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 – Teri Terry
Age – 12+
(This is the 1st in a series)
16 yr old Shay (Sharona) is being teased about her full name again. When she fights back, leaving the bully on the floor, she flees bumping into a noticeboard on the way out. She snatches up flyers she has knocked off and escapes. When she is free, she opens the scrunched flyers and one of them shows a face she recognises. It is a photo of 11 yr Calista Tanzer, missing for a year. There is a contact number beneath the photo and Shay rings to say she has seen Calista.
1 year before, on a bike trail, Shay had noticed the young girl walking alone. She’d asked if she was ok then saw her get into a car with a man. Calista’s grieving brother (Kai) answers Shay’s call and wants to know everything she can remember and comes to see where his little sister was seen.
At the same time, some sort of virus seems to spreading through Scotland – fast. And it’s no ordinary sickness. It involves a temperature and pain – lots of pain. Is Calista part of this contagion?
Contagion is a thrill-ride that builds in intensity as Shay and Kai get to know each other, following anything they can find out about Calista’s last movements. It takes Shay to hell and back while people they know die around them. But where did the contagion come from and was it an experiment?
(Series, Love, Contagion, Experiment, Death, Revenge, Mystery)
Author – Christian O’Connell
Illustrator – Rob Biddulph
Age – 8+
Spike Hughes loves radio. His biggest dream is to be a radio host like his idol DJ Howard Wright. When his radio show is cancelled at the hospital his mum works at he is devastated. His show (with apparently no listeners) is to be replaced by an extension of a gardening show.
He and his friends Holly and Artie, who are also the only three members of the school AV (Audio Visual) club now rest their hopes on a drawn out promise of the St Brenda’s School principal – they will get a school radio show.
Finally at a school assembly it is announced the long awaited radio show is to be launched, and the host will be….. (the entire school, and even some of the teachers turn to look at Spike.) Everyone knows he’s the man for the job. BUT…
Spike and his friends fight back at the injustice of it all, and Radio Boy and The Secret Shed Show are born. Finally, his dream has come true. Fame, fun, and fans are growing day by day – but so is his ego. And things that grow too fast sometimes explode!
Radio Boy is a funny story about following your dreams and being brave enough to be yourself while you do it. The illustrations, random lists (as Spike tells his story), and zany characters all add up to a great read.
(Belief in yourself, Follow your dream, Humour, Funny, Friendship, School, Revenge, Secret)
ER – GEE
Author – Maurice Gee
Age – 9+
Fliss lives in a severed land – split by an invisible wall made by an ancient people to save their lands from a group of tyranical families wanting land, slaves and power.
But the wall is under threat. Soldiers are attacking it with cannon fire daily and the only thing keeping the wall intact is a very old bedridden man Fliss calls The Old One. He is the last of The People who built the wall with their minds, and he needs Fliss’ help.
She is sent on a quest with a boy from the other side of the wall to free the only person who can help save their lands and way of life. But will the boy agree?
A new novel from one of NZ’s most celebrated authors, The Severed Land is a fantasy quest that requires courage and determination. Fliss is a brave character, drawing on her skills learnt as a young child living on the streets. She has to face soldiers, sailors, murder, and a blood thirsty crowd to achieve their goal and complete their journey home.
(NZ Author, Fantasy, Courage, Determination, Power, Wall)
TEEN – DRE
Author – Kerry Drewery
Age – 14+ (Language)
Martha has 7 days to live – the only thing that can save her are the voting public who rely on a TV show ‘Death is Justice’ to give them the information they need to save or condemn her.
Society is no longer ruled by courts and sentences handed down after a fair trial. Criminals are ‘processed’ through a set of 7 cells over 7 days, the last containing an electric chair in front of a viewing platform where people can view the execution of criminals.
Martha has no hope of surviving. She admitted to shooting a popular celebrity – Jackson Paige. But did she? And why would she lie? She has to endure a smaller cell each day, thinking of why she is there and how that maybe she can make a difference. But she’s relying on someone outside to carry out their part of the plan. Will they go through with it or has she made a terrible mistake?
Cell 7 has a great concept, especially with social media becoming a huge part in modern life. Will it ever come to this – deciding someone’s fate through popular opinion? Could it ever function corruption free?
Another great read from the author of ‘A Brighter Fear’
(Future, Crime, Social Media, Murder, Love)
(Not in Napier/Taradale Libraries)
Author – L J Ritchie
Age – 13+
When Oscar’s school has security camera’s installed throughout the school, he is as perturbed as his friends. Why do they need cameras?
But when the younger brother of a mate is being bullied, Oscar quickly plans a way to help, by using the new ‘eyes’ around the school. At first Oscar and his friends feel good about their solution to school bullying, but before they know it, things backfire badly. They are suddenly the topic of edited videos and not in a position to tell anyone – as they will be in trouble for starting it all.
What makes things worse is Oscar’s crush (Caroline) is part of the revenge towards him and his friends and he’s not sure how to deal with it. Things spiral out of control until Oscar takes the bull by the horns (or the cameras and editing software by the keyboard) in order to stop things once and for all.
A thought provoking story about the power of camera footage in the wrong hands, to be used for good and bad, and how it affects people on both sides of the lens. Set in a NZ High School with Year 10 characters, Kiwi teens will relate easily to this novel.
(Kiwi, NZ Author, School, Surveillance, Camera, Revenge, Control, Bullying)
(Not in Napier / Taradale Libraries)
Author – Alex Bell
Age – 13+
Part of a Spooky Series called Red Eye, this was a very creepy book.
The Waterwitch Inn was built from a sunken ship with a history of terrible things happening to it, even before its maiden voyage.
When Emma returns to her home village to see her dying grandmother, she is drawn back to the closed down Waterwitch that her Gran used to own. Soon meeting her best friend Jem from her childhood, she is drawn back into his life and his worries that his sister Shell thinks she is a witch, their abusive father has broken Shell’s arm and now they have nowhere to live except hiding in the Waterwitch Inn.
But Gran claims she never sent them the keys they have, and she shut it because it is haunted. Emma, along with Jem scoffs at this notion, but Shell knows better. Something is in the cellar, and it’s all their fault.
(3 points of view – Emma, Jem and Shell – all 1st person)
A tale of witches, sunken ships and an age old curse. Should Jem believe Shell’s explanations of the strange things happening or is she unbalanced after the suicide of her mother and her father’s constant anger and abuse? The Inn setting is great with its ocean theme and the tension builds throughout the novel. Great read.
(Witch, Ship, Haunting, Creepy, Spooky, Curse, Ghost, Horror, Revenge)