Newest Teens Reviews

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Steve and Frandan Take on the World by Ron Butlin

4.5star.jpg Teens

Like many books for confident readers and teens, our heroes are the victims of cruel bullies – to be precise, as we are well into the twenty-first century here, of the cyber kind. But this isn't some worthy self-help, tell-an-adult book, nor is it a gloomy book about young people who can't see the point of going on. Nope – these guys take the unusual (and, in the light of later events, utterly daft) decision to simply sail away into the sunset, to take a break from civilisation, online Thor and his idiot Viking horde, and the insanities in general of all adults. In their defence, it seems a sensible move at the time... Full review...

Contagion: Book 1 (Dark Matter) by Teri Terry

4.5star.jpg Teens

It's not a spoiler if I tell you that Callie dies because she does die and she dies in the first few pages of Contagion. Callie - Calista - disappeared more than a year ago. Her brother Kai is still looking for her, hopeful that she will be found alive and well. But Callie isn't alive and well. She's been taken to a secretive medical facility on the island of Shetland, experimented on, and then burned to death. But Callie survived the burning in non-corporeal form. How? Full review...

Passing for White by Tanya Landman

5star.jpg Dyslexia Friendly

In 1847, in Macon, Georgia, Benjamin was a slave. He was a talented carpenter too, but on November the 19th he was unnerved: a white woman was looking at him, smiling and being polite. What was going on? He wasn't just unnerved, but nervous: you see, Benjamin was looking at the white woman, looking her in the eye and a slave could get himself killed for less than that. Only this wasn't a white woman: this was Rosa, who was mixed race. She could pass for white, but she too was a slave. Rosa and Benjamin eventually married, but it didn't stop Rosa's master from taking sexual advantage of her and when she found that she was pregnant she had no way of knowing who the father was. Full review...

The Harder They Fall by Bali Rai

4.5star.jpg Dyslexia Friendly

Cal loves comic books. He also dreams of being a superhero and saving the day while simultaneously winning the heart of the girl (Freya being the girl, hopefully). Batman is his favourite superhero. But Cal's world outside his daydreams is not particularly superhero-like. Because Cal is a bit of a geek and he is being bullied by mean girl Anu, who makes him complete homework assignments which she then sells on to lazy classmates. Still, it's not all bad. Cal's parents are lovely and the gorgeous Freya is making friendly overtures... Full review...

Release by Patrick Ness

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Adam lives in small-town America in a deeply religious household. His father is an evangelical preacher. His brother is at a Christian college training to be an evangelical preacher. Adam is used to a restricted life and he is also used to an atmosphere of suspicion. Because Adam is gay. And this must be unspoken because to acknowledge it would lead to... ... well, best not to think about that. Full review...

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

4star.jpg Teens

And when did I volunteer to die down there just so two lousy humans could live?

Enter the world of the Jan'Tep, powerful mages with the ability to draw on the seven magics. Then meet Kellen, who despite being the son of one of the most formidable mages in the clan, has no magical ability whatsoever. Full review...

Countless by Karen Gregory

4.5star.jpg Teens

Hedda is 20 weeks pregnant. It was a one-night stand, so there's no father on the scene. She's 17. She's in the grip of an eating disorder and has been for years. Her best friend recently died. She's living in a grotty flat because her relationship with her parents has broken down. I think we can all agree that the situation is dire. Full review...

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

4.5star.jpg Teens

Julie Beaufort-Stuart - Lady Julia to you and me, if you please - has just returned to Strathfearn. It's 1938 and her grandfather, the Earl of Strathfearn, has recently died, leaving a mountain of debt behind him. The family's ancestral home has been sold to meet the debt and the death duties and will soon become a school. But, as the contents of the estate and its treasures are catalogued and renovations are underway, there is time for Julie and her family to spend the summer making their goodbyes - to home and landscape and to friends, including the McEwans, a family of Highlands Travellers, loved by the family but hated by the authorities. Full review...

The Fallen Children by David Owen

5star.jpg Teens

Life is tough on the Midwich Estate. Kids living there don't have much hope in the future. They're already judged by their poverty, their religion, their race. Carving out a prosperous future from this inauspicious place seems like a pipe dream. But, in their various ways, Siobhan, Keisha, Maida and Morris are all trying - whether that means making plans to get out, or developing strategies to cope with life as it has been dealt. Full review...

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

5star.jpg Teens

Garden Heights is a neighbourhood notorious for all the wrong reasons: poverty, drugs, shootings, it ticks all the ghetto stereotypes. It's also the place that sixteen-year-old Starr Carter calls home. Even if most people there only know her as 'Big Mav's daughter who works in the store', Garden Heights is where she was born and raised. It's where she can be herself and not care about what people think or how people expect her to act - a freedom that isn't afforded to her at the posh suburban high school where she is one of just a handful of black students. However, Garden Heights is also where her childhood friend was shot in a drive-by. And now, it's the place where Starr witnesses the devastating, fatal shooting of her unarmed friend, Khalil. At the hands of a police officer. It's an event whose repercussions will irrevocably change her life, and the lives of everyone around her. Full review...

Masquerade (Micah Grey Trilogy) by Laura Lam

4star.jpg Teens

It's been a remarkable journey for our young protagonist. It wasn't long ago that Micah Grey was still living the life of Iphigenia Laurus, daughter of a noble family, trapped in a gilded cage forever hiding her true self. Since running away, Micah has managed to reinvent himself, first as a circus acrobat, and then as a magician's apprentice. Along the way he's discovered love and friendships that have helped keep him afloat, even as betrayal and tragedy seem ready to strike at every turn. But there's only so long he can keep running. His powers are growing, the Chimaera are returning, and Ellada is about to reach a violent tipping point. Full review...

The Challenge by Tom Hoyle

3.5star.jpg Teens

One ordinary afternoon, Ben's best friend Will goes missing. Soon after, twins Sam and Jack move to Ben's school and take an interest in him. It turns out both twins have an obsession with enacting challenges they set each other, and it doesn't take long for Ben to get involved in their strange game. But with every new challenge they set him, he starts to wonder whether they might be slightly unhinged… Full review...

Girlhood by Cat Clarke

4star.jpg General Fiction

Girlhood focuses on a group of friends; Harper, Rowan, Lily and Ama, who are fast approaching the end of term at an elite boarding school in the middle of nowhere. The arrival of Kirsty causes a seismic shift in this previously supportive friendship group and Harper soon finds herself caught between her old friends and the mysterious new girl who seems to have so much in common with her. But is Kirsty who she claims to be? Full review...

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

4.5star.jpg Teens

Where are you guys? Text me back.

Ending three lives with seven words becomes Carver's reality when he sends a simple, impatient text to his best friend. His best friend who is driving and on the way to pick him up at any moment. His best friend who in replying to his text, rams into the back of a truck instantly killing himself and their other two best friends in the car. Full review...

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

4star.jpg Teens

Juliet has always written letters to her mother. The award-winning photojournalist wasn't at home much and letters always seemed somehow more personal and intimate than email or Skype. And Juliet is still writing those letters even though her mother died in a hit-and-run accident, rushing home to surprise her daughter by arriving earlier than expected. Juliet leaves them at her graveside, overwhelmed with grief and guilt. If her mother hadn't come home early for her daughter, she would still be alive today. Full review...

Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan

4star.jpg Teens

Meg loves space. And when we say Meg loves space, this doesn't quite explain how much Meg loves space. Meg loves all things space to the exclusion of almost everything else. She has a space mural in her bedroom. She belongs to a stargazing club with her grandfather. She is determined to become an astronaut one day. And she dreams of winning a competition that will earn her a place on a trip to NASA in Houston. Full review...

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Set in the Philippines at the beginning of the last century, Ami lives with her mother on Culion Island. It's a beautiful place covered in lush forests and surrounded by a blue sea that matches the sky. It's Ami's home and the only place she has ever known. But Culion is an island for people with leprosy who are sent there to live on the edge of the world away from civilisation. Ami's mother is among the infected but Ami herself remains untouched, so when government official Mr Zamora arrives to transport the islanders who are free from the sickness to another island, Ami's world is torn apart. Banished across the sea to an orphanage, Ami is determined to get back home and crosses great lengths to return to her sick mother once more, on the island at the end of everything. Full review...

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

4.5star.jpg Teens

Cassandra Clare is particularly impassioned about her latest book as it is set in the City of Angels where she grew up. She recalls, "I was an imaginative teenager, always seeing supernatural creatures and potential magic around every corner". Her novel is imbued with her love of film noir, classical texts and the murky literary gothic world of Edgar Allan Poe. These influences charge her urban crime fantasy with mystery and imagination. It works as a standalone though will appeal especially to teenage fans of 'The Mortal Instruments' who will be happy to rejoin the brave Shadowhunter warriors Emma and Julian last seen battling for their lives at the age of 12 during the Dark Wars in 'The City of Heavenly Fire' and now facing painful decisions. Full review...

The Private Blog of Joe Cowley: Straight Outta Nerdsville by Ben Davis and Mike Lowery

3star.jpg Teens

A lot has happened in the life of our hero Joe since we first met him. A lot must have happened in the third book in the series too, as we start here with him in a very new situation. He's in London, not the Midlands town of his upbringing, and three of his flat-mates and buddies are a band about to be signed by a major label, with him as their ostensible manager. And he's got a new, cosmopolitan girlfriend. But this is a teen diary book full of the comedy of embarrassment, and nothing can ever be expected to go his way… Full review...

See How They Lie by Sue Wallman

5star.jpg Teens

Fifteen year-old Mae has only vague memories of life before her dad, an internationally famous psychiatrist, set up Hummingbird Creek. To Mae the strict timetable, stringent exercise routine and perfectly balanced organic diet are normal. The Creek's patients – teens with psychological problems – might find it unnerving to be trapped in the middle of nowhere with no mobile phone or internet but Mae thinks she's lucky. Or she does until a chance incident reveals her parents have been lying about her mum's family. Mae starts to wonder what else they might have lied about. Soon Mae is questioning everything she's been told about Hummingbird Creek with dangerous, and potentially deadly, consequences. Full review...

Every Hiddden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

4.5star.jpg Teens

Three things stir Samuel's teenaged heart. Duty to his father is one, and another is admiration for the man's career as a dinosaur hunter and aspiration to follow in his tracks. Dad has never been a professor as such, but gets called it anyway, having lucked into being quite a pioneer in the field of finding fossils. And the third thing? Rachel. Not conventionally beautiful, Samuel still finds enough in her to arouse things. But that's where the trouble lies, for Rachel's father and his are confirmed enemies and rivals. And as luck would have it, they're all four headed to the same remote, outlawish region in search of notable remains. How can they be loyal to the science, and to their families, and to their hearts? Full review...

The Space Between by Meg Grehan

4.5star.jpg Teens

The Space Between tells the story of Beth, over the course of a year. We see Beth dealing with her mental illness, locked away in her own, personal 'safe' world where she feels she can maintain her happiness by remaining isolated. Mouse the dog, however, has other ideas about this! With the entrance of Mouse into her life there comes, also, Alice and slowly Alice brings both light and love to Beth's world. Full review...

Owen Pendragon by W S Markendale

3.5star.jpg Teens

Monsters are slipping through somehow from somewhere to kidnap children in Cornwall and the army seems powerless to do anything about it. 12-year-olds Owen and Mary assume they too are therefore powerless as they watch friends and neighbours disappear. Imagine their surprise when they realise that thanks to an ancient relative, they have more influence on what happens than they think and not just on what happens on Earth. And their distant relative? The former monarch and head of the round table, no less: King Arthur. Full review...

Stanly's Ghost: Book 3 (The Bitter Sixteen Trilogy) by Stefan Mohamed

5star.jpg Science Fiction

Cynical, solitary Stanly Bird used to be a fairly typical teenager – unless you count the fact that his best friend was a talking beagle named Daryl. Then came the superpowers. And the super powered allies. And the mysterious enemies. And the terrifying monsters. And the stunning revelations. And the apocalypse. Now he's not sure what he is. Or where he is. Or how exactly one is supposed to proceed after saving the world. All he knows is that his story isn't finished. Not quite yet … Full review...

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel and Jon Klassen

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Steven can narrate this book to us, but he can hardly ever mention the name of his newborn baby brother. That's not down to a fault with Steven, although there are many of those – obsessive hand-washing, nightmares, anxiety attacks. It's because there's something wrong with the new addition to the family. His parents mutter behind closed bedroom doors of regretting trying for a new child so late in life, but whatever the reason there is something demanding a lot of medical care and attention, even if the child can more or less live in the family home. But hope seems to be shining a light into Steven from the most unlikely source – angels that come to visit him in his dreams, from within a pleasant, light-filled haven, with full knowledge of the family's troubles and an offer of a way out. Obviously, worried for the happiness of his family, and knowing this is just a dream, Steven will only say yes to the offer of help… Full review...

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Women in Science takes fifty prominent women in STEM fields and celebrates their achievements. There are women from the ancient world and women working today. Each of them is given a double page spread including a stylised portrait and infoboxes with factoids on one side and a page of text with a brief biography and outline of her achievements. These intrepid women are inspirational for their work and their discoveries but also for the barriers they overcame - barred from classes or employment because they were women or even barred from employment because they were black in racially segregated America. Full review...

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

4.5star.jpg Teens

He caught me in a prince's trap. And now I'm in a King's cage. But I'm not leaving this place unless I leave behind his corpse – or mine.

The third instalment in the Red Queen series, picks up right after the final events of Glass Sword. Mare has been taken prisoner; shackled in Silent Stone and powerless without her lightning. At the mercy of the boy who wears the crown, Mare is haunted by the consequences of her past decisions. Tortured and weak, Mare has a front seat to watch Maven's clever tactics unfold and destroy all that she believes in. Being broken and beaten, Mare will never be the same again after her captivity but can she escape the Palace with her life to fight another day? Full review...

The Pavee and the Buffer Girl by Siobhan Dowd and Emma Shoard

5star.jpg Graphic Novels

When Jim's family halt at Dundray, his heart grows heavy. A new Buffer school for this Pavee boy to attend. Jim doesn't like school. He doesn't like Buffers. And you know, you couldn't really blame him because the distrust and suspicion is mutual. Prejudice against the Traveller community is strong and when Jim and his cousins turn up on their first day, it's to stares and muttered insults from the pupils and condescension from the teachers. Within days, Moss Cunningham and his gang have accused Jim of stealing a CD - he did no such thing - and have begun a campaign of threats, bullying and worse. Full review...

Moondust by Gemma Fowler

4star.jpg Teens

Lunar Inc. is lying to us. It's been lying to us from the moment lumite power was discovered.

After the dark days of future Earth, where an energy crisis has led to chaos, lumite power has become the only solution for peace. Yet that peace is fragile. The memory of the reactor explosion at Andrianne, ten years ago, is still fresh in the public's mind. FALL, the First Anti-Lumite League, continues to campaign fiercely against the United Government and the company responsible for lumite power – Lunar Inc. Full review...

Fish Boy by Chloe Daykin

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Billy is struggling at school. He's being picked on by the school bully and he's starting to feel very alone. His mum is sick, although nobody seems to know what's wrong with her. She has been sick for a long time meaning that she can't work, so Billy's dad is working extra hours to try to keep the family afloat and Billy is frequently left to fend for himself. His only escape is in watching his favourite, David Attenborough, or in swimming in the sea. One day, however, things take a magical turn as whilst swimming Billy meets a mackerel who speaks to him! This, combined with the entrance of a new boy at school, starts to change Billy's life in some rather unexpected ways. Full review...