Teen Summer Read Reviews

Reviews and recommendations from local young people that were submitted as part of the 2019-2020 Teen Summer Read Competition : Text on the Beach

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis Reviewed by Harguan


This YA book focuses on 2 people Stella Grant and Will Newman. Stella suffers from cystic fibrosis and Will suffers from B.cepacia a bacterial infection. Stella is a socially active teenager with her own YouTube channel and is at the hospital for a check up on her lungs as she is suffering from a fever of 102 degrees, during which she runs into Will. Will is a B.cepacia patient and is in the hospital for a treatment to stop the infection. Will and Stella can’t be 6 within each other as if Will coughs, touches or spits on Stella, Stella will get B.cepacia meaning won’t be able to get a lung transplant making her life span shorter. This book is a romance and drama book, I would recommend this book for 13+ as it is a very emotional and depressing book that brings up some very serious issues with. The story line is very intricate and is bound to make readers cry ugly tears, real ugly. Overall, I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 as it was one of my absolute favorites this year, I loved the roller coaster of emotions and the ugly tears, but I would keep in mind as it isn't good for kids less then 12 or 13.

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Learning not to drown by Anna Shinoda reviewed by Suhani


Anna Shinoda writes an emotional novel of Clare’s family overcoming their troubled past. Skeleton, a rather satirical side character, is a figment of Clare’s imagination as well as a reminder of her past. When Luke, her 29-year old brother is released from jail, Clare can’t wait to spend time with him, only to uncover his dark side which had been hidden from her all her life. I quite enjoyed this book and was able to immerse myself into Clare Tovin’s heartfelt story. Recommended to people who enjoy family and/or mystery books.

Learning not to drown is available as eBook through BorrowBox

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Twilight by Stephanie Meyer reviewed by Harguan


Twilight is a YA romance and drama book and is the first book in the twilight series. It follows the story of Isabella Swan a girl who has moved to a tiny town called Forks where the sun barely shines, in that town she ‘unconditionally and irrevocably’ falls love with Edward Cullen a 104-year-old vampire. This book was a good book, I didn’t love it but it was ok. I was a bit annoyed as the ‘love’ was quite unbelievable because, the way it was written made it seem like Isabella had nothing better to do then to be ‘in love’ with Edward, don’t get me wrong the romance was sweet but it was a bit over the top. However, I enjoyed the story-line in the book as it was so detailed and well thought out, the character were very interesting while you were reading you felt as if they were standing right next to you.  Overall it is a decent book and I enjoyed reading it, it did have its flaws here and there. Therefore, out if 10 I would give it a 7 and would recommend to for kids above the ages of 13 as there are some scenes that are quite graphic.

Twilight is available as eAudiobook through Borrowbox

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Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli reviewed by Anonymous


Star girl is an amazing book that changes your perspective of socialization, the value of friendship, love, but most importantly bravery, as Susan was always changing her identity, it wasn't because she wasn't happy with herself, she just loved the change of being happier and better as a person.
With her singing and awesome strumming on the uke, I say it should be mandatory to read, it's an awesome book.

Stargirl is available as eBook and eAudiobook through Borrowbox

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins reviewed by Anjali


I have recently felt in love with the book series, 'The Hunger Games'. This absolutely amazing sequel is set in a dystopia world, where the country, 'Pane' is split up in twelve districts and a main controller, the Capitol. The Capitol hosts the Hunger Games, to scare the districts, and show them who is really in power. In the Games, there are two tributes from each district that have to fight to death. Whoever wins gets their district wealth and food, until the next year. A girl named Katniss comes from district twelve, the poorest. Her younger sister Prim, gets drawn out from a ball, and is the new girl tribute. In horror, Katniss impulsively volunteers to be the tribute. The boy tribute chosen is Peete, who has had a massive crush on Katniss forever. In all of the pre-interviews, Katniss has given the impression to the audience, that she is ‘The Girl on Fire’. In the arena, Katniss is thrown into a world, where she feels challenged, mentally, physically and emotionally.

The Hunger Games is available as eBook through BorrowBox

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Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire by J.K Rowling reviewed by Kodie


It’s the summer holidays for Harry Potter after a long school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, so why not go see the quidditch world cup with his two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. However, at the quidditch world cup, a riot of Death Eaters wreak havoc upon the camp.

After Harry returns for his fourth year at Hogwarts, his name has been put into the Goblet of Fire, and he is to compete in the Triwizard Tournament. This is a Tournament consisting of one student from three wizarding schools, where they are to compete in three magical and deadly challenges. Harry must now compete in a tournament he didn't put his name forth for. With Harry, Ron and Hermione focused on trying to figure out who put Harry's name in the goblet, Harry is now being haunted by dreams of a house on the top of a hill, which leaves him with a searing pain in his scar. This will not be an easy year for Harry Potter.

 I would highly recommend this book to teenagers and young adults interested in books about witches and wizards and with a thirst for adventure. This book is the fourth instalment of J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series, which follows the school years of the young Wizard Harry Potter, on a mission to avenge his parents death at the hands of Lord Voldemort. This book introduces two new wizard schools and a handful of new magical creatures, adding depth into the amazing world Rowling has created.

Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire is available as eBook and eAudiobook through Borrowbox

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Reading Lists

Stuck trying to think of the next book to read? You can check out our themed book lists below for some great reading ideas.

Hot Summer Reads

Rainbow Books for Midsumma

Midsumma Festival is Victoria's premier LGBTQIA+ cultural festival, held for 3 weeks each year during summer. Midsumma is made for and by communities who live with shared experiences around diverse gender and sexuality.

The following is a collection of our favourite books that feature characters who are sex and gender diverse.  For other great LGBTQIA+ titles visit your local branch, or check out our catalogue here.

cover image for Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki

Cover Image of Love Hypothesis

Love Hypothesis by Laura Steven

Cover Image of Invisible Boys

Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard

Yay! You're gay! Now What?

Yay! You're gay! Now What?
by Riyadh Khalaf

Juliet Takes a Breath

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

The Prom

The Prom by Saundra Mitchell


Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Saenz


Skim by Mariko Tamaki


Autoboyography by Christina Lauren


Queer, There, and Everywhere by Sarah Prager


Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green


If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo


Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson


Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart


The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy by Sean Kennedy


Release by Patrick Ness


Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski


It's Not Like It's A Secret by Misa Sugiura


What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

From Prejudice to Pride

From Prejudice to Pride by Amy Lame

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

The Music of What Happens

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

Heartstopper Vol. 1

Heartstopper Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman

Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories

Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories by Michael Earp

Heretics Anonymous

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Dystopian Fiction

Thriller Fiction

International Womens Day

YA Books hitting the big screen in 2020

Young People and Mental Health

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