One of the many things that I love about a Summer holiday is packing a good book or if your like me a pile of books that you can get lost in. I have read many of my favourites whilst away & still remember where I was, either soaking up on the beach enjoying the sun’s rays whilst getting lost in another world or relaxing on the balcony after a day exploring a new city.
The past couple of months I fully got my reading mojo back & was burning up the pages. I was loving getting absorbed with the different stories as I was reading a bit of a mix but I’m going to be honest there are some Young Adult books that some may called junk food books but their my guilty pleasure & who doesn’t love a bit of junk food every now & then.
One Of Us Is Lying, Karen McManus – 5 high school students enter the classroom for detention but only 4 make it out alive, dramatic? Well it definitely caught my attention, right from the off when we meet this mix of characters, Bronwyn the Yale hopeful, Cooper the athlete, Addy the beauty, Nate the criminal & Simon the school’s daily source of gossip. Under the glare of the police, press, & high school, the pressure build up on these students as they find themselves in a blame game. I thought this would be a easy who done it book & I was wrong, I was gripped & completely underestimated the characters, they are more than what they seem. They are stronger than I originally thought as you follow them each through the days after the event, as secrets are revealed, plenty of twists along the way, it had me guessing & I really loved it.
The Thousandth Floor, Katherine McGee – New York, where the city as we know it has been replaced by a thousandth floor sky scraper. In this new age parents can genetically create their children so they are perfect, where iPhone screens are now placed in their contact lenses, it may be the future but high school is still a world of drama. We meet 5 teens & their friends, Avery who is looking for her adopted brother Atlas after he disappeared the previous Summer. Eris who is dealing with parents splitting up, Leda who went into a drug fuelled spiral when Atlas went missing. Rylin, an orphaned maid who will do anything to protect her sister, including lying to her boss. From the prologue you are intrigued as it leaves you on a cliffhanger so instantly you are turning the pages. The pages are a web of drama, lies & hunger to stay on top, I loved picturing this futuristic New York & how lives have adapted due to technology. The characters are relatable on some levels & you can’t help but second guess them all based on the cliffhanger from the prologue. Whilst I haven’t rushed to read the follow up, it’s in my pile to read.
Then She Was Gone, Lisa Jewell – Okay, so this is a slight cheat I listened to this book on audible, perfect for when I’m away with work. Audiobooks are always handy to store in your phone for when you want to enjoy a book whilst still being able to lay back & relax. However if you want something relaxing this isn’t the book for you, ‘Then She Was Gone’ is gripping, heart racing & has your mind constantly thinking who did it? On her way to the library 16 year old Ellie goes missing, the devastating event tears her family apart. She was the apple of her mum Laurel’s eye, who always felt that Ellie’s missing never made any sense, she was a happy teenager, with a boyfriend & loving family. 10 years later deciding she needs to move on with life Laurel meets charming Floyd, who whisks her off her feet & she quickly becomes part of his life which means meeting his 9 year old daughter Poppy, who is remarkably like Ellie & Laurel’s unanswered questions start flooding back. I was gripped, it took me a while to put all the pieces together & whilst I had assumed most of the key pieces I loved that you didn’t know everything right until the end. Maybe pre-warn your family & friends you will be hooked & they may not see or hear from you for the rest of the day.
The Selection, Kiera Cass – Warning, if your going to invest in this book then it will consume you & you need to order the 2nd & 3rd book now. I was skeptical about this book but I was hooked. Set in the dystopian world 35 pre-selected girls are invited to the palace where they will compete for the heart & marriage of Prince Maxon in ‘The Selection.’ America Singer is encouraged by her family to enter but doesn’t want to leave her secret boyfriend Aspen behind. Making the cut she finds herself admist a whirlwind of riches, female competition & an unexpected friendship with the Prince leaves her questioning her reluctance in the competition. With the country facing rebellions & Aspen’s arrival at the Palace, America is whisked up in paths of love, loyalty & friendship. This was by far the biggest guilty pleasure I have read in a long time & honestly I loved it. Perfect to enjoy whilst relaxing in the sun, it’s addictive, America is independent, brave & loyal as she remains true to who she is, questioning if she could become Queen?
Nucleus, Rory Clements- Okay so if your looking for something a bit more thrilling & that will get you thinking then a pre WWII historical spy thriller will definitely keep you occupied on those beach days. I have read other books by Rory Clements & loved them so had high expectations for this book & I really enjoyed it & his writing is easy & you ease into the story within the first few pages as we are introduced to Professor Tom Wilde.
Puddin, Julie Murphy –I have ready plenty of ‘Young Adult’ fiction & experienced the up’s & down’s of secondary/ high school myself & ‘Puddin’ is the most realistic, relatable & current book I have read when it comes to the daily dramas of a school. With two strong characters, Millie who every year has gone to fat camp but not this year instead she has other dreams to chase & a secret crush to per-sue. Callie, the pretty girl with the popular rich boyfriend & next inline to captain the dance squad, until circumstances throw the girls together & Callie realises she wasn’t as popular as she thought & she may need a new friend in Millie which is a surprise to them both & the rest of the school. I loved Millie, she knows who she is & I would definitely wanted to have been friends with her. Facing her own battles she has so much love for everyone else, even Callie who it a complete diamond in the rough & Millie won’t give up on her. I am not always a fan of dual perspectives in books but with this story it allowed you to get to know both characters, showing the true rollercoaster of friendship.