Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Velvet by Mary Hooper

Velvet by Mary Hooper (September 2011, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, ISBN: 0747599211)

Review: Velvet is the latest historical novel from Mary Hooper and is set at the beginning of the 20th century. The eponymous young lady at the heart of the novel, the independent Velvet (born Kitty) is struggling to keep herself afloat financially. She is about to lose her job at the laundry but her boss gives her one more chance in a more specialist part of the business - looking after individual clients' laundry. In this way Velvet gets to do the personal laundry of one Madame Savoya, a medium of some renown and eventually Velvet ends up as a live-in maid to Madame along with the handsome chauffeur/assistant George.

Velvet's story is inter-cut with a third-person point of view, narrating the various one-to one meetings that Madame and George have with bereaved customers who want a longer chat with their dead loved ones than the general seances can provide.

It becomes obvious to the reader how much truth lies behind Madame's skill and the tension is created by the watching and waiting for Velvet to catch up with the reader.

I thoroughly enjoyed Velvet. It tells of a fascinating time when Spiritualism was all the rage and Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, a famous believer and debunker of fakes, makes an appearance. Velvet is a believable if naive character and you are rooting for her to do the right thing(s). I love how historical novels painlessly teach the reader something and Velvet is no exception, with for example - a visit to a baby-farm which was horrendously portrayed and yet I understand that the author has toned it down somewhat for the YA market.

Velvet is a real page-turner and I flew through it. If like me, you are a bit wary of historical fiction, I'd strongly recommend giving Velvet a go and let it put any prejudices you may have had in the dustbin!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Library Loot (2.20-21) & Review Copy, Won & Bought

A fairly quiet two weeks for review books but some great books from the library:


Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck (10 Nov, Hodder & Stoughton)
With the head-to-head battle against the villainous Lokesh behind her, Kelsey confronts a new heartbreak: in the wake of his traumatic experience, her beloved Ren no longer remembers who she is. As the trio continues their quest by challenging five cunning and duplicitous dragons, Ren and Kishan once more vie for her affections - leaving Kelsey more confused than ever.

Fraught with danger, filled with magic, and packed with romance, Tiger's Voyage brings Kelsey and her two tiger princes one step closer to breaking the curse.

Won - with thanks, from Lyrical Reviews

The Crimson Shard by Teresa Flavin (out now, Templar)
This sequel to The Blackhope Enigma is imbued with alchemy and intrigue. During what seems like an ordinary museum visit, tour guide Throgmorton lures Sunni and Blaise through a painted doorway into eighteenth-century London. When Throgmorton demands secret information from the pair about their Blackhope escapades, they attempt to flee, encountering body snatchers, art thieves and forgers in this gripping time-travel adventure.


Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf
by Lara Fox (out now, Hodder Childrens)
After a stint as the school agony aunt, Anya's forthcoming summer as an intern at a London publishing house comes as a breath of fresh air. It'll take her mind off Al - her AWOL boyfriend - at least, and maybe she'll get tips on how to be a writer, too. But it's clear that Anya's role is senior dogsbody - and involves reading terrible stories, listening to her colleague's Katie's domestic woes, and taking on a nightmarish teenage author, who is about five years late delivering his next 'best selling novel'. It's not quite the gltiz and glamour Miss Understanding thought it would be, but it does have its plus points: Delicious Seth Hodges being one of them...Anya is torn between the swarve Seth, the notorious waste of time The Boy, her lost boyfriend Al, not to mention the intriguing teenage writer Casper...So many boys, so little time. Another fresh, original and witty journey through Miss Understanding's life...


Abandon by Meg Cabot
Last year, Pierce died - just for a moment. And when she was in the space between life and death, she met John: tall dark and terrifying, it’s his job to usher souls from one realm to the next.

There’s a fierce attraction between them, but Pierce knows that if she allows herself to fall for John she will be doomed to a life of shadows and loneliness in the underworld. But now things are getting dangerous for her, and her only hope is to do exactly what John says . . .

Mortal Kiss by Alice Moss
How much would you sacrifice for just one kiss . . .

When smouldering Finn and sexy Lucas arrive in Winter Mill, life starts to get very complicated for Faye McCarron.

But two boys battling for her heart is just the start. Soon there's a dead body in the woods, a motorcycle gang on the prowl, and the snow just won't stop falling. Something evil is at work, and only Faye and best friend Liz can stop it. As Hallowe'en draws near they must uncover the dark and sinister secret . . . before it's too late.

Love paranormal romance, werewolves and ethereal spirits? Then this book is for you!

POD by Stephen Wallenfeld
PODs - strange alien spheres hover menacingly in the sky, zapping anyone who ventures outside. Will is 15 and stuck in his house with his OCD dad. They're running out of food...Megs is 12, alone and trapped in a multi-storey carpark. The hotel next door is under the control of dangerous security staff, but Megs has something they want, and they'll do anything to get it...When the aliens invade, the real enemy becomes humanity itself. What would you do to survive?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Published in the UK this Week (24th - 30th Oct)

In alphabetical order by author, here are the new YA releases published in the UK this week (that I know about), lots today - which will you be buying/reading?:

PC & Kristin Cast - Destined (Amazon says 25/10 whereas Waterstones says 8/11)
The latest instalment from the ever-scandalous House of Night sees Zoey and Stevie Rae trying to restore some order to their complex lives. But is that ever possible in the dark world of the House of Night vampyres?

Leigh Fallon - The Carrier of the Mark (27th)
Bewitching debut teen fiction from Inkpop sensation -- dark magic, prophecies and irresistible romance collide in this beguiling read. When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. She makes close friends with the girls in her class, her relationship with her dad is better than ever, and she finds herself inexplicably drawn to gorgeous, mysterious Adam DeRis. Adam is cold and aloof at first, but when Megan finally breaks down the icy barrier between them, she is amazed by the intensity of their connection. Then Adam reveals a secret about the magical destiny that will shape both of their lives but also threatens to tear them apart!

Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie - Crusade: The Damned (27th)
The Salamancan hunters are at war, and Jenn Leitner, the newly appointed Hunter, must lead the Salamancan hunters into battle against the Cursed Ones. But tensions are running high, and heated arguments threaten to fracture the group, especially after the hunters discovered that Jenn's sister, Heather, has been converted. Struggling to balance leadership and being the Hunter with her desire for revenge against the vampire who converted her sister, Jenn tries hard to over come any personal vendettas as she prepares for battle. But with her beloved Antonio spending every waking moment with her newly-turned vampire sister, and the rest of her team fighting among themselves, Jenn finds her inner strength and trust wavering. And as the Cursed Ones and other sinister powers continue to rage war against humanity, Jenn will learn, along with the rest of the Salamancan hunters, that it is always darkest before dawn...

Robin Jarvis - Tales from the Wyrd Museum 2: The Raven's Knot (27th)
Timely reissue of the classic fantasy trilogy by Robin Jarvis, following on from the landmark publication of DANCING JAX, his first novel in a decade. In a grimy alley in the East End of London stands the Wyrd Museum, cared for by the strange Webster sisters -- the scene of even stranger events. Brought out of the past, elfin-like Edie Dorkins must now help the Websters to protect their age-old secret. For outside the museum's enchanted walls, a nightmarish army is gathering in the mystical town of Glastonbury, bent on destroying the sisters and their ancient power once and for all! Revisit the chilling, fantastical world of the Wyrd Museum in this sequel to The Woven Path.

Rebecca Lim - Mercy: Muse (27th)
An angel searching for answers, for her destiny! In the third MERCY paranormal romance, Mercy wakes in a new unknown host, her love for Ryan and Luc burning stronger than ever. But who will she make the ultimate sacrifice for? There's something very wrong with me. When I wake up, I could be anyone! Mercy is thrust into the excessive world of fashion when she awakes in the body of a troubled Russian supermodel, Irina: bitchy, hot-tempered and known to be dabbling in things she shouldn't, Irina is on the verge of a very public breakdown. Against the glamorous background of opulent Milan, Mercy continues her increasingly desperate search for Ryan to lead her back to her immortal lover, Luc. But this time Mercy is aware that her memories and powers are growing ever stronger -- and she begins to doubt Luc as The Eight reveal more of her mysterious past. Are Luc's desires as selfless as her own or does he want her for a more terrifying purpose? The grand scale celestial battle for Mercy's soul builds to an incredible stormy crescendo as archangels and demons clash in a cataclysmic showdown that not all will survive!

Jessica Martinez - Virtuosity (27th)
Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot ...what if Jeremy is better than her? Carmen knows that dating Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her - and riles her up - like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform and what started as a quick fix has become a hungry addiction. But now Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she's told, doing what's expected. And, as Carmen starts to open up to Jeremy, she realises that sometimes being on top just means you have a long way to fall...

James Phelan - Quarantine: Alone (27th)
Jesse has survived the chasers. He's survived the roving bands of humans. And he might even have started to make some new friends. But the quarantine period is up. The army is coming in. And Jesse's about to learn that the real test of survival has only just begun.

Kathy Reichs - Virals (27th)
Fourteen-year-old Tory Brennan is as fascinated by bones and dead bodies as her famous aunt, acclaimed forensic anthropologist, Tempe Brennan. However living on a secluded island off Charleston in South Carolina there is not much opportunity to put her knowledge to the test. Until her and her ragbag group of technophile friends stumble across a shallow grave containing the remains of a girl who has been missing for over thirty years. The question is, did whoever was responsible for the girl's death have anything to do with the sick puppy they rescued from a secret laboratory on the same island? With the cold-case murder suddenly hot, Tory realises that they are involved in something fatally dangerous. But events take a turn for the bizarre when they escape some would-be attackers by using physical powers more akin to a dog than a human...Could the puppy hold the key not only to the murder, but also the strange changes that are taking place in their bodies?

Lili St Crow - Strange Angels: Reckoning (27th)
Nobody expected Dru Anderson to survive this long. Not Graves. Not Christophe. Not even Dru herself. She's battled killer zombies, jealous djamphirs, and bloodthirsty suckers straight out of her worst nightmares. But now that Dru has bloomed into a full-fledged svetocha - rare, beautiful, and toxic to all vampires - the worst is yet to come. Because getting out alive is going to cost more than she's ever imagined. And in the end, is survival really worth the sacrifice?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Conspiracy 365: December by Gabrielle Lord

Conspiracy 365: December by Gabrielle Lord (December 2010, Hodder Children's Books, ISBN: 0340996552)

Notes: I've previously reviewed January, June, August and October and November

Review: December is the final part in the twelve-book series which began with January. It's a slightly longer book than its predecessors and is an exciting and worthy finale to the tale of Cal Ormond.

Cal has been on the run for twelve months. His task was to a) stay alive and b) solve the mystery of the Ormonds ie find the Ormond Singularity with the help of the Ormond Jewel and Ormond Riddle. The latter two objects have been in and out of his possession for most of the year but finally he has them, and with his two friends, Winter and Boges, they make good progress in solving the mystery.

Having been in Australia for the previous 11 months, the story ends in Ireland where it had begun with Cal's Dad before he became ill and died.

You could read December as a stand-alone but it would be more satisfying to have read some, or all of the earlier books. I was pleased with the resolution to the mysteries and surprised by many of the twists. December was a strong entry in a series which was a little uneven: some months were better than others with the story not moving on in some and a tendency towards some repetition; Cal does seems to have an unfeasibly large number of handy skills plus quite a bit of luck at times, nonetheless I'm glad I read all twelve.

Initially I felt sad that the series had ended as I would like to have read more about Cal and his friends but it seems I may have my wish as I discovered that a 13th book is on the way, called Revenge according to the Conspiracy 365 website.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Virago to launch YA list in 2013

From today's Bookseller:

Virago Modern Classics will launch a young adult list, with four books by Rumer Godden to be among its titles after the publisher acquired rights in 15 of her works.

[] "She is an incredible writer, and what is really special about her, particularly when one considers the era she was writing in, is what a contemporary sensibility she had; in her novels set in India especially, wherever her characters are from and whatever culture they belong to, their points of view are portrayed with sympathy and understanding."

Virago will begin publishing her titles in 2013, the same year the YA list launches.

You can read about Rumer Godden at her Literary Trust website.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Published in the UK this Week (17th - 23rd Oct)

In alphabetical order by author, here are the new YA releases published in the UK this week (that I know about), which will you be buying/reading?:

Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
-Beautiful Chaos (18th)
Ethan Wate is in love with a caster girl. When he looks at Lena, it's like there's no one else in the world. But Ethan is mortal, and on her seventeenth birthday Lena made a choice that changed everything. The girl Ethan loves has broken the world with the supernatural powers she is struggling to control ...Now, if they are to fix the chaos Lena has caused, one of them must make a terrible sacrifice. Sometimes there isn't just one answer. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending. This is the third instalment of the spellbinding love story that began with "Beautiful Creatures".

Julie Kagawa - The Iron Queen (21st)
In less than twenty four hours, I'll be seventeen. Although, technically, I won't actually be turning seventeen. I've been in the Nevernever too long. When you're in Faery, you don't age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I'm probably only a few days older than when I went in. In real life, I've changed so much I don't even recognize myself. My name is Meghan Chase. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. This time, there will be no turning back.

Maggie Stiefvater - The Scorpio Races (19th)
Every November, the Scorpio Races are run beneath the chalk cliffs of Skarmouth. Thousands gather to watch the horses and the sea that washes the blood from the sand. The mounts are capaill uisce: savage water horses. There are no horses more beautiful, more fearless, more deadly. To race them can be suicide but the danger is irresistible.

Rachel Vincent - My Soul to Steal (21st)
SOMETIMES DREAMS DO COME TRUE...AND THAT'S THE LAST THING KAYLEE NEEDS Working things out with Nash - her maybe boyfriend - is hard for Kaylee. She's already coping with being a teenage banshee. Worse, Nash's gorgeous ex-girlfriend just transferred to their school. Sabine's no ordinary girl. She's a mara, a real-life walking nightmare. Draining people's energy through their darkest dreams sustains Sabine...and makes her Kaylee's top suspect in a cluster of super-creepy deaths. To win back Nash, Kaylee's determined to unearth the truth. But Sabine knows the deathly secrets of Kaylee's subconscious - and she's not afraid to use them to get whatever and whoever she wants...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aim High web series

The first two episodes of the online series, Aim High starring Jackson Rathbone (Twlight) are now available to watch - but not internationally just yet (possibly in 2012) - at Cambio. There is also a Facebook page with links to interviews and where you can get involved. From the press release:

AIM HIGH is the story of a young man leading a double life -- juggling his studies by day and serving as a government agent by night. This series chronicles the life of Nick Green (Jackson Rathbone), a junior who's just starting a new school year as one of the country's 64 highly trained teenage operatives. When he's not handling international spies, Nick is dreaming of Amanda Miles (Aimee Teegarden), the most popular girl in school, who's cool, intelligent and very alluring.

AIM HIGH is the first “social series” which allows Cambio and Facebook users to become part of the show through seamlessly integrating their Facebook profile information - including photos, text and friends – by simply opting into the application on the show’s Facebook page!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Gone by Lisa McMann

Gone by Lisa McMann (November 2010, Simon & Schuster Children's Books, ISBN: 0857070401)

Notes: Review contains some spoilers for Wake and Fade.

Review: Gone is the final part of the trilogy which began with Wake and carried on with Fade. Based on the information she received in Fade, lead character Janie has to make a decision which boils down to: leave everyone behind and live in isolation so she cannot enter anyone's dreams or stay with Cabel whom she loves and become crippled and blind in not many years time.

At the beginning of Gone, Janie is on vacation with Cabel and his family. They are recovering from the repercussions of the events in Fade but Janie is suddenly and urgently called home when her best friend leaves her voice-mail messages saying that Janie's alcoholic mum has had to go to hospital.

Things aren't quite what they seem though and it's not Janie's mum who is ill but a stranger to Janie but one who ultimately, will reveal the right path that Janie should follow.

There's no investigation as such like in Fade, this time it's all about Janie and what she can and should do about her life. It's a sad tale, whatever Janie chooses, but Janie will make the best of her choice and it's also probably best that readers leave the story where we do, whilst Janie is young. This has been an interesting trilogy with an unusual "gift" for a main character; each book has had a different theme and in Gone, Janie finally gets to shake off some of the burdens she should not have been carrying. If you've not read this series yet, do start with Wake so you can follow Janie's character arc. I loved the writing style of these books, present tense with frequent paragraphs of almost free verse at times, it's so immediate and pulls you in just like the dreams suck Janie in.

I liked Ms McMann's Cryer's Cross/The Missing as well and look forward to her next YA novel.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baby's Got Blue Eyes...(cover theme)

I've just finished Gone by Lisa McMann, review coming soon and I can't wait to read Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday!

Are these the same model?

Post title comes from: Blue Eyes by Elton John

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Angel Fire Blog Tour: L.A. Weatherly on Love Triangles

I'm very pleased to welcome L A Weatherly to Teenage Fiction For All Ages today as part of her Angel Fire Blog Tour. Angel Fire is the sequel to the very well-received Angel.

Only Willow has the power to defeat the malevolent Church of Angels - and they will stop at nothing to destroy her. However, Willow is not alone. She is with Alex, a trained Angel Killer - and her one true love. Together, they must train a new generation of Angel Killers. But as a half-angel, Willow can't help feeling like an outcast, even with Alex by her side. So when a handsome stranger with a tortured past arrives at the AK camp, Willow finds herself inextricably drawn to him.

You can find out more about the series at the Angel website and on twitter: @Angel_Book and now over to L A:

Love Triangles

What’s the appeal of love triangles?

From an author’s point of view, the answer’s simple: once a fictional couple confesses their love for each other and feels secure in that love, such as Willow and Alex at the end of Angel, you then have to find other challenges for them to overcome. Much as I adore both Willow and Alex, an entire novel of them happily proclaiming their love to each other would be pretty boring to write – and even worse to read! So bringing in the character of Seb as another romantic interest was a great way to add tension and drive. (Also, Seb can be very persuasive. Once he’d made his presence known to me, there was no way he was not going to be in the story.)

I think that’s why readers enjoy love triangles so much, too. Though logically they might hate the idea of anything threatening Alex and Willow’s romance, deep down that’s exactly what they do want: to experience the delicious agony of things not working out, and then the catharsis of a satisfying payoff. (I won’t give away any spoilers, but I think readers will be happy with how things work out in Angel Fire!) And of course, there’s the added appeal of being able to imagine yourself as Willow, with two gorgeous boys in love with you.

Though I was aware of all that while writing Angel Fire, I also wanted to keep things very real, and not avoid difficult or painful situations. While I loved the Twilight series, for instance, there never really seemed much doubt to me that Bella would end up with Edward. In Angel Fire, I wanted to push things further; to genuinely challenge Willow and Alex’s love with a character Willow is both attracted to and has deep feelings for – and who, in many ways, is absolutely perfect for her. Both Willow and Alex – and Seb, come to that – go through the emotional wringer in Angel Fire; their love is tested in ways they never even imagined.

I loved writing Angel Fire, though as always I became very emotionally involved in the story myself, so that it was a relief to write that final, cathartic scene! I won’t say too much yet about how things might go on to develop in book three, Angel Fever …except to say that I rather imagine we haven’t seen the last of the love triangle yet.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy reading Angel Fire as much as I did writing it – and I’ll look forward to hearing whether you’re Team Alex or Team Seb! ;).

Many thanks to L A and Usborne

The previous stop on the tour was at Daisy Chain Book Reviews and don't miss the next stop on Tuesday at Bookbabblers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Girl About Time

Having recently done a time-travel theme with my children's reading group, I'm looking forward to this one which is aimed more at girls - supplementing the more boys-oriented TimeRiders and Jack Christie Adventures.

Girl About Time by Kerstin Gier will be published in April 2012 by Chicken House.

Every family has secrets. But what do you do if you find out that you are the family secret?

That’s what happens to Gwen when she finds herself unbelievably transported from out on the town to turn-of-the-century London. It’s enough to make any girl dizzy!

Then she discovers that she’s not the only time-traveller in the world. She’s stuck between the centuries with a gorgeous boy called Gideon and pursued by a sinister secret society determined to change the past. It gives a whole new meaning to dating.

A funny, thrilling and romantic time-travelling adventure series for girls starring a heroine as determined as Doctor Who.

Written by bestselling German author, Kerstin Gier, the book has sold more than 100,000 copies in Germany (published as Rubinrot).

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han (May 2011, Puffin, ISBN: 0141330554)

Notes: Review will contain some spoilers for The Summer I Turned Pretty.

Review: This is the sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty and is set the following summer. Belly (short for Isobel) is spending her first summer at home rather than at the beach house in Cousins where she has spent every summer before with her mum and brother and family friend Susannah and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah.

Things have changed and Susannah is dead and Belly and Conrad's sort-of relationship has broken-up. Everyone is grief-stricken and matters come to ahead when Conrad disappears from summer-school. Jeremiah asks Belly to help him find Conrad and their journey takes them to the beach house.

Over a weekend, Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah's relationships with each other will change. Family truths will be spoken and a new way forward decided upon.

For me I found this a sad book to read: pervaded with the loss of a loved one, the loss of love and the loss of childhood. I felt sorry for Belly and how she felt about Conrad and the unhappiness it was bringing her. The present day dilemma is threaded with flashbacks and sometimes these were from the point of view of Jeremiah and included Belly's arrival at the beach house last year. I wonder if Conrad will "speak" in the final part of the trilogy. As before, this was a fast read; I was entranced. The book ends with a tantalising teaser for Belly's future but I have no idea of the identity of the "him" mentioned in it. I don't know whether I can wait 196 days for the UK edition of We'll Always Have Summer, I may have to splash out on the already available US version.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Published in the UK this Week (10th - 16th Oct)

In alphabetical order by author, here are the new YA releases published in the UK this week (that I know about), which will you be buying/reading?:

Cathy Brett - Verity Fibbs (13th)
Reality can never quite compare with the online world of Demon Streets for Verity. There she gets to learn new demon fighting skills and have fun. In reality she goes to school to learn useless skills and her fashion designer mother, Saffron Fibbs, is operating punishment by chores (for a small boy related misdemeanor). As ethical is the new black when it comes to fashion, Verity's mum's recycled fashion venture is the hottest thing ever and she has to go to New York to publicize it giving Verity three days of total freedom! But someone else is just as keen to see Saffron Fibbs leave home and when V and her friends find themselves on the wrong side of a very unethical enemy it seems that her online gaming skills might be the only thing between her and a very real Game Over...

Gemma Halliday - Deadly Cool (11th)
First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?

As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.

I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.

Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim - Twilight: Graphic Novel Volume 2 (11th)
Having uncovered the dark secret of her enigmatic classmate, Edward Cullen, Bella Swan embraces her feelings for him, trusting Edward to keep her safe despite the risks. When a rival clan of vampires makes its way into Forks, though, the danger to Bella has never been more real. Will she make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the people dearest to her?

James Patterson - Witch & Wizard: Fire (13th)
Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the Resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the siblings' magic hasn't been enough to stop The One's evil rampage, and now he's executed the only family they had left. Wisty knows that the time has finally come for her to face The One. But her fight and her fire only channel more power to this already formidable being. How can she and Whit possibly prepare for their imminent showdown with the ruthless villain who devastated their world - before he can become truly all-powerful? In this stunning third instalment of the epic "Witch & Wizard" series, the stakes have never been higher - and the consequences will change everything.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Donut Diaries of Dermot Milligan as told by Anthony McGowan

The Donut Diaries of Dermot Milligan as told by Anthony McGowan (August 2011, Corgi Childrens, ISBN: 0552564370)

Review: This is the first instalment of eleven-year-old Dermot Milligan's Donut Diaries. Dermot is rather partial to the cakes with the less fattening centre, so much so that he's been sent to a nutritionist (à la Gillian McKeith). If he doesn't reduce his donut intake and lose some weight then he will be sent, humiliatingly, to "Camp Fatso". To help him, he is advised to keep a diary to explore his feelings. Which turns out to be a good thing for the reader as Dermot engagingly relates a catalogue of mishaps, resulting from his own nervousness as well as more seriously from bullying, plus details of the new dietary regime he's supposed to be following.

Dermot has just started a new, posher, school so not only has he got to make friends but also avoid being teased. However he is picked on within minutes by a boy he nicknames the "Floppy-haired kid" who will become his nemesis throughout this book and beyond (I imagine).

The Donut Diaries had me giggling away, though do be aware it contains gross-out humour in parts especially as Dermot has to give a very special sample to the nutritionist later on so she can see what he's been eating... It also touches on all the problems of joining a new school and mixing old and new friends and coping with an embarrassing (to Dermot) family.

This is a diary which focuses more on words than pictures but there are plenty of illustrations by David Tazzyman, including a daily donut count.

The suggested reading age on the back is 9+, and the sequel, which I'm looking forward to, Revenge is Sweet, is due out in January 2012.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Publishing Deal - Curtis Jobling

The third and fourth volumes in Curtis Jobling's Wereworld series will be published in the US. From today's Booktrade:

Penguin has acquired US rights to Curtis Jobling's WEREWORLD books 3 & 4 from Puffin UK in a major deal.

Puffin acquired World rights from John Jarrold at John Jarrold Literary Agency.

'Curtis and I are both delighted about this deal,' said John Jarrold. 'Considering that Penguin US only published the first volume this month and still have the second awaiting publication, to acquire the third and fourth books in the series in a major deal this early shows huge enthusiasm and commitment.'

WEREWORLD follows the story of Drew, a shepherd's son, as he comes of age and discovers he's the last of the long line of Werewolves, and rightful (yet reluctant) ruler of the land of Lyssia, where shape-shifting 'Werelords' reign. Drew is chased across the Seven Realms by the agents of the king, encountering an ever-expanding cast of both benign and fearsome Werelords along the way. The first two volumes in the epic fantasy series are already published by Puffin UK, with two more to follow in 2012.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Library Loot (2.15-17), review copies & bought

I haven't done a Library Loot post for a few weeks due to absences, planned and unexpected. I'm sure I've missed some but here's most of it. I did get to the recent events for Mary Hooper (Bloomsbury) and Joss Stirling (OUP) and Dave Cousins (OUP).


Pure by Julianna Baggott (2 Feb 2012, Headline - white cover doesn't show up!)
Verity Fibbs by Cathy Brett (13th Oct, Headline)
Fifteen Days Without a head by Dave Cousins (Jan 2012, OUP)
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan (5 Jan 2012, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)
Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson (Jan 2012, OUP)
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon (27th Oct, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks)
The Fever and the Flame: "At the Sign of the Sugared Plum" , "Petals in the Ashes" bindup (out now, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)
Velvet by Mary Hooper (out now, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)
The Thirteenth Horseman by Barry Hutchins (1 Mar 2012, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks)
In Darkness by Nick Lake (5 Jan 2012, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)
Fracture by Megan Miranda (5 Jan 2012, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)
This is not Forgiveness by Celia Rees (2 Feb 2012, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)
Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling (out now, OUP)
Angel Fire by L A Weatherly (out now, Usborne)


Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
We Can Be Heroes by Catherine Bruton
The Time Spell by Judi Curtin
(Didn't come in time for my reading group's theme of time-travel but I hope to use it in a Titanic theme when the library has a few more copies.)
Wither by Lauren Destefano
Emerald by Karen Wallace


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Published in October (2011)

Here are some of the teenage/YA titles that are being published in the UK in October 2011. I will put a link to this post and previous and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. January's list can be found here, February's here, March's here, April's here, May's here, June's here, July's here, August's here and September's here . Title links go to Please let me know of others to add to the list. In general I have not included re-issues and have stuck to UK publishers.

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.

David Almond - My Name is Mina (6th, Hodder Children's Books, HB) British Author
Cathy Brett - Verity Fibbs (13th, Headline, pb) British Author
Kevin Brooks - Naked (6th, Puffin, pb) British Author
Garrett Carr - Deep Deep Down (27th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb) moved to 24 Nov 2011
PC & Kristin Cast - Awakened (25h, ATOM, pb)
PC & Kristin Cast - Destined (25th, ATOM, HB)
H M Castor - VII (1st, Templar, HB) British Author
Cinda Williams Chima - The Wizard Heir (6th, Indigo, pb)
Deborah Cooke - Flying Blind (31st, Allison & Busby, pb)
Kate Costelloe - Natalie's Bridesmaid Blues (6th, Hodder Children's Books, pb) British Author
Melissa de la Cruz - Lost in Time (6th, ATOM, pb)
John Dickinson - Muddle and Win (6th, David Fickling Books, HB) British Author
Jennifer Donnelly - Revolution (3rd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Leigh Fallon - Carrier of the Mark (27th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - Beautiful Chaos (18th, Puffin, pb)
Gemma Halliday - Deadly Cool (11th, HarperCollins, pb)
Alyxandra Harvey - Bleeding Hearts (3rd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie - Crusade: the Damned (27th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Robin Jarvis - Tales from the Wyrd Museum (2) - The Raven's Knot (27th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb) British Author
Julie Kagawa - The Iron Queen (21st, MIRA Ink, pb)
Andrew Lane - Fire Storm (7th, Macmillan Children's Books, HB) British Author
Rebecca Lim - Mercy: Muse (27th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Mark Lowery - Socks are Not Enough (6th, Scholastic, pb) British Author
Jessica Martinez - Virtuosity (27th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Book, pb)
Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim - Twilight: Graphic Novel Volume 2 (11th, ATOM, HB)
Kenneth Oppel - This Dark Endeavour (6th, David Fickling Books, HB)
Panama Oxridge - Thyme Running Out (1st, Inside Pocket Publishing Ltd, HB) British Author
James Patterson - Witch & Wizard: Fire (13th, Arrow, HB)
Jackson Pearce - Sweetly (6th, Hodder Children's Books, HB)
James Phelan - Quarantine: Alone (27th, ATOM, pb)
Chris Priestly - The Dead of Winter (3rd, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb) British Author
Philip Reeve - Scrivener's Moon (6th, Marion Lloyd Books, pb)
Kathy Reichs - Virals (27th, Arrow, pb)
Ilkka Remes - Hot Porperty on the North Sea (6th, Andersen, pb)
Samantha Rendle - House of Vampires (31st, SilverWood Books, pb) British Author
James Riordan - Blood Runner (6th, Frances Lincoln Children's Books, pb) British Author
Amy Kathleen Ryan - Glow (7th, Macmillan Children's Books, pb)
Lili St Crow - Reckoning (27th, Quercus Publishing Pl, pb)
Simon Scarrow - Gladiator (6th, Puffin, pb) British Author
Marcus Sedgwick - Diamonds & Doom (6th, Orion Childrens, HB) British Author
Marcus Sedgwick - Vampires & Volts (6th, Orion Childrens, pb) British Author
Marcus Sedgwick - Midwinterblood (6th, Indigo, HB) British Author
Jessica Shirvington - Embrace (6th, Orchard, pb)
Maggie Stiefvater - The Scorpio Races (19th, Scholastic, pb)
Helen Stringer - The Midnight Gate (7th, Macmillan Children's Books, pb) British Author
Rachel Vincent - My Soul to Steal (21st, MIRA Ink, pb)
L A Weatherly - Angel Fire (1st, Usborne Publishing Ltd, pb)
Isla Whitcroft - The Cate Carlisle Files: Deep Water (1st, Piccadilly, pb) British Author