Linus sees a blind man struggling and heads over to help, next thing he finds himself in an underground bunker and starts keeping a diary trying to make sense of the surreal situation he is in. There are six rooms and six of everything else, but initially he is alone. He has no idea why he is there or who has kidnapped him from the streets of London and put him in this strange place. There is no way to escape. Gradually more bewildered people arrive and they make a kind of life knowing that they are being watched all the time. They are rewarded with food or punished by food being withheld. Nobody knows why they are there or whether they will ever return to their normal everyday lives. This is one of those books that will make you think, it makes you question how you would cope in the very worst of circumstances. How would you get through it? Would you fall to pieces or would you find a way to stay strong and hope for the best? Would you be brave enough to fight or would you just curl up and wait for it to be over? Very much Emma Donoghue’s Room for a next generation, but that said, the content is often harsh and in true Kevin Brooks style, there is no holding back, so it is definitely not for younger readers.
This is a gripping and harrowing historical thriller, set around the emotional and repellent subject of Victorian baby farming. When fifteen-year-old Queenie escapes from the squalid slums of nineteenth-century London, she has no idea about the dangers of the dark world she is about to become embroiled in. Initially thrilled at being taken on as a maid for the seemingly respectable Waters sisters, Queenie comes to realise that something is very wrong with the dozens of strangely silent babies being ‘adopted’ into the household. Meanwhile, lonely and unloved sixteen-year-old Ellen is delighted when her handsome and charming young cousin Jacob is sent to live with her family. She thinks she has finally found a man to fall in love with and rely on, but when Jacob cruelly betrays her she finds herself once again at the mercy of her cold hearted father. Soon the girls’ lives become irrevocably entwined in this tension-filled drama. This is a novel of friendship and trust in the darkest of settings.
A powerful and moving stand-alone novel about a teenage girl struggling against the odds for survival, in a North Korean prison camp. Yoora is a teenage girl living in North Korea, dreaming of the lights of foreign cities while eking out a miserable existence in a rural northern village. But then she makes a mistake: she falls in love. With someone far removed from her social class. Someone dangerous to know. When tongues start to wag, her father is executed and she is taken to a prison camp in the mountains. There, escape seems even further from her grasp. But Yoora is about to learn an important lesson: love can surprise you, and it can come in many forms. Against the backdrop of a country we know very little about, Drewery makes us see a life we, as western society, could not imagine. Her first novel, A Brighter Fear, set in Baghdad after the second Gulf War, also has the same delicate voice of understanding. She is a great new writer to discover.
“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am a geek.” Harriet Manners knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear and the average person laughs 15 times per day. She knows that bats always turn left when exiting a cave and that peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite. But she doesn’t know why nobody at school seems to like her. So when Harriet is spotted by a top model agent, she grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her best friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of impossibly handsome model Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. Veering from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, Harriet begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did. As her old life starts to fall apart, will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything? Full of laughs and embarrassing moments, this is a must for all Louise Rennison-fans.
Tackling the difficult question of mental health this is a book to make you laugh and cry in equal measures. Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons asks questions about everything but cannot bring himself to ask the one question that worries him more than all the others. The story follows Frankie who is afflicted to some degree with OCD and suffers from an anxiety disorder. His character is so carefully put together and so beautifully written the reader becomes utterly attached to him. The 10pm questions are the point in the day when Frankie connects most with his mentally ill mother, who is the source of all his anxiety, and they are without a doubt some of the most touching scenes. Ma clearly cares deeply for her son but due to her illness it is hard for her to show it by being a “proper” mother, but in these moments she can do something for Frankie. When a new girl arrives at school, a daring free spirit with unavoidable questions of her own – Frankie’s carefully guarded world begins to unravel, leading him to a painful confrontation with the ultimate 10 p.m. question. Deftly told with humor, poignancy, and an endearing cast of characters, The 10 P.M. Question will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart.
Infinite Sky tells the story of one summer that changes everything for Iris, a 13 year old girl with quite a bit going on in her family life. Her mum’s up and left to live in Tunisia. Her dad’s a bit of an alcoholic and her brother is so angry all the time. When a group of travellers set up camp behind their house, Iris finds herself curious about them, despite the things her dad and brother say about them, and makes friends with Trick. Tension builds-up between Iris’s family and the travellers, that kick off into something far more serious. The book opens with a funeral, Iris is mourning the boy in the casket – but who is it? Sam, her tearaway brother, or Trick, her tentative boyfriend? Over one long hot summer, we find out just how their three lives were turned upside-down. With her evocative and dreamy capturing of growing up, this is C.J.Flood’s debut novel, and we hope the first of many.
Josie, the 17-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is striving to escape 1950 New Orleans and enroll at prestigious Smith College when she becomes entangled in a murder investigation. Living and working in a bookshop, Josie Moraine dreams of anything to get away from her mother, a prostitute with Hollywood dreams and a knack for getting involved with the worst men. When Josie becomes involved in a high-profile murder investigation, she becomes even more entrenched in her circumstances. The sensual yet rigidly class-based setting is a real standout, and Sepetys has built a stellar cast, which includes Willie, a strident but generous madam; Charlie Marlowe, the bookshop’s owner; and a pair of potential love interests for Josie. Readers will find Josie irresistible from the get-go and will devour the sultry mix of mystery, historical detail, and romance. Sepetys tricks us into believing we are right there next to the characters.
Jem Halliday is in love with her best friend. This could be a problem under any circumstance, but given that Kai is gay, it is something she has to accept and live with. When Kai gets outed online, his world falls apart, as he is not ready to share his sexually with everyone and once he starts receiving more and more hate mail, he feels the only thing left to do is commit suicide. Suddenly Jem is without her best friend and feels that she might have to follow the same path as Kai. She receives a note Kai send her before his death and decides to fulfil her friend’s last wish. To do this, she has to change who she is and blend in with the in crowd. Will Jem find answers in the process, or will she find out more about herself? Cat Clarke is undoubtedly one of the most exciting new voices to come out of British YA at the moment and just like her other works, this one will break your heart more than once. Is there redemption in revenge or will Jem learn that love has many different names?
This is a really emotional book to read. It’s the story of Butter, a teenage boy who weighs over 400 pounds. Because of his size, Butter isolates himself from the other students at school. Morbidly obese at sixteen, Butter battles severe diabetes, paternal disdain, maternal smothering, and the apathy of his classmates. He’s sitting alone in the cafeteria, the butt of jokes and speculation about his eating habits. His only friends in the world are the Professor, a teacher at school who is after Butter to join the school band; Tucker, a friend from fat camp that he mostly interacts with over the summer; and an online friendship that Butter has with Anna, a popular girl at his school who doesn’t know she’s talking to him. All of this is about to change, when finally feeling he has had enough of the bullying and arguments, he creates a website www.butterslastmeal.com on which he pledges to eat himself to death on New Years Eve. Suddenly everyone is talking to and about Butter and he find out what being popular feels like. At first the tone is light-hearted and funny and you laugh along with Butter about the situation, not sure if he means business. Lange puts some huge challenges on the table, bullying, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, online reality shows, yet she treats them all with respect and never belittles a younger reader. You might not assume that Butter is your kind of book, but it is so well-written you will not be sorry you indulged.
A brilliant detective story from the screenwriters of X Men First Class and Thor. A must-read for anyone who loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Colin Fischer is 14 and he has Asperger’s Syndrome. A lot of the world is a mystery to Colin – he can’t read his classmates’ expressions without looking at a chart, the colour blue is really off-putting and he has no idea why his parents like to hug him. But when a gun goes off in the school cafeteria during lunchtime, Colin knows he can work out who did it. Colin loves cool, hard logic, just like his hero Sherlock Holmes. Only Colin can piece together the puzzle that links chocolate cake, a dodgy gangster, a cheerleader and a very unlikely suspect. His pursuit of the truth takes Colin outside of his comfort zone. As Colin works on solving the mystery of the gun’s owner, he is also figuring out Colin- and learning that his own life is, in many ways, a mystery to be solved. Though he’s a creature of routine, Colin still manages to surprise us. Readers will take this hero to heart.
Jenna has no great home life to speak of, and when her brother gets shipped of the war in Afghanistan, she feels very alone. Until she meets the Mr Anderson, her teacher, the coach, married man and what appeared to be the answer to her questions. At first you might think it is just a love story between teacher and student, but there are many small details that don’t fit. Bick has written a fascinating book that doesn’t preach what it thinks is wrong or right, it merely presents an interesting situation in which there are some good things as well as bad. The reader has to decide whose word can be trusted because the way it is written can be rather misleading. What appears to be a love story should not start with a detective interview in the first chapter, should it?
Jane has worked on this plan for months. If she is really well-behaved, the institute where she stays, will let her go home on a rare visit. When she steps onto the plane, she will go to the bathroom, take the pills and end her life. No one will discover her plan. Then the plane crashes in the snowy moutains. Jane opens her eyes to find not only did she not get a chance to commit suicide, she survived the plane crash. Along with one other survivor, she battles the blizzards and rocky mountain, looking for any sign of civilization. And suddenly, when given the chance, Jane realises that she is desperate to live and will do anything to keep alive. This is a rather action-packed read as Jane and Paul try to get down the mountain slope with little success at first. The reader watches Jane re-think her opinion on life and watch her grow as the days go past and they run out of food. Will Paul be the one to save Jane, or will she save herself? Fast-paced, action-packed with a twist at the end that makes it more than just another story.
Legend was a breath of fresh air to the saturated teen dystopian genre and Prodigy does not disappoint! Legend is a powerful, addictive and fast paced novel that is action packed, with an explosive storyline and a love story that will leave you begging for more, it is a very modern day retelling of Les Miserables.June and Day are both 15-years old, living in completely different worlds and both will do anything for the ones they love. The only thing is, Day is the worlds most wanted criminal and June is the super intelligent girl working for the Republic. When Day breaks into a hospital to try to find medicine for his sick brother, he is accused of murdering June’s brother, Metias. So June makes it her mission to hunt down Day and capture him so he can no longer run around the streets of Los Angeles. However, when June finally meets Day for the first time, he’s not like how the Republic have made him out to be – he’s kind, sweet and not at all a monster but who is the real monster in this story…..Day or the Republic?
Full of action, twists and the ever complicated relationship of June and Day Lu wrote a sequel that was even better. There are so many moments when you are unsure of the outcome that the unpredictability is nearly too much to bear (this is after all a teen novel!). If you loved Divergent by Veronica Roth or Matched by Allie Condie, these books are better.
In a land where magic has been forgotten and peace has reigned for centuries, unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms are battling for in the land of Mytica. There’s the icy Limeros in the North, resource poor but wine rich, Palaesia in the middle and the affluent Auranos in the South. The story is told from the point of view of four different characters, representing each of the kingdoms, and as they edge toward the brink of war, their lives become intertwined. Rhodes is not afraid to throw adversity in the face of her characters and she can be ruthless, so be warned. Any good fantasy read consists of a princess, a sorceress and of course the rebel we all love to hate, Falling Kingdoms is no exception. Fantasy, magic and a bit of romance, definitely for younger fans of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones or Trudi Canavan’s Black Magician series.
The start of an epic, adventure fantasy series, the setting includes medieval castles, supernatural forests and hybrid creatures. Fourteen-year-old Oland Born lives in dark times, in a world ruled by evil tyrant, Vilius Ren. Vilius and his fearsome, bloodthirsty army have wrecked the prosperous kingdom of Decresian, once ruled by good King Micah. Oland himself has been kept as Vilius’s servant in grim Castle Derrington, and he knows little about his past – or why Vilius keeps such a sharp, close eye on him.One night, Oland finds a letter addressed to him, from the long-dead king. No sooner has he read the message than a mysterious stranger tries to kidnap him. Oland runs, the dead king’s warning ringing in his ears. His greatest ally is a girl called Delphi who has dark secrets of her own, but Oland is to live he must restore the shattered kingdom. This is his quest. This is his curse. Great for fans of Simon Scarrow’s Gladiator series or The Hobbit.
Folktale and thriller are brilliantly interwoven in this fast-paced novel. The mysterious boy who Lissy encounters at a deserted train station acts like he has known her all her life. Unnerved by his unnatural beauty, she sets about uncovering the dark secret of the village of Hopesay Edge. The boy, Larkspur, is a member of the Hidden, an ancient group of elven people and Lissy quickly finds herself fighting to escape from a powerful elven magic. A bargain has been made that cannot be broken, and if the Hidden catch Lissy now, they will never let her go. Moran has weaves a story with twists and dark corners and by using different characters to narrate she simply leads us right into the elven den…be warned, some beauty is only skin deep.
Teen reads or YA as it’s known, is no longer for those with braces and growing pains.. the writing is sophisticated and the action adventure fast and nail-biting. Come and visit and see what is on the shelves to devour!