Title: The Disenchantments

Author: Nina LaCour

Pages: 307 Pages

Publisher: Speak

The Blurb

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall.
But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?

Morris Award-finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.

The Review

I know I keep banging on about this and I am probably getting boring by YA fiction is nailing it. It just is.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour is a great example of young adult fiction just getting it right. It is a coming-of-age story of Colby and Bev. Two friends who have promised each other that neither will go to college and that they will just head off and have adventures. Sometimes plans go a bit catawampus and life throws you a curve ball. This is exactly what happens and is the basis of this story.

What LaCour manages to do so skilfully is encapsulate the feelings of vulnerability in the face of the unknown whist also displacing the characters from their comfort zones. At the same time she has her characters dealing with emotions that we have all dealt with: fear, love and lust just to name a few.

I was not disappointed by The Disenchantments. Cheesy as it is to say, I was, in fact, thoroughly enchanted.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour is available now.

For more information regarding Nina LaCour (@nina_lacour) please visit www.ninalacour.com.

35 Stars

Title: The One Thing

Author: Marci Lyn Curtis

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Hyperion Teens

The Blurb

Maggie Sanders might be blind but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal. After a while, Maggie starts to realise that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she has dreamed of. But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future…before she loses everything she has grown to love.

The Review

I love YA Fiction. I know, I know, I go on and on about how good it is but man it really is kicking book behind on the quirky storyline front.

The One Thing is about teenager Maggie. Maggie has been dealt a rough hand; six month ago she contracted Meningitis and subsequently has become blind. Maggie has been robbed of her sight and she isn’t taking it well. However, a chance fall on a slippery fall and Maggie starts to be able to see again…sort of.

As far as stories go the premise of The One Thing seems pretty farfetched however when you read The One Thing you don’t feel like it is contrived. You believe totally that this is happening to Maggie. You desperately want her to be able to see again. It is hard not to feel sympathetic for Maggie.

Tackling to subject of disabilities is always difficult but Marci Lyn Curtis takes on the challenge with courage and dignity. It was a pleasure to read and I could not put it down.

The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis is available now.

For more information regarding Marci Lyn Curtis (@Marci_Curtis) please visit www.marcilyncurtis.com.

For more information regarding Hyperion (@HyperionTeens) please visit www.hyperionteens.tumblr.com.

35 Stars

Love and Other Man Made DisastersTitle: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters

Author: Nicola Doherty

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books

The Blurb

A contemporary teen romance by Irish author, Nicola Doherty, about facing your fears and falling in love. A story with humour and heart, this book is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Holly Smale and Stephanie Perkins.

Juno is scared of a lot of things. Climate change, urban foxes, zombies – the usual. So when she goes on a skiing holiday with her mum’s adrenaline-mad new husband and his tearaway twins, she doesn’t hold much hope of surviving. Then she meets Boy. Gruff, hairy and thrill-seeking, he’s everything Juno doesn’t like. Or is he? Juno’s about to discover there’s nothing more scary than falling in love.

The Review

There are some authors that I just trust to entertain me; you know, the ones that you are convinced won’t let you down. Nicola Doherty is in that collection of writers.

Doherty’s latest release Love and Other Man-Made Disasters – a young adult fiction, no less – tells the story of teenage worrier Juno. Juno is convinced that she is going to fail all her exams or get ran or worst case but still very likely get caught in a zombie apocalypse. Quite frankly, she is putting years on herself with all the worry. This all comes to a head when her recently remarried mother makes her go on a skiing trip with her “new family.”

For me, Love and Other Man-Made Disasters was the Dirty Dancing of young adult fiction…except you need to swap the mambo for some ski slopes…and there was a distinct lack of watermelons. However, what Love and Other Man-Made Disasters does have is an abundance of the feel good factor.

I hoovered Love and Other Man-Made Disasters in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. I loved Juno and Boys relationship and how they challenged each other, I loved how real Nicola Doherty has portrayed the angst and agony of first love, and I loved how I was left with that satisfying feeling of happiness that only a book can give.

Love and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicola Doherty is available now.

Follow Nicola Doherty (@nicoladoherty_) on Twitter and for more information visit her official website www.nicoladohertybooks.com

For further titles from Hachette’s Children’s Books (@HachetteUK) please visit www.hachette.co.uk

4 Stars

The Blurb

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet, because if they ever did, one of them would certainly die. As recluses from society, they develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline.

Through an exchange of letters, the two boys develop a strong friendship which becomes a lifeline during dark times – until Moritz reveals that he holds the key to their shared, sinister past, and has been keeping it from Ollie all along.

This is a story of impossible friendship and hope from a brilliant new speculative fiction writer.

The Review

For someone who reads a lot of Young Adult fiction, I often find that the books follow a trend. They become samey. Once it was vampires and then fairies but most recently it has been stories of illness and suicide. I hate to lump Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas in a category such as ‘Young Adult: Illness’ because this genre of novel has almost become a cliché yet that is best way to pigeonhole this novel. The flipside of this is that Because You’ll Never Meet Me is unlike any book I have ever read. And it is bloody brilliant.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me is the story of an unlikely friendship between two boys – Ollie and Moritz – who bond through letters. Both boys lack a social life; they are reclusive, kept away from others due to their medical conditions. However, through their conversations we see both characters grow within their constraints and learn to live with what life had to offer them rather than slowly rotting away.

Normally, I find stories told in letter format quite jarring but it is a testament to Leah Thomas’s writing that I didn’t find Because You’ll Never Meet Me cloying and detestable. She is very accomplished at making you empathise with her characters but what I found myself thinking is just how lucky I am to not have to live with such a debilitating medical condition. Because You’ll Never Meet Me makes you realise just how good you have thing in life. This book should be on the shelves of every junior library because the message within it is so darn strong.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me is one of the most impressive books I have read this year.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas is available now.

Follow Leah Thomas (@blunderkinder) on Twitter.

Because Youll Never Meet Me

The Blurb

Revisit Hamilton High in this MUST READ for all fans of The DUFF – co-starring Bianca and Wesley.

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend’s house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with – secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder’s the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can’t stand – a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually ‘like’ him. Only there’s one small catch: he thinks he’s been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she’s the girl he’s really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

The DUFF is a New York Times Bestseller and a major motion picture starring Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Mae Whitman and Alison Janney.

The Review

Having already read The DUFF and being surprisingly impressed by Kody Keplinger’s writing style and moxie. I was really excited to sink my teeth into the companion novel LOL.I think what impressed me most about Keplinger’s style is just the amount of sass she puts into her stories and her characters. At the minute in YA fiction there is a macabre trend of stories about incurable illnesses or suicide so it is refreshing to have a story that is about solvable problems that are still real and relevant. This is exactly what you get with Keplinger’s writing and it is no different from her latest offering – LOL.

In Lying Out Loud, our protagonist Sonny has a problem. She is a bit of a liar. She has learnt that she is a quick thinker and can make up excuses on the spot. However, sometimes her lies can’t get her out of real life desperate situations she manages to get herself in.

In a Cyrano de Bergerac-esque novel Sonny responds to the amorous emails from new student Ryder. As the conversation flows, Sonny realises that she likes him. One problem, she is replying on her best friend Amy’s email account. Ryder likes Amy, not Sonny. Sonny begins to weave a crafty web of lies to make Ryder fall for her instead but eventually her perpetual mendacious behaviour catches up with her.

LOL is a really great read that is hard to put down. It deals with themes of unrequited love, friendship along with deeper issues such as abandonment and poverty. It definitely should be a part of all young adults’ libraries.

Hamilton High: Lying Out Loud: A Companion Novel to The Duff by Kody Keplinger is available now.

Follow Kody Keplinger (@Kody_Keplinger) on Twitter.

LOL