Author – Philip Pullman
Age – 15+ (Sexual Content)
When Chris helps a girl escape a group of guys at a posh party he is working at, he finds a love that consumes him. Jenny is funny, smart, beautiful and independent. She lives in a squat with two friends and one weekend he invites her to stay with him as he house sits his dad’s place and looks after their cat.
When Jenny goes home, her squat is boarded up, her friends arrested for drug dealing and she is without a home. Not wanting to go back to Chris’ dad’s place to ask where he lives, she loses contact with Chris. She doesn’t know his surname and doesn’t know exactly where he works. They both spend months searching for each other in the city of Oxford.
Jenny gets a job baby-sitting. She doesn’t know Chris works for the child’s father, or that the father is being hunted down by a killer. Somebody is going to die…
Quick but thrilling read by this master story-teller,
(Thriller, Love, IRA, Betrayal, Lies, Growing up, Blended family, Step mother, Abuse)
Author – Janine Beacham
When something happens to Rose Raventhorpe’s beloved butler and friend Argyle, she is devastated. Strange things begin to happen in her Victorian city of Yorke and she is intrigued by the missing cat statues that Argyle told her are protecting the city.
A prophecy says if the cats disappear, terrible things will befall Yorke. Determined to find Argyle’s killer, Rose discovers a secret society, a labyrinth of tunnels below Yorke and a mystery that must be solved.
Any young mystery fans will love Rose’s adventures. This is the first in a series.
TEEN – JAC
Author – Tiffany D Jackson
Age – 15+
Mary B Addison was 9 when she killed 3 mth old Alyssa Richardson – allegedly. After spending time in ‘baby jail’ Mary is now 16 and in a girl’s group home, with an ankle bracelet to keep track of her. Life has been tough and Mary trusts no-one – not even her mother who visits her regularly.
Mary loved Alyssa and would never have killed her, and it’s only when she becomes pregnant herself (with the promise that her baby will be taken from her at birth), that she begins to tell the truth. With help from uncertain places she even reignites her dream to go to College (University).
But she is still wary of people and their motives, and suddenly she realises she wasn’t wary enough. The tension increase where it’s not just her and her baby’s future at stake, but both of their lives.
Allegedly has a very easy reading style as you get to know Mary. But do you trust her yourself? An amazing debut novel.
(Murder, Crime, Infanticide, Lies, Secret, Pregnancy, Courage)
TEEN – GIB
Author – Alan Gibbons
Age – 12+
With short chapters and only 186 pages, this story about an English family almost torn apart by terrorism (from the inside) will capture many who aren’t that keen on reading, or haven’t been able to find a book that grabs them.
The Trap deals with an issue that can destroy families on both sides of terrorism. Majid is training to be a doctor in the UK. His family fully support him in his education and dreams to help people, but when he begins spending more and more time with a man who talks of UK infidels, war, martyrdom and glory, they are worried for him. But Majid feels he has to make his own decisions.
This story follows those decisions and Majid’s path to war and back.
The tension rises throughout this novel, to a thrilling conclusion – or is it the end?
(War, Conflict, Crime, Family, Racism, School. MI5, Agent, Extremist, Muslim)
(Not in Napier/Taradale Libraries)
Author – Scott Bergstrom
Age – 15+
17 yr old Gwendoline lives with her diplomat father in New York. After living in different countries around the world, she can speak several languages. She hates her new school for children of the elite and spends her free time reading and in gymnastics, not knowing her world is about to be shaken violently. Her father has been kidnapped.
No-one knows why and when his employers say he’s left her by choice, she doesn’t believe them. She sets out on a journey, using her gymnastic skills to learn hand to hand live-or-die combat, and her language skills to negotiate among murderers, thieves, drugs and more. Cruelty is a thing she must learn to survive. Will she ever see her father again?
A gritty and violent thriller. Think the movie Taken (with Liam Neeson) and flip it with the daughter hunting down the kidnapped father. The more I read, the faster I read, wanting to know what would happen next!
(Family, Thriller, Courage, Drugs, Action, Murder, Secret, Series)
Not in Napier/Taradale Libraries
Author – Anne Cassidy
Age – 16+ (Explicit sexual scenes)
Stacey has had an argument with her mum and sister and she needs some space and time to herself. Even her best friend Patrice has lied to her and she needs to escape them all.
When a handsome guy sits down next to her in a cafe and strikes up a conversation she suddenly feels better about herself. He offers her a place to stay and she can’t believe what she’s doing, but enjoys the distraction from her normal life.
But within 24 hours, normal life is all she craves. To go home and back to school and back to what she knows. When she admits to Patrice what happened in the two days she was gone, her friend is shocked and hardly leaves her side. She tells Stacey to write everything down, and so Stacey tells her story from the very beginning.
This is a gritty, no-punches-pulled story of a girl who is raped. She feels like some of it was her fault, that she was foolish and gullible and can’t bring herself to tell anyone but her friend. But if she says nothing it could happen to someone else, or is she already too late?
(Rape, Shame, Family, Friendship Courage, Crime)
ER – JON
Author – Allan Jones
Age – 8+
Zac Archer is 12 and lives in a children’s home. He is a bright kid but doesn’t achieve his potential at school. His true love is free-running and he’s exceptional at it, but doesn’t know how exceptional.
When he witnesses a murder he’s suddenly caught up in an action-packed, dangerous mission to help find a memory stick of international importance. Two spy agencies are after it. Zac knows where the memory stick is and after a girl called Rina (codename Ballerina) comes to his aid more than once, he tries to help her retrieve it.
While bullets fly, Zac uses his skills to flee from enemy agents with Rina. But how do they know where he’ll be? And why does Rina tell him one thing and other agents tell him another? Who is telling the truth and which side should he take?
Zak is a likeable character – even with his exceptional speed he is just a normal kid caught up in something terrifying and thrilling at the same time. If you like Cherub, you’ll like this one.
(Spy, Crime, Betrayal, Action, Murder, Courage, London)