Sunday, January 31, 2010

Library Loot (33), a review copy & a prize

Much the same as last week, in composition if not content. My camera is out of action so I'm borrowing pictures and descriptions off Waterstone's.

Library

Fly on the Wall by E Lockhart
At the Manhattan School for Arts, where everyone is 'different' and everyone is 'special', Gretchen Yee feels ordinary. She sits alone at lunch, drawing pictures of spider-man, so she won't have to talk to anyone; has a crush on Titus but won't do anything about it and has no one to hang out with when her best (and only real) friend Katya is busy. One day, Gretchen wishes that she could be a fly on the wall in the boys' locker room - just to learn more about guys. What are they really like? What are they really cretins most of the time? "Fly on the Wall" is the story of how that wish comes true.


(I couldn't resist starting this one on the train home last night!)


Review


Tuck - King Raven Trilogy Bk. 3 by Stephen R Lawhead (out 4 Feb)
Driven from their ancestral homeland, outlaw Rhi Bran and his band have made their home in the forest of the March, and are feared by all for their unrivalled skill with the longbow. But they cannot hide forever. Bold action is required, and they are willing to die in order to win peace for the people of Elfael. Bran's companions include the mighty champion Iwan, skilled forester Will Scarlet, rough-and-ready priest Friar Tuck and, new to the band, vagabond minstrel Alan a'Dale. Together they have constructed a desperate plan to rid themselves of the barbarous Ffreinc, led by the malevolent Abbot Hugo and Guy of Gysburne. Severely outnumbered, the band must rely on their wits, their intimate knowledge of the forest, and all their fighting prowess if they are to prevail.

(I haven't read the previous two, I don't tend to read fantasy much but I like Merlin, Robin Hood (the old series with Michael Praed et al) so...)

Prize

"Doctor Who": The Writer's Tale: the Final Chapter by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook
For this new edition of "The Writer's Tale", Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook expand their in-depth discussion of the creative life of 'Doctor Who' to cover Russell's final year as head writer and executive producer of the show, as well as his work behind the increasingly successful "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures" spin-offs. Candid and witty insights abound throughout two years' worth of correspondence, covering David Tennant's last episodes as the Doctor and the legacy that Russell and David leave behind as a new era of "Doctor Who" begins. With over 300 pages of new material, and taking in events from the entire five years since the show's return in 2005, "The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter" is the most comprehensive - and personal - account of "Doctor Who" ever published.

(I loved the first edition and am so pleased to have won this one off The Medium is not Enough tv blog)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Publishing Deals - Cremer and Strasser

Two exciting publishing deals were announced yesterday on The Bookseller, here and here:

Atom, the young adult (YA) imprint of Little, Brown Book Group, has acquired a paranormal young adult series for a high five-figure sum.

The two-book deal with d├ębut author Andrea Cremer was agreed by Euan Thorneycroft at A M Heath on behalf of Richard Pine at InkWell Management.

Atom will publish the first book, Nightshade, in January 2011. The series follows a werewolf guardian, Calla, through a world of forbidden love and secret histories.

and

Walker Books has acquired a teen trilogy from bestselling US author Todd Strasser.

The first book, Blood on my Hands, will publish in spring 2011 and tells the story of 17-year-old Callie Carson, a girl accused of murdering her best friend.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Maria V Snyder on Radio 2 tonight

Claudia Winkleman's show tonight on Radio 2 at 10pm will include an interview with Maria V Snyder about Sea Glass:

American author Maria V Snyder blends fantasy and fact brilliantly, and researches her subjects meticulously. Her approach to writing is similar to Robert De Niro and his acting - the method approach - which means total immersion in the subject and complete understanding. She reveals the lengths she went to write her new book.

Listen live, listen again via iplayer or download the podcast (which hopefully will contain MS) at Radio 2.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Publishing Deal - Ruta Sepetys

A recent publishing deal in Publishers Weekly:

Philomel.. bought world rights, at auction, to a debut YA novel called Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. The daughter of Lithuanian refugees, Sepetys relied on research and stories she collected from relatives for the book, about a 15-year-old Lithuanian girl who saves her family—her sketches draw the positive attention of Soviet guards—after the clan is shipped to Siberia as part of Stalin's “cleansing” of the Baltic region during WWII. Philomel is planning a spring 2011 publication.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Wake by Lisa McMann (October 2009, Simon & Schuster Children's, ISBN: 1847385036)

First Lines:
SIX MINUTES

December 9, 2005, 12.55pm

Janie Hannigan's math books slips from her fingers. She grips the edge of the table in the school library. Everything goes black and silent.

Review: Wake is the first part of a trilogy and it's about Janie, a very unusual seventeen-year-old: Janie can enter people's dreams. As soon as someone nearby falls asleep and starts dreaming, Janie gets sucked in and sees the dream for herself. Wake takes the reader through Janie's childhood, living with an alcoholic mother, and up to the present day, introducing her best friend Carrie and the enigmatic Cabel.

The dreams that Janie experiences range from the "naked in examination" type to nightmares where people become monsters. Janie feels that her life is to be one long nightmare - how can she leave her drunken mum, how can she have a boyfriend, how can she even sleep? But the events in Wake ultimately show Janie that she's not alone and that she can contribute to society in an unexpected way.

I absolutely adored Wake and I couldn't put it down. This is such an unusual idea for a story and is executed perfectly. Janie is likeable and carries such a huge responsibility and Cabel - who is Cabel? Is he the bad boy that everyone says he is? You'll keep the pages turning to get to the answer. A final small point - it was nice to read a book not set in New York or California - this being set in a small town in Michigan. I can't wait to read book 2, Fade.

Cover: I like the psychedelic look of the UK cover.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vampire Diaries on ITV2 - the wait is nearly over

Finally the date is out for the ITV2 showing of The Vampire Diaries. It was suggested it was going to be on in January but episode 1, The Pilot, will be on 2 February at 9pm followed at 10pm by episode 2, The Night of the Comet (and repeated on 5 February at 8pm and 9pm).

My reviews of the first four books can be found in my Vampire Diaries posts as well as links to how to read the first two books online in their entirety.

Here's the ITV2 trailer for The Pilot:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Library Loot (32), a review copy & a prize

This week's there's one library book, one review copy and one prize:


Library

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend opened fire on their school cafeteria, killing five students and one teacher before turning the gun on himself. Valerie, who was shot trying to stop him, is initially implicated in the shootings because of the hate list she helped create. The hate list her boyfriend used to pick his targets. As Valerie integrates back into school, more of an outsider than she ever thought she was before, she is forced to confront her feelings of guilt and loneliness. Exploring the gray area between hero and villain, she navigates the rocky relationships with her family, her former friends, with the memory of the boyfriend she still loves, and with the girl whose life she saved five months ago. As she moves toward graduation and the year anniversary of the shooting, Valerie must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it all in order to make amends and move on with her life.

Review

Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight - The Complete Guide to Vampire Mythology by Charlotte Montague (4 March, Sphere)

In the West the vampire myth is widely thought to have been based on the life of Vlad the Impaler, a 15th century Wallachian warrior-prince whose devotion to cruelty and killing made the lives of his subjects miserable, bloody and short. However, bloodsuckers of all shapes and sizes feature in many cultures. The most famous of these is the chupacabra, or 'goat killer', a creature that is rumoured to have attacked and mutilated as many as 2,000 animals in Puerto Rico and Latin America. The chupacabra is variously described as half alien, half tail-less dinosaur with quills running down its back, a panther with a long serpent's tongue and a hopping animal that leaves an unbearable sulphurous stench in its wake. Whatever his form, one thing is for sure, the chupacabra shares little with his dark-cloaked, virgin-biting, garlic-hating, European cousin, apart from his lust for blood. VAMPIRES explores these diverse myths and legends, their impact upon popular culture and the possible explanations behind such phenomena.

Prize

The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison

The Thirteen Treasures have become the Thirteen Curses. When fairies stole her brother, Red vowed to get him back. Now trapped in the fairy realm, she begs an audience with the fairy court where she strikes a bargain. Her brother will be returned - but only if she can find the thirteen charms of Tanya's bracelet that have been scattered in the human world. Returning to Elvesden Manor, Red is assisted by Tanya and Fabian and a desperate hunt begins. Soon they make a shocking discovery. The charms now have twisted qualities of the thirteen treasures they represent...and the longer they are missing the worse the consequences will be. Can Red, Tanya and Fabian find all the charms? And even if they do, will the fairies keep their promise?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Publishing Deal - Laura Spinelli

This was in today's Publishers Lunch in the debut section. I'm not sure if it's YA or not but sounds good:

Laura Spinella's BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, in which a sheltered college girl's life is forever altered by the motorcycle-riding stranger who blows into town followed by a trail of secrets, to Berkley.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Twilight Graphic Novel - release date

Announced back in July, the Twilight Graphic Novel now has a release date, at least for part one. From Publishers Lunch today:

Hachette Book Group's Yen Press has announced a March 16 pub date and a 350,000-copy first printing for their first installment of the graphic novel version of Stephenie Meyer's TWILIGHT. "As is typical in graphic novel publishing, due to the length of the prose novel, the book will be divided into two volumes and the release date for the second volume is forthcoming." Illustrations are by Korean artist Young Kim.

The cover and one of the pages can be viewed on the Entertainment Weekly site.

Update: ATOM will be publishing it in the UK.

YALSA: 2010 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults

The YALSA 2010 committee has selected the following as the ten best books for young adults:
  • Brennan, Sarah Rees. Demon's Lexicon
  • Griffin, Paul. The Orange Houses
  • Herlong, M.H. The Great Wide Sea
  • Jinks, Catherine. The Reformed Vampire Support Group
  • Napoli, Donna Jo. Alligator Bayou
  • Small, David. Stitches: A Memoir
  • Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me
  • Stork, Francisco X. Marcelo in the Real World
  • Taylor, Laini. Lips Touch: Three Times
  • Walker, Sally M. Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland.

These are the top ten from a final list of 90 which can be viewed here and the YALSA states: "The list of 90 books, drawn from 203 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for those ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction that reflects the diversity of the teen experience, nonfiction that brings to teens an awareness of the world they live in and its history, and fantastical stories told in both narrative and graphic formats."

I've not read any of these yet but have two on my TBR pile.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Read The Summoning - Online & Free

You can now read Kelley Armstrong's The Sumoning online at the HarperCollins website.

The Summoning is the first in the Chloe Saunders, Darkest Powers trilogy and my review is here. The Awakening has been published and The Reckoning is due in April (US)/May (UK).

Synopsis:
My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.


Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.


Monday, January 18, 2010

News: UK Razorbill Imprint

Great news in today's Bookseller about a UK Razorbill imprint from Puffin:

Puffin Books is to launch a new teen fiction list, Razorbill, in response to the growth in sales of commercial teen fiction triggered by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, Puffin m.d. Francesca Dow has confirmed.

The Razorbill imprint is already established at Penguin in the US and some of its titles will be included in the UK list. The companies will also seek joint acquisitions. However, Dow said that Razorbill UK would be a distinctive list in its own right. The first three titles, all debuts, will launch this summer, including The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han in June.

“Retailers are interested in teenagers and we want to develop Razorbill UK as the ‘Michael Joseph’ (the Penguin commercial fiction imprint) for teenagers,” Dow said. The list will be headed by current editorial director Amanda Punter as publisher.

Read the whole article, here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Library Loot (31), an e-book splurge & a purchase

Got lots of new books this week. This is my library haul minus the latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine which has gone back:


(summaries from the amazons)

Library

Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard
Aria, Emily, Spencer, Hanna and Alison have been best friends since the third grade. They go everywhere together, thinking no-one can come between them. If anyone is the ringleader of the group it is Alison, and the other girls cannot help but confide all their secrets to her. One night, during a sleepover, Alison goes missing. Her body is never found. The girls mourn her death but move apart after time, assuming their secrets have disappeared with Alison too. Three years later and Aria is having an affair with her teacher; Emily is questioning her sexuality; Hanna is a thief; and Spencer is flirting with her sister's fiance. They all think their secrets are safe, until they starting receiving messages from the mysterious A - who knows exactly what they are all up to, and is threatening to spill the beans ...


The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Shadow People
by Scott Handcock, narrated by Elizabeth Sladen
A camping trip spells trouble for Sarah Jane and friends when both the school bus and Sarah Jane's car break down in Snowdonia and the gang find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere. Exploring by a lake, Rani sees a shadowy figure that looks exactly like her. Then Sarah Jane hears a voice asking for help, and sees a mysterious figure outside her tent. Who is watching them, and why? How can Rani be in two places at once? And what secret does a nearby cave hold?

Doctor Who: The Day of the Troll
by Simon Messingham, narrated by David Tennant
When the Doctor arrives on Earth in the far future, he is horrified to find the planet beset by famine and starvation. England is a barren wasteland, and scientists are desperately seeding the ground to make the crops grow again. But now it seems that something even worse is happening. Karl Baring, the owner of research facility The Grange, has been snatched away in the middle of the night. His sister Katy was with him when he vanished, but is now in catatonic shock - so it is up to the Doctor, with the help of the scientists at The Grange, to investigate. What is lurking under the old bridge, and why is it preying on people? The Doctor must find out, before it strikes again...

Purchase (E-Book)

L A Candy by Lauren Conrad
Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer . . . everything
. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can't wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.

When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a "reality version of Sex and the City," they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!

Soon Jane is TV's hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara—free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres—and she's lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane's spotlight.

In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it's not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.

L.A. Candy is a deliciously entertaining novel about what it's like to come of age in Hollywood while starring in a reality TV show, written by a girl who has experienced it all firsthand: Lauren Conrad.


Snowed In by Rachel Hawthorne
Well, apparently I live here now—my mom just bought the place. And named it after me, Ashleigh, which was nice. But did she know how cold it is here??

Um, it's a tiny island with not much to do, unless you really like sleigh rides. But I gotta say there are quite a few hot guys on this cold island . . .


Razor Girl by Marianne Mancusi
THE WORLD HAS ENDED, MOLLY.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

Molly Anderson is not your average twenty-one-year-old. It's been six years since she and her family escaped into a bunker, led by her conspiracy theorist father and his foreknowledge of a plot to bring about the apocalypse. But her father's precautions didn't stop there. Molly is now built to survive.

Yes, Ian Anderson's favorite book gave him ideas on how to "improve" his daughter. Molly is faster, stronger, and her ocular implants and razor-tipped nails set her apart. Apart, when--venturing alone out of the bunker and into a plague ravaged, monster-ridden wilderness--what Molly needs most is togetherness. Chase Griffin, a friend from her past, is her best bet. But while he and others have miraculously survived, the kind boy has become a tormented man. Together, these remnants of humanity must struggle toward trusting each other and journey to the one place Molly's father believed all civilization would be reborn: The Magic Kingdom, where everyone knows it's a small world after all.


Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls by Bennett Madison
When her favorite purse is stolen during a rock concert, Lulu Dark and her friends discover a twisted mystery involving a rock star, a rich socialite, and a serious case of mistaken identity.


Save the Date by Tamara Summers
Victoria Finnegan to marry Kevin Ork in the Rose Bower of Cynthia Flair Botanical Gardens

Sunday, June 17, 3 p.m.

Dress: very flowery.

Yay.

Paris Finnegan is marrying Jiro Kuan on the beach at Huntsville National Park
Saturday, August 11, 1 p.m.

Dress: Um . . . she's not really making me wear overalls, right???

Hideous bridesmaid dress fitting #6

Calm Victoria down

Try not to kill Paris

Try not to think about wedding planner's hot son

Do not date wedding planner's hot son

Stop kissing wedding planner's hot son!!!


Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
Austin music fest

Yay, summer in Austin!

Good food, good times. Fun for everyone!

Okay, living with my sorority-brainwashed cousin, who willingly goes by "Party Penny," is not exactly what I had in mind.

All your favorite bands

But the cute musicians I've met totally make up for it . . . like Sebastian. Swoon.

All ages welcome

So why can't I stop thinking about Penny's friend All-American Russ and his Texas twang??

Saturday & Sunday, from noon to midnight

Don't wait up!


Purchase (Print)


Academy 7
by Anne Osterlund
With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . . .

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bumper Publishing Deals Post

Publishers Weekly listed some new publishing deals back in December. So a bit belatedly - here are the YA ones:

HarperCollins pre-empted world English rights, in a six-figure three-book deal, to a new zombie series by debut author Amy Huntington. The first book, Sleepwalking, follows a 16-year-old who, after losing her parents, is cast off from her Brooklyn life to live with grandparents in Paris. There she meets, and falls for, a French teen named Vincent, who just happens to be a zombie. Dystel & Goderich's Stacey Glick, who sold the book, said the series introduces a new kind of zombie mythology in which the undead are “re-animated humans”—they look just like us—and don't feast on brains but, instead, carry out special missions. She said the Hollywood pitch for the book would be: “Twilight...in Paris...with zombies.” HC is planning Sleepwalking for summer 2011.

Stimola Literary Studio, sold, in a six figure pre-empt, North American rights to a four-book YA series by 2008 Harvard grads Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur to HarperCollins's Greenwillow Books. The first book, The Ivy, is set to drop in fall 2010. The series follows the travails of Callie Andrews, a Harvard frosh who arrives at the storied university only to discover she's ill-equipped to handle the romantic and social challenges awaiting her.

Lisa McMann (Wake and Fade) has signed a four-book deal with Simon & Schuster's Pulse and Aladdin imprints. The deal is for world rights to two YA titles (Pulse) and two middle grade novels (Aladdin). The first title from Pulse, Dead to You, which is slated for spring 2012, follows a teenage boy who, after being abducted, returns to his family nine years later—it's psychological suspense. Aladdin is set to drop the dystopian fantasy, The Unwanteds, in fall 2011; the book follows a group of kids who, after showing sparks of creativity, are banished to a secret world where they're trained to hone their abilities.

ICM sold U.S. rights to a debut YA thriller called Flip to Wendy Lamb at her eponymous Random House imprint. The book, part of a two-title deal Wexler closed at auction for Brit Martyn Bedford, is a psychological thriller about a boy who wakes up in another kid's body and must fight against the clock to avoid being trapped, literally, in someone else's shoes forever. Flip is slated for fall 2010.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

E-book sale at WH Smiths

WH Smiths has 50% off its e-books for the next few hours. The end time is unspecified but likely to be mid-tomorrow:

"*The Half Price eBook offer will run until at least 15.00 GMT on Wednesday 13 January 2010 but is subject to end at any time thereafter without notice. In any event this offer will end no later than 17.00 GMT on Friday 15 January 2010. Savings are against RRP. Subject to availability."

My basket has so far includes books by Melissa Walker, Lauren Conrad, Tamara Summers, Bennett Madison, Marianne Mancusi and Rachel Hawthorne.

The Smiths e-book page is here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Spells cast in the UK first

I couldn't resist doing a brief post on Aprilynne Pike's follow-up to Wings - Spells as it has such a pretty cover. Interestingly, Spells will be out in paperback in the UK on the 29th April but in hardback in the US on 4th May.

Synopsis from Waterstone's: A magical romance blossoms in the follow-up to WINGS, the bestselling novel described by Stephenie Meyer as "a remarkable debut". "I can't just storm in and proclaim my intentions. I can't 'steal' you away. I just have to wait, and hope that someday you'll ask," Tamani said. "And if I don't?" Laurel asked, her voice barely above a whisper. "Then I guess I'll be waiting forever." It's been almost a year since Laurel discovered that she is a faerie, placed with human parents as an infant to help protect the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Although she's come to accept her true identity, Laurel refuses to turn her back on her human life-and especially her boyfriend, David-to return to the faerie world. But when she is summoned to Avalon to relearn her long-forgotten faerie magic, Laurel must depend on the charismatic faerie sentry Tamani. Her feelings for him are undeniable, and she is forced to make a choice-a choice that could break her heart. When a deadly enemy resurfaces and puts both Laurel's life and Avalon in danger, Laurel must draw on all her human strength as well as her faerie skills to save both of her worlds and all of those she holds dear.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Library Loot (30)

A couple more library books added to my reading pile this week:


Library

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Audrey Cutler is a normal Southern California girl. OK, her cat is overweight, but her best friend is awesome, and her parents might be hippies, but they adore her - because Audrey is funny, charming, and she likes her music loud.
So she struggles with dumping her musician boyfriend, Evan. She loves his band, but he's just too self-involved. Audrey needs to move on.
Then at one of Evan's gigs, Audrey gets to hear their brand new single and moving on doesn't seem so easy now: the song is called Audrey, Wait and it's all about her, and not in a good way ... The song storms quickly up the charts and reaches the top. Suddenly everyone wants to know: who is Audrey? The media is all over her like a rash, and what started out as annoying is becoming a nightmare!
On top of this, it is ruining her chances with James, her colleague at Scooper Dooper ice cream parlour. Audrey's life is veering out of control and there's only one thing for it. She's going to have to stand up and tell the world her side of the story ...


Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
She’s as magical as the desert sky. As mysterious as her own name. Nobody knows who she is or where she’s from. But everyone loves her for being different. And she captures Leo’s heart with just one smile. STARGIRL is a classic of our time that celebrates being true to ourselves and the thrill of first love. A life-changing read that touches souls of all ages.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pretty Little Liars on TV?

Buffy/Angel star Alexis Denisof has shot a pilot for Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series. From Sci-Fi Wire:

Alexis Denisof has shot a pilot for a supernatural series that ABC is considering for its fall schedule: Pretty Little Liars, which was filmed in Vancouver, Canada, before Christmas.

"It centers around five teenage girls, one of whom is deceased," Denisof said in an exclusive interview Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif. [...] he added, "she's around as an entity that the other characters have to deal with. I play one of the parents of the central figure. It's a good story. I think it will appeal to multi-generational viewers."


The pilot focused on establishing the premise, leaving the opportunity for a series to explore other storylines surrounding the characters. "Basically that premise is put forward," Denisof continued. "You get the story of the girls and their relationships and the families and their relationships. Then it drops into this ghost story as well."


While Denisof waits for ABC's decision, he is prepared to return to Vancouver to begin filming in the spring. "If they pick it up, it will get picked up for shooting in spring/summer."

Read the whole article here.

(Coincidentally I requested the first part of the series yesterday at the library).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Publishing Deal - Louis Sachar

Here's the first publishing deal news for 2010 (on this blog). From The Bookseller:

Bloomsbury children's publishing director Sarah Odedina has bought UK and Commonwealth rights to a new novel from Louis Sachar, author of the children's classic Holes (2000).


The Cardturner is Sachar's first new book for four years and will be published in hardback in May 2010.


The novel tells the story of a 17-year-old boy who is asked to attend bridge games with his blind uncle. The apparently simple task involves the teenager in a "brilliantly plotted" tale in which deeply buried secrets rise to the surface.


"This delightful story of familial ambitions, ageing uncles, teenage boys and romance will delight Louis' many fans as a family secret that has laid hidden for decades is finally resolved."


Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Auslander by Paul Dowswell (audio book)

Auslander written by Paul Dowswell and read by Tom Lawrence (August 2009, Chivers Children's Audio, ISBN: 9781408405628 )

First Line:
Piotr Bruck shivered in the cold as he waited with twenty or so other naked boys in the long draughty corridor.

Notes: Auslander was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009.

Review: Auslander covers two years in the life of Piotr/Peter Bruck from August 1941 - 1943. Piotr lives in Poland and in an orphanage. The occupying Germans examine the orphans and seek out those with German blood to be reclaimed by Germany. Piotr has German heritage and is a perfect Aryan specimen of the Nordic variety, so he is sent to Berlin where he becomes Peter and is fostered by a prominent German family. Peter has to forget his Polish ways and become absorbed into German culture but it is not an easy task and Peter's personality soon begins to set him on a dangerous course.

Auslander is not an easy listen as we are given a detailed look at the everyday life of Germans under the Nazi regime. Politics is obviously prominent but is part of all aspects of life ranging from a modified Christmas Carol praising Hitler to school examination questions asking how many homes could be built for the price of one lunatic asylum. As Peter gets into more dangerous situations the full horror of what is going on in Germany becomes clear. The tension of what is going to happen to him and his friends becomes almost unbearable.

Auslander proceeds quite steadily but picks up pace towards the end and has a gut-wrenchingly taut last couple of disks. Perhaps more importantly it allows its readers an accessible look at Germany during the Second World War as seen by an incomer, an Auslander, the young Peter who is Polish by upbringing if not by birth.

Tom Lawrence narrates well, providing a range of voices and conveying the youth of Peter very believably.

Cover: The audiobook and hardback edition have the same cover showing Peter on the run.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Library Loot (29) & a prize

Actually, there's no library loot this week as I've not been into work but I did receive a prize from Quercus of Betrayals by Lili St Crow:

The second novel in the Strange Angels series picks up with Dru neatly tucked away in a Schola that's more like a prison than a secret training facility. Except for one tiny detail ...she's the only girl in the place and is totally surrounded by tons of cute boys. But a traitor in the Order wants Dru dead and she can't trust anyone except for Graves. Too bad he's being kept busy with a new crew of wulfen teens and doesn't have time for her. As she learns the truth about who she can and can't trust, Dru's only hope may be to save herself - although the one gift that makes her special is draining away, and she doesn't know how to get it back. Will Dru survive long enough to find out who is really after her? Or is she destined for the same fate as her murdered parents? Lili's characters come alive on the page in a way that's visually stunning and she creates the same terrific pace, danger and teen romance as in Strange Angels.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Favourite Reads of 2009

Here are my top ten favourite YA reads of 2009. The links go to my reviews on this blog. The stand-out book for me was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher which moved and gripped me in equal measure.

Kelley Armstrong - The Summoning
Jay Asher - Thirteen Reasons Why
Lara Fox - Miss Understanding: My Year in Agony
Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book (audio)
Helen Grant - The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
Michael Grant - Gone
Amanda Marrone - Uninvited
Melinda Metz - Roswell High: The Outsider
Stephenie Meyer - Twilight
Carrie Ryan - The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and a Thank You

I'd just like to say thank you to my blog visitors for their support over 2009 and hope you'll continue to visit and comment in 2010.

Happy New Year and I hope there's plenty of time to do this in 2010: