Recommended Reads Age 12plus
Teenage and Young Adult Recommendations
Stuck for something new to read? Sometimes it is hard to decide what you would like to read next so on this page you'll find some highly recommended reads from other young people.
Library members can request any of the books reviewed from the Library Catalogue
Read a good book? Then why not write a review for us and it may then feature on this page- email your review to ExploreMore@aberdeencity.gov.uk Don't forget to add your name and age.
The Escape written by Robert Muchamore is the first book in the Henderson's Boys series. The book is set and based in France during World War 2 when Germany was invading. The book follows two groups of people; Rosie and her brother Paul (their dad is featured at the start but dies, leaving them on their own), and British agent Henderson and Frenc h orphan Marc Kilgour. Marc and Henderson are forced to work together in order to find and locate Rosie and her brother along with some important documents that they have in their possession. Along the way they face some difficulties from the German forces which results in action packed conflict.
The characterization within this book was quite powerful. I felt as though I really knew and understood each character. Most of all though, I enjoyed the relationship between Marc and Henderson as they travel across the country together in order to get to Rosie and Paul.
Overall I would say that my favourite part of the book was the section in which Marc and Henderson infiltrate a German occupied hotel in order to kill one of Henderson's targets. The large quantity of violence, detail and description in the kill was captivating and kept me in the moment, wanting to turn every page. The high speed motorbike chase also kept me captivated. The description and detail within Marc's shooting and Henderson's driving was quite intense and kept me on the verge of my seat wanting more.
"When Mr. Dog Bites," by Brian Conaghan, is a thought-provoking novel which provides an alternative view on Tourette's syndrome and raises awareness of the illness among readers. This is an enjoyable, light-hearted read, although is not very c challenging for the reader. The novel is written from the perspective of Dylan Mint, a sufferer of Tourette's, who overhears a conversation between his mother and his doctor and believes that he only has a few months left to live. This novel follows Dylan as he attempts to complete a list of things he wants to do before he dies. Ultimately he has wrongly overheard this information and his illness is not life threatening. Conaghan tackles this serious issue in a humorous fashion and provides a clear insight into the life of a sufferer of Tourette's. Furthermore, Conaghan effectively addresses other social issues such as racism and familial relationships throughout this novel. However, as the novel tackles many key issues and themes not all are fully developed by Conaghan, limiting the reader's connection with the characters and the novel's plot. For example, family relationships are often discussed yet Conaghan only mentions in the closing chapters of the novel that Dylan's mother had been the subject of domestic abuse and his father was in prison, limiting the effectiveness of this novel as it introduces another issue which is not addressed in depth. The storyline is interesting and entertaining, albeit slightly predictable at times, and arrives at an uplifting conclusion providing satisfaction for the reader. Conaghan's engaging style of writing keeps the reader entertained and emotionally involved in the plot. This novel has also been criticised for its use of offensive language making many readers feel uncomfortable. Conversely, it can be argued this furthers the reader's understanding of Tourette's syndrome, as Conaghan successfully underlines the realistic nature of this illness.
Anthony Horowitz's Russian Roulette
Anthony Horowitz is one of my favourite authors, hence the reason that I am familiar with the Alex Rider series of books. The book Russian Roulette offers an interesting view and insight into the life of Yassen Gregorovich, a hired contract killer who has crossed paths with Alex on more than one occasion. Although usually viewed as a 'baddy' in the Alex Rider series, in this spin off novel of Yassen's past he is the protagonist. It shows his progression from a boy to the killer that he is now.
I found the book captivating and interesting. The book kept me second guessing and forced me to keep turning the pages. The book revealed most of my unanswered questions. It showed how Yassen became the person who he was. The section I found most interesting was the parts when Yassen was being trained by Scorpia because of the fact he had no real identity and was untraceable. He was sent to an island called "Malagosto", in Venice. At this time he was known as Yasha and became a star student. Here is where he learned his trade of killing, practicing martial arts techniques and marksmanship. He was sent on a mission in New York in which he proved unsuccessful; he was then trained by 'John Rider', Alex's now deceased father. This proves as a strong link to Yassen's past and now future. The two formed a bond of partnership and mutual understanding. In fact the most tense seen was when Yassen was in a life and death situation because of a deadly spider on him. Luckily the protagonist was saved by a sniper bullet in which John fired. Later on in the book he discovers that John was really an MI6 agent all along and that the bond they had was fake. This was my favourite part of the book as it shows the reason in which why Yassen shows some leniency towards Alex. I believe that he has a sense of his past with John when he sees Alex and also sees himself within Alex. This has provided me with a greater insight and understanding of the Alex Rider series.
Although the book was quite lengthy and time consuming I would have still preferred if I had learnt a bit more about John Rider and his history. Besides that it was still a good view into Yassen's life. Overall I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book and how it would make me portray the Alex Rider series however after reading it, I would say I now have a clearer understanding. I would strongly suggest that anyone who has previously read the Alex Rider series to read this book as it would give them a greater appreciation of the series. Overall this was a great book and I would give it a 9/10.
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