You love to learn about other people's lives, and think a lot about your own journey, too. Why not read something inspiring this summer?'Impossible: My Story' is musician Stan Walker's autobiography. Our Hooked on Books reviewer Grace says "It takes you on a journey from when he was a little kid to now. He shares childhood experiences that may shock and upset but shows what he has had to go through to become the person we know today." If you're into sport, you might like 'The Kiwi Runners’ Family Tree' by Dreydon Sobanja, which comes in two instalments. Our reviewer Daniel reckons "I could write an awful lot about all the amazing stories in this book, but that would take a very long time." You might also like 'Wildboy' by Brando Yelavich, which is about the author's 600-day journey around NZ on foot. Reviewer Abishkar wrote: "I would definitely recommend reading this book if you don’t mind profanities. Brando, you are awesome."'Between Two Worlds' is Emma Outteridge's life story. Amber says "I think this book holds a lot of true and meaningful messages and is a great example of how we can all make a difference in some way... "you can’t do everything, but you can do something.”'Life as a Casketeer' is the story of Francis and Kaiora Tipene and their funeral business. It might not sound like an inspiring story, but it really is uplifting. Our reviewer Eleanor writes "it's been described as "a love story – for whānau, for culture and for each other.” That is a beautiful synopsis really of all the threads woven with care around topics that can be taboo and hard to write about."Find more books to inspire you by checking out the latest takes on NZ books by our teen reviewers:
Escape reality as you know it with something fantastic. Or fantasical, as the case may be...Here in Aotearoa NZ, we have some wonderful fantasy writers at work. One of our top recommendations this year would have to be 'Tim te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues' by H.S Valley, which tells the story of follows the story of a Year 13 student at Fox Glacier High School for the Magically Adept. Although magic has been present all of his life, as his mum and dad both wield it, Tim’s recent experiences at school have been anything but magical. This is a magical queer romance that we think you'll love.'The Unflinching Ash' by Angela Armstrong is another fantasy must-read this summer. Our reviewer Ashika says: "It’s an utterly enjoyable book and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys magic, adventure, romance and a chase."You might also like Lani Wendt Young's 'Telesa' series, sometimes described as 'The Pasifika Twilight.' Sherryl Jordan is a wonderful world-builder and has been producing interesting fantasy novels since the 1980s. Her latest 'The King's Nightingale' is set in a land of sultans and kings, extravagant palaces, and slave markets. Our reviewer Sasha says "reading this book, you can almost feel the desert sand beneath your feet, hear the merchants shouting, see the exquisite architecture."More ideas for you, await in the link to our full treasury of Hooked on Books reviews below.
If sci-fi is your thing, you might like 'Violet Black,' the first book in Eileen Merriman’s Black Spiral Trilogy. Set in the near future, it tells the tale of two teenagers who have survived the deadly M-fever virus. The virus has killed hundreds of people in NZ, with other cases in Germany and Australia. Most patients who get M-fever die from it or develop encephalitis, which also has a high chance of death. Our Hooked on Books reviewers love this book and the next in the series, 'Black Wolf.' 'Hello Strange' by Pamela Morrow is about a humanoid called Josie. Our reviewer Prabhleen reckons it's "an enthralling and exhilarating narrative about the intellect of artificial intelligence" and definitely worth checking out if you like the sound of that.'The Dog Runner' and 'Across the Risen Sea' by Bren MacDibble are more dystopian than sci-fi, but they both come highly recommended by our reviewers. Younger readers will like 'Cool Nukes' by Des Hunt. Our reviewer Sophie writes "Biker gangs, peculiar scientists and one dangerous arch-nemesis. This is what Maximilian Taylor has to deal with on a day-to-day basis... When his maths tutor suddenly disappears and sends anonymous messages, it is up to him and his friends to prove that cold fusion works. Even if it means putting their lives in danger. The clock is ticking…Click the link to find more reviews of YA and junior fiction, written especially for you by teen readers:
Reading transports us to new, exciting places, as well as to old, exciting places! In these days of Covid restrictions, novels have never been so welcome. We think you'll like these historical novels penned by NZ authors.David Hill’s 'Coastwatcher' is an exciting book, based on the true stories of the real coastwatchers that operated during the Second World War. Our review Daniel writes: "the cover, with its silhouette of a soldier’s head, draws you to this book and makes you curious... the blurb on the back suggests danger and war and spies, and this is the kind of intrigue you can expect all the way through the book."Travel back in time and place with 'The Other Sister,' by Philippa Werry. It's 1920 and Tilly faces uncertainty about her future. Our reviewer Savarna writes "it’s about finding your way in a new world and the prejudices girls faced – even after the war when they’d taken the men’s places and worked in their jobs."Fleur Beale's 'The Calling' is also about a young woman working out her future, but is based in the 1890's. Reviewer Caitlin describes it as a story about following your heart. She found it hard it put down."Just imagine that you are sailing across the Antarctic ocean with snow and hail pelting down on you like needles from the sky..." That's how Sophie's review of 'Shackleton's Endurance' begins. It's a historical novel by Joanna Grochowicz and comes highly recommended.Click the link to find more reviews of YA and junior fiction, written especially for you by teen readers:
Who can resist a good mystery? These novels make excellent summer reading: picture it now, you're comfy on the couch with a warm breeze coming through the window and a cool drink to hand... just add a book!Younger readers might like the brand new 'Spark Hunter' by Sonya Wilson. Nissa Marshall knows that something is hiding deep in the forests of Fiordland National Park – she’s seen their lights in the trees. But what are they, and why does no one else seem to notice them?'Cry of the Taniwha' by Des Hunt is a mystery novel set in Rotorua. Our reviewer Savarna writes: "the first word that came to my mind when I was trying to sum up this book was ‘suspense,’ with ‘action’ coming a close second. And with those two combined, they could only lead to a recipe for a very engrossing mystery!" Hunt's most recent novel, 'Red Edge', is set in Christchurch's Red Zone. It's also a mysterious page-turner!After a graphic novel? Jonathan King's 'The Inkberg Enigma' could be just what you're looking for. Nell writes: "a mysterious iceberg made of ink, an age-old Antarctic mystery, a dangerous deep-sea monster, and a small fishing town with a big secret...This book has it all." A novel that will grip you from the start? Try 'The Nancys' and 'Nancy Business', both by RWR McDonald. Our reviewer Ashika describes these books as mysteries with added humour, drama and love. She writes: "I admire how McDonald is able to bring this mystery together, weaving all the clues, characters and drama into a magnificent story."Click the link below for more reviews from teen readers like you:
We reckon you deserve some proper you-time with a good book over the summer. But maybe you're after something fun and light, rather than anything too serious?First, let us recommend '#Tumeke', by Michael Petherick, who brings you the lives, loves and larrikin spirit of an inner-city neighbourhood. The story is told through texts, Instagram posts, emails, fliers, committee minutes, posters, diary entries, blog posts, chatrooms, school homework, raps and the reliably bonkers community noticeboard. We highly recommend!An anthology of short stories or poetry, or even better, both, might be your cup of tea this summer? We recommend the brand new collection 'Skinny Dip' which brings together NZ's best young poets in one volume. There's also the latest 'AUP Poets', #8, that you'll enjoy dipping in and out of. Our reviewer Stuti writes: "this book features three astonishing and unique authors, whose words have brought rich and deeper meaning into my life." 'Three Scoops' by David Hill is another goodie - three short stories, spanning three genres.H.S. Valley’s 'Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues' is a tale of the nature of relationships, an exploration of the magic in our lives, and a comforting spark of life for LGBTQIA+ youth in New Zealand.If you're after something uplifting, we think you'll like 'Learning to love Blue' by Saradha Koirala, the story of Paig who travels to Melbourne to pursue her dream of playing bass. Our reviewer says: "I would recommend this book to anyone who is after a little adventure, or to someone who needs to be encouraged to not give up on their dreams."Click the link below to find more reviews of junior and YA fiction, written by readers like you: