Top Ten Teens Books of 2016

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There have been some cracking books for teens and young adults this year. These are our favourites in alphabetical order by author.

The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan


Charlie Law is fourteen. He has always lived in Little Town and he has seen its descent into a difficult place to be. There's no drinking. No littering. No complaining. No being out after dark. Medicine is hard to get, which is a problem when your mum, like Charlie's mum, has trouble breathing. But even breathing is less important than keeping out of the way of the Rascals, the Regime's enforcers. And Charlie is a sensible boy. He has the rules of Little Town down pat and he never, never breaks them. Full review...

How not to Disappear by Clare Furniss


Hattie is having rather a miserable summer. Both her best friends, Reuben and Nat, are away, living it up in the south of France and Edinburgh respectively. Hattie, meanwhile, is stuck at home babysitting her younger siblings and working at a burger joint. It's hardly glamorous and it's very dispiriting to be the one waiting at home for the odd text or email from friends who are having the times of their lives. Ho hum. Full review...

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall


A crippling combination of agoraphobia and OCD confine Norah almost completely to the house that she shares with her mother. The outside world is like another planet, and a social life that consists solely of her mum and her therapist makes her feel like she might as well be floating in space. It's been over four years since Norah has really lived, but a chance encounter with new neighbour Luke has the opportunity to change everything. For the first time, she's found a person her own age who can see beyond her normal seeming exterior. Someone who listens to her without judgement or prejudice. Someone who appreciates the minefield of uncompromising thoughts that overwhelm and rule her every action. Love isn't going to solve all her problems. But Luke's kindness and understanding ignites something inside of Norah, a determination to fight, to claw back her life inch by inch from the powerful and unpredictable mental demons that have held her prisoner for so long. Full review...

Front Lines by Michael Grant


1942: Hitler is pushing his way ever further, the USA adds its strength to the Alliance and women are allowed to fight in the military for the first time. Rio Richlin’s sister has already died in the war, Frangie Marr is desperate for a way to keep her family’s heads above water and Rainy Schulterman wants to kill the man who is murdering Jews. All three go to war and all three are changed. Although they do they do not start together, their paths intersect as they all take on roles that leave more scars than expected. Full review...

The Call by Peadar o Guilin


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. Nobody can get in or out. North? South? Doesn't matter any more. What does matter is The Call. 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...

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil


Alba and her friends have just finished high school. Now they must decide what to do with the rest of their lives. Move to the city? Enrol at university? Get a job and make a life in their rural Australian backwater? Pair off? Stay single? Alba herself must decide whether or not a career in art and comic books is possible. And if it is, is it worth leaving a happy life and a friendship group for? It's a frightening choice. Is she good enough? And in any case, the friendship group might disappear whatever she decides. Because each member of it has the same choice before them. Full review...

The Diabolic by S J Kincaid


This would not happen to me. I would not just disappear into a void as though I'd never existed. I would not accept that I was less than these people just because they'd designed me that way.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a girl genetically engineered to bond with one specific person and whose sole purpose is to protect that one person at any cost. Bred in a pen and trained to kill, Nemesis is introduced and bonded to Sidonia Impyrean, the heir of a senator of the galactic empire. The galactic empire in question is built on the Helios religion, where the Cosmos is the all-powerful entity, and as a consequence education in science and technology has been banned in all corners of the galaxy. When Sidonia's father is found transferring technological information, in direct violation of the Emperor's commands, to the Excess living on nearby planets, the Emperor summons his only daughter to Imperial Court as punishment. Full review...

Gold by Geraldine Mills


Twins Starn and Esper are growing up in a world made dark and silent by massive volcanic explosions. Ash now covers the planet and every aspect of life is controlled by the government, policed by the strict, heavy-handed Sagittars. They long for sunshine, fresh air and the freedom of a life only vaguely remembered by a few. But a game of dares leads them to discover an ancient book written by their great-great aunt, filled with strange writing and a treasure map. This propels them headlong into a journey across the darkened skies in a hand-built glider, in search of the gold that will vastly improve their lives. What they find there is a hidden world; one left behind when the volcanoes exploded. The revelation of the gold is not at all what they thought it would be, and is a discovery that could expose the governments' lies and save a dying planet. Full review...

Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky


Rupert Pierpont has put his head above the parapet and taken his juggling act onto a Britain's Got Talent-styled TV show, as you do. Bizarrely there were three other Ruperts contesting, and all four got lumped into the same boy band – The Ruperts, as you do. Several massive albums and hugely successful tours later, the four lads are globally known, and have entered the world of true fandom – the realms where girls know to wear incontinence pads and live with it rather than forsake their front-row concert position, and where girl fans (with their own inclusive, tribal nickname, of course) send online death threats to anyone sexually linked to the stars. The band has got a showcase Thanksgiving TV special to perform in New York, and is in town at a hipsterish swanky hotel. And here is Rupert P waking up surrounded by four huge Ruperts fans, and hardly seeing anything other than girls' tights – as you do. But this is through no intent of his own – for he has been kidnapped by four of the very same fans he soon attests to hate… Full review...

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma


Amber is an inmate at Aurora Hills, a juvenile detention centre reserved for the most serious young criminals. She was convicted of murdering her stepfather but maintains her innocence. Amber speaks to us from the past and she details life at Aurora Hills and the relationships and hierarchies that exist between the inmates and the guards. One night, there is a storm. The prison's electrical system fails and the girls spend a glorious and dangerous night out of their cells. During this night, Amber has a paranormal experience, during which she "meets" Orianna. Full review...

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