Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - iBoy

Kevin Brooks's iBoy will be out in the UK on 1 July from Puffin:

Before the attack, sixteen-year-old Tom Harvey was just an ordinary boy. But now fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain and it's having an extraordinary effect ...Because now Tom has powers. The ability to know and see more than he could ever imagine. And with incredible power comes knowledge - and a choice. Seek revenge on the violent gangs that rule his estate and assaulted his friend Lucy, or keep quiet? Tom has control when everything else is out of control. But it's a dangerous price to pay. And the consequences are terrifying...

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Review: The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd

The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd (January 2010, Hodder Children's Books, ISBN: 9780340970164)

First Lines:
Mon, Jan 2nd
So exhausted. My family is in deathlike trance after the village New Year's Eve Organic Goose Fayre.

Review: The Carbon Diaries 2017 begins a year after The Carbon Diaries 2015 and carbon rationing is now a part of most people's lives globally rather than just in the UK.

Laura Brown is now at university in London, her parents are living a rural life in Abingdon and her sister is abroad. Laura's band dirty angels continues to be one of the most important things in her life along with her boyfriend Adi. But as the goverment imposes more taxes, anarchy begins. Laura's friends become activists to different degrees and Laura is torn between being safe and getting involved. The political climate impacts on her lovelife as well as Adi goes hard-core and leaves for Africa to help out those affected by drought, leaving an opening for her new friend Sam. Laura's eyes are opened to what's going on when the band go on tour of France and Laura sees for herself the flow of immigrants into Europe and the way they are treated. The war between the Government and the people finally comes to a head in London and Laura makes her choice(s).

Whereas 2015 dealt with life in the UK under carbon rationing and the impact on domestic life for Laura and her family and friends, 2017 portrays a world gone mad with the rise of the right-wing United Front across Europe, water wars in Europe, America and the Middle East, camps for immigrants and police violence against protesters.

Through all the action Laura manages to keep hold of her diary and documents what's going on and what she's feeling and her story is compelling reading. Laura and her friends spring to life on the page and their adventures will have you tensely reading on. If you've enjoyed 2015 then you'll love 2017 with its broader scope and if you haven't read 2015 then I recommend reading them in order just so you know where Laura's coming from. This is an important series of books which makes an serious topic accessible in a believable teen voice.

Cover: Slightly more eye-catching cover than for 2015 and reflects the serious topics covered.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Library Loot (41), a prize & e-review copies

Here's this week's Library Loot post though most of the new books I've received recently are e-books.


Hunger by Michael Grant
The clock is ticking for Sam Temple and the kids of Perdido Beach but it's not the big one-five that they face now; it's starvation that threatens the FAYZ. In an abandoned mine shaft a faceless animal lurks, pulling the strings, toying with human and mutant alike. And he's hungry - hungry in the darkness. An uneasy calm has settled over Perdido Beach. But soon, fear explodes into desperation as starvation sets in and the mob look to place blame. For the 'normals' the buck must stop somewhere: with the 'freaks'. More and more kids are developing strange powers and, just as frighteningly, so are the animals in the FAYZ: talking coyotes, swimming bats and deadly worms with razor-sharp teeth are just the beginning. For Sam Temple the strain of leadership is beginning to show and he's got more than just dwindling rations and in-fighting to worry about - Caine is back with the psychotic whiphand, Drake, by his side. And in the background lies the greatest danger of all - and he too needs to be fed.


The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (proof)
Carrie Ryan's sensational new novel reveals more of the secrets of the world after the return of the Unconsecrated and introduces a new heroine who must tangle with her mother's secrets. Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's ever known and, and all she needs for happiness. But life after the Return is never safe and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back. Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but, like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling. One night beyond the Barrier . . . One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery . . . One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry knows only one thing: if she has any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past.

E-Galleys downloaded from NetGalley:

Manifest by Artist Arthur (pub 1st August US)
Krystal Bentley is an outsider at her new high school, having just moved to a small Connecticut town. Lately she's been hearing the voice of a teenage boy in her head, and he has become her friend and confidant. The only problem is, he's dead... Ricky Watson was killed a year ago in the alley behind Krystal's new school. The rumor mill is filled with stories of Ricky and his untimely death. Unfortunately, as a ghost, Ricky is unable to investigate his own murder, so Ricky needs Krystal to find the truth and she needs someone to listen. When Krystal befriends Sasha and Jake, both outcasts at her high school, the threesome soon discover that they have more in common than their outsider status. Each has a unique paranormal ability and an unusual birthmark in the shape of an "M." Jake announces that the M must stand for misfits, and so the three form an unusual clique. They soon realize that solving Ricky's murder can help them understand the mystery behind their powers and may reveal whether there are others like them.

Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan (out 12 April US)
It's 1962, a year after the death of Sam's father—he was a war hero—and Sam and her mother must move, along with their very liberal views, to Jackson, Mississippi, her father's conservative hometown. Needless to say, they don't quite fit in.

People like the McLemores fear that Sam, her mother, and her mother's artist friend, Perry, are in the South to "agitate" and to shake up the dividing lines between black and white and blur it all to grey. As racial injustices ensue—sit-ins and run-ins with secret white supremacists—Sam learns to focus with her camera lens to bring forth the social injustice out of the darkness and into the light.

Living Hell by Catherine Jinks (out 12 April US)
What happens when a single moment changes everything? For seventeen-year-old Cheney, life on earth exists only in history books. The life he and over one thousand other people know is aboard the Plexus spacecraft: self-contained, systematic, and serene. But that was before the radiation wave.

Now Plexus has suddenly turned on them, becoming a terrifying and unrecognizable force. As the crew dwindles under attack, Cheney and his friends need to fight back before the ship that’s nurtured them for so long becomes responsible for their destruction.

The Clearing by Heather Davis (out 12 April US)
In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever. Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae’s place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school. Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist—Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she’s starting to fall for him. But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it’s still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy’s crossing over to Henry’s side brings him more happiness than he’s ever known—but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence.

In The Clearing, author Heather Davis crafts a tender and poignant tale about falling in love, finding strength, and having the courage to make your own destiny—a perfect book to slip into and hide away for awhile.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hunger by Michael Grant - online & free

Hunger by Michael Grant can currently be read online and in full at the Harper Teen website.

The first part of the series, Gone, can be read online at the Egmont UK website.

Trailer Thursday - Wintercraft

This got a lot of publicity on twitter the other day but in case you missed it, here's the trailer for Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw, due to published by Headline on 13 May.

Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft.

Watch the trailer below:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Publishing Deals from Bologna

Publishers Lunch today has a selection of the many deals struck at the Bologna Book Fair:

Gabrielle Zevin's first three books in the BIRTHRIGHT SERIES, set in a dystopian future where chocolate and caffeine are contraband while water and paper are carefully rationed, the series relates the ascension and ultimate downfall of a 16-year-old girl, the heir apparent to an important and dangerous New York City crime family, to Farrar, Straus Children's.

Twenty-five-year old debut author Lauren DeStefano's THE LAST CHEMICAL GARDEN, the first in a trilogy in a dystopian world, the result of a failed effort to create a perfect race, which has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years, following a sixteen-year-old girl sold as a polygamous bride -- yet her husband is hopelessly in love with her and opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought possible, to Simon & Schuster Children's, in a pre-empt, for publication beginning in April 2011. Rights to the trilogy to Harper UK, at auction, in a six-figure deal.

Lila Fine's VIXEN, the first novel in The Flappers series, to Delacorte, in a three-book deal.

Robin Wasserman's THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW, about a girl who, upon discovering her best friend murdered and her boyfriend the apparent killer, is caught up in a dangerous world of competing secret societies, all searching for the Luminus Dei, an ancient device that will supposedly allow direct communication with God, to Knopf Children's, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2011.

Ilsa Bick's ASHES, which begins when an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, killing the vast majority of the world population and zapping every electronic device. Everyone still alive has changed considerably -- some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh), to Egmont.

Jeff Hirsch's debut, THE LONG WALK HOME, a post-apocalyptic story, set after "The Collapse," when America was destroyed by a war with China and a pandemic flu, about what happens when a boy who has spent his whole life only surviving finds a place where he can truly live, to Scholastic, at auction, in a two-book deal.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Dead Gorgeous by Malorie Blackman (audiobook)

Dead Gorgeous by Malorie Blackman and narrated by Nina Sosanya (June 2003, Chivers Children's Audio Books, ISBN: 075406414X)

First Lines:
1. Liam

A storm was coming. I could see it in the brackish air, hear it in the growl of the waves, see it in the darkening clouds.

Review: The Clibbens family have relocated to the coast and have bought the The Manor Hotel which they have refurbished and relaunched as Phoenix Manor. Mum and Dad run the place and get help from their two daughters, Nova aged nearly 13 and Raye aged 16. The younger twins Jake and Jude just run around making mischief.

Nova is walking in the garden when she meets the dead gorgeous Liam. She soon realises that not only is he gorgeous but he is in fact also dead and that she's the only one who can see him, at least at first. Meanwhile Raye has met a gorgeous boy of her own, Andrew who is just staying for a couple of days. Other guests at the hotel include the mysterious Mr Jackman and elderly companions Miss Dawn and Miss Eve.

The story is told from several points of view and we also get to know what happened to Liam for him to end up at the hotel.

Initially I was expecting Dead Gorgeous to be a paranormal romance but in fact it is about family relationships - in particular the two sisters who have drifted apart since the move - and Liam is just the catalyst for the two girls to realise what's going on. Liam also has his secrets and is stuck at Phoenix Manor until he can work out what's holding him there. And why does he want Mr Jackman to leave? Dead Gorgeous covers some serious issues but in a reader friendly way and there are some laughs to be had as well.

Nina Sosanya narrates well and I particularly liked her portrayal of the youthful Nova.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Library Loot (39 & 40), a prize and a review copy

I missed last week's library loot post as I was away, so I'm combining it with this week. Covers and blurbs from Waterstone's or FantasticFiction.


Sucks to be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Mina Hamilton's parents want her dead. (Or undead to be precise.) They're vampires, and like it or not, Mina must decide whether to become a vampire herself. But Mina's more interested in hanging out with best friend Serena and trying to catch the eye of the too-hot-for-high-school Nathan Able than in the vampire training classes she's being forced to take. How's a girl supposed to find the perfect prom date and pass third-year French when her mom and dad are breathing down her neck--literally?

The Returners by Gemma Malley
London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father's political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he's having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reincarnated people who carry with them the memory of atrocities they have witnessed in the past. Will realizes that he, too, is a Returner. But something about his memories is different, and with dawning horror, Will suspects that he wasn't just a witness to the events, he was instrumental in making them happen. Set in the near future, with the world on the verge of a new wave of ethnic cleansing, Will must choose to confront the cruelty he's known in his past lives, or be doomed to repeat it . . . again.


Daughter of Fire and Ice by Marie-Louise Jensen (courtesy of the marvellous Chicklish blog)
Following an attack on her family, fifteen-year-old Thora is enslaved by a brutish Viking chieftain, Bjorn Svanson. A healer and a midwife, Thora is valuable. She also has visions of the future ...and in one she foresees Svanson's death. When her prediction becomes reality, Thora recognizes that another of Svanson's slaves is a man she has seen before-a man from recurrent visions who is destined to be part of her future. Assuming Svanson's identity, the slave and Thora use the dead man's ships to escape. Their destination is Iceland, the then uncharted 'land of fire and ice'. To succeed they must first win over Svanson's crew, and their journey is fraught with hardship and danger. But their troubles are only just beginning. Soon, newcomers are among them and someone is stealing from Thora's medicines to cause terrible harm. Under suspicion herself, can Thora unmask the real culprit and clear her name? And can Thora and the man now known as Bjorn ever really hope that their pasts won't catch up with them?


The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong (pub. 6 April UK)
The nail-biting climax to Kelley Armstrong's bestselling Darkest Powers trilogy Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be 'cursed'?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them. As if that's not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she's leaning towards the werewolf...Definitely not normal.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Free e-book of Stopping Time by Melissa Marr

Leslie walked away from the Dark Court determined to reclaim her life—even if it meant leaving Niall and Irial behind. In Stopping Time, an original short story set in the world of Wicked Lovely, someone knows about Leslie's history and is intent on using her to threaten the fey.

The first part of Stopping Time can be downloaded for free (epub or pdf) at the Harper Teen website. The second part is being made available on 23 March and a free e-edition of Wicked Lovely with bonus material will be available on 6 April.

To get the ebook you have to register but there doesn't seem to be any geographical restrictions as I downloaded it in the UK.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - The Summer I Turned Pretty

Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty will be out in the UK on 3 June from Puffin, and is the first in a series. I took the cover image from the Australian Penguin website where it looks like it's being published later this month:

Everything that happened this past summer, and every summer before it, has all led up to this. To now.

Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends' house. There's the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach . . . and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad – who she's been in love with forever – and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who's ever really paid her any attention.

But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It's going to be an amazing summer – and one she'll never forget . . .

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Publishing Deal - Maggie Stiefvater

In today's Publishers Lunch, a short but very sweet piece:

Maggie Stiefvater's FOREVER, the final book in the bestselling SHIVER trilogy, plus three new stand-alone fantasy titles, to David Levithan at Scholastic, for publication summer 2011.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Read Evernight - Online & Free

The Story Siren posted an author interview with Claudia Gray last week and you can currently read the first in her Evernight series, the titular Evernight online and in full at the HarperCollins website.

Bianca wants to escape.

At the eerily Gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he warns her to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between them can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Library Loot (38) and 2 purchases

Library Loot is zilch this week alas, but I have bought two books in Tesco's BOGOF offer on children's books:

January & February by Gabrielle Lord

On New Year's Eve, Cal is chased down the street by a crazed man with a deadly warning: They killed your father. They'll kill you. You must survive the next 365 days! Forced into a life on the run, Cal finds himself hunted by ruthless criminals and the police. Somehow he must uncover the truth about his father's mysterious death and solve the Ormond Singularity, a secret from the past, before the year is up. But who can he turn to when the whole world seems to want him dead? The clock is ticking. Any second could be his last. Callum Ormond has been warned. He has 365 days. The countdown has begun ...

On New Year's Eve, Callum Ormond is chased down the street by a crazed man with a deadly warning: They killed your father. They'll kill you. You must survive the next 365 days! Now he's on the run. The people who killed his father want him dead, and the police are chasing him for a crime he didn't commit. A month has gone by and he's still no nearer to solving the Ormond Riddle, the family secret that has turned his life into a nightmare. Can he trust the mysterious Winter Frey, or will she lead him further into danger? He has 334 days. The clock is ticking..

Friday, March 5, 2010

Publishing Deal - Josephine Angelini

In Publishers Weekly today, news of a 7 figure deal for a YA trilogy:

Harper Teen pre-empted North American rights to a debut YA trilogy by Josephine Angelini [] --the first book is called Starcrossed-- pitched as "a Percy Jackson for teenage girls."

In Starcrossed, which brings Greek tragedy to high school, a shy Nantucket teenager named Helen Hamilton attempts to kill the most attractive boy on the island, Lucas Delos, in front of her entire class. The incident proves more than a bit inconvenient for Helen, who's already concerned that she's going insane--whenever she's sees Lucas (or any of his family members) the image of three crying women appear to her.

The murder attempt does have an upside though, as it ultimately leads to Helen's revelation that she and the local heartthrob are, in fact, playing out some version of a weighty ancient love affair. (Said female apparitions are, in fact, the Three Fates.) So Helen, like her namesake, Helen of Troy isn't going crazy, she's destined to start a Trojan War-like battle by being with Lucas. This then begs the unfortunate question: should she be with the boy she loves even if it means endangering the rest of the world?

The second book in the trilogy, Persephone's Garden, follows Helen's journey to the Underworld, and the third book, Ilium, chronicles the final battle between mortals and the gods. Harper Teen is planning to publish Starcrossed in summer 2011.

The full article is here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Trailer Thursday - The Dead-Tossed Waves

I'm really looking forward to Carrie Ryan's The Dead-Tossed Waves which returns to the world created in The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The UK publication date is 8 April.

Carrie Ryan's sensational new novel reveals more of the secrets of the world after the return of the Unconsecrated and introduces a new heroine who must tangle with her mother's secrets. Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's ever known and, and all she needs for happiness. But life after the Return is never safe and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back. Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but, like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling. One night beyond the Barrier ...One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery ...One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry knows only one thing: if she has any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past.

Watch the trailer below:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Published in March (UK)

Here are some of the titles that are published in the UK in March. I will put a link to this post and previous and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. Title links go to Feel free to let me know of others to add to the list.

A list of titles published in January, can be found here and February's are here.

Annemarie Allan - Ushig (25th, Floris Books, pb)
Tom Angleberger - The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (30th, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., HB) review
Catherine Banner - Voices in the Dark (4th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Chris Bradford - Young Samurai: The Way of the Dragon (4th, Puffin, pb)
Elizabeth Chandler - Dark Secrets:Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell (4th, Simon & Schuster Children's, pb)
Delphine de Vigan, tr. George Miller - No and Me (1st, Bloomsbury, HB)
Emily Diamand - Flood and Fire (1st, Chicken House, pb)
Pauline Fisk - In the Trees (4th, Faber Children's Books, pb)
Sally Gardner - The Silver Blade (4th, Orion Childrens, pb)
Sandra Glover - Identity (4th, Andersen Press Ltd, pb)
Julia Green - Drawing with Light (1st, Bloomsbury Publishing, pb)
Cora Harrison - I was Jane Austen's Best Friend (4th, Macmillan Children's Books, HB) review
Bonnie Hearn Hill - Star Crossed: Aries Rising (4th, Running Press, pb) review
Mary Hoffman - Stravaganza: City of Ships (1st, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
William Hussey -Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide (??, OUP Oxford, pb) UK Debut
Amy Ignatow - The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang (30th, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., HB)
Jane Johnson - Maskmaker (1st, Marion Lloyd Books, pb)
Malinda Lo - Ash (4th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Gabrielle Lord - Conspiracy 365: March (4th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Paul Magrs - Diary of a Dr Who Addict (4th, Simon & Schuster Children's, pb)
Amanda Mitchison - Mission Telemark (1st, Walker, HB) UK Debut
Joanna Nadin - The Facts of Life (4th, OUP Oxford, pb)
Andrew Newbound - Demon Strike (1st, Chicken House, pb)
Garth Nix - Lord Sunday (4th, HarperCollins Children's Books, pb)
Alyson Noel - Blue Moon (5th, Children's Books, pb)
Lauren Oliver - Before I Fall (4th, Hodder & Stoughton General, HB)
Julie Parrish - Waking Beauty (31st, Matador, pb) UK Debut
K A S Quinn - The Queen Must Die (1st, Atlantic, HB)
Bali Rai - City of Ghosts (4th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Tucker Shaw - The Girls (2nd, Harry N. Abrams, pb)
C J Skuse - Pretty Bad Things (1st, Chicken House, pb) UK Debut review
L J Smith - The Return: Nightfall (Vampire Diaries) (4th, Hodder Children's Books, pb) review
Francisco X Stork - The Last Summer of the Death Warriors (1st, Scholastic, HB)
Todd Strasser - If I Grow Up (4th, Simon & Schuster Children's, pb)
Tamara Summers - Never Bite a Boy on the First Date (4th, HarperCollins Children's Books, pb) review
Dan Wells - Mr Monster (4th, Headline, pb)
Suzanne Weyn - Distant Waves (1st, Scholastic, pb) review
Maiya Williams - The Fizzy Whizz Kid (2nd, Harry N. Abrams, Inc, HB)
Robert Williams - Luke and Jon (18th, Faber, pb) UK Debut
Jacqueline Wilson - Little Darlings (4th, Doubleday & Co Inc., HB)