Newest Teens Reviews

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My Sweet Orange Tree by Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos and Alison Entrekin (translator)

3star.jpg Confident Readers

It's just that sometimes, Zeze, you're too naughty. And that's almost the entire truth about our narrator, Zeze – he's a young tyke, and everyone in his large, half-Indian family – heck, everyone who recognises his blonde and pale looks in the neighbourhood – knows he's skilled at being up to no good, that perhaps he was born with a little of the devil in him where Jesus should reside. Instantly adept at being able to read, even when he's only five, the precocious brat is forced to face something that might be the changing of him, once and for all – school. This time of change is also featuring a move of home, as the family cannot afford the rent arrears on their current place, although having downsized the garden comes to feature the titular tree, which almost works as a confessional cum best friend. Whether either the new home or the school will get to change Zeze, or neither, is the plot of this vintage Brazilian junior read. Full review...

Star by Star by Sheena Wilkinson

3.5star.jpg Teens

15 year old Stella was brought up in Ireland by her suffragette mother. When her mother dies from the flu pandemic sweeping across Europe in November 1918, Stella is sent to live with her estranged aunt who runs a boarding house. This coincides with a time of great change for the country as women are allowed to vote for the first time. Stella is determined to follow in her mother's footsteps to help make history, and whilst her age denies her the ability to vote herself, she goes to great lengths to ensure that former suffragette hunger-striker and former childhood friend of her mother is able to cast hers. Full review...

Grave Matter by Juno Dawson and Alex T Smith

4.5star.jpg Dyslexia Friendly

Since Eliza died, since the night of the car crash that took her life, Sam is a broken soul. He is lost without the girl he loves, feeling as though a part of him died that night too. But he is desperate and he cannot live without Eliza. He remembers his estranged Aunt Marie and her peculiar healing powers and wonders if she might be able to help him. However, finding his Aunt Marie leads him to discover the Milk Man, which causes Sam in his grieving state to make a pact with forces he doesn't understand. Things soon turn complicated as supernatural powers start to change Sam's life in more ways than he bargained for. Full review...

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

4star.jpg Teens

A life threatening virus is spreading through the United States, an already broken country with a Government that many do not trust. The top scientists are frantically trying to produce a vaccine to save humanity, but it seems a hopeless race against time as the virus mutates into new and stronger strains at a frightening pace. Catarina has lived alone and in hiding for the past two years, since her brilliant father was rounded up by the State and taken by force to work in the national laboratories. His last message to her was to hide from the State and not to trust them an inch. Set in America, but not an America we would recognise, most of the citizens are incarcerated in underground bunkers, protected by air lock doors and bug free conditions. Others, less trusting of the State, remain in hiding on the surface, hoping the virus will not reach them and avoiding anyone who is infected. Full review...

Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling

4.5star.jpg Teens

There are yet more unholy discoveries within, too foul for your eyes to look upon

Enter the Elizabethan world of 1577. A world of intrigue, terror and suspicion. A world of witchcraft and witch-hunting.

Alyce is a young girl forced to flee from her home after the devastating death of her Mother, the only person she had ever loved. Tried and deemed a witch, her Mother was sentenced to being burnt at the stake by the notorious witchfinder John Hopkins who seems hell-bent on finding Alyce. Haunted by the past she can't leave behind, Alyce escapes to London but she's not alone. Endangered and being followed, Alyce is determined to keep her freedom, but as Alyce discovers her own dark magic she will find that she is more dangerous than she ever thought possible.

And Alyce, although she doesn't yet realise it, is caught between two strong and powerful Queens, one desperate to steal the throne and the other determined to keep it… Full review...

The Road to Ever After by Moira Young

5star.jpg Confident Readers

A grumpy old lady who can no longer drive requires a chauffeur, and we watch as she gradually softens towards him and they become friends. So far, so Driving Miss Daisy, an apt comparison in a book which references several well-loved classic films. But the obvious similarity ends there. Davy, hired to take Miss Flint on her final road trip, is thirteen years old and has not the foggiest idea how to drive a car. Full review...

Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart by Benny Lindelauf, Ludwig Volbeda and Laura Watkinson (translator)

4.5star.jpg Teens

Meet Tortot. He's a camp chef for an army, with a cold heart – he sheds no tears, or at least as much as does a fish – and a brilliant way of gauging the warfare going on around him. The book even starts with him crossing the battlefield to start work for the enemy the night before they turn the tables on his previous employers and defeat them, leaving Tortot on the winning side once more. But now he's not alone – for he has managed to also inherit an assistant, who lives in a barrel of the Emperors' favourite and most important gherkins… Full review...

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

4star.jpg Confident Readers

Gomorrah, a travelling circus as big as a city, tours the land, entertaining the crowds with fantastic shows of magic, illusion and sleight of hand. But the proprietor of Gomorrah, Villiam, believes he has a far more important role than merely organising the acts in the circus. He has political ambition, which he keeps a secret from his adopted daughter. Growing up in the circus, Sorina knows that she will one day become the Proprietor and take over from her father. At sixteen, she is keen to start learning everything she can from Villiam. Full review...

Mirror, Mirror by Cara Delevigne

2star.jpg Teens

If the news that Cara Delevigne had written her first novel (how did you miss it? Were you living under a rock?), all about a group of teens who go looking for their friend who disappeared, makes you roll your eyes and say well, that sounds a bit like Paper Towns, don't worry: you're not alone (seriously, spend thirty seconds on Goodreads). It's a pretty lazy write-off, though, so I was curious to read this to see what could be said about it. Full review...

The Treatment by C L Taylor

4.5star.jpg Teens

When Drew's brother is once again expelled from school, and sent away to a special reform school, Drew doesn't really care. She has enough of her own troubles to deal with. But then one day she is followed home from school by a mysterious doctor, who claims to have a sinister message from her brother, begging Drew to help him because the school is not a reform school, and actually all the children there are being brainwashed. Full review...

The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

5star.jpg Teens

The Beast is an Animal, but what does that make Alys? Alys was only seven when her village was set upon by the Soul Eaters, she was the only one to see them. Alys and the other orphans are sent to the neighbouring village but this place is not like home. In the strange village of Defaid people are pious, they say that Alys's village must have been in league with the Beast, that they drew the Soul Eaters in. People in Defaid are suspicious, and they are particularly suspicious of Alys, though she never tells a soul what she has seen. Despite it's piety and it devotion to the ways of the Shepherd, Defaid feels the Soul Eaters creeping ever closer, luring them with their singing. Alys does not like Defaid or its residents and she does not belong there, Alys knows the danger of the Soul Eaters but she is drawn to them. As she grows older and the danger grows greater, the dark question grows larger in Alys's mind, is she bad like them? Full review...

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

4star.jpg Teens

Exodus is a book which, though fifteen years old, strikes some horrifying truths about the world we live in right at this moment. Set in a world ravaged by global warming and melting ice-caps, this is the story of the last inhabitants of an island called Wing, who set sail in search of a new life once Wing is sunk under the rising tide. It turns out to be a much wilder story than you'd thing, and one which dredges up so many interesting questions. Full review...

Not Yet Dark by Simon P Clark

4.5star.jpg Teens

Philippa and Danny have been friends since they were tiny. But now, at fifteen and into the unforgiving world of adolescence, there are stresses and pressures. Danny has some new friends in the rugby team and they are full of the obnoxious, somewhat sexist, bravado of the jock world. They make jokes about Philippa and she doesn't like it. She gets angry when Danny doesn't shut them down. And, if she's truthful, she's a tiny bit jealous of the time Danny spends with them. For his part, Danny feels a bit suffocated by this. Full review...

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

4.5star.jpg Teens

Amy Reed’s The Nowhere Girls is another timely novel that aims to educate young women about feminism- a very hot political topic at the moment. It sees Grace, Erin and Rosina- three extremely socially awkward teenagers- unite to create a movement, known as The Nowhere Girls, which will challenge the sexist culture at their school. In the process, they hope to get justice for Lucy, a local girl who was forced to leave town as a result of the abuse she received after truthfully accusing three of her male peers of gang rape. Full review...

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

3.5star.jpg Teens

Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska after her parents send her away from her beloved Hawaiian home. She's made friends and has even had a hint of romance, yet her old life is hard to forget. But things in her new quiet little Nebraskan town take a strange turn when one by one, her classmates are violently murdered. No one knows who is next on the killer's list or why they are being targeted, but Makani realises her past may soon catch up with her. Full review...

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner

4star.jpg Teens

You have to accept that if two people jump from the dome of St Paul's they would be bound to land. They'd be dead but they would land. Except, in this most unusual book, they didn't. Two people were seen leaving the outside of the London Cathedral's dome, but were never found at the foot of it – and someone has been in prison ever since for pushing them off. It's a most peculiar scenario, and our narrator Jaz is struggling to tell her mysterious interrogator, Mr Jones, all about it – and all about her relationship with her best friend. Now Becky, the friend, was a child prodigy sci-fi author, until something happened – she realised she wanted something else from life. Rushing around to investigate the case of the fallers, she seems to have found that, in the shape of a hot-blooded romance. But what is Jaz doing starting her testimony with talk of inquests, evidence and hatred? Full review...

Blue Dog by Louis de Bernieres

4star.jpg General Fiction

Mick's mother had a mental breakdown after his father's death and Mick was sent to live in in the outback with Granpa. On the face of it you'd think that it was going to be a lonely life for an eleven-year-old city boy, with no school to attend, in fact no other children anywhere near. Granpa's busy too: life on a cattle station is brutal for anyone, with all the heat and the dust. But they've all got to make the best of the situation. Full review...

Satellite by Nick Lake

5star.jpg Teens

Born and raised, along with twins Orion and Libra, on the space station Moon 2, Leo has never set foot on Earth. And yet, everyone calls it home. Moon 2 orbits about 250 miles above Earth. It travels at 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. If you ever look out of the porthole beneath, you'll usually see ocean. What would it be like to see the ocean for real? Leo and the twins may soon be able to do that now that they are teenagers and the scientists below think they are strong enough to come home. Each has their own idea of what it will be like and what they would like to do. Orion wants to go to a concert. Libra wants to dig her hands in soil. Leo wants to throw a ball and observe its arc. Everyone wants to see a bird in flight. Full review...

The Dollmaker of Krakow by R M Romero

4star.jpg Confident Readers

Karolina is a refugee from the Land of the Dolls. Her homeland has been ravaged by rats and Karolina was blown by a magical wind into Krakow, Poland, at the height of WWII. She finds herself in a workshop belonging to Cyryl, known as the Dollmaker of Krakow. Lonely, crippled Cyryl repairs Karolina and the two cement a strong friendship which helps Cyryl in his life outside the workshop. But it's not just the Land of the Dolls suffering under a vicious enemy: it's Poland, too. Together, Karolina and Cyryl befriend their Jewish neighbours and determine to do whatever the can to save from the monstrous Nazi regime... Full review...

Scarecrow by Danny Weston

5star.jpg Confident Readers

When Jack's dad discovers illegal activity at work and blows the whistle, he makes some very powerful and dangerous enemies. He and Jack are forced to go into hiding in a remote cottage in the Scottish highlands. Miles from anywhere and anyone, they hope they will be alone and safe. But it quickly transpires that they are neither. Dad's enemies already know where they are heading and, even before they move in, Jack starts to have doubts whether they are actually alone. Did he really see the scarecrow next to their cottage move? Full review...

Senseless by Steve Cole

4.5star.jpg Dyslexia Friendly

16 year old Kenzie Mitchell, otherwise known as K-Boy, thinks his every dream has come true when he's wins the chance to attend a top gaming tournament at Sensia HQ on a remote tropical island. The contestants are flown in on their own private jet and transferred by limo to the swankiest of hotels. It all seems too good to be true – which of course it is. Within hours, events start to take a sinister turn. Kenzie wakes in the night unable to see and one by one his other senses – touch, hearing, smell and taste – flicker in and out. And he's not on his own. It's happening to the other contestants too, sometimes with fatal consequences. Kenzie wants to believe it isn't really happening. He wants to believe it's just a really good virtual reality game. But with Sensia in control, the line between realities has almost entirely disappeared. Full review...

Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone

3star.jpg General Fiction

Kerryl Shaw lives on a Yorkshire farm – a somewhat idealised one that survives on a few hens and two or three cows and a few sheep. The kind of farm that might have been profitable in the 1950s but by the time Kerryl has arrived should have been struggling. A teenage boy not pulling his weight, now that the grandparents are old and the father is dead, would not be met with exasperated indulgence. There are no stock-hands, no farm managers, no applications for subsidies, or worries about the tax return. Maybe the unwelcome wind turbine covers the costs of the rest of it. Already, in setting, it's feeling a little unreal. But maybe we can forgive that… Full review...

We See Everything by William Sutcliffe

5star.jpg Teens

Lex lives in what used to be London. Today, it is a closed-off, bombed-out area known as The Strip. Nobody comes in and nobody can go out. Drones are a constant presence overhead. Alan spends all his time watching The Strip. His talent as a gamer got him the job of drone pilot. He hasn't bombed anyone yet but he's hyped up to do it. It's fighting terrorism, after all. Alan's observation target is a high-profile target - a man high up in the resistance organisation known as The Corps. Alan calls him #K622. But Lex calls him Dad.

Lex and Alan will never meet. But their lives will collide in devastating ways... Full review...

Supersaurs 1: Raptors of Paradise by Jay Jay Burridge

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

I'm thirteen years OLD, not young. And it's a good job too, for her grandma and godfather have taken Bea on an extended holiday to Indonesia, where the wild dinosaurs live. Yes, this is a world where they never went extinct, and have been used for riding for leisure or as pack animals ever since mankind domesticated them. But wild and dangerous ones still exist, such as the Raptors of Paradise. Bea's older guardians have another reason to go there, though – they are in search of clues that might lead them to at last discover the fate of Bea's birth parents, who disappeared a decade ago. She's unaware of this being the final grasp at one last clue – and all of them are ignorant of how the real danger and mystique on the island may actually come not from the fabulous beasts, but from other humans… Full review...

Time of Blood by Robin Jarvis

4star.jpg Teens

Travel back over a hundred years into Whitby's past to see two witches battle an ancient evil. Follow young Lil as she tries to avoid spoilers and find her best friend. Full review...

Pawns by Brian Gallagher

3.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Pawns tells the story of Johnny, Stella and Alice, all of whom are growing up in Ireland during the War of Independence, and who have somehow become friends in spite of their very different political views. Stella is passionately pro-British, while Johnny frequently risks his life to pass information to the pro-Irish rebels, and Alice is left stranded in the middle, supporting neither side of the dispute. Full review...

The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare by Zillah Bethell

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Auden has a condition called achromatopsia, which means that he can't see colours. He likes to pretend that it doesn't matter but it does. And the older Auden gets, the more it seems to matter. Mind you, so does everything else... ... because Auden lives in a near-future Britain in a world where climate change has taken root. It never rains any more. Britain, an island with plenty of coastline, is doing better than many countries thanks to its desalination plants. But water is still rationed and the Water Authority Board is now a quasi-government as the most important and powerful body in the land. Water wars have broken out worldwide and Auden's father is away fighting. Full review...

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

4star.jpg Teens

No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end

The year is 2017, the place is America, but this is not a place we recognise. A company called Death-Cast know the exact date of everyone's death and make it their mission to inform Deckers that they will be dead within the next twenty-four hours. Many have tried to cheat death, all have failed. Full review...

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

5star.jpg Teens

Joe is seventeen and he hasn't seen his brother for ten years. And the reason for that is brutal - Ed is on Death Row in Texas, convicted of the murder of a police officer. Ed says he's innocent. Aunt Karen doesn't believe him. And Mum is long gone, no-one knows where. When the execution date comes through, Joe passes up on his job and a spot on a summer athletics scholarship and treks from New York across the country so that Ed is not alone. He is determined to spend these last weeks with his brother no matter what anybody else thinks. Full review...

I am Traitor by Sif Sigmarsdottir

4.5star.jpg Teens

Alien ships have arrived in the skies above London. The Prime Minister appeared on TV to announce this ominous visitation and order a curfew. After that, he went AWOL and took all reliable information with him, leaving the army to patrol the streets. Not that the army has any answer to the long pipes that snake down from the ships and gobble up teenagers. To where, nobody knows. Full review...

Charlotte Says by Alex Bell

4.5star.jpg Teens

Charlotte says... don't open the door.

Jemima's mother died in an awful fire not long ago and that is why Jemima decides to leave London and take up a job as a teacher on the Isle of Skye. But leaving the place doesn't mean escaping the memories and Jemima is tormented by second-guessing what actually happened on that terrible night. It doesn't help that Miss Grayson, the mistress at the school, is a strange, forbidding sort, while the school itself is a thoroughly creepy old building. Full review...

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Ella is rushing to her audition for a job in fashion, as are several other young women. Thrown in at the deep end in the high-pressure workplace, she is tasked with creating a dress from scratch for an important client before four pm that day. But she manages it, even working through the non-existent lunch break, to design a silk wonder worthy of any environment. But this is no typical make-or-break-'em fashion design house, and this is no normal environment for the recipient to be wearing the frock. This is Birchwood – or Auschwitz-Birkenau to you and I. Full review...