"The Yearbook Committee" by Sarah Ayoub as a popular young adult book choice for 2016.
It is the final year of high school and five very different teens are thrown together to form a committee to produce a yearbook. Mayhem ensues as none of the teens get along.
Charlie has just arrived in Sydney from Melbourne, intending to complete her year's study, then move back to Melbourne as quickly as possible. Charlie is sharply intelligent, strong and cynical.
Ryan is the popular school captain whose friends are cool and attractive. From the offset there is friction between Ryan and Charlie and it is clear they are on a collision course. Or is it a case of opposites attracting?
Then there's Matty. The reader gains his/her first impression of Matty as he crawls through a hole in the school fence to escape. Unfortunately for Matty he gets caught half way through by a vigilant teacher. Sigh! But Matty has his reasons for wagging school and we soon find out what they are.
Tammi is co-erced into joining the committee by her best friend and school bully, Lauren. Tammi is also being pressured by her boyfriend. Will she be able to assert her independence?
Last but not least is Gillian, who has parents who are constantly in the public spotlight, and have little time to spend on their children.
Ryan expressed his despair of the whole committee-
'You know,' he says, 'I've debated the best teams in Sydney and won, I've captained our soccer team to three grand finals and won two of those, and I walked the Kokoda Track with my Dad when I was fifteen - and all of that was cake compared to this stupid project!'
Snappy dialogue, humourous and also sad and poignant.
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Monday, 11 April 2016
Friday, 18 March 2016
The Bachelor meets a dystopian world. Prince Maxon is now of age to find a wife and this gives the girls an opportunity of a lifetime. 35 girls are selected to live in the Prince’s palace and try win his heart. This would be a privilege for any girl chosen except America Singer, this would mean turning her back on the love of her life, Aspen who is in a caste below her. She goes off to live at the palace and compete for someone she doesn’t even want. During her stay the palace is under constant attacks from the rebels. As America Singer spends more time with Prince Maxon she realises that the life she always dreamed of would not compare to the life she never imagined. The Selection is a great read for the romantic at heart.
Friday, 19 February 2016
Our heroine is Clancy, a sixteen year old girl who lives in a small town and feels like an outsider.
We follow Clancy's life as she attempts to navigate a pathway.
Her family situation is in difficult territory as her father is involved in a traffic incident where two teenagers die and her family is ostracized.
The relationship with her two male siblings is often hilarious, totally believable and sharp. Quarrels and inter-personal communication are typical of daily family life.
Clancy is keenly aware that she is a nerd, with interests such as 'nature club' adding to her lack of social status. Clancy is funny and flawed - time and time again she makes the wrong decisions and upsets those around her. Clancy develops a crush on one of the 'cool crowd' and the reader soon realises that her 'crush' may not have her best interests at heart.
Engaging storyline and a well-written novel, touching on areas such as bullying, gay issues, and friendship.
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Don't worry if, like me, you are totally clueless about soccer. Keep reading this amazing book!
Otello is a South American soccer player who has been transferred from a northern team to play for the well known southern team, Rialto for a price - fifty million dollars. The stakes are high. He meets and falls in love with Desmeralda, a singer with a mega star notoriety. The pair marry but their marriage attracts enemies. There are those who wish to use this multi-racial superstar couple for their own ends and who wish to ultimately destroy them.
Paul Faustino is a cynical but likeable character who has been following Otello's journey and he becomes embroiled in a scandal that takes him far out of his depth.
'Exposure' is original and engaging. I couldn't put this book down. Once I had finished I then began to read Mal Peet's other young adult novels which are also outstanding.
I was saddened when I recently discovered that Mal Peet died earlier this year (2015) so it is fitting to acknowledge the wonderful contribution he has made to teen fiction.
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
It's a snapshot of life seen through the eyes of seventeen year old Delilah.
Due to a myriad of circumstances (parents have recently separated, father is currently on holidays, current manager of cafe has returned to Ireland) Del ends up running her father's cafe, the Flywheel. The situation is unstable and precarious; she hires Hamish who is lazy and uncooperative. 'Clearly my recruitment skills need some honing' bemoans Del.
On top of this Del is still at secondary school where she is bullied mercilessly for being gay.
Del is quite a character though-largely resilient and able to rise above the belittling attitudes of her school peers. Which is just as well.
And then there's the 'flamenco girl'-the beautiful Rosa who dances flamenco at the tapas bar across the road. Del has been watching Rosa for a long time but doesn't know how to approach her. Is it possible for her to confide her feelings for Rosa without the situation ending in disaster?
'The Flywheel' is a wonderful rollercoaster of a journey and as a reader you will get behind Del as she battles through the many obstacles that stand in her way.
Recommended teen fiction.
'Nowhere Boys' by Elise McCredie is based on the hit TV series and soon to be released movie in 2016.
It's a terrific book that will appeal to many teenagers.
The story involves four teenagers.
Felix dresses in black, plays guitar and writes his own music.
Jake is popular and athletic and is something of a bully.
Sam seemingly has the perfect life: the ideal family situation and the gorgeous girlfriend.
Andy is the science nerd.
The four boys are grouped together for a school outdoor orienteering excursion.
Then weird things begin to happen. The become lost, and when they return to their homes things are not the same.
People can see and hear them but no one seems to know who they are. They begin to wonder if their families are better off without them.
Magic and supernatural events are at hand and it up to the boys to try and try and solve whatever is happening.
After seeing part of the TV series and reading the book I can hardly wait for the much anticipated film release.
Highly recommended viewing and reading.