Archive for June, 2013

Chasing the valley
By Skye Melki-Wegner

ISBN: 9781742759548
Book one in a new fantasy series for young adult readers.

If the premise that this is a cross between the camaraderie of The Ranger’s Apprentice series and the struggle for survival of The Hunger Games then this book is going to be a must read.

Danika has always struggled just to get through each day and when the tyrannous king launches an attack to punish her city she must risk her life to escape over the city’s walls. She joins a group of refugees who seek the legendary safe haven, a place called the Magnetic Valley. Things don’t go to plan and before long she becomes the most wanted fugitive pursued by vicious hunters. Danika is also struggling with magical abilities. And then she meets Lukas and struggles even more with mixed feelings and loyalties. Survival is an even bigger struggle. Look out for this one. Cool trailer too. You can read the first few pages here and get stuck in. Do enjoy!

In the after
By Demitria Lunetta

“They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you’ve ever seen.
And They won’t stop chasing you…until you are dead.”

Amy is watching TV when the world is attacked by Them. They are vile creatures which are devouring mankind so quickly that most of the population is overtaken. Somehow Amy manages to escape but as she does she finds and rescues a toddler. Together they struggle to survive and avoiding “Them” is difficult but deadly if they are caught. Eventually, as in years later, they are rescued by others and taken to a colony of survivors at New Hope which is inside a former government research compound. At first all seems too good to be true but the reality is something quite different. How will she save herself and keep the child with her safe?
The cover of this book alone gets a five out of five. Hanging out!

I often wonder how much money goes in to the production of book trailers and if the sales are worth the time, money and energy. The trailers I tend to watch and promote here would have me spend all my money buying books and this one is no exception. It is another quality trailer and yes – I want to go and read this book now! Unfortunately it isn’t out here yet but it is coming and I will be watching out for it.

The wig in the window

By Kristen Kittscher
ISBN 9780062110503

This is a delightful trailer with a great mix of colours, silhouettes and dialogue. It is perfectly pitched at middle grade readers. The wig in the window is the first book in a new mystery series.
Sophie Young and Grace Yang play a game spying on their neighbours. But one night they witness something terrifying and bloody at the home of their school counselor Dr. Charlotte Agford. Or did they? What really happened and why is Dr. Agford acting even weirder than usual? All manner of mysterious things are happening and although the girls are determined to find out what is going on, their friendship is beginning to suffer. One of the book’s strengths from the reviews I have read is the humour and authentic quibbling between the girls. I will be watching out for this one.

The flame in the mist

By Kit Grindstaff

I stumbled upon this trailer and love it. Within minutes of watching it I was reserving the book at my local library.  This trailer has a haunting quality to it which is fitting considering the story involves  a few ghosts.

There’s evil-a coming from up on the hill
If the Mist doesn’t get you, the Agromonds will.

—From an old Anglavian rhyme”

The land of Anglavia is shrouded in a  sinister mist created by the cruel rulers; the Agromond family. They control everything and everyone. On the night before her 13th birthday, Jemma, a girl with fiery red hair realizes she is not who she thinks she is. This realization changes everything. Ghosts, an ancient prophecy and a mysterious book all lead Jemma on a dangerous journey. The Agromonds however, have their own agenda – one which could have fatal consequences. Jemma and her  friend Digby, as well as her two telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie must fight for survival against all manner of enemies to defeat evil and find out the secrets of her true identity. Sounds like a good fast paced fantasy, supernatural novel and one I await with eager anticipation.

I love the music and the haunting, taunting voices in this very well produced trailer. The reviews I have read are all five out of five stars.


Red rocks

By Rachael King

I read this book recently and was so pleased to see that it was a finalist in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

It is well deserving  and many of the children here at school have devoured this book. Many of them have also voted for this book in the children’s choice category. The results will be announced on Monday night and I am so looking forward to attending this wonderful event for New Zealand children’s book authors. Good luck Rachael!!

I am so pleased a trailer has finally been made for this novel. Do enjoy the trailer and then go and find a copy of this book. Great for ten year old readers and great for a teacher to read aloud to a class. I love the colours in this trailer!

“While holidaying at his father’s house, Jake explores Wellington’s wild south coast, with its high cliffs, biting winds, and its fierce seals. When he stumbles upon a perfectly preserved sealskin, hidden in a crevice at Red Rocks, he’s compelled to take it home and hide it under his bed, setting off a chain of events that threatens to destroy his family. Red Rocks takes the Celtic myth of the selkies, or seal people, and transplants it into the New Zealand landscape, throwing an ordinary boy into an adventure tinged with magic. With its beautiful writing and eerie atmosphere, junior readers will be thrilled and moved by this captivating story”



Belle epoque

By  Elizabeth Ross

What an intriguing book trailer. Love the sepia tones and the whole bohemian Parisian atmosphere.

It is a time when the city thrives on beauty, decadence and loose morals.

Maude Pichon runs away ending up in Paris. Life is not as she expected and she is soon desperate for work.

She takes a rather unusual job where she is hired to be a friend. The idea is that the wealthy can hire a plain friend making the wealthy instantly more attractive.

Maude is hired to befriend headstrong Isabelle, the daughter of Countess Dubern but Isabelle is not privy to this secret hired friend.

The whole idea of hiring friends is rather abhorrent but secrets always have a way of being found out. Deception and decadence sounds like a really good mix. I will be looking out for this one.


The boy with two heads

By Andy Mulligan

Eleven year old Richard Westlake wakes up one morning with an extra head growing out from his neck. The speed at which it grows and takes on a life of its own is bewildering for everyone.
The extra head is named Rikki and it becomes abundantly clear that Rikki is nowhere like the quiet, respectful Richard.
Rikki is nasty with absolutely no tact or sense of empathy. He is quite simply, horrible. He is also brutally honest. His honesty leaves him more and more angry with life and friendless.
The solution involves a bunch of medical experts with their own agendas and as the tension builds a sense of horror looms.

This is an extraordinary book for its approach on dealing with life, friends and death.
I sat in my car outside work unable to put the book down at the closing chapters. Yes! There were tears as I closed the book. The ending was emotional but tied everything together beautifully.

This is a great read and although it is about an eleven year old boy, some of the content is more suitable for older and more mature young adult readers.
Andy Mulligan has done it again. I loved his novel Trash and while this is totally different it is another first rate read.

The testing
By Joelle Charbonneau

Great site to find out more and read a prequel to the series.

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.”

The premise of this story does have a Hunger Games quality to it but I am looking forward to reading this new dystopian trilogy. I think fans of YA dystopian, futuristic, survival stories will be hooked.

Song of the slums

By Richard Harland

Astor is seventeen and finds herself trapped in the lowly role of governess after a riches to rags sequence of events. This is not the life she wants and with the help of a young man, Verrol, they escape into the smoggy slums of Brummingham.

Together Astor and Verrol play music and soon join a band named The Rowdies. The band is at the start of a whole new music style which is about to set the world on fire. However, danger lurks not far behind. The Swale’s from where Astor escaped, have their own agenda and are on her trail.
I haven’t read much in the way of steampunk but this mix of romance, music and steampunk has me very intrigued. I think this is going to offer something quite different from many YA books out there so do keep an eye out for it. Verrol’s steampunk guitar on the cover is gorgeous. I will be adding this novel to my list.


By Amy Tintera

“Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).”
Thanks to Amy Tintera’s website.

While training the new reboots Wren discovers there is something about one newbie in particular that begins to freak her out. Callum, the newbie is almost human and there is something about him that unnerves her. Something about his smile! However, his failure to do as he is ordered leaves her with no option but to eliminate him. For the first time ever it is something she can’t or won’t do. The only problem is that if she doesn’t eliminate him, she will be eliminated herself.
The Australia/New Zealand cover of this book is very eye-catching. The green eye stares out at you and draws you in wanting to know what the story holds. I loved the side of the book too with its grey and white image of an eye staring out with a creepy haunting quality to it. Must add to my TBR pile.