Newest Teens Reviews

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The Boy Who Lied by Kim Slater

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Teens

None of them believed me. Nobody believed I really couldn't remember what happened to my brother. I wanted to scream at them to listen. Because, for the first time in a long, long time, I was actually telling the truth.

Ed Clayton is a teller of tall stories. He just can't help it - even though he knows and everybody else knows that most of what comes out of his mouth is complete fantasy. It all started when Ed's father was accused of fraud and sent to prison. Then mum's mental health went to pieces. Then, with nobody bringing money into the house, poverty - real, grinding, poverty - set in and life became all about scratching about for pennies and visiting the food bank. All of this is horribly shaming, so is it any wonder that Ed has become a bit of a Billy Liar, hiding the truth of his home life in the hopes the power of imagination can make it all disappear? Full Review


Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Merrilee Campbell is a book-lover romantic and real life has never measured up. Now she and her best friend are starting a new high school where boys and girls mix. Merrilee is sure this is where her dreams will come true and she'll find her first proper romance, or even meet the love of her life just like her parents. But just like in the books she loves, this doesn't go quite to plan. When her English teacher assigns them Romeo and Juliet to read, Merrilee's life starts taking quite a novel turn. Full Review


All of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens Undertow is the latest YA novel to hit the best seller lists. It's a study in grief and Miri is its biggest fan. So, when author Fatima Ro comes to Long Island for a book signing, Miri is determined to meet her and takes her friends along. Soleil has writing ambitions of her own and so she is overjoyed when Fatima takes the group of friends under her wing. Penny wants to be noticed and will do anything for Fatima, who notices. And Jonah? Well, Jonah has secrets and Fatima loves secrets... Full Review


Skylarks by Karen Gregory

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Joni is halfway through her A levels. But she has a lot more than A levels to think about. Life is pretty tough at the moment. There isn't much money about, the family is behind on bills, Dad's back is getting worse and worse, and little brother Jack has a school trip coming up that needs to be paid for. Older brother Jamie got the sack from his dream job and, although he found somewhere else to work, is a big ball of resentment. To make matters worse, the charity that runs the housing on their estate is running out of money and thinking of selling up. But Joni has a great group of friends and a lovely mum and dad and a teacher who thinks she could get into university. Full Review


The Colour of the Sun by David Almond

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Confident Readers

This book... explores what excites and mystifies me about the nature of being young, and dramatises the joys and excitements of growing up. And I guess it embodies my constant astonishment at being alive in this beautiful, weird, extraordinary world.

This is what David Almond says about his latest novel for young people, The Colour of the Sun. And, having now read it, I see what he is saying so clearly. This is a story of being young - both older than you used to enjoy being and younger than you aspire to be. And it's a story of finding strangeness in ordinary things. Full Review


Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Confident Readers

How small I look. Laid out flat, my stomach touching ground. My right knee bent and my brand-new Nikes stained with blood.

Danny was playing with a toy gun his friend Carlos had lent to him when he was shot by Officer Moore, who claims he was in fear for his life, that Danny, a five foot tall, twelve-year-old boy, was a threatening thug whose menace was such that Officer Moore had no choice but to reach for his gun and eliminate the threat. Full Review


The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Teens

Tension exists among the kingdoms surrounding the Pitorian Sea, and peace is definitely not on everyone's agenda. Instead power is sought by force, and political manoeuvring of the worst kind sees families torn apart and innocent victims swept up in the fallout. This story of warring nations is fast moving from page one, and the main characters, who move between kingdoms, face challenge after challenge. There are five separate story lines, each led by a colourful and interesting character, and Sally Green weaves them together beautifully like a tapestry as their paths cross and their lives intertwine. Full Review


Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, General Fiction

The USA, early 1980s. Charlie (or Charles, if he's feeling belligerent, and he often is) is being taken back to his home by his drop-out, slutty mother. The home is called a Cottage, and while the book doesn't guide us to understand it perfectly, it seems to mean he has a private room in a large self-contained bungalow, on a gated compound with round-the-clock adult supervision. There's a paddock with horses for the kids to ride, their own school – and all the adults are armed with Thorazine to calm the kids down. Charlie, despite his obvious bookish intelligence, is struggling to get to grips with why and how he's ended up where he is, but it must have something to do with his single parent mother being violent, and the fact he is no longer allowed to stay with his grandfather. This book is a slightly woozy look at his thoughts, as he tries to build a relationship with a girl in a different Cottage, and work out his lot. He certainly has a lot on his plate for a thirteen-year-old. Full Review


I Stop Somewhere by T E Carter

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Ellie has to change schools. It's a chance for renewal and Ellie sets to work to make the most of it. She doesn't want to be homecoming queen or anything - she just wants to fit in without anyone noticing that she's a bit too curvy and doesn't have the money to buy fashionable clothes. With the help of a neighbour, Kate, she manages it pretty well. And so, when Caleb notices her, tells her she's beautiful, Ellie can almost believe it. But there's something not quite right about Caleb. He blows hot and cold and his smile doesn't quite meet his eyes. But it's nice to be wanted and so Ellie ignores the warning signs... Full Review

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Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Historical Fiction

Lady Mary chronicles the famous story of Henry VIII's love affair with Anne Boleyn, his divorce from Katherine of Aragon, Anne's execution for adultery, and Henry's subsequent marriage to Jane Seymour, which finally produces the much longed for birth of a male heir. This time, the story is told through the eyes of an important but often neglected player - Henry's young daughter, Mary. Mary's hopes of her family staying together are crushed by the divorce and she is treated terribly by a father under the influence of the Boleyn faction. Lady Mary follows her through these awful years and you can't help but root for the little girl stuck in the middle of these tumultuous events. Full Review

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The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Teens

My house has chicken legs. Two or three times a year, without warning, it stands up in the middle of the night and walks away from where we've been living.

Ok. I dare you to tell me that you don't want to read a story about a house with chicken legs. There is no way anyone could resist. I certainly couldn't! Marinka lives in this chicken-legged house with her grandmother, Baba Yaga, whose job it is to guide dead people through The Gate. But Marinka is lonely. The house, her grandmother and Marinka never stay anywhere long enough for Marinka to make any friends. And Marinka is determined to change this. But the chicken-legged house has its own agenda... Full Review


When the Mountains Roared by Jess Butterworth

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Confident Readers

My fingers come away deep red. My breath catches. Blood. I wipe my shaky hands on my trousers. There's a leopard out there, injured. And I have to find it before they do.

Two months earlier, Ruby's dad had dropped a bombshell. They were moving from Australia to India, where her father had got a job at a hotel in the mountains. It was to be a new start and it would help both Ruby and her father get over the death of her mother. Ruby wasn't so sure about that and didn't get more optimistic on arrival - to find a rundown building full of scary corners in a place where the dark is really dark and the wildlife includes scorpions, bears and, well, you get the picture. Ruby has struggled since her mother died and it pretty much feels as though her father has brought her a place that makes everything worse... Full Review


Me Mam. Me Dad. Me by Malcolm Duffy

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

It was the day the clocks went back. That's when I decided to kill him.

I is fourteen-year-old Danny. Him is Danny's stepfather Callum. Up until a year ago, it was just Danny and Mam. They lived in a damp, cold council flat and didn't have much money to spare, but things were pretty good. Danny and his Mam got on well, they saw a lot of their lovely extended family, and Danny not only had mates but even a girlfriend, Amy. But a lot has changed. They're now living in Callum's posh house and Danny gets holidays and plenty of Christmas presents. Great, right? Full Review


Stranger by Keren David

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Astor, Ontario, 1904. Emmy and her friend Sadie are walking along when a bloody and bruised boy staggers out of the forest clutching a pistol. Sadie runs off terrified. But something about the boy draws Emmy. She knows, deep inside, that he is not a danger. She kicks the pistol into the grass and cradles the boy until help arrives. Who is he? How has he been living? And will the townsfolk accept him?Full Review


To the Edge of the World by Julia Green

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Teens

Jamie loves his new island home. He likes the school and he has even made some friends. But, with his history of being bullied, Jamie knows that he has some fears to conquer if he wants to follow his grandfather in the traditional island occupation of boat builder. His fear of the sea in particular. And this is what draws him to Mara, a strange, wild, independent girl who can handle a boat with aplomb. But Mara has her own demons and an approaching show down with the island authorities because of them...Full Review


The Invasion (The Call, Book 2) by Peadar o Guilin

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

We already know that the Aes Sidhe are back. And in their quest to win back Ireland from humankind, they have placed a magical seal around the entire island. At some point during adolescence, every teenager is transported to the Sidhe realm, that grey, colourless land to which they were banished thousands of years before. If they can evade the vengeful faerie kind for a full day (just three minutes in the human world) then their lives are spared, although they are often sent back with horrific mutilations. Fewer than one in ten children survive. Full Review


More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Rev has just turned eighteen. He is happy at home with his adoptive parents Geoff and Kristin. They are kind and supportive and have enabled Rev to leave his painful past behind - at least in part. Rev is doing well at school and has a good friend in Declan. Yes, he still wears a hoodie to hide his scars but, overall, Rev is doing well. Until, that is, he receives a letter from his biological father. And the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back into Rev's life. Full Review

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Truly, Wildly, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Annie has chosen to leave school in favour of doing her A levels at a college a train ride away. She's quite excited about this new adventure and the extra layer of independence it represents. No more silly school uniform. No more being followed around by a dedicated teaching assistant. It's going to be great. And nothing is going to get in the way of Annie making the most of it - not even the wheelchair she sometimes has to use, as person with cerebral palsy. Full Review

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She, Myself and I by Emma Young

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

Rosa is just eighteen. You'd expect her to be off to university, or going on a gap year, or about to start an apprenticeship, wouldn't you? You'd expect her life to be full of possibilities and exciting new horizons. But this is not the case for Rosa. Diagnosed with a rare and incurable neural condition when she was just ten years old, Rosa is confronting mortality. This disease will kill her, and soon... Full Review


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise. These impassioned words belong to Zelie, the firecracker heroine of Tomi Adeyemi's stunning debut YA fantasy novel, Children of Blood and Bone. Already optioned for a movie it tells the story of the beleaguered Maji people persecuted for their supernatural powers. Once extolled as Diviners, imbued with godlike gifts and marked by their distinctive white hair and dark skin, the Maji have been the victims of genocide which has ripped away the magic of the survivors and cast them into the depths of despair. Considered a threat by the paler skinned ruling class, who fear the unknown, they have been labelled as 'maggots', oppressed, subjugated and classified as second class citizens (a universal theme which invites a comparison with the atrocities of today and the holocausts of the past). As Adeyemi explains, We live in a time where men, women, and children of colour are being dehumanized and oppressed and unjustly murdered. Though my book is an epic fantasy, it's directly tied to all of that pain. Indeed Adeyemi includes scenes reminiscent of the worst ravages of slavery to illustrate that horror and elicit empathy from the reader. Full Review


Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

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Sarah, a Jewish girl in Nazi Germany as WWII is about to break out, finds herself alone after her mother is shot as they try to escape the country. She meets a mysterious man and, in a fit of dangerous altruism, saves him from arrest by the soldiers. This reckless act changes everything for Sarah, who finds herself recruited as a spy and sent to infiltrate a girl's school full of the daughters of the great and good of the Reich. Her mission? To befriend the daughter of a nuclear scientist and get access to his research. Sarah might be Jewish but she is also blonde-haired and blue-eyed. But will this be enough to maintain her cover? The tiniest slip could be fatal... Full Review


The Goose Road by Rowena House

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens

It's 1916 and 14 year old Angélique and her mother are struggling to keep the family farm running while their menfolk fight on a distant battlefield. When the Requisition soldiers visit a second time, claiming all the farm's remaining livestock apart from their flock of Toulouse geese, Angélique thinks things can't get any worse. But, of course, they do. Her mother is taken ill and Angélique discovers secret debts that threaten their home. The situation seems hopeless until Angélique and her Uncle Gustav hatch a plan that could save the farm: a plan that will require Angélique to embark on a long journey across France with the only thing they have left of any value – the geese. Full Review