Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Report & Pics: Lucy Christopher Stolen Q&A, Signing & Book Club

As some of you know, I run a monthly teen book club at work (Borders), where each month we discuss a previously chosen book. The super-cool Lucy Christopher, UK debut author of Stolen, joined us for our June meeting last Thursday, and it was brilliant!

Lucy read from her book, answered questions, then signed many copies (and postcards) of Stolen. Everyone had a great night, and we've since had a lot of really good event feedback. Cheers Lucy!

Some things I remembered...

  • Lucy is a big Twilight fan! Very cool. We went to Frankie and Benny's for pizza, and had quite a good talk about all things Meyer. I'm glad I'm not the only one with mixed views on Breaking Dawn!
  • She wrote a few different endings for Stolen, but ended up deciding on the final one used, for reasons you'll understand if you've read it.
  • The original cover for Stolen was supposed to have a girl on it, and look kind of like a real life memoir type thing. I'm so glad it was changed!
  • She told us a very funny story about a camel throwing up in Aussie. All I can say is yuck.
  • She had another cool story about driving through the Aussie desert. It sounds interesting, but very scary/deserted.
  • She's a big fan of John Marsden's Tomorrow series. Maybe some book club people will buy it!
  • I kind of made her get The Hunger Games. I think it's a must-read, so fingers crossed she likes it!
  • She's currently at work on book number two, which should be released sometime in 2010.
  • Stolen is being released in Australia next month I think, and in the US in Spring 2010 (I think).
  • She has the best business cards ever!

Here are some pictures...

Author Interview: Catherine Jinks

Catherine Jinks is a well known Aussie author, and has just released a YA book about vampires, werewolves and a handy support group. Thank you very much to Catherine for answering my questions!


Can you tell us a bit about your writing career so far?

During the past 20 years, I've published close to 40 books in all kinds of genres and for every age group - though I'm best known for my young adult novels. I tend to write a lot of historical and science fiction.

How did you come up with the brilliant idea of a reformed vampire support group?

I can't remember the exact moment, but I think it was a natural progression from the image that popped into my head of a bunch of slacker vampires, drearily watching television and complaining about their health.

I liked all the new vampire mythology in Reformed Vampires, especially the guinea pigs as food. Did you feel like your book needed fresh ideas to set it apart from the slew of other YA vampire fiction?

Almost the first thing I did, before starting the novel, was to check that it hadn't been done this way before. To write a vampire book with any impact, you need to have a fresh variation on the theme, because you could almost say it's been done to death. I'm also a person who likes to overturn stereotypes, simply because I don't like them. Overturning the vampire stereotype was another way of drawing attention to all the other stereotypes in the world.

Who is your favourite Reformed Vampires character? (I like Bridget!)

Tricky question: I think Horace was the most fun to write, but I'm also very fond of Nina's mother, Estelle.

Which of your Reformed Vampires book covers do you prefer: US or UK?

There's also an Australian cover! To be honest, I do like them all - and I'm not just saying that. But as for my favourite one... I'm not about to make any of my publishers cross, so I'm afraid I can't answer that question!

From the mention in the book, I'm guessing you might be a fan of Buffy. Are you a big fan of vampires in general?

You know what? I can't say I am - probably because vampires are so often portrayed as powerful and sexy. I'm not much interested in the powerful and the sexy. Clever weaklings and twisted losers are the people who interest me. I don't mind vampires like the little girl in Let the Right One In, but even she could climb walls and bring down adults twice her size.

If you had to choose, would you rather become a vampire or a werewolf?

Oh, a werewolf. Definitely. At least a werewolf has a reasonably normal life most of the time. In fact, in some European folklore werewolves can even choose when they want to be wolves.

Do you have any plans to write a sequel to The Reformed Vampire Support Group?

Yes, I'm writing one now - it's called The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group.

What's next on your writing agenda?

See above!


Related links:

Catherine's site: Catherine Jinks.com
UK publisher's site: Quercus
My review: The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Monday, 29 June 2009

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

From Amazon: Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

I didn't think Catching Fire would be better than The Hunger Games, and it isn't; though it's certainly just as good. Katniss and Peeta find themselves faced with a rebellion of sorts and, along with a very angry Capitol, they find that their troubles are just beginning.

Catching Fire is a fantastic sequel, and picks up close to where The Hunger Games left off. It's a whirlwind read of shocks, revelations, twists and turns, and is a strong contender for the best book of 2009. Some brilliant new characters are introduced, old ones return, and it finishes with a cliffhanger unlike any I've experienced before. It's guaranteed to leave you shouting "MORE!", and possibly wishing you had a time machine that could transport you to summer 2010 straight away.

This series of books has to be one of the most compelling I've ever read, and it is honestly impossible to put them down. If you haven't yet read The Hunger Games, I suggest you go out and buy a copy, clear a day, and read it. You won't look back! I've ran out of positive things to say about this book, so I'll just leave you with three words: amazing, genius and riveting. HIGHLY recommended!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

In My Mailbox #23: New Books This Week

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren, and all descriptions from Amazon.

Two words can sum up my week this week: CATCHING FIRE! I was so excited when it arrived - it pretty much made my year!


Along for the Ride
by Sarah D.essen
(I can't wait to read this!)

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.


Girls to Total Goddesses by Sue Limb (For review. It sounds funny!)

Zoe and Chloe have a mission: to transform themselves into goddesses in seven days (or thereabouts anyway - eight if they need the extra time). But who for? Zoe has a horrible dilemma. Having hated the horrible Beast for making Chloe's life a misery, Zoe has now realised that all was not as it seemed. When Beast came to both their rescue, Zoe's heart was completely overturned. But Zoe has told him she never wants to see him again. And how can she get him back without upsetting Chloe? And - more importantly - how can she compete with the gorgeous new girl on the scene, Charlie, with her trim hips, speckly eyes, fabulous mascara and tawny skin? The Goddess Project just got even more complicated ...


It's Not You, It's Me
by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann
(I've heard many mixed reviews of this, so I'm interested to see what I think).

Zoe loves Henry. Henry dumps Zoe. Zoe wants Henry back—at any cost. Zoe’s two best friends come up with a plan to help Zoe get what she thinks she wants. The plan: make Henry jealous. But the plan takes a surprising turn. . . . Spanning thirty-one days in the cycle of a breakup, Kerry Cohen Hoffmann’s humorous and poignant novel depicts a girl whose single-minded focus on her ex-boyfriend has pulled her far from the person she most needs to win back—herself.


Nothing But Ghosts
by Beth Kephart
(This sounds great!)

Ever since her mother passed away, Katie's been alone in her too-big house with her genius dad, who restores old paintings for a living. Katie takes a summer job at a garden estate, where, with the help of two brothers and a glamorous librarian, she soon becomes embroiled in decoding a mystery. There are secrets and shadows at the heart of Nothing but Ghosts: symbols hidden in a time-darkened painting, and surprises behind a locked bedroom door. But most of all, this is a love story—the story of a girl who learns about love while also learning to live with her own ghosts.


Secrets at St Jude's: Jealous Girl by Carmen Reid (For review. I loved the first book in this series, so I was really excited to get this one!)

Gina is back from spending her summer holidays in LA - and straight into a hectic new term at St Jude's, her stuffy but weirdly fun Scottish boarding school. Her budding romance with Dermot, the boy who works in the local cafe, has been fueled over the summer by emails and phone calls - but now she's back on Scottish soil, their reunion doesn't seem to be going as planned. Is he really the boy for her?Despite her troubles in love, Gina knows she can count on her dorm buddies to cheer her up. Although Niffy's staying at home to care for her sick mother, she still visits and even invites the Daffodil girls to her stately pile. And Amy and Min are still having troubles of their own. Amy's crush on Jason, the hottest boy at the boys' school up the road, is still going strong - and she has an additional problem of a mini-stalker. And Min's internet romance is hotting up but is she putting herself in danger? The friends know they have to stick together to get through all these terrible teenage times! And how on earth can they concentrate on hockey tournaments and science class when there's all this, plus parties and nights out to organize too..


Toby Alone
by Timothee de Fombelle
(This was in the half price sale at work, so I thought why not?)

Toby Lolness is just one and a half millimetres tall, and he’s the most wanted person in his world, the great oak Tree. When Toby’s father makes a ground-breaking discovery, tapping into the very heart of the Tree’s energy, he also realises that exploiting it could do permanent damage to their world. Refusing to reveal the secret of his invention to an enraged community, the family is exiled. But one man is determined to get hold of the forbidden knowledge ... and his plan is to destroy the Tree. Now Toby's parents have been imprisoned and sentenced to death. Only Toby has managed to escape, but for how long?


Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden (Lucy Christopher recommended this to me, and it sounds brilliant!)

When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.


Unsticky by Sarra Manning (I really Sarra's teen novel, so I'm looking forward to reading her first adult one).

High fashion, high art, high expectations – this is Pretty Woman for the twenty-first century. Money makes the world go round – that's what twenty-something Grace Reeves is learning. Stuck in a grind where everyone’s ahead apart from her, she’s partied out, disillusioned, and massively in debt. If she’s dumped by another rock-band wannabe, squashed by anyone else at her cut-throat fashion job, or chased by any more bailiffs, Grace suspects she’ll fall apart... So when older, sexy and above all, wealthy art-dealer Vaughn appears, she's intrigued against her will. Could she handle being a sugar daddy’s arm candy? Soon Grace is thrown into a world of money and privilege, at Vaughn’s beck and call in return for thousands of pounds in luxurious gifts, priceless clothes – and cash. She’s out of her depth. Where's the line between acting the trophy girlfriend, and selling yourself for money? And, more importantly: whatever happened to love?


The Agency: A Spy in the House
by Y. S. Lee
(For review. Sounds cool, eh?)

At a young age, Mary is rescued from the gallows by a woman masquerading as a prison warden. She is taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school, Mary learns, is a front for a private investigation agency and, at 17, she is taken on as an agent. In her new role she is catapulted into the family home of the Thorolds to investigate the shady business dealings of Mr Thorold.


All We Know of Love
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
(For review. This also sounds really good).

Natalie is on a bus trip to see her mother, who had abandoned her family four years earlier. On the way, she thinks about her confusing relationship with her boyfriend Adam and about her even more confusing relationship with her mother. Natalie also brushes up against various strangers who harbour their own stories of love and loss. Though she has a comfortable life in Connecticut, Natalie can’t forget the day her mother left or that her mother was on the verge of revealing something about love.


Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick (In the sale at work again. I think this almost completes my Sedgwick collection!)

Set at the time of the Russian Revolution, the end of a centuries old dynasty, the rise of the Bolsheviks sent shockwaves around the world. This is the story of one man who was there. It's real history - about the riches and excesses, the glory of the Russian nobility, Nicholas and Alexandra, their haemophiliac son, Alexei, notorious Rasputin, Lenin and Trotsky who ruled from palaces where the Czars had once danced till dawn. The man was real too, his name was Arthur Ransome. He was a writer, accused of being a spy, perhaps even a double agent, and he left his wife and beloved daughter and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman, Evgenia.


Finding Cassie Crazy
by Jaclyn Moriarty
(This was recommended by Luisa, so I'm sure it's a great read!)

Cassie is in Year 10 at Ashbury High. Ashbury students claim that the kids at Brookfield High are drug-dealers and psychopaths. Their teacher starts a pen-pal project which leads to an escalation of the war between the two schools, to secret romance and to Cassie learning to face her fears.


Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (For review. Does this book need an explanation?! They sent the real copy (!) with a promo booklet and a mockingjay badge... so cool! I should be posting a spoiler-free review on Monday.. it's AMAZING!)

*Includes The Hunger Games spoilers*

After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen returns to her district, hoping for a peaceful future. But Katniss starts to hear rumours of a deadly rebellion against the Capitol. A rebellion that she and Peeta have helped to create. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless Katniss and Peeta can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying...


Ember Fury by Cathy Brett (For review. UK ARC/proof. This looks very cool. Headline are publishing some great stuff this year! Book trailer here.)

A sassy and entertaining illustrated debut from Cathy Brett

Pyromania: A mental derangement, excitement or excessive enthusiasm for fire.

Having celebrity parents isn’t as hot as it sounds. Yes, there’s money to burn, fame and some totally smoking guys...But when your dad’s more interested in blazing a trail to the top of the charts than why you got kicked out of school, again, it can make you seriously angry. And if there’s one thing Ember knows, it’s that the smallest spark of anger can ignite a whole heap of trouble...


And to add to my Stephenie Meyer collection, I got The Host B format paperback, and special editions of Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse with red page edges!

Hope everyone had a great week!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

News: Kissed by an Angel & Shiver UK Covers

I was just browsing Amazon (again. Ahem.) when I came across the UK covers for Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler, and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

What do you think? I love the Kissed by an Angel image, and Shiver looks so cool with those colours. These are released in the UK on August 7th and October 5th, by Macmillan and Scholastic.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

From Amazon: The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

I enjoyed Bones of Faerie, but all the way through it I just felt like something was missing. I didn't care about the characters as much as I would have liked to, and I was quite frustrated by the lack of explanation about the war. It was an important event that was mentioned time and time again, but was one that wasn't explored enough. I would have loved to hear more about the cause and effect, and why the faeries did what they did.

Saying that, there were a lot of things I liked. The different faerie mythology was interesting, and I especially liked how the trees were creatures to be feared and avoided. Allie and Liza's cat, Tallow, were my favourite characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of their scenes. Allie's healing was such a cool faerie power to possess and, as proven more than once, very useful too!

Overall, Bones of Faerie is an enchanting, quick read, and is a book that faerie fans will love. I'm no expert when it comes to the fey but, if asked, I would probably recommend other novels before this one.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

US Vs. UK: The Reformed Vampire Support Group Covers

US // UK

Help! I can't decide! I love both of these covers - they both represent the characters well, though I think the US one is a little bit more fun. I really like the image of the old lady vampire (Bridget).

Hmm... maybe I prefer the US one after all!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Author Interview: Suzanne LaFleur

Suzanne LaFleur is the debut author of Love, Aubrey -- one of my favourite books of the year so far. I highly recommend it!


Could you tell us a little bit about your publication process?

I am very lucky to be represented by an amazing agency, where I submitted my MFA Creative Writing Thesis Love, Aubrey on the referral of a friend. We sold the book at auction in the US and again the UK a few months later. I landed at great publishing houses in both countries. I did a couple rounds of content revisions for my US publisher and copy edits for both houses. It was only about fourteen months between selling the book to the release date, which is not a very long time in terms of getting a book ready.

What was your inspiration behind Love, Aubrey?

I don't really know where Love, Aubrey came from! I was looking through my imagination for an engaging piece to write, and, of the ideas in my head, Aubrey's voice and story seemed the strongest. I was curious about why she was living by herself and finding out who Savannah was, as I imagine my readers are at the beginning of the book, so I followed the story from there myself, letting Aubrey's narration guide me.

Is the story based on any real events, or is it purely fictional?

The story is purely fiction, but incorporates a lot of real emotions. My family and I have been traveling on mountain roads in Virginia for years, and, I'm a bit of a scaredy-cat, but I always feared what could happen on those roads; indeed, on some of our breaks from college in that area, students didn't make it back to school. The Christmas before I started writing the book, my grandmother lost her sister. While she died of an illness after living a long life, I couldn't help feeling for my grandmother; I have two sisters myself, and it suddenly struck me as how incredibly empty it must feel to be suddenly sisterless. I was thinking about that a lot when Aubrey and Savannah showed up in my imaginiation.

I absolutely loved Aubrey's character, and was amazed at her self-sufficient nature. Did you base her, or any of her personality, on a real person?

I didn't have a model for Aubrey, but I will admit some bits of myself ended up in her. In particular, I think the way Aubrey connects the food she's eating to the experience she's having is a very "me" characteristic.

Is there a particular message that you hope readers will take away from your book?

I definitely didn't write with the intention of having a message, so I have been surprised by what children tell me they took away from the book as lessons--to be brave, to have hope, that you can be whole again even if people you love are gone, that you can find other people who will love you outside of your family--I think those are all wonderful things to take away from the book.

Have you been at all surprised by the positive response to Love, Aubrey?

I really have. Because it's my first book, I have been surprised that so many people have been in touch with me just to talk about it, even though they have never heard of me before. I love Aubrey as a character myself, so it's quite comforting that she is being so gently received by readers.

What's next for you? Do you have another book in the works?

I am working on another manuscript right now for the same age group. I'm not going to spill the beans on it yet, simply because of how a book might change during the editing process.

Can you tell us about some of your favourite books and authors?

Growing up, I used to proclaim four favorite books--The Giver, by Lois Lowry; The NeverEnding Story, by Michael Ende; and The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt and Cassie Binegar by Patricia MacLachlan. Now I also really like J. K. Rowling, Lemony Snicket, Philip Pullman, and Sharon Creech.


Related links:

Suzanne's site: Suzanne LaFleur.com
UK publisher's site: Puffin
My review: Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

Waiting On Wednesday: Fallen

Waiting on Wednesday idea from Jill at Breaking the Spine.


Fallen by Kate Lauren

* Published by: Delacorte
* Format: Hardcover
* Release Date:
December 8th, 2009 (US), December (UK - from Random House)
* On Amazon: here.

Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant—even evil—history.

It’s only when she sees Daniel, a gorgeous fellow student, that Luce feels there’s a reason to be here—though she doesn’t know what it is. And Daniel’s frosty cold demeanor toward her? It’s really a protective device that he’s used again . . . and again. For Daniel is a fallen angel, doomed to fall in love with the same girl every 17 years . . . and watch her die. And Luce is a fellow immortal, cursed to be reincarnated again and again as a mortal girl who has no idea of who she really is.

I couldn't find a cover for this one, but I just had to mention it because it sounds so good! Apparantly, the publishing rights have been sold to Random House in the UK, and it's due for release in December. Oh, and it's the first in a series of at least four books.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

From Amazon: For fifteen-year-old Haven this is the summer where everything changes. Dad is remarrying. Her sister Ashley is planning a wedding of her own. They’re both moving on, but Haven is lost in memories of a time when life was happy and her family was whole. And then Ashley’s ex, the charming and funny Sumner Lee, arrives in town. He reminds Haven of carefree days gone by, and she can’t help but wonder – has fate brought this person from her past back to change her future?

It's no secret that I love the wonder that is Sarah Dessen. I've never been disappointed by one of her books, and I don't think I ever will be.

Characters are the most important part of a story, and this woman can certainly write real, emotional people that I always find myself wishing I could be friends with. That Summer includes a mix of likeable but flawed personalities, and although it's shorter than most of Sarah's books, it's still an engaging and compelling read.

Haven, along with her sister Ashley, are brilliantly written, and I came away from the book feeling like I really knew them. I loved the family dynamic and loyalty between the sisters, and the way Haven and her family all stuck together. Although there's no trademark Dessen romance in That Summer, I didn't miss it. Everthing else is so vividly described that the absence of a main male character is hardly noticeable, and it's nice to just focus on Haven and her soon-to-be-married sister.

No-one writes YA fiction like Sarah Dessen, and I always read her books in a state of excitement. I'm counting down the days until Along For the Ride is in my possession, and I'm so glad that I finally got to read That Summer. It may not be her best, but it's still miles better than a lot of YA out there.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

From Amazon: Something terrible has happened. Eleven-year-old Aubrey is on her own. She’s determined to hide away and take care of herself, because facing the truth is too much to bear. But with the love of her grandmother and the letters she writes, can Aubrey begin to see that even though she’s lost everything – all is not lost?

Love, Aubrey
is one of my favourite books of 2009. It's heartbreaking yet uplifting, and covers a spectrum of emotions.

Aubrey is a lovely character, and is one that I didn't expect to identify with at all, seeing as I'm double her age. She's brave and tough, and although she's experiencing the worst time of her life, she never complains or feels sorry for herself. She gets on with her life by surrounding herself with new friends and family, and is honestly one of the most inspirational protagonists I've ever encountered.

Besides Aubrey, my favourite part of the book is the family next door, including Aubrey's best friend Bridget and her younger sister Mabel. I loved their relationship, and the way Aubrey always advised Bridget to spend more time with her sister. Like the old saying goes, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, and Aubrey really hammers this point home.

Suzanne LaFleur writes about loss and grief brilliantly, and her words reduced me to tears on several occasions. Aubrey's shattered innocence really affected me, because no eleven-year-old should have to go through what she does. The letters Aubrey writes to her missing family and friends are heart-rending and beautifully written, and I had to read a couple of them twice before I could continue with the story.

Love, Aubrey is a fantastic debut novel, and I really cannot wait to see what LaFleur writes next. The front of the book doesn't lie: Aubrey made me cry, she made me smile, and she'll definitely stay with me forever.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

In My Mailbox #22: New Books This Week

In My Mailbox idea from Kristi @ The Story Siren, and all descriptions from Amazon.

I had a great week this week, as I got a few books I've been wanting for ages. Penguin/Puffin UK sent me a huge box of books to review, which I'm slowly getting through. They also sent me a few that aren't pictured here, as I've already read them: Once and Then by Morris Gleitzman, and a UK ARC of Thirteen Reasons Why, plus a couple of books for an upcoming giveaway (thanks Penguin!).


Love, Aubrey
by Suzanne LaFleur
(For review. I loved it!)

Something terrible has happened. Eleven-year-old Aubrey is on her own. ‘It was fun at first, playing house. Nothing to think about but T.V and cheese. A perfect world.’ She’s determined to hide away and take care of herself, because facing the truth is too much to bear. ‘I couldn’t let anyone know that I was alone. I was staying right here.’ But with the love of her grandmother and the letters she writes, can Aubrey begin to see that even though she’s lost everything – all is not lost?


The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff (UK proof/ARC. For review. I've never read one of Rosoff's books before!)

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.


Wicca omnibus #4: The Calling and Changeling
by Cate Tiernan
(For review. Another lovely cover!)

Morgan has discovered much about her powers. But who are her friends and who are her enemies? And who really is she? Morgan is now seventeen years old and her powers have grown with her. But as she struggles to discover who she really is, terrible dreams of someone else, someone in trouble, haunt her. Are they the person Morgan needs to find to truly find herself?


Rowan the Strange by Julie Hearn (This one sounds so good!)

Had Rowan been invited to predict how the rest of that day would go his list would have gone something like this: 1. Breakfast 2. A nice long talk with the doctors 3. Lunch 4. A rest, or a walk in the fresh air 5. Another talk with the doctors 6. Supper 7. Read comics for a bit 8. Bed If asked what he would like to happen the list would have been much the same, only with more time for reading, and the proviso that nobody got to see him naked any more. He would also have liked to be smiled at again by the young nurse, Sarah Jane. But that was a private hope, not something to be shared. He would have got "Bed" right but that's about all. As the second World War begins, Rowan is diagnosed as schizophrenic and sent away to a hospital where the latest treatments are available. But the treatments are experimental still - and nobody predicts the effect they will have on Rowan...


The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
by Helen Grant
(For review. Sounds good).

On the day Katharina Linden disappears, Pia is the last person to see her alive. Terror is spreading through the town. How could a ten-year-old girl vanish in a place where everybody knows everybody else? Pia is determined to find out what happened to Katharina. But then the next girl disappears . . .


Consequences: Don't Call Me Baby by Laurie Depp (Thanks to Luisa for this one!)

17-year-old Katie is overwhelmed when she lands a job as a nanny for Premier League footballer Brett Ballentine and his wife Kassie's kids. Arriving at the Ballentine mansion in London, Katie feels as though she's living in OK magazine. Plus, she's got a whole floor of the house to herself, her own car, and the inside scoop on Britain's most notorious celebrity couple. But there is a downside. Katie has to learn to keep her mouth shut when it comes to some of Kassie's strange and desperate behaviour. And Brett is like the ice man - he barely acknowledges her. As time goes on the 'happy couple' reveal their true colours, and the true state of their volatile marriage. Kassie has a twisted secret, and Brett's getting too fond of 'playing away'. Katie feels like she and the kids are caught in the middle of a war zone, culminating in a shocking revelation about Brett. Katie knows that what she knows about the Ballentines could mean she never has to work again. But while Katie struggles with her predicament, a budding young photographer snaps the picture the tabloids have been waiting for and catapults herself into the limelight...


WAGs' World: Knowing the Score by Anonymous (For review. Now just need to read the first one...)

An ordinary girl thrown into an extraordinary life . . . Amy Thornton is sixteen and planning a perfect summer in London with her lush footballer boyfriend, Damien. But things turn nasty when a fellow WAG threatens to blackmail Amy. Scared of ruining things with Damien, Amy accepts the demands and gets caught up in a whirlwind of celebrities and scandal. As Amy starts meddling in other people’s lives while hiding her own secrets, she realizes that dealing with gossip is about more than scoring points...


What I Saw and How I Lied
by Judy Blundell

Summer's ending, Evie's stepfather is finally home from the Second World War, and Evie is tired of her glamorous mother treating her like a little girl. Then a mysterious stranger appears; a handsome ex-GI who served with Evie's stepfather. Slowly, Evie realizes that she is falling in love with him - but he has dark secrets, and a strange control over her parents.


That Summer
by Sarah Dessen
(For review. Loved this one too!)

For fifteen-year-old Haven this is the summer where everything changes. Dad is remarrying. Her sister Ashley is planning a wedding of her own. They’re both moving on, but Haven is lost in memories of a time when life was happy and her family was whole. And then Ashley’s ex, the charming and funny Sumner Lee, arrives in town. He reminds Haven of carefree days gone by, and she can’t help but wonder – has fate brought this person from her past back to change her future?


Killing God
by Kevin Brooks
(UK proof/ARC. For review. Kevin Brooks is great!)

Dawn Bundy is fifteen. She doesn’t fit in and she couldn’t care less. Dawn has other things on her mind. Her dad disappeared two years ago and it’s all God’s fault. When Dawn’s dad found God, it was the worst time ever. He thought he’d found the answer to everything. But that wasn’t the end of it . . .