Author – Sally Gardner
Illustrator – Nat Barlex
Age – 13+
Jazmin’s best friend Becky has gone. She jumped off a building with her boyfriend. But moments after they jumped they vanished, leaving Jaz with the fallout, a devastating court trial, and her life shattered.
No-one believed her testimony at the trial. No-one would listen to her. But now, a man called Mr Jones has come to interview her. She can finally tell someone what really happened.
A line on the cover gives a clue to the reader that this is a story that contains something not of this world ‘They came to Earth to find love‘. And indeed it does include alien beings. But the entire story is still set on Earth as we know it today, through a series of interviews. This style and structure was intriguing and had to be followed closely as each person recounted what happened before Becky disappeared.
Something different from a multi-award winning author.
(Aliens, Friendship, Friends, Love, Romance, Sci-Fi, Action, Fear)
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 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 – Patrick Ness
Age – 16+
Adam Thorn is looking forward to the going away party of a friend. But first he has a list of stuff to do. Get a run in before his shift at work, then a visit to his boyfriend Linus before helping his pastor father set up the church for weekend services. Little does Adam know that each of these jobs before the party will reveal a life changing event for him, altering his well planned future for himself.
These events help Adam find the courage to finally speak out against his controlled upbringing by his christian parents, his unsavoury employer and to finally realise what love truly is. This is a story of self doubt and self realisation, all while an entity has risen up out of the town lake inside a murdered girl. This entity wants revenge and will stop at nothing to get it.
Brilliant, effortless, wonderful writing with a strange supernatural element woven through the background.
(Gay, Homosexual, Sexual Identity, Love, Self doubt, Murder, Family)
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)
(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)
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)