Normal Public Library Teens

Archive for December, 2009

New Manga and Graphic Novels

Posted by Kristi on December 7, 2009

Sand Chronicles 4 – 6 by Hinako Ashihara 

Twelve-year-old Ann and her divorced mother move from Tokyo to her mother’s rural hometown. How will Ann survive her exile from civilization? Then, when her mother commits suicide, Ann has to grow up fast. As the years pass, Ann learns to trust and depend on her new friends – Daigo and aristocratic siblings Fuji and Shika. But when Ann moves back to Tokyo to be with her father, will she be able to maintain a long-distance relationship with Daigo? And do Fuji and Shika harbor romantic feelings of their own that might rip their childhood friendships apart…?

High School Debut 10 – 11 by Kazune Kawahara 

Friendship and love are put to the test when Asaoka reveals to Yoh that he likes Haruna. To settle things once and for all, Yoh and Asaoka strike a deal – whoever loses the school sports meet will give up his feelings for her! Then, Haruna becomes worried when she sees Yoh hanging out with a classmate.  She has good reason for feeling uneasy – it looks like this girl really does want to sabotage their relationship!

Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood by Tony Lee, Sam Hart, and Artur Fujita 

How did Robin of Loxley become Robin Hood? Why did he choose to fight injustice instead of robbing for his own gain? Expressive and gritty, this graphic novel whisks readers back to Crusades-era England, where the Sheriff of Nottingham rules with an iron fist, and in the haunted heart of Sherwood Forest, a defiant rogue — with the help of his men and the lovely Maid Marian — disguises himself to become an outlaw.

Runaways: Rock Zombies by Terry Moore 

The spookiest Runaways tale ever! The Val Rhymin subplot has been brewing for a while and peaks here – Chase’s boss is not what he seems. Writer Terry Moore welcomes former Runaways artist Takeshi Miyazawa aboard for this creepy tale of magic and mayhem.

Bone: Rose by Jeff Smith 

A prequel to the Bone saga, Rose takes place in the Valley years before the Bones arrived, when Gran’ma Ben was the spirited, beautiful Princess Rose. She and her cold, bitter sister, Briar, are called to defend the Valley from a vicious dragon that is possessed by the Lord of the Locusts. Rose is up to the task, but can Briar be trusted?

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Book Review: Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Posted by Kristi on December 1, 2009

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Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Micah is a liar.  She has always lied.  It’s a family curse – she can’t help but lie to you.  But now, her classmate (and secret boyfriend) Zach has been killed under mysterious circumstances, and all of Micah’s carefully constructed lies are starting to crumble around her.  So Micah promises that this time she’s going to tell you the truth about what happened to Zach, and about her mysterious family history.  No lies, no omissions.  But can you really believe a word she says?

Whew.  I’m not sure how to describe this one without spoiling it for everyone.  I raced through it, desperate to find out what really happened to Micah and Zach, but even after finishing, I have no idea what the real truth is.  Micah is the queen of unreliable narrators, as she’ll tell you herself.  Throughout the book, she’s constantly revisiting things she’s told the reader are the absolute truth, only to confess that, well, maybe she’s still telling you a few tiny lies.  Over and over again this happens, until you’re not sure if you can trust that anything Micah’s telling you is the truth.  Add in a huge twist in the middle that takes the story in a completely unexpected direction, and an ending that does its best to avoid answering any questions, and you’ve got a suspenseful, page-turning read that doesn’t really fit in any genre category.

If you’ve read any of Labalestier’s other books (including the also wonderful Magic or Madness trilogy, and the fluffy but funny How to Ditch Your Fairy), be prepared for something completely different than anything else she’s done.  I can’t guarantee you’ll love it – it’s a frustrating read – but I think that anyone who’s into suspensful, creepy tales should give it a shot.  I thought it was great, and I’m adding it to my list of favorite books of 2009.

P.S. – If you’ve finished Liar and you’re looking for a good, spoilery place to discuss it with others, Larbalestier has provided a post to do so on her blog.  Actually, I’d highly recommend checking out her blog, period.  She’s hilarious and also provides some great tips for aspiring writers.

P.P.S – This has nothing to do with the rest of the thread, but did you know that Justine Larbalestier is married to Scott Westerfeld, writer of the Uglies and Midnighters trilogies, among others?  I love the idea of two great writers of young adult novels being together – wonder if they ever steal each other’s ideas?

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