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Posts tagged ‘Teenagers’

in the Dark, in the Woods

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By: Eliza Wass

Castley Cresswell is sixteen and has five siblings. Castley wants to fit in better, she wants to be like other teenagers. Her father has a very different idea of what his children should be like and what they should do with their time. Castley’s Father says they are going to always be together, in heaven, not just here on earth. He believes the sooner they get their the better. He doesn’t want outside involvement in their lives, and if he didn’t have to send them to school he wouldn’t. Life inside their house is complicated, outsiders wouldn’t understand, and they must certainly never find out about their secrets.

This is a dark book, structured around a dark and difficult topic. What happens when the adults around you aren’t well, and control every little thing you do, down to telling you exactly what you should think. For all it’s darkness it is a fascinating read and you desperately keep going along because you want to know what happens to the Cresswell’s. Well worth a read.

Publisher: Hachette                                                                                                              Published: 14 June 2016                                                                                                                     Key Words: Cult, Isolation, Teenager, Fitting In                                                                   ISBN: 9781784299910

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Looking For Alaska

By: John Green

Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter’s life is about to be shaken up. Until now his life has been pretty boring. Nothing interesting has ever happened to him and no-one will miss him when he is gone. Now he is about to enter the world of Culver Creek Boarding School, a place where his desire to find the Great Perhaps can finally begin.

At Culver his life gets switched upside down. He becomes roomies with the Colonel, a mad, smart and fiercely loyal guy. Down the hall lives Alaska Young – messed up, sexy, clever, funny and self-destructive. Pudge finds himself swept into the crazy vortex of life around her.

That was before. Then comes the after and in the drive to find answers Pudge knows things will never be the same.

You are slowly drawn into Pudge’s story before getting swept into the sometimes crazy, frantic and insane world of boarding school. The Colonel is a great counter to Pudge’s naivety and a fascinating character in his own right, whose depths we learn more about in a couple of wonderful scenes.

Alaska is the crazy and unpredictable cyclone who pulls people into her storm and flings them around in a manner that means they will never be unaffected after. Pudge’s infatuation with her is understandable. She is at heart though, a sad character in many ways and her actions, when examined bring that to light.

Through the innocence of Pudge we are introduced to the reality of life as a teenager; the things they do, say, feel and believe. This is an engaging story that, like Alaska, pulls you in, spins you around, throws you out and leaves you thinking about some of those tougher topics for a while afterwards. Green is a writer who is able to give voice to those ofttimes uncertain teen years, creating readable and relatable characters which make him a favourite author of many.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 31 March 2011

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Fiction, Friendship, Life

ISBN 13: 9780007424832 (blue cover) 9780142402511 (black cover)

Purchase: using above cover links or use Booktopia logo on side of page

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