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New Titles - books at the library

Sizzling Hot Summer Reads

Valiant: A Modern Tale of FaerieValiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black
We were rapt to see this arrive as we all loved this author’s first novel, Tithe.  What’s more we’re real pleased to report that her second book totally lives up to the rep that she started with her first - it’s just as edgy and sexy and totally compulsive!  Valiant is set in New York and this time we’re taken down into the depths of the city’s subway system where all sorts of beasts and gobbledegooks live. It’s a wonderful fantastical roller coaster of a read - romance, murders, a drug called never, a troll called Ravus and shaven headed heroines living on the street?  Who could ask for anything more?
Holly Black
PromProm by Laurie Halse Anderson
And yet another great book by the author of Speak.  Laurie Halse Anderson really manages to get inside her main character’s head (teenager Ashley Hannigan) and tells it like it really is.  Ashley isn’t interested in the Prom - it’s definitely not her thing and she doesn’t care who knows it but then the faculty advisor nicks off with all the Prom money and she finds herself becoming chief organiser instead.   It’s an awesome read mainly because it’s funny, tough, a bit soft around the edges but also down to earth … and really believable.
Laurie Halse Anderson
Siberia by Ann HalamSiberia by Ann Halam (pseudonym used by Gwyneth Jones)
This is such an unusual novel - actually, we don’t think we’ve ever read anything quite like it before.  It’s set somewhere in the future - a bleak world where the privileged few live in sheltered cities and others live in the frozen wastelands.  Animals, both wild and domesticated,  are a thing of the past although dogs are still being bred (in appalling conditions) for their fur and meat.  Rosita and her mother are sent to a prison camp (which sound very similar to the Russian prison camps/Gulag Archipelego) and it’s only as Rosita gets older that “The” secret is revealed to her and she learns that she is expected to make an epic journey, on her own, through the forest and across a sea of ice. Before this, however, conditions get even worse for Rosita who has to morph into a tough, cynical and hardened teenager and renames herself Sloe.  This is a bleak, grim novel.  Be warned - it’s incredibly disturbing!
Gwyneth Jones (aka Ann Halam)
ForetellingThe Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
All of Alice Hoffman’s novels are slightly lyrical and magical and this young adult one is no different because it’s just as good as all the rest.   Rain is a young woman with a certain destiny, born into an ancient time of blood, raised on mares’ milk and nurtured with the strength of a thousand Amazon sisters.  She is Dream Rider, warrior and queen-to-be but she’s also a rebel who begins to question the life she’s supposed to live.    She starts to think and wonder about the words that are forbidden  - words like mercy, men, love, peace.  It’s a short, wonderful read and a great one to laze away a few hours with while sprawling in the sun somewhere.
Secret Scribbled NotebooksSecret Scribbled Notebooks by Joanne Horniman
This is kind of a diary type novel but not on a day to day basis. Kate is 17 years old and is at a really confusing time in her life when things are just one huge, great big muddle of family, school, friends,  feelings and emotions.  In an attempt to sort out her head and heart, she starts to write things down in three different coloured notebooks - red, yellow and blue.  It makes for fascinating, fun and realistic reading as this author really does understand all about teenage angst.   It was also winner of the 2005 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction.
Kaitangata Twitch by Margaret MahyKaitangata Twitch by Margaret Mahy
This is the latest from Margaret Mahy and while not quite as stunning as some of her previous books, it’s still a good supernatural thriller  with the added bonus of a NZ setting.   Meredith starts to have some violent dreams when her home environment is threatened by a property developer who wants to change its wild beauty forever and things start to get very spooky when the land itself seems to take on a mind of its own and starts retaliating.
The Whisper by Bali RaiThe Whisper by Bali Rai
If you haven’t discovered this author yet, you are in for one major treat.  This is his latest novel (sequel to The Crew) and, like the others, doesn’t in any way come across as false or condescending.   The Crew are back and things are getting tough in the Ghetto (set in UK)  because the police have launched Operation Clean-up and our guys are the ones getting blamed for some of the drug deals that have been going down … a real page turner with great bits of humour. Reviews for some of the author’s previous works: ‘written in a streetwise dialect, this is a jewel of a book’ ‘grittily realistic and sure to appeal’
Icebound LandRanger’s Apprentice: The Icebound Land (Book 3) by John Flanagan
The publisher calls this series the ‘Lord of The Rings for young people. High action, high-interest plot and a very exciting series’ … and they’re right. It’s a bit like Harry Potter too because with each book the characters get older and kind of grow with you. We loved the second book in the series but enjoyed this one even more with it’s Wills taken prisoner to Skandia where he’s to be sold into slavery but Horace and the rest of the team aren’t far behind. The rest of the good news is that Book 4: The Oakleaf Bearers will be available May 2006.
Our interview with John Flanagan
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
This is an oldie but a real goodie for those of you who haven’t read it yet and with the movie coming up we thought it’d be worth mentioning again. It’s always way better to read the book first anyway! It’s a fascinating read - kind of fact/fiction - and follows the life of a young girl who’s sold as an apprentice to a famous geisha house. On the surface, the life of a geisha looks exotic and beautiful but behind the scenes there’s a lot of cruelty and ugliness. If you liked Chinese Cinderella we think you’ll enjoy this too. We just hope the movie’s as good as the book!
Memoirs of a Geisha Movie
The Wereling Trilogy by Stephen ColeThe Wereling Trilogy by Stephen Cole
Book 1 - Wounded
Book 2 -  Prey
Book 3  - Resurrection
This is a great bit of candy floss reading. It takes no effort to get into and has a tonne of instant action. Kate comes from a family of werewolves and she’s fast approaching her coming of age - the one where she’s about to grow a whole lot of fur and fangs - and it’s the last thing that she wants to happen. We reckon this will even appeal to the most devout horror fan and what’s more you don’t have to remember who’s who or what’s happened from one chapter to another as the action and blood lust hurtles along (or should that be hurls along??) Our advice? Get all three books out in one go - that way you don’t have to climb out of the hammock …