Book talk: Novels for young adults


This week, Michael Popple reviews three thrilling novels written for young adults.

After The Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson

Allen & Unwin, $19.99

Prudence Palmer and her family are ‘doomsday preppers’ living off the grid in small town Australia. But when their worst case scenario happens, Pru and her sisters must face the end of civilisation without their overbearing father. With their town running low on food, the sisters must decide whether to share their supplies or keep it for themselves.

From Australian author Wilkinson comes this wonderful piece of young adult fiction that examines the fascinating ‘doomsday prepper’ phenomenon and uses it to create an exceptional and emotive story with a striking setting. A must-read for Australian teens.

#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil

Freeform Books, $32.99

After Dee Guerrera is falsely convicted of murdering her stepsister, she awakens on Alcatraz 2.0, the island prison where the elaborate executions of America’s most notorious criminals are livestreamed to an adoring public. Teaming up with a posse of teenage criminals, Dee must find a way to survive a series of flamboyant executioners in order to prove her innocence.

#MurderTrending is an electrifying read from McNeil, who specialises in horror and thriller books for older teen readers. With some innovative uses of fictional social media posts and continuous action and thrills, this wildly plotted book is guaranteed to get your heart racing.

Jinxed by Amy McCulloch

Simon & Schuster, $17.99

The next big technological craze is the baku, robotic animal friends that double as your smart phone. Lacey Chu has big dreams of working for MONCHA, baku’s creators, but she lacks the resources to attend the exclusive Profectus Academy until she finds Jinx, a cat baku. As Jinx unlocks opportunities for her, Lacey soon discovers that he is different from the other bakus; he can think for himself.

McCulloch, who also writes under the name Amy Alward, has produced an amazing book that combines a terrific teenage school drama with an intricate techno-thriller. A great novel that will appeal to a wide audience.

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