Young adult summer reading suggestions 2015

Below are a few young adult books that I've enjoyed this year.  I apologise that the suggestions are a bit light on the fantasy and science fiction.  I will try to branch out in 2016.

The Protected by Claire Zorn (2014) 

If you haven't read Claire's earlier book 'The sky so heavy' I highly recommend that (you can read a review here).  This book is really different to her first book. It tells the story of a girl whose older sister has died in a car accident 12 months earlier.  Hannah didn't really get on with her sister so is dealing with the guilt of this but also the impact on her family of her sister's death.  It's a powerful, well written story that deals with big ideas but gives hope in the midst of it all.

Are you seeing me?  by Darren Groth (2014)

Nineteen year old Justine is sole carer for her disabled twin brother Perry after her father has died a year earlier of cancer.  Her mother (who left them as young children) lives in Canada and so Justine decides to go to Canada to reconnect with her mother and take Perry with her before he goes into assisted care full-time.  It's a really moving story, but also funny and quirky.  I still think about this one and feel how challenging Justine's role to care for her brother must have been.

We all looked up by Tommy Wallach (2015)

Imagine you have been told that an asteroid is on a trajectory to hit earth in two months time.  What would happen to the society around you?  Your friendships?  Your behaviour?  The premise of this book is gripping but as the story goes on, the world around our main characters descends into chaos and you wonder how it's all going to end.  Due to the amount  (and type) of chaos explained in this book I would recommend this for 15+.

The incredible adventures of cinnamon girl by Melissa Keil (2014)

This is an Australian story with similar themes to 'We all looked up'.  Alba is about to finish school in a small country town.  Life as she knows it is about to change dramatically but she's not ready for it yet.  In the midst of this some guy has made a prediction on You Tube that the end of the world is going to happen in their little Eden Valley.  I really enjoyed this book.  The cover (IMHO) is a problem but get past that and push past the first few chapters (takes a bit of time to get your head around the different characters) and it's a great story.  One of my fav YA of 2015.

Fire and flood by Victoria Scott (2015)

Tella has a brother who is a dying of a fatal illness and there is no hope until Tella is sent a mysterious invitation to join in the Brimstone Bleed, a complex and dangerous race through the jungle.  If she wins she will gain a cure for her brother's illness.  I liked the premise of this story but honestly Tella is a bit of a disaster area.  Luckily for her the apparently scary, angry (yet handsome) guy quite likes her and is willing to repeatedly rescue her as she does some pretty silly things. It's no competition for The Hunger Games, but it's been likened to that story.  HOWEVER - I still read the whole book, quite enjoyed it and would happily recommend it as a fun read.

The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd (2009)

At the start of 2015 carbon dioxide rationing has been introduced in the UK and Laura writes a diary of her experience of what it's like.  It's a teenager's diary so it's written in that style.  I haven't read it but my own kids and the students I know who have read it really enjoyed it and always recommend it.

Seed by Lisa Heathfield (2015)

I have to confess a bit of a fascination with cult books and this one didn't disappoint.  Pearl has always lived a simple life with her family.  But as she turns fifteen she has her first period (but doesn't know what is happening) and is told that she could be chosen as Papa S's 'companion'.  She feels excited about this because it will make her special but as a new family from the outside joins her community she starts to question the values of her family.  Obviously this is a bit of an icky topic but it isn't explicit and it's up to the reader to make sense of the clues given.  I would recommend it for 15+.

The Selection series by Kiera Cass (2012)

OK - so admit it.  You watched 'The Bachelor' on TV didn't you?!  This is a dystopian, teenage version.  Prince Maxon has to choose a wife and a girl is selected from each region to be a prospective bride.  America goes in the competition to help her poor family but has to give up her one true love, Aspen, to do so.  Oh, the tension!  The whole process goes for three books.  You will be reminded of the Bible story Esther.  'The Heir' is sequel to the trilogy.   I have to admit I enjoyed this series a lot.  It's really easy to read, good fun and nothing much other than a bit of kissing happens.


simone r said…
I read the Selection Trilogy this week! Thanks for the tip. It won't change my life, but was good fun. Excellent plane reading.

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