I’m back today with some more mini reviews of some of my recent YA reads. I’ve read a few YA books recently that I properly enjoyed and I think it’s time that I spoke about them! These are YA books that need space in your life and on my blog. This blog features 4 of the books I read recently that just spoke to my heart in so many different ways, so I hope you enjoy!
Don’t Breathe A Word – Jordyn Taylor
Eva has never felt like she belonged . . . not in her own family or with her friends in New York City, and certainly not at a fancy boarding school like Hardwick Preparatory Academy. So, when she is invited to join the Fives, an elite secret society, she jumps at the opportunity to finally be a part of something. But what if the Fives are about more than just having the best parties and receiving special privileges from the school?
1962: There is only one reason why Connie would volunteer to be one of the six students to participate in testing Hardwick’s nuclear fallout shelter: Craig Allenby. While the thought of nuclear war sends her into a panic, she can’t pass up the opportunity to spend four days locked in with the school’s golden boy. However, Connie and the other students quickly discover that there is more to this “test” than they previously thought. As they are forced to follow an escalating series of commands, Connie realizes that one wrong move could have dangerous consequences.
Separated by sixty years, Eva and Connie’s stories become inextricably intertwined as Eva unravels the mystery of how six students went into the fallout shelter all those years ago . . . but only five came out.
This was one of those books that piqued my interest as soon as I heard about it and when I was sent a copy in the post, I knew that I needed to read it. It honestly jumped up my TBR list very quickly and I read it within about a week of getting it in the post! And here… I properly enjoyed it. This is an incredible story filled with secret societies, an exclusive boarding school, two girls separated by 60 years, secrets, lies and extortion. This is one of those slow burning books, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The two stories told side by side was done brilliantly well. I thought they were so well written and you learned things without learning too much. Eva is a brilliant main character (and I also really loved Erik!). Underground bunkers and weird cult-esque political beliefs? Not for me in my normal live, but I LOVE to read it. It’s one of those books I STILL think about today!
Agnes At The End of the World – Kelly McWilliams
Agnes loves her home of Red Creek–its quiet, sunny mornings, its dusty roads, and its God. There, she cares tirelessly for her younger siblings and follows the town’s strict laws. What she doesn’t know is that Red Creek is a cult, controlled by a madman who calls himself a prophet. Then Agnes meets Danny, an Outsider boy, and begins to question what is and isn’t a sin. Her younger brother, Ezekiel, will die without the insulin she barters for once a month, even though medicine is considered outlawed. Is she a sinner for saving him? Is her sister, Beth, a sinner for dreaming of the world beyond Red Creek?
As the Prophet grows more dangerous, Agnes realizes she must escape with Ezekiel and leave everyone else, including Beth, behind. But it isn’t safe Outside, either: A viral pandemic is burning through the population at a terrifying rate. As Agnes ventures forth, a mysterious connection grows between her and the Virus. But in a world where faith, miracles, and cruelty have long been indistinguishable, will Agnes be able to choose between saving her family and saving the world?
If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE a book about cults. PROPERLY LOVE THEM. I don’t know what it is about books about cults, but they just fascinate me! My lovely friend Charlotte read this and let me borrow it – I’d honestly never heard of it before she talked about and… well, quite frankly, this is an excellent story. A story told through the eyes of 2 sisters of religion, leaving everything you know and a healing. I thought this was so incredibly well done. I’ve read a couple of cult books and this one is done so well. I loved both sisters and Zeke too. The power of faith and kindness takes you far! I really appreciated the people that Agnes came across in the Outside world and seeing the sisters’ stories run side by side was great. As per usual, I definitely shed a tear or 2!
The Things We Don’t See – Savannah Brown
“The year is 1987 and the sleepy village of Sandown Bay is waking up . . .” To its residents, Sandown is home – a tiny village holiday resort in the western United States. To everyone else, it’s a minuscule island, that brings tourists in summer and not a lot else the rest of the time. To Mona Perry, it’s a mystery.
Thirty-four years ago, promising singer and Sandown resident Roxy Raines went missing, and was never found. The people of the island are still reluctant to talk about it, claiming Roxy was simply a runaway, but the evidence doesn’t quite add up. Mona is convinced something else is going on. Armed only with a suitcase and a microphone – to record her findings for the general public – this runaway teenager is determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance. But as Mona gets drawn deeper and deeper into the strange goings on of this isolated community, it is clear that nothing is as it seems – not even Mona’s own past. Some things are meant to disappear . . .
I’ve read another book by Savannah Brown and I really enjoyed it, so hearing about this really intrigued me. I don’t read many thrillers, but when I do, this is just the kind of thing for me! This kept my attention and was totally compelling. This tells the story of a girl who is seeking a missing person whilst battling her own demons. She ends up on an island where no-one will speak of the past and things get a bit strange once she brings it up! I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was dark and it was heavy, but in the very best way. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns (as ever, I never see them coming!). Secrets, lies, an island and a story waiting to be told – a delicious combination in my eyes. I found the character of Mona to be intriguing and I wanted to know what happened to Roxy more than anything! Would I wanna visit this place?! No thanks, ha! I’m good!
It’s Behind You – Kathryn Foxfield
Welcome to the reality game show that’ll scare you to death! Have you got what it takes to last the night? Five contestants must sit tight through the night in dark and dangerous Umber Gorge caves, haunted by a ghost called the Puckered Maiden. But is it the malevolent spirit they should fear … or each other? As the production crew ramps up the frights, secrets start to be revealed. These teenagers have hidden motives for taking part in It’s Behind You! and could some of them be … murder?
This is another book that I’d read one from the author before and the premise of this intrigued me so so much! This was just the right amount of creepy – death, folk tales, old friends, reality TV! This tells the tale of a reality TV show set in some caves, with a bunch of characters who ALL have secrets and motives for being there. Are you interested in I’m A Celeb mixed with Most Haunted, then honestly this is for you! I found the dynamics between the characters really fascinating. Do any of them survive? What’s with the creepy Maiden the people speak of? This kept me gripped!
A massive thanks to the publishers for sending me these books, and friends for letting me borrow these books! I thoroughly enjoyed each of them!
Have you got any recommendations for books about cults?
What’s your favourite thriller?
What have you read recently?
I’d love to know your thoughts!