Thursday, December 31, 2009

Published in January (UK)

Here are some of the titles that are published in the UK in January. Most are for the first time, but a couple are the paperback editions of an earlier hardback release. I will put a link to this post and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. Title links go to Feel free to let me know of others to add to the list. Most of this information is culled from many back-issues of The Bookseller.

Laurie Halse Anderson - Chains (4th, Bloomsbury, pb)
R J Anderson - Rebel (7th, Orchard, pb)
Tim Bowler - Blade: Mixing It (7th, OUP, pb)
Linda Buckley-Archer - Timequake (7th, Simon & Schuster Children's, pb)
Jen Calonita - Secrets of my Hollywood Life (7th, Poppy; Reprint edition, pb)
Anne Cassidy - Guilt Trip (4th, Scholastic, pb)
P C Cast (ed) - Immortal: Love Stories with Bite (7th, Ben Bella, pb)
Lucy Christopher - Flyaway (4th, Chicken House, pb)
Rosemary Clement-Moore - The Splendour Falls (28th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Keren David - When I Was Joe (7th, Frances Lincoln Children's Books, pb) UK Debut
John Dickinson - WE (7th, David Fickling Books, pb)
Paul Dowswell - Auslander (4th, Bloomsbury, pb) review
Anna Godbersen - Luxe: Splendour (7th, Puffin, pb)
Michael Grant - Hunger (4th, Egmont, HB)
Michelle Harrison - The 13 Curses (7th, Simon & Schuster Children's, pb)
Alyxandra Harvey - My Love Lies Bleeding (4th, Bloomsbury, pb)
Ben Horton - Monster Republic (1st, Corgi Childrens, pb) UK Debut
J A Jarman - Inside (7th, Andersen Press Ltd, pb)
Tony Johnston - Bone by Bone by Bone (14th, Frances Lincoln Children's Books, pb)
Andrew Klavan - Homelander: The Long Way Home (7th, Headline, pb)
Suzanne LaFleur - Love, Aubrey (7th, Puffin, pb)
Saci Lloyd - The Carbon Diaries 2017 (7th, Hodder Children's Books, pb) review
Gabrielle Lord - Conspiracy 365: January (7th, Hodder Children's Books, pb) review
Sophie McKenzie - The Medusa Project: The Hostage (7th, Simon & Schuster Children's, pb)
Keith Mansfield - Johnny Mackintosh: Star Blaze (7th, Quercus, pb)
Jen Nadol - The Mark (1st, Bloomsbury, HB)
Sally Nichols - Season of Secrets (4th, Marion Lloyd Books, pb)
Sam Osman - QuickSilver (4th, Marion Lloyd Books, pb) UK Debut
Carmen Reid - Secrets at St Jude's: Drama Girl (28th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Ellen Renner - Castle of Shadows (7th, Orchard, pb) UK Debut
L J Smith - Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive (1) (7th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell - The Immortals (28th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Laura Summers - Desperate Measures (1st, Picadilly, pb) UK Debut
Pat Walsh - The Crowfield Curse (4th, Chicken House, pb) UK Debut
Marcus Zusak - Fighting Ruben Wolfe (28th, Definitions, pb)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Free e-book of Wake

Thanks to The Story Siren's tweet I discovered that the e-book of Lisa McMann's Wake can be downloaded from the Simon & Schuster website. The e-book will be valid for 30 days only and must be downloaded by 31 December.

Sign up here.

There are various other pdfs that can be downloaded here including a short story by Lisa McMann from Cabel's viewpoint (must be downloaded today!).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Library Loot (28)

These three are from the library. No purchases or review copies this time.

Latest Doctor Who Magazine....

Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne
I see him and know what this turmoil inside of me means: He's the one. My forever.

kayla is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying—and thrilling—gene that will change her life forever.

lucas is dangerous, gorgeous . . . and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way.

As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

Wake by Lisa McMann
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams at any given moment is getting tired. Especially the falling dreams, and the standing-in-front-of-the-class-naked ones. But then there are the nightmares, the ones that chill her to the the one where she is in a strange a dirty kitchen...and a sinister monster that edges ever closer. This is the nightmare that she keeps falling into, the one where, for the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Trailer Thursday - Hunger

I enjoyed Michael Grant's Gone and eagerly await the sequel, Hunger, which is published in the UK on 4 January 2010.

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

Watch the trailer below:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - Dark Life

I have fond memories of reading Willard Price's Adventure series when I was growing up and in particular Diving Adventure in which the two boys (young men?) stay in an underwater city so Kat Fall's Dark Life which is published by Simon & Schuster Children's next April has great appeal:

Ty has lived under the ocean for his entire life. Following global warming and the rise of the seas, his family joined an underwater community in hopes of living in the new frontier of the ocean floor. But When Ty meets Gemma, a girl from "topside", who is searching the seas for her brother, she quickly makes his life very complicated. Together Ty and Gemma face dangerous sea creatures and venture into the frontier town's rough underworld as they search for her missing brother. But the deeper they dig, the more attention they attract, and soon Ty and Gemma find themselves being hunted by a gang of outlaws who roam the underwater territories causing havoc, and who seem to have eerie abilities. But Ty has a secret of his own, living underwater for his entire life has meant he has also developed a "special" power. Can he keep it a secret from Gemma and his family or is it time for him to finally tell everyone the truth?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Read Wondrous Strange - online & free

News come via twitter that you can now read Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange online at the HarperTeen site.


Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.

Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.

Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (audio)

The Graveyard Book written and performed by Neil Gaiman (October 2008, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC ISBN: 0747599769)

First Line:
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.

Notes: The Graveyard Book has won several awards including The Newbery Medal 2009 and the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009. In addition Neil Gaiman was awarded the "Audiobook of the Year" Audie Award for his narration of The Graveyard Book.

Review: The story begins with the "man Jack" entering a house and killing all its occupants except for the toddler whom he misses as the toddler is a curious boy who has wandered off through the open front door and up to the old graveyard on the hill. Fortunately for the boy, the ghosts that live in the graveyard take him in and protect him from the man Jack. Unable to settle on a name, the boy, who is to be looked after by Mr and Mrs Owens, becomes Nobody Owens aka Bod.

Bod grows up in the graveyard with his new family and friends and a mysterious guardian, Silas, who tells him it's not safe for him to leave the graveyard as they cannot protect him in the wide world. The story of Bod growing up is told in a series of episodes which occur every two years until danger reappears in his life and Bod's destiny is revealed.

I absolutely adored The Graveyard Book. I didn't want it to end and saved the last few minutes until I was ready to let it go. It's a charming story, dotted with humour and lovable characters. It's a mix of the fantastical and the mundane. Bod deals with ghosts and ghouls but also with bullies at school. I'm sure I would have had much enjoyment reading the book but I think the pleasure was doubled by having the author read it and read it so well with such a variety of accents; plus you get the pacing and emphasis that the author wanted you to have.

You can listen to an extract on the The Independent's website - in their feature on the 20 best audiobooks.

Cover: The audiobook and paperback editions have the same beautiful cover showing Silas and Bod in the graveyard.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Library Loot (27) & Review copy

Not much this week, one library book and one review copy which came with chocolates! You can see the snow on the roof in the background...


Rachel Ward - Numbers
Since her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else's, a number pops into her head - the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together.
(It appears there's a sequel out in June.)


Celine Kiernan - The Poison Throne (April 2010 (UK))
This is this year's most exciting crossover title. A Friend. A Father. A Kingdom. Which one would you sacrifice? This compelling trilogy of court intrigue, adventure and romance is a winning combination of imagination, powerful storytelling and magnificent characters. Fifteen-year-old Wynter Moorehawke returns home after a five-year sojourn in the bleak Northlands. All has changed in her absence. Wynter is forced to make a terrible choice: stay and bow to the King's will, or abandon her ailing father and join her friend Razi and the mysterious Christopher Garron in their efforts to restore the fragile kingdom to its former stability. But this changed kingdom is a dangerous place, where all resistance is brutally suppressed and the trio constantly risk assassination, torture or imprisonment. Atmospheric and intriguing, it evokes an enchanting and convincing other world - love, treachery, jealousy, tenderness, war, wisdom and court life are all vividly depicted. Set in a fantastical medieval Europe, "The Poison Throne" is a gothic tale of intrigue, adventure and romance which draws the reader in from the very first sentence and doesn't loosen its grip until the last.

(Synopses taken from

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Seasonal Reads

As the weather has turned cold and snowy I thought I'd have a look for some appropriate books for the season:

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

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

The weather outside is frightful, but these stories are delightful! When a huge blizzard (that doesn't show signs of stopping) hits, Gracetown is completely snowed in. But even though it's cold outside, things are heating up inside, proving that the holiday season is magical when it comes to love.

In three wonderfully (and hilariously!) interconnected tales, YA stars John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson create a must-have collection that captures all the spirit of the holiday season.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Handy Checklist of Supernatural Authors(?)

Today's BookBrunch's children's column makes reference to some of the authors who write supernatural themed books. I don't recognise all the names so that gives me something to research:

LJ Smith
Richelle Mead
Rachel Caine
Sophie Collins
Ellen Schreiber
PC Cast
Lili St Crow
Alexandra Harvey
Alyson Noël
Lauren Kate
Becca Fitzpatrick
Mari Mancusi
Nancy A Collins
Melissa de la Cruz
Kimberly Pauley
Rachel Hawthorne
Maggie Stiefvater
Gabriella Poole
Eden Maguire
Cynthia Leititch Smith
Holly Black
Amanda Marrone
Claudia Gray
Elizabeth Chandler

Publishing Deal - Phil Earle

From today's Bookseller:

Puffin has acquired a début young adult (YA) title by Simon & Schuster children's sales director Phil Earle.

Puffin will publish Earle's YA title, Being Billy, in early 2011 under Fiction Puffin Loves, an initiative that focuses on strong new talent.

Earle said he was inspired to try his hand at writing after reading books such as Skellig (David Almond), Holes (Louis Sachar) and You Don't Know Me (David Klass) while working as a bookseller for Ottakar's. "I was never into reading as a child but when I started reading these YA titles as a bookseller, they really fired my imagination," he said.

Being Billy, about a 14-year-old boy who has been in care since he was six, draws on Earle's experiences as a care worker in a local authority home, his first job after leaving university. He said: "I became very interested in how children in difficult situations confront the challenges and manage to overcome them."

Earle is writing a sequel to Being Billy and plans to write for children of other ages.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Trailer Thursday - 13 to Life

13 to Life by Shannon Delany is getting some buzz over on twitter and will be out in the US on 22 June 2010.

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

Watch the trailer below:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - Split

Split by Stefan Petrucha will be published in the US in March 2010 (by Walker Books for Young Readers) and in April 2010 in the UK (by Bloomsbury Children's Books).

Wade Jackson has always felt split, his love for playing and writing music competing with his ambition to do well in school. But when his mother dies, this need for order competes with his desire to leave it all behind. What follows is a split in his consciousness that takes him to two very different worlds.

Told in alternating chapters that together form one cohesive story, Split follows both Wades as they pursue what they think is the correct path. One Wade continues working hard in school, pulling all-nighters to write a computer code he believes will save the world. The other Wade pursues the dream of being a dive-bar singer, pulling all-nighters to party, gamble, and live on the edge. But when these two worlds begin to collide, each Wade will need to find a balance between control and abandon, order and chaos, life missed and life lost, in order to save himself.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Red Necklace to be filmed?

Book2Book announces that the film/tv rights of Sally Gardner's The Red Necklace have been bought by Dominic West:

The actor and director Dominic West and his production company White Soup have announced the acquisition of the film and television rights to THE RED NECKLACE by Sally Gardner.

Dominic West is celebrated for his portrayal of 'Jimmy McNulty' in THE WIRE, on which he was also a director in its award winning final season. The deal secures first options over the further books in the series, including THE SILVER BLADE, first published in the UK by Orion Children's Books. Development will take place in the UK.

Dominic West said: "I am delighted to be developing Sally's wonderful book for film. My daughter and all her friends who raved about Harry Potter, now rave about "The Red Necklace". The book has a great spirit of adventure, which I believe will translate to make this a hugely popular family film."

THE RED NECKLACE and THE SILVER BLADE are both currently available, and will be reissued with a striking new cover design in Spring 2010.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Review: Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber

Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber (September 2009, Puffin, ISBN: 0142411175)

First Line:
He's coming.

Review: Sixteen-year-old Aphra Benn Connolly lives with her dad on an unnamed tropical island where they run an exclusive get-away retreat. Aphra's life is very different to that of girls her own age with no mall, tv and no real friends. She doesn't get to know guests - as they leave or let you down. Her life is disrupted by the mysterious arrival of a family - two adults and a boy. When the man whispers in Aphra's dad's ear his attitude changes towards them and so does his behaviour with Aphra. He orders her to have nothing to do with them, and then a body is found. Is there a connection between the two events? Aphra refuses to obey her father and her defences are breached by the new arrival, Seth. When a nasty storm cuts off the island, Aphra decides to save not only her family from danger but the mysterious newcomers as well, and a tense cat and mouse game is played out before all is revealed.

This is one of the shorter YA books I've read at just 225 pages and there's plenty of action, perhaps at the expense of character development for anyone but Aphra. Her unusual lifestyle and intriguing family arrangement becomes more explicable through the book and though already a capable individual she becomes more assertive and willing to take chances by the end. Seth is rather adorable and their romance is really sweet. There is one scene where Aphra and Seth have to use near lethal force on an attacker to defend themselves which made me a bit uncomfortable. That aside, Death by Bikini is a clean, exciting mystery and it should have lots of appeal to its target audience. Being a coffee addict I look forward to reading the next in the series, Death by Latte.

Cover: Nice cheerful cover, with a cut out bikini outfit.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

TSS: The week in summary (19)

The Sunday

This week I've finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (audio book) and for Euro Crime: Close Quarters by Eugenio Fuentes. Ongoing is Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink and I still have to choose new audio and crime books!

Activity on the blog in the last week:

Monday - review of The Mediator (3): Mean Spirits by Meg Cabot (audio book); plus publishing deal news for Tricia Rayburn.

Wednesday - 'Waiting on Wednesday' post for I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison.

Thursday - trailer for Dream Life by Lauren Mechling; plus news about a (mega) publishing deal for Ally Condie.

Friday - more new publishing deals.

Saturday - my newly acquired library loot and review copies.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Library Loot (26) & Review copies (e & p)

Last week I mentioned that I had the audio version of The Graveyard Book (written and performed by Neil Gaiman) (and I was chuffed that my haul last week got so many lovely comments). So this week I've checked out the print versions - plural - each edition, teenage and adult has a different illustrator (Chris Riddell and Dave McKean respectively) so I can have a look at the illustrations.

Here's an example of the different styles, taken from the first chapter, drawings of the "man Jack" (click on the photo for a better look):

Review (print)

The Truth About Leo - David Yelland (April UK)
No blurb available but, taken from an article in The Guardian: "The Truth About Leo tells the story of 10-year-old Leo, who tries to hide the fact that his father is an alcoholic from the world."


this world we live in - Susan Beth Pfeffer (April US, May UK) obtained from Net Galley

It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth's climate. For Miranda Evans life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.

The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda's father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda's complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Yet more publishing deals...

From Publishers Lunch:

Lia Habel's DEARLY, DEPARTED, a maximalist, post-apocalyptic, neo-Victorian steampunk zombie novel in which a girl, whose blood is impervious to the "Z-virus," searches for her missing dad, is kidnapped by (good) zombies, falls improbably in love with a rather sweet zombie boy, and sets out to save the world from a zombie plague beyond imagining, to Ballantine.

R.L. Stine, ed.'s FEAR: 13 Stories of Mystery and Suspense, including original stories by Meg Cabot, James Rollins and Heather Graham, among others; a minimum of 50 percent of all profits from ITW will be donated to Reading Is Fundamental, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing and motivating children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most, to Dutton Children's.

and from Publishers Weekly:

Feiwel and Friends preempted North American rights in a six-figure deal for 17-year-old Alexandra Adornetto's YA angel trilogy. In the three books, called Halo, Hades, and Heaven, angels are sent to Earth and one of them, a teenage girl, falls in love with a mortal boy. Halo will pub in fall 2010. This is the author's second trilogy; her Shadow Thief trilogy was published by HarperCollins Australia when she was 14.

In an auction for a two-book deal, Poppy/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers acquired Flynn Meaney's debut novel Bloodthirsty, a coming-of-age tale starring Finbar Frame, a skinny, moody, super-pale teenage guy who decides to become a vampire. Or at least fake it… to get a date.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Publishing Deal - Ally Condie

Publishers Weekly has news of a publishing deal for Ally Condie (the full article mentions the Meyer and Twilight words):

Last week the Penguin Young Readers Group imprint laid down a seven-figure advance for three books from debut* novelist Ally Condie, in a heated auction featuring seven other houses.

Her first book, Matched, is a dystopian novel that Dutton [Children’s Books] likens to Brave New World and The Handmaid’s Tale. In the novel, a 17-year-old girl, who has waited her entire life to be told by a group known as “the Society” who her soul mate is, has her world upended when she discovers she’s in love with someone other than the group’s pick.

*NB. Ally Condie has published several books already but this may be her debut for Penguin.

Trailer Thursday - Dream Life

Dream Life (sequel to Dream Girl) by Lauren Mechling will be out in the US on 12 January 2010.

Claire Voyante's first semester at Henry Hudson High School was eventful, to say the least. As she heads into her second semester, things are calming down a bit. But Claire has a few secrets that are getting harder to keep. Her biggest secret of all? The onyx and ivory cameo necklace her grandmother gave her for her 15th birthday. Ever since she started wearing it, her dreams have been coming to her in black and white and turning out to be oddly prophetic.

Becca's been hanging out with her old prep school friends and never seems to have time for Claire anymore. And soon, Claire discovers why - there's a secret group of society girls with a mysterious identity. And, turns out, a mysterious enemy who's out to get them. The second she sniffs out trouble, Claire jumps on the case. But is it someone close to Claire who's in danger again - or could it be Claire herself whose life is at stake?

Watch the trailer below:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison will be published in the UK in March 2010 from Macmillan Children's Books.

When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip and romance that Jane inhabits. But Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship, and when Jenny falls utterly in love with the dashing Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this most eligible of men?

(Find out more in the press release which came out before I started this blog.)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Publishing Deal - Tricia Rayburn

In The Bookseller, yesterday, news of a publishing deal for Tricia Rayburn with Faber:

The series currently comprises three titles, the first of which is called Siren. The book follows the story of Vanessa, whose elder sister has just died. She investigates a string of water-related-fatalities where the victims are all found eerily grinning from ear to ear. The UK publication date for Siren is yet to be confirmed.

Review: The Mediator (3): Mean Spirits by Meg Cabot

The Mediator (3): Mean Spirits by Meg Cabot and narrated by Johanna Parker (April 2008, Whole Story Audio Books, ISBN: 9781407480190)

First Line:
"Now this," Gina said, "is the life".

Notes: Mean Spirits is the third in the six-book Mediator series and was first published in 2001 as The Mediator: Reunion by Jenny Carroll.

Review: Mean Spirits is set a few weeks after High Stakes and Suze is joined in her Carmel home by her school friend from New York, Gina, who is on her spring break. Gina's not been there long before Suze has another ghostly problem to deal with. This time a group of four teenagers from the exclusive Robert Louis Stevenson school have been killed in a car crash on the dangerous coastal road. The driver of the other car, Michael Meducci, escaped unhurt. The RLS Angels as they are dubbed in the press want revenge on Michael and it's Suze's job to protect him and send the Angels on their way to their unearthly destination. Reluctantly Suze has to go out with Michael to try and keep him safe and is ribbed mercilessly by Gina and Suze is appalled to find that Gina has attracted the attentions of both Suze's older step-brothers, Jake and Brad.

All is not what it first seems though and soon Suze's life is in danger, both from the dead and the living.

Mean Spirits is an enjoyable third entry in the series. Suze still uses her fists to try and get her way but it is proving a less successful technique in California than in New York and she has to rely on help from fellow Mediator Father Dom and her ghostly room-mate Jesse. Suze also gets some support from Gina who gets to know more about her friend's Mediator role. Suze is falling for Jesse, but a psychic has predicted that she will only have one true love and that it will last an eternity. What does that mean? How can she and Jesse ever be together? This problem is part of what keeps me glued to the series. I also like the characters, the setting is brought to life and the plots are intriguing.

As before, Johanna Parker's narration is enjoyable to listen to and her voices are consistent with those she used in the earlier books.

Cover: The cover's quite appropriate this time as there's quite a lot of beach activity.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

TSS: The week in summary (18)

The Sunday

This week I've finished Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber and the audio book of Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter by Simon Brett (euro crime) (reviews of both to follow on the respective blogs) plus Tony Curtis's Some Like it Hot: Me, Marilyn and the Movie. Ongoing are Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (audio book) and for Euro Crime I'm reading Close Quarters by Eugenio Fuentes.

Activity on the blog in the last week:

Monday - review of Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough.

Wednesday - UK publishing deal for Cassandra Clare plus 'Waiting on Wednesday' post for the UK edition of Exposed by Susan Vaught.

Thursday - trailer for Green by Laura Peyton Roberts; plus news about Hunger Games 3.

Friday - the shortlist for the 2010 William C Morris YA Debut Award.

Saturday - my newly acquired library loot and electronic review copies.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Library Loot (25) & E-review copies

I picked up a couple of audio-books this week and one book:


Auslander by Paul Dowswell (audio book)
When Peter's parents are killed, he is sent to an orphanage in Warsaw. Then German soldiers take him away to be measured and assessed. They decide that Peter is racially valuable. He is Volksdeutscher: of German blood. With his blond hair, blue eyes, and acceptably proportioned head, he looks just like the boy on the Hitler-Jugend poster. Someone important will want to adopt Peter. They do. Professor Kaltenbach is very pleased to welcome such a fine Aryan specimen to his household. People will be envious. But Peter is not quite the specimen they think. He is forming his own ideas about what he is seeing, what he is told. Peter doesn't want to be a Nazi, and so he is going to take a very dangerous risk. The most dangerous risk he could possibly choose to take in Berlin in 1942.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (audio book)
When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

Bad Faith by Gillian Philip
MURDEROUSLY SINISTER DYSTOPIAN SATIRE. Life's easy for Cassandra. The privileged daughter of a cleric, she's been protected from the extremist gangs who enfore the One Church's will. Her boyfriend Ming is a bad influence, fo course, with infadel parents who are constantly in trouble with the religious authorities. But Cass has no intention of letting their different backgrounds drive them apart. Then they stumble across a corpse. Who killed him? How did his body end up in their secret childhood haunt? And is this man's death connected to other, older murders? As the political atmosphere grows feverish, Cass realises she and Ming face extreme danger.


I've also requested several e-books to review from NetGalley:

Freefall by Ariela Anhalt (Jan. 2010)
Luke was not eager to accompany his best friend, Hayden, and the cocky new kid, Russell, up to the cliff that night. The plan was to watch Russell jump off the cliff into the lake--his initiation to the Briar Academy fencing team. But instead, after an angry confrontation with Hayden, Russell falls to his death.

Now Hayden is in jail and the pressure is on Luke to report what he saw. But what did he see? An accident--or a murder? Luke has always followed Hayden's lead, but this is one decision he'll be forced to make on his own. And to do it, he must face the truth about his friendship with Hayden and his own painful past.

This suspenseful and scandalous tale of rivalry, peer pressure, and finding the courage to take responsibility will have an impact on readers long after the last page.

Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (Oct. 09)
After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I'm always in the background . . .

But it turns out other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who's keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is done with, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway . . .

Tagged by Mara Purnhagen (Mar. 2010)
Kate Morgan is just as confused as the rest of her classmates when she arrives at Cleary High to find six life-size gorillas spray painted on the side of a building. Could the culprit be one of her friends or classmates? And is the kind-of-amazing creation really vandalism, or a work of art? She's tempted to stay out of it, mostly because, as the police chief’s daughter, she's always accused of being a snitch. But when gorillas start appearing throughout the state, her investigative instincts kick in.

Now Eli, Kate’s favorite co-worker at the local coffee shop, is MIA. With her best friend, Lan, preoccupied with her own boy troubles, Kate needs to figure out some things on her own. Like why she can’t stop thinking about Eli. And what she will do when all clues about the graffiti point to someone she knows...

Friday, December 4, 2009

The William C Morris YA Debut Award 2010 - Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2010 William C Morris YA Debut Award has been announced recently. This is the second year the award has been running and it "honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature".

The shortlist is:
Ash - Malinda Lo
Beautiful Creatures- Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The Everafter - Amy Huntley
Flash Burnout - L K Madigan
hold still - Nina LaCour

Read more about each title and the award itself here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

News: Hunger Games III

Tweets have been flying about the sequel to Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire. Publishers Weekly has the low-down:

Hunger Games fans have just eight more months to wait: the as yet untitled third and final book in Suzanne Collins’s dystopian fantasy trilogy will be released in English worldwide on August 24, 2010. An audio version from Scholastic Audio will be released simultaneously.

The title for book three will be announced early next year.

Read the whole article, here

Trailer Thursday - Green

Green by Laura Peyton Roberts will be out in the US on 12 January 2010.

Turning thirteen starts off with a bang for Lily. Literally. A birthday present explodes on her porch . . . and soon after a trio of leprechauns (yes, leprechauns) appears in her bedroom. They whisk her away to a land of clover, piskies, a new friend, a cute boy, and lots of glimmering, glittering gold. A world of Green.

It turns out that Lily, like her grandmother before her, is next in line to be keeper for the Clan of Green, and in charge of all their gold. That is, if she passes three tests. And she has to pass them. Because if she doesn’t she may never get to go home again. She’ll be stuck with the Greens.


Watch the trailer below:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - Exposed

Exposed by Susan Vaught was published in the US in 2008 but the UK edition will be out in March 2010 from Bloomsbury.

Chan Shealy is an all American girl, a baton-twirler, straight-A student. But when she looks for a boyfriend online, sure that she's following the rules and staying safe, she finds herself the victim of a paedophile whose interests are worse than she ever imagines... it is almost too late when she realizes what she must do to stop him.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Publishing Deal - Cassandra Clare

From Book2Book:

Gill Evans, Fiction Publisher and Editorial Director at Walker Books, has acquired City of Fallen Angels, the fourth book in Cassandra Clare's bestselling urban fantasy series, The Mortal Instruments.

The story follows Simon, a character from the first three Mortal Instruments novels, City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass, as he adjusts to life as a vampire. The English language edition of City of Fallen Angels will publish globally in spring 2011.

"Simon has always been one of my favourite characters to write about, and I'm excited to get the chance to tell his story while revisiting some of the other characters that I love from the Mortal Instruments series," said Cassandra Clare.

Evans has also acquired a prequel trilogy to The Mortal Instruments series, The Infernal Devices. The first title, The Infernal Devices: The Clockwork Angel, will publish globally in the English language in September 2010, and will have particular appeal to UK fans, as it will be the first of Clare's books to be set in London.