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Mainly aimed at young adults, but high quality and readable for adults too, Young Adult Fiction navigates emotional stories and characters searching for who they are. This diverse genre can feature aspects from any other genre, from Family Dramas to Fantasy with a stop off at Horror and Historical Fiction along the way plus some relevant non-fiction titles too.
Co-written by Brendan Kiely and the always-exceptional Jason Reynolds, All American Boys is an immensely powerful, timely novel about police brutality against young Black men. Shining a stark light on white privilege and the racism implicit in not speaking out, it’s a punch-packing wake-up call for us all to stand up and plant ourselves on the right side of history. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong colour. It all goes wrong for Black sixteen-year-old Rashad when a cop jumps to the unfounded conclusion that he’s shoplifted a bag of chips. Rashad’s arrest is brutal and the cop, Paul, leaves him with internal bleeding and broken bones. There were witnesses though, among them Quinn, a rising basketball star from Rashad’s school who also happens to know Paul. In fact, Paul has been like a father to Quinn since his dad died on service in Afghanistan, which puts him in a tricky situation - speaking out against Paul would sever his friendship and support ties. But Quinn’s decision to keep quiet unravels when footage of the incident is picked up by the media, with everyone in town taking a side. As a powerful “Rashad is absent” school campaign gains momentum along with plans for a big protest march, Quinn realises that not speaking up is a form of racism, that as an “All-American” white boy he can walk away from anything. “Well, I was sick of it,” he decides. “I was sick of being a dick”. Aware that his dad had inspired Paul to become a cop to “make a difference in the world”, Quinn resolves to be like his dad too, but not in the sense of being loyal to his country and family, which is how people always frame his father’s heroism. Quinn means in the sense of standing up for what he believes in; being “someone who believed a better world was possible - someone who stood up for it.” Packed with plenty of moments that will make you melt and tear up (such as Rashad’s relationship with the hospital shop volunteer, and the bonds between him and his buddies and big brother), this is a smart, incisive, rousing read for our times.
Fifteen year old Sander wishes he was like everyone else. But he has Silver-Russell syndrome, a condition that affects one in a hundred thousand. It means he is smaller than all the other kids in school, a place where the biggest and the loudest get all the attention. Like Niklas. Everyone thinks Niklas is cool and good-looking - except Sander. He doesn't like the way Niklas brags, behaves like a jerk and lies. Niklas is one of life's tall people and next to him, Sander always ends up feeling small. But Sander is different in more ways than one. He notices things other people miss, and he's noticed something about Niklas...
From the author of Black Heart Blue and Gloves Off - both LoveReading favourites - Wrecked is a breathtakingly affecting novel-in-verse that sees teenager Joe stand trial for causing a fatal car crash. Exploring thought-provoking themes around toxic relationships, self-preservation, truth and betrayal in an ultra-accessible, engagingly authentic style, this comes highly recommended for reluctant readers. Framed within the context of Joe’s excruciatingly tense trial at which he pleads not guilty to a charge of causing death by reckless driving, his narrative slips back and forth through key moments in his life, most crucially how he got together with Imogen, his girlfriend of many years, who was with him when the crash happened. When the police arrived at the scene, Joe was said to be the driver. “The truth is in hiding, it’s scared, it’s weak/ You see, I’ve been waiting so long for my chance to speak” - so goes Joe’s internal monologue before we hear evidence that tears his character apart. But someone is lying and, little by little, we learn more about Imogen, how she “lifted my shell and prodded deep underneath at flesh unprotected, she bit with sharp teeth - she stole chunks of my certainty.” Alongside the unfolding of past events and the present-day trial, additional devastation is unravelling in Joe’s family. Wrecked is an exceptional addition to the canon of contemporary novels-in-verse for young adult readers (see also Punching the Air, The Poet X, Clap When You Land, Rebound, Black Flamingo, Gut Feelings and the work of Sarah Crossan), and mention must be made of the book’s layout too – words and letters stutter, tumble, slip and fall across and along the pages, stirringly reverberating Joe’s state of mind.
From the multi-award-winning author of The Poet X and With the Fire on High comes Elizabeth Acevedo’s exceptional dual-voiced novel about loss, love and sisterhood across the sea, a story partly sparked by the fatal crash of a flight from NYC to Santo Domingo in 2001. Camino Rios has always lived in the Dominican Republic with her aunt Tia, “a woman who speaks to the dead, who negotiates with spirits”, a woman who’s like a mother to her: “Even when Mama was alive, Tia was the other mother of my heart.” Life’s not easy for them on the island, but they have it better than their neighbours as a result of Camino’s beloved Papi working in the US for most of year. To Camino, Papi is a “A king who built an empire so I’d have a throne to inherit”, and she lives for the summer months when he comes home to them. But all life is thrown into terrible disarray when she goes to meet Papi at the airport and learns that his plane has fallen from the sky, and then: “I am swallowed by this shark-toothed truth.” This story is blessed with such divinely piercing language throughout. At the same time, across the Atlantic, Yahaira Rios learns that her hero Papi has died in a plane crash. She already knew he had a wife on the island (but not of his secret daughter), and has always longed to reconcile her Dominican heritage with her American life: “Can you be from a place you have never been? You can find the island stamped all over me, but what would the island find if I was there? Can you claim a home that does not know you, much less claim you as its own?” When it emerges that Papi wishes to be buried back in DR, Yahaira’s Mami insists that she will never let her “touch foot on the sands of that tierra.” But Yahaira has other plans, not least when she’s contacted by a girl named Camino Rios who bears an undeniable resemblance to Papi, and to her too. As well as being exceptionally affecting on grief, forgiveness and family secrets, Clap When You Land is also devastatingly sharp on the exploitative tendencies of tourism. In Camino’s words: “I am from a playground place…Our land, lush and green, is bought and sold to foreign powers so they can build luxury hotels...Even the women, girls like me, our mothers and tias, our bodies are branded jungle gyms…Who reaps? Who eats? Not us. Not me.” Overflowing with truths of the heart, and truths about inequalities that need to be broken, while also addressing the complexities of what it means to be of a place, I can’t praise this highly enough. Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
In English teacher Louise Reid’s first venture into the verse novel, she uses the form magnificently using layout and different font sizes and styles to show as well as tell Lily’s story. We meet her in the opening poem, Roadkill at her lowest ebb. Bullied at school and battered and abused outside it, betrayed by childhood ‘friends’ and mentally trapped in a self-critical prison. This is an unflinching portrait of a girl who does not fit in and who hates herself. But it is also a picture of a family in poverty and the link between poverty and obesity is well known, but not often acknowledged and ‘fat shaming” is a particularly insidious and dangerous form of bullying where the victims are often blamed. The author also gives a voice to Bernadette, the loving mother equally trapped in her own misery, overweight and virtually housebound and to Lily’s feelings for her which veer back and forth from love to shame and blame. The layers of characterisation and backstory are subtly and delicately revealed in this beautifully paced narrative. Equally touching is the depiction of her father, quiet, loyal and desperate to help. It is at his suggestion that Lily takes up his old hobby of boxing. With training and the gym comes fitness, but more importantly other support structures and tentative friendships and Lily’s bravery helps Bernadette take some positive steps too. Their journey is not easy but never anything other than utterly convincing and psychologically authentic. This important novel has home truths for both sexes to ponder and a cleverly neutral cover and the highly accessible verse format means that it can be promoted to even the most reluctant of readers.
Stuck for something to read? Whether youâ€™re searching for a book to blow your mind and change your life, or a light read for the beach, particularly at a time when you canâ€™t lay your hands on a computer thatâ€™s online in order to refer to www.lovereading.co.uk The Ultimate Teen Book Guide provides the perfect place to start. Here at Lovereading we feel this guide alongside its sister guides The Ultimate Book Guide and The Ultimate First Book Guide complement what we are doing both on Lovereading and Lovereading4kids â€“ that of instilling a love of books from an early age. Of course, in addition Lovereading and Lovereading4kids are also able to whet your appetite via extracts of our â€˜featuredâ€™ titles as a consequence of being on the web. So, you can always go online and see if we at Lovereading have featured the title you are interested in and read the extract. Itâ€™s likely that many of your favourite authors (see a selection of the contributors below) have recommended over 700 books, so prepare to be inspired. Whether you like fantasy, horror, chick lit, graphic novels, sci-fi, crime...From classics to must-read cult fiction as well as the more obvious bestsellers, thereâ€™s something for everyone. Youâ€™ll also find special features, teen reviews and suggestions for what to read next.
No holds are barred in this touching, funny and alarmingly insightful â€˜familyâ€™ story about the downs and sometimes! ups of living with 3 teenagers. These three are no saints but, as their mother fondly remembers sometimes, they were once sweet little babies and toddlers. Ever optimistic that they will revert to some of those more pleasing ways but also realistic about the genuine complexities of growing up, each of these episodes will get to the heart of all parents â€“ although they may be shocked at how these parents allow themselves to be addressed!
Prepare to be mesmerised by this spellbinding collection of brand new stories by some of the masters of modern fantasy. It will be enjoyed by readers of all ages and is guaranteed to raise the pulse and quicken the heartbeat. You don’t have to be a fantasy buff to enjoy this selection. In fact, if you’ve never read fantasy before then there’s no better way to start than to sample a range of the top writers writing today. From dark graveyards to great halls, with witches and wizards and lonely souls, these startling and original stories weave a magic all of their own.
Inspirational and entertaining stories by top teen authors in aid of Kids Company that have been selected to be in the final shortlist of the Queen of Teen Award. This story collection provides a perfect opportunity to discover a new author’s writing. Featuring stories by Meg Cabot, Cathy Cassidy, Lisa Clark, Cathy Hopkins, Sarra Manning, Karen McCombie, Joanna Nadin, Louise Rennison and Jacqueline Wilson, each one focuses on the realities of being a teenager and aining independence.
Romance with all its advantages – and all its difficulties - is in the air in this anthology of stories about falling in and out of love. Hearts flip-flopping, getting noticed – in the right way, surviving school, being in cool and non-cool crowds – each of these stories by best-selling teen authors including Dyan Sheldon, Sarah Webb and Joanna Nadin will set the heart fluttering.
Inspired by Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, this stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner (Alice Liddell is an ancestor) hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. A series of clues leads her through a cracked mirror into the real Wonderland, a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There she must decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy-but-suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland who may have dark motives all of his own.
A charming fable for all ages, this wonderful sequel to the beloved classic overflows with love and wisdom, a true celebration of life as it should be lived in all its beauty and joy. A beautiful tribute to the international bestseller The Little Prince, with specially commissioned illustrations by Pietari Posti and a foreword by a member of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's family.
June 2015 NewGen Debut of the Month. An enthralling and profoundly exciting dystopian novel; set aside plenty of reading time, as once you start you just won’t want to stop. It’s fascinating when an author explores a possible future, this particular future feels as though it could be just around the corner. The concerns of mental trauma, violence and social unrest exist today; ‘Mindwalker' is set after a war involving internal terrorism and the state has intimate and invasive access to peoples minds in order to stop violence from occurring. Lain is sensitive, strongly principled and becomes involved in a thrilling race for the truth, she has a captivating romantic interest, and rather than detracting from the storyline, it cleverly adds an intensity. The novel roars towards the ending, quietens then settles, as you turn the final page you can’t help but feel that a ferocious storm is gathering and waiting for release. This absorbing and thought provoking read is a gloriously impressive debut. ~ Liz Robinson
Captive starts with a bang and keeps the tension high. Robyn, the prime minister’s daughter, is kidnapped by eco-terrorists, the same group who recently tried to assassinate her father. These are ruthless, scary people – but Robyn suspects that her father too might be involved in something murky and the longer she spends in captivity, the harder it is for her to know who she can trust. This is a taut, cleverly-constructed and very contemporary YA thriller, which puts family relationships as well as issues such as corporate corruption and moral responsibility into the spotlight. Ideal for fans of Sophie McKenzie, it’s a book that respects its target readership. ~ Andrea Reece
Vera's spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she's kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything. So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone--the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
A light, flirty and oh, so much fun, debut novel by model and TV presenter Abbey Clancy. 22 year old Jess, a party entertainer from Liverpool has always dreamed of being a famous singer, so she can live like a star and look after her family. When she gets offered the chance of a lifetime, will it live up to her dreams? This is a wonderfully down to earth tale, even as it explores the heady price of fame. Jess is a loveable main character, she makes plenty of mistakes along the way, yet it is easy to emphasise with her. The quick, lively wordplay makes this a very modern romantic story and an enjoyable and entertaining read.
A smart, funny and fast-paced read which addresses a near-universal teen experience. Can Sadie overcome her unrequited crush for good? Abby McDonald serves up her trademark wit and wisdom in a hilarious new novel.
The years leading up to your 20s are such a vibrant and vivid time in your life. Adventure, friendships, self-discovery are all there in spades, but there’s frustration too, impatience and a strong desire to be understood. This section of fantastic books for young adult readers is filled with stories that reflect all of these feelings in settings that will give flight to your imagination. Be inspired by tales of self-discovery, run the rocky road of romance, battle big issues in mysterious worlds, beat the bleak future of dystopian regimes, or laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. There’s something here for all tastes and moods from half-god heroes to horseback holidays and literally everything in between.