Recommended reads age 12 and over

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.

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Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games series was written by Suzanne Collins and is an adventure about a girl named Katniss Everdeen who volunteers to take her sister’s place in a battle to the death called the hunger games.

The reasons why I enjoyed reading The Hunger Games series most is because it was exciting, shocking, sad and adventurous. You never knew what was going to happen next but I was on the edge of my seat and could not wait to find out what would happen next. I particularly like her character because she is a very selfless person who will do anything to help the people that she trusts.

If you like adventure and excitement this is the series for you. I would recommend this book series for ages 13+. 

What's a girl gotta do? by Holly Bourne

Charlotte (Lottie) Thomas the protagonist in the book is an academically gifted 17 year old with a high chance of getting into Cambridge. She is also a massive feminist, which proves to be a problem in her 21st century life. After being catcalled by some rude builders on her way to college one day Lottie decides that in the month before her Cambridge interview she will call out every occurrence of sexism she encounters. Although she tries to keep it funny, Lottie has a tendency to go on angry rants which remind you of the stereotypical image of ‘angry feminist’. Although this isn’t always the best way to get her point across, she justifies it as her right to be angry: “why would you not be angry when you see inequalities which people don’t seem to notice or care about?” I really enjoyed this book and it was my first time reading a Holly Bourne novel. I’d recommend this book to teenagers and especially young girls as it tackles a lot of matters that are relevant to them. The book talks about a lot of issues like sexism, sexual harassment, feminism and what it means to be a feminist. It contains so many true-to-life events and social issues. I found Lottie to be an amazing role model and the book widened my understanding of feminism. I believe now that I am a true feminist and I think this book shows girls or anyone really that they shouldn’t be afraid to speak out or stand up for what they believe in.

Boys don't cry by Malorie Blackman

It is about how a young boy tackles with being a teen parent. Dante the protagonist of the novel is waiting for his A-level results but instead ends up with his ex-girlfriend on his doorstep with a baby that she claims is his. Before he knows it Melanie (his ex) has left him with the 11 month old baby girl (Emma) who he's known for only five minutes. Dante keeps expecting Melanie to come back like she said she would and he can't get a hold of her on his mobile. As Dante begins to lose control of his life he quickly realizes that Melanie isn't coming back and he needs to grow up fast and take responsibility for his actions. Later on in the book we begin to notice that Adam, Dante's younger brother has his own issues to deal with. As they are both trying to deal with their problems their lives somehow collide with brutal consequences. They accept the fact that they have to work together to restore their lives and come to terms with their responsibilities.

I had heard of Malorie Blackman and her books and had known she had was the Children's Laureate in 2013-2015. She is an exceptional author and I would love to read more of her books. I had seen 'Boys Don't Cry' before in various libraries but had never picked it up before because I had fallen into the cliché of judging a book by its cover. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I enjoyed that it tackled important issues in today's society like teen parenthood, single parenting, racism and homosexuality. The book is gripping from the start and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend the book to teenage boys and girls because I believe they could all relate to certain things in the novel. I'm excited to read more of her books.

Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz

Raven's Gate is the first book in The Power of Five series by Anthony Horowitz. It focuses on a young boy called Matthew ‘Matt’ Freeman whose previous trauma from his childhood leads to his involvement in petty crime. After a botched attempt at robbery with his friend Kelvin, a local thug, Matt ends up in the Liberty and Education Achieved through Fostering Project (LEAF) designed for juvenile delinquents to be reassimilated into society. He is then sent to his new guardian, an old strict woman called Jayne Deverill who lives in a small village in Yorkshire. While in the village, Matt experiences strange and disturbing phenomena such as a foreboding hallucination in which dark magic was used to heal him from illness and the fact that he could not escape the village as every road path twisted back to the same place from where he started. He then finds out that he has precognitive abilities and his only ally within the village ends up murdered which darkens the story. The story then follows onto more dark magic, demonic rituals and unravels a bigger plot(Power of Five main storyline). It is revealed that he is one of the five gatekeepers, protectors of mankind from the evil extra dimensional demons called the Old Ones. Overall, this is a very intriguing book. It caught my attention with its innate disturbing content with the hallucinations and the mystery behind the inhabitants of the village in Yorkshire. The book definitely triggered my imagination and left me wondering what might happen next. It’s a great read if you enjoy fantasy as a genre - Raven's Gate and the Power of Five series are essentially a mixture of Stephen King, Harry Potter and Night at the Museum

Flawed by Cecelia Aherne

Flawed tells us the story of Celestine North and her journey of finding out everything she knew, all the laws she and her society had thought was right would crumble her sense of morals. Celestine has the perfect life including a perfect boyfriend, whose father is the head judge of the Guild, a court that decides if someone is Flawed or not after thorough questioning. Celestine has always been a rule follower and stays away from the “Flawed” just as their government wants. The Flawed don't follow the rules and are never to be helped by citizens. Celestine life turns upside down when she witnesses a Flawed man dying at the front end of the bus, Celestine makes a decision to help him which is seen as a crime because he is flawed. In Celestine’s eyes, this is a moral issue and she simply cannot allow an old man to die because two unflawed people decided to take his seat. The government however sees this as a rebellion. Not wanting to be marked as Flawed, Celestine receives all the help she can get from her boyfriend’s father Judge Crevan who wants her to lie about the situation which would put the flawed man's life in danger but, in the end it’s up to Celestine. Will she hide her true intentions and betray everything she morally believes in or reveal her true intentions and become “Flawed?”

I really enjoyed this book and it's the first one I've read by Cecelia Ahern. It's really gripping from the start, sharp and entertaining. The book's main theme tackles discrimination and I loved following Celestine’s growth from a girl that wouldn't speak her mind being afraid of getting in trouble to a woman who stands up for what is right and what she believes in.

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