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My sister Rosa – J Larbalestier

26465507 A compelling novel – reminiscent of ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ and just as disturbing. More so given the role of the adults in the novel.

Narrated by Che, the 17yr old brother of the title character, the narrative builds a picture of a disturbed young mind. It challenges us to consider the moral implications of knowing the truth and not speaking out.

I would recommend for a mature teen or senior school reader, due to the nature of the content.


Why we took the car – Wolfgang Herrndorf, Tim Mohr (translator)

A beautifully written, darkly funny coming-of-age story from an award-winning, bestselling German author making his American debut.

Mike Klingenberg doesn’t get why people think he’s boring. Sure, he doesn’t have many friends. (Okay, zero friends.) And everyone laughs at him when he reads his essays out loud in class. And he’s never invited to parties – including the gorgeous Tatiana’s party of the year.

Andre Tschichatschow, aka Tschick (not even the teachers can pronounce his name), is new in school, and a whole different kind of unpopular. He always looks like he’s just been in a fight, his clothes are tragic, and he never talks to anyone.

But one day Tschick shows up at Mike’s house out of the blue. Turns out he wasn’t invited to Tatiana’s party either, and he’s ready to do something about it. Forget the popular kids: Together, Mike and Tschick are heading out on a road trip. No parents, no map, no destination. Will they get hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere? Probably. Will they meet crazy people and get into serious trouble? Definitely. But will they ever be called boring again?

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Louder than words – Laura Jarratt

Rafi hasn’t spoken for eight years.

Rafi idolises her seventeen-year-old brother, who is popular, generous and a borderline genius. Ever protective, Silas always includes her when he’s with his friends, so Rafi gets to hear all sorts of things that younger sisters wouldn’t normally be a part of. Like the time Silas hacks a gaming site to help out his friend Josie, who has been trashed by her ex.

With Josie, Rafi finds herself with a proper friend for the first time in her life. As they grow closer, she realises that she wants to find a way back into the world – she wants to learn to speak again. But Silas has found a new interest too – and it’s taking him away from everything that was once important to him. Can Rafi find the words to save her brother?

Love Letters to the Dead– Ava Dellaira

Laurel’s sister has died, her parents fail to cope with the tragedy and separate. In order to live as best she  can, Laurel makes the decision to change jpegschools for her senior years.

In her first English class she is asked to compose a letter to someone famous who has died.

The novel is her series of letters to the dead she has in some way made connections with – Kurt Cobain,  Amelia Earheart, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amy Winehouse, Judy Garland,Janis Joplin and the Allan  Lane (the voice of Mister Ed) .

Through these letters Laurel questions her own life. Her relationships with her parents; her relationship  with Sky, a boy she comes to trust and her relationship and role with her sister Amy, who she idolised.    Through these letters some of the ghosts of her past come to the surface and some disturbing truths are  revealed.

More suited to the senior reader

We are liars – E Lockhart

Set in modern day America, We are liars is a tale of the rich and privileged. An extended family who own a private island retreat.

imgresWho despite all of the luxuries their privileges can buy, do not lead charmed lives.

Three sisters and their families descend on the island every holiday season to reconnect with their parents. Each family has their own version of the family mansion. Blissful summers of swimming, fishing and celebrating await them. But underneath this wonderful life, secrets are hidden, that eventually must come to the surface. Lockhart skilfully reveals the main character and narrator, Carrie’s secrets as the story unfolds.

Well written – with a suspenseful twist at the end.  Suited for a more mature teen reader.

OCD Love Story – Corey Ann Haydu


The title says it all – Bea and Beck both suffer from OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – due to childhood trauma. They meet at their counsellor’s offices and their worlds collide. Bea stalks males that cross her path, drives at a snail’s pace and sees herself as normal. Beck does everything in mutliples of 8 – washes hands, goes to the gym, opens doors, takes showers for eight minutes at a time  – everything in multiples of 8. How could they possibly ‘fit ‘ each other?

A bitter sweet look into the world of a teenage obsessive – humorous at times – just outright sad and scary at others.

Very readable.

More than this – Patrick Ness



Patrick Ness, I have no idea where his ideas come from, but they are ‘out there’.

I was a big fan of the ‘Chaos Walking’ trilogy – and this is another fabulous piece of writing.

Check out the book trailer here 

Anything else – gives too much away!Have a look at Ness’ website for the book here and listen to what he has to say about his new book.


The best I’ve read these hols…..