August reviews

night owls  Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

This book is a poignant, sweet and utterly adorable account of a blossoming teen romance between two quirky and likeable characters Jack and Bex.
Their developing relationship epitomises first love, including all the awkward moments. Bex meets the mysterious Jack on the night bus, an event which changes everything.
It is a completely compelling read. You can almost hear every teenager screaming ‘GOALS’ as they read the book.  ‘Night Owls’ revolves around artwork and self-expression. The pieces of art described are amazing and I wanted to experience them in real life, not just in my imagination.
But do not fear, this isn’t just another corny ‘boy meets girl’ romance. The book also explores mental illness and how different families deal with such issues. It is so real and I think that is what makes it so beautiful.
I loved it. You will love it. You will love Jack and Bex.
10/10 cuteness (some mature content)
Reviewed by Erin

skin of a monster  In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker

Watch out! This book will draw you in! Forget “the new Hunger Games”; this book is in a new genre altogether. This novel is amazing, with the perfect balance of action, romance, internal conflict and mystery. I would definitely recommend this book. 5/5
Reviewed by Grace

concentr8   Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

Concentr8 has six parts for the six days and has the perspectives of the kids who kidnap a guy named Michael. In the background of the book are the London riots in the summer when supplies of Conentr8 are stopped. London becomes a nightmare.
Blaze is the leader of the group of teenagers. The only issue with the book is it has the teenagers kidnapping a guy, but does not have as much of the drug Concentr8 as it should have had as it is the name of the book.
The characters that give perspectives are: Blaze, Troy, Lee, Femi, Karen, The Hostage, The Negotiator, The Journalist, The Mayor.
For the teenagers, it had contemporary or “street” speech as it would have like you is, or why you (the teenagers also swore quite a lot). For the others it was more formal and not as much swearing.
This book is probably for the 13-14 year olds that like this sort of book and are good readers, but this would mainly be for 15 year olds up.
Reviewed by Tim

Some readers may be reminded of “Lord of the Flies” or “Brave New World” : chaos reigns. The story also has material quoted at the beginning of each chapter. The quotes relate to factual information about the use of medications such as Ritalin and its use to “manage behaviour’ and also how the identification of ADHD in some places occurs through schools nominating student. At times this has lead to families gaining increased government funding for disability support. The material is sourced from academic texts, medical research, media as well as twitter.
Reviewed by Tim’s mum

demon road cover   Demon Road by Derek Landy

Derek Landy is the bestselling author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series and he now has a new book called ‘Demon Road’ . This is the story of a girl with literal demon parents who are chasing her across America. She encounters  scary stuff and this is definitely  a book for older readers, over 13 unless you are a highly advanced 12 year old. Gore, horror and action are the main genres and most characters suffer horrible deaths and there is the occasional creepy child. If you have ever read Derek’s books, he has that witty humour that will have you snorting, this rolls over into ‘Demon Road’. If your knees go weak at the mention of blood or you ‘don’t do gore’ then this book is NOT for you. A  definite read for YA this is a fast paced thrilling book that I couldn’t put down. Set in modern times there was nothing about this book that I didn’t like! I highly recommend!
Reviewed by Freya

risk  Risk by Fleur Ferris

Sierra is 15, popular, pretty and blonde. Taylor is also 15, quiet, shy and reserved. The girls meet a boy online. He seems like the one. Both girls like him but as usual Sierra gets the boy. She decides to meet him in person. But could calling Taylor and asking for her to cover an extra night for her be the worst mistake of her life? I’d recommend this novel to anyone 14+ who likes crime, mystery and making a difference.
Reviewed by Grace 2

never meet me  Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Ollie and Moritz, two boys from opposite sides of the world have an unexpected friendship, but – they can never meet! Ollie is deathly allergic to electricity, and Moritz needs a pacemaker to keep his heart beating, making it fatal if they met.
Ollie lives with his mother, away from people and electricity, therefore, not having many people to talk to. Ollie tragically loses one of his closest friends Liz. Mortiz has a tough time at school with his disabilities, and with a fierce bully, who’s goal is to destroy him. The friends send letters to each other, and get the support and hope they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
It’s an inspirational book, full of humour and hope, and shows the extraordinary minds of these two teenage boys. Every teenager should read this powerful, captivating story.
Reviewed by Evangeline

shadow-and-bone_hi-res-677x1024  Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan who discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite – the Grisha. She has grown up in a Dukes estate with her childhood friend Mal in a town that does not have any name. Mal has always fit in to where ever he is or what he is doing. For example as a tracker in the first army he is the best of the best and is by far the most charming. Where as Alina has never belong and is always making a fool of herself.
The Darkling is a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power,leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him. The Darkling needs Alina to help him in his deeds and to become his slave so he can access her power. However on the night of a party his plans don’t go so well. Alina runs.
Alina and Mal find each other after Mal disappeared from the army. He and her must survive with what they have while being hunted by the first and second army (the Grisha).
The story takes a number of unexpected and exciting twists. I loved this book and highly recommend the trilogy. Alina goes through many emotions all at the same time. For example: Love, hope, terrified, angry and awkward. If you have read and liked any of Sarah J. Mass’s Throne Of Glass series or Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy you will love this book too.
Glorious, Epic and Addictive book.
Reviewed by Lili