Do you like dystopia? Do you like vampires? Then I have the book for you: When the Sea Is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen. Yep you guessed it: it’s vampire dystopia! In the society that is the backdrop for this story, marriages are arranged, class/caste is everything, and vampires are part of society. Felicita is a 17-year-old girl who is a member of the highest class, and her best friend, Ilven, has just committed suicide rather than marry the man her parents chose for her. When Felicita’s family announces that her own marriage has been arranged to a man she has absolutely no wish to marry, Felicita decides to fake her own death and run away. She hides in the city’s slums and becomes a dishwasher in a tea house. She also meets two very different guys: Dash, a charming bad-boy type, and Jannik, a vampire. And then, to top it all off, Ilven’s suicide has called up some sort of sea creature bent on destruction, and Felicita has to save her new friends, her family, and the entire town from the creature’s wrath.
Now for more vampires! This next book is a loose retelling of the Snow White fairy tale with vampires (and a little bit of The Godfather thrown in for good measure). Nameless by Lili St. Crow is about a girl named Camille. When she was a small child, Camille was discovered shivering in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, the head of one of the seven powerful vampire clans. Camille doesn’t remember who she used to be or where all of her scars came from. And then she meets Tor, who has scars similar to her own, and wonders if he could be a link to her mysterious past.
Have a favorite vampire book or story? Share with us below.
-Emily Mauldin, Youth Services, Middletown Branch
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If you need to kill some time while waiting for more lives, here are some ideas:
Sweet Fiction, Non-fiction and DVDs
- Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
- The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
- L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad (okay it’s not actually about candy but it’s got candy in the title, sue me)
- The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook by Liz Gutman and Jen King
- Candy Making for Dummies by David E.H. Jones
- Candy from the History Channel
Some of these look really cool and fun.
So get reading! Or crafting and baking – you have 30 minutes between lives to waste or until your Facebook friends give you more. And just keep telling yourself, “I can quit whenever I want…” That’s what I’ll be telling myself.
-Heather Lee, Children and Teen Services, St Matthews Branch
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Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Seventeen-year-old Kami Glass has spent her entire life in a small English town called Sorry-in-the-Vale. She has always had a hard time fitting in; she is Japanese and looks like no one else in her town, and she hears a voice in her head that she has been talking to from the time she was born. But, despite being an outsider, Kami is very bold, constantly pursuing answers to the mysteries that surround her.
She and her best friend and tough sidekick, Angela, run the school newspaper. Life in Sorry-in-the-Vale is fairly dull with few interesting stories to publish outside of children’s cricket camp drama. But everything changes once the Lynburn family returns to town. For starters, the voice in her head, Jared, turns out to be a real person (and not just any person): a Lynburn who seems as gorgeous as he is dangerous. As if that isn’t confusing enough, she also meets his equally attractive cousin, Asher. While Kami is trying to wrap her head around that drama, she is pushed into a well and nearly drowns. Someone is out to kill her, but who, and why? Does the boy in her head hold the answers? Click here for a link to the Library catalog.
The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins by HP Newquist
When you think of blood what comes to mind? Gore ? Death? Blood is an essential part of life that has affected human society, both culturally and scientifically. This book explores medical research over several centuries, as well as the folklore, fear, and religious and political barriers that have hindered our understanding of blood and the basic functions of the human body.
Surprisingly, our current knowledge of blood and the circulatory system was not discovered until the beginning of the 19th century. Even after the invention of the microscope, bloodletting continued as standard practice until some doctors began to question it after George Washington’s death.
Beginning with ancient civilizations and mythology, the book follows humanity’s social and scientific relationship with blood through to modern times. The second half of the book details the scientific functions of blood. The last section of the book explores the myths and legends related to blood, such as vampires, that have continued in popular culture. If you want a great read full of information without the dryness of a traditional textbook- I highly recommend the Book of Blood. Click here for a link to the Library catalog.
Have a favorite scary novel or ghost story? Share below in the comments section.
-Melissa McCullough, Children's Librarian, Jeffersontown Branch
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(Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twelve_Kingdoms and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... ngdoms.png)
Her two most popular series The Twelve Kingdoms (linked to LFPL catalog) and Ghost Hunt have both been adapted into anime series. The Twelve Kingdoms has also been translated into English by former manga publisher Tokyo Pop. The story is about another world that exists on the other side of the ocean from Japan where rulers are chosen by mythical creatures, and evil demons plague the land. High school honor student Yoko is taken into the world of The Twelve Kingdoms to become the king of Kei by one of these mythical creatures. Through her eyes, the audience is introduced to an intricate cast of characters in a richly formed fantasy realm.
Ono’s other popular series, Ghost Hunt, has also been adapted into a manga series. This is a modern day horror series that follows the famous psychic Kazuya Shibuya characterized through ghost-hunting high school student Mai. Through her adventures with Shibuya, Mai develops her own psychic abilities and becomes friends with other spiritualists that join Shibuya’s ghost hunts. There are many scary and sometimes gory moments in this series, so it is not for the faint of heart.
Take some time to branch out from manga authors and check out some of the very talented Japanese novelists like Fuyumi Ono!
-Lynn Johnson, Children and Teen Services, Westport and St. Matthews Branch
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Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer
In January 1692 in the small village of Salem, Massachusetts, the daughter and niece of the town’s minister, Reverend Parris, had fallen ill with strange symptoms. The young girls would speak in garbled words that no one could recognize, they would twitch and scratch and contort their bodies into abnormal shapes. The reverend and his wife were beside themselves as to how to care for the girls sudden disturbing symptoms, until an elderly town physician examined them and declared that the two were “under an evil hand” also known at the time as being bewitched.
Using startling facts, actual court transcripts, and striking black, white, and red scratch board illustrations, Witches: the absolutely true tale of disaster in Salem tells the story of the period of very dark days of the now infamous town of Salem. In the height of witch hysteria, over 100 individuals were accused of witchcraft and jailed. At least 20 were eventually executed. Brothers accused brothers, children accused parents, rich and poor alike were hauled off to jail to await trials that weren't based on any factual evidence but only on the dreams and visions of the accused.
This was a fascinating historical account that I recommend to anyone who has ever been curious about this dark period in history.
Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Cleopatra. Just her name summons images of other-worldly beauty and ruthless power. Undoubtedly one of the most famous female rulers in history, Cleopatra’s life hasn't always been portrayed in the most flattering of lights given that most of what we know about her came from the Romans, who hated and feared her. However, in Cleopatra Rules! we are offered a fresh and funny look at her life that strives to show Cleopatra’s point of view.
Peppered throughout the book are fascinating facts on Cleopatra and Egyptian life in general. For instance, did you know that Cleo was a hardcore book worm spending many hours of her youth at the Great Library of Alexandria? For a wedding present, Mark Anthony, instead of showering her with the customary jewels, plundered the library in Ephesus, Turkey for her. How romantic!
The author also has a way with words that’s sure to keep you amused, Mark Anthony was a “Roman Redneck,” and Cleo’s competitive siblings were a "a nest of squirming, hissing reality-show stars,” and Cleo herself was “as compelling as a giant magnet in a room full of nails.”
Cleopatra Rules! is a fun but informative trip through the life and times of the original teen queen, check it out from your local LFPL branch!
-Claire, Teen Services, Jeffersontown Library
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