The North Recommends: Young Writers’ Reads

Not That Kind of Girl

This book is truly incredible, a work of fantastic feminism driven cleverly into a classical “boy meets girl” storyline with a twist. Natalie Sterling as our main protagonist is your perfect idol, your best friend and a bit of yourself. She is exactly what it says on the tin – she always tries to be the good girl. However her perfect record nature takes a rollercoaster of events, she suddenly is the opposite and the exact kind of girl that she wants to be.

Quirky, witty with incredible drama that won’t allow you to put it down. Talking about truths of friendship, relationship and femininity. With reference links to literary feminist works as well as well-known female figures mixed in with hilarious characters who’ll have you rooting for all the bad decisions.  Natalie is on the road to be the ninth female student council president when she finds trouble with the girl she used to babysit, the guy she always hated and his friend whose love interest is anyone’s guess. The reality of teenage crushing and not knowing where your heart really lies.

The incredible works of Siobhan Vivian is enchanting, and she has touched on more important topics than typical teenage drama and feminism. The cybercrime and exploitation of woman in the book is prominent and having such a strong female protagonist makes it enjoyable, gritty and relatable. How on the subject of sex, boys get high fived but girls are the talk of the corridor, judged and named. Not all parts of the drama may be relevant to individual readers but the concepts involved in the novel are realistic and up-to date.

How To Be Bad

This book is truly inventive, in both plotline and narration. A wickedly amazing adventure between three teenage girls, living in the same town (Niceville) but with very different lives both religiously, attitude on relationships and outlook on the three girls being friends. With the three narrators crafting their selected character very differently, it is interesting to see how well these three characters get along. All with different looks, secrets and amazing narrators crafting their motives, ideas and actions.

Mel, Vicks and Jesse know each other from working in the Waffle House, Vicks and Jesse have been friends for a long time but will new girl Mel change the girl’s friendship dynamic, or will three work better than two? Mel’s the rich girl and with credit card in hand, she joins the road trip because she wants to get closer to these girls to actually make some friends in Niceville, instead of missing her life in Canada. Vicks is usually the life of the party and the glue that from the outset keep Jesse and Mel together, but with her getting too stuck into a total strangers party and getting a late night call from her boyfriend Brady, things get complicated. After not hearing from Brady for 2 weeks and getting the excuse of university work and sports, Vicks isn’t convinced and soon learns how much she relied on his company and kept so many secrets from Jesse. Jesse is the driver, the best friend to Vicks and has family problems of her own. Her stuck up attitude could be due to her being a die-hard Christian, her problems with Vicks non existing virginity and her insecurity of allowing Mel in their group. A road trip to Miami, a party, a visit to Disney land and a saved-from-gator duckling later, the girls are far from goody two shoes.

A really good read as it explore so many different features showing that girls may be friends but are far from being similar. So bring on the duck poop and hop in.

Lying About Last Summer

On the outset of this book looking in, you may depict it as being depressing or possibly of a horror genre. In this case you couldn’t be more wrong. The craftsmanship of Wallman has created a touching, up to date story about a girl dealing with grieving her sister whilst supposedly receiving messages from the dead.

Apart of this story is a very unique case, of a girl witnessing her sister’s death and living with the knowledge of being the only one in her family who knows how her sider died and wanting to forget the fact she could have saved her. Whilst being sent to a bereavement camp the summer after the event Skye must uncover the secrets of her sisters passing whilst also being aware that someone in her camp of grief is playing a horrible trick on her. As Skye gathers up the courage and tries to trust other people and go along with tam building activities, she must face an inner fear that begins to grow.

A few tips whilst reading this book. Please don’t get put off by the time zone. Wallman has crafted a way for us to go back in time with Skye in memory to the year when her sister died whilst also seeing her work her way through the bereavement process like the other kids at the camp. Don’t be afraid to cry- a couple of times in this book I had to pick up a tissue because it was so beautifully detailed and it really puts you with Skye on her journey. I have previously mentioned the red herring ending but don’t be too discouraged, make sure you read the epilogue but this may not give you full closure to some other characters and if you get so into this book like I did – you may feel the urge to want to kick a certain big headed camp mate in the head for what he does or maybe that’s just me. Definitely a good read and when you get near the ending you won’t want to put it down.

It’s About Love

On reading the blurb for this book you may be fooled to believe it has some sci-fi elements or links to movies like Star Wars. I can recommend this book without have any knowledge of the movies series. The main characters are called Luke and Leia but the story has nothing to do with the sci-fi pair.

This story does what it says on the tin, it is about love – compared to other popular teen rom-coms this book is probably more realistic than most. Personally I could easily imagine the actions described actually happening – they were that realistic. I thought about the author being a possible survivor of the stories “monsters”. The events of the story are very down to earth and beyond realistic and could easily be a true story.

A great story overall, it has twists and turns in unexpected places. Violence combined with kisses which I think a lot of love stories miss out. This story is a male perspective about love and dealing with a broken home. The story mainly deals with masculinity being seen along brotherly love and friendship as well as a teenage crush. For a teenager to have to balance home, school and a love life as well as friends wanting to get in on it all. The book is a clear definition of a teenagers mind and how there perspectives on what they think about doing and what they actually do is all very apt.

A good read for anyone looking for a male protagonist or love story couple to root for. Some really good clear messages mixed with a clearly good progressive writer who explores his ideas in the form of writing extracts of his observations, memories and thoughts.