Review: Me & Mr J by Rachel McIntyre

Lara’s life is far from perfect, but being an upbeat kind of person she saves her venting for her diary. It’s the only place she can let out her true feelings about the family dramas and hideous bullying she has to face every day.
And then a shining light comes out of the darkness – the new, young and MALE teacher, Mr Jagger. The one person who takes Lara seriously and notices her potential. The one person who is kind to her. The one person who she falls madly and hopelessly in love with.
The one person who can never love her back…can he?
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Review: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Two boys. Two secrets.

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. 

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan. 

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long… Continue reading “Review: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson”

Review: No True Echo by Gareth P Jones

Eddie is pretty certain nowhere could be more small-town, more boring, and more inconsequential than his home town of the Wellcome Valley. Unfortunately, he is about to be proved spectacularly wrong.

Eddie’s problems start when he sees his teacher getting shot (possibly with an elastic band) and then promptly vanish into thin air. Or maybe they start just a little bit before then, with the arrival of Scarlett, a new girl in town who seems rather too confident and mysterious for your average schoolgirl. She attracts trouble (and Eddie) like a magnet, and she’s apparently only interested in two very strange things – protecting the local crackpot scientist, Dr Wolf, and telling Eddie absolutely nothing about what on earth is going on. Because things quickly go from weird to worse for Eddie, and he’s about to find himself in the middle of a dangerous battle for the fate of not just himself, Scarlett and the town – but Time itself. Continue reading “Review: No True Echo by Gareth P Jones”

Review: The Door That Led To Where by Sally Gardner

Sixteen-year-old AJ Flynn holds a key is his hand. It has his name and date of birth on it. But it’s a key to a door that leads to where? Or when?
On the other side of the door is a tumbledown house, a city booming with trade, and a murder mystery that echoes through the centuries.
AJ steps through the door and finds himself at the centre of it all. It is London and it is 1830.
Life is tough in 1830 – sickness murder and crime abound – but is it so different from the London of now that AJ and his friends know?
AJ needs to find the answers to the mystery and decide where he belongs.
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#BalletYA: Edward Scissorhands at Sadler’s Wells

Yesterday evening, a select group of YA-lovers gathered to enjoy an evening of fantastic dance and storytelling. Edward Scissorhands is Sadler’s Wells’ Christmas ballet this year. I had seen it once previously, during its first run, but having hugely enjoyed recent New Adventures revivals including Matthew Bourne’s iconic Swan Lake, as well as his magical reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, I was excited to see how this unusual adaptation of a Tim Burton film would have evolved. Continue reading “#BalletYA: Edward Scissorhands at Sadler’s Wells”

Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. But I never expected Oz to look like this. A place where Good Witches can’t be trusted and Wicked Witches may just be the good guys. A place where even the yellow brick road is crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy.
My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas.
I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and I’ve been given a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart.
Steal the Scarecrow’s brain.
Take the Lion’s courage.
And then – Dorothy must die.
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