Title: I Hate Everyone But You

Author: Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

The Blurb

Perfect for fans of “Robin Talley’s What We Left Behind or Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl” (School Library Journal, Starred Review), Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin’s I Hate Everyone But You is a hilarious and heartfelt debut novel about new beginnings, love and heartbreak, and ultimately the power of friendship.

Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely, 
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We’re still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two of them document every wild and awkward moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

The Review

I always fine friendship stories really interesting. I think it is because the relationship between best friends can often transcend romantic relationships. It is this type of relationship that is at the heart of I Hate Everyone But You.

Ava and Gen have been best friends forever but when they both go to college on different sides of the country, their relationship is tested to the limits. Can their friendship survive the distance.

Dunn and Raskin have been really clever with this novel. They have used that time of persona self discovery – freshman year – to show how divides can grow.

Your heart breaks for these two girls – once connecting jigsaw pieces who are now virtual strangers.

Oddly, as someone who has struggled with friendship groups, I found this book comforting because it isn’t just me who has complicated friendships.

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin is available now.

For more information regarding Gaby Dunn (@gabydunn) and Allison Ruskin please visit www.gabyandallison.com.

For more information regarding St Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress) please visit us.macmillan.com.

Title: Allegedly

Author: Tiffany D. Jackson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it. She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home” – no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted – and their unborn child – to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But does anyone know the real Mary.

In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the gray areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, acknowledging the light and darkness alive in all of us.

The Review

Allegedly is one of those really intense books that messes with your mind. It focuses on Mary, a young girl who is trying to survive a group home for ex-convicts – girls – like her – who have been charged with committing serious crimes. Allegedly.

All throughout the story we are faced with this conundrum. How allegations may or may not be accurate. Whether or not the justice system is right or wrong and at what point does a person earn redemption or a second chance. It really is a lot of heavy subjects for a YA book. However, that is actually Allegedly’s strength. It doesn’t undermine young adults. It gives them a hard hitting and unique story to come to terms with and challenges the reader to have a voice, have an opinion.

Allegedly is one of the most powerful YA fiction books that I have read in a long time.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson is available now.

For more information regarding Tiffany D. Jackson (@WriteinBK) please visit www.writeinbk.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Boy 87

Author: Ele Fountain

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Pushkin Children’s Books

The Blurb

The story of a refugee: one child’s journey stands for the journeys of many and the hopes of even more

Shif is just an ordinary boy who likes chess, maths and racing his best friend home from school. But one day, soldiers with guns come to his door – and he knows that he is no longer safe.

Shif is forced to leave his mother and little sister, and embark on a dangerous journey; a journey through imprisonment and escape, new lands and strange voices, and a perilous crossing by land and sea. He will encounter cruelty and kindness; he will become separated from the people he loves.

Boy 87 is a gripping, uplifting tale of one boy’s struggle for survival; it echoes the story of young people all over the world today.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Boy 87 is another of the books that has been nominated for the Carnegie medal. This book packs an impressive punch. It is the story of a young boy called Shif and his tale of survival from a dictatorship. We travel with him through his travails and feel his pain and loss alongside of him. Equally we feel his hope.

I believe that Boy 87 should have been shortlisted for the Carnegie medal. It shows younger people the harsh realities of life and opens their eyes to a world that they may never have known.

Boy 87 by Ele Fountain is available now.

For more information regarding Ele Fountain (@EleFountain) please visit www.elefountainpen.com.

For more information regarding Pushkin Children’s Books (@PushkinPress) please visit www.pushkinpress.com.

Title: Honor Code

Author: Kiersi Burkhart

Pages: 312 Pages

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

The Blurb

Sam knows how lucky she is to be part of the elite Edwards Academy. As she dreams of getting into Harvard one day, she’s willing to do anything to fit in and excel at the private high school. Even if that means enduring hazing, signing up for a sport she hates, and attending the school dance with an upperclassman she barely knows.

But when she learns the high cost of entry, will Sam be willing to bury the worst night of her life in order to “keep the community sacred”? As the line between truth and justice blurs, Sam must find out for herself what honor really means.

The Review

The things people will do to fit in. That is the initial basis of Honor Code by Kiersi Burkhart. When you are faced with the dilemma o being ostracised or being part of something bigger Sam knows the choice she has to make. She is new to Edwards Academy – a high school that pretty much guarantees your acceptance into any elite college. But Sam soon comes to realise that it is easy to lose yourself in the expectations of school life, how easy it is to befall victim to more sinister goings on.

Honor Code is brilliantly dark and twisty. Burkhart looks at the tradition of honor codes in schools along with the current victim blaming culture that is seen in many college campuses in America. She uses alienation and broken friendships to look at the desperate nature that being lonely and alone as a teenager along with the problems that teens face.

This book does not leave you feeling comfortable. You are pushed way out of your comfort zone but it is necessary to get the point across. It does make for uncomfortable reading but it is so damn good.

Honor Code by Kiersi Burkhart is available now.

For more information regarding Kiersi Burkhart (@kiersi) please visit her Twitter page.

Title: The Burning

Author: Laura Bates

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Books

The Blurb

A rumour is like a fire. You might think you’ve extinguished it but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames …

New school.
Tick.
New town.
Tick.
New surname.
Tick.
Social media profiles?
Erased.

There’s nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothing to link her to the ‘incident’.

At least that’s what she thinks … until the whispers start up again. As time begins to run out on her secrets, Anna finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier. A girl whose story has terrifying parallels to Anna’s own…

The compelling YA debut from Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and bestselling author of Girl Up.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The Burning by Laura Bates is a brilliant contemporary YA Fiction novel that packs a heart and relevant punch. It toys with the ideas of blame, shame, and social media.

The story follows Anna, a young girl who has been persecuted for decisions she has made in the past. Now, away from the life that she once knew, she plans to start afresh and hope that the negativity from the past doesn’t catch up with her.

Parallel to the main plot runs a story about how girls have always been persecuted by narrow-minded people and how they have always been persecuted – especially by men – which mirrors what Anna is going through.

The Burning is a powerful book that I will be shoving into the hands of all the students that I work with. This book needs to be read, the problems within it need to be understood, and the issues it discusses need to be rectified.

You NEED to read The Burning.

The Burning by Laura Bates is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Bates (@EverydaySexism) please visit www.everydaysexism.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Books (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.