Monday, 25 February 2013

Echo: Alyson Noel

A new home, a new love, a new life

Daire Santos is finally finding out who she is

But is she bound by love or evil?

It’s time for Daire to claim her destiny…

Series: Fated, Echo...

Saving her grandmothers soul has come at a great cost to Daire and the entire community of Enchantment; the balance between good and evil has been tipped in favour of the latter. The Richters now cause chaos to reign in both lower-world, where spirit animals are dying and the middle-world where people are going missing. On top of trying to repair what her actions have wrought Daire must also face the challenging training for her soul seeker destiny, her blossoming yet complicated relationship with Dace, the good Richter, and a surprise visit from mum. Travelling the path between who she thought she was and who she is destined to be was never going to be easy for Daire but to restore the balance in both worlds will require and unthinkable and ultimate sacrifice; just who will make the sacrifice to save Enchantment?

Unlike its predecessor, Fated which established the characters, the storyline and the setting, Echo the second in this four part series takes off with a bang. From the very first to the very last the pages of Echo are filled with mystery, romance and the supernatural to keep any reader hooked. Halfway through this novel I did become concerned that Noel was taking this series down the familiar ‘woe is me I can’t be with the one I love’ trail but I was surprised to find she veered off into an unexpected plot. What is appealing however is the kick-ass female protagonist Daire, the writing style of Noel, the narration swaps between Daire and Dace which helps deepened the story and answer some lingering mysteries from Fated and of course the romance between Daire and Dace, as complicated as it is, is so endearing. A mystical, action packed and romantic supernatural tale with some shocking surprises in store. Be warned than Echo ends of a very dramatic cliff-hanger; the next book Mystic isn’t set for release until July 2013

Courtney :)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Jepp, who defied the stars

To what degree do we control our destiny, or does our destiny control us?

That is a question that grapples many of the main characters in Jepp, who defied the stars, by Katherine Marsh.
The central character in this gripping novel is a dwarf named Jepp. The setting is sixteenth century Netherlands.

Jepp's mother runs an inn, and Jepp is much loved by those around him. However, Jepp has an enquiring and intelligent mind, and as a result of listening and conversing with travellers at the inn, Jepp is keen for adventure.
So when a stranger arrives at the inn and offers to take Jepp to a royal court, Jepp agrees to go.

Jepp's excitement soon turns to horror as he becomes imprisoned at court with several others. Their chief role is to provide entertainment for the court inhabitants and visitors.
For Jepp, this involves the habitual and degrading leaping out of a pie.
Jepp falls in love with Lia, and when she begs him to help her escape, he assists her.

Tragedy unfolds and Jepp is both punished and banished. With much trepidation and after a gruelling trip across land and sea in a cage, Jepp arrives at yet another court - that of the astronomer, Tycho Brahe.
It seems that this court will be every bit as unpleasant as the last, but gradually Jepp's situation improves.

Is it luck? Is it fate? Does Jepp have any control over his life? Jepp looks to the stars for answers.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Raven Boys

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a sprit of St Mark’s Eve.

Either you’re his true love…

Or you killed him”

And so begin the next fantastical series by number 1 best selling author

Maggie Stiefvater

There are three things about Blue Sargeant that you absolutely must know:

  1. Blue’s mother and friends all possess the gift of second sight, Blue herself does not.
  2. For as long as she can remember it has been foretold that Blue will be the catalyst that kills her true love
  3. She absolutely stays away from Raven Boys, they are nothing but trouble.
This year things for Blue will change; her mother’s sister returns with ulterior motives, Blue will encounter her first supernatural experience and become intertwined with the lives of four Raven Boys in their hunt for Glendower; an ancient Welsh king who is said to be hidden along a powerful ley line in Blue's town of Henrietta-- and can be re-awakened by whoever finds him. The journey will take Blue to places and though experiences she never thought possible. Blue will begin to question everything she ever thought she knew. Is there such a thing as true love? And will Blue ultimately kill hers?

A deeply complex and intricate story The Raven Boys with its 400+ pages is not a light read but very enjoyable indeed. Stiefvater manages to take the supernatural genre in a whole new direction. The mystery and suspense is compelling enough to keep the pages turning while the characters themselves intrigue: Blue and Gansey in particular. What particularly appealed about Raven Boys was despite the pre-determination that Gansey and Blue are the star crossed lovers of this tale there is absolutely no chemistry between the pair, unlike other YA titles where it is love at first sight in this case its hate at first sight (for Blue at least, Gansey appears indifferent), which means that the audience will get to watch the pair fall in love…perhaps??? I found this to be utterly refreshing and am looking forward to see where Steifvater takes these characters and the journey for which they will travel to get there. The only deterrent to this novel is that it is a fairly long establishment story; Stiefvater is setting up the characters and the scene for the story to primarily play out in subsequent novels. This means not a lot happens in Raven boys, there are some terrific surprises however, and the complexity of the storyline requires the reader’s full attention, but if Steifvater’s reputation is anything to go by giving Raven Boys a go will be well worth the effort. It is simply a unique and compelling twist on the supernatural genre.

Courtney :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

New Teen Book Group

Hey everyone!

I am super excited to tell you about our new book group for teenagers. It's called tbg4teens (the book group for teens), and will be held at Narre Warren Library. It's a book groups for teens who love books and love talking about books.

Our first book is going to be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It's the story of an outsider, a boy called Charlie, who has trouble connecting with people and making friends because of some serious personal problems. All this changes when he meets Sam and Patrick at school, and starts living life to the full. It was recently turned into a movie starring the lovely Emma Watson. It was quite a good movie, but the book is better!

If you are interested in joining the club, pop over to Eventbrite and book yourself in. You will be emailed a ticket. Bring the ticket into Narre Warren Library after February 11th and swap it for a copy of the book. Read it and turn up to Narre Warren Library on Thursday 14th March at 4.30pm ready to discuss it! There will be snacks. If you have your own copy of the book there is no need to book yourself in. You can just turn up to discuss it.

I look forward to meeting you!

- Celia

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Riggs Crossing

'Riggs Crossing' was recommended to the audience at a recent youth publishing event I attended, where publishers showcased outstanding examples of teenage fiction for 2013.
'Riggs Crossing' does not disappoint, either.

Written by Michelle Renee Heeter, who grew up in the American mid-west before moving to Japan, then Sydney, the strength and authenticity of the voice of the main character within this book is extraordinary.

The book begins with a mystery - a teenage girl has been found with serious injuries as a result of a car crash. Who is she? Her identity is unclear - and if she knows she is not telling.

'Len' as she is called is now living in a youth refuge. Staying with her are other young people who have varying degrees of trauma from mostly horrendous upbringings. The minutiae of interpersonal relationships between Len and other housemates, youth workers and teachers makes for compelling though not always comfortable reading.

Len herself is an interesting personality - a person who looks to her favourite TV personality lawyer 'Clarissa Hobbs' as a mentor, then begins to write episodes in which she, Len, is really Clarissa's long lost daughter!

Len is a likeable enough personality, though within the context of her home life Len can be as much of a bully as those around her.
Who can forget the couch fight scene where the new girl sits on the couch Len has designated as her own?
'Get off my couch and don't ever go near it again' Len orders.

Len has flashbacks to her previous life before the accident and the reader becomes aware that she was in a dangerous family situation where drug taking and illegal activities were the norm.
As the story unfolds the past begins to catch up with Len.

Excellent reading



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