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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.
The second book in the breathtaking ‘Worldwalker Trilogy’ leaps straight back into the action packed story which began in ‘Trial by Fire’. Back on her native world, Lily attempts to rebuild her life and her friendships, while a persistent FBI agent refuses to be reassured by the account of where Lily has been. As Lilian and events start to catch up and hound her, Lily makes a momentous decision. Josephine Angelini handles the romance between Lily and Rowan beautifully, it is most definitely tangible, but by no means cloying or overpowering. The parallel worlds are fascinating, the magic, with the blend of science and natural forces is different, yet almost touchable, good and evil are not fairytale distortions but murky, cloudy and confusing. ‘Firewalker’ is a believable, stimulating novel, grounded in the reality of friendships, love and trust, it really is a truly fabulous read. ~ Liz Robinson
Set in a near-future version of London, where a drug called Concentr8 has been extensively prescribed to young people diagnosed with ADHD, this is the brilliantly provocative second young adult novel from the bestselling author of Are You Experienced? and New Boy. Against a backdrop of rioting in the capital, a group of socially disaffected friends, led by angry, charismatic Blaze, pull a knife on a man as he leaves work at the Mayor’s office. While the friends wonder why they’ve taken someone hostage, an ambitious journalist investigates whether the withdrawal of Concentr8 might have triggered the rioting. A political scandal unfolds when it emerges that not everyone was medically assessed before being put on the pacifying drug, suggesting that something far more sinister is going on. Told through several authentic first person narratives, and interspersed with revealing excerpts from medical reports, sociological texts and tweets, this gripping, politically-charged novel explores the big issue of how young people get lost and failed by society, and why they might turn to criminal and anti-social behaviour. A fast-paced, thought-provoking rollercoaster of a read. ~ Joanne Owen
Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Children's Book Award 2016. September 2015 NewGen Book of the Month. Daring, beautifully written, full of ideas that will bring the reader up short, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a dystopian adventure that mocks dystopian adventures while acknowledging the genre’s power to reveal truths, particularly about teenage lives. As one band of teenagers – those special ‘indie kids’ familiar from so many YA novels – battle to save the world from the Immortals, the main plot of the novel concerns another group of young people. Mikey is getting through his teenage years with the help of his friends and by focusing on graduating and leaving home. He also wants to declare his love for his friend Henna. It’s enough for anyone to cope with, the possibility of someone blowing up school only adds to his problems. The indie kids’ story is told entirely in chapter head summaries, the real drama is Mikey’s, and of course his story means the most to the rest of us. Original, funny, true, it can only be Patrick Ness. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Children's Book Award 2016. September 2015 NewGen Book of the Month. Award-winning Sarah Crossan tells an astonishing and difficult story with the surest of touches in this tender, funny and life affirming book. Grace and Tippi are twins. Not just twins but conjoined twins, sharing the lower half of their bodies. Somehow they have always managed to be individuals while also part of each other. Now teenagers, Tippi and Grace are facing increasing difficulties. They are off to school for the first time meeting new experiences and especially new friendships and relationships. While Tippi longs for things to remain the same, Grace yearns for something more. Falling in love with classmate Jon she begins to imagine a future full of romance and love. But will there be a future for Grace and Tippi? When a desperate decision needs to be taken the girls lives must change forever. Sarah Crossan tells an original and utterly gripping story brilliantly. ~ Julia Eccleshare
September 2015 NewGen Book of the Month. Buckle up, because you are in for a hell of a ride! Amber’s parents strike readers – and her – as eccentric, but nothing prepares her for the awful truth, revealed on her sixteenth birthday: they are demons, and so is she. Not that that will stop them from killing and eating her. Fleeing her parents, Amber embarks on a road-trip like no other. In the company of inscrutable bodyguard Miles and Glen, a gormless Irish hitchhiker with supernatural issues of his own, she speeds down America’s Dark Highway, careering from one terrifying encounter with something nasty and dead to another, racing to complete a deal with the boss demon to save her life. An exhilarating mix of comedy and thrills, Demon Road had me laughing out loud one minute, jumping out of my seat the next: hard to believe that something this gory should be so much fun! Unmissable! ~ Andrea Reece A message from Derek Landy ‘I was brought up on thrillers. At first, it was the Universal and Hammer movies, played in black and white and glorious technicolour on my TV screen when I was a kid. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The Fly. The Wolfman. Once bitten, I was ravenous – much like the zombies in Dawn of the Dead that I first watched on late night TV. I was ravenous, and so I devoured. Demon Road was born out of this lifelong love and incorporates elements from slasher movies, Stephen King novels, modern urban legends and that classic sub-genre: the killer car.’
Rupert Wallis published his first novel, The Dark Inside, in 2014, to critical acclaim that likened his writing to Patrick Ness and David Almond. Rupert is currently shortlisted for the prestigious Branford Boase award for his remarkable debut. Just as captivating, rising-star Rupert’s second novel, All Sorts of Possible is a superbly crafted and hauntingly atmospheric tale of love, loss and learning to accept the world for what it is, not what it could be.
None of it would have happened if I hadn't missed a bus… Fifteen-year-old George's life is sent careering down a cataclysmic course when he misses his bus by seconds, notices a fire and selflessly rescues a baby from the flames. Hailed a hero, George is awarded a National Badge of Courage, and a chance to take the Ultimate Bushcraft Gold Star Challenge in the Australian wilds with a select group of fellow teenagers. But a succession of serious accidents soon transforms this once-in-a-lifetime trip into a paranoia-fuelled fight for survival. Or maybe they’re not accidents… With all means of communication sabotaged, and wracked by fear and distrust, the dwindling group venture through unforgiving wilderness territory towards the next base camp. Those who survive deadly spiders and the treacherous ravines and rapids find themselves at a crocodile-infested lake, where things reach a catastrophic climax. Told from multiple perspectives in the form of statements from George and the people who know him, and the first-person accounts of a disturbed perpetrator, this is a tautly plotted, powerfully characterised novel told with the intensity of an action-thriller movie. ~ 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.'
Vlogger Zoella’s fans will fall headlong into this sharply observed, super-realistic teen story. Against a background of first the ordinary ups and downs of life at school followed by an amazing fairy tale trip to New York with her wedding-planner parents and very best friend Eliot, sensible Penny records the rollercoaster emotions of being a teenager. When the going to particularly tough, Penny shares what she feels on her blog. Through responses to her posts Penny finds support for herself while also learning how much emotional strength she is giving her thousands of followers. Amy McCulloch, editorial director of Penguin Children’s, says “Zoe has an incredible voice for teens and she drew on her wealth of experience dealing with real issues like anxiety and cyber-bullying to deliver a poignant, romantic and heart-warming debut novel. The whole team was bursting with excitement at the prospect of working with Zoe, and we know her fans – and the rest of the world – are going to fall head-over-heels with her writing.”
Going up to Cambridge University can be a daunting experience for even the most confident of Freshers. For one thing, there’s having to face a whole new set of emotional and academic hurdles. For another, there’s having to get your head around all the eccentricities, like the conventions of Formal Hall, grasping what bops, bedders, squashes and p’lodges are, and accepting that May Week is actually in June. But for Nick, going up to read maths at the tender age of fifteen, the experience is heightened to the nth degree. Socially awkward, and desperate for the approval of his inattentive, work-obsessed father, Nick immerses himself in his studies. But when prickly Professor Gosswin, his formidable tutor, and one of the novel’s most pivotal characters, suggests that he’d make an excellent rowing cox, Nick begins to realise that there might just be more to life than getting a First. Driven by a cast of convincingly-drawn characters, and set against an atmospheric, affectionate evocation of Cambridge, this tenderly-told coming-of-age story gets to the heart of what it means to find your way in the world, and what it means to have friends and family. ~ Joanne Owen
Darkmere is the dark, romantic and evocative YA novel from debut author Helen Maslin. Following the lives of two girls a century apart, the novel combines chills and romance to create a truly gripping read. Prepare to become completely immersed in Kate and Elinor’s lives as separately they uncover the secrets of Darkmere … A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher I’m mesmerized by Helen Maslin’s frighteningly real blend of modern romance, Gothic ghost story and a beautiful charmed and doomed tale of lost love from long ago. You know the feeling, when you can’t wait for daylight to dawn and it’s going to be all right again, then suddenly it’s so, so NOT ! I loved it. No thanks, I don’t feel like going to the beach today. Or ever again!
August 2015 NewGen Debut of the Month. Carla has had to move a lot and is used to changing schools, but doesn’t like it. She’s shy, unconfident, ‘a bit sad’. Faced with another new school for sixth form, she finds like-minded people - according to her own classification ‘Brainy Plain Girls’ - but can’t believe it when Finn, gorgeous, super-cool and oozing charisma, singles her out. She’ll do anything to keep him interested, and is soon partying wildly, weekends lost in a haze of drink and drugs. Her friends and even Finn’s brother warn her that he’s just using her, but Carla refuses to listen putting her schoolwork and her health in jeopardy. Readers will understand Carla’s motivation completely and this cautionary romance makes for compulsive reading.~ Andrea Reece
Life-lessons, loves, laughs & LOADS more!
Especially compiled for Young Adults, this section is awash with wonderful worlds to escape to, great stories and characters you’ll love.
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.
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