Teen fiction

YALC 2017!

Today was the first day of YALC 17 and it was fantastic! Full of excellent authors, interesting talks, lovely publishers and incredible books, the day was a non-stop pleasure cruise through the world of YA and teen fiction!

One thing that I learned was that the sensible people had taken suitcases/ bags on wheels so they could carry all their books for signing without suffering personal injury! I had to whittle my choices down hugely before I left as I couldn't lift my bag, but even with only the seven I had chosen (and it was so hard to choose!), my shoulders were still sore- perhaps because I was constantly adding to their number! There were so many brilliant books to choose from! 

The programme was packed with excellent author talks, but a few highlights for me today were meeting Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen (review of Lobsters here) again as they signed their new book, 'Freshers' which I am looking forward to reading very much, meeting up the the Little Tiger crew, who let me have a copy of Alex Bell's new book (you can read our review of 'Frozen Charlotte here) and meeting Emily Barr whose book 'The One Memory of Flora Banks' I enjoyed so much. (review here)

Alexis Deacon drew me a picture of Beegu and I had a lovely chat with fellow teacher, Olivia Levez, whose books we will be reviewing soon.

It was also lovely to meet up with fellow FCBG members, Jane and Margaret, who were also enjoying a day at YALC! Everyone was in party mood and enjoying themselves!

I nearly finished reading 'One of Us is Lying' by Karen M McManus on the way home- excellent read. The perfect end to a perfect day! Let's see what tomorrow brings!

The Edge of Everything

Kept confined in the Lowlands to collect 'bad' souls on command, X knows no other life.

Seventeen year old Zoe is struggling to come to terms with her father's death in a caving accident and the loss of her neighbours. In the middle of a blizzard, she and her brother are attacked by a vicious stranger.

Sent for their attacker's soul, X appears and saves them. Although forbidden to show himself to anyone other than his victim, X is drawn to Zoe and fails in his mission as he cannot bear to disappoint her.

As they come to know each other better, they both start to question things about their lives.Can X leave behind the existance he is trapped in and make a new life with Zoe?

'The Edge of Everything' is a compelling and absorbing read which is beautifully written. Fantasy is blended with adventure with added humour and romance. Dark and disturbing in places, the book offers a unique story packed with amazing characters. Emotionally charged, this is an 'edge of your seat' read which raises many questions.

Jeff Giles is a great storyteller with a wonderful written style. Loved it!

The Edge of Everything- Jeff Giles

Bloomsbury     ISBN: 978-1619637535

The Beginning Woods- Malcolm McNeill

This is one of the most unusual books I have read in a long time.

A baby abandoned in a bookshop; adults disappearing, leaving only piles of clothes; a journey of self discovery- these are elements which form this intreguing tale. 

Unsettling in places, 'The Beginning Woods' mingles the 'real' and fairy tale world, merging and weaving the two, creating a multi-layered narrative which would appeal older readers who enjoy a challenging read.

Malcolm McNeill writes vividly, enabling the reader to easily share the experiences of Max (the abandoned baby) as he grows. When the authorities decide to start destroying books in an effort to control the 'Vanishings', I felt every ounce of Max's pain and anguish at the scenes of destruction.

I could write at length about this fascinating and original story, but really don't want to spoil it for anyone. This is one you need to read and judge for yourself...


The Beginning Woods   Malcolm McNeill

Pushkin Children's   ISBN: 978-1782690900