This book was like going to Narnia – The Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

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Amani is sick of the small town life she seems destined to live, and the family determined to marry her off. Using her unusual sharpshooting skills she escapes into the desert – and into even more danger. Here she meets magic, a mysterious stranger and the rebel force, and finds herself drawn into what she never knew would be a destiny.

My VERY FAVOURITE THING about this book is that it reminds me so thoroughly of The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis. It’s probably not that similar, but from the very start I was transported to my mental landscape where that book takes place, and I like it there. Hooray! Otherwise, this was a pacy and exciting book without too many original ideas but a thoroughly good mix up of old ones that take you on an exciting adventure.

More fun teen Egyptian melodrama in Recreated by Colleen Houck

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Lily has been trying to adjust to normal life after her gorgeous supernatural, ancient Egyptian boyfriend Amon disappeared to save the world from chaos, but it’s just not working. It comes as a slight relief when the god Anubis turns up at her grandmother’s house to say they need her help again – Amon is trapped in the Netherworld and Lily is the only one who can save him. But it’s not an easy process, and involves becoming a sphinx, a huge change that will affect Lily forever…

I knew exactly what to expect from this book having read and enjoyed the first book. A  action packed teen adventure packed with drama and spirit, plus a load of gorgeous gods and a plucky heroine. It didn’t disappoint, and I think I actually enjoyed this one more. It felt more confident, and focussed more on Lily as a character rather than Amon, which I really enjoyed.

I succumbed to the adverts and read The Tearling – and once I started I couldn’t stop! 

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Kelsea Glynn is reluctant Queen of the Tearling, torn from her isolated upbringing to rule the fractured, downtrodden once-utopia of Tearling. As she attempts to right the hideous wrongs of her society she must also face the angered neighbouring Red Queen with all her powers, win the people to her, master her anger and work out what the jewels she carries are and what the strange visions that plague her mean for her nation…

Okay so I was trying to summarise two books there, hence how stuffed that synopsis is! Basically like a snob for a long time I didn’t want to read this because the heroine is called Kelsea. I mean, Kelsea. In what seems a medieval setting? But Emma Watson’s endorsement convinced me because I think she’s excellent. And I was hooked!!! And the name thing does actually make sense, for anyone else who might initially be put off by that…

My friend Ian set his expectations way too high for Garth Nix’s Clariel

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My good friend Ian Harding read Clariel, which I’ve been really wanting to read for ages! He agreed to write a review for me – plus he’s an English teacher too so he knows what he’s talking about. Anyway, I still want to read this book, even if I’m lowering my expectations…

Thanks for the guest spot Anna.

I’ll begin by confessing that I’m a huge fan of Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom novels: Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen rank as some of my favourite reads of young adult fiction. So when I saw that Nix was bringing out a new novel focusing on the era before the Sabriel trilogy, I was excited to delve once again into the world of the Old Kingdom.

Some bits of this book were cringe but overall I LOVED IT – Arkarnae by Lynette Noni

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Alex’s parents are abandoning her for eight months and placing her in a boarding school. But when they drop her off she steps into another world complete with magic -like technology, kids with special powers and – for the first time in her life – friends. As she struggles to work out the world she lives in there are also the mysteries of why is she there? And what is her special power?

The annoying bit of this book was the really teenager stuff. Every male character is super cute, every girl is apparently super hot. But, happily, this isn’t mentioned too too much, and there isn’t even a romance in this book which is pretty refreshing. And it was SUCH GOOD FUN! I picked it out because I follow the author’s blog and have loved following her progress of getting a cover, etc etc, and was curious to read the finished product.

Real Teen Reviews: EVERYONE SHOULD READ RED RISING – Zoë Mac on Pierce Brown

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And now for a new feature. Any teen/young adult book I review that I think my marvellous fifteen-year-old sister Zoë would like I will pass on to her, pester her to read it and then interview her about it. Read my Red Rising review here (it’s safe to say we disagree) – then read #real! #teen! #opinions! below. 

What did you think of Red Rising?

I thought it was a BRILLIANT book! It kept me completely hooked all the way through – I adore it! It’s got a very prominent theme of revolution that you can’t help but be dragged into – you really feel like a part of a story.