Newest Teens Reviews

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Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

4star.jpg Teens

In a world thriving with black magic, four young crooks embark on a quest to take down their criminal leader after they discover the plot behind his dangerous new magic. Full Review

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Batman: Nightwalker: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu, Stuart Moore and Chris Wildgoose

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

The young man called Bruce Wayne is a very noticeable one – he can hardly go anywhere without people – bystanders, paparazzi, and suchlike – reminding him he's a billionaire at the age of eighteen. Feeling rather stuck with the legacy he's inherited from his murdered parents, he wants to do charitable deeds. But one night, when he speeds off in his posh new car in pursuit of a criminal, he goes too far as far as the authorities are concerned, and gets given the most unlikely stretch of community service instead – cleaning in the home for violent criminals that is Arkham Asylum. There he learns of some other people who also allege charitable intent – the Nightwalkers, a gang who steal any ten-figure bank account contents they can, and murder the owner. Can he get close to one of them and get the truth of their schemes, or will the manipulative Madeleine be a step too far for the young do-gooder? Full Review

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Lighthouse of the Netherworlds by Maxwell N Andrews

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

The phrase about never trusting a book by its cover is something I put on a par with comments about Marmite. You're supposed to love it or hate it and I'm halfway between, and likewise the old adage is halfway true. From the cover of this I had a child-friendly fantasy, what with that name and that attractive artwork of an attractive girl reaching for an attractive water plant. That was only built on by the initial fictionalised quotes, with their non-standard spelling, as if texts of scripture in this book's world predated our standardised literacy. But why was I two chapters in and just finding more and more characters, both human and animal, and more and more flashbacks, and no proof that this was what I'd bought in for? Full Review

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Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh

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

Harleen Quinzel is new in town. She always, to me, seems new in town, even if she's been around a long time, for she always has a very fresh attitude, and seems to look out of those large eyes at everything anew each time. But here she is new in town, and the town is Gotham City. Expecting a year-long furlough from life with her mother, she finds her gran dead and herself with no option but to stay with a bunch of drag queens. She also finds school is a drag, she also finds the whole neighbourhood is being redeveloped by a large and uncaring corporation – but she also finds two characters that will have a big impact on her life. One is a civil-minded lass called Ivy, the other someone she only meets at night – a lad with a singular graffiti tag and a mind for violence and chaos, who calls himself The Joker… Full Review

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Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson

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

Amara's twelfth birthday is coming up and she wants nothing more for it than a trip to New York to meet her father's side of the family. But her father hasn't spoken to Amara's grandfather for many years - Amara doesn't know why - and both her parents are resistant to the idea. But Amara is nothing if not persistent and a school family history project provides her with the perfect wedge. Eventually, her parents give in and off she goes... with a secret mission from her mother: to bring her father and Grandpa Earl back together again. Full Review

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Somebody Give This Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur

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

Sophia Thakur's debut anthology is a collection of poems that are all unique, whether in relation to their style, length or theme. The collection is split into four sections, titled 'grow','wait','break'and 'grow again', guiding you through a process which is one of the foundations that the anthology is built on. Each section begins with a foregrounded title page containing various small pieces of writing, ranging from a quote by a Nigerian playwright, to African proverbs. This provides a nice introduction to the section before you are immersed into the beautifully written and eloquent poems that Thakur has clearly put her heart and soul into. Full Review

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Rose, Interrupted by Patrice Lawrence

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

Rose and her brother Rudder have recently escaped from cult-like fundamentalist Christian sect, the Pilgrims, along with their mother. While Mum works endless hours at agency cleaning jobs trying to keep the rent paid on their tiny flat, Rose and Rudder are trying to navigate the worldly world. It's not easy when everything is new and the rigid rules you've always lived by are suddenly missing. Full Review

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I Hold Your Heart by Karen Gregory

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

Gemma has just started her A levels at school. She's a keen student and she has a good, close set of friends. Gemma loves country music and in her spare time she enjoys writing and singing country songs. She's pretty good at it too. Home life is busy - Gemma's brother Michael has a chance at a football career and the whole family, propelled by Gemma's rather over-invested dad, is supporting him with everything they've got. Gemma hasn't had a serious boyfriend yet, so when the handsome Aaron appears and an instant attraction fizzles between them, Gemma is keen to see where romance could lead... Full Review

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The Evil Occupants of Easingdale Castle by Ray Filby

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

Jason likes chess. He's pretty good at it too - a level eight on his computer programme, with level ten being Grand Master level. He's also good at systems, having contributed to the relational database that has streamlined his school's administration. Jason's school, Easingdale Comprehensive, is very big on technology and its head, Mr Johnston, is keen to involve his pupils wherever they show promise. So Jason's friends have also helped out. Liz is great with hardware and helped with the school's card reader system. Becky has a flair for software and has recommended lots of curriculum-enhancing apps. And Bill is a talented programmer... Full Review

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The Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James

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

This is a dyslexia-friendly, science fiction novella for young adults. It tells the tale of Hugo, an unwanted and rather lonely android, who makes a living for himself mending time-travel watches. When one of his clients demands that his broken watch be mended, Hugo realises there is a mystery to be solved, and is only too ready to help. An exciting journey of discovery unfolds, which takes Hugo out of his drab attic workroom and into a scary adventure with some amazing new friends, exploring regions of the planet never before known to exist. Full Review

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Disbelieved: Skin and Bone CSIs by Beth Webb

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

Anelise - Annie - has been living with her cousin Joe and her aunt, an eminent forensic scientist, since her mum died and her naturalist father went abroad on a research trip. So she does wonder sometimes whether the minor premonitions she has - who's on the other end of the ringing phone, or at the door when there's a knock - are in her imagination. But to foresee a serious accident and then for it to actually happen? And the dreadful headaches. Something's going on. Luckily for Annie, Joe is convinced and also willing to help. So they start to investigate the accident... Full Review

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The Collective by Lindsey Whitlock

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

Illinois Territory, Collective Homesteads of America. It's certainly an unusual place. Some people live in sunken houses, buried into hillsides to disguise how large their property is at times of austerity, among other reasons. Others are called Foresters, for they live and work in trees – forever playing and resting in trees as children, but farming in amongst them and living between them too. These two sides hate each other – so perhaps this is less of an unusual place than at first sight. Our drama kicks off when the small area the Foresters live in is placed under compulsory purchase – the residents are given a pitiful amount to clear out, before they get manfully cleared out. It's probably the Hills that are behind this, what's more. Our hero, Elwyn, has just left the trees for the Hills, to live with an uncle and learn their ways – he's just of age to decide things for himself, and he has decided to see how the other half lives. This has, of course, opened himself up to no end of prejudicial judgement. But what's this – as soon as he reaches the Hills he sees a third way of living, in a lovely colonial-style mansion, where everything sparkles and shines with crystalline light. What does it mean that he feels destiny-bound to this even posher, newer and more hopeful life? Full Review

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The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble

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

Set in a dystopian Australia, this is the story of Ella and Emery and their dogs travelling across the outback together. A red fungus has wiped out all the crops and grasses, and with the food chain grinding to a halt, society is collapsing. Ella's mum has been gone for a long time - she left for work one day and then never came home. Ella and her half brother Emery have been living at home with their dad and their dogs, hoping for the best, but one day their dad decides to go out and try to find Ella's mum. When he also fails to return, Emery decides that their best chance of survival is to set out with the dogs to travel across the outback to his grandfather's house where, he believes, there will still be food and a safe place for them to live until their father can find them again. Full Review

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We Are Not Okay by Natalia Gomes

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

Set in a typical American town, We Are Not Okay tells the story of four teenage girls facing the difficulties brought on by high school and growing up as a girl in today's society. The novel is told from four different perspectives, those of Lucy, Ulana, Trina and Sophia, whose friendship statuses vary from BFFs to sworn enemies. The reader is presented with a glimpse into each of their lives, but more importantly their minds, and at times the thoughts of those characters could have been taken directly from my own. Gomes has created a heartbreakingly real and relevant novel that focuses on prominent topic areas which are becoming ingrained in our society, particularly in relation to the Me Too Movement. We Are Not Okay reminds the reader of the importance of phrases like I'm With Her. Full Review

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Toffee by Sarah Crossan

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

I am not who I say I am, and Marla isn't who she thinks she is.

I am a girl trying to forget. She is a woman trying to remember.

Allison has finally had enough and has run away from home. The burning red weal on her face provides a clue to why. She's on her way to Bude to find Kelly-Anne, who was the first to run away from home, but Kelly-Anne isn't answering her phone. Night is closing in and so Allison takes refuge in a shed in the garden of what looks to be an empty house. But the house isn't empty. Marla lives in it and Marla doesn't remember things very well. She mistakes Allison for her friend, Toffee. And because Allison doesn't much want to be Allison any more and because Marla is so happy to see Toffee - why shouldn't Allison become Toffee? Full Review

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The Words That Fly Between Us by Sarah Carroll

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

Lucy is living in a beautiful, expensive house along with her joking, playful dad and her lovely mum. Everything should be perfect. Her dad is a property investor, making millions, and she and her mum don't lack for anything in their lives. But still, Lucy lives her life on edge, controlled by the words around her, whether they are spoken, or unspoken. You see, her dad is a bully, edging closer and closer towards physically abusing her mum, and Lucy is manipulated by him, unable to express her true feelings, or fully develop her artistic side which is where she feels her talents lie but her dad says won't ever lead to her having a successful life. Full Review

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Check Mates by Stewart Foster

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

In many ways Felix is a typical boy in Year 7, enjoying playing games on his PS4 and hanging out with his friend Jake at the weekend. However Felix is struggling at school. He is not a problem child but he does have a problem. His ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate, he keeps getting into trouble and his grades are slipping. When his Mum suggests that he spends more time with his grandfather Felix is horrified. Ever since Grandma died his Granddad has been grumpy and more eccentric than before. All he wants to do is sit in the dark and play chess. Felix knows that this will be extremely boring. But sometimes we learn valuable lessons where we least expect to and perhaps Granddad and Felix can help each other. Full Review

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The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer

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

Meet Cecilia. It's her twelfth birthday, and after a scene that shows her parents to be wacky, witty and wonderful as if fresh from an American sit-com, the whole family is set to go out for a grand day of celebration. Cecilia is toting a large, silvered ball that her younger sister found as a present, but ends up dropping it, and watching it as it rolls right back from her grip into the very Underground carriage they had just left. Mind the gap. Back in the train with it she finds she is alone – and the train promptly hares off to leave her abandoned in pitch darkness at a stop no other train has ever taken her to… It's the outskirts, Cecilia will find, of a strange society of English-speaking humanised animals, and her first acquaintance, a fox-man, will tell her that all talk of a world above, with suns and fields and fresh air, is pooh-poohed as the nonsense gibberish of people who have wandered in darkness too much and forgotten their origins. Can she survive all this wondrous civilisation can throw at her and find her way back to the family she left behind – or will the dark leaders from the resident crow family subject her to their evil reign? Full Review

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We Are Blood And Thunder by Kesia Lupo

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


In a sealed-off city, a young woman, Lena, is running for her life. She has been sentenced to death and her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear - those with magic.

On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. Years ago she escaped before her own powers were discovered. But now she won't hide who she is any longer.

So, Lena is a cryptling - a low caste individual living in the city of Duke's Forest.Full Review

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Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige and Stephen Byrne

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

Meet Mera. She's the latest in a line of young women intent on fighting against their intended destiny for one only they can see for themselves. Her father, the king of Xebel, sees some cotton wool and a hunky man in an arranged marriage as her future – after all, Mera's mother, the territory's warrior queen, is long dead. Mera doesn't fancy the cosseting or the fella involved at all, and is in fact trying to get Xebel out from under the cosh of Atlantean power, for Xebel's royalty are merely puppets of Atlantean masters. So when she overhears her father request that her intended goes to the world of us air-breathing humans, and kill the Atlantis heir, she rushes off to get the quest (and the promised throne) all for herself. But of course, she has no idea what kind of person she will meet, and how hard it will be to get the job done… Full Review