Teen Arotake

Book Reviews


WarCross – Marie Lu

Another one for the gamers out there! A great read.



Set in NY in the near future, the virtual reality game WarCross has made its’ founder Hideo Tanaka, a billionaire. But no game is foolproof and Emika Chen is an A+ hacker.

Emika hacks into the opening event of a major WarCross challenge and finds herself not only face to face with her hero and idol Hideo, but also brings her into a world of riches, fame and danger.



We see everything – William Sutcliffe

35192876.jpgReally enjoyed this dystopian novel set in London in the near future. London has become a walled off city. The inhabitants live under constant surveillance and fear of attack.

Two narratives are linked – Lex lives in fear for his family’s life – especially that of his father who leads the resistance. Alan, a dedicated gamer, uses his skills to lead drone attacks from a secret location, on the city when required.

Pretty sure that gamers and dystopian lovers will enjoy this.






Scythe – Neal Shusterman

Another winner in the same vein as ‘Unwind’, but not as good as (IMO).
Dystopian future, no natural mortality so the population has to be culled regularly in a ‘scything’. Being a ‘Scythe’ the group who do the culling, is both revered and feared!


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YA fiction, but would need to be a mature reader.

The Other Einstein – Marie Benedict

The Other Einstein: A Novel

There has been a lot written lately about Einstein’s first wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right. A pretty good TV series too out there somewhere. It seems she had A LOT to do with his fame and theories!
Worth a read.



A disturbing tale of two psychopathic pre-teens. Somewhat along the lines of the ‘Ripley’ series. Aimed at YA, well-written but creepily dangerous. ‘What do two monsters do when they pass each other? Smile!’



Turtles all the way down – John Green

download.pngJohn Green confronts issues that face today’s youth.

Turtles all the way down is narrated by Aza Holmes, who suffers from a self-absorbing obsessive-compulsive disorder. The base narrative is a ‘whodunnit’ as Aza and her closest friend aim to solve the mystery of a missing millionaire.

Aza’s OCD governs her life –  her interactions with her mother, her friends, and her possible relationships. Her ‘logical’ descriptions of what germs could be transferred during a kiss is both bittersweet and believable.

I found getting to know how the mind of one OCD sufferer worked invaluable and worrying.

I’m sure that this will be a best seller!

Salt Creek – Lucy Treloar


Salt Creek is a real place in South Australia and some of the characters who appear on Treloar’s novel are historical figures. The story however, is fiction.

Set between 1855-1875 the story follows the lives of early Australian settlers, the Finch family – their misfortunes and fascinating times in the remote and harsh landscape of Salt Creek.


European attempts at farming destroy the natural habitat of the first inhabitants – the Ngarrindjeri. The social conscience of these early Australian settlers is soon taken over by the stronger desire to survive in their own terms.

The narrator, Hester Finch, tells the story as a series of flashbacks after her return to England, where despite everything she had to endure at Salt D=Creek, she misses the beauty if the landscape and the people.

Worth reading.