Hi everyone, this week I’m featuring a couple of teen reads I found among my list with a cast of awesome teenagers. I tend to read more from the historical genre so the contemporary books I’d read to date are few and far between. I hope you enjoy the two I’m reviewing for you this week.
Title Because of you
Author: Pip Harry
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: University of Queensland Press; Queensland, 2017
ISBN: 9780702259777 (Paperback)
What this book is about: “Books can save anyone. If they’re the right ones.” Tiny is an eighteen-year-old girl living on the streets in Sydney, running from her small-town past. She finds short-term accommodation at Hope Lane – a shelter for the homeless – where she meets Nola, a high school student on volunteer placement. Both girls share their love of words through the Hope Lane Writing group. Can they share their secrets too?
My review: Told in two distinct voices, our protagonists bring this unique story to life. At first I found it hard to get into as the language was a bit too raw for me, but I waded my way in and immediately felt myself drawn to the two girls. Both are the same age, eighteen, living their respective lives in Sydney. One on the streets, another in somewhat middle-class normalcy. The scenes of homelessness and despair were quite uncomfortable for me but it opened up my eyes to their plight. The fact that programs for these people like writing groups can show us how they are no different to anyone else, and sometimes even more intelligent. I enjoyed reading about the girls’ blossoming friendship and subsequent romances. It is teen fiction, it’s to be expected!! Some honest and raw writing here. Better for older teens, 16 and older I think.
Title: Words in deep blue: a love story
Author: Cath Crowley
Genre: Fiction – contemporary (Australia)
Publication details: Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd; 2016
ISBN: 9781742612386 (Paperback)
What this book is about: “Second-hand bookshops are full of mysteries.” This is a love story. It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets. It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now, she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She’s looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind. Sometimes you need the poets.
My review: A really good read for a teen fiction!! Told from the viewpoints of Henry and Rachel it gives a slightly disjointed story but in reality I guess that’s what life is. Centred around Henry’s family’s bookshop and his love for Amy, this takes us from heartbreak to an eventful closure. I found this a well-written and thoughtful read. I enjoyed the inclusion of the text of letters that had been left inserted between the pages of books, and the discussion of literary works. Better suited for older teens as it’s got a fairly serious tone to it all.
My rating for both titles: 4⭐
I tend to naturally lean towards titles with dual voices these days. I think there is a trend of teen novels written this way these days. I’ll probably have to find more to see if my thoughts are right or not. Watch this space…
Stay safe and keep reading