Archive for July, 2013

All our yesterdays
By Cristin Terrill

My lovely son gave me a book voucher for my recent birthday and it has been wonderful being able to buy new books as soon as they hit the shelves (and not feel guilty for doing so). The latest is All our yesterdays which I started reading in the shop and just had to have.

Marina was safe, privileged and falling for James but that was yesterday.
Today Em is stuck in a bare cell with no way out and no comforts. In the cell next to hers is a boy. He may be her only hope as she remembers who she used to be. There’s a drain in the floor which holds the key and the notes she wrote to herself in the past. I love the description of how she unscrews the bolts of the drain. Writing which is vivid and real.
Tomorrow Em must somehow escape and travel back in time. She needs to kill the boy Marina loved. It is the only way to save her future.
I am looking forward to finding time to read this book all the way through. Roll on the weekend.

By S. F. Said

Illustrated by Dave McKean

“The supernova is coming … one boy alone can save the galaxy”

I confess I have not read any of S. F. Said’s books before but I am lining up for this one and I have already checked that the local library has it on order. I will be checking my local bookshops too as it is due out very soon. What attracted me first to this book was that it had been illustrated by the Dave McKean. I love his illustrations. They are at times dark, weird and wonderfully atmospheric. The trailer to this book is different to most and indeed stunning. The narrator has the voice of the old traditional storytellers. I just wanted to sit back and listen to the rest of the story.
I began reading the story here courtesy of Random House Children’s Publishers and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lucky thinks he’s an ordinary Human boy. But one night, he dreams that the stars are singing – and wakes to find an uncontrollable power rising inside him.

Now he’s on the run, racing through space, searching for answers. In a galaxy at war, where Humans and Aliens are deadly enemies, the only people who can help him are an Alien starship crew – and an Alien warrior girl, with neon needles in her hair.

Together, they must find a way to save the galaxy. For Lucky is not the only one in danger. His destiny and the fate of the universe are connected in the most explosive way . . . ”

Trailer created by Dave McKean

Ashes on the waves

By Mary Lindsey

“A sexy gothic romance based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee” ”

I first read about this book some time back and marked it as one to watch out for. I discovered the trailer for it which is only a few weeks old and it only makes me want to read the book more even more now.

It really has a haunting, Gothic atmosphere with impressive sound effects.  The cover is  superb.  I love the colours and even the font used in the title. There is a strong sense of movement and tragedy all exposed to the reader.


Thanks to Penguin for this blurb who explain it far better than I could.

“Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied, but the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.”
So excited about this one!

Dear Vincent
By Mandy Hager


Tara is 17 and overwhelmed by what  life keeps throwing at her.  She is trying to succeed at school, working part-time to help out at home as well as caring for her stroke-ridden father. Her mother is brutal, uncaring  and abusive. Tara misses her older sister, Van who died five years ago and consoles herself with painting. She is obsessed with Vincent Van Gogh seeing parallels between his life and hers.

The discovery that her sister had actually taken her own life leaves Tara distraught. She begins to spiral out of control desperate and self-destructive.

There is hope though in the companionship of an elderly man she cares for at the rest home where she works. He offers her strength and wonderful discussions about Vincent Van Gogh. But is it enough?

This book is raw and honest. Family secrets are hidden deep but the consequences are devastating. It is an emotional roller coaster which leaves the reader gasping for breath.

Suicide is very real and Mandy Hager is brave to tackle what is often a taboo subject. I highly recommend this book although the subject and reality of suicide  is not for everyone.

I  predict this gutsy novel will be a finalist on next year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book  Awards.

Silent Saturday
By Helen Grant

The cover of this book has a haunting Gothic quality to it which is just brilliant. This book quite frankly stands out among so many others with its visual appeal. And then there is the story!

“Seventeen-year-old Veerle is frustrated with life in suburban Brussels. But a chance encounter with a hidden society, whose members illegally break into unoccupied buildings around the city, soon opens up a whole new world of excitement—and danger.

When one of the society’s founding members disappears, Veerle suspects foul play. But nothing can prepare her for the horror that is about to unfold when an old foe emerges from the shadows… No one is safe, and The Hunter will strike again…”
Random House New Zealand
Sounds a perfect read for those who love a bit of horror and thriller all rolled up into one. This is definitely one to put on my list. The trailer has a certain creepiness to it which adds to the sense of growing suspense.

The glass puzzle
By Christine Brodien-Jones
ISBN13: 9780385742979
Due for publication next week.

The cover of this book appealed to me even before I saw the trailer so already it is on my want to read list.
Fantasy, adventure, three kids, and a secret portal leading both ways. Good can get out but evil can get in. And just what or who are those half-human, half-creatures after. The discovery of a glass puzzle unleashes ancient forces that could destroy everything and everyone. Can eleven year old Zoe and her cousin save the day! I sure hope!

Jamie Reign : The last spirit warrior
By P. J. Tierney

ISBN: 9781743095645

This book landed on my desk at work today and I was immediately drawn to it by its great cover. I had also been sent an email to say it was on local blogger Zac’s most anticipated July releases and I know if it is on his list it is going to be good.
So lunch time was spent on the net looking to see if there was a trailer to go with this book and I am happy to say it is here just below. Musically it has a very cool beat that makes me almost want to run through a jungle.

Jamie Reign was born on the first day of the Chinese Year of the Dragon 12 years ago. So far it hasn’t bought him any good luck. His mother died the day he was born and he has endured a loveless life with an abusive father.
When trying to deal with a group of bullies Jamie somehow summons ups fiery orbs from the air. He has unknowingly tapped into a Universal energy source known as The Way and in doing so has set off a chain of events with unforeseen consequences.
Jamie finds himself suddenly whisked off to a school for students with special abilities. It is there that the legendary Kung Fu Master Wu takes a keen interest in helping him develop his skills.
Mr Wu believes Jamie may be the Last Spirit Warrior. And if that is the case, then Jamie has plenty to do beginning with righting the wrongs throughout the world. Jamie is not convinced, especially as his skills at Kung Fu are limited, or as Jamie believes, pretty much hopeless.