Monday, May 30, 2011
UK: January 2011, MIRA Ink, ISBN 0778304116
US: April 2010, Harlequin Teen, ISBN 0373210060
Notes: Whilst reading Inside Out I switched to and from a UK library book and a US e-copy supplied via Netgalley depending on where I was reading.
Review: Inside Out is set in "Inside" a sealed structure where the motto of reduce, reuse and recycle is taken to the nth degree as the inhabitants have a fixed amount of non-growable material to live on. They grow their own food but that's about all they produce (except children).
Trella is a scrub who, along with thousands of other manual workers, lives in the bottom two floors of the building. Their job is to keep everything clean and working and supply food and water etc for the whole society. The upper two floors are occupied by those overseeing the running of the building such as the police - the Population Control Police (Pop Cops) - and other white-collar workers.
Trella is known as "Queen of the Pipes" as she spends all her time either cleaning the pipes (air, water) or exploring them in her off time and often sleeping in them. She knows all there is to know about the layout of Inside and is able to access a lot of it.
There is supposedly a Gateway to the outside (whatever that is) but no-one knows if it exists and the belief is that you only go through it when you die and only then if you've been good. However a new prophet in the lower levels claims to be able to prove it exists but he needs Trella's help. He has left the proof in the duct over his room in the upper floors. She reluctantly agrees to retrieve it so that she can prove to her friend Cog that Gateway does not exist. However a simple mistake alerts the Pop Cops and then an accidental killing pits the Pop Cops against Trella and her friends.
The Pop Cops will use any means necessary to retrieve the proof, the prophet and ultimately Trella and she has to disappear. Fortunately she has some support in the upper levels, in particular Riley, of a similar age to Trella, and who wants to improve conditions for the scrubs.
Over the course of Inside Out, Trella transforms from an almost friendless loner to the leader of something bigger as the scrubs fight back...
Inside Out is a fabulous read. I haven't felt so tense reading a book for a long time. I almost wasn't brave enough to pick it up at times to see where it was going. Trella is a tough cookie, not particularly likeable, at least at first, but one that you'll root for. The bad guys, led by Lieutenant Commander Karla, are very frightening.
Initially, the set up slightly reminded of Logan's Run however the inhabitants of Inside don't disappear when they reach the equivalent of 30 but when they do die they are fed to the terrifyingly named "Chomper".
This is mostly an action-thriller but there are some tender moments between Trella and Riley as they start to dispel the lies and distrust instilled by the Pop Cops.
By the end, some of the secrets of Inside are revealed but more are left to be answered in the sequel, Outside In, which I can't wait to read!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Talented debut teen author and copy-writer, Diane Messidoro, has landed a two-book deal with Egmont Press for World English Language rights.
How to Keep a Boy as a Pet follows teenager Circe Shaw's urgent mission to transform into a fabulously sophisticated journalist and reveal, 'The Official Truth about dating the male human species'.
 'This is Carrie Bradshaw meets Georgia Nicholson, full of sass and spirit, as well as a huge amount of heart. Diane has a formidable ability to tap into the teen-girl psyche and we are just delighted to be her publishers.'
How to Keep a Boy as a Pet will be published in May 2012, with a sequel to follow: What Not to Do in the Dark.
Read the whole article here.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
As you can see from the photo Alyxandra is extremely youthful looking and gorgeous but she is also very friendly and funny and can write a book in three months. She told us about the new book Haunting Violet due out in July (UK) which is about a young woman who helps her fake medium mother set up all the pranks to convince people that she can speak to the dead and then one day she does see a ghost, the ghost of a dead twin and the live twin is in danger...
After the chat, signed books and photos a beautiful cake and bubbly appeared. The cover was too lovely to be cut so Emma cut slices from each edge. It was delicious.
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury and Alyxandra for arranging this event and it was lovely to see some familiar blogger faces and meet a new one!
Sarah has written up the launch here.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Pan Macmillan has bought UK and Commonwealth rights (including e-books) to seven books by self-published US sensation Amanda Hocking.
Julie Crisp, editorial director at Tor, bought the rights from St Martin's Press in the United States. Hocking was subject to an intense auction in the US for her novels, with Amazon emerging as a shock underbidder.
She self-published her first novel to Amazon's Kindle in April 2010 and has since sold more than one million books.
The deal is for the Trylle Trilogy and a new four-book series called Watersong. The Trylle trilogy will be published in spring 2012 and the first book in the Watersong series will be released in autumn 2012 in paperback and e-book format.
It is described as a romantic coming-of-age tale about two sisters and their struggle to do right by each other and the men they love.
Read the whole article at The Bookseller.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Notes: The following review is written by Amanda Gillies who reviews crime fiction on my Euro Crime website. You can read her crime reviews here and her YA reviews here.
Review: Based upon Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night and set mostly in the south of England in the 1600s, The Fool's Girl is a delightfully romantic tale about magic and mystery, first love, separation and being reunited. With a real sense of 'true love conquers all', it brings a warm feeling to your heart as you read the story of young Violetta and her faithful friend Feste. They are disguised as players and in London to find a valuable holy relic that has been stolen from their country, Illyria. Violetta has vowed to return the relic to its home and with it to gain her rightful place as duchess, alongside her truelove Stephano, who is rightfully duke. They have been sworn to each other since childhood but tragedy, war and imprisonment have so far kept them apart.
Remarkably, Violetta and Feste meet William Shakespeare while he is still Will - an up and coming, but still very ordinary playwright from Stratford. He helps them in their quest to find the relic and their adventures bring them face to face with death on more than one occasion. Will's final role in the whole affair is to produce it all as a play and, given the importance of the people in the audience for its first viewing, one wonders if this is supposed to be Will's lucky break.
So very little is known about the life of William Shakespeare. This wonderful tale, that suggests the plot for Twelfth Night could be more than just a story, is magical. Will is an ordinary, albeit gifted, man with a wife and children and to see him in this somewhat romantic setting - captivated by Violetta's story and so keen to help her, is extremely refreshing.
Very highly recommended.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
NYT and USA Today bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston's THE OTHER LAND CHRONICLES, set in 111 C.D., one hundred and eleven years after a Catastrophic Disaster has wiped out 99% of humanity and left the earth covered in ice, this new series introduces readers to a ragtag group of friends and the dawning of a new time; the world of reason, of mathematics and science, is ending, and a new civilization is being born from the ice: a world of magic and mayhem, sorcerers and spellcraft, starting with FROZEN, to Putnam Children's, for publication in 2013.
Screenwriter Lissa Price's STARTERS, the first in a futuristic thriller series featuring a society where youth is coveted at an impossible price, and one girl's ability to bring it all crumbling down, to Delacorte, in a two-book deal.
Monday, May 16, 2011
UK: April 2011, Puffin, ISBN 0141339092
US: June 2009, Hyperion Book CH, ISBN 1423124528
Notes: Whilst reading Artemis Fowl I switched to and from a UK Puffin proof and a US e-copy supplied via Netgalley depending on where I was reading.
Review: I can't believe it's ten years since Artemis Fowl was first published. I've been wanting to read this for so long and thanks to a proof from Puffin I've been given the kick to finally do so.
The final book in the series, the eighth, is due to be published next year. In this the first, we are introduced to twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl, born into a dynasty of criminals. Currently his father is missing presumed dead (though not by Artemis) and his mum has become ill and keeps to the attic. Artemis sets out to restore the family's ill-gotten fortune and strikes on an amazing scheme: he plans to kidnap a fairie and collect the ransom of a huge amount of gold.
Meanwhile we are introuded to Captain Holly Short of the LEP (Lower Elements Police) who along with the rest of the fairies lives way underground unless a mission brings her top-side. An assignment to recapture an escaped troll in Italy plus the fact that's she almost run out of magic and needs to perform the Ritual leads her to fall into Artemis's trap.
A siege at Fowl Manor ensues and the best officers that the Fairies can offer are sent to resolve the situation and the outmanoeuvring on both sides commences.
I loved this book. It's witty and funny with a cast of characters that should appeal to boys, girls and adults. Artemis initially appears cold and evil but there are faint cracks in his demeanour. Holly, like the other fairies, is not keen on humans, especially as they appear to be wrecking the planet, but she does all she can to save them from harm.
Artemis Fowl is well paced and there are plenty of gadgets as well as some earthy humour in the shape of a soil-digesting dwarf. The fairies underground world is well evoked and there are plenty of one-liners from chief engineer Foaly, a centaur!
I set this as the most recent book for my children's reading group, who are all girls bar one, and in the main they reported that though it wasn't something they'd normally pick up they enjoyed it and would read more. Some have already gone onto book two, Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident which I'm really pleased about.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Randa Abdel-Fattah, Noah’s Law: Crime, Punishment and Paper Jams (PanMacmillan Australia)
Georgia Blain, Darkwater (Random House Australia)
Nette Hilton, The Innocents (Random House Australia)
Rebecca James, Beautiful Malice (Allen & Unwin)
Catherine Jinks, The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group (Allen & Unwin)
Rebecca Lim, Mercy (Harper Collins)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – February (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – March (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – April (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – May (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – June (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – July (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – August (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – September (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – October (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – November (Scholastic Australia)
Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – December (Scholastic Australia)
Shirley Marr, Fury (Black Dog Books)
Sophie Masson, The Phar Lap Mystery (Scholastic Australia)
Penny Matthews, A Girl Like Me (Penguin Books Australia
Isabelle Merlin, Bright Angel (Random House Australia)
Chrissie Michaels, Lonnie's Shadow (Ford Street Publishing)
Lara Morgan, Genesis (Walker Books)
The winner will be announced on 8th October 2011.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
It’s a busy time in the publishing life of Jay Asher, whose 2007 debut novel from Razorbill, Thirteen Reasons Why, with its anti-bullying message, was a break-out bestseller. Razorbill has recently acquired The Future of Us, a novel coauthored by Asher and Carolyn Mackler, which is scheduled for November 2011 release. Thirteen Reasons Why, which has 750,000 hardcover copies in print in the U.S. and has been sold into 31 countries, is due out in paperback from Razorbill on June 14. And today Penguin Young Readers Group launches the Thirteen Reasons Why Project, an online venue where fans can post their thoughts on and reviews of the novel via several media.
[The Future of Us] centers on two best friends who log onto AOL in 1996 and discover themselves on Facebook—15 years in the future.
In The Future of Us, the authors continue to explore some of the themes Asher investigates in Thirteen Reasons Why.“Though The Future of Us is a more playful book, it too delves into the concept of destiny, and how each move we make affects our future and the futures of those around us.”
Read the rest of the article here.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Review: Almost a year since I read and reviewed January, I'm now closing in on the final book. I've just read October and November (I find it hard to read just one!) and the answers that Cal Ormond and his friends Boges and Winter seek will soon be revealed.
To briefly recap - Australian author Gabrielle Lord has written a monthly series featuring 15/16 year-old Cal Ormond who has been accused of attempted murder and is on the run. He has to unravel the secret of the Ormond family and stay alive until the end of the year. Each book opens and ends with him getting himself into or out of a life-threatening situation. Most of his help comes from his best friend and technical wizard Boges and Winter, the ward of one of the bad guys also after the secret of the Ormonds which is supposed to make Cal rich according to his late father. Other individuals both helpful and not, reappear at intervals so it's quite a closed world of characters.
As before, narrated in a diary style with descending page numbers, there is plenty of tension in these two outings as the gang spy on several key players in the mystery including a shady lawyer and Winter's guardian, plus disrupt a wedding in grand style and in November gain some vital information from a very unexpected source.
I am enjoying this series and though it can be slightly frustrating that the gang find clues and lose them quite quickly, and more than once, I'm with the likeable Cal and friends to the bitter end.
October and November probably aren't the best place to start in this series so if you like an action-led story set in a different and (to me) exotic place do go back to January and begin.
I've also reviewed June and August.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Puffin is thrilled to announce that Shannon Park, executive editor at Puffin, has acquired World English rights in the first three titles in Chris Bradford's next series, Bodyguard, from Charlie Viney at The Viney Agency. The first title, Bodyguard: Hostage, will publish in March 2013.
The best bodyguards are the ones nobody notices, so who would suspect a teenager of being a bodyguard? Recruited by the United States Secret Service, fourteen-year-old Connor Reeves is assigned to protect the President's daughter from a terrorist plot to take her hostage...
'The bodyguard is today's samurai warrior, so this new series is a natural progression for me as a writer. The most nerve-racking aspect will be training as a professional bodyguard myself. I'm virtually throwing myself into the line of fire to research these books!' Chris Bradford, Author.
'Puffin is delighted to announce this new series coming from Chris Bradford, one of our most in-demand touring authors. Connor's adventures across the globe are just as action-packed, pulse-racing and exciting as Jack Fletcher's in Young Samurai, and the fact that Chris is going to be a fully-qualified bodyguard to accompany the series means his fans are in for a real treat when he tours. This won't disappoint on any level!' Shannon Park, Executive Editor.
Read the whole article here.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Viola in Reel Life, narrated by Laurel Lefkow is published by Whole Story Audio Books and was released on 1 May.
When fourteen-year-old Viola Chesterton is sent to Prefect Academy, an all-girls school far away from her home, she doesn’t think she will survive the year. So she resorts to viewing the world behind the lens of her video camera. But at Prefect Academy, Viola may be in for the most incredible year of her life, as long as she puts the camera down and let the world in.
My review of the paperback release is here.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I enjoyed Ringmaster very much and you can read my review here.
Ringmaster is followed by Empty Quarter and the third in the series has been pushed back to March 2012.
Here are the old and new covers. What do you think?
..and here's the new cover for Empty Quarter, taken from Julia Golding's website.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Skip's an outsider. He's never fitted in. So he takes to the streets. Life there may be hard, but it's better than the one he's left behind, especially when he teams up with old homeless man Billy. Then come the bombs which bring little Max and Tia, the sad dancer with a tiny baby, into Skip and Billy's world. Scavenging for food, living on love and imagination - how long can Skip's fragile new family hold out as war grips the city?
Today, Glenda introduces an exclusive extract from her book:
This extract from chapter 16 of ’A Small Free Kiss in the Dark’, particularly the last couple of paragraphs, always makes me want to cry. I thinks it’s probably because it’s getting towards the end of the book when the characters have had a chance to develop so that I care what happens to them. Skip, a homeless twelve-year-old boy, is the main character and has developed a relationship with six year old Max who is separated from his mother after war breaks out. They’ve been on the run ever since, avoiding the fighting, trying to find food and shelter. All the while, Skip is conscious that Max’s mother might be alive and searching for her son. But despite this, he develops a caring relationship for the younger boy, who, together with old Billy, become a substitute family, something Skip longs for. In chapter 16, Skip has readied himself for the inevitable, letting Max go to look for his mother. First they have have a ‘slap-up’ meal on the beach that Billy has promised them. Then Skip makes a speech and presents Max with a going away gift that he’s made. It’s that last line that always gets to me!
Billy had already cut the chicken down the middle so it was flat. He sprinkled it with salt and cooked it over the coals in the wire rack he’d made from mending wire. I tried not to think about Mona’s lovely face, because we hadn’t had meat for so long. Max and me got the drumsticks. Billy got a wing and the parson’s nose, because that was his favourite bit. It’s the part of the chicken where the tail feathers grow. Tia had breast meat and she found a small bone, shaped like a V.
“That’s the wishbone,” Billy said. “You’re supposed to dry it out for a couple of weeks before you pull it.”
“I know,” said Max. “Grandpa and me do it and I always get the biggest bit.”
“Two weeks is too long,” said Tia. “Let’s do it tonight.”
She sat on the sand with her legs crossed and she licked her fingers clean, slow and thoughtful, while we all watched. Then she held the wishbone in front of her, up against the inky sky. Her white hair streamed out like birds’ wings beside her moon-kissed face. She looked like a goddess. I stared, hardly breathing, with longing to be the chosen one. Then she pointed the bone towards me.
“Skipper.” I saw pearls in her mouth and the velvet cushion of her tongue and I heard the magic words come out of her. “Me and Skipper will break the bone.”
We joined ourselves together with unblinking eyes and a pinky finger each around the wishbone. Then we pulled apart with a sudden snap, and a tick of bone dangled from Tia’s finger. She closed it away in the palm of her hand like a charm.
“Don’t tell anyone your wish,” Max said.
Tia closed her eyes. I made a wish too. I wished that Tia would make the right wish and that it would come true.
After the wishing, Tia walked away on the wet and shining sand. The wind howled and the waves roared and her footprints disappeared behind her. She was gone too long. I should have gone with her and given her the silver necklace. The longer I had to wait, the stronger I imagined its power to be. Until Tia wore it, I was afraid something terrible might happen to her. Then I saw her coming back to us through a mist of salt spray, leaping and curling under the moon like the waves.
Sixpence slept and Billy cried while Tia danced. Then Max and me threaded pink and white marshmallows and chunks of tinned pineapple onto pieces of wire and toasted them over the coals.
“Better get some sleep now,” said Billy when we’d finished eating. “Early start tomorrow.”
“Wait,” I said. “There’s something else.” I’d got ready to let Max go and now I had to do it. I drew a circle around myself.
“Max,” I said, “take your beanie off and come out here. Stand in the circle with me.”
Max stepped in beside me. The wet sand mirrored the sky and we stood in a garden of stars.
“This is the Circle of Brotherhood,” I said to Max. “A circle has no beginning and no end. That means that even when we are far away from each other we will still be brothers.”
We spat on our palms and did our secret handshake and then I undid the side pocket of my suitcase and took out the surprise. He gasped because it was so splendid. It was an Indian brave’s headdress. I put it on his head and the rooster feathers fluttered under the moonlight while I said a silent prayer to Max’s ancestors. I asked them to comfort him and whisper wise thoughts to him and guide his footsteps through the dust. Then I said the speech I had been practising in my head. I said it out loud so that everyone could hear.
“This is the headdress of the brave, Max Montgomery; wear it proudly because you are very brave.” Then I kissed Max because I loved him, and everyone I had ever loved before had gone away and I had never kissed them goodbye.
Check out the blog tour's other stops here. Tomorrow's stop will be at So Many Books, So Little Time.
Read the first ten pages of A Small Free Kiss in the Dark here.
Follow Templar on Facebook and/or twitter: @templarbooks.
Many thanks to Glenda and Templar for including Teenage Fiction for All Ages on the tour.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Monthly lists for 2010 can be found here.
I have tried to identify all the British authors which I hope will be useful to those doing the Bookette's excellent British Books Challenge.
Ally Carter - Only The Good Spy Young (5th, Orchard, pb)
Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Trial by Fire (26th, Quercus Publishing Plc, pb)
Gina Blaxill - Pretty Twisted (6th, Macmillan Children's Books, pb) British author
Judy Blundell - Strings Attached (5th, Scholastic, pb)
Rachel Caine - Bite Club (2nd, Allison & Busby, pb)
Isabelle Cass - Superstar High: Don't Stop Believing(5th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Laura Jane Cassidy - Angel Kiss (5th, Puffin, pb)
Philip Caveney - Night on Terror Island (5th, Andersen, pb) British author
Lara Chapman - Flawless (3rd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Gennifer Choldenko - No Passengers Beyond this Point (3rd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Richard Conlon - Death of Jude Hill (27th, Heinemann, HB) British author
John Connolly - Hell's Bells: Samuel Johnson Vs the Devil (12th, Hodder & Stoughton, HB)
Vanessa Curtis - The Taming of Lilah May (12th, Frances Lincoln Children's Books, pb) British author
Leah Cypess - Mistwood (15th, Greenwillow Books, pb)
Stephen Davies - Outlaw (5th, Andersen, pb) British author
Fiona Dunbar - Divine Freaks (5th, Orchard, pb) British author
Lois Duncan - Killing Mr Griffin (5th, ATOM, pb)
Christopher Edge - I-Ssassins (30th, Heinemann, HB) British author
Steve Feasey - Changeling: Zombie Dawn (6th, Macmillan Children's Books, pb) British author
Michelle Gayle - Pride and Premiership (5th, Walker, pb) British author
David Grant - Eg and Me (27th, Heinemann, HB) British author
Peadar Ó Guilín - The Deserter (5th, David Fickling Books, pb)
David Hair - Pyre of Queens: The Return of Ravana (5th, Puffin, pb)
Jenny Han - It's Not Summer Without You (5th, Puffin, pb)
Cynthia Hand - Unearthly (2nd, Egmont Books Ltd, pb)
Sonya Hartnett - The Midnight Zoo (5th, Walker, pb)
Nigel Hinton - Ghost Game (27th, Heinemann, HB) British author
Tonya Hurley - Ghostgirl: Lovesick (12th, Headline, pb)
Lucy Jago - Montacute House (3rd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Conor Kostick - Edda (16th, O'Brien Press Ltd, pb)
Krystyna Kuhn - The Game (5th, ATOM, pb)
Gill Lewis - Skyhawk (5th, OUP Oxford, pb) British author
Malinda Lo - Huntress (5th, ATOM, pb)
Cliff McNish - The Hunting Ground (5th, Orion Childrens, pb) British author
Liz Miles (Ed.) - Truth % Dare (26th, Robinson Publishing, pb)
Glenda Millard - A Small Free Kiss in the Dark (1st, Templar, pb)
Katy Jane Moran - Dangerous to Know (5th, Walker, pb) British author
Robert Muchamore - Shadow Wave (5th, Hodder Children's Books, pb) British author
Benjamin J Myers - Bad Tuesdays 4: The Nonsuch King (5th, Orion Childrens, pb) British author
Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd - A Monster Calls (5th,Walker, HB) British author
Joanne Owen - The Alchemist and the Angel (5th, Orion Childrens, pb) British author
Tom Palmer - Foul Play: Own Goal (5th, Puffin, pb) British author
Siobhan Parkinson - Bruised (5th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Andrew Peters - Ravenwood (5th, Chicken House, pb) British author
Andrew and Polly Peters - Do Not Wake the Devil (27th, Heinemann, HB) British author
K M Peyton - Blind Beauty (5th, Scholastic, pb) British author
K M Peyton - Paradise House (5th, Scholastic, pb) British author
Amy Plum - Die for Me (5th, ATOM, pb)
Chris Priestley - Blood Oath (30th, Heinemann, HB) British author
Kathy Reichs - Virals (12th, Arrow (Young), HB)
Justin Richards - Monster Island (27th, Heinemann, HB) British author
Rick Riordan - The Kane Chronicles: The Throne of Fire (3rd, Puffin, HB)
Veronica Roth - Divergent (3rd, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
L J Smith - Stefan's Diaries: The Craving (5th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Maggie Stiefvater - Ballad (5th, Scholastic, pb)
Tricia Telep (Ed.) - Corsets and Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances (26th, Robinson Publishing, pb)
Alan Temperley - Murdo's War (1st, Luath Press Ltd, pb) British author
Yasutaka Tsutsui - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (16th, Alma Book Ltd, pb)