Young adult, old adult, whatever - no one is ever too old for the Muppets!
Anyway, on to the subject at hand...
Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
The Elementals series: Hot. Hot. Hot.
Four elements: EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.
Four Merrick brothers: Chris. Gabriel. Nick. Michael.
Spark is the second book in the series that started with Storm. This time the spotlight is shining on Gabriel. The reckless twin. And he plays with flames. Literally. And because fire is his element, he can't get burnt. But other people can. So what happens when practice flames erupt into real fires; fires too powerful for him to control? Trouble. That's what happens.
And then there's trouble at school too. Maths trouble. Enter Layne. Maths whiz. Mysterious past. Good sister. Definitely the kind of nice girl who should keep away from a bad boy...
Who for? Teenagers who will devour a book sizzling with action, mystery, elemental powers and hot romance. Perfect for diving into after the last present is unwrapped.
I Made Lattes for a Love God by Wendy Harmer
Location: Elly Pickering's high school - the film set for a new teen flick starring teen heart throb, Jake Blake. (And Elly's mum is doing the PR.)
Elly's Mission: Get on the set, secure a spot as an extra, get close to her Hollywood crush.
Reality check: Elly is not a glamorous extra or a fascinating and helpful assistant. She's stuck in the unairconditioned catering van in the middle of summer - wearing a hairnet - making coleslaw and coffees for the cast and crew. Nothing else could possibly go wrong, could it?
Who for: Girls aged 12 or more, who would enjoy a bright and bubbly novel about best friends, bad friends, bad decisions, boyfriends, not-so-secret Hollywood crushes, and surviving it all with one's dignity (mostly) intact.
The Diviners by Libba Bray
DO NOT READ The Diviners at night when you're home alone. Do not do it.
DO READ IT at all other times. Compulsively.
It had me at: 'Cassandra Clare meets Phryne Fisher meets Patricia Cornwell.' And it kept me with the speakeasies, the jazz clubs, the occult scarefest, and the terrific cast of characters.
Who for: teenagers who love a spooky mystery with a hot cast and a glimpse of Jazz Age New York. Adults who like same. And for anyone who wants to pick up good line in 1920s slang, it's po-si-tute-ly the cat's miaow.
The Voyage of the Unquiet Ice (Ship Kings Book 2) by Andrew McGahan
Dow finally has his heart's desire - he is aboard the Chloe, leaving behind the strictures of New Island and his old life, and making for waters unknown. But he is sailing not only into the dangers of the frozen north, but into the treacherous waters of Ship Kings politics, where ruthlessness and betrayal rule the day. Andrew McGahan's writing is sublime - and this book is chock-full of high adventure: sea monsters, rivalries, dangerous icebergs, and a desperate search for the missing heir to the throne. Oh, and also some EXCELLENT URST, for those of you who like that kind of thing.*
Who for: people who love Patrick O'Brian, or the Hornblower books, or Poe's mysterious tales, or Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series.
The Convent by Maureen McCarthy
This is a very special book, especially if you live in Melbourne. Set in and around the Abbotsford Convent and encompassing three generations of women, The Convent is Maureen McCarthy at her brilliant best - a big warm, messy family story with heartache, heartbreak and heart-ease by the bucketload. It's also an interesting, moving, intensely real view of the changing lives of women over the decades, and a reminder of how the choices we make, and the choices that are made for us, reverberate down the generations.
Who for: anyone - teens and adults - with a heart and soul, and anyone who's always had an ounce of curiosity about what went on behind the high walls of the Abbotsford Convent.
*Which is clearly everyone.