Thursday, December 30, 2010
First Line: Looking back, the day had started like any other.
Review: Ringmaster is the first in a soon to be three book adventure series featuring fourteen-year-old Darcie Lock. Darcie is the daughter of a British diplomat and his American wife and they are currently living in Nairobi, Kenya. Darcie attends the international school but on her return one day she finds her house empty. Her mother is abroad but there is no sign of her father or the servants and when she rings the High Commission she is told that Michael Lock no longer works there. And then she is told someone will come for her.
Darcie's life, with all that she thought she knew for facts, is turned upside down when she is recruited by the British security service to help find her father. All she has to do is get herself invited to her classmates' homes and ask a few questions - a low risk operation. But things don't go to plan and it's up to Darcie to save herself, her family and a British royal prince whilst outwitting racists and power-hungry politicians.
This was a very enjoyable listen. Darcie is an engaging character who is very much a tomboy; she plays football and has no time for fashion. She is resourceful and quick-witted. She has an SAS minder, with a dry wit, for some of the book and they have a great rapport with some amusing banter. The story becomes nail-bitingly tense towards the end and the expert plotting means that things that happened earlier in the book become relevant to a successful conclusion. Ringmaster also provides a look at a community of people from different nations and political ideals, who have been thrown together in a unsettled country.
I sought Ringmaster out on audio on two counts. First it is written by Julia Golding, whose first outing as Joss Stirling - Finding Sky - was a favourite read of mine of 2010 and secondly, the narrator is Adjoa Andoh. I have listened to many of her narrations and Ms Andoh can do no wrong in my ears. In this case she expertly conveyed a younger voice for Darcie and she has many accents at her disposal. She is the voice of Alexander McCall Smith's Mme Ramotswe on audio, which I adore, (and Martha's mum in Doctor Who), and I wish that the next Darcie Lock book, Empty Quarter, was available on audio book and narrated by her.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
In a two-book deal, Bloomsbury Children's Books acquired world rights to a new YA series by former tennis star Monica Seles called The Academy. Bloomsbury bought the titles from John Steele at IMG, who brokered the deal for Seles.
The books will follow a group of young sports prodigies at an elite facility known for breeding Olympians and other world-class athletes. Steele, who confirmed that currently Seles is attached to the project without a co-writer, said of the world depicted in the books: "It is the boarding school where the rich and famous send their kids to fulfill their own vicarious dreams or the kids' sometimes delusional aspirations."
The first book in the series is scheduled for 2012.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
In my quest for a "happy" book for the children's reading group I'm involved in (10-12 year olds) I asked on twitter for suggestions. One of which was The White Giraffe. I've reserved a couple of other titles which haven't arrived yet. More suggestions welcomed of course.
I've not read them yet:
Seriously Sassy by Maggi Gibson (may be too girly for the group)
Thirteen-year-old Sassy is a true twenty-first century girl. She's puzzling out the mysteries of parents, boys and why people can't be more like dolphins, and confronting big questions like . . . Can she become a singer–songwriter and save the world too? (More importantly, can she get Dad to pay for a demo?) Should she trust her dolly-goth best friend to give her a makeover without making her look like one of the undead? And does sharing a chocolate chip muffin with Magnus Menzies mean true love, or just a mid-morning snack . . .?
The White Giraffe by Lauren St John
When she is eleven years old, Martine is orphaned and sent to live with her grandmother on a game reserve in South Africa. Her grandmother seems strangely unwelcoming and Martine has a difficult time settling in at her new school, where she is conspicuously an outsider. But she has an ally in Tendai - one of the keepers on the reserve, from whom she learns the lore and survival techniques of the bush, and in Grace - who instantly senses there is something special about Martine. There are secrets about Sawubona (the reserve) just waiting to be revealed, and rumours too about a fabled white giraffe - a trophy for hunters everywhere. One night Martine, lonely and feeling slightly rebellious too, looks out of her window and see a young albino giraffe - silver, tinged with cinnamon in the moonlight. This is the beginning of her mysterious and magical adventures - her discovery of her gift of healing and a secret valley that she travels to with the giraffe, where she'll find clues about her past and future. Above all it's is a heart-warming story, full of charm and atmosphere, and Martine's sheer delight in her giraffe friend and the fantastic landscape which is theirs to explore.
Doctor Who Magazine
Doctor Who: The Jade Pyramid by Martin Day, read by Matt Smith (6 Jan 2011, AudioGo)
Matt Smith reads this exclusive audio story featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond. Intercepting a distress call, the TARDIS is drawn to a Shinto shrine in medieval Japan, where the Doctor and Amy are met by village elder Shijo Sada. He explains that the ogre-like mannequins surrounding the holy site are harmless guardians, called Otoroshi. At the heart of the temple is an ancient jade pyramid, so sacred that only the monks may look at it. But the Shogun, the ruler of Japan, wants to possess the pyramid and has ordered seven samurai and a band of soldiers to come to Kokan and seize it. Whilst the Doctor is tracked by a ninja assassin, Amy discovers what happens to trespassers at the shrine. Soon the secrets of the jade pyramid - and the towering Otoroshi - will be known...Written specially for audio by Martin Day
Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction by Nigel Robinson, read by William Russell (6 Jan 2011, AudioGo)
In a final bid to regain control of the TARDIS' faulty control system the Doctor is driven to experiment with a dangerous untried combination. With a violent explosion the TARDIS blacks out and the crew find themselves trapped inside. A simple technical fault? Sabotage? Or something even more sinister? Tension mounts as the Doctor and his companions begin to suspect one another. What has happened to the TARDIS? Slowly a terrifying suspicion dawns. Has the TARDIS become the prisoner of some powerful fifth intelligence which is even now haunting the time-machine's dark and gloomy corridors? William Russell, who played the Doctor's companion Ian in the original TV serial, reads Nigel Robinson's complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1988.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Gretchen Hirsch at Margaret K. McElderry Books have bought rights to Blood Red Road, a teen dystopian novel by debut author Moira Young. The story follows a girl named Saba, who lives in the wastelands known as Silverlake; after her twin brother is abducted, Saba is forced to leave to rescue him, and discovers a lawless, ugly world beyond Silverlake. Blood Red Road is set for worldwide publication in June 2011, to be released by Marion Lloyd Books at Scholastic in the U.K., and Random House in Canada. Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, has optioned the project.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has acquired world rights to debut author Lauren Roedy Vaughn’s The Dude and Me, about a teen dealing with the awkwardness of high school compounded by the challenges of OCD and ADD. Publication is set for spring 2012.
Little, Brown Books for Young Reader has bought 19-year-old author Kody Keplinger’s (The DUFF) second YA novel, Luststruck, a contemporary reimagining of the Greek play Lysistrata as high school senior Lissa decides to end her school’s sports rivalry with a hook-up strike. The Poppy imprint will publish it in fall 2011.
Monday, December 13, 2010
My review: I chose this title as the group had asked for a 'spooky' read and by luck on my part is was also relevant for National Anti-Bullying week.
Frankie Ruggles is a bright lad who happens to be dyslexic and he has not been given the support at school that he needs and consequently has moved school countless times until he arrives at St. Olafs in a small town.
He soon settles in there and makes friends but the room his class has their lessons in is said to be haunted and as the ghost is seeking Frankie out. Not only does Frankie have to work out what the ghost is trying to tell him but he has to contend with a bullying, unsympathetic teacher called Miss Bulpit.
The children should love the ghost-y side to this story but I was fascinated by the descriptions of Frankie's dyslexia and how the letters rearrange themselves before his eyes and how his visual imagination conjures up pictures when someone says a phrase eg skeletons in the closet - he actually sees the bones in his mind's eye. Ghost Writer has really brought home to me how difficult reading and writing can be if you are dyslexic.
Now what did the children think?
I think I underestimated how scary this book was for the age group who were reading it. Several of them stopped when a dead body was found. If you've read it you'll know what I mean! I think it was a bit too grim for them. Though my library classed it in the 7-12 section, perhaps it's more suitable for teenagers. I definitely enjoyed it more than they did.
Next time: The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43 by Harriet Goodwin and Winging It by Annie Dalton.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Star Trek: TNG - Nightshade by Laurell K Hamilton
Captain Picard and the USS "Enterprise" are sent to help negotiate a settlement of the civil war on the dying planet Oriana, although there are some who would rather continue the conflict. But Picard is accused of murder, and Worf and Troi must prevent disaster before time runs out for everyone.
The Fallen 1 (The Fallen and Leviathan) by Thomas E Sniegoski
On his eighteenth birthday, Aaron begins to hear strange voices and is convinced he is going insane. But having moved from foster home to foster home, Aaron doesn't know whom he can trust. He wants to confide in the cute girl from class, but fears she'll confirm he's crazy.
Then a mysterious man begins following Aaron. He knows about Aaron's troubled past and his new powers. And he has a message for Aaron: As the son of a mortal and an angel, Aaron has been chosen to redeem the Fallen.
Aaron tries to dismiss the news and resists his supernatural abilities. But he must accept his newfound heritage -- and quickly. For the dark powers are gaining strength, and are hell-bent on destroying him....
The Medusa Project: Hostage by Sophie McKenzie
Fourteen years ago, four babies were implanted with the Medusa gene - a gene for psychic abilities. Now teenagers, Nico, Ketty, Ed and Dylan have been brought together by government agents to create a secret crime-fighting force - The Medusa Project. But now Ketty's brother Lex has stumbled into a dangerous game involving his boss and a hidden bomb. It's up to Ketty to save him without letting on what she knows to the rest of the team. But can she control her psychic visions, and her feelings for Nico, without getting the team's cover - and herself - blown sky high?
The Medusa Project: Rescue by Sophie McKenzie
Fourteen years ago, four babies were implanted with the Medusa gene - a gene for psychic abilities. Now teenagers, Nico, Ketty, Ed and Dylan have been brought together by government agents to create a secret crime-fighting force: The Medusa Project. Since their existence became known to members of the criminal underworld, they have been hidden away in a secluded training camp in Spain, where their identities are being kept secret. Life in camp is hard enough, but then things take a turn for the worse. Ed is blackmailed into using his mind-reading powers - and in doing so he threatens to endanger the whole Medusa Project...
The Medusa Project: Hunted by Sophie McKenzie (6 Jan 2011, Simon & Schuster UK)
Dylan, the daughter of the scientist who created the Medusa gene for psychic powers, has never felt she really fits into the crime-fighting Medusa Project. But then she makes a discovery about her father's death which changes everything. As she and the other Medusa teens search for the truth, Dylan meets Harry - a boy who seems to know more about Dylan's past than she does. But can Dylan trust him? While Dylan searches for the mysterious legacy that her father has left her from beyond the grave, her dad's killer closes in. But just how far is the murderer prepared to go to keep Dylan from finding out the truth?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
First Line: The car drew away, leaving the little girl on the verge.
Review: I loved Finding Sky so much I kept putting it down so I didn't get to the end.
Sky Bright moves from Richmond (England) with her adoptive parents Sally and Simon to Wrickenridge in Colorado where her artistic parents have a one year job as artists-in-residence in the new arts centre.
Sky was abandoned at an early age and went through many homes and foster carers, with no memory of who she was and unable to speak, until the Brights rescued her. Sky is quite reserved and fights to remain normal, as from time to time she sees coloured auras around people, which she suppresses.
She hasn't been at school long until, Zed Benedict, the bad boy of the school catches her eye. He takes little interest in her until she ticks him off in front of his friends and then a football match where he allows her to make a save makes him realise that Sky's his destiny. For Zed is a savant and he must make Sky realise that she is his soulfinder, the one that will complement and complete him. Sky struggles with this knowledge and becomes embroiled in the dangerous secrets of Zed's family, which leads to violence and pain. Will Sky accept the truth about herself and Zed or will she run from the possibility of getting emotionally hurt again?
By inventing the concept of a soulfinder, the author gives a good reason why her couple should stay together forever, as it's mentioned a couple of times that teenage sweetheart relationships often don't last. The banter between Zed and Sky seems very natural and sweet. They seem quite mature for their age as they have had to grow up early with what they've both seen and gone through.
Along with the great central relationship, there is the mythology of the savants (these savants are not like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man) - whose skills include telepathy and telekinesis. There are also action sequences with some serious bad guys, which are rather scary. I liked how the author didn't make Sky a "superhero" at the first opportunity, rather, allowing Sky to find her own way at a slower pace. I loved the setting of the Rockies where we get Sky's English perspective on an American setting. I loved her new friends who were incredibly supportive of the new girl. Basically I loved this book and it's one of my, if not the, favourite reads of 2010. There is to be a sequel, set in the same universe - Zed has six brothers and the next book I understand is about his older brother, Yves.
Joss Stirling is a pen-name for Julia Golding who also writes as Eve Edwards.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
We're releasing the first ten chapters this week and then will be releasing ten chapters a week for the next 3 weeks until you've read it all!
To get your hands on this scorching hot new novel all we ask is that you sign up to our mailing list and then all you have to do is click on the link in the email to start reading the first chapters. See, we told you it was easy!
Don't forget the new sections of the book will be released every FRIDAY @ 12PM
NB. You can save the pdf file to your pc to read at your leisure but I couldn't import it into my Sony e-reader as the file is password protected.
In the first novel of this thrilling new series fans of the hit television show THE VAMPIRE DIARIES will finally find out how a passionate romance with a dangerous girl turned loving brothers into deadly enemies.
Set during the Civil War, against a backdrop of grand estates, unimaginable riches, and deadly secrets, three teenagers in Mystic Falls, Virginia enter a torrid love triangle that will span eternity.
Brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore are inseparable until they meet Katherine, a stunning, mysterious woman who turns their world upside down. Siblings turned rivals, the Salvatores compete for Katherine’s affection, only to discover that her sumptuous silk dresses and glittering gems hide a terrible secret: Katherine is a vampire. And she is intent on turning them into vampires so they can live together—forever.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Simon & Schuster has bought a debut teen paranormal trilogy for global publication in autumn 2011.
The trilogy, comprising Fury, Envy and Eternity, is written by Elizabeth Miles. It is about three furies who exact vengeance on a group of teenagers deemed to have wronged others.
The book will be published simultaneously in autumn 2011 with S&S sister companies in the US and Australia. The publisher said the hardback publication would be backed with a "high profile" PR and marketing campaign.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Actually I've not checked out any YA books this week at the library but I do have lots already!
I forgot to include this one last week. Received for review:
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (1 Jan 11, Mira Ink)
Being a teenager just got much more complicated. There is something very wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh: she senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally. Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.
The following I bought from my local library discard pile for 40p(!), a mixture of children/teen books:
Waterslain Angels by Kevin Crossley-Holland (I've had my eye on this for a while as it's set in Norfolk, near where I'm from. I tried the audio book but didn't get on with the narrator so I'll hopefully better luck with the print version)
In the village of Waterslain in Norfolk, in the 1950s, a fragment from a carved angel's wing is discovered. Maybe the wooden angels that once supported the church roof were not, after all, destroyed centuries ago, but spirited away to safety. Two children decide to find them. There are few clues, but a strange inscription on the church wall leads them into terrifying places - up to the top of the church tower, down a tunnel where they are nearly drowned. Annie dreams of the man who was sent in by Cromwell to smash up the church, and of angels flying and falling. For Sandy, whose father, an American airman, was recently killed, the angels bring comfort. The whereabouts of the angels become clear to them - but then they discover that other people are hunting for them, and are determined to stop the children at all costs. The friendship between the boy adjusting to a new life in his mother's village, and the girl whose family have always lived on their remote farm, the haunting atmosphere of the Norfolk saltmarshes, and the strong sense of the past still present, give richness to a tense and fast-paced story of detection for younger readers.
Somewhere Else by Sandra Glover
Zan is worried about his sister, Jade, who doesn't seem to recognise family and friends. Even more disturbing, Jade insists she's Janet Bailey; a girl from another time and place. This must be the result of Jade's recent horrific ordeal, mustn't it? But if it's Post Traumatic Stress then why are her memories of being Janet so utterly vivid? And will they ever be able to get the real Jade back?
The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff
On the morning of her wedding, Pell Ridley creeps out of bed in the dark, kisses her sisters goodbye and flees - determined to escape a future that offers nothing but hard work and sorrow. She takes the only thing that truly belongs to her: Jack, a white horse. The road ahead is rich with longing, silence and secrets, and each encounter leads her closer to the untold story of her past. Then Pell meets a hunter, infuriating, mysterious and cold. Will he help her to find what she seeks? With all the hallmarks of Meg Rosoff's extraordinary writing, The Bride's Farewell also breaks new ground for this author, in a nineteenth century, Hardyesque setting. This is a moving story of love and lost things, with a core of deep, beautiful romance.
The Diamond Takers by Karen Wallace (3rd in the Lady Violet Winters series. I read the first one ages ago which was set in Egypt - as I love Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series.)
Violet and her sidekick, Garth, are staying in a Parisian hotel with her parents when valuable jewels are stolen from guests. Never one to pass up an adventure, Violet is soon hot on the trail of the suspected diamond takers...!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Stephenie Meyer's gripping supernatural romance saga has inspired millions of people worldwide with its tale of a young girl torn between two apparently perfect loves. Many fans are now on the hunt for their own real-life Edward or Jacob - but can such a love truly exist? Luckily for all the "Twilight" fans out there, psychologist Louise Deacon has uncovered seven secret steps towards true love. Inspired by the saga, these secrets reveal the relevance of Bella's experiences to your own love life, explain your feelings for Edward and Jacob and expose the perils of "Twilight"'s powerful, romantic messages. So for all you girls who adore vampires or werewolves, read on to learn how to find lasting love and loyalty with a human.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Releases by month this year:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November.
See all the monthly posts using this label
Trevor Colgan - The Stretford Enders Away (30th, Red Fox, pb)
Ally Condie - Matched (2nd, Puffin, pb)
Andrea Cremer - Nightshade (28th, ATOM, pb)
Lucienne Diver - Revamped (1st, Flux, pb)
Jenny Downham - You Against Me (2nd, David Fickling Books, HB)
Catherine Fisher - The Candle Man (30th, Red Fox, pb)
Victoria Hanley - The Seer and the Sword (30th, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Gabrielle Lord - December (2nd, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Richelle Mead - Last Sacrifice (7th, Puffin, pb)
Antonio Pagliarulo - Celebutantes: On The Avenue (30th, Red Fox, pb)
Antonio Pagliarulo - Celebutantes: In The Club (30th, Red Fox, pb)
Heather Terrell - Fallen Angel (28th, HarperCollins Childrens Book Group, pb)
John Rowe Townsend - The Islanders (30th, Red Fox, pb)
Daisy Whitney - The Mockingbirds (2nd, Little, Brown Young Readers, HB)
Sunday, November 28, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Lies 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
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
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:
"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 Fever (1 October 2011)
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
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!"
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
* 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
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:
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 LaneI'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:
Young Sherlock Holmes
1. The Death Cloud
2. Red Leech
The Baker Street Mysteries
1. The Dragon Tattoo
2. The Rose of Africa
3. The Shadow of Evil
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
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
Saturday, November 13, 2010
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...
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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)