Sunday, November 28, 2010

Library Loot (75), a review copy & a purchase


Latest Doctor Who Magazine

Captivate by Carrie Jones (I so enjoyed Need I reserved #2 before I'd finished it)
Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people becomes weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town. A turf war is imminent. The new pixie king is moving in quickly. He swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Zara isn't so sure. Despite herself, she wants to trust the new king, but there's a lot more than her relationship with boyfriend Nick at stake. It's her life - and his.

The Dead by Charlie Higson (Again I loved #1 - The Enemy)
A terrible disease is striking everyone over the age of fourteen. Death walks the streets. Nowhere is safe. Maxie, Blue and the rest of the Holloway crew aren’t the only kids trying to escape the ferocious adults who prey on them. Jack and Ed are best friends, but their battle to stay alive tests their friendship to the limit as they go on the run with a mismatched group of other kids – nerds, fighters, misfits. And one adult. Greg, a butcher, who claims he’s immune to the disease. They must work together if they want to make it in this terrifying new world. But as a fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London, they realize they won’t all survive.

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
For 500 years Lenah Beaudonte has been a vampire. 500 years of seduction, blood and destruction. But she is sickened by her dark powers – and longs to feel the sun on her skin, grass under her bare feet, and share the breath of a human kiss. She wants to be mortal again. But is she really capable of being human, after her long years of darkness? Waking up as a sixteen-year-old girl brings Lenah many things – the life she has missed, taste, touch, love. But a vampire soul is not easily shed. And her coven – the four vampires she led in decadence and thrilling destruction – want their queen back . . .


Box set of the Immortals series by Alyson Noel


Small Blue Thing by S C Ransom (Nosy Crow, 13 Jan)
When 17 year-old Alex rescues a swan caught on a wire stuck deep in the Thames mud, she finds an extraordinary bracelet. Through its disturbing and compelling powers, she meets Callum, a soul locked in a half-life of sadness and mystery following a terrible accident, and his persuasive and sinister sister, Catherine. As Alex and Callum grow closer despite the enormous obstacles to their love, the dangers mount until Alex must risk everything to save her best friend and Callum must risk everything to save Alex.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Need by Carrie Jones (February 2010, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC , ISBN: 1408807408)

First Line:
Everybody has fears, right?.

Review: Need is the first in the series (the third book, Entice, is due out January 2011) and introduces seventeen-year-old Zara White. Zara has been living in Charleston but the death of her step-father sends her into a depression her mum cannot help her with and so Zara is sent back to her step-grandmother's home in a small town in Maine. Her mum hopes the change will help her.

Zara starts school there and soon meets a couple of hot boys (Nick and Ian), makes an enemy of the top female athlete/cheerleader and is befriended by a bouncy girl caused Issie and her temporarily wheelchair-bound best friend Devyn.

But Zara is being stalked. She realises that, when a man she saw in Charleston is now in Maine and he is watching her, pointing his finger at her. And boys are going missing. It's not safe to go out at night and her grandmother is very protective. Her friends think they know what's going on but what they ask Zara to believe is only the first in a series of impossible facts she has to swallow. With her life in danger, no-one is who, or what, they seem...

I really enjoyed Need and I'm so glad that the long wait I've had whilst the library bought more copies has been worth it. I really liked Zara's voice and her dry sense of humour. She's stubborn and foolhardy but also wants to do what's right, both for people she doesn't know - she writes letters for Amnesty International - and those who've become close to her. The events in Need show her what she herself is capable of but not necessarily always in a good way. Initially she seemed quite slow to pick up what was going on around her but her brain power increases as the book goes on, as does her fear, and she devises the plot to save the day.

And Nick, he is a hero in the "I'll never let anything bad happen to you" mould and though he doesn't always deliver, he is rather adorable. The romance that develops in the book is one of those that matures quite quickly and intensely and is a bit lovey-dovey at times but didn't irritate me as some other ones have. I don't want to say much about the paranormal/supernatural element though the website address on the back of the book is a bit of a giveaway - I'll just say it's not about vampires!

Need is absorbing and at times, a very tense read with some violence directed at the lead characters. It's set in a well-realised world which I'm eagerly awaiting a return trip to with Captivate.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Publishing Deal - Tonya Hurley

News of a new YA series from Tonya Hurley, in today's Bookseller:

Hodder Children's Books has acquired paranormal romance sequence The Blessed by Tonya Hurley. Emily Thomas, publisher of YA fiction bought UK and Commonwealth rights in a three-book deal.

The Blessed is billed as a "re-imagined redemption remix", following three teenage girls in Brooklyn and drawing on the martyrdom legends of St Lucy, St Cecelia and St Agnes. Thomas said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have acquired this exciting new trilogy—a truly innovative and inspired take on the paranormal genre—from the brilliant, creative and clever Tonya Hurley."

Author Hurley has also written the Ghost Girl sequence which was a New York Times bestseller, and The Blessed will be published simultaneously with Simon & Schuster US in spring 2012.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Publishing Deals - Julianna Baggott & Marissa Meyer

From today's Publishers Lunch Weekly email:

Julianna Baggott's PURE trilogy, a YA/adult crossover dystopian novel about a society of haves, who escaped an apocalypse in a futuristic dome-covered city, and have-nots, who survived the nearly destroyed outside world, to Grand Central, in a three-book deal.


Debut author Marissa Meyer's four-book YA futuristic, fairy-tale inspired series, starting with CINDER, Cinderella is re-envisioned through teen heroine Cinder, part girl and part machine, who must piece together her mysterious past before she can fulfil her destiny and save the kingdom -- and the rest of planet Earth -- from an otherworldly enemy; as Cinder's quest continues through the series, she finds allies loosely based Little Red Riding Hood (SCARLET), Rapunzel (CRESS), and Snow White (WINTER) -- as they join forces to conquer evil and find their happily-ever-afters, to Feiwel and Friends.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Publishing Deal - Sophie Crockett

News of a publishing deal in today's Bookseller:

Macmillan's Children's Books has won rights to After the Snow by Sophie Crockett.

After the Snow tells the story of 15-year-old Willo as he tries to survive, alone, in an endlessly wintery environment.

Crockett said: "The winter of 2009 was extremely hard. I asked myself: what would happen if winter never ended?".

Macmillan is to publish in hardback in the first half of 2012, with the US to publish simultaneously.

Read the whole article here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Top 50 SF novels for kids/YA?

I get sent quite a few of these lists for my crime blog and they never seem that relevant, however this one does seem quite useful. It's a list of 50 Science Fiction novels suitable for kids/young adults. Here's the first (top?) 10. The whole list can be found at Best Universities.

1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle: This whip-smart novel introduced many children to the concepts behind tesseracts, time travel and many other real scientific concepts applied to a purely speculative setting.

2. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell: Perfect for high school students curious about the tenets of dystopian literature, with more emphasis on philosophy than technology.

3. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury: Several interlocking stories spanning a wide time frame question what life might be like if human colonized Mars.

4. The Ender’s Game Series by Orson Scott Card: The brilliant eponymous character must lead humanity into battle against alien assaults in this multiple award-winning classic sci-fi series.

5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams: More appropriate for high school readers, the incomparable Hitchhiker’s Guide books soar through the universe with some truly unique characters and gut-busting humor.

6. The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov: Like Ray Bradbury, pretty much all of Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi writings would appeal to young adults (kids probably not so much), but the Foundation novels remain some of his most influential.

7. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson: Teenage girls who enjoy strong female protagonists, dystopias and the tenets of cyberpunk seriously need to pick up one of the most essential Neal Stephenson novels.

8. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark: Yet another writer whose entire oeuvre probably deserves inclusion here, the story of mysterious monoliths, the eerie HAL 9000 and the humans they impact for good or for ill.

9. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells: The Time Machine and The Island of Dr. Moreau could easily work on this list as well, but H.G. Wells’ infamous tale of an alien invasion is probably one of his most recognized and adapted works — making it a nice place to start when diving into his works.

10. The Giver by Lois Lowry: A classic dystopian novel, The Giver is an excellent read for kids who feel a bit out of step with their surroundings.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Library Loot (74), a review copy & a purchase


Kisses from Hell - Anthology
Truly, madly, deadly…

Kristin Cast and Alyson Noel head up this collection of 5 thrilling paranormal stories

This irresistible collection features stories of love amidst vampires by five of today's hottest authors-Kristin Cast (Tempted), Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy), Alyson Nöel (Evermore), Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning), and Francesca Lia Block (Pretty Dead).

From a fugitive vampire forced to trust a boy who might work for the group bent on destroying her, to the legendary romance of two immortals whose love compels them to risk everything, this exciting, heart-pounding collection brings new meaning to the words "love you forever." Whether you're into romances that are dark and moody or light and fun, these stories will quench that insatiable thirst for enchanting tales of the beautiful undead.

by Michael Grant
It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most - Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness - or so they thought. As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.

Beautiful Darkness by Garcia & Stohl
One night in the rain, Ethan Wate opened his eyes and fell in love with Lena Duchannes. His life would never be the same. Lena is a Caster and her family is locked in a supernatural civil war: full of darkness and demons. On her sixteenth birthday Lena made a terrifying choice, which now haunts her day and night. And as her seventeenth birthday approaches Lena and Ethan face even greater danger. A Caster and a Mortal can never truly be together. Every kiss is a curse. Ethan’s next heartbeat could be his last. It is their curse now . . .

Dark Heart Forever by Lee Monroe
Jane Jonas is nearing her 16th birthday and troubled by unsettling recurring dreams where the same mysterious boy her age comes to her, telling Jane that they are each other's destiny. Her mother is increasingly anxious about Jane’s disruptive sleepwalking episodes, but for Jane her dream world and reality are about to collide ...

When she develops a friendship with an enigmatic stranger in town, the blond, uber-cool Evan, it’s exciting, it’s new, and Jane wants him more than she’s ever wanted anybody - until her mystery dream boy gets in the way.

Now Jane is caught between two worlds: one familiar, but tinged with romance and excitement; the other dark and dangerous, where angels, werewolves, and an irresistible stranger are trying to seduce her ...


Gemini Night by Bonnie Hearn Hill
The third in the teen romance "Star Crossed" series, "Gemini Night" follows our heroine Logan McRae who uses astrology to problem solve in her life. Logan returns to Terra Bella Beach High for her junior year and has landed a job as an intern for "Crush", a San Francisco-based teen magazine. Logan tries to handle the responsibility of the internship, her parent's divorce, and her new boyfriend Jeremy's travel abroad in Ireland, all whilst trying to solve an astrological mystery - the fate of a Gemini is star-crossed at the end of October! Will she find out who is in danger before the Crush Halloween costume party? Can she prove to the publisher at "Crush" that she deserves her own astrology column? And will her relationship with Jeremy survive their time apart?


My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher (1 Mar 11, Orion Childrens) (not pictured)
Ten-year-old Jamie Matthews has just moved to the Lake District with his Dad and his teenage sister, Jasmine for a 'Fresh New Start'. Five years ago his sister's twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb. His parents are wrecked by their grief, Jasmine turns to piercing, pink hair and stops eating. The family falls apart. But Jamie hasn't cried in all that time. To him Rose is just a distant memory. Jamie is far more interested in his cat, Roger, his birthday Spiderman T-shirt, and in keeping his new friend Sunya a secret from his dad. And in his deep longing and unshakeable belief that his Mum will come back to the family she walked out on months ago. When he sees a TV advert for a talent show, he feels certain that this will change everything and bring them all back together once and for all.

Friday, November 19, 2010

YA Discussion on Open Book

Sunday's Open Book (Radio4, 4pm) sounds great:

Mariella Frostrup presents a special edition exploring the recent boom in fiction for young adults. She speaks to young adult authors Marcus Sedgwick, Malorie Blackman and Gemma Malley, to help find out what distinguishes teen novels today and what challenges and possibilities they present for the writer.

It's repeated on Thursday at 4pm, will be available to listen again and should also be available as a podcast.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trailer Thursday - Elixir

Elixir by Hilary Duff was published on 16 October, by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (UK).

Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC politician, Clea has grown to be a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world. But following Clea's father's disappearance while on a humanitarian mission, Clea's photos begin to feature eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful man - a man she has never seen before. When fate brings Clea and this man together, she is stunned by the immediate and powerful connection she feels with him. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father's disappearance, and begin to discover the centuries old truth behind their intense bond. Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fates, together the pair find themselves in a race against time to unravel their pasts in order to save their futures...

Watch the trailer below:

Review: Angel by L A Weatherly

Angel by L A Weatherly (October 2010, Hodder Children's Books, ISBN: 1409521966)

First Line:
"Is that your car?" asked the girl at the 7-Eleven check-out counter.

Review: Angel is the first part in a trilogy and in itself is a bit of a doorstop of a book at 500 pages but nonetheless I flew through it.

We are introduced first to Alex, one of the few people who knows that the Angels appearing to people are actually harmful to their health. The Angels have fled their dying world/dimension and are just the first wave to see how hospitable Earth is to them. Very is the answer, so much so that a new batch is on its way soon. Alex is an Angel Killer and the only way to kill Angels is to shoot their halo ie their heart.

Willow is not an ordinary school-girl, she's psychic and everyone thinks she's weird. When she does a reading for the star pupil, Beth, at school, she too discovers that there are Angels and they are not friendly, and tries to stop Beth from abandoning her studies and enrolling at the new religious phenomenon: the Church of Angels.

Next thing Alex knows is that he gets a message telling him to kill another Angel but when he gets there he discovers Willow. Unable to kill her, he follows her to the Church of Angels where she seeks Beth but the Angels realise that Willow is 'the one' and that she could stop them all. The Angels set their followers on to Willow and Alex steps in to save her life, and they are forced to go on the run. The book then concentrates on their developing relationship, their earlier lives and of course how they stay alive until Willow's given the chance to fulfil her destiny. Can she stop the second wave of Angels invading and destroying human civilisation as we know it?

The things I liked about Angel are many; I like the main characters, both are strong and resourceful and are equals. I particularly like the world built by Weatherly - how Angels are not from 'heaven' but have more of a science-fiction provenance. The Church of Angels set-up was interesting; I enjoyed reading the bits set there just as much as following Willow and Alex. Though the story isn't action all the way, the quiet moments are filled with back-history: we get to know about what happened to Alex's family and how Willow and her mum ended up living with her aunt.

I did have a couple of niggles: one, was that, like most disaster movies, it was very US-centric - the Angels seem to be restricted to North America as there was no mention of other countries being affected. Doctor Who is very London-centric but we do at least get tv screens showing the news from around the globe when the world is about to end. I would have liked to have a more global aspect to the danger. The other niggle is that the romance that develops, seemed to me to go from zero to 'I want to die with you', in a very short period of time and some of the romantic dialogue was a bit painful to read for this old cynic, but I hope it will be easier on the eye for the younger, target audience.

Those points aside, Angel is an intriguing read, very much a page-tuner, which offers something different. It should have massive appeal to fans of Twilight and the ilk and I'm looking forward to reading the next two parts. The dates to look out for are:

Angel Fire (1 June 2011)
Angel Fever (1 October 2011)

Withering Tights wins Roald Dahl Funny Prize

Louise Rennison's Withering Tights has won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in the category: The Funniest Book for Children Aged Seven to Fourteen. Here is the full shortlist:

The Clumsies Make a Mess by Sorrel Anderson, illustrated by Nicola Slater
Einstein's Underpants and How They Saved the World by Anthony McGowan
The Incredible Luck of Alfie Pluck by Jamie Rix, illustrated by Craig Shuttlewood
Mr Stink by David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake
The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson
Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Read more about the Prize and the books at the Booktrust website.

My review of Withering Tights is here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Publishing Deal - Sarra Manning

Sarra Manning is joining the already exciting list published by the lovely team at ATOM; from today's Bookseller:

Atom editorial director Sam Smith acquired world rights in the two-book deal from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown.

The first title, Adorkable, will be published in spring 2012. According to the publisher, Adorkable, meaning “dorky yet strangely adorable” is a “witty, wry look at a how one girl can have half a million followers on Twitter and still feel lonely”.

Smith said:"Sarra Manning is a genius at capturing those amazing, awkward teen years in a wonderfully relatable, authentic way . . . Adorkable is absolutely one of those stand-out books that's doesn't only speak to teen girls but to the inner dork in all of us!"

Waiting on Wednesday - Small Blue Thing

Small Blue Thing by S C Ransom is the first part of a trilogy and is published by Nosy Crow on 13 January.

Celebrating the end of exams with best friend Grace, 17 year-old Alex rescues a swan caught on a wire in the Thames mud and finds an extraordinary bracelet. Through its disturbing and compelling powers, she finds Callum, a soul locked in a half-life of sadness and mystery following a terrible accident, and his persuasive and sinister sister, Catherine. As Alex and Callum grow closer despite the enormous obstacles to their love, the dangers mount until Alex must risk everything to save Grace and Callum must risk everything to save Alex.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Costa Children's Book Award Shortlist

The Costa Award shortlists have been announced this evening and the nominees in the Children's Book Award are:

* Flyaway by Lucy Christopher
* Annexed by Sharon Dogar
* Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud
* Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace

The winner will be announced in January. Read more about each title via the Costa Awards website.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Children's Reading Group - Book 1 (Sherlock Holmes theme)

My place of work (library) has recently set up a reading group for children. So far we have 10 girls aged 9-12. At the first meeting they all took a copy of The Case of the Captive Clairvoyant by Anthony Read. This is the second in the "Baker Street Boys" series.

I've read it and I was pleased to read that there are 3 girls in the Baker Street Boys. The "Boys"are a gang of urchins who live in a secret cellar in Baker Street and offer their aid to the great Sherlock Holmes.

In this adventure the gang help out Mary, the step-daughter of American, Mystic Marvin who is doing a mind-reading show at the theatre, where one of the Boys - Sparrow - works. She asks to be rescued from him. There is a murder and another kidnap before the case is solved and Mary's life improves enormously.

The Case of the Captive Clairvoyant was easy to get into, the pace kept up and the behind the scenes look at a Victorian theatre show was very interesting. Blame my advancing years but I couldn't quite keep the many (7) "Baker Street Boys" straight in my head, but it didn't matter. I felt the focus was on action rather than characters. The cover aims the series at boys but girls should find them just as appealing I think.

Now what did the children think?
Well they enjoyed it as well too. And unlike me could name every "Boy" and they could also answer all the quiz questions I'd set them. They found the book a bit scary in parts and the murder was a surprise but didn't upset them. There was some discussion over the cover as to who was chasing whom and what did 'clairvoyant' mean. This was a book they wouldn't normally have chosen and some will try others in the series. So I feel this one was a hit.

I gave them them the following list of Sherlock Holmes themed series which are available in the UK, if they want to read more:

Peter Abrahams
Ingrid Levin-Hill, Echo Falls (she is a big Sherlock Holmes fan)

1. Down the Rabbit Hole
2. Behind the Curtain
3. Into the Dark

Andrew Lane
Young Sherlock Holmes
1. The Death Cloud
2. Red Leech

Tim Pigott-Smith
The Baker Street Mysteries
1. The Dragon Tattoo
2. The Rose of Africa
3. The Shadow of Evil

Anthony Read
Baker Street Boys
1. The Case of the Disappearing Detective
2. The Case of the Captive Clairvoyant
3. The Case of the Ranjipur Ruby
4. The Case of the Limehouse Laundry
5. The Case of the Stolen Sparklers
6. The Case of the Haunted Horrors
I'd love to have been able to give the group Nancy Springer's series about Holmes little sister, Enola which is currently 6 books strong but is not published in the UK:

1. The Case of the Missing Marquess (2006)
2. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady (2007)
3. The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets (2008)
4. The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (2008)
5. The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (2009)
6. The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye (2010)

Next time: Ghost Writer by Julia Jarman

The Immortals Box Set Bargain currently have an Alyson Noel The Immortals box set, comprising Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, for £8.39.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Library Loot (73) & Review copies


Need by Carrie Jones
Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect Facebook friends. It's little wonder, since she's had a fairly rough life. Her father left when she was a baby, her stepfather just died and her mother's almost given up - in fact, she's sent her to live with her grandmother in cold and sleepy Maine to 'keep Zara safe'. Zara doesn't think she's in danger; she thinks her mother just can't cope. Zara's wrong. The man she sees everywhere - the tall, creepy guy who points at her from the side of the road - is not a figment of her imagination. He's a pixie. But not the cute, sweet kind with little wings. Maine's got a whole assortment of unbelievable creatures. And they seem to need something - something from Zara...

Torment by Lauren Kate
In Torment fallen angel Daniel and his mortal love Lucinda think they are safe but evil forces are massing against them. As Luce learns more about her past, and discovers that the lives she’s already lived hold the key to her future happiness; she starts to wonder if Daniel has told her the whole truth. What if his version of events isn’t the way things happened? What if that means that she’s really meant to be with someone else?


These are from the kind people at ATOM who hosted a blogger party on Tuesday

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Dec)
She can control her pack, but not her heart ...'I wanted him to kiss me?wished he could smell the desire that I knew was pouring off me. You can't, Calla. This boy isn't the one for you.' Calla Tor has always known her destiny: graduation, marriage and then a life leading her pack. But when she defies her masters' laws to save a human boy, she must choose. Is one boy worth losing everything?

Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe (Mar 11)
Jane is found, near death, in a rosebush ? a victim of hit and run. But as she's convalescing she realizes that her friends' stories and her memories of what happened that night aren't adding up. And now the only thing she does know is that one of her friends isn't so friendly. One of them tried to kill her. Sometimes the truth is a very thorny thing...

out now:

The Fledgling Handbook by PC Cast & Kim Doner
Merry meet, fledgling. I trust this guide will serve you well...Every vampyre fledgling who arrives at the House of Night receives a copy of The Fledgling Handbook 101, and now, fans can have one, too, with this gorgeous must-have edition. Inside you'll find original stories, the complete vampyre history, inside info into rituals, vamp biology, and the Change, and much more.

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Without the Keys, something terrible will happen. Something that cannot be undone. And with them, I might bring an end to the riddle of the Prophecy and my strange part in it. If Alice and I are on conflicting sides of the Prophecy, the Keys would be dangerous in her hands. Which means I have to find them. And I have to do it before my sister. This is the story of sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe's quest to discover her role and her twin sister's in a powerful prophecy that has affected twin sisters for generations. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers - about herself, about her family, and about the danger that goes from haunting her dreams to becoming her reality.

Midnighters: Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld
Imagine falling for someone who can fly you through the air. Imagine loving someone who can see your darkest thoughts. Imagine having secrets that could destroy the things you cherish ...Midnight in Bixby hides more than one secret, and uncovering them will put Jessica and her friends in more danger than they could have imagined. The Midnighters aren't the only ones seeking truth in the darkness. And if the group allow their own secrets to come between them they risk losing one of their own - forever.

Midnighters: Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld
The secret hour is beginning to crumble and the darklings are preparing to feed for the first time in centuries. The Midnighters look to Rex for a plan, but his dark side is threatening to overpower him. Melissa can taste his animal instincts leading him into taking greater and greater risks. But as Bixby faces the darklings' hunger, will it be Rex or another Midnighter who will to make the final sacrifice to save the ones they love?

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Teen Imprint: MIRA Ink

This is great news. Announced today via The Bookseller, a new Teen imprint from MIRA which means that those lovely US Harlequin YA books will soon be available in the UK:

Mira Ink will launch in January with four new young adult series. Tim Cooper, digital and marketing director, said: “We are hugely excited about the launch of Mira Ink. We have an outstanding list from some talented authors that we think teens are going to love.”

Cooper said: “In our search for new talent and new voices we have found great talent in the teen arena.”

The launch title will be the first book in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. The series is about high school banshees, and the first title, My Soul to Take, will be published as a £6.99 paperback on 1st January.

The second title to launch is The Iron King from a fairy fantasy series, The Iron Fey, by début author Julie Kagawa. The book will be published on 21st January, also as a £6.99 paperback.

Cooper said: “We have 13 [titles] fully scheduled in the calendar, but we have a number of others working through the editorial process at the moment so it depends on how it goes. We may add more to the schedule.”

Further planned titles include books by Maria V Snyder, author of the Poison Study books, and paranormal fiction author Gena Showalter.

Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Atom Bloggers Bash

I was really excited to receive an invitation to ATOM Towers for a preview of their 2011 list, so along with another ten bloggers (see links on the ATOM Blog) we turned up last night at their amazing building on the Thames. Champagne flowed (OJ for me) and cupcakes were admired before the team gave a presentation of the 2011 delights whilst we munched said cupcakes:

Some of ATOM's current list:

The 2011 list is quite varied with lots of good stuff but being a crime fan these two titles really stood out for me:

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe (March 11)*
Jane is found, near death, in a rosebush - a victim of hit and run. But as she's convalescing she realizes that her friends' stories and her memories of what happened that night aren't adding up. And now the only thing she does know is that one of her friends isn't so friendly. One of them tried to kill her. Sometimes the truth is a very thorny thing...
*lucky for me it was in the goody bag (see below). This is ATOM's first non-paranormal title.


The Game: The Valley by Krystyna Kuhn (May 2011)
The famous Grace College, located in a remote valley in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, is an elite school for the highly gifted. But to Julia and her brother, it's a much-needed escape. But when they stumble upon a dead body their first week they'll learn they can only run so far from their past. And that the valley has secrets of its own...
This is ATOM's first translated book and there will be a book every 9 months.

Goody bag:
Random facts:

The Official Twilight Illustrated Guide is being written by Stephenie Meyer (contrary to rumours) and will be published 12 April. It will be under strict embargo.

Books 5 -8 in the Pretty Little Liars series will be published with the tv-tie-in jackets next year

The sequel to Nightshade, Wolfsbane will be out in July.

More details on this to come but ATOM want to get younger readers involved in reviewing and chatting on an ATOM forum. There will be limited numbers of free books for reading groups etc.

Many thanks to ATOM for the invite, food and books!

Read more write-ups at Floor to Ceiling Books, Thirst for Fiction, Once Upon a Bookcase, The Pewter Wolf, Sarah's Book Reviews and Words and Pieces.

Carnegie Award 2011 - Nominations

The nominations for the CILIP Carnegie Award 2011 were announced a few days ago. The shortlist will be announced on 8 April 2011 and the winner on 23 June. The 60 nominees are:

Adlington, L.J. Burning Mountain
Almond, David The Boy Who Climbed Into The Moon
Ashley, Bernard No way to Go
Augarde, Steve Xisle
Beck, Ian Pastworld
Breslin, Theresa Prisoner of the Inquisition
Brooks, Kevin I Boy
Carrington, Jim Inside My Head
Christopher, Lucy Flyaway
Corder, Zizou Halo
Craigie, Emma Chocolate Cake with Hitler
Creech, Sharon Unfinished Angel
Cross, Gillian Where I Belong
David, Keren When I Was Joe
Davies, Corinne V. Ralph is (not) a Vampire
Di Camillo, Kate The Magician's Elephant
Dickinson, John We
Duffy, Carol Ann New and Collected Poems for Children
Durrow, Heidi The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
Fisher, Catherine Crown of Acorns
Gleitzman,Morris Now
Grant, Helen The Glass Demon
Gourlay, Candy Tall Story
Haig, Matt The Radleys
Hooper, Mary Fallen Grace
Hughes, Gregory Unhooking the Moon
Jones, Diana Wynne Enchanted Glass
Kennen, Ally Sparks
Malley, Gemma The Returners
McCaughrean, Geraldine The Death Defying Pepper Roux
McNish, Cliff Savannah Grey
Mills, Sam Blackout
Moran, Katy Spirit Hunter
Morgan, Nicola Wasted
Morpurgo, Michael Running Wild
Nelson, Jandy The Sky is Everywhere
Ness, Patrick Monsters of Men
Newbery, Linda Lob
Nix, Garth Lord Sunday
Purkiss, Sue Emily's Surprising Voyage
Rees, Celia The Fool's Girl
Reeve, Philip No Such Thing As Dragons
Riordan, Rick The Red Pyramid
Rosoff, Meg The Bride's Farewell
Sachar, Louis The Cardturner review
Saunders, Kate Beswitched
Scarrow, Alex Timeriders review
Sedgwick, Marcus White Crow review
Sparkes, Ali Wishful Thinking
Summers, Laura Desperate Measures
Suzuma, Tabitha Forbidden
Temperley, Alan Scar Hill
Updale, Eleanor Johnny Swanson
Valentine, Jenny The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight
Wallace, Jason Out of Shadows
Walsh, Pat The Crowfield Curse
Westerfield, Scott Leviathan
Williams, Carol Lynch The Chosen One
Williams, Rob Luke and Jon
Winterson, Jeanette Battle of the Sun

Read more about the Awards process on the Carnegie website.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Library Loot (72) & Review Copies


Conspiracy 365: October by Gabrielle Lord
On New Year's Eve, Callum Ormond is chased down the street by a crazed man with a deadly warning:

They killed your father.
They'll kill you.
You must survive the next 365 days.

Cal’s beginning to understand only too well the meaning of the word ‘deadline’ as he struggles to stay alive. His enemies have united and the search for him is trebled. How much longer can he evade the assassins and cops trailing him, as well as trying to solve the legendary Ormond Riddle? Will the secret be lost for ever?

She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
Home is where the hate is...Ally Ryan's back in Orchard Hill, a place she vowed never to set foot in again. Not after the trauma of her family fleeing their home in shame when her dad's business dealings almost bankrupted their local community. Now she's moved back, but her old 'friends' are cutting her dead. And while she may have outgrown the country club-trust fund-new car every year-lifestyle, they certainly haven't - and they won't let her forget that now she's living on the wrong side of the tracks. As if dealing with past demons and current grudges isn't enough, now Ally's met the handsome, wealthy and totally into her Jake Graydon, who just happens to live in her old house and be part of the clique that's rejected her...complicated much? Ally was hoping to start her life over again, but she's learning that some things just can't be forgotten...

Switch by Carol Snow
Claire Martin has some serious body issues.

Not much happens in Claire's sleepy beach town, but that's okay. All she wants is to hang out with her best friend, make the high school swim team, and convince Nate, the guy of her dreams, to stop calling her "Dude." And, oh—she'd really, really like to stay in her own skin.

Ever since Claire hit her teens, electrical storms have been making her switch bodies. Usually she's back to her old self in no time. But when something goes terribly wrong, she finds herself stuck as another girl. And not just any girl, but the icy beauty who has caught Nate's eye.

Suddenly Claire goes from being Miss Average to Miss Gorgeous—the model-thin blonde that every girl wants to look like and every guy wants to date. Will she ever figure out how to get back to her old life? More importantly, will she want to?


Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (ATOM, out now)
Aria, Emily, Spencer, Hanna and Alison have been best friends since the third grade. They go everywhere together, thinking no-one can come between them. If anyone is the ringleader of the group it is Alison, and the other girls cannot help but confide all their secrets to her. One night, during a sleepover, Alison goes missing. Her body is never found. The girls mourn her death but move apart after time, assuming their secrets have disappeared with Alison too. Three years later and Aria is having an affair with her teacher; Emily is questioning her sexuality; Hanna is a thief; and Spencer is flirting with her sister's fiance. They all think their secrets are safe, until they starting receiving messages from the mysterious A - who knows exactly what they are all up to, and is threatening to spill the beans ...

The Queen Must Die by K A S Quinn (Atlantic, out now)
Atlantic's first children' book announces the arrival of "Chronicles of the Tempus", a major new trilogy for 9-12 year old readers. Imagine E. Nesbit crossed with Philip Pullman. Why is Katie Berger-Jones-Burg under a sofa in Buckingham Palace? The last thing she can remember is reading in her bedroom, trying to block out the sound of the TV. Now she is in London, at the height of Queen Victoria's reign. Something very strange is going on. Together with her two new friends - Princess Alice, the young daughter of Queen Victoria, and James O'Reilly, the son of the royal doctor - Katie must discover why she has been sent back in time. And who are the weird and frightening creatures who seek her out? The key, it seems, lies with the enigmatic Bernardo DuQuelle. As the dark forces moving through the royal household begin to take control, Katie and her friends uncover a plot to assassinate the Queen and unearth an even darker mystery...

How to Knit by Fiona Watt (reviewed here)

Friday, November 5, 2010's Top 10 Books for Teens 2010 have announced their top 10 books for Teens for 2010. Most titles I recognise but not all:

John Green - Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Jennifer Donnelly - Revolution
Lauren Oliver - Before I Fall
Catherine Fisher - Incarceron
Adam Rex - Fat Vampire
Pittacus Lore - I am Number Four
Nancy Werlin - Extraordinary
Philip Reeve - Fever Crumb
Josh Berk - The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin
Paolo Bacigalupi - Ship Breaker

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review: How to Knit by Fiona Watt

In honour of National Non-Fiction Day Usborne very kindly offered bloggers a pick of their non-fiction titles to review. So I picked How to Knit as a) I can't knit very well and b) I tend to stick to simple projects which allow me to watch the tv at the same time. Last year I knitted my own version of the Tom Baker/Doctor Who scarf for a Doctor Who library event.

How to Knit by Fiona Watt (Usborne Publishing Ltd, March 2007, ISBN: 0746071574)

One of the first things I noticed was that unlike many knitting books this is written for a UK audience, rather than American, and uses the UK knitting needle sizes and weights of wool eg double knitting, aran etc. This means one less thing to have to translate when you are just starting out!

The book opens with a simple guide to what you might need to start, along with your needles and wool (yarn), such as a tape measure, scissors and then takes you through casting on and the knit and purl stitches - which form the basis of all knitting, no matter how fancy the pattern is. The instructions are straight-forward and are accompanied with clear illustrations and the finished objects are shown actual size (except where stated).

The patterns include a first project of a garter stitch (all knit stitches) scarf as well as mobile phone/mp3 player covers, hats, cushions and handbags which incorporate other patterns such as rib and moss stitch. I liked how the projects are things you'd actually use. As well as whole projects there are ways to jazz plain items up: with instructions on how to make fringes, pompoms, knitted flowers, leaves and bows.

Slightly more tricky techniques such as making a stitch, increasing and "slip stitch, knit stitch, pass slip stitch over" (S1K1PSSO) are also covered and at the back is a glossary of terms including abbreviations and the US terms for different weights of wool.

I thought this was a great book for beginners (and not so beginners) and it would make for a lovely Christmas present, which would enable the current enthusiasm for knitting to be passed on to a new generation.

NB. The edition I received is the paperback edition but the newer (2009) version is spiral bound which means you can lay the pages flat a bit more easily.

You can see a few sample pages at the Usborne website including a list of the projects included.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Winner: Booktrust Teenage Prize 2010

The winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize for 2010 was announced today as: Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes.

The other nominees were:
The Enemy by Charlie Higson
Halo by Zizou Corder
Nobody's Girl by Sarra Manning
Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

More details about each book can be found on the Booktrust website.

Published in November (UK)

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

Releases by month so far:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October.

Virginia Andrews _ Daughter of Darkness (1st, Simon & Schuster Ltd, HB?)
Karen Brooks - Tallow (1st, Woolshed Press, pb)
Jennifer Brown - Hate List (4th, Little, Brown Young Readers, pb)
Garrett Carr - Lost Dogs (1st, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Eishes Chayil - Hush (1st, Walker & Co, HB)
Kimberly Derting - The Body Finder (11th, Headline, pb)
Patricia Elliott - The Traitor's Smile (4th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Beate Teresa Hanika - Learning to Scream (4th, Andersen, pb)
Sonya Hartnett - The Midnight Zoo (1st, Walker, HB)
Alyxandra Harvey - Out for Blood (1st, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb)
Mark Leyland - One Night Under Castle Moor (1st, Hirst Publishing, pb)
April Lindner - Jane (4th, Poppy, HB)
Gabrielle Lord - November (4th, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Lisa McMann - Gone (1st, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
James Patterson - Witch & Wizard: The Gift (4th, Arrow (Young), HB)
Kathy Reichs - Virals (2nd, Arrow (Young), pb)
Dyan Sheldon - Crazy Things Girls Do For Love (1st, Walker, pb)
Sara Shepard - Pretty Little Liars (tv-tie-in) (4th, ATOM, pb)
Sara Shepard - Pretty Little Liars: Flawless (tv-tie-in) (4th, ATOM, pb)
Sara Shepard - Pretty Little Liars: Unbelievable (tv-tie-in) (4th, ATOM, pb)
Sara Shepard - Pretty Little Liars: Perfect (tv-tie-in) (4th, ATOM, pb)
L J Smith - Stefan's Diaries (4th, Hodder Children's Book, pb)