' post for Hold Still by Nina LaCour.

Thursday - review of The Missing (1) Found by M Peterson Haddix; News of a publishing deal for Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red trilogy.

Friday - details of the tv-tie-in books for Merlin series 1; A link to an online copy of the whole of the Vampire Diaries (1) The Awakening.

Saturday - details of newly acquired library books and recent purchases.

Sunday - the latest links from the blogosphere post.

Links from the Blogosphere (11)

I haven't had as much time to look this week but these few caught my eye:

Bloomsbury has some pictures from the set of the video trailer for Ian Beck's Pastworld

BookRabbit picks ten YA books/series for adults in their 17 Again - teenage fiction for grown-ups article.

The Times reviews Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Library Loot (11) & Purchases

Here's what I've taken out of the library this week:

Gabriella Poole - Darke Academy: Secret Lives
PC & Kristin Cast - Hunted & Untamed
Lesley Livingston - Wondrous Strange
and the latest Doctor Who Magazine

plus I dropped off a few ex-review books (from Euro Crime) at the charity shop and couldn't help myself and bought four more books...

Richelle Mead - Frostbite
Libba Bray - A Great and Terrible Beauty
Cecily von Ziegesar - Gossip Girl
Christina F York - Alias (APO): A Touch of Death

Friday, August 28, 2009

Read The Vampire Diaries - Awakening - online

I'm reading and reviewing the first four in L J Smith's Vampire Diaries series, prior to its tv appearance next year (in the UK).

News come via twitter that you can now read the first book, The Awakening, online at the HarperTeen site.

My thoughts on The Awakening can be found here.

Merlin - the books...

Random House are publishing teenage novelisations of episodes from Merlin series 1. Published on 3 September are: The Dragon's Call and Valiant:

Merlin arrives in bustling Camelot eager to make his way in the world and with a sense that some greater destiny is calling to him.

But he soon finds that amidst the excitement there is a darker side to Camelot. Magic is outlawed here, so Merlin must keep his unique magical talents a closely guarded secret...

A mysterious new knight arrives in Camelot for the sword tournament. His fighting skills are impressive but Merlin suspects that dark magic is involved. With Prince Arthur next in line to fight, time is running out for Merlin to prove that evil is afoot...

followed on 1 October by: The Mark of Nimueh:

A deadly plague is rife in Camelot and Gwen is suspected of witchcraft. Merlin must help Gaius find a cure and save his friend from execution...

Series 2 of Merlin is expected on BBC1 in September.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kerstin Gier - Publishing Deal

News from Publishers Lunch of an English publishing deal for German author Kerstin Gier:

Kerstin Gier's RUBY RED trilogy, in which a 16-year old discovers her family's time-travel gene when she mysteriously lands in the last century, to Laura Godwin at Holt Children's, by Alex Webb at Rights People, on behalf of Arena Verlag (NA).

(This has 60, 5 star reviews on!)

Review: The Missing (1): Found by M Peterson Haddix

The Missing (1) Found by M Peterson Haddix (January 2009, Hodder Children's Books, ISBN: 9780340970669)

First Line:
It wasn't there. Then it was.

Review: Found is the first in a projected seven book series. The second part, Sent, has just been published in the US and will be out in January 2010 in the UK.

The prologue begins with Sky Trails Air employee Angela DuPre who on her first day at work at the airport witnesses the arrival of an aeroplane - out of thin air. No crew, no pilot, no flight-plan but inside there are passengers...36 babies.

Thirteen years later we meet Jonah, an adoptee, his younger sister Katherine and his friend Chip who has just moved to the neighbourhood. The upheaval to Jonah's settled life begins with the arrival of an anonymous note stating: You are one of the missing. When Chip receives the same note, his parents inform him that he too was adopted. Jonah's enquiries about his birth-parents lead his family to the FBI and that's when things really get strange with files and people appearing and disappearing before Jonah and Katherine's eyes. The file contains details of "witnesses" and "survivors". Both Jonah and Chip's names are listed under the "survivors". The second note they receive is more chilling: Beware! They're coming back to get you.

Jonah, Chip and Katherine put all their effort into tracking down the names on both lists and trying to make sense of what is going on, who is after them and why?

Found begins extremely strongly, with the X-Files style opening. After that though I found the pace to be a little slow to start with. Not much was happening until around 100 pages in, but the underlying mystery is so intriguing it pulled me through this first part, and then the story gets into high gear.

Found is aimed at younger teens I feel and having two male leads should make this series appeal to boys, but for me, it's twelve-year-old Katherine who steals the show. She's clever, brave and keen and often has the answers before Jonah can think of them. As this is a series, Found has a cliff-hanger of an ending, though at least some of the mysteries have been cleared up.

I enjoyed Found and will look out for Send next year. I liked the science-fiction angle but now I know where the babies came from, I'm not sure if my interest will be sustained over seven books. It depends on where (and when) the author takes the characters and the story.

Cover: This came as a recommendation from Chicklish. I'm not sure how enticing the cover would have been for me in a bookshop. It appears to be aimed at male readers. (On the copy I have the Margaret is shortened to M). It accurately reflects a scene in the book.

Read more about the series on Margaret Peterson Haddix's website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - Hold Still

I was alerted to this one, Hold Still by Nina LaCour, by a tweet on Twitter pointing me to this trailer.

An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, froma breakthrough new voice in YA fiction.

dear caitlin, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can’t.

Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself.

The US publication date is 20 October and UK is the 12 November according to the amazons.

I really enjoyed Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why which also deals with the repercussions of a suicide.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 YoungMinds Book Award - Shortlist

The Bookseller has details of the shortlist for the 2009 YoungMinds Book Award:

The £2,000 prize is awarded to a book for readers of 12+, which helps young people to cope with the challenges of growing up. Titles in the shortlist covers issues including eating disorders, divorce and death.

A Perfect Ten by Chris Higgins (Hodder Children’s Books)
Without Looking Back by Tabitha Suzuma (Random House Children’s Books)
Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray (Random House Children’s Books)
The Stuff of Nightmares by Malorie Blackman (Random House Children’s Books)
Bang, Bang, You’re Dead by Narinder Dhami (Random House Children’s Books)
GingerSnaps by Cathy Cassidy (Penguin Books)

The winner will be announced on 11 November. Read the whole article at the Bookseller.

Find out more about the YoungMinds Book Award at the YoungMinds website.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (October 2007, Razorbill, ISBN: 1595141715)

First Lines:
"Sir?" she repeats. "How soon do you want it to get there?"

Review: Clay Jensen receives a mysterious package through the post. When he opens it, he finds seven audio cassettes in a shoe box. When he plays the first tape he is shocked to hear the voice of his dead classmate and crush, Hannah Baker.

Hannah committed suicide two weeks before. Her voice tells Clay that if you are listening to the tape that you're one of the reasons why she took her life. There are thirteen sides and thirteen stories. Why is Clay on the tapes? What had he ever done to hurt her. He hasn't received the tapes in error though as Hannah says that she sent the people mentioned on the tapes, a map before she died. And he has one.

Taking the map and the tapes, Clay borrows a Walkman from a friend and listens and walks and understands how one thing lead to another and culminated in the death of Hannah Baker.

I can't imagine that I'll read a more gripping novel this year. I really didn't want to put it down and even when I did, ie to go to sleep, I was thinking about it. I may as well have given in and read it for all the sleep I got. The tension of finding out who's on the tapes, what they did and Clay's role in the story holds the attention completely.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a very moving book and shows how one thoughtless action can lead to an awful lot of pain. Much like Clay doesn't want the tapes to end and Hannah's voice to disappear I didn't want the book to finish. It leaves the reader with much to think about and will linger in the mind for a long time. I can't recommend it enough.

Cover: The cover is very appropriate and would attract me to pick it up even if I hadn't already heard such a buzz about it.

NB. The UK edition is now available (paperback, Puffin, ISBN: 0141328290)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

TSS: The week in summary (3)

The Sunday
I've almost finished reading M Peterson Haddix's Found which is the first part of The Missing series. It has an X-files/Twilight-zone/Fringe feel to it and involves head-scratching time travel concepts!

Activity on the blog last week:

Monday - reporting the upcoming Charity edition of Threads by Sophia Bennett .

Tuesday - Stephenie Meyer's Summer reading recommendations.

Wednesday - 'Waiting on Wednesday' post for Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway; Also Jeanette Winterson is writing a Children's Drama for the BBC.

Thursday - review of The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke.

Saturday - details of newly acquired library books.

Sunday - the latest Links from the blogosphere post.

Links from the Blogosphere (10)

A few articles that caught my eye last week:

The Children's Book Council of Australia's 2009 Award winners.

Staying in Australia: the winners of the Davitt Awards have been announced (Click here for the YA shortlist).

Book-a-rama interviews 4 bloggers about reading YA fiction

Malorie Blackman shares her top 10 graphic novels for teenagers.

Michael Morpugo supports My School Book Club, a website that will, he hopes, enthuse technology-savvy but book-shy children.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Library Loot (10)

This week's haul from the library:

The Missing: Book One: Found by M Peterson Haddix (over 1/2 way through this one, the first in a projected 6 book series.)
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (I'm probably the last person not to have read this).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke

The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke (June 2009, The Friday Project Limited, ISBN: 1906321752)

First Lines:
It was another slow day in the office. Actually, it had been a slow week in the office. No, if truth be known, it had been a lousy month for the Third Pig Detective Agency. That's me by the way: Harry Pigg, the Third Pig.

Review: The Third Pig Detective Agency is the first in what looks to be a series to feature the pig that escaped from the Big Bad Wolf - the third pig - the name's Pigg, Harry Pigg. Flush with his success at defeating the wolf, Harry has set up his own private investigation firm in Grimmtown, with a cow for a secretary (he's not being rude she's a real cow, called Gloria).

Business has been slow so he can't afford to turn down a client, especially when the client turns out to be his new landlord and Harry is in debt up to his front trotters. Aladdin (call me Mr Aladdin) is the client and he wants Harry to solve the disappearance of a certain lamp and return said lamp in double quick time.

Though the first part is easy for a PI of Harry's calibre, the second part gets him into all sorts of trouble and he doesn't come out of it smelling of roses (quite the reverse, literally). It's going to take some magic to keep Harry in one piece and to resolve the ownership of that lamp...

The Third Pig Detective Agency should raise more than a few smiles as the reader gets to meet some familiar faces from fairy tales and nursery rhymes whilst Harry wisecracks his way through solving the mystery. The mystery is complex enough to keep the reader puzzled but not so difficult that it cannot be contained within 150 pages. Harry is a unusual take on the traditional American gumshoe character and I look forward to reading his next adventure, which, according to the last page, is The Ho Ho Ho Mystery.

Cover: The cover and in fact the whole book is beautifully presented with a dust jacket and illustrations eg tyre tracks on some of the pages.

Win a copy on my Euro Crime website (August 09)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jeanette Winterson writes children's drama for BBC

From The Guardian:

Jeanette Winterson has written a one-off children's thriller for the BBC, nearly 20 years after her award-winning novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit was adapted for TV.

Una Stubbs will star in Ingenious, the story of 11-year-old Sally, who lives on a farm with her grandmother and friends. The children find a mysterious old glass bottle which leads them on a magical adventure. As the nearby Jodrell Bank telescope picks up curious signs, the children and a local author suspect a dragon could be at large. The drama will be shown on BBC1 later in the year.

Read the whole article at the Guardian website.

Waiting on Wednesday - Confessions of a First Daughter

I've been fascinated by films, tv shows and novels set in the White House. I've read a couple of mystery series set there but no YA so far so I'm looking forward to this one, Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway, which is out 1 September (US) from Harper Teen.

Morgan is so over being first daughter.

Morgan Abbott has no social life and no privacy, and her one major talent is screwing things up. Unfortunately for Morgan, every mistake makes front page headlines - because her mom is the president of the United States. To top it all off, she's been assigned a brainiac secret service agent who's barely older than she is and won't let her out of his sight (never mind that he's kind of cute). Torture!

But when her mom has to slip away on secret business and needs a decoy to cover for her, Morgan is the only one who can help. With a bit of makeup, a little ingenuity, and a lot of family resemblance, Morgan soon has everyone calling her "Madam President." Can she pull it off? Or will she mess everything up . . . again?

A follow-up is already with the publishers: Secrets of a First Daughter.

Cassidy Calloway is on Twitter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stephenie Meyer's Summer Reading Suggestions

From Stephenie Meyer's website:

...but I did discover one really wonderful two-book series. Dreamhunter and Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox. It is like nothing else I've ever read. The characters are so real, you'll feel like you know exactly what they look like and how their voices sound and what they would say or do in any given situation. More than that, you'll want to hang out with them. Then the world is so amazing and unique. You will want to go there. You will want to walk into "the Place." And you will want to sleep in a dream opera.

I also got an early look at a book I've been eagerly awaiting: Catching Fire, the sequel to Suzanne Collins' phenomenal The Hunger Games. It not only lived up to my high expectations, it surpassed them. It's just as exciting as The Hunger Games, but even more gut wrenching, because you already know these characters, you've already suffered with them. Suzanne takes the story places I wasn't expecting, and she's never afraid to take it to very hard places. Stunning. You won't sleep when you're reading this one. It hits shelves September 1st. I suggest beginning in the early morning and clearing your calendar for the day.

Music suggestions can also be found on her website.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Charity Hardback Edition of Threads

From Bookbrunch:

Threads, the debut novel by Sophia Bennett which won The Times/Chicken House Award, will be published in an exclusive hardback edition designed by fashion designer, Giles Deacon, in support of Save the Children. A donation of £1 per book - the author's royalty - will be made to the Save the Children Fund, a charity close to Bennett's heart and one which has engaged with what's described as "a fashion fairytale".

Fashion fairy tales really can happen. Nonie, Edie and Jenny are best friends with very individual tastes. Nonie's a real trend setter and her passion is fashion. Humanitarian Edie is on a mission to save the world. And budding actress Jenny has just landed a small part in a Hollywood blockbuster. But when these three friends meet a young African refugee called Crow, sketching a dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum, they discover a common passion and somehow find a way to make all of their dreams come true.

Threads won the The Times/Chicken House competition for 2008 and its official publishing date is 7 September, but it seems to be available now. The exclusive hardback is expected in October.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

TSS: The week in summary (2)

The Sunday
At every opportunity I'm reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. A stunning debut novel.

Activity on the blog last week:

Monday - comparing adult and teenage covers of Tithe by Holly Black .

Tuesday - details of how to get a free e-book of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Wednesday - 'Waiting on Wednesday' post for Invisible I by "Stella Lennon"; Also Fleur Beale wins the Esther Glen Award and more news on the UK publication date of Paper Towns by John Green

Thursday - review of Back to Life: Rachel Riley (sort of) seizes the day by Joanna Nadin.

Friday - news of the BBC3 repeats of Merlin

Saturday - details of newly acquired library books.

Sunday - the latest Links from the blogosphere post.

Links from the Blogosphere (9)

Only a few links this week:

August reviews of YA fiction at the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents website.

Bart's Bookshelf has 10 Reasons Why YA Fiction Rocks (Even For Slightly Older Adults!)

Web-episodes and a trailer at the Private Novels site.

Will Davis picks his top 10 literary teenagers in the Guardian.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Library Loot (9)

Sorry for the fuzzo-vision, not sure what went wrong! This week I've checked the following out of the library:

Audio book of Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell (read by Bernard Cribbins)
Secrets of St Jude's: Jealous Girl by Carmen Reid
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (I'm 2/3rds through this one - excellent stuff)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Merlin to be repeated on BBC3

A bit of an advance warning to set the recorder...the first series of Merlin will be repeated on BBC3 beginning 21 August with the first two episodes:

20:30–21:15 The Dragon's Call Merlin arrives in Camelot but finds magic outlawed, its practice punishable by death. (R)

21:15 –22:00 Valiant Knight Valiant competes at Camelot's annual sword tournament. Merlin believes he's a cheat (R)

Read more about Merlin and his friends (and foes) at the BBC website.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Review: Back to Life by Joanna Nadin

Back to Life: Rachel Riley (sort of) seizes the day by Joanna Nadin (August 2009, Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0192729225)

First Lines:
Tuesday 1
New Year's Day

This is utterly the worst start to a New Year ever.

Review: This is the fifth of Rachel Riley's diaries to be published and covers January to mid-July 2008.

Rachel is sixteen and lives in Saffron Walden with her parents and younger brother and (unnamed) dog and attends John Major High. Rachel's household is described as returning to normal after the festive guests have left:

"Just the click-click of James Googling frenetically, the 'psshhht' of Mum Cillit Banging the suspicious ring off the bath, and the 'tap, clonk, "bugger"' of Dad trying to putt practice balls into an Ovaltine jar and hitting the DVD player instead."

Rachel's first best friend is Scarlet and second best friend is Sad Ed. The diary records Rachel's adventures or mostly misadventures as she tries to stick to her New Year's resolutions which include telling the truth at all times and experimental snogging to try and find the ONE, along with: her brother's attempts to be a gladiator (tv style), her middle-aged parents' role in the Saffron Walden Amateur Operatic Society's production of Grease, Scarlet's long distance relationship with Hilary (potential first black Prime Minister) and the search for Sad Ed's mojo and much, much more...

Back to Life is extremely funny and will lead to laughing out loud on public transport. Though some of the events that occur tend towards the surreal I was still left with the feeling that Rachel and her family and friends exist and that if I was to go to Saffron Walden on a Saturday I'd find her at work in Nuts in May (at least before she was sacked). The diary includes references to recent events which also add to the real-life feel to it. This is the first in the series that I've read but it won't be the last. It didn't matter greatly that I hadn't read the earlier books (though there were a couple of characters that puzzled me) but it probably adds to the enjoyment if you have. I found this a quick, amusing and light read; the perfect antidote to this miserable summer weather.

NB. The cover warns that the book is not for younger readers as it is a bit too rude.

Find out more at the Rachel Riley website where you can download the first chapter of Back to Life.

Cover: Attractive cover which is a darker red in real life than appears on my monitor (and is shiny!).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Paper Towns UK publication date

It was recently announced on Twitter that John Green's Paper Towns would be published in the UK next year. The Bookseller today gives the exact date - 3 May 2010.

[Bloomsbury Publishing director] Odedina said: "Paper Towns is an enchanting novel about a boy’s fascination with a girl, which has much less to do with her than his ‘fantasy’ of her. It is a book that feels so true, about that slightly obsessional love which is not as much for the real person as the person we imagine and it is all done with such tenderness and humour. And it is a really great mystery adventure."

Fleur Beale wins Esther Glen Award


New Zealand's oldest book prize, the Esther Glen Award, was presented at the LIANZA Children's Book Awards ceremony in Wellington last night (Monday 10 August). The Esther Glen Award was established in 1944 and is presented to the author whose work is considered a distinguished contribution to fiction for children.

The prize was presented to Wellington writer Fleur Beale for her young adult novel Juno of Taris (Random House). The judges said Beale "excels in descriptions of life as a feisty teenage girl. Juno is a remarkable character, the reader delights in her triumphs and commiserates in her disappointments."

'Don't give up. Don't let them kill your spirit. Things will change. You need to be strong. You need to be ready. And you will need courage.'

Juno is young; she has no authority, no power, and to question the ways of Taris is discouraged. She knows what it's like when the community withdraws from her - turning their backs and not speaking to her until she complies.

The Taris Project was the brainchild of a desperate twenty-first-century world, a community designed to survive even if the rest of humanity perished. An isolated, storm-buffeted island in the Southern Ocean was given a protective dome and its own balmy climate. And now Juno is one of 500 people who live there - but what has happened to the outside world in the years since Taris was established? The island has not been in contact with Outside since the early years of its existence.

Juno yearns to know about life Outside, just as she yearns to be allowed to grow her hair. It is a rule on Taris that all must have their heads shaved bare. But is it a rule that could be broken? Danger awaits any who suggest it.

Juno of Taris
is available through amazon marketplace in the UK.

Waiting on Wednesday - Invisible I

Invisible I is the first in an eight book series called The Amanda Project. Each book is written by a different author though the cover will show them as written by "Stella Lennon". Invisible I is written by Melissa Kantor and will be published in the US on 22 September and in the UK on 1 October.

Callie Leary has exactly one thing, and one thing only, in common with Nia Rivera and Hal Bennett: They were each chosen by Amanda to be her guide. When Amanda arrived at Endeavor High, she told Callie she moves around a lot and always picks one person to help her navigate the choppy waters of a new school. Why did Amanda lie?

Following a course that they suspect Amanda deliberately plotted, Callie, Nia, and Hal piece together some cryptic clues. But they find more questions that answers and quickly realize that before they can figure out what happened to Amanda—the girl who changed their lives—they'll need to solve the most important mystery of all: WHO IS AMANDA VALENTINO?

You can learn more about The Amanda Project and join in the search for Amanda at The Amanda Project website.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Free e-book of Uglies

Simon & Schuster are offering a free pdf download of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld for a limited time only.

Doesn't seem to be limited to the US as I've put my UK data in and it seems to be working.

The form can be found here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tithe-d Between Two Covers

I popped into Waterstone's today and on the way into the Costa's I went past the SF section and saw that Holly Black's Tithe, Valiant and Ironside have been republished in adult editions:

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Kaye finds a white-haired young man of exotic appearance bleeding to death in a rain-drenched wood and saves his life. From that moment nothing in her life will ever be the same. Soon she is plunged into an inhuman world of conflict and betrayal, with a sacrifice -- hers -- and a kingdom as the prize. Cleverly combining romance with the resonance of myth, Holly Black masterfully evokes the dark heart of her conjured realm where Kaye must fight for her lover and her survival -- a place of wonder, to be sure, but also of trickery, decadence, brutality and blood.

The adult edition on the left is £7.99 and the teenage edition on the right is £6.99 (before any discounts). I do like the adult covers but I cannot comment on how they reflect the content, as I've not read them (yet).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

TSS: The week in summary (1)

The Sunday
I'm currently reading Back to Life by Joanna Nadin which is told in diary form by 16 year-old Rachel Riley and has had me laughing out loud on the train. A full review will appear next week.

Activity on the blog last week:

Last Sunday night I posted details of how to win a copy of The Third Pig Detective Agency plus a short extract.

Monday - news of publishing deal for Nick Lake for Blood Ninja.

Wednesday - details of a publishing deal for Amber Dermont for Prosper & 'Waiting on Wednesday' post for Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz & news that John Green's Paper Towns will be published in the UK as will Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Blood series

Thursday - review of The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle by L J Smith & news of the publishing deal for Ann Kelley's Koh Tabu.

Saturday - details of new library books and books received.

Sunday - the latest Links from the blogosphere post.

Links from the Blogosphere (8)

A few more links that I've come across this week and found interesting:

The Book Butterfly hosts a guest post from Maggie Stiefvater on writing and reading paranormal fiction.

Meg Rosoff reviews Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan in the Guardian; Tender Morsels makes it onto the World Fantasy Awards shortlist

The latest Children's Book Reviews column in Publishers Weekly.

In The Scotsman - Scottish Book Trust is to appoint a Virtual Writer in Residence who will use the internet to get adolescents hooked on reading and writing.

Penguin/Puffin crossover plans for the I am Number Four series thought to be co-written by James Frey and Jobie Hughes and published under the name Pittacus Lore.

Suite 101 has an article on Realistic Teen Fiction - What is Realistic Fiction and Why do Teens Read It?

and the UK trailer for Evermore by Alyson Noel.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Library Loot (8) & Other Acquisitions

So I've currently got *the* copy of The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan in the Birmingham library system. Long waiting list so I'll be bumping this to almost the top.

Synopsis from amazon:
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Received in the post this week:

for review from Atom:

Synopsis from amazon:
Without the Keys, something terrible will happen. Something that cannot be undone. And with them, I might bring an end to the riddle of the Prophecy and my strange part in it. If Alice and I are on conflicting sides of the Prophecy, the Keys would be dangerous in her hands. Which means I have to find them. And I have to do it before my sister.' This is the story of sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe's quest to discover her role and her twin sister's in a powerful prophecy that has affected twin sisters for generations. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers - about herself, about her family, and about the danger that goes from haunting her dreams to becoming her reality.

and a prize from Simon & Schuster:

Synopsis from amazon:
Nick and his brother Alan are on the run with their mother, who was once the lover of a powerful magician. When she left him, she stole an important charm - and he will stop at nothing to reclaim it. Now Alan has been marked with the sign of death by the magician's demon, and only Nick can save him. But to do so he must face those he has fled from all his life - the magicians - and kill them. So the hunted becomes the hunter...but in saving his brother, Nick discovers something that will unravel his whole past...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ann Kelley - Publishing Deal

From The Bookseller:

Oxford University Press has acquired a "fast-paced and gripping" teenage novel by Ann Kelley.

Koh Tabu tells the story of nine girls embarking on an adventure on a tropical island. However, the island changes from paradise to hell overnight and the girls have to fight for survival. The book will be published by OUP in April 2010.

[Ann Kelley] won the Costa Children's Book of the Year for Bower Bird in 2007.

Review: The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle by L J Smith

The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle by L J Smith (July 2007, Hodder Children's Books, ISBN: 9780340945025)

First Lines:
Icy wind whipped Elena's hair around her face, tearing at her light sweater.

Review: About a month ago I read and reviewed the first book in the series, The Awakening. The Struggle carries straight on from the scene at the end of the first book.

Elena Gilbert, the most popular girl in school in The Awakening has seen her fortunes turn as a result of dating mysterious newcomer Stefan. A series of attacks which began when Stefan arrived are being blamed on him. Elena is shunned by all, with the exception of her best friends Bonnie and Meredith.

Elena's diary was stolen in the previous book and the person who has it, is taunting her and is threatening to provide evidence that could make the police arrest Stefan. Elena has to try and get the diary back, but from whom and how? Equally hard to bear is the fact that Stefan's brother Damon is in town and he wants Elena for himself. He's not above using mind-control and bribery to get Elena's attention. Elena, fearful for Stefan's life, hides the fact that Damon has been seeking her out, an omission which has unforeseen consequences.

After the disappointment of The Awakening, I was pleased to find myself thoroughly enjoying The Struggle. It's well paced and full of tense action pieces. Elena is a more sympathetic lead character, though I'd like to see Stefan come to the fore a bit more. He may be the 'good guy' (relatively speaking) but he's in the background a lot. Damon has the stronger, more dynamic personality but he has no redeeming features (so far). The Struggle ends with a shocking finale which made me begin reading The Fury straightaway.

Cover: The flowers and moon on the cover aren't particularly relevant to the story but the I still like the title font.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blue Blood series to be published in the UK

More good news today. From The Bookseller:

In a six-book deal Atom has acquired the rights for Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Blood series.

The series is set in an exclusive prep school in New York City. It focusses on Manhattan's most elite families and a secret society of Americans whose ancestors sailed on the Mayflower. They are an ancient group of powerful and wealthy vampires known as 'Blue Bloods'.

Blue Bloods and Masquerade, the first two books in the series, will be published in March 2010, followed by books three and four, Revelations and The Van Alen Legacy in April. A fifth book, which is yet untitled, will be published in the autumn.

Read the whole article, here.

Paper Towns to be published in the UK

On Twitter, Bloomsbury (UK) have announced that they will be publishing John Green's Paper Towns in 2010.


Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

Printz medalist John Green returns with the brilliant wit and searing emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

Waiting on Wednesday - Deadly Little Secret

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz will be published in paperback on 19th November. (It was published in hardback in the US last December.)

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

Amber Dermont - Publishing Deal

From Publishers Lunch:

Amber Dermont's PROSPER, set in the privileged world of a New England prep school, follows the handsome, wounded Jason Prosper, who arrives at the academy for his senior year after the suicide of his best friend and sailing partner, only to realize the darkness of his past has followed him, and DAMAGE CONTROL, a story collection, to Lindsay Sagnette at St. Martin's, for publication in Spring 2011

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nick Lake - Publishing Deal

From Book2Book:

Atlantic Books, has acquired BLOOD NINJA by Nick Lake. First of a two-book deal for UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada, the young adult novel set in sixteenth-century Japan will be published in April 2010.

'BLOOD NINJA has it all: assassins, samurai, ancient curses, scheming warlords, a feisty princess, volcanic lairs, forbidden love and, most importantly, vampires'.

The Third Pig Detective Agency - extract and competition

A New Client

It was another slow day in the office. Actually, it had been a slow week in the office. No, if truth be known, it had been a lousy month for the Third Pig Detective Agency. That's me by the way: Harry Pigg, the Third Pig.

Where did the name come from? Well, I was the pig that built the house out of bricks while my idiot brothers took the easy route and went for cowboy builders and cheap materials. Let me tell you, wood and straw ain't much use when Mr Wolf comes calling. Those guys were pork-chops as soon as he drew in his first breath and filled those giant lungs of his. Blow your house down, indeed.

The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke can be found shelved in both adult and teenage sections of all good bookshops but you can also try and win a copy via the competition being run this month on my other blog/website Euro Crime: here.

(There are two other competitions for Relics of the Dead by Ariana Franklin and Blood Law by Steven Hague).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Links from the Blogosphere (7)

Some links and news from this week's blogosphere:

Amber Benson is beriefly interviewed at Comic-Con about The Hitchhiker's Guide and Eoin Colfer (on YouTube).

Ari MissAttitude has recommendations for YA books featuring people of colour.

Digital Spy reviews the pilot of the The Vampire Diaries.

A new Doctor Who trailer for The Waters of Mars is now online.

A wobbly recording of the teaser trailer for The End of Time (Doctor Who Christmas Special 2009) shown at Comic-Con is now on YouTube.

The Examiner reviews The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

The Guardian interviews Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay.

Thanks to Kittling who pointed me towards Twilight Google screen.

Staying with Twilight, Mental Floss takes a look at the Twilight fans, merchandise, music and tourism that's sprung up.

The Times reviews Bright Girls by Clare Chambers and What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell.

'WriterfromNowhere' reviews Sophie McKenzie's Medusa Project The Set-Up on YouTube.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Library Loot (7) & What I won

This week's library haul:

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
The Host by Stephenie Meyer

and with many thanks to Jenny at Wondrous Reads, who hosted a give-away recently - I received this:

Lauren Oliver - Publishing Deal

From Publishers Weekly:

Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins has bought North American rights to two new untitled works by Lauren Oliver in a six-figure deal. Oliver is the author of the forthcoming YA debut Before I Fall (March 2010) and its untitled follow-up, about a 17-year-old girl in a near future where love has been defined as a deadly disease. Before I Fall has been sold in six foreign territories to date.

Synopsis for Before I Fall:

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

Lauren Oliver's blog is here.