Newest Teens Reviews

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Phantom by Leo Hunt

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

Sixteen-year-old Nova is an undercity dweller and a leecher - a futuristic kind of pickpocket who uses tech hacks to steal byts from hapless corps workers. The higher up in the city you live, the more sunlight you see and the easier your life. For leechers like Nova, four hundred storeys below the surface, life is tough. But with the help of the hacking program Phantom, invented by legendary anti-corps hacker the Moth, Nova can sneak up to the city, leech some byts and at least make rent. vFull Review


The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton

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

Jess is in a meeting with Dr Harrison, the school counsellor. Dr Harrison is hoping to help Jess come to terms with the death of her room-mate, Hanna. But he's not having much success, largely because Jess has no intention of telling him how she feels. Instead, she feigns a grief she does not feel so that he is satisfied and she gets out of there as quickly as possible. Full Review


The Chaos of Now by Erin Lange

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

Eli, a talented hacker, is one of those people who manage to fly below the radar. When new friends offer him the chance to enter a prestigious competition he soon realises this golden opportunity has a sting in its tail. How many people can hand on heart say that they have not made mistakes? Most people are fortunate not to have a permanent online reminder, the very presence of which refuses to allow you to adapt, to change, to grow. Eli has a few mistakes skulking online, moments of madness that if discovered would change his life forever. Full Review


Colour Me In by Lydia Ruffles

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

Reeling from a tragedy and unable to cope, unemployed actor Arlo decides to get on a plane and go somewhere new. Full Review


You Only Live Once by Jess Vallance

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

Gracie Dart is a studious, responsible student with a colour coded timetable and French verbs covering her walls. She's hardworking and smart but once her final school exams are over, Gracie has a revelation. After she mistakenly thinks she's contracted a fatal illness (the perils of looking up symptoms on the internet) Gracie decides to start living her life. Her studies are finished for the summer so Gracie wants to say yes to every opportunity that comes her way, and just like her meticulous study timetable, Gracie Dart doesn't do anything by half measures. Full Review


The Island by M A Bennett

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

A contemporary take on the savage classic Lord of the Flies: a group of mismatched, modern-day teenagers must fight to survive on a deserted island. Link is a fish out of water. Newly arrived from America, he is finding it hard to settle into the venerable and prestigious Osney School. Who knew there could be so many strange traditions to understand? And what kind of school ranks its students by how fast they can run round the school quad - however ancient that quad may be? When Link runs the slowest time in years, he immediately becomes the butt of every school joke. And some students are determined to make his life more miserable than others... Full Review


The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan

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

Funny how no one ever uses the word 'love' when discussing my case. I do what I do because she's my mum. That pure and that simple.

Bobby Seed's mum has MS and it's getting worse. Bobby, who is seventeen, shoulders most of her care. And he also keeps house and also looks after his little brother Danny. He gets some help from his best friend Bel, who has her own reasons for spending as much time as possible not at home, but it's still a slog. But Bobby doesn't mind because he loves his mum and they have a wonderful relationship, mostly based on taking the mickey out of each other. Bobby also attends a support group for young carers. It's a bit daft with all the role play exercises and the like, but it's nice to meet other kids in the same boat as you. Especially Lou, the American boy with the weird way of speaking and the Vespa and the air of cool. Bobby can barely keep his eyes off Lou. Full Review


Ascension by Victor Dixen

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

Six girls, six boys. Each in the two separate bays of a single spaceship. They have six minutes each week to seduce and to make their choices, under the unblinking eye of the on-board cameras. They are the contenders in the Genesis programme, the world's craziest speed-dating show ever, aimed at creating the first human colony on Mars. Leonor, an 18 year old orphan, is one of the chosen ones. She has signed up for glory. She has signed up for love. She has signed up for a one-way ticket. Even if the dream turns to a nightmare, it is too late for regrets. Full Review


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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

Miryem comes from a long line of moneylenders – but her Father isn't very good at it at all. Lending freely and rarely collecting, he leaves the family on the edge of poverty, until Miryem must step in. Hardening her heart and collecting what is owed from local villagers, she becomes a person of great interest when she borrows a pouch of silver pennies from her Grandfather and returns it full of gold, soon becoming entangled with an array of strange creatures, from the dark beings that haunt the wood through to a King who's eager to exploit Miryem's talents – she soon becomes aware that her skills may be more trouble than they're worth… Full Review


The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedgwick

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

Two hundred years ago, bad weather, bad company (well, the kind that is also mad, and dangerous to know), a spooky reading list and a few chance topics of discussion all led a young woman to start writing her first, and definitely her most famous ever, book. The narrator of this novel has brought himself to a remote Alpine building, in the centre of that first novel's world, to revisit it in honour of its bicentenary. He hates it, for he sees it as badly written and with some unwelcome biases. He seems to only be there and doing this for the publisher to whom he addresses a lot of the script we read. But what if some greater force wanted him there too? Full Review


A Thousand Perfect Notes by C G Drews

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

What he wants most in the world is to cut off his own hands. At the wrist would be best.

What child would think such a thing? Beck would think such a thing. The son of a talented pianist who became ill and could no longer play, Beck is the servant of his thwarted mother's ambitions. He must be the pianist now. And Beck's mother - the Maestro - makes him practise for hours every day. If he rebels in any way, his mother's response is violent. But Beck doesn't want to play Chopin. He wants to compose. Forbidden music fills his head but it's an impossible dream. Full Review


The Survival Game by Nicky Singer

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

Mhairi Anne Bain is fourteen years old and is on her way home to the Isle of Arran. But Mhairi's world has been ravaged by climate change and the mass movement of people and it is one defined by borders, checkpoints and soldiers with guns. Mhairi has made it across Africa and onto a plane to Heathrow - which is more than can be said for Muma and Papa. She's even made it out of the detention centre at the airport. And during this journey, Mhairi has learned that you can't rely on anyone else and you can't allow anyone else to rely on you... Full Review


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