Honestly we have been flying through books around here, piles and piles of review books are waiting to be blogged about, yesterday was chapter books and today tween and teen reads.

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Teen Books We Have Been Reading Lately


Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli

When a major story hits the news, and the subject is a cultural taboo… you don’t expect the theme to start appearing in teen/tween books almost immediately. I recently listened to/read Rachel Denhollander’s book, What is a Girl Worth? It is the true and very factual story of her abuse and that of countless other children by the team doctor of the American Olympic Gymnastics team, if you are looking for a great take on abuse, what an excellent, excellent read.

And Break the Fall, has a very similar theme… and it is an excellent read, my teen/tween girls loved it and it opened up a whole conversation that we needed to have. This is the story of Audrey, a young gymnast and here quest to be in the Olympic Games, it is also the story of every girl who takes her sport seriously and the problems, often traumatic problems, that they have to face along their journey. This book covers so many issues, drugs in sport, friendship, relationships… this book is not about gory details, you won’t find any, but it is about being a survivor, being believed and coping with more than should ever be put on a young girls plate. If you have a daughter in any competitive sport, particularly gymnastics, then she will love this book. The sport is fantastic, realistic and exhilarating… the story is inspiring and heartbreaking and inspiring again… this is an excellent read. If you want to know more about this book and the author then read this fantastic interview.


The Contender: The Chosen by Taran Matharu

Taran Matharu is the acclaimed author of the Summoner series, which my boys loved, and he has a new series coming out. The Chosen, is the first in his new Contender Series and it begins with Cade on a precipice in a gorge, with a terrifying monster waiting to devour him below. Six months before he arrived at reform school. He is there for a crime he didn’t commit and it is a grim and frightening environment. Unbeknownst to him, Cade Carter has actually been chosen for something quite different, a game of life that he knows nothing about and that he doesn’t even know exists. He may think he has arrived in Reform School, but when he wakes up the next day he is in a completely different world, a world with dinosaurs, Romans, all sorts of tribes from the past. It is a world where people, places and things that have apparently just disappeared from our world have firmly taken root. Unfortunately, other students from school tend to arrive in the alternative world as well, and not all of them have his best interests at heart, in fact, the exact opposite. This book pivots between reform school and this alternative universe, both equally threatening, both a fight for survival. Gripping reading, fast paced action from start to finish. Cade is a very likeable character, the kind hero every story needs. Once you have read this one, you will be waiting on the edge of your seat for the next instalment.

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Burn by Patrick Ness

Set in the 1950’s, Patrick Ness is in full fantasy, and fairly dark form. In a depressing era, impoverished Sarah and her father have employed a dragon to help them around the farm. Only, this dragon is not your regular dangerous, uncaring, “just there to do a job” dragon. This dragon called, Kazimir, is a little obsessed with keeping Sarah safe. The question is why? In fact the entire first part of the book you will be asking “Why?” A lot. Sarah finds herself at the centre of a prophecy, known about by the dragon and a cult of dragon worshipers. In a word, this book is more than a little weird and great for a young adult mind bend… as most Patrick Ness books are. (There are a few themes in this book that tuck into young adult, rather than teen reads). Its good for a weekend read, but maybe wait for the movie!!!

Amazon Affiliate Links to Books in this Post

We would really like to thank PanMacmillan South Africa for the copies of these books that we received for review purposes. This post is not sponsored in any way and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.

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