|Uglies : Shay's story |
by Westerfeld, Scott.
The first book of the Uglies series was published in 2005, three years before The Hunger Games. But a graphic novel version has been released, and the new story packs just as much punch. In the original Uglies, Tally eagerly waits her sixteenth birthday, when, through the miracle of her society’s high-tech plastic surgery, she will become beautiful. As a Pretty, her only goal in life will be the pursuit of a good time. But then Tally’s best friend Shay unexpectedly refuses her makeover, running off instead to the Smoke, an outside colony of Uglies. If Tally doesn’t spy on the Smoke, she won’t be allowed to become Pretty. The graphic novel version tells Shay’s side of the story—her attraction to the prankish Uglies gang calling itself “The Crims,” her growing dissatisfaction with the status quo, her friends’ desertion to Pretty Town, and her persuasive (except to Tally) arguments against becoming Pretty. Shay is a born rebel—much like a certain tribute from District 12—and the story from her point of view becomes something darker, more active, with the consequences of the characters’ actions even more significant. The manga-like artwork provides a light touch to a story that becomes more engrossing with each new image. posted Jun 6, 2012 at 9:33PM
by Roth, Veronica
Beatrice Prior has lived her whole life in Abnegation, where you always put the needs of others before your own. But when Beatrice turns sixteen, she will be tested and have the option to join one of the other factions that her city is divided into—Amity (peace), Erudite (intelligence), Candor (truth), or Dauntless (bravery). The motto of this brave new world is “faction before blood,” and individuals are expected to dedicate their lives to the virtue their faction promotes. So Beatrice is shocked when her scores show that she could belong to more than one faction. She is labeled Divergent, and like Katniss in The Hunger Games, Beatrice must play a dangerous game with the authorities to minimize the danger she’s in. Dauntless seems the best place for Beatrice—now calling herself as Tris to match the punk stylings of her new faction—to find answers. As she and the other Dauntless initiates undergo a series of trials to prove their worth, Tris finds it impossible to forget her life in Abnegation, especially since many Dauntless want to trade cruelty for courage. Throw in a romance with a handsome instructor and growing rivalries between factions, and Divergent becomes the first of a hard-hitting, unpredictable new dystopian trilogy. posted Jun 6, 2012 at 9:33PM
by Lu, Marie, 1984-
June Iparis is the opposite of Katniss Everdeen—while Katniss is a lowly citizen of Panem’s poverty-stricken District Twelve, June is the genius daughter of the Republic, a highly-trained soldier who is dedicated to the cause of putting down the rebellion. It’s the boy Day who most resembles Katniss. He’s the Republic’s most-wanted criminal, a street-wise justice fighter, a thorn in the side of the elite military officials. But when Day is accused of killing June’s brother, she vows revenge. And when the two finally meet, sparks fly—and supposedly known truths begin to crumble. Like Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games, June and Day form an unexpected alliance that begins to uncover secrets about the series of plagues that annually infest the poorest neighborhoods, the Trials that all ten-year-old citizens are required to take, and the ongoing war between the Republic and the outlying Colonies. June and Day tell their stories in distinct voices through alternating chapters, and there’s plenty of action, wit, mystery, and intriguing world-building. Star-crossed lovers who take on a totalitarian government? Hunger Games fans are practically guaranteed to be lining up for Legend and its upcoming sequels. posted Jun 6, 2012 at 9:33PM
by Aguirre, Ann
When the world ended, the people left behind moved underground. Now they survive in barricaded enclaves below the streets, focused on three simple things: breeding, building, and hunting. When they turn sixteen, kids cease to be nameless brats and become working members of this desperate society. Deuce becomes a Huntress, specially trained to find food outside the enclave—and to fight the human-like, flesh-eating Freaks who roam the abandoned tunnels and sewers. Partnered with the enigmatic Fade, who came to the enclave as a young boy having survived on his own, Deuce begins to suspect that the Freaks are no longer the mindless monsters they used to be—they’re getting smarter. But the enclave elders dismiss Deuce’s reports, and Deuce is banished to keep her rumors from spreading. Unexpectedly, Fade agrees to go with Deuce. He claims he once lived Topside, and that the world above is not the blighted ruin the elders say it is. So Deuce leaves the only world she’s ever known for a whole new set of dangers in a world where nothing is as it seems. Enclave is the first of a planned trilogy and like The Hunger Games, it’s a page-turner with the first gritty volume hinting at more chaos to come. posted Jun 6, 2012 at 9:31PM
|The watch that ends the night : voices from the Titanic |
by Wolf, Allan.
Everyone knows how the story ends—with a lost ship and a few boatloads of survivors in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean. But the stories of the people on the Titanic continue to fascinate and resonate. Author Allen Wolf tells two dozen of those stories in The Watch That Ends the Night, a novel-in-verse featuring the voices of millionaire John Jacob Astor, wireless operator Harold Bride, immigrant Olaus Abelseth, third-class refugee Jamila, the woman who became known as “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” the ship’s baker, the violinist, an onboard rat, and many others—including the iceberg itself. Wolf mixes fact and fiction for a work that is epic in scope, from the musings of doomed Captain Smith to the babblings of near-infant Lolo Navratil. Cementing the story is the occasional report from undertaker John Snow, who helps to harvest the bodies from the sea days after the disaster. Though mournful at times, The Watch That Ends the Night has its fair share of brave deeds and meaningful connections. With over thirty pages of biographies and resources, this is an impressive work that adds a crucial human touch to the facts and statistics that make up the Titanic’s remarkable history. posted Dec 23, 2011 at 11:42AM
by Willis, Connie.
Connie Willis is an acclaimed science fiction writer who happens to love history. Her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novel Doomsday Book sends a graduate student back in time to the Dark Ages; her comic gem To Say Nothing of the Dog mixes the Victorian Era with World War II. In Passage, Dr. Joanna Lander is a psychologist researching near-death experiences (or NDEs). She’s developed a drug that can stimulate the experience and is working with neurologist Richard Wright on a theory that NDEs are actually a survival mechanism. But when Joanna goes under herself in a stimulated NDE, what she finds is completely unexpected—it’s the Titanic, and neither Joanna nor Richard have any idea what it means. But Willis drops plenty of hints, all the while distracting her protagonists with chance meetings, half-forgotten conversations, and characters as varied as a smart little girl with a severe heart condition to a fellow doctor who wants to use their research to promote his own career. As Joanna explores her strange experience farther and farther, the tension and the mystery build to a fever pitch—and then there’s an intense plot twist just before the ending. Suspenseful and powerful, reading Passage is an unforgettable experience. posted Dec 23, 2011 at 11:41AM
|The night lives on |
by Lord, Walter, 1917-2002.
Walter Lord remained devoted to the story of the Titanic after writing his groundbreaking account of the disaster A Night to Remember in 1955. When the wreckage was discovered in 1985, Lord couldn’t resist another rumination on the great ship’s lasting legacy. In The Night Lives On, Lord delves deeper into mysteries and myths that have accumulated over the decades. He sheds light on the rumor that a crewman shot into a crowd of passengers swarming around the last of the lifeboats. He ponders the pride and arrogance of the Edwardian age that is so frustrating to modern minds in the light of all the “what ifs” that could have changed the course of Titanic’s history. He pours over the records for eyewitness accounts of the ship splitting in two and the band playing ‘til the end. He contrasts the reactions of the ships Carpathia and Californian—the former rushed to Titanic’s aid but was over fifty miles away; the later passively puzzled over strange lights and rockets in the night from a distance of just fifteen miles or so. As it asks new questions, rights wrongs, and sets the record straight, The Night Lives On is another detailed, engrossing account of all things Titanic. posted Dec 23, 2011 at 11:41AM
|A night to remember |
by Lord, Walter, 1917-2002.
The strict divisions between first class and third, the record-breaking size of the ocean liner, the old-fashioned heroism of “women and children first,” the ease by which the entire disaster could have been avoided, the captain going down with the ship and the band playing ‘til the very end—these details have made the sinking of the Titanic an event that is impossible to forget. In 1955, Walter Lord published the first fully researched account of the events of that fateful night. Lord supplies a wealth of information about the crew, the passengers, the construction of the ship, and all its distinct luxuries. He carefully traces the timeline that ends in tragedy. He focuses on the rigid class system that kept the steerage passengers locked below decks when the ship struck the iceberg, and on the outdated emergency standards that kept the number of lifeboats to a minimum and resulted in the deaths of more than half the people on board. Lord’s attention to detail is extraordinary—no passenger’s experience is too small to explore and record and shed light on the disaster. Nearly sixty years after its original publication, A Night to Remember is still the definitive account of the Titanic. posted Dec 23, 2011 at 11:41AM
|Building the Titanic : an epic tale of the creation of history's most famous oce|
by Green, Rod.
882 feet long, 175 feet high, weighing 46,428 tons—Titanic was the largest moving man-made object of the day. Staterooms with private promenades, squash courts, a Turkish bath, a Parisian café—Titanic was the most luxurious ship ever built. In that respect, the White Star Line accomplished its goal of building the largest and most impressive sea-going vessel to date. Of course, the ship sinking on its maiden voyage with a loss of 1,500 people was not part of the plan. Building the Titanic is the story of the creation of the great ship. Author Rod Green explores the motives of the ship’s owners (profits and status), the lives of the men who worked in the shipyards (there were 254 recorded accidents during the building of the Titanic; eight men died), and every detail of its construction from the delivery of 45,000 table napkins to the production of a new massive dry dock to hold the ship while it was being built. Rare photographs taken by passengers during the ill-fated voyage and detailed construction plans complete this portrait of Titanic and prove that the ship was mightily impressive indeed, and well deserving of the attention she received even from her very beginning. posted Dec 23, 2011 at 11:40AM
by Gray, Claudia.
Fateful is a romance about werewolves on the Titanic. That’s right: werewolves on the Titanic. Preposterous? Of course. Fun? Absolutely. Tess Davies is a maid for the snobbish Lisle family, and she’s finally had enough. She’s taking this opportunity to break free: when Titanic reaches New York, Tess will strike out on her own. But a seemingly chance encounter with two men—one sinister, one handsome—has Tess looking over her shoulder as she boards the mighty ship. Sure enough, the two strangers are on board and on the prowl. Mikhail is a dangerous werewolf representing the Brotherhood, a powerful paranormal faction. Alec is also a (very wealthy and attractive first class) werewolf, but he’s clinging to his sense of humanity and desperate to do no harm. Mikhail is after Alec’s fortune but there’s something else on Titanic—something that belongs to the Lisle family—and Mikhail’s not going to let some gutsy little maidservant stand in his way. As Tess is drawn deeper in the werewolves’ affairs, the ship has its own fateful encounter with an iceberg that will foil the best-laid plans of wolf and maid. Melodramatic, with a steamy romance and plenty of action, Fateful is an entirely worthwhile guilty pleasure. posted Dec 23, 2011 at 11:39AM
|KaliO's Book Lists|
|Katniss' Allies (8 titles)
Of course you’ve seen the The Hunger Games movie. The Hunger Games is your favorite book; you’ve read it a dozen times. You’ve read Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Hell, you’ve read The Hunger Games Companion, The Girl Who Was On Fire: Your Favorite Authors On Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy, and even The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. But it’s not enough! What will you do without gritty, futuristic worlds stricken by environmental disasters and world wars? What will you without a revolution to bring down a sly Big Brother-like government? What will you do without a stubborn, sarcastic, tough-as-nails but secretly tenderhearted heroine to root for? Don’t worry! You’re in luck! There’s a whole new generation of rebel girls (and a few rebel boys) on the bookshelves, and they’re not going down without a fight.
|The New Zombies (7 titles)
For the last few years, it’s been sparkly, sullen vampires who’ve ruled page and screen. But slowly, steadily creeping up on the bloodsuckers, is a new version of an old favorite: the zombie. Films like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, plus Max Brooks’ and Seth Graham-Smith’s tongue-in-cheek books The Zombie Survival Guide and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, lead the charge with a sarcastic, wholly unique 21st century brand of humor. Other novelists have contributed a new intensity and complexity that comment on modern society and politics—or make some very intriguing changes to the traditional zombie genre. Zombie books are hitting the bestseller lists hard, and readers cannot wait to devour them.
|100th Anniversary of the Voyage of the Titanic (8 titles)
In the late hours of April 14th, 1912, the steamship RMS Titanic hit an iceberg. At 2:20am on the morning of the 15th, the ship sank into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. It was the ship’s first and final voyage. Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ocean liner in the world. Some of the wealthiest and most famous people of the day were passengers. The ship was said to be “unsinkable;” over 1,500 souls went down with her that night. The disaster made headlines all around the world. One hundred years later, we’re still talking about it.
|Video Game Books (7 titles)
Video games: They began as dinky pixelated images where the goal was to eat fruit and run from ghosts (poor old Pac Man). Now they’re complex, visually stunning stories in which you can fight wars, search for treasure, and build cities. Books that incorporate this changing, challenging technology toy with reality, critique modern society—and afford readers a chance to really, truly, geek-out like crazy.
|Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Grows Up (6 titles)
Remember reading those old Choose Your Own Adventure stories when you were a kid? With opening sentences like “You are a deep sea explorer searching for the famed lost city of Atlantis” or “You stand on the deck of the RMS Titanic, the brand new White Star ocean liner,” you knew immediately that there was adventure in store. And then there’s the added thrill of getting to decide what happens next: “If you choose to return to the island, go to page 12. If you decide to follow Jenny into the abyss, go to page 38.” The adventures were straightforward, the choices were good or bad—ah, how simple life was. But now that you’re an adult, choosing your own storybook adventure is more complex, sassier, sexier, gorier, and helluva lot more interesting.
|The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (6 titles)
It’s been 146 years since John Wilkes Booth walked into a theater and Abraham Lincoln in the head. But our collective interest in that event has not dimmed. Consider a few details from that fateful night—Booth had only a few hours to plan the assassination; Lincoln had recurring dreams and premonitions about his death; Booth knew the play so well that he could anticipate the crowds’ laughter to cover the sound of the shot. And then there’s the remarkable cast of supporting characters—Mary Surratt (the first woman in American history to be executed by the federal government), Secretary of State William Seward (who survived a near-fatal assault by another assassin at the exact moment Booth was killing Lincoln), and Robert Lincoln (Abe’s son who would be at hand to witness two more presidential shootings). It’s no wonder we’re still fascinated by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
|Advanced Readers Copies @ ALA (6 titles)
There’s nothing like a half-mile long convention center exhibit hall full of publishers throwing books at you to get you back in the mood for book-blogging. The American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference was in New Orleans last month, and the exhibit hall was a librarian’s heaven on earth. You’d walk past a table and a book would appear in your hands—an ARC, or Advanced Reading Copy. Many of those ARCs were new graphic novels and illustrated books that represent an especially exciting trend in publishing right now. Here are some new and up-coming titles, fresh from the forty-pound bag of books that this librarian lugged across that exhibit hall, through the convention center, and down the streets of New Orleans.
|Why We Love Jane (6 titles)
Jane Austen (1775-1817) is more popular today than she ever was in her all-too brief life. Arguably the best-known female writer in literary history, Jane wrote only six books—Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion—before she died at the age of forty-two. Some think of her as the ultimate romantic, the founding mother of the chick lit genre. Some admire her keen wit and observant eye, seeing in Jane an uncanny ability to critique society. Not merely content to read Jane’s books, we’ve created an entire industry around her legacy—sequels, prequels, spin-offs, modern adaptations, and a unique body of work that analyzes why exactly we’re so fond of dear old Jane.
|Whales and Their Friends (7 titles)
We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean’s depths, but we have figured out that there’s some remarkable creatures swimming around down there—whales not the least of them (because whales are really, really big). From the near-mythical giant squid to the quirky little seahorse, the creatures of the deep are extraordinary and they’re about to become your new best friends.
|I Now Pronounce You Husband and Sleuth (6 titles)
Every great Sherlock has a Watson, a partner who tags along, occasionally finding a clue or two, but existing mainly so the genius detective can show off his astounding deductions and observations. That sort of relationship gets old pretty quick, so mystery writers spice things up by teaming husbands and wives together to solve crime. These duos often star in series; they meet in the first book, fall in love and tie the knot, and then spend the next dozen or so mysteries working together—collaborating, cooperating, and occasionally bickering like the old married couples they’ve become. Being the third wheel to these cunning couples is every bit as much fun as catching the crook.