The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

A fantabulous coming of age story that every parent and HSC student MUST read!!!
-5 stars-

Sarah Ayoub first dazzled us with her debut novel “Hate is Such a Strong Word” – a contemporary YA novel that explores the issues in reverse racism in Australia today… Sarah has returned with her 2nd YA novel “The Year Book Committee” Another fantastic read that every parent and senior high school student MUST READ!!!

A cleverly constructed story of 5 unlikely teenagers – the loner, the school captain, the popular girl, the newcomer and the MP’s daughter are thrown together to compile the traditional legacy for their final year – The Year 12 Yearbook.. The story demonstrates the complexity of teamwork and conflict resolution – how differences are to be put aside to achieve a common goal…

What I loved so much about this book was how clearly defined each character was and how their lives were so different from one another. You can distinguish each character through their life and dialogue. The plot and each character really develop well from beginning to end of this story and it was interesting how each character can live a completely different life away from school yet when they are in school, everyone is an equal regardless of what each student may think..

The story brought back fond memories of my senior high school years as I too, were on the yearbook committee but I also felt a sense of disappointment. I found while reading this, not a lot has changed from generation to generation.. peer pressure, transition from high school to real world, bullying, drugs and desires to fit in with the ‘in crowd’ still exist today and with such easy access to technology now days, these issues are even harder to deal with and very concerning..

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was difficult to choose a favourite character as each character had their flaws but they also had a lot of merits. So relevant, so well written, such an addictive read – this is one of my favourites of 2016!!!

-Annie

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I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

John Cleaver #1

4.5 Stars – YA version of Dexter! Unputdownable! 

Wow. Of all the the days I had to go to work. I just want to sit in one spot and finish this book and not pay any attention to anything else.

This is the first book in the John Cleaver series. John Cleaver seems to starts off as a normal high schooler (if I say anything else on this, it will be a spoiler). But John is the main character.

I Am Not A Serial Killer is told in first person. This story drags you in and grabs you by the clothing and won’t let go until you have finished the book. Some of the themes in this book are: family, friendship, knowing what/who you are.

Goodreads Synopsis

– Meredith

 

Threader by Rebekah Turner

Action-packed sci-fi YA read with a side of romance – 4.5 stars!

Expected publication: June 2016

Josie is an unregistered talent Threader who must keep her unusual talent hidden from the government. Being a Threader meant that she’s got the rare ability to enhance and manipulate other people’s “talents” (aka special powers); her talent is  powerful and her past is a mystery. Set in the year 2050, in a world filled with robots, emerging “Mars” colonies, non-citizens and people with special genetic abilities; Josie desperately wants to find her place in the world, and through a series of unfortunate events finds herself at Helios Academy, a prestigious corporate facility that trains many of the genetically “talented” people. Will she survive?

I enjoyed the mystery and world building in this book. Most books with good world building tends to be a bit slow and very descriptive, but this book had the perfect pace. Josie’s Threader power is also quite imaginative and fascinating. I also liked the fact that even though Josie is deemed “special”, she still made some wrong, shameful choices. Our protagonist however is nonetheless a courageous character who goes after what she wants and is unafraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. The plot is fast paced and the book can be read in one setting. If you like to escape reality  and like a good plot-driven YA read with a side of romance, you will enjoy Threader. Also, if you’re a fan of Four from the Divergent series, you will absolutely fall for Blake. You have been warned.

Click here to read the book blurb from Goodreads.

– NJ

 

Unrivalled by Alyson Noel

Suspenseful – Page Turner – Addictive – Gripping
5 stars
Available in Leading Book Retailers: May 2016

I really wasn’t sure what to make of this when I first started reading but after the first few pages, I was glued to this book! An easy read and a suspenseful page turner.. I particularly liked how the main characters we end up following more closely are so well defined in the beginning of the book. The reader will get to know their personalities, the character’s ultimate goals and there is even a slight backstory for each character before they come together to compete in the Unrivalled Nightlife Competition.  What makes the story more interesting is how they come together for reasons beyond the competition. This story leads you to believe it’s just about the night club life only to throw you when a spanner is thrown into the works.. You will feel the suspense, the drama, the betrayal and you see people’s worst nightmares come true.. A great read I can see this becoming a TV series with a cliffhanger that leaves you gaping and even a little frustrated with what happens with a character you started to soften on (lol) I’m left hanging for the second instalment now!!!

Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Full synopsis of Unrivalled

-Annie

 

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

 – 4.5 stars –

Violin prodigy Etta Spencer’s fate takes a interesting and unpredictable turn when one night, she loses everything she knows and loves as she is thrown into an unknown world and wakes up on a boat as a ‘passenger’. Etta then comes to realise, she isn’t just far from home, she’s years from home and has inherited a family legacy she knew nothing about. Etta meets Nicholas Carter, who tries to protect Etta on board the ship by saying he is her passenger. Both Etta and Nicholas are sent off in search of a stolen object of untold value as it is believed only Etta can access.

This is one very imaginative and clever storyline, intricate and detailed world building in the beginning but once you pass that, the adventure really takes off!!! I have read stories of time travel however this was delivered very smartly – and it was very different to what I have read in the past I also found references to historical areas were accurate which adds to the quality of the read.. If you’re looking for a unique time travel adventure, this would be it!!!

Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for providing me with an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. Please note, this book is now available in leading book retailers.

-Annie