Title: How to Die Famous

Author: Benjamin Dean

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s UK

The Blurb

London-born Abel has landed the role of a lifetime for an upcoming blockbuster. On the face of it he’s Hollywood’s latest teen star, but below the surface he’s an undercover journalist on a mission to expose the ‘squeaky clean’ entertainment industry and the part they played in his brother’s ‘accidental’ death.

As Abel steps into the spotlight alongside fellow actors Lucky, Ryan and Ella, he soon discovers that beneath the glittering surface of fame and riches lies a darker world of secrecy, scandal and murder. Nobody is who they seem when the cameras are off, and everybody has something to hide. But who’s next in line to die famous?

The Review

I have been reading a lot of YA books lately – a hazard of working in a high school library – and the genres I know my students love are the crime, mystery and thriller. Benjamin Dean’s How to Die Famous encapsulates all three and then throws in a big dollop of celebrity culture.

It is the story of Abel who is trying to find out how his older brother died. Along the way he meets a group of teen celebrities who all have their own reasons to hate the celebrity lifestyle and who are there for him in his quest.

Benjamin Dean has a really lovely syle of writing. I felt compelled to read on further. I needed to know what happened and as is normal for me I didn’t have a clue who the bag guy was.

This is a perfect summer read.

How to Die Famous by Benjamin Dean is available now.

For more information regarding Benjamin Dean (@NotAgainBen) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster Children’s UK (@simonkids_UK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: This Beats Perfect

Author: Rebecca Denton

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

The Blurb

Amelie Ayres has impeccable taste in music. Bowie. Bush. Bob. So when she finds herself backstage at The Keep’s only UK gig she expects to hate it; after all they are the world’s most tragic band. In fact she feels a grudging respect – not (obviously) for their music, but for the work that goes in to making them megastars. And when lead singer, ‘Maxx’, is not dressed up as a cross between Elvis and a My Little Pony, he is actually rather normal, talented and has creative struggles not too dissimilar to her own. 

But the next morning she wakes up and rolls over to discover a million new @’s on social media. Overnight, a photo of her at the gig has made her a subject of global speculation. Suddenly the world needs to know #Who’sThatGirl? – but for all the wrong reasons.

All Amelie wants is to play her music. She’s got the guitar, the songs, the soul and, in the safety of her bedroom, she’s got the voice. But when it comes to getting up on stage, she struggles with self-doubt.

Immaculate’s a concept. Flawless is fake. But just sometimes music – and hearts – can rock a perfect beat.

The Review

Well, damn you Rebecca Denton. I wanted a nice easy read that I could forget about but nooooooo. Rebecca Denton had to write a book that a) made me want to be the main character and b) is part of a series so now I have to read the rest. I repeat, damn you Rebecca Denton (shakes fist).

The story follows Amelie who has dreams of being a musician and whilst she has opportunity to receive support from family, she wants to do it by herself. When she meets mega pop star Max from The Keep her world turns upside down.

This is like the dream. Make this real life and change the name to Lisa and the band to Busted and this is all younger me wanted…and it is for this reason I need to read the full series.

This Beats Perfect by Rebecca Denton is available now.

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group (@LittleBrownUK) please visit www.littlebrown.co.uk.

Title: Imogen, Obviously

Author: Becky Albertalli

Pages: 432 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

The sensational new novel from Becky Albertalli, best-selling author of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Imogen may be hopelessly heterosexual, but she’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down. And when she visits her best friend, Lili, at college who is newly-out, newly-graduated, and newly thriving, with a cool new squad of queer college friends, no one knows that Imogen’s a raging hetero – not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.

Of course, the more time Imogen spends with chaotic, freckle-faced Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if her truth was ever all that straight to begin with…

With an irresistible cast of characters, hugely funny and empathetic writing, and all of Becky Albertalli’s trademark warmth and wit, Imogen, Obviously beautifully explores the nuances of sexuality, identity, and friendship – perfect for fans of Alice Oseman and Adam Silvera.

The Review

Becky Albertalli is my “go-to” author when it comes to YA LGBTQ+ books because I never feel sad after reading them. She has a heartwarming quality of showing the difficulties of being part of the community but equally celebrating everything about it.

The same can be said for Imogen, Obviously. It is a story about figuring things out but doing it in your own time and space whilst knowing others will have opinions and throw contentious arguments your way.

Our protagonist, Imogen, is an ally. A strong one. She champions her LGBTQ+ friends and goes out of her way to be au fait with the ever expanding rainbow. However, when she starts to question her own sexuality she finds that others don’t extend her the same courtesy that she has done.

Ultimately, it is a book about finding yourself and learning that you can not please everybody.

A great read, especially for those currently questioning their sexuality.

Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli is available now.

For more information regarding Becky Albertalli (@beckyalbertalli) please visit www.beckyalbertalli.com.

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

Title: The Headmaster’s List

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

The Blurb

Four students. A fatal car crash. Three come out alive – and they will do anything to bury the truth.

One of them was driving.

One of them was high.

One of them screamed.

And one of them died.

When one of their own is tragically killed in a car crash, Argyle Prep is full of questions. Who was at the wheel? And more importantly, who was at fault?

But in a place ruled by pedigree and privilege, the answers can only come at a price.

Set against the glitz and glamour of an elite LA private school The Headmaster’s List, Melissa de la Cruz’s first YA thriller, is an addictive whodunit perfect for fans of Gossip Girl and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

The Review

I am a fan of the campus novel. Give me a book with a campus in it and it ticks one of my boxes. Melissa de la Cruz’s The Headmaster’s List initially hits that criteria. The Headmaster’s List is set in an elite high school that can make or break its students. Attending can be a springboard for greater things later in life. The question is how much can money and prestige protect you from the consequences of a deadly crime?

I really enjoyed The Headmaster’s List. It was a good mystery that kept you on your toes until the final reveal. It is a perfect read for any crime lovers – especially with the mixed media format that de la Cruz has used.

There were some things that I thought seemed a bit wrong or not fully explored such as the recovery from the accident seemed to happen really fast or certain characters were not as developed as they could have been and felt a bit like discourse markers.

However, this didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the story.

The Headmaster’s List by Melissa de la Cruz is available now.

For more information regarding Melissa de la Cruz (@MelissadelaCruz) please visit www.melissa-delacruz.com.

For more information regarding Macmillan Children’s Books (@MacmillanKidsUK) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: You’ll Be the Death of Me

Author: Karen M. McManus

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s UK

The Blurb

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand new pulse-pounding thriller. Three former friends ditch school for old time’s sake – with horrible and deadly consequences. 

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close – best friends back in middle school. So, when Cal pulls into campus late for class, and runs into Ivy and Mateo, they decide to ditch school. Just like old times.

But they’re not the only ones skipping school that day. When the trio spot classmate Brian ‘Boney’ Mahoney acting suspiciously downtown they follow him into an empty building, and walk straight into a murder scene.

Brian’s not the only one keeping secrets, and when their day of freedom turns deadly it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out.

The Review

Karen M McManus is a great writer of YA fiction who hooks you in from the first page and keeps you guessing from beginning to end. With You’ll Be the Death of Me Karen M McManus takes you into the seedy underbelly drugs within the education system and boy has she written a page turner.

I really enjoyed this multi-perspective novel. The characters were likable but flawed, the plot was believable but exciting and the outcome was satisfying. I bingeworthy read.

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M McManus is available now.

For more information regarding Karen M. McManus (@writerkmc) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin Random House Children’s UK (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.