101 YA Books to Read Before September!

What will you be reading this summer holidays? Here are our choices for the (hopefully) long hot days ahead. Some have been out a while, others you may not have heard of – but all are rattling good reads. And with a series counting as one book, there’s more than 101 books to get through!

Happy reading 🙂

harry potter seriesHarry Potter Series – J K Rowling

The adventures of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and his wand-wielding friends at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry, Ron and Hermione must master their craft and battle the machinations of the evil wizard Voldemort and his Death Eaters. We couldn’t leave this out even though many will have read it already!

catcher in the ryeThe Catcher in the Rye – J.D.Salinger

Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the ‘phony’ aspects of society, and the ‘phonies’ themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection.

Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, The Catcher in the Rye explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature.

lord of the ringsThe Lord of the Rings – J.R.R.Tolkien

Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as the Ring is entrusted to his care. He must leave his home and make a perilous journey across the realms of Middle-earth to the Crack of Doom, deep inside the territories of the Dark Lord. There he must destroy the Ring forever and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

paper townsPaper Towns – John Green

Although The Fault in our Stars is the big book of the moment, anything John Green has published could be put in this list – this one happens to be my favourite!

Quentin has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.

But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.

hitchhikers guideThe Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

It’s an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and his best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. At this moment, they’re hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON’T PANIC.

The weekend has only just begun…

Volume one in the trilogy of five!

outsidersThe Outsiders – S.E.Hinton

‘. . . the hand at the back of my neck was strong. I’m drowning, I thought . . .’

The Socs’ idea of having a good time is beating up Greasers like Ponyboy. Ponyboy knows what to expect and knows he can count on his brothers and friends – until the night someone takes things too far.

The original teenage rebel story.

his dark materialsHis Dark Materials Trilogy – Philip Pullman

Northern Lights introduces Lyra, an orphan, who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. In The Subtle Knife she is joined on her journey by Will, a boy who possesses a knife that can cut windows between worlds. As Lyra learns the truth about her parents and her prophesied destiny, the two young people are caught up in a war against celestial powers that ranges across many worlds and leads to a thrilling conclusion in The Amber Spyglass.

perks of being a wallflowerThe Perks of being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

lord of the fliesLord of the Flies – William Golding

A plane crashes on an uninhabited island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast.

In this, his first novel, William Golding gave the traditional adventure story an ironic, devastating twist. The boys’ delicate sense of order fades, and their childish fears are transformed into something deeper and more primitive. Their games take on a horrible significance, and before long the well-behaved party of schoolboys has turned into a tribe of faceless, murderous savages.

divergent seriesDivergent Series – Veronica Roth

In the world of Divergent, society is divided into five factions and all are forced to choose where they belong. The choice Beatrice Prior makes shocks everyone, including herself.

Once decisions are made faction members are forced to undergo extreme initiation tests with devastating consequences. Tris must determine who her friends are – and whether the man who both threatens and protects her is really on her side.

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

mortal instrumentsMortal Instruments Series – Cassandra Clare

Sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is an ordinary teenager, who likes hanging out in Brooklyn with her friends. But everything changes the night she witnesses a murder, committed by a group of teens armed with medieval weaponry. The murderous group are Shadowhunters, secret warriors dedicated to driving demons out of this dimension and back into their own. Drawn inexorably into a terrifying world, Clary slowly begins to learn the truth about her family – and the battle for the fate of the world.

13 reasons whyThirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and first love – who committed suicide.

Hannah’s voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself and Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening – and what he discovers changes his life . . . Forever.

angus thongs and full frontal snoggingAngus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging – Louise Rennison

There are six things very wrong with my life:

  1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.
    2. It is on my nose.
    3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.
    4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberführer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic ‘teachers’.
    5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.
    6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

leviathanLeviathan Series – Scott Westerfeld

It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro -Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers. steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship. and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.In this striking futuristic rendition of an alternate past where machines are pitted against genetically modified beasts. Aleksandar Ferdinand. a Clanker. and Deryn Sharp. a Darwinist. are on opposite sides in the First World War. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way. and together they embark on an around-the-world adventure …. One that will change both their lives…

goneGone Series – Michael Grant

Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.

In the blink of an eye all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. They must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers . . . It’s Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation.

shiver trilogyShiver Trilogy – Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods. Especially the yellow-eyed beast whose chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Every winter she watches him, but every summer, he disappears… Sam leads two lives. In winter, he stays in the frozen woods, with the protection of the pack. In summer, he has a few precious months to be human, until the cold makes him shift back again. When Grace and Sam finally meet, they realize they can’t bear to be apart. But can they find a way to stay together as the stakes grow higher and death comes closing in?

enders game seriesEnders Game Series – Orson Scott Card

The human race faces annihilation. An alien threat is on the horizon, ready to strike. And if humanity is to be defended, the government must create the greatest military commander in history. The brilliant young Ender Wiggin is their last hope. But first he must survive the rigours of a brutal military training program – to prove that he can be the leader of all leaders.

A saviour for mankind must be produced, through whatever means possible. But are they creating a hero or a monster?

terraTerra – Mitch Benn

No-one trusts humanity. No-one can quite understand why we’re intent on destroying the only place we have to live in the Universe. No-one thinks we’re worth a second thought. And certainly no-one is about to let us get off Rrth. That would be a complete disaster.

But one alien thinks Rrth is worth looking at. Not humanity, obviously, we’re appalling, but until we manage to kill every other living thing on the planet there are some truly wonderful places on Rrth and some wonderful creatures living in them. Best take a look while they’re still there.

But on one trip to Rrth our alien biologist causes a horrendous accident. The occupants of a car travelling down a lonely road spot his ship (the sort of massive lemon-coloured, lemon-shaped starship that really shouldn’t be hanging in the sky over a road). Understandably the Bradburys crash (interrupting the latest in a constant procession of bitter rows). And in the wreckage of their car our alien discovers a baby girl. She needs rescuing. From the car. From Rrth. From her humanity.

And now 11 years later a girl called Terra is about to go to school for the first time. It’s a very alien experience…

coldest2The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black

All her friends are dead. If everything goes to plan, all his will be too.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is set in the not-so-distant future, where the vampire population has surged, resulting in the establishment of Coldtowns – quarantined cities of vampires and humans where predator and prey coexist in a never-ending bloody party of revelry. These isolated meccas of debauchery are the pillars of the pop culture landscape, with blogs, live feeds and YouTube videos constantly streaming from inside the city’s closed walls.

Drawn into this bizarre and dangerous world is seventeen-year-old Tana, who wakes up the morning after a party to find all her friends dead at the hands of vampires. Soon, she finds herself in a race against the clock with an infected ex-boyfriend on the brink of turning and a mysterious vampire with a tortured past intent on seeking revenge, running straight into the wicked heart of Coldtown itself.

divinersThe Diviners – Libba Bray

It’s 1920s New York City. It’s flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It’s after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it’s the opportunity to party like never before. For Evie O’Neill, it’s escape. She’s never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she’s shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she’s always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

But New York City isn’t about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren’t crimes of passion. They’re gruesome. They’re planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can’t solve them alone.

Evie wasn’t just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer – if he doesn’t catch her first.

ashesAshes Trilogy – Ilsa J Bick

Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents’ ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it’s a question of who can be trusted and who has changed…

Everyone still alive has turned – some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh). Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom – an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home – and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.

This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to find food, shelter, while fighting off the ‘Changed’ and those desperate to stay alive.

recklessReckless Series – Cornelia Funke

For the first time in his life, Jacob Reckless is afraid.

For years he’s stolen across to another world. A dark enchanted place he’s loved for its treasure, secrets and dangers. Until now. Will, his younger brother, has followed him with terrible consequences: The boy will turn to beast; the girl he loves will break her heart and chaos will rule forever, unless Jacob can spin a fairytale to save them ..

beautiful creatures boxsetBeautiful Creatures Series – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Is falling in love the beginning . . . Or the end?

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets.

There is a girl.

Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head. Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse.

On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it.

enemyThe Enemy Series – Charlie Higson

When the sickness came, every parent, police officer, politician – every adult fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry.

Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive.

Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait.

But can they make it there – alive?

dept 19Department 19 Series – Will Hill

In a secret supernatural battle that’s been raging for over a century, the stakes have just been raised – and they’re not wooden anymore.

DEPARTMENT 6 IS THE ARMY
DEPARTMENT 12 is MI5
DEPARTMENT 19 IS THE REASON YOU’RE ALIVE

When Jamie Carpenter’s mother is kidnapped by strange creatures, he finds himself dragged into Department 19, the government’s most secret agency.

Fortunately for Jamie, Department 19 can provide the tools he needs to find his mother, and to kill the vampires who want him dead. But unfortunately for everyone, something much older is stirring, something even Department 19 can’t stand up against…

we were liarswe were liars – e. lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.

sky on fireMonument 14 Series – Emmy Laybourne

Fourteen kids stranded inside a superstore. Inside they have everything they could ever need. There’s junk food and clothes, computer games and books, drugs and alcohol … and without adult supervision they can do whatever they want.

Sounds like fun?

But outside the world is being ripped apart by violent storms and chemicals leaking into the atmosphere that, depending on blood type, leave victims paranoid, violent or dead.

The kids must remain inside, forced to create their own community, unsure if they’ll ever be able to leave. Can they stop the world they’ve created inside from self-destructing too?

riotRiot – Sarah Mussi

England is struggling under a recession that has shown no sign of abating. Years of cuts has devastated Britain: banks are going under, businesses closing, prices soaring, unemployment rising, prisons overflowing. The authorities cannot cope. And the population has maxed out.

The police are snowed under. Something has to give. Drastic measures need taking.

The solution: forced sterilisation of all school leavers without secure further education plans or guaranteed employment.

The country is aghast. Families are distraught, teenagers are in revolt, but the politicians are unshakeable: The population explosion must be curbed. No more free housing for single parents, no more child benefit, no more free school meals, no more children in need. Less means more.

But it is all so blatantly unfair – the Teen Haves will procreate, the Teen Havenots won’t.

fangirl4Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible . . .

grasshopper jungleGrasshopper Jungle – Andrew Smith

If you’re a fan of John Green, Michael Grant, Stephen King or Sally Green’s Half Bad, get your pincers stuck into this.

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is the truth. This is history. It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it.

Funny, intense, complex and brave, Grasshopper Jungle is a groundbreaking, genre-bending, coming-of-age stunner.

curious incident of the dog in the nighttimeThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime – Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.

speakSpeak – Laurie Halse Anderson

From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she’s an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops – a major infraction in high-school society – so her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t know glare at her. No one knows why she called the police, and she can’t get out the words to explain. So she retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence. But it’s not so comfortable in her head, either – there’s something banging around in there that she doesn’t want to think about. But, try as she might, it just won’t go away…

tilightTwilight Series – Stephanie Meyer

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town. But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella. Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away – until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car. Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward’s coldness. He, and his family, are vampires – and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close.

absolutely tue diaryAbsolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian – Sherman Alexie

In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. This heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written tale, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character’s art, is based on the author’s own experience and chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he seems destined to live.

ugliesUglies Series – Scott Westerfeld

The future isn’t far away.In Tally Youngblood’s world. Looks matter. She lives in a society created to function with perfect-looking people who never have a chance to think for themselves. And she’s tired of it – First as an ugly, then a pretty and finally a special. Tally takes down the social infrastructure. Then, a generation later, a world obsessed with fame and instant celebrity-and filled with extras-will reap the consequences.

call of the wildCall of the Wild – Jack London

Half St. Bernard, half sheepdog, Buck is stolen away from his comfortable life as a pet in California and sold to dog traders. He soon finds himself aboard a ship, on its way to Northern Canada. Surrounded by cruelty, Buck’s natural instincts and behaviour begin to emerge as he works as a mail carrying sled dog, scavenging for food, protecting himself against other dogs and sleeping out in the cold snow.

Sold to a group of American gold hunters who are inexperienced living in the wilderness, the dogs are treated badly and as misfortune besets them, Buck is saved by John Thornton. Indebted to his new master, Buck remains by Thornton’s side, saving him from drowning and protecting him with fierce loyalty throughout their time together. However, Buck cannot deny the strong lure of the wilderness around him.

sisterhood of the travelling pantsThe Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – Ann Brashares

Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget have been best friends all their lives. They live in the same small American town and usually spend every moment of their long summer holidays together. The year they turn 16 is the first time they have separate plans for the summer but the girls are determined to keep in touch. Tibby buys a pair of jeans in a second-hand shop and the girls discover that the trousers magically fit each of them perfectly, despite their different figures and heights. They hit upon a wonderful plan of sharing the jeans throughout the vacation – sending them on to the next friend when they feel the time is right.

From Baja California to Greece, from film-making to football, the girls – and the travelling pants – encounter first love, family upset and fatal illness. Secure in the knowledge that their friendship is constant – and the symbol of it need never be more than a parcel-delivery away – the girls survive their summer and return home with a wealth of new experiences to share.

stargirlStargirl – Jerry Spinelli

She’s as magical as the desert sky. As mysterious as her own name. Nobody knows who she is or where she’s from. But everyone loves her for being different. And she captures Leo’s heart with just one smile. STARGIRL is a classic of our time that celebrates being true to ourselves and the thrill of first love. A life-changing read that touches souls of all ages.

howls moving castleHowl’s Moving Castle – Diane Wynne Jones

In the land of Ingary, where seven league boots and cloaks of invisibility do exist, Sophie Hatter catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell.

Deciding she has nothing more to lose, she makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls… There she meets Michael, Howl’s apprentice, and Calcifer the Fire Demon, with whom she agrees a pact.

But Sophie isn’t the only one under a curse – her entanglements with Calcifer, Howl, and Michael, and her quest to break her curse is both gripping – and howlingly funny!

duneDune – Frank Herbert

The epic story of the planet Arrakis, its Atreides rulers and their mortal enemies the Harkonnens is the finest, most widely acclaimed and enduring science fiction novel of this century.

Huge in scope, towering in concept, it is a work that will live on in the reader’s imagination.

wee free menThe Wee Free Men Series – Terry Pratchett

Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching – a wise shepherd – might have been a witch, but now Granny Aching is dead and it’s up to Tiffany to work it all out when strange things begin happening: a fairy-tale monster in the stream, a headless horseman and, strangest of all, the tiny blue men in kilts, the Wee Free Men, who have come looking for the new ‘hag’.

These are the Nac Mac Feegles, the pictsies, who like nothing better than thievin’, fightin’ and drinkin’.

Then Tiffany’s young brother goes missing and Tiffany and the Wee Free Men must join forces to save him from the Queen of the Fairies . . .

my sisters keeperMy Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

Anna Fitzgerald doesn’t want her sister to die. But she’s sick of helping her to live.

Anna was born to be a perfect genetic match for Kate, who at just two years old was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. For thirteen years, she has acted as donor to her sister.

Now, Kate needs a kidney, and nobody is asking Anna how she feels about it, they’re just assuming she will donate.

Until the Sheriff serves the papers that will rock their family’s world: Anna is suing her parents for the rights to her own body . . .

dark is risingThe Dark is Rising Series – Susan Cooper

It is Midwinter’s Eve, the night before Will’s eleventh birthday. But there is an atmosphere of fear in the familiar countryside around him. Will is about to make a shocking discovery – that he is the last person to be born with the power of the Old Ones, and as a guardian of the Light he must begin a dangerous journey to vanquish the terrifyingly evil magic of the Dark.

gracelingGraceling Trilogy – Kristen Cashore

In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing.

She lives under the command of her Uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to carry out his dirty work, punnishing and torturing anyone who displeases him. Breaking arms and cutting off fingers are her stock-in-trade. Finding life under his rule increasingly unbearable Katsa forms an underground Council, whose purpose is to combat the destructive behaviour of the seven kings – after all, the Middluns is only one of the Seven Kingdoms, each of them ruled by their own king and his personal agenda for power.

When the Council hears that the King of Liend’s father has been kidnapped Katsa investigates . . . and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap him, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced fighter who challenged her fighting skills, for the first time, as she and the Council rushed the old man to saftey?

Something dark and deadly is rising in the north and creeping across the continent, and behind it all lurks the shadowy figure of a one-eyed king . . .

inheritance cycleThe Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini

The Inheritance cycle is the unforgettable, worldwide bestselling saga of one boy, one dragon, and a world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he and his dragon, Saphira, are thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. . . .

princess diariesThe Princess Diaries Series – Meg Cabot

‘You’re not Mia Thermopolis any more, honey,’ Dad said. ‘You’re Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo. Princess of Genovia.’

A PRINCESS?? ME??? Yeah. Right.

One minute Mia’s a totally normal Manhattan 14-year-old. Next minute she’s heir to the throne of Genovia, being trailed by a trigger-happy bodyguard, taking princess lessons with her bonkers old grandmere, and having a makeover with someone called Paolo. Well, her dad can lecture her till he’s royal-blue in the face, but no way is Mia going to turn herself into a style-queen. And they think she’s moving to Genovia? Er, hello?

abhorsenThe Abhorsen Trilogy – Garth Nix

One warrior – to stand against all the dead. Untried and untested, can Sabriel find the power to guard the living when the Dead arise? As a child, Sabriel is sent across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from the Old Kingdom’s wild magic; away from the Dead. Then, on the edge of death, Sabriel’s father, Abhorson, sends for her – and an 18-year-old Sabriel returns across the Wall. Now it is up to Sabriel to take on her father’s role, laying the disturbed Dead back to rest with the help of seven powerful bells. But the evil which lies buried in the depths of the Old Kingdom will demand every drop of Sabriel’s power – and cast a shadow far into the future, which Sabriel alone cannot dispel. From master writer Garth Nix, this thrilling fantasy trilogy creates a breathtaking world of terrible monsters, dangerous quests and unpredictable magic.

treasure islandTreasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

When a mysterious seafarer puts up at the Admiral Benbow, young Jim Hawkins is haunted by his frightening tales; the sailor’s sudden death is the beginning of one of the most exciting adventure stories in literature. The discovery of a treasure map sets Jim and his companions in search of buried gold, and they are soon on board the Hispaniola with a crew of buccaneers recruited by the one-legged sea cook known as Long John Silver. As they near their destination, and the lure of Captain Flint’s treasure grows ever stronger, Jim’s courage and wits are tested to the full.

13 little blue envelopes13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson

Ginny, aged 17, is left 13 little blue envelopes by her free-spirited young Aunt Peg. Little does she know just how much they will change her life…

• Inside envelope No 1 is money and instructions to buy a plane ticket.
• Inside envelope No 2 are directions to a specific London flat
• Inside envelope No 3 a note to Ginny says: Find a starving artist.
• And because of envelope No 4 Ginny and a man called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous – though utterly romantic – results.

deliriumDelirium Trilogy – Lauren Oliver

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them – Until now. .

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

its kind of a funny storyIt’s Kind of a Funny Story – Ned Vizzini

Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy.

At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn’t brilliant compared to the other kids; he’s just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping-until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

great and terrible beautyThe Gemma Doyle Trilogy – Libba Bray

It’s 1895, and after the death of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s being followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls – and their foray into the spiritual world – lead to?

miss peregrineMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography.

hush hushHush Hush Trilogy – Becca Fitzpatrick

Nora’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, she is drawn to him against her better judgement. But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and knows more about her than her closest friends.And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of a centuries-old battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and sooner or later, she’s going to have to pick sides…

something wickedSomething Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury

It’s the week before Hallowe’en, and Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois. The siren song of the calliope entices all with promises of youth regained and dreams fulfilled . . .

And as two boys trembling on the brink of manhood set out to explore the mysteries of the dark carnival’s smoke, mazes and mirrors, they will also discover the true price of innermost wishes . . .

hunger gamesHunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before-and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever…

mockingbirdTo Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’

A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an anti-racist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition. Possibly the best book you will ever read!

hobbitThe Hobbit – J.R.R.Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon…

chocolate warThe Chocolate War – Robert Cormier

CAN ONE SMALL BOY DEFEAT THE MIGHT OF THE VIGILS?

Jerry’s one of the best: honest, straightforward and hard working. He’s just scraped into the football team at his new school, and things are looking good.

Then he meets Archie, leader of the Vigils, the school Mafia. Archie can see straight away that Jerry’s not going to fit in with the Vigils – and if you’re not in with them, you’re very definitely OUT.

Jerry wants to be out when the school sale comes round. Who says he has to sell chocolates? But Archie’s help has been enlisted by one of the masters, and Archie has his reputation to uphold. Jerry MUST conform…

just listenJust Listen – Sarah Dessen

I’m Annabel. I’m the girl who has it all. Model looks, confidence. A great social life. I’m one of the lucky ones. Aren’t I?

My ‘best friend’ is spreading rumours about me. My family is slowly falling apart. It’s turning into a long, lonely summer, full of secrets and silence.

But I’ve met this guy who won’t let me hide away. He’s one of those intense types, obsessed with music. He’s determined to make me listen. And he’s determined to make me smile. But can he help me forget what happened the night everything changed?

amulet of samarkandThe Bartimaeus Sequence – Jonathan Stroud

When the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician’s apprentice, he expects to have to do nothing more taxing than a little levitation or a few simple illusions. But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something rather more dangerous in mind: revenge. Against his will, Bartimaeus is packed off to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a master magician of unrivalled ruthlessness and ambition. Before long, both djinni and apprentice are caught up in a terrifying flood of magical intrigue, murder and rebellion.

fallenFallen Series – Lauren Kate

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?

nick & norahNick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

unwindUnwind – Neal Shusterman

onnor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together through desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing all the while that their lives are hanging in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthdays, they can’t be harmed. But when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away…

maze runnerMaze Runner Series – James Dashner

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything – even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out.

if i stayIf I Stay – Gayle Foreman

Life can change in an instant.

A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia’s choices are gone. Except one.

As alone as she’ll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

gallagher girlsGallagher Girls Series – Ally Carter

Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses – but it’s really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn’t prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl.

Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can Cammie have a normal relationship with a boy who can never know the truth about her?

i am the messengerI am the Messenger – Markus Zusak

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

chaos walkingChaos Walking Series _ Patrick Ness

Imagine you’re the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don’t fit in with their plans… Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run…

daughter of smoke & boneDaughter of Smoke and Bone Series – Lani Taylor

Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. ‘He never says please’, she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

feedFeed – M T Anderson

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon – a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires.

5th waveThe 5th Wave – Rick Yancy

THE 1st WAVE -Took out half a million people.

THE 2nd WAVE -Put that number to shame.

THE 3rd WAVE – Lasted a little longer. Twelve weeks . . . Four billion dead.

IN THE 4th WAVE,You can’t trust that people are still people.

AND THE 5th WAVE?

No one knows.

But it’s coming.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs.

Runs from the beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.

To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.

Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

love letters to the deadLove Letters to the Dead -Ava Dellaira

It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person – any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain – he died young, and so did Laurel’s sister May – so maybe he’ll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people – Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart …it’s like she can’t stop. And she’d certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it’s like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time – and how her family has shattered since May died. But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can’t keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won’t be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny.

eleanor and parkEleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she’s never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried. Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and – in Eleanor’s eyes – impossibly cool, Park’s worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by. Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.

two boys kissingTwo Boys Kissing – David Levithan

The two boys kissing are Craig and Harry. Theyr’e hoping to set the world record for the longest kiss. They’re not a couple, but they used to be.

Peter and Neil are a couple. Their kisses are different. Avery and Ryan have only just met and are trying to figure out what happens next. Cooper is alone. He’s not sure how he feels.

As the marathon progresses, these boys, their friends and families evaluate the changing nature of feelings, behaviour and this crazy thing called love.

owl serviceThe Owl Service – Alan Garner

It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody’s lives.

Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend – a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies. As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.

life an exploded diagramLife: An Exploded Diagram – Mal Peet

Clem Ackroyd lives with his parents and grandmother in a claustrophobic home too small to accommodate their larger-than-life characters in the bleak Norlfolk countryside. Clem’s life changes irrevocably when he meets Frankie, the daughter of a wealthy farmer, and experiences first love, in all its pain and glory. The story is told in flashback by Clem when he is living and working in New York City as a designer, and moves from the past of his parents and grandmother to his own teenage years. Not only the threat of explosions, but actual ones as well, feature throughout in this latest novel from one of the finest writers working today.

t s spivetThe Young and Prodigious T. S.Spivet  -Reif Larsen

Dear Spivet Family

I have gone for a while to do some work. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I didn’t want to bother you by telling about it ahead of time. Thank you for taking care of me. You are one of the best families in the world.

Love, T.S.

T.S. makes sense of his chaotic family life by drawing beautiful, meticulous maps kept in innumerable colour-coded notebooks. He is brilliant, and the Smithsonian Institution agrees, though when they award him a major scientific prize they don’t suspect for a moment that he is twelve years old.

So begins T.S.’s life-changing adventure, travelling two thousand miles across America to reach the awards dinner, the secret-society membership and the TV interviews that beckon. But is this what he wants? Do maps and lists explain the world? And why are adults so strange?

she is not invisibleShe Is Not Invisible – Marcus Sedgwick

Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. For years he’s been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he’s obsessed, Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a breakdown. He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong.

On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.

savageThe Savage – David Almond

Imagine you wrote a story and that story came true. This is exactly what happens to Blue Baker when he writes about a savage living alone in the woods near his home. After his dad’s death, Blue finds comfort in dreaming of a wild kid who survives on a diet of berries and the occasional hapless passer-by. But when the savage pays a night-time visit to the local bully, boundaries become blurred and Blue begins to wonder where he ends and the savage begins. Part novel, part graphic novel, this moving story features striking art from the award-winning Dave McKean.

britten and brulightlyBritten and Brulightly – Hannah Berry

‘Nowadays I don’t get out of bed for less than a murder. I don’t get out of bed much…Until today.’

‘Private Researcher’ Fernández Britten is the messenger who would view being shot as a blessing. The years spent uncovering people’s secret dramas and helping to confirm their darkest suspicions have taken their toll. Battered by remorse over the lives he has ruined, he clings to the hope of redemption through delivering, just once, a truth with a positive impact. It’s a hope he has been clinging to for a long time.

And so Britten and his ‘unconventional’ partner, Brülightly, take on the case of suicide Berni Kudos. At least, suicide was the official verdict. His fiancée, Charlotte Maughton, believes his death was something more sinister.

Blackmail, revenge, murder: desperate acts are exposed, and this is no tree-lined avenue to justice. Each new revelation stirs the muddy waters of a family’s dark secrets, and each fresh twist takes them further from that elusive redemption.

There are murder mysteries and there are murder mysteries, but this is a noir where nothing is black and white.

salem brownstoneSalem Brownstone: All along the Watchtower – John Dunning

As he twists the key and slowly creeps into the grand gothic mansion left to him in his father’s will, Salem’s life takes a decidedly unusual turn. Aside from the money and house, his father’s secret legacy includes an unfinished battle with creatures from a world beyond ours. Immediately thrown into the sinister conflict, Salem must make contact with his guardian familiar and get help from the colourful performers of Dr Kinoshita’s Circus of Unearthly Delights, if he is to ward off the evil spirits and avoid the tragic fate of his father.

mausThe Complete Maus  – Art Spiegelman

Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father’s story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in ‘drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust’ (The New York Times).

i kill giantsI Kill Giants – J. M. Nimura and Joe Kelly

Barbara Thorson, a girl battling monsters both real and imagined, kicks butt, takes names, and faces her greatest fear in this bittersweet, coming-of-age story!

 

bone seasonThe Bone Season – Samantha Shannon

EVEN A DREAMER CAN START A REVOLUTION

Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

day of the triffidsDay of the Triffids – John Wyndham

When Bill Masen wakes up blindfolded in hospital there is a bitter irony in his situation. Carefully removing his bandages, he realizes that he is the only person who can see: everyone else, doctors and patients alike, have been blinded by a meteor shower. Now, with civilization in chaos, the triffids – huge, venomous, large-rooted plants able to ‘walk’, feeding on human flesh – can have their day.

death of grassThe Death of Grass – John Christopher

At first the virus wiping out grass and crops is of little concern to John Custance. It has decimated Asia, causing mass starvation and riots, but Europe is safe and a counter-virus is expected any day. Except, it turns out, the governments have been lying to their people. When the deadly disease hits Britain, society starts to descend into barbarism. As John and his family try to make it across country to the safety of his brother’s farm in a hidden valley, their humanity is tested to its very limits. A chilling psychological thriller and one of the greatest post-apocalyptic novels ever written, The Death of Grass shows people struggling to hold on to their identities as the familiar world disintegrates – and the terrible price they must pay for surviving.

tomorrow when the war beganThe Tomorrow Series – J0hn Marsden

When their country is invaded and their families are taken, eight high school teenagers band together to fight. Seventeen-year-old Ellie Linton wants one final adventure with her friends before the school holidays are over. Packed in Ellie’s parents’ land rover they drive to the famously isolated rock pool Eden dubbed ‘Hell’ by the locals. Returning to their home town of Wirrawee, the seven teenagers realize that something is seriously wrong. Power to the houses has been cut, pets and livestock have been left dead or dying, and most alarmingly of all, everyone’s family has vanished. When the hostile armed forces discover that the teenagers are lying low in the vicinity, Ellie and her friends must band together to escape, outwit and strike back against the mysterious enemy that has seized control of their town and imprisoned their friends and loved ones…

martianThe Martian – Andy Weir

I’m stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m screwed.

A Street Cat Named BobA Street Cat Named Bob – James Bowen

When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.

Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.

Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts.

A Street Cat Named Bob is a moving and uplifting story that will touch the heart of anyone who reads it.

19841984 – George Orwell

George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century, making famous Big Brother, newspeak and Room 101.

‘Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’

Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.

Jane EyreJane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth in this epic love story, which is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire moors. Ultimately the grand passion of Jane and Rochester is called upon to survive cruel revelation, loss and reunion, only to be confronted with tragedy.

Noble ConflictNoble Conflict – Malorie Blackman

Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians – an elite peacekeeping force – to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy.

When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel – a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories – memories that could only belong to Rhea – he realises he hasn’t been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he’s really fighting for.

WonderWonder – R. J. Palacio

‘My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Geek GirlGeek Girl – Holly Smale

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am a geek.”

Harriet Manners knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. She knows that bats always turn left when exiting a cave and that peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

But she doesn’t know why nobody at school seems to like her.

So when Harriet is spotted by a top model agent, she grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her best friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of impossibly handsome model Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

Veering from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, Harriet begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.

As her old life starts to fall apart, will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

The Secret Diary of Adrian MoleThe Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 133/4 – Sue Townsend

Friday January 2nd

I felt rotten today. It’s my mother’s fault for singing ‘My Way’ at two o’clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children’s home.

Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life. Writing candidly about his parents’ marital troubles, the dog, his life as a tortured poet and ‘misunderstood intellectual’, Adrian’s painfully honest diary is still hilarious and compelling reading thirty years after it first appeared.

RebeccaRebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

 

Working as a lady’s companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . .

SkelligSkellig – David Almond

When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister’s illness, Michael’s world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain.

Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical. A strange creature – part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael’s help if he is to survive. With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital.

But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael’s world changes forever . . .

Salem's LotSalem’s Lot – Stephen King

‘Turn off the television – in fact, why don’t you turn off all the lights except for the one over your favourite chair? – and we’ll talk about vampires here in the dim. I think I can make you believe in them.’

Ben Mears, a moderately successful writer, returns to the Lot to write a novel based on his early years, and to exorcise the terrors that have haunted him since childhood. The event he witnessed in the house now rented by a new resident. A newcomer with a strange allure. A man who causes Ben some unease as things start to happen: a child disappears, a dog is brutally killed – nothing unusual, except the list starts to grow.

Soon surprise will turn to bewilderment, bewilderment to confusion and finally to terror . . .

War of the WorldsWar of the Worlds – H. G. Wells

It is approaching the end of the 19th century, the night after a shooting star is seen streaking through the sky from Mars, a cylinder is discovered on Horsell Common in London. At first, locals approach the cylinder carrying just with a white flag – only to be promptly killed by an all-destroying heat-ray, as the terrifying tentacled invaders emerge. Soon the whole of human civilisation is under threat, as the powerful Martians build gigantic killing machines, tripods that destroy all in their path with gas and burning rays, and gorge on the warm blood of trapped, still-living human prey. The forces of the Earth, however, may prove harder to beat than they at first appear. Mankind fighting back? Or help from something much, much smaller?

cinderThe Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

 

 

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Review: The Explorer – James Smythe

I’m in a bit of a quandary about this book, I loved the idea (which I won’t outline in full as that would spoil it) – journalist in space as the rest of the crew dies but is he really alone?

I also found the writing pulled me nicely through the book, particularly as the entire action, bar some history, takes place in an enclosed space. The ending however left me saying ‘is that it’ – I suspect however this is my failing and not that of the book.

An interesting book in ways I can’t go into and a must for Sci-Fi fans looking for something a bit different and with a twist.

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