Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet -This is a tale of a boy and girl trying to find love, just as the Cuban Missile Crisis reaches its head. Rather similar to the love story set on the Titanic, we all know what happened; The Cold War eventually fizzled out and the missile-bearing Soviet ships did turn back, but Peet weaves his romance amidst actual quotes from some of the hair-raising tactical advice given in White House meetings at the time. The story concentrates on a working class boy named Clem, after Clement Atlee and his upper class secret lover Frankie, who is the daughter of a wealthy Norfolk landowner who employs Clem’s father, George. For Clem, the end of the world has significance for him as he is yet to lose his virginity and as the world’s tension in the political arena builds, so does Clems as he wonders if he will ever get the chance to do it before the sky crashes in on their heads. The story finishes with an amazing climax and not what you would expect.
One Seriously Messed Up Week In The Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life Of Sam Taylor/Jack Samsonite by Tom Clempson -You have the hero – Sam Taylor, who has renamed himself Jack Samsonite for his school project, who has three objectives for the week. Firstly he needs to study to pass his GSCE’s which are coming up soon. Secondly, he really wants to go out with the girl of dreams – Eleanor Wade – a girl he spends many an hour day dreaming about. Lastly, he wants to survive the week without getting his head kicked in by the nastiest bully in the area. What do you think his chances are of achieving all three in a week? If you have ever wondered what goes on in a young teenage boys mind then this is a great book to steal after you’ve gifted it to your son. It seems that many of suspicions are correct in that sex is of utmost concern but this book is laugh out loud funny and with touching anecdotes about how Jack is quite appalled that some of the girls he knows aren’t as pure as he had believed , you’ll find out that he worries about his friends, his school work and being bullied too. An endearing and hilarious book.
Wish Me Dead by Helen Grant – Steffi Nett and friends live in the quiet German town of Bad Münstereifel. Painfully shy, Steffi works in the family bakery, but she really wants to be a singer. One friend suggests spending a night at the abandoned house of Rote Gerd (a legendary witch who was burned alive centuries earlier by villagers who suspected her of kidnapping local children) to try and raise her ghost, and Steffi reluctantly goes along. Steffi now regrets visiting the cursed witch’s house, deep in the middle of the forest. It’s where she made all her wishes. She wished Klara Klein dead. It came true. She wished for the most gorgeous boy in town to finally notice her. It came true. She wished to be rid of the poisonous busybody who destroyed her family. It came true. She didn’t mean for this to happen. Not her, Steffi Nett, the shy one who never says anything. But as the body count increases with every wish she makes . . .who else could it be? The funny thing is she never even meant the first one.