Each week our friendly library staff and special guests review their latest YA reads. Head over to our Instagram account @librariesinwyndham to see all of our recommendations.
📚 YA Book of the Week ‘The Gravity of Us' by Phil Stamper.
I was drawn to this story by its cover. 📓
The mixture of the swirling pinks, blues and purples with two young people, their hands touching, gazing into unknown territory. I was then thrilled to find out that the story involved a space mission.🚀
The story begins with our protagonist Cal, a hipster from Brooklyn and budding journalist. Cal has a large social media following due to his live videos about politics, Brooklyn and NASA's latest mission, Orpheus V. Cal is also a planner and, at seventeen, he has already mapped out his future. His father, however, dramatically derails his plans by announcing he has been selected for the NASA mission to Mars on the same Orpheus V mission Cal has been reporting about.
A very unhappy Cal is uprooted to Texas, no longer able to do the internship he worked hard for and is forced to participate in a crazy reality show that documents the lives of the astronauts and their families. Amidst the chaos, he meets Leo an extremely cute and sensitive guy, the son of another astronaut on the Orpheus project and very quickly a romance between 👨❤️💋👨 Cal and Leo develops. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to unveil the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him!
What kept me glued to the pages of this story was how the author conveyed the excitement of first love.❤️ Its awkwardness, self-doubt, the overwhelming, confusing feelings that can accompany love. It was also interesting to find a story where the characters' sexuality is not a cause for scandal, it is just another aspect of their lives🏳️🌈
Recommended for older readers as it discusses some challenging subject matter.
🔗To borrow this book in hard copy, eBook or eAudiobook format, head here!
Reviewed by Sam, Library Customer Service Officer.
📚 YA Book of the Week – ‘Midnight Sun’ by Stephenie Meyer 📚
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Midnight Sun and delve back into the Twilight series, which was such a frantic obsession for little teenage me! Midnight Sun is a retelling of Twilight from vampire Edward’s point of view. It’s almost twice the length of Twilight, even though it covers the same events, and this can be partly explained by the fact that Edward’s thought process in each scene is revealed in great detail, offering some explanation for the 'sudden' mood swings that Bella found so jarring in the first novel.
In Twilight, you are Bella, but in Midnight Sun, you fall in love with her. I also fell in love (again) with my favourite characters, Alice and Carlisle. I was fascinated by the relationship between Edward and Alice, who often communicates with Edward purely via thoughts and visions, and we finally get an explanation as to why he always seemed so grumpy around her. Likewise, when Edward struggles to hear Charlie’s thoughts clearly, we realise that Bella’s silent thoughts might be an inherited trait. And if you’re looking for a laugh, Edward’s pure loathing for Mike Newton throughout the book is very entertaining! 😅
This book is both nostalgic and insightful and a must-read for any fan. If you want to revisit Twilight or are just intrigued by the idea of a new perspective on this story, then read Midnight Sun! I recommend this for ages 13+.
To reserve a copy or to listen to the eAudiobook, click here!
Reviewed by Emily, Education and Youth Services Librarian 🤓
YA Book of the Week: The Gaps by Leanne Hall
The Gaps is the first book I've read by Leanne Hall and, wow, what a knockout read it is on many levels.😍
The narrative is presented from the perspectives of two very different protagonists at the exclusive Balmoral Ladies College. Bookish Chloe, a new arrival at the school, and popular Natalia, an established (and, to many of her classmates, intimidating) presence at the school since prep.
The story details Chloe and Natalia's experience of the disappearance of Yin Mitchell, their Year 10 classmate, and the way their community copes with the uncertainty and fear which follows this event. The Gaps is a gripping thriller which also explores kin and friendship bonds, resilience, coming of age, and the challenges of representation in art. Most strikingly, it provides a powerful commentary on the way girls are socialised to anticipate casual misogyny and threats to bodily autonomy from a young age.
I found The Gaps hard to put down and I am looking forward to reading Leanne Hall's first YA novel, This is Shyness.
To borrow The Gaps via BorrowBox with your Wyndham City Libraries membership, click here.
📚 Reviewed by Education and Youth Team Leader, Jenny.