No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Jenn Bennett is an artist and author who writes books for adults and teens. Born in Germany, she's lived and travelled extensively throughout Europe, the US, and the Far East. She currently lives near Atlanta with one husband and two evil pugs. Follow Jenn Bennett on Instagram here.
Eighteen-year-old Birdie is fanatical about mystery and crime fiction, a world in which she immersed herself while being brought up by her strict grandparents following the death of her mom. Birdie’s perception of detectives reveals much about her own aspirations and personality: “Detectives were cool, calm, and capable. They were usually loners, helping people from a distance...underdogs that people miscalculated.” Now, following the death of her gran and with the support of her mom’s fabulously flamboyant best friend, Birdie tries to find her own way in the world by taking a summer job as a night clerk at a glamorous historic hotel. It’s here that she forms a swoon-some, life-changing relationship with Daniel, the hotel’s handsome, hearing-impaired night driver, as they try to solve a real-life mystery involving a guest. Then, alongside the edge-of-your-seat twists and turns of their investigation, and their fast-blossoming, fated romance, it turns out that Daniel is harbouring secrets of his own. Underpinned by relatable real-life complications and curveballs aplenty, this engaging feast of young adult fiction fizzes with multiple mysteries and the jittery joys of first love. Head here to discover the author’s previous novels, which come equally recommended for their compassionate championing of offbeat, authentic young adult characters.
In a Nutshell: Summer of romance, revelations, friendship and feuds Stars collide and sparks fly in this electrifying story of a wildly unforgettable summer. Thought-provoking, funny and flooded with energy, this is contemporary YA at it’s finest. After discovering an unpleasant revelation about her dad, astronomy buff Zorie agrees to go on a glamping trip organised by a drifting friend. The trip goes hideously wrong when the group is expelled from the fancy site and wind up setting up camp out in the bear-ridden wilderness. Matters further disintegrate when Zorie and Lennon, her former best friend and sometime boyfriend, are left alone in the wilds with no transport, and a whole lot of frazzled history between them. Add to this a family feud, unvoiced anger and raging hormones, and the stage is set for an explosive story that’s played-out against a majestic wilderness backdrop. There’s something majestic about Lennon too - his thoughtfulness, his respect for the wild, his respect for Zorie, who also had me hooked from the off. She’s genuine, witty, knows who she is and deals with life’s challenges with strength and maturity. Both she and Lennon kick off clichés and well-worn tropes at every turn, and I relished every moment of their story. ~ Joanne Owen
In a Nutshell: Rolling waves of romance in the Californian sun Feel-good fiction at its best: moving, life-affirming, with a heart of sunshiney gold. Movie-loving, vintage-wearing Bailey has found her perfect boyfriend, but with Alex being a West Coast guy and her stuck in Washington with her mom, they’ve never actually met. But life has a habit of dealing unexpected cards, like Bailey moving to out west to California to live with her dad, where she deploys all her detective skills to track down Alex while working a summer job at The Cavern Palace museum. It’s here she meets swaggering surf dude, Porter. While Bailey has Porter down as her arch nemesis, he has an electrifying effect on her, and she’s soon up to her neck in all kinds of conflict. I was a huge fan of the author’s Night Owls, and this confirms her talent for creating protagonists I’d love to meet in real life - outsiders set on pursuing their passions, young women (like Bailey) who scoot around on Vespas with leopard skin seats. With its cast of cool characters, oceans of authenticity, and a wow, pow, wallop of an ending, this YA riff on the ‘You’ve Got Mail’ movie is the perfect summer read. ~ Joanne Owen
August 2015 NewGen Debut of the Month. A chance meeting between two teenagers on San Francisco’s night bus sparks one of the most luminously-drawn relationships in contemporary YA. When Beatrix (‘too weird for jocks and not weird enough for hipsters’) and Jack (‘all retro and rockabilly and cool’) encounter one another aboard the Owl bus, the attraction is immediate, and overwhelmingly powerful. Both are talented artists – Bex is obsessed with anatomy and wants to be a medical illustrator, while Jack is a street artist – and both are thrilled when they track one another down. It’s not long before Bex works out that enigmatic Jack is the notorious artist who’s wanted by the police for spray-painting the city's landmarks. But it turns out that this is the least of his secrets. As the couple spend more time together and fall in love, more of Jack's family secrets are revealed and Bex begins to wonder if she’ll ever know who he really is. But they’re in too deep and can’t not see one another, even when their parents forbid it. The truths bring the young couple even closer and they support one another through some incredibly poignant life landmarks. Ultra-cool, utterly unique and ideal for mature readers who are on the brink of adulthood, Night Owls is a gloriously life-affirming novel about falling in love, family love, growing up and daring to be who you are. ~ Joanne Owen Jane Griffiths, Senior Commissioning Editor said 'Night Owls has cast a spell over the whole Simon & Schuster Children's team. It's totally unique, unforgettably poignant, and we couldn't be more excited to be publishing it.'