Tag Archive | young adult

Dark Sun – Robert Muchamore

Title: Dark Sun
Author: Robert Muchamore
Published by: Hodder

Publication date: 2009
Pages: 159
Genres: Action; Thriller; Crime
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

6/10

 

Dark Sun

 

It’s the last day of term. Three lads are clearing out their lockers, organising a sleepover and hatching a plan to spatter a girl with rancid coleslaw.

But things aren’t what they seem. One boy’s father is a member of Dark Sun, a criminal organisation dealing in nuclear weapons technology, which another is a CHERUB agent sent to stop him.

 

I liked this book, I liked that it was a collection of short stories based around the CHERUB agents, as opposed to one longer book which kept me interested however I did feel some of the stories were ended rather abruptly which I can sort of understand considering the length of the overall book but some I found a little disappointing.

Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend this book to young adult readers, particularly if they are interested in children being used as secret agents.

Amazon: Buy this book

Kisses for Lula – Samantha Mackintosh

Title: Kisses for Lula
Author: Samantha Mackintosh
Published by: Electric Monkey

Publication date: 2010
Pages: 368
Genres: Mystery; Romance; Chick Lit
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

7/10

Kisses for Lula

 

Lula Bird is gorgeous, funny and dreading her birthday because you can’t turn 16 if you’ve never been kissed…

So why does every boy in Hambledon run a mile the second she bats her eyelashes? The fact is, they fear for their lives. Rumour has it Lula’s been jinxed!

And it’s not as if that’s her only problem: Lula thinks she has a stalker, her dad keeps sneaking out at night with a lady’s handbag, and a mysterious theft is threatening to bring the town to its knees…

With only 5 days to go till her birthday, can Lula get the guy, solve the crime and jilt the jinx for good?

 

Although not initially my type of book, I surprisingly enjoyed the drama and mystery surrounding Lula and her family and peers. I found it humorous the amount of drama created by Lula not being kissed by the age of 16 (does this mean I’m jinxed?!?!) but the accompanying side story lines gave this book an added depth which I wasn’t expecting from a romance, chick lit genre of book. I have had very bad experiences with similar books to this one and found them very two-dimensional. This book was definitely the exception! I would definitely recommend it to teens!

Amazon: Buy this book

Blink Once – Cylin Busby

Title: Blink Once
Author: Cylin Busby
Published by: Bloomsbury

Publication date: 2012
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult; Suspense; Mystery; Romance; Medical
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

10/10

Blink Once

 

‘I’m your neighbour, Olivia. Don’t bother trying to talk…Just blink once for yes and twice for no.’

Lying in a hospital bed, unable to move, West meets the girl of his dreams. She is beautiful and mysterious, and she likes him too. But if no one else sees their love, is it real? West has to find the truth, for her sake. Even if she’s never coming back.

 

Oh. My. God. This book was perfection! I absolutely adored it from the first page, West’s quirky and cheeky personality shines through the words and when he meets Olivia and they begin to feel love for each other, it filled my heart with happiness. I almost forgot that both characters were trying to forge a romantic relationship in a hospital setting…which is probably never going to work. The plot twist when West has his surgery though broke my heart and made me feel so much sympathy for him.

I just have no negative words to describe this book, it was that good. Very rarely do I feel so strongly positive towards a book but Blink Once, though fairly short, was a very powerful and moving novel. Once I had finished it, I ached inside wanting to know more about West’s life and he copes without Olivia and copes in his ‘new’ life. I just wish there was a sequel for this book! Highly recommended!

Amazon: Buy this book

What’s a Girl Gotta Do – Holly Bourne

Title: What’s a Girl Gotta Do
Author: Holly Bourne
Published by: Usborne

Publication date: 2016
Pages: 419
Genres: Young Adult; Feminism; Realistic; Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

9/10

 

What's a Girl Gotta Do

 

How to start a Feminist Revolution:

  1. Call out anything that is unfair on one gender
  2. Don’t call out the same thing twice (so you can sleep and breathe)
  3. Always try to keep it funny
  4. Don’t let anything slide. Even when you start to break…

 

Holly Bourne is one of the only authors I have come across whose last book in a series is just as good as the first book. I have enjoyed every single book in the Spinster Club trilogy and am unable to wait for November to read the Spinster Club special. Lottie is such a powerful, strong character and whilst in the other two books she has come across as unbreakable, in What’s a Girl Gotta Do? The reader sees her more sensitive side and shows that when put under enough pressure from internet trolls that even the strongest characters can suffer emotionally.

This is a really empowering book, perhaps more so on the feminist front than the previous two books as it tackles in more detail exactly how much gender inequality there is all around and it isn’t until someone begins pointing out every act of sexism that your realise exactly how big the problem is, and I for one hadn’t realised how much sexism there was just walking down the street, or watching TV. This book has really opened my eyes and I would highly recommend it to everyone.

Amazon: Buy this book

Web of Darkness – Bali Rai

Title: Web of Darkness
Author: Bali Rai
Published by: Corgi Books

Publication date: 2014
Pages: 426
Genres: Mystery; Detective; Thriller; Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Library Loan

10/10

 

Web of Darkness

 

Lily needs someone to confide in more than ever before as a spate of apparent suicides rocks her school – and her group of mates.

Benedict, her new online friend, is there for her. Lily finds herself opening up to him, telling him things she wouldn’t tell anybody else.

But who is Benedict really…?

 

Web of Darkness is a thrilling story about internet safety and whether or not you know who you’re talking to online. Lily believes her new online friend who says he’s from New York is a model because of his pictures posted on Facebook, however Benedict proves how easy it is to fake his identity by pretending to be Charlotte for another of Lily’s friend who then is driven to commit ‘suicide’. All of the suicides are later shown to be cleverly disguised murders.

This is a cleverly put together plot line which seems confusing to begin with however once all of the jigsaw pieces begin to stitch together it comes together for the big reveal right at the end of the book. I couldn’t fault it!

Amazon: Buy this book

Only We Know – Simon Packham

Title: Only We Know
Author: Simon Packham
Published by: Piccadilly Press

Publication date: 2015
Pages: 230
Genres: Realistic; Mental Health; Gender Identity; Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

4/10

 

Only we know

 

Lauren’s family have just moved house, and a new home means a new school. Lauren is determined to take this opportunity to completely reinvent herself and she quickly makes friends and settles in to her new life. Everything’s going to plan until she runs into Harry, a boy she met four summers ago. Luckily for Lauren, Harry doesn’t seem to remember her, and she knows it has to stay that way.

Then, just when things are starting to go well again, creepy packages start appearing in Lauren’s locker with no explanation. Finally, she receives a disturbing, anonymous note: ‘Isn’t it time your new friends knew all about you?’

I had high expectations for this book however I found it a massive disappointment; the action and storyline only seemed to pick up speed in the last few chapters, whilst the vast majority of the novel seemed to drag on, talking in cryptic messages about this ‘secret’ that Lauren is hiding from her past, which turns out to be something that isn’t that big of a deal. I won’t say what that secret is because that would mean the entire worthwhile parts of the plot would be revealed. A very boring and disappointing read.

Amazon: Buy this book

Kingdom – Rachel Wollaston

Title: Kingdom
Author: Rachel Wollaston
Published by: Rachel E. Wollaston

Publication date: 2016
Pages: 309
Genres: Fantasy; Romance
Format: E-Book, Kindle
Source: Review Copy

10/10

 

Kingdom

 

Imaginations are just that: imaginations.

Or are they?

Pepper Fairfield is a high spirited young woman with an incredible imagination. When she accepts a job as a nanny at Calthorpe Manor, she finds that she has let herself in for a lot more than she expected. With mysterious disappearing doors, magical colour-changing bunnies and a couple of sassy sylphs, this house is nothing like what she’d anticipated. Is it haunted? Or is it something even more?

 

In a whirlwind of events, Pepper finds herself fighting against impossible odds, not only for her life, but for the safety of humankind. What this land needs is a hero, but how do you convince a hero who’s sure he’s anything but? If one thing is for certain, it’s that, in an existent world of non-existence, anything can happen . . .

 

Wow, is all I can say about this book. When I was offered the chance to review the debut novel of Rachel, I leapt at the chance, enthralled by the captivating synopsis I was provided with. However, when I began this book, I did not realise exactly how much I was going to be taken on a rollercoaster ride. From page 1, I was drawn into the plot and was unable to put the book down for a strong desire to know exactly what was going to happen next.

The characters are very well developed, particularly the characters of Pepper and Therron who are my favourite people in the novel. Pepper is a strong female character who has the perfect mix of selflessness, bravery and sensitivity towards others.

I very rarely give a book 10/10 but I could not fault Kingdom. It alternated between slower sections (which were still interesting) and fast paced action which left me on the edge of my seat, praying for the safety of the characters.

This is a very accomplished first novel and I highly recommend it! I look forward to reading more books by Rachel.

Amazon: Pre-order this book now (release date is 14th July 2016)

Fallen – Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Published by: Corgi

Publication date: 2009
Pages: 452
Genres: Young Adult; Mystery; Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

Fallen

8/10

 

Some angels are destined to fall.

Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar… The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can’t shake the feeling that she has … and with him – a boy she doesn’t remember ever setting eyes on.

Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her – or destroy her?

 

To begin with, I thought that this book was going to be one of those vampire, werewolf books where the girl and the ‘bad boy’ fall in love but discover that they are unable to be together for some reason that the author has made up that makes absolutely no sense. But this book was not like that at all! From the very first page, it kept me captivated with the twisting, turning, mysterious storyline which takes the reader on a whirlwind of emotions from love, to fear, to worry, to sadness.

Luce is your stereotypical ‘bad girl’ main character sent against her will to reform school and the love triangle between Luce, Daniel and Cam keeps a constant tense atmosphere throughout the plot. There are many plot twists throughout this book, though I don’t want to give them away. 😛

 

Goodreads: My profile

Amazon: Fallen

Divergent (Divergent, Book #1) – Roth, Veronica

10/10

Divergent

Synopsis

Beatrice Prior is on the brink of a decision that will change her life. In a society divided into factions all are forced to choose where they belong. And the choice Tris makes shocks everyone. Including herself.

Once decisions are made, the new members are forced to undergo extreme initiation tests with devastating consequences. As their experience transforms them, Tris must determine who her friends are – and if the man who both threatens and protects her is really on her side.

Because Tris has a deadly secret. And as growing conflict threatens to unravel their seemingly perfect society, this secret might save those Tris loves… or it might destroy her.

Overview *Contains Spoiler*

I’m not going to lie – this is probably the twentieth time I’ve read Divergent and it never ceases to amaze me how Roth manages to keep me hooked each time I re-read it, even though I know what is going to happen. Each time I read it, though, I discover a little detail that I hadn’t noticed in the previous read-through.

Very rarely do female characters have such a strong personality as Tris does; so often, they fall in love and turn into that stereotypical silly, giggly girl. Tris doesn’t which is what I love about her character. She falls in love with Four but she remains a ‘badass’ female lead, and remains true to herself throughout everything that she is put through. This makes her a role model for so many readers. She goes against the Status Quo when she transfers from Abnegation to Dauntless, she is determined not to be cut from her new faction, she doesn’t try and deny her feelings for Four, but underneath what every girl wants to be she has that vulnerability which makes her so relatable as a main character. I mean who doesn’t want to Dauntless when you’re following Tris as a lead for 480 pages?

Overall, I loved this book and I would highly recommend it to any teenager/young adult as a must-read book. You don’t have to love dystopian books to get something out of Divergent. This is one book, whose movie I loved on equal terms with the actual book.

If you enjoyed this book, read my reviews of the other two books in the series:

Insurgent

Allegiant

Goodreads: My Profile

Amazon: Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1)

Fractured (Slated, Book #2) – Teri Terry

10/10

Fractured

Synopsis

“With what I did yesterday, I should be dead: zapped by the chip they put in my brain when I was Slated.” Kyla shouldn’t remember anything from before she was Slated, but dark secrets of her past will not stay buried. Caught in a tug of war between Lorder oppression and the fight for freedom, her past and present race towards a collision she may not survive. While her desperate search for Ben continues, who can she trust in this world of secrets and lies?

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This was an amazing second book in the Slated trilogy! I often find that books in a series decrease in quality but Teri Terry’s writing still manages to capture my attention right from the word go. If you enjoyed “Slated” you will adore this book. It’s packed with more action than the first and Kyla begins to learn that not everyone is as they first appear. She matures in herself, and there is a definite progression in the development of her character between the first and the second book, and even throughout Fractured. She starts off as a girl who doesn’t know who she is and then learns of her identity before she was Slated. She also begins to think for herself, rebelling against what she has been told “Rain” would do.

Kyla is forced to take sides in this non-stop action thriller and although it is constantly packed with action right from the first page, the last few chapters are paced perfectly. They force you to continue reading as you want to know what is going to happen next.

I would highly recommend this book to teens, particularly if you enjoyed Slated. I would read Slated first, though, as I feel without the background knowledge gained in book 1, Fractured won’t make a whole lot of sense. You can check out my review of Slated here.

Goodreads: My Profile

Amazon: Fractured: 2/3 (Slated Trilogy)