Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein

The Blurb On The Back:

”We don’t pick and choose what to be afraid of.  Our fears pick us.”

Tash Carmody has been traumatised since childhood, when she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival.  At the time nobody believed Tash, and she has since come to accept that Sparrow wasn’t real.  Now fifteen and mute, Mallory’s never spoken about the week she went missing.  As disturbing memories resurface, Tash starts to see Sparrow again.  And she realises Mallory is the key to unlocking the truth about a dark secret connecting them.  Does Sparrow exist after all?  Or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?

You can order SMALL SPACES by Sarah Epstein from Amazon UKAmazon USA, or Waterstone’s.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Black Friend: On Being A Better White Person by Frederick Joseph

The Blurb On The Back:

”We don’t see color.”

“I didn’t know Black people liked Star Wars.”

When Frederick Joseph was a Black student in a largely white high school there were many hurtful comments that he often just let go.  Now he and fourteen other prominent artists and activists discuss their experiences of racism in their teenage years and beyond.

Offering himself as a friend to the reader, Joseph explores everything from cultural appropriation to “reverse racism” and white privilege. 

Both a conversation starter and a tool kit, this is an essential read for committed anti-racists and newcomers to the cause of racial justice alike.

You can buy THE BLACK FRIEND: ON BEING A BETTER WHITE PERSON by Frederick Joseph from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne by Jonathan Stroud

The Blurb On The Back:

WANTED: SCARLETT AND BROWNE

Scarlett McCain is a shoot-first-ask-questions-later kind of outlaw.  She survives on bank heists, her wits – and never looking back.

That is until she meets Albert Browne, a boy with a dark past and an even darker talent.  Thrown together in a lawless future Britain, populated by strange and savage beasts, the two must escape across the wilderness – with deadly enemies close behind. 

You can buy THE OUTLAWS SCARLETT & BROWNE by Jonathan Stroud from Amazon USA, Amazon UKWaterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

The Blurb On The Back:

A searing exploration of the world we live in – and the ones we don’t.

Ash is used to taking hits for his high school football team – but then those hits start pushing him through a succession of universes almost-but-not-really like his own.  As small shifts in reality become significant shits in Ash’s own identity, he starts to question the world he thought he knew, as well as the ones he finds himself catapulted into.

For better or worse, the one thing Ash knows is that he’s got to find a way to put everything back. 

You can buy GAME CHANGER by Neal Shusterman from Amazon USA, Amazon UKWaterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew

The Blurb On The Back:

During Frankie’s first sexual experience with the quiet and lovely Benjamin, she gets her period.  It’s only blood, they agree.  But soon a graphic meme goes viral, turning their fun, intimate afternoon into something disgusting, mortifying and damaging.  As the online shaming takes on a horrifying life of its own, Frankie begins to wonder: is her real life over?

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The Price Guide To The Occult by Leslye Walton

The Blurb On The Back:

All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life.  But as a descendant of the witch Rona Blackburn, who famously cursed her family over a century ago, Nor is no stranger to suffering.  She has reason to hope, however, that she may have escaped the thornier side effects of Rona’s curse.

Then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price.  The author – Nor’s own mother – is performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities.  And such magic always requires a sacrifice.

A storm is coming.  It’s coming for Nor.

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Heartstream by Tom Pollock

The Blurb On The Back:

Heartstream: The App That Allows You To Feel Everything

Amy Becker is a star. She’s used Heartstream to broadcast every moment of her mother’s illness. It’s the realest, rawest reality TV imaginable, and it’s everywhere.

On the day of her mother’s funeral, she goes home to find a fan of hers in the kitchen. She’s rigged herself and the house with explosives – and she’s been waiting to talk to Amy for a long time.

Amy is about to discover just how far true obsession can go.

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Between Worlds: Folktales Of Britain & Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland

The Blurb On The Back:

Ancient, rich and strange, these magical and eerie tales from across Britain and Ireland have been passed down from generation to generation.  At once dark and funny, lyrical yet earthy, these stories have shaped our landscape and culture.  This definitive collection, retold by master storyteller and poet Kevin Crossley-Holland, opens a doorway to a lost world and shows the enduring power of language and imagination.  

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Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist by David Almond and Dave McKean

The Blurb On The Back:

”I’ve got a poltergeist,” says Joe.

“What’s one of them?”

“Kind of ghost,” says Joe.

“Davie’ll know.  Davie?”

Joe Quinn tells everyone about the poltergeist in his house, but no one believes him.  No one, that is, except Davie.

He’s felt the inexplicable presence in the rooms and seen random objects fly through the air.  And there’s something else … a memory of Davie’s beloved sister, and a feeling deep down that it might just be possible for ghosts to exist.

A haunting story of the power of hope.

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The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman

The Blurb On The Back:

Bath, December 1812.

Lady Helen Wrexhall is finalising the preparations for her wedding, but her focus is on the Dark Days Club.  Time is running out to find the vital answers needed to defeat their unknown foe, the Grand Deceiver.

Lady Helen and Lord Carlston are also struggling to control their new dyad bond, and their illicit feelings for one another. As Helen tries desperately to juggle the demands of her double life, an old enemy arrives in Bath, bringing death and deceit. 

You can order THE DARK DAYS DECEIT by Alison Goodman from Amazon USA Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

The Blurb On The Back:

Everyone’s going to remember where they were when the taps ran dry.

The drought – or the tap-out, as everyone calls it – has been going on for a while.  Life has become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t take long showers, don’t panic.  But now there’s no water left at all.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation and violence.  When her parents go missing, she and her younger brother must team up with an unlikely group in search of water.  Each of them will need to make impossible choices to survive.

You can buy DRY by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Goose Road by Rowena House

The Blurb On The Back:

While the soldiers are fighting on the Front, Angélique has her own battle to fight.

1916: When news arrives of her father’s death on a distant battlefield, 14-year-old Angélique Lacroix makes herself a promise: she will keep the family farm running until her brother returns from the war.

But she doesn’t realise that to keep her promise she will have to embark on a long and arduous journey across France, accompanied by a flock of magnificent Toulouse geese.

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The Wonder Of Us by Kim Culbertson

The Blurb On The Back:

Abby and Riya are:

best friends

complete opposites

living on different continents

currently mad at each other

about to travel around Europe

Since Riya moved away with her family to Berlin, she and Abby have struggled to be there for one another, and they haven’t spoken in weeks.  But Riya is pretty sure she knows the perfect way to make things better – a grand tour of European cities.  Two weeks, six countries, unimaginable fun.

Can the lush countrysides and dazzling cities of Europe fix their friendship, or does growing up mean growing apart?

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White Rabbit Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

The Blurb On The Back:

Seventeen-year-old Peter Blankman is a maths prodigy.  He also suffers from severe panic attacks. Afraid of everything, he finds solace in the orderly and logical world of mathematics and in the love of his family: his scientist mum and his tough twin sister Bel, as Ingrid, his only friend. However, when his mother is found stabbed before an award ceremony and his sister is nowhere to be found, Peter is dragged into a world of espionage and violence where state and family secrets intertwine.  Armed only with his extraordinary analytical skills, Peter may just discover that his biggest weakness is his greatest strength. 

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Flying Tips For Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain

The Blurb On The Back:

Friendship, romance and accepting who you are … that’s a lot for two confused clowns to juggle.

Twins Finch and Birdie Franconi are stars of the flying trapeze.  But when Birdie suffers a terrifying accident, Finch must team up with the geeky new kid.  Hector Hazzard, to form an all-boys double act and save the family circus school.

Can clowning around in the ring help them deal with real life – and face up to how they feel outside the spotlight?  

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

The Blurb On The Back:

Thou shalt kill.

What if death was the only thing left to control?

In a perfect world, the only way to die is to be gleaned by a professional scythe.  When Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentice scythes, they know they have no option but to learn the art of killing.  However, the terrifying responsibility of choosing their victims is just the start.

Corruption is the order of the day and Citra and Rowan need to stick together to fight it.

Then they are told that one of them will have to glean the other …

You can order SCYTHE by Neal Shusterman from Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Landscape With Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson

The Blurb On The Back:

We were all surprised when the vuvv landed the first time.  We were just glad they weren’t invading.  We couldn’t believe our luck when they offered us their tech and invited us to be part of their Interspecies Co-Prosperity Alliance. 

Several years on, jobs are scarce due to the rise of alien tech and there’s no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv’s miraculous medicine.  Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, must get creative to survive.  Since the vuvv crave “classic” Earth culture, recording 1950s-style dates for them to view seems like a brilliant idea.

But it’s hard for Adam and Chloe to murmur sweet nothings when they hate each other more with every episode.  Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he’s willing to go – and what he’s willing to sacrifice. 

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Love And Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

The Blurb On The Back:

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, fulfilling her mother’s dying wish that she should get to know her father.  With the help of her mother’s journal, Lina uncovers a magical world of secret romance, art and hidden bakeries.  People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more. 

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The Loneliest Girl in The Universe by Lauren James

The Blurb On The Back:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away? 

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew member on a spaceship bound for a new planet.  She is the loneliest girl in the universe, until she hears that a second spaceship has launched from Earth, with a single passenger on board.  A boy called J.

Their only communication is via email, and the messages take months to transmit, yet Romy finds herself falling in love.  But what does she really know about J?  And what do the strange new messages from Earth mean?  Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone … 

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Beyond The Wall by Tanya Landman

The Blurb On The Back:

Can one slave destroy an empire?

Britannia.  A conquered land.

Running.  Weeping.  Blood on her lips.

Blood in her mouth.

Blood that is not her own.

After maiming her master, Cassia has no choice but to run.  Beyond the river, far to the north, stands Hadrian’s Wall – the furthest limit of the mighty Roman Empire.  And beyond the wall?  Freedom.  With dogs on her trail and a bounty on her head, the journey seems impossible.  But then Cassia meets Marcus – slick, slippery, silver-tongued – a true and perfect son of Rome.  And her only hope.  

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Symphony For The City Of The Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson

The Blurb On The Back:

In September of 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history – two and a half years of bombardment and starvation.  More than a million citizens perished.  Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, the relatives of the dead having neither the means nor the strength to bury them.  Desperate citizens burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and – eventually – even one another to stay alive.

Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogised, and commemorated his fellow citizens – the Leningrad Symphony.  This testament of courage was copied onto microfilm, driven across the Middle East, and flown over the deserts of North Africa to be performed in the United States – where it played a surprising role in strengthening the Grand Alliance against the Axis powers. 

This is the true story of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds.  It is also a look at the power – and layered meaning – of music in beleaguered lives. 

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The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

The Blurb On The Back:

The girl who hunted …

Becomes the woman who hunts.

The anger her sprung from the terror I’ve lived with since the moment I found out my dad was taken.  This anger is the flip side, the counterpoint, the shouted answer to the terror’s question.  Asks the terror, what will become of me?  Answers the anger, this.

When her diplomat father is kidnapped, Gwendolyn seems to be the only one with the will and determination to find him.  As she follows a trail across Europe’s criminal underworld, she must relinquish her schoolgirl identity and face a terrifying truth about herself.

To overcome the cruelty she encounters, she must also embrace it.

Who will Gwendolyn become?

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Blurb On The Back:

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs.  The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer.  Now what Starr says could destroy her community.  It could also get her killed.

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The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

The Blurb On The Back:

Brighton, July 1812. 

Lady Helen Wrexhall has taken refuge in Brighton following the scandalous events at her presentation ball.  Now she must complete her Reclaimer training, ready to battle the Grand Deceiver believed to have arrived in England.

Her mentor, Lord Carlston, is facing his own inner battle, and as he fights the violent darkness within his soul, Lady Helen’s loyalty is tested.  Entrusted with a secret mission by the Home Office, she must make the agonising choice between betraying those around her or breaking her oath to the Dark Days Club.  

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