Monday, January 31, 2011

Free E-Book - The Iron King

The lovely people at MiraInk have made some free copies of the ebook of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa available to download (epub).

To get one for free, enter the discount code express2 at the check-out. Go via* You have to register but it doesn't prompt you for your address.

(*This was twittered by @MillsandBoonUK.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann (February 2011, Simon Pulse, ISBN: 1416994815)

First Lines: Everything changes when Tiffany Quinn disappears.

Notes: This is reviewed from an a e-galley supplied by Simon & Schuster (US). Cryer's Cross will be published in the UK as The Missing in June.

Review: Cryer's Cross is a small, rural, Montana town, the sort of place where nobody bats an eye if you ride your horse to the local store instead of taking the car.

Kendall and Nico are neighbours and have been friends since birth. As well as being best friends they have drifted into a romantic relationship. Kendall is the only girl of her age at school and she loves soccer and plays in the school team. Soccer is one of the few things that can control the wild thoughts that arise from her OCD.

Their quiet existence is disrupted by the disappearance of a younger class-mate, Tiffany Quinn. Despite a huge search, no trace of her is found. Now it's three months later and school begins once more. There is a minor excitement in the fact that there are two new students: Jacian and his younger sister Marlena.

However it's only a couple of days until Nico begins to act strangely before vanishing without trace just like Tiffany before him.

Kendall is left shocked and out of it. Her only solace is soccer and the curfew imposed on town means she spends more time playing soccer with Jacian and she begins to see the nicer guy behind the gruff exterior he presented on his arrival in Cryer's Cross.

Because of her OCD, Kendall is in a unique position to discover what has happened to the missing teenagers but the answer could come at a great cost.

Occasionally there is a paragraph from the mysterious "We" before a chapter, and these make increasingly more sense as the story progresses.

I loved Lisa McMann's Wake so I jumped at the opportunity to read Cryer's Cross. It's a gripping read with a budding romance intermingled with a dark, very creepy Tales-of-the-Unexpected horror story. I don't want to give anything away, though the cover may give you a clue, but if you are still at school, it might give you nightmares.

However there are one or two things I didn't buy totally, including the romance. Kendall is an unsophisticated, seventeen-year-old who, to me, seems a bit young for her age, whereas Jacian is a year older and seems much more grown-up. I can see why she (anyone) might fall for him, less so the other way round. Also Kendall spends several days at school just crashed out on her desk and nobody, including the teacher, intervenes or speaks to her all day. It is crucial to the plot that they don't and she is in mourning of sorts, but it still threw me out of the story a little.

I did love the small-town setting which I could picture vividly and it's refreshing for someone to have (two) normal parents like Kendall does, though running their farm keeps them out of the picture as and when required.

This is quite a different book to the supernatural YA books I've read before (I can't say any more than that for fear of spoiling it), with rather a dark tone as Kendall is wrestling with loss and disappointment pretty much the whole time, and the town is full of fear, but it's one that will pull at you until you get to the end. It has a creepy atmosphere which will linger in your mind after you've finished your visit to Cryer's Cross.

I did enjoy Cryer's Cross and though I had a couple of small issues with it, which I may be being over-sensitive about, I would definitely recommend it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Publishing Deal - Sophie McKenzie

Here's a partial extract from Simon & Schuster's Press Release announcing Sophie McKenzie's sequel to Girl, Missing:

24th January 2011, London—Simon & Schuster Children’s Books today announced a major new deal with award-winning author, Sophie McKenzie, for a sequel to her debut bestseller, Girl, Missing.

Sister, Missing takes up the story of sixteen-year-old Lauren two years after the events of Girl, Missing. Life is not getting any easier in either her adoptive or birth families as exam pressure and a recent family tragedy take their toll. Lauren’s birth mother takes Lauren and her two sisters on holiday in the hope that some time together will help, but a few days into the holiday the youngest girl is kidnapped, under circumstances suspiciously similar to those in which Lauren was taken years before. The kidnapper demands a huge ransom for the child’s safe return – and is threatening to kill her if the police get involved. Can Lauren save her sister, and stop the nightmare happening all over again?

Sister, Missing will mark Sophie’s first hardcover launch in October 2011 alongside a high profile marketing and publicity campaign, a national author tour and key festival appearances. The paperback edition will follow in summer 2012.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Library Loot (83) & review copies


Conspiracy 365: November by Gabrielle Lord
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!

Pursued by helicopters, hunted across rooftops, Cal knows it’s time to leave the country and solve the final part of the Ormond Riddle. But when he encounters an alarmingly familiar face, his recurring nightmare takes a jolt into reality. And it appears that the answer lies with a dying man ...


Dancing Jax by Robin Jarvis (HB, 3 Feb, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks)
At the end of a track, on the outskirts of an ordinary coastal town, lies a dilapidated house. Once, a group of amateur ghost hunters spent the night there. Two of them don’t like to speak about the experience. The third can’t speak about it. He went into the basement, you see, and afterwards he screamed so hard and so long he tore his vocal cords.

Now, a group of teenagers have decided to hang out in the old haunted house. Dismissing the fears of the others, their leader Jezza goes down into the basement… and comes back up with a children’s book, full of strange and colourful tales of a playing-card world, a fairytale world, full of Jacks, Queens and Kings, unicorns and wolves.

But the book is no fairytale. Written by Austerly Fellows, a mysterious turn-of-the-century occultist, it just might be the gateway to something terrifying…and awfully final. As the children and teenagers of the town are swept up by its terrible power, swept into its seductive world, something has begun that could usher in hell on earth. Soon, the only people standing in its way are a young boy with a sci-fi obsession, and his dad – an unassuming maths teacher called Martin…

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (HB, 3 Feb, Hodder & Stoughton)
There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable...

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison (pb, 3 Feb, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks) (reviewed here)
The misadventures of Tallulah Casey…
Hilarious new series from Queen of Teen – laugh your tights off at the (VERY) amateur dramatic antics of Talullah and her bonkers mates. Boys, snogging and bad acting guaranteed!

Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type.
On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up. Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?) Six weeks of parent-free freedom. BOY freedom. Freedom of expression… cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sequel to Origami Yoda

Last year I reviewed Tom Angleberger's The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and I then ran a library summer activity in making an origami yoda so I was pleased to read in Publishers Weekly that a sequel is planned:

In Darth Paper Strikes Back, a sequel due from Amulet next summer, another boy creates his own origami puppet based on a different, and decidedly darker, Star Wars character.

Named a best book of 2010 by the Boston Globe and included on the New York Public Library’s list of best children’s books of 2010, Origami Yoda has more than 550,000 copies in print (including trade and book-club and school book-fair editions) since its publication last March, and has earned the author an enthusiastic—and creative—base of fans. In fact, when Angleberger—an ardent Star Wars fan since seeing the original film in 1977—conducted a poll on his Web site to determine which Star Wars character readers most wanted to see featured in the sequel, more than 10,000 votes were cast. In truth, the author didn’t really need help selecting his next origami hero.

While promoting Origami Yoda, Angleberger heard many requests for a sequel. “It became clear to me that these kids wanted Darth Vader in the next book,” he says. “I actually had the plot of the second book pretty well in hand even before the first book came out, but something was missing—I needed the right title. And suddenly Darth Paper popped into my head—that was a great moment.”

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trailer Thursday - Halo

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto is published today in the UK by ATOM.

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone?especially herself...Is love a great enough power against evil?

Watch the trailer below:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Publishing Deal - Lisa McMann

Looks like Cryer's Cross is coming to the UK but under a different name. In today's Bookseller:

HarperCollins Children's Books has bought a "chilling" new paranormal thriller for young adults.

Publishing director Rachel Denwood bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The Missing by Lisa McMann from Stephanie Voros at Simon & Schuster US for an undisclosed sum.

The book, which will be published in June 2011 as a paperback original, is set in the isolated town of Cryer's Cross. The heroine Kendall's friend and boyfriend both vanish and Kendall then begins to receive creepy messages.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid (audio book)

Earlier today I posted my review of the latest audio exclusive adventure starring the 11th Doctor: The Jade Pyramid by Martin Day and read by Matt Smith over on my Euro Crime blog.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Library Loot (81 & 82), review copies & purchases


Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
Be careful what you wish for . . .

Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long lost half brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London, where he belongs.

Then Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as mad as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. But he's not just tall ... he's a GIANT.

In a novel packed with humour and quirkiness, Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures.

Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes
Meet the Rat: A dancing, football-playing gangster-baiting ten-year-old. When she foresaw her father's death, she picked up her football and decided to head for New York. Meet her older brother Bob: Protector of the Rat, but more often her follower, he is determined to find their uncle in America and discover a new life for them both. On their adventures across the flatlands of Winnipeg and through the exciting streets of New York, Bob and the Rat make friends with a hilarious con man and a famous rap star, and escape numerous dangers. But is their Uncle a rich business man, or is the word on the street, that he something more sinister, true? And will they ever find him? Hughes has created a funny, warm, unique world that lives and breathes. Like I Capture the Castle, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Curious Incident, Hughes' story and characters will resonate for many and for years to come.


Awakened by P C & Kristin Cast
Zoey and the gang are back fighting evil (well, duh, that's what being a High Priestess is all about) but with a variety of romantic intrigues to distract them it's a wonder they can get anything done! Zoey's got some serious work to do at the House of Night if only she could concentrate ...

Siren by Tricia Rayburn (with shiny eyes on the cover!)(20 Jan, Faber)
Something deadly waits beneath the waves off Winter Harbour, and this summer, no one's safe. Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of the dark. And heights. And the ocean. And pretty much everything else. Fortunately, Vanessa’s fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to comfort her. That is until Justine jumps off a cliff near their family’s holiday home in Winter Harbour, her lifeless body washing ashore the next day. Everyone assumes that the tragedy is an accidental result of Justine’s adventurous ways. Everyone, that is, except Vanessa. Vanessa returns to Winter Harbour alone, looking for answers from Caleb Carmichael, Justine’s summer love who was with her when she jumped. But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death, she joins forces with Caleb’s older brother, Simon, to try to find him. Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who is afraid. Panic sweeps through Winter Harbour as more bodies wash ashore, all male, each victim found grinning from ear to ear. And as the death toll mounts, Vanessa realises that to save Caleb and solve the mystery of her sister's death, she has to confront a secret she’s kept for years - one that could end her summer romance with Simon and even life as she knows it.


Entangled by Cat Clarke
'The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got there.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?
A story of dangerous secrets, intense friendships and electrifying attraction.

Last Chance by Sarah Dessen
Never in one place long enough to make friends or put down roots, Colie doesn't expect her trip to the North Carolina coast to change a thing. Always the outcast, she's resigned to a holiday with only her eccentric aunt Mira for company. But when she finds a job waitressing at the Last Chance cafe, she also finds acceptance, new friends, and the beginnings of romance...

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver - deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school - Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him - at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died. Part murder mystery, part grief narrative and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting - by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

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 mineshaft 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.

Forsaken by Jana Oliver
Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she's already following in his footsteps as one of the best. But it's tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated: Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he's God's gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her ass.

One thing’s for sure – if she doesn’t keep her wits about her there’ll be hell to pay . . .

Friday, January 14, 2011

Review: Captivate by Carrie Jones

Captivate by Carrie Jones (April 2010, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC , ISBN: 1408807416)

First Lines: There are these bizarre people who actually like physical education class.

Review: Captivate is the sequel to Need which I enjoyed very much. I've already bought Entice which is good, as this one ends on a cliff-hanger ie part way through a larger story.

This review will contain some spoilers for Need so stop here if you don't want to know too much about Need.

In Need, Zara White has moved to Maine after the death of her step-father. She has discovered that's she's part pixie and that two of her new best-friends are shifters. She has found, family, friendship and love and an inner strength to protect them all by imprisoning the local pixies who have been killing young men.

However in Captivate, trouble is again brewing as the removal of the pixie clan has left a power vacuum and other pixie kings are looking to takeover the territory. There are two contenders but one of them a young pixie, Astley who is very handsome as a human, appears to be a 'good' pixie and though he wants Zara as his queen, he is not forcing her.

Zara was not considering turning into a pixie, ever, however as the fighting escalates, an unfortunate event means she just might have to. Can she trust Astley and will she be able to trust herself?

Captivate is a breathless read. Full of romance and sadness and an increase in violence from Need - the tension doesn't let up and though the ending is quite quiet after what has gone before it - it is the lull before the storm as a "final" battle is prophesied. Zara is an enormously likeable character, smart and witty and fiercely loyal and who questions herself about what she's had to do and is willing to change her mind when presented with new evidence. More is revealed about the other characters - Issie, Devyn and Nick and they play a larger role than before and a new character, Cassidy, is introduced.

Each chapter is prefaced by a "Pixie Tip" which is often humorous, eg: "A pixie's true skin colour is blue. Cookie Monster. Grover, and other lovable Muppets are blue. Do not confuse the two. Muppets don't kill you. Usually."

I can't wait to read Entice.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trailer Thursday - Siren

Siren by Tricia Rayburn is published on 20 January by Faber Children's Books (UK).

Something deadly waits beneath the waves off Winter Harbour, and this summer, no one's safe. Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of the dark. And heights. And the ocean. And pretty much everything else. Fortunately, Vanessa's fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to comfort her. That is until Justine jumps off a cliff near their family's holiday home in Winter Harbour, her lifeless body washing ashore the next day. Everyone assumes that the tragedy is an accidental result of Justine's adventurous ways. Everyone, that is, except Vanessa. Vanessa returns to Winter Harbour alone, looking for answers from Caleb Carmichael, Justine's summer love who was with her when she jumped. But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she joins forces with Caleb's older brother, Simon, to try to find him. Soon, it's not just Vanessa who is afraid. Panic sweeps through Winter Harbour as more bodies wash ashore, all male, each victim found grinning from ear to ear. And as the death toll mounts, Vanessa realises that to save Caleb and solve the mystery of her sister's death, she has to confront a secret she's kept for years - one that could end her summer romance with Simon and even life as she knows it. This is an utterly gripping paranormal romance for Twilight fans sick of copy-cat vampire novels but in love with paranormal romance.

Watch the trailer below:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Publishing Deal - Sarah Alderson

This was announced in yesterday's Bookseller:

Simon & Schuster has bought rights to three paranormal thrillers written by debut author Sarah Alderson.

Editorial director Venetia Gosling, acquired world rights to the books. The novels will be published under S&S’s young adult Pulse imprint.

Hunting Lila will be published in the summer of 2011. The book is about a girl who discovers she is telekinetic and runs away to South California. She discovers her brother and his best friend are working for an organisation called The Unit, which is trying to find the people responsible for the death of Lila’s mother.

Gosling said: “Hunting Lila is a slick romantic thriller, with great sexual tension and a gorgeous hero, as well as a fantastically page-turning plot. It’s a really commercial read, from a talented and highly promotable debut author, and we’ve already had a huge amount of international interest. We’re delighted to welcome Sarah to our list and urge you to keep an eye out for this great new talent!”

A sequel will follow in 2012 with a standalone novel also due that year, which is about a teenage demon slayer.

Publishing Deal - Tara Hudson

From today's Bookseller:

HarperCollins has bought UK and Commonwealth rights to a young adult ghost romance novel.

It is scheduled for a July 2011 publication in paperback. The publisher said the novel features a ghost, Amelia, who drifts through the world without any memories of her former life.

Her lonely existence is suddenly changed when she tries to save a young boy, Joshua, from drowning in a river ­ their vivid connection marks the beginning of a paranormal romance that is threatened by strange outside forces.

Read the whole article here.

Deatails of the US deal are here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rachel Vincent Guest Post

To celebrate the release of My Soul to Take by MIRA Ink, Rachel has very kindly written a guest post, on who her favourite characters are in the Soul Screamers series and why.

My favourite characters in the Soul Screamers series, other than Kaylee (there's a reason she gets to narrate) are Tod, the reaper, and Sabine, the mara, whom you'll meet in My Soul To Steal. And I like them both for the same reasons, though they're very different from each other.

Tod is dead. He's been dead for a couple of years by the time Kaylee meets him, and he's started to lose his humanity. He sees things differently than the living do. Differently than he did before he died. He doesn't have the same social boundaries most nineteen year olds have, and because he's usually invisible to humans, he's gotten used to spying on anyone and everyone he wants to see, whenever the mood strikes.

This means he sees things people might not voluntarily show someone else. He know secrets, he tells lies, and he loves those who are important to him with his whole heart. And when we meet him, he's just realizing that he's losing his humanity, and he's desperate to stop-or at least slow-the process. And the only way to do that is by clinging to those in his life who are still living.

Sabine, on the other hand, is very much alive. She is a mara-the living personification of a nightmare. She reads other people's fears and weaves them into nightmares when they sleep, which she can then feed from.

Sabine was abandoned as a child because she's creepy. People get chills when she's around. Rooms seem darker when she enters. Shadows seem deeper. She's just plain scary, whether she wants to be or not. She's never had any friends, and she's been neglected then returned by more than a dozen foster families by the time we meet her, and that has understandably stunted her social growth.

Oh, and she's eerily perceptive and painfully honest.

And did I mention that she's Nash's ex-girlfriend? And that she wants him back? ;)

My review of My Soul to Take is here and the MIRA Ink website will be at and Rachel Vincent's website is here.

Many thanks to Rachel for writing this piece and MIRA for arranging it, and supplying a review copy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (January 2011, MIRA Ink, ISBN: 0778303551)

First Line: "Come on!" Emma whispered from my right, her words floating from her mouth in a thin white cloud.

Review: My Soul to Take was published in the US in August 2009 and though it's only just over a year since then, it's felt a long, long wait for a UK publisher to pick it up. So, a big thank you to MIRA who have this and loads of other goodies in their MIRA Ink collection for 2011.

My Soul to Take is the first in the "Soul Screamers" series and in it we meet sixteen-year-old Kaylee Cavanaugh. Kaylee lives with her aunt, uncle and her cousin in Dallas. Her single parent father, apparently unable to cope with raising her, lives in Ireland. A while ago, Kaylee spent time in the psychiatric wing at the local hospital due to a panic attack with uncontrollable screaming.

The book opens with Kaylee and best-friend Emma sneaking into a night-club. Kaylee is very surprised when one of the gorgeous seniors, Nash starts talking and dancing with her - how has he noticed her? Her fun is short-lived when she notices one of her fellow dancers is covered in a dark "shade" and her panic attack begins. Emma and Nash hustle Kaylee away and Nash is able to help Kaylee control her screams. There is more to him that meets the eye...

The next day, the news reports that a girl died at the club - with no visible cause of death. Kaylee recognises the dead girl as the one causing her to want to scream. This is just the first in a series of beautiful, young girls dropping dead and it becomes time for Kaylee to find out the truth about herself, about the family who have been lying to her and also about Nash. Armed with the truth she has a chance to stop who or what is taking people's souls before their time.

My Soul to Take is part mystery, part romance whilst completely setting up a new mythology and building a new world for Kaylee to inhabit. It appears to lay the foundation for the rest of the series - there is a lot for the characters to take in and new levels of detail are revealed as the book goes on. I enjoyed it very much and kept thinking about it whilst I wasn't reading it. The last forty pages brought me to tears frequently as it was so sad and so believable. Kaylee is a strong, likeable heroine, who does the right thing despite the consequences. Nash is her mentor, her Obi-wan, and has experienced life a bit more than Kaylee and they make a fine team. They are helped at times by the mischievous Tod, a reaper of souls, who is both scary and vulnerable.

Roll on 18 February, for the sequel, My Soul to Save!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - You Killed Wesley Payne

You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin is published by Little, Brown Young Readers on 3 March. It appeals to my crime-reading side!

He's come to do a job. A job that involves a body. A body wrapped in duct tape found hanging from the goal posts at the end of the football field. You Killed Wesley Payne is a truly original update of classic pulp-noir filled with dark humor. Hard-boiled seventeen year-old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn't whether Dalton's going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he's gonna get the girl. He always (sometimes) gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and power-hungry cliques in time to solve the mystery of 'The Body' before it solves him. Smart, slick, and alluring, the story follows Dalton as he narrows down the suspects in a dangerous world of clique warfare, homework, and cute girls. Acclaimed author Sean Beaudoin evokes the distinctive voices of legendary crime/noir authors Dashiell Hammet and Jim Thompson in this stylish neo-noir murder mystery.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Read Emily the Strange: The Lost Days online and free

News come via twitter that you can now read Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner online at the HarperTeen site for a limited time only.


13 Elements you will find in the first Emily the Strange novel:

1. Mystery

2. A beautiful golem

3. Souped-up slingshots

4. Four black cats

5. Amnesia

6. Calamity Poker

7. Angry ponies

8. A shady truant officer

9. Top-13 lists

10. A sandstorm generator

11. Doppelgängers

12. A secret mission

13. Earwigs

Emily the Strange: 13 years old. Able to leap tall buildings, probably, if she felt like it. More likely to be napping with her four black cats; or cobbling together a particle accelerator out of lint, lentils, and safety pins; or rocking out on drums/ guitar/saxophone/zither; or painting a swirling feral sewer mural; or forcing someone to say "swirling feral sewer mural" 13 times fast . . . and pointing and laughing.

Favourite Reads of 2010

Here are my favourite YA reads of 2010. The one that has remained with me the most is Breathing Underwater by Julia Green. There's a hypnotic quality to the audio version. The only repeat author from my 2009 list is Kelley Armstrong. Will The Reckoning be on my 2011 list?

Kelley Armstrong - The Awakening
Beverly Birch - Rift (audio book)
Julia Green - Breathing Underwater (audio book)
Rachel Hawkins - Hex Hall
Charlie Higson - The Enemy
Sophie McKenzie - Blood Ties (audio book)
Lisa McMann - Wake
Maggie Stiefvater - Shiver
Joss Stirling - Finding Sky
Allison van Diepen - The Oracle of Dating

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Library Loot (79 & 80), review copies & a purchase

Library Loot

These two are for me to sample for my children's reading group; several of the group are reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid next time and I want to what all the fuss is about. I've read some of the Dork Diaries: Party Time and found it quite funny.

Bought (not shown)


Some of these got stuck in the post due to snow.

January publications:


Wish Me Dead by Helen Grant (2 June 2011, Puffin)
The funny thing is I never even meant the first one. Now I bitterly regret visiting the cursed witch’s house, deep in the middle of the forest. It’s where I made my wishes. I wished Klara Klein dead. It came true. I wished for the most gorgeous boy in town to finally notice me. It came true. I wished to be rid of the poisonous busybody who destroyed my family. It came true. I didn’t mean for this to happen. Not me, Steffi Nett, the shy one who never says anything. But as the body count increases with every wish I make . . .who else could it be?

Published in January (2011)

Here are some of the teenage/YA titles that are being published in the UK in January 2011. I will put a link to this post and previous and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. Title links go to Please let me know of others to add to the list.

Update: I have now identified the British authors which I hope will be helpful to those doing the Bookette's excellent British Books Challenge.

Monthly lists for 2010 can be found here.

Alexandra Adornetto - Halo (20th, ATOM, pb)
Laurie Halse Anderson - Forge (19th, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Laurie Halse Anderson - Wintergirls (3rd, Marion Lloyd Books, pb)
Sita Brahmachari - Artichoke Hearts (7th, Macmillan Children's Books, pb) British author
Herbie Brennan - The Faeman Quest (4th, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Heather Brewer - The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites (6th, Puffin, pb)
Heather Brewer - The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Ninth Grade Slays (6th, Puffin, pb)
J P Buxton - A Heartless Dark (6th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Ally Carter - Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (6th, Orchard, pb)
PC & Kristin Cast - Awakened (4th, ATOM, HB)
Linda Chapman - Loving Spirit: Dreams (6th, Puffin, pb) British author
Elizabeth Chandler - The Back Door of Midnight (6th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Cat Clarke - Entangled (6th, Quercus Publishing Plc, pb) British author
Peter Cocks - Long Reach (3rd, Walker, pb) British author
B R Collins - Tyme's End (4th, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb) British author
Melissa de la Cruz - Bloody Valentine (20th, ATOM, pb)
Narinda Dhami - The Beautiful Game: Katy's Real Life (6th, Orchard, pb) British author
Chris d'Lacey - Fireworld (6th, Orchard, HB) British author
Phil Earle - Being Billy (6th, Puffin, pb) British author
Simone Elkeles - Rules of Attraction (6th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Toby Forward - Dragonborn (3rd, Walker, pb) British author
Sandra Glover - Fallout (6th, Andersen, pb)
Anna Godbersen - Bright Young Things (6th, Puffin, pb)
Candy Gourlay - Tall Story (6th, David Fickling Books, pb)
Michael Grant - The Magnificent 12: The Call (6th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Margaret Peterson Haddix - The Missing: Sent (6th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Victoria Hanley - The Seer and the Sword (27th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Janice Hardy - The Healing Ward: The Pain Merchants (6th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Ben Horton - Monster Republic: The Judas Code (6th, Corgi Childrens, pb) British author
William Hussey - Witchfinder: Gallows at Twilight (6th, OUP Oxford, pb) British author
Marie-Louise Jensen - Sigrun's Secret (6th, OUP Oxford, pb) British author
Curtis Jobling - Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf (6th, Puffin, pb) British author
Carrie Jones - Entice (4th, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Julie Kagawa - The Iron King (21st, MIRA Ink, pb)
Lauren Kate - The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (6th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Mike Lancaster - 0.4 (3rd, Egmont Books Ltd, pb) British author
Rhiannon Lassiter - Ghost of a Chance (6th, OUP Oxford, pb) British author
Sophie McKenzie - The Medusa Project: Hunted (6th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb) British author
Robin McKinley - Beauty (6th, David Fickling Books, pb)
Karen Mahoney - The Iron Witch (20th, Corgi Childrens, pb) British author
Alice Moss - Mortal Kiss (6th, Bantam Children, pb)
Lauren Myracle - Bliss (1st, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., pb)
Chloe Neill - Hexbound (27th, Gollancz, HB)
Sarah Ockler - Fixing Delilah (20th, Little, Brown Young Readers, HB)
Jana Oliver - The Demon Trappers: Forsaken (7th, Macmillan Children's Books, pb)
Kenneth Oppel - Half Brother (6th, David Fickling Books, HB)
James A Owen - The Dragon's Apprentice (6th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Antonio Pagliarulo - On the Avenue (27th, Red Fox, pb)
James Patterson - Maximum Ride: Fang (6th, Arrow, pb)
S Powell - Fifty Fifty (1st, Piccadilly, pb) British author
S C Ransom - Small Blue Thing (13th, Nosy Crow Ltd, pb) British author
Tricia Rayburn - Siren (20th, Faber and Faber, pb)
Sarah Rubin - Dreamer Ballerina (3rd, Chicken House, pb)
Katherine Rundell - The Girl Savage (6th, Faber, pb) British author
Chris Ryan - Agent 21 (6th, Red Fox, pb) British author
L J Smith - Stefan's Diaries (6th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Maria V Snyder - Inside Out (1st, MIRA Ink, pb)
Rebecca Stead - When You Reach Me (6th, Andersen, pb)
Maggie Stiefvater - Lament (3rd, Scholastic, pb)
GP Taylor - Vampyre Labyrinth: Dust Blood (20th, Faber, pb) British author
Cate Tiernan - Immortal Beloved (6th, Hodder & Stoughton, HB)
Rachel Vincent - My Soul to Take (1st, MIRA, pb) review
Dan Wells - I Don't Want to Kill You (6th, Headline, pb)
Kiersten White - Paranormalcy (6th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Brenna Yovanoff - The Replacement (6th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)