Title: This Can Never Not Be Real

Author: Sera Milano

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Egmont Books/Electric Monkey

The Blurb

A compelling, heartbreaking and hopeful book for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Jennifer Niven and Holly Jackson.

In the unremarkable town of Amberside, the unthinkable has happened: Terrorists have attacked a local festival. No one knows why, and no one knows who the attackers are, but that doesn’t matter. What matters first is survival. And what matters after that is survival, too.

In this brilliantly written account of hope, humour and humanity, five ordinary teenagers are caught up in a truly extraordinary situation. It’s a heart-pounding and gripping account of the fight for survival as the attackers prowl the festival grounds, told from multiple perspectives.

This is a book for anyone facing the barrage of bleak reports that fill our newsfeeds and for anyone who needs to see that behind the hate that makes the headlines, there is always love.

The Review

I won’t lie to you, I am a traditionalist when it comes to literature. I like it to be narrative, speech marks, proper punctuation – the whole shebang and normally when a book veers away from this I get frustrated. However, with This Can Never Not Be Real I was able to get past the non-traditional format because the story is so damn good.

It is a story of a terrorist attack that happens during a local festival in a small town and it is told from the perspective of several people. It is told in what can almost be described as soundbites of information interspersed with police reporting. The style is similar in style to how you feel an interrogation would go but also shows how one event can be experienced by several different people in many different ways.

What it also does is highlight underlying prejudices and challenges them. It shows how communities – big or small – can be brought together through tragedy and how powerful the shared experience is.

I thoroughly recommend This Can Never Not Be Real and will be foisting it into the hands of the students I work with whether they want to read it or not.

This Can Never Not Be Real by Sera Milano is available now.

For more information regarding Sera Milano (@seramilano) please visit www.seramilano.com.

For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Sounds Like Teen Spirit – Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll

Author: Tim English

Pages: 175 Pages

Publisher: Self Published

The Blurb

This 2016 edition of Sounds Like Teen Spirit provides hundreds of pairings of songs that appear to have “borrowed” their melodies from earlier songs. Readers will discover the music that influnced the songs of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and many more.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit covers recent plagirism cases involveing Robin Thicke, Sam Smith and Coldplay as well as famous cases such as when George Harrison was sued over his song “My Sweet Lord” by the publishers of the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine”

Readers will never hear the familiar songs in quite the same way after reading Sounds Like Teen Spirit. For example, the Doors’ “Hello I Love You” has the same melody and the Kinks’ “All Day and All Night,” and the riff that powered Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a variation on the guitar riff from Boston’s “More than a Feeling.”

Sounds Like Teen Spirit explains that creative artists are influenced by a wide and often surprising range of sources. For instance, John Lennon’s song “Imagine” may have have been influenced by a novelty song that his father recorded to cash in on his son’s fame, and Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier” contains the melody from “The Banana Splits Theme!”

The Review

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is a music nerds dream book. It looks at the similarity between songs throughout history and the court cases that followed. It is informative and entertaining and also highlights some music similarities that I hadn’t noticed. It is really interesting.

For me, sometimes the sections were too long. If you weren’t a fan of a particular band or artist that had been focused on then the chapter seemed to drag but there is enough more entertaining information in the book to outweigh this small negative.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is the perfect stocking filler book for the music lover in your life. Yes I did just mention stocking fillers in April.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit – Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll by Tim English is available now.

Title: Bunny Vs Monkey and the Human Invasion

Author: Jamie Smart

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: David Fickling Books

The Blurb

Since he crash-landed to Earth in a rocket, Monkey has been causing absolute mayhem!

But Bunny and the gang (Squirrel, Pig [the Pig], Action Beaver, and Skunky the Inventor) have almost had enough…

In this rollicking comic extravaganza, the pint-sized friends must tackle a helliphant, rocket-powered hot air balloons, and the most mind-boggling creatures of all: hew-mans…

The Review

I love the Bunny Vs Monkey books. They are silly and fun and really do brighten up your day. I am always a fan of silliness and Bunny Vs Monkey and the Human Invasion definitely delivers on that. If you love silliness, cute animals, deranged monkeys and fantastical adventures then Bunny Vs Monkey and the Human Invasion is the graphic novel for you.

Bunny Vs Monkey and the Human Invasion by Jamie Smart is available now.

For more information regarding Jamie Smart (@jamiesmart) please visit www.fumboo.com.

For more information regarding David Fickling Books (@DFB_storyhouse) please visit www.davidficklingbooks.com.

Title: This Book Will (Help You) Change the World

Author: Sue Turton

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

The Blurb

Protest injustice. Campaign for change. Stand up for your future.

Political turmoil, shocks and upsets have rocked the world in the past few years, and it has never been more important to find your voice and stand up for what you believe in.

From award-winning journalist Sue Turton, with hilarious illustrations from activist illustrator Alice Skinner, this is a powerhouse guide to politics and activism for teens everywhere.

Featuring contributions from C4 anchor Jon Snow, Avaaz.com founder Jeremy Heimans, leader of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution Joshua Wong and more, Turton discusses the political system that rules our daily lives and exposes its flaws. She also gives readers all the inspiration and empowerment they need to get out there, challenge the status quo and change the world themselves. Be it disrupting the system from within by joining political parties or inspiring change through protest, Turton shows young activists how their actions and words really can make a difference. With a toolkit demonstrating how to avoid fake news, triumph in debates and grab the spotlight for your campaign, this is the ultimate teen guide to changing the world.

The Review

As a teenager I was incredibly unaware of the world around me. If it didn’t involve the Sweet Valley High Series or the Spice Girls I didn’t really know about it. Thankfully, teenagers of today seem to be less shallow than I was and do seem to care about the bigger things. That is why I really wish This Book Will (Help You) Change the World was around when I was younger.

It is the kind of book that opens up the world of politics and explains things in an understandable way and then encourages you to make your own opinion. This should be used as a textbook in school to equip our young people with the knowledge on the power that they hold and how even as young people they can make a difference.

It is a quick read with real life examples in it. A must have for all school libraries.

This Book Will (Help You) Change the World by Sue Turton is available now.

For more information regarding Hachette Children’s Group (@HachetteKids) please visit www.hachettechildrens.co.uk.

Title: Indigo Donut

Author: Patrice Lawrence

Pages: 451 Pages

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

The Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Indigo has had a tough start in life, having grown up in the care system after her dad killed her mum. Bailey, also seventeen, lives with his parents in Hackney and spends all his time playing guitar or tending to his luscious ginger afro.

When Indigo and Bailey meet at sixth form, serious sparks fly. But when Bailey becomes the target of a homeless man who seems to know more about Indigo than is normal, Bailey is forced to make a choice he should never have to make.

A life-affirming story about falling in love and everyone’s need to belong.

The Review

I am often heard saying that YA Fiction is the best fiction being released. That the authors of YA fiction are dealing with topics that are so respectful to their audience and realising and indeed relishing in the fact that a YA audience is mature and can deal with harsher topics. Things have certainly changed since I was a teenager and thank god it is for the better.

Indigo Donut is one such book that deals with difficult topics. It deals with: death, murder, the foster system, divorce, bullying and yet you still come away from the novel feeling positive and that change is just around the corner.

Indigo Donut focuses on the relationship between Indigo and Bailey. Bailey, to some extent is the antithesis of Indigo. He has had a far more “normal” upbringing and has been sheltered from the cruel realities of life. Indigo, on the other hand, has been hardened by life and wears an impermeable shell of armour and seen by others as an attitude problem. It seems strange that they would fall for each other.

Above everything else Indigo Donut is a love story – not just a physical love story but the love story of finding a friend who understands you and in Bailey Indigo finds just that and in doing so allows herself to be vulnerable.

Indigo Donut is a commitment of a book at 451 pages but it is a great story.

Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence is available now.

For more information regarding Patrice Lawrence (@LawrencePatrice) please visit www.patricelawrence.wordpress.com.