Great Summer Reads for Teens & Young Adults
by Mary Esther Judy
After a confused and muddled year of online classes, assessments, exams and trying to work out what comes next, school is out! Life is emerging and young adults in particular need a bit of escapism. So sit back and head off into other worlds, other peoples’ lives and live vicariously for a bit. Whether you’re staying put or venturing elsewhere, a good book is always a summer must-have!
Aideen is a rule-breaker; a rebel; a daring, cheeky young woman with a knack for finding trouble . But when she reluctantly agrees to help uptight class-swot escape her insane workload, by pushing Meabh down the stairs! That’s one broken rule too far.
Aideen soon realises she has a talent for fixing other peoples’ problems. Aided by a willing accomplice in crime, Kavi, she is inundated with pleas for help. Exchanged favours, misguided schemes, ill-considered capers, Aideens’ ‘social enterprise’ develops a life of its’ own.
But Aideens’ own life is a mess with her best friend avoiding her, her mums’ drinking and, oh yeah…she’s flunking out of school. Who’s going to fix Aideens’ problems… Laugh-out-loud funny, poignant and personable; a thoroughly wonderful read.
England is much changed from the country it used to be. The large cities are gone, replaced by fortified towns where the people cling to traditional ways. Strangely evolved beasts roam the surrounding wilderness. Conformity is strictly enforced and those who will not follow the rules are persecuted; driven out into the wilds, hunted down and killed.
Scarlett McCain survives by her wits, operating under a shoot-first-ask-questions-later policy. She meets a strange boy with a dark past and an even darker talent, Albert Browne. With trouble always a bullets’ shot behind them, they run a furious chase across a fragmented land to outwit the rule of law…and become the most notorious outlaws of the seven kingdoms.
The old, wild west meets a haunting dystopian future with a new breed of anti-heroes.
The sun sat in the sky turning each day into long, hot, sweltering ones, the like of which Carrig Cove had never seen. This quiet seaside town lingered on the fringes of the country waiting for relief. And then, a dolphin appears…Emer Monoghan sneaks to the beach every night at midnight to swim with the dolphin…and to meet Dog Cullen; a boy she had kept clear of all her life, until this summer. But Emer no longer cares what others think; she doesn’t care if the posh, neighbouring town is raging about the change in fortune ‘dolphin fever’ has brought Carrig Cove. Emer only cares about the dolphin and Dog Cullen. But as the temperature continues to rise, the long-standing rivalry reaches its’ peak and explodes one fateful night with tragic consequences…for everyone. A modern reworking of the Táin Bo Cuailnge, this one will take you away. A stunning summers’ tale.
Best friends Hetel, Cam, Sasha and Nell have a brilliant summer planned… determined to do whatever they want, step out of their comfort zones and step into their lives. Sasha heads to Geneva with her Dad, who she hasn’t seen for years. Painfully shy Hetel agrees to go to Wales for a science camp and discovers courage she didn’t know she had. Emboldened by her new pink hair and worries of a time to come, Cam goes in search of her birth-father; a man she has never known.
Since a horrible boat accident left her permanently injured, Nells’ Mum is afraid to let her go. So, Nell secretly ventures forward and lands herself a job in a nearby bakery. Things get difficult, complicated… even dangerous. But they turn to each other to find the strength they need to face the future. This is a real feel-good story of friendship that is impossible to put down.
Boy lives on his own in a caravan in the woods. Alone apart from the dog. His mum is still in the house in town. His dad, John…he’s in prison. His dad always told Boy it was a bad idea to get to close to anything that needed you. But the dog came and Boy was alone and for once, just wanted something; someone that was his. And then…the dog, the girl, a man bringing Dads’ bag with a warning: “John says not to look in the bag.” And the man in the Range Rover came by; dangerous, angry and looking for his stolen money.
Tensions are building, confusion and chaos are creeping in. Boy has nowhere to run. Ancient, dark forces awaken in the woods; forces that have been there, waiting for ages. Haunting, unsettling, wild, dream-like and powerful. It is extraordinary.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
“Sometimes love is written in the margins.” Rachel and Henry were the best of friends. In fact, Rachel had a crush on Henry, something he never seemed to see. Then she moves away, leaving a note for him in his favourite book; on the page of his favourite poem. She waited for Henry…but he never came.
Time passes, tragedy strikes Rachels’ family and the sorrow and pain drives Rachel back, taking a job working alongside Henry in his parents’ bookshop. With the shop failing and Henrys’ plans in turmoil, Rachel throws herself into the task of cataloging the ‘Letter Library’ and rebuilding their friendship.
With each of them facing the ghosts of their pasts, will they find the way to face the future? An utterly wonderful book!
How about a magical, ominous, teenage mystery? Perfectly Preventable Deaths is the stuff of dreams and nightmares.
After their mother remarries, 16-year-old twins, Madeline and Catlin find themselves moving from their normal lives in Cork to a small, isolated, eerie village in the wilds of Galway. The surrounding hills conceal the bones of generations of missing girls along with hidden truths.
As Madeline uncovers the witchy talents that lie within her, Catlin falls ever-deeper under the spell of a strange, threatening young man. Catlin is in unimaginable danger and Madeline must decide who she really is, what path she wants to take…and what she is willing to sacrifice for her sister. Brooding, compelling, expressive….a book to get lost in.
“Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family. No one is a criminal. No one is an addict. No one is a failure……”
And into this family is born Cadence Sinclair Eastman. Nearly 18, educated, bright, promising. Her fondest moments are spent on the Sinclairs’ own private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her grandparents, her mother, aunts, the Sinclair cousins and Gat, who became as much a part of the family as the rest. Each sub-family has their own house….and their own petty jealousies and issues.
Two years ago, Cadence suffered an accident on the island. Her memories of the events that summer are skewed and confused. Everything is broken…and all the privilege and beauty in the world won’t bring back the life she knew. Nothing is the same. And Cadence has no idea why. An eloquent and moving book about love, guilt, grief and perception; with a twist at the end that you won’t see coming.
We Were Liars is a subtle, profound triumph. Get your copy here.