(This book is suitable for Personal Study – Intermediate 2 and Higher.)
RED TEARS by Joanna Kenrick
This book is about a teenager, Emily, who is studying for her GCSEs. Everyone thinks Emily can cope; they expect her to. But soon Emily struggles. Her “friends” have turned against her and have set up a hate campaign. With no one to turn to Emily starts to self-harm. She manages to hide her problem for a while but soon things go too far.
I found the story compelling, and upsetting in some places. The author described the feelings of the character really well. The story was really powerful and well written.You can get a better idea of what happens in the mind of a self-harmer and can understand a little better how it feels.
I really enjoy reading books by Joanna Kenrick and I think she describes the feelings very well in the rest of her books. She is very talented at putting herself into different positions and I hope she writes more.
By Laura A.
(Suitable for Intermediate 2 Personal Study.)
NUMB3R5 by Rachel Ward
Numbers is a book set in London about a young girl called Jem, but Jem isn’t an ordinary girl. When she looks into people’s eyes she can see the day when they are going to die. When Jem meets a boy called Spider they get seen running away from a terrorist attack on the London Eye so they runaway together but Spider’s number is getting closer. Will Jem be able to stop it or will she find that you can’t avoid death?
Numbers is a fantastically written book by Rachel Ward and I would personally recommend reading it. 10/10
By Jessica S
(Suitable for Intermediate 1 and 2 Personal Study.)
BEFORE I DIE by Jenny Downham
Before I die is a book about a 16 year old girl named Tessa Scott who has had the life threatening illness Leukaemia for four years.
Tessa knows that she doesn’t have much longer to live so sets out to do all the things she wants to do in her life in her small time left.
Before she dies she wants to:
- Lose her virginity
- Drive a car
- Have a long relationship with the right guy
- Take drugs
- Say yes to everything
- And try to enjoy life
Tessa looks like a usual teenager, but she has to deal with a lot more than a normal teenager would. Her parents are split up and she never sees her mum; her brother is a pain and tells her to get a move on and just die; and most of all she has to deal with the pain of having leukaemia. She has go to the hospital a lot and most of the time is in a lot of pain.
In the end Tessa finds her guy and does all the things she wanted to do on her list then nature takes its toll and her short life ends. Thankfully when she does die, she dies happily.
by Kate S
CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella
I have recently finished reading this book and I really enjoyed it.
It was about a young girl called Rebecca Bloomwood who had an addiction to shopping. She worked as a financial journalist and only got paid £21 000 a year so her shopping addiction got her into a lot of debt.
The book gives you a very good description of the way her life was and it helps you to understand the problems she went through.
Rebecca lived in Fulham which is near London. She also worked in London City Centre so she always had access to big and expensive shops. Becky thought her life was boring until she did a piece of writing in the national paper. The presenters of “Morning Coffee” read this and asked her to appear on the show to warn people about and help them with their financial worries. This was a huge hit and because of this, the producers asked her if she would like to do a regular performance on the show.
The story turns out that she gets enough money to pay off all her debts and buy lots of clothes. She also falls in love with her ex-boss who loves her too so they start dating.
This story is a bit like a grown up fairy-tale and I would highly advise anyone to read it. Especially if they like shopping.
By Bethany S
(Suitable for Int 2/Higher Personal Study.)
THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie
I choose this book because my teacher recommended it.
The book begins with Arnold explaining that he was born with “water on the brain”, but the real name for it is hydrocephalus. This means that he has extraordinary physical features to his body like: 42 teeth, poor eye – sight and frequent seizures.
His family, like many on Native American reservations, is poor. This is described in graphic detail when his dad has to shoot his dog, Oscar, to avoid paying the veterinary bills. Arnold’s life is brightened up by his only human friend, Rowdy. Rowdy is always being described by Arnold as “the toughest kid on the Rez”. Rowdy has an abusive home life: his father is a heavy drinker and is constantly beating up him and his mother. Arnold then transfers to Reardan High, a sparkling high school, full of wealthy white kids, with a computer room and chemistry labs. He’s the only Indian — if you don’t count the school mascot. Early on, Arnold fears being beaten up by the jocks because he is an Indian. This is not the case as he is considered hard, and soon earns himself a place on the school basketball team. However, all the kids in the Rez consider him to be a traitor, and when both basketball teams meet to play, a full scale riot almost breaks out. When Arnold finally realizes that he is smarter than most of the white kids that he goes to school with, he wins the heart of Penelope, the most popular girls from school.
This is an absolutely great book. A MUST READ!
By Amand C
(Suitable for Personal Study)
TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY by Jay Asher
I chose this book because I liked the cover basically and when my teacher told me what it was about, it seemed like my kind of book and I really wanted to read it.
The book is about a guy called Clay Jenkins who comes home from school to find a box full of tapes on his doorstep. He found out that they are from Hannah Baker who killed herself a few weeks before.
There are seven tapes in the box. He puts the first tape in the player and is in shock because he can’t believe that she is speaking because she is dead. She explains that the tapes contain a reason and a name: she explains why this person contributes to her death. The tapes are passed on to the people on the list and they have to be passed on so that everyone that is on the tapes knows how they hurt her.
Clay listens to the tapes. In the box there is also a map. Hannah has marked places on the map where the people who hear the tapes can visit to see the place where the event happened.
Clay finds out that he is on cassette five. You see Clay was in love with Hannah, but he didn’t think she felt the same. On the tape he finds out that she liked him back but she was afraid of saying anything, so at a party they get a little close, they kiss and cuddle but then Hannah has a sort of fit and makes Clay go away.
I don’t want to spoil the ending for you so I won’t tell it. I liked this book because it made me think about my life more, and even the smallest of things could affect someone.
By Rebecca L.
This book was so exciting. I was hooked from the very start. I wanted so much to finish it because it was amazing. It was such a good book but it was so sad it ended up making me cry.
The book was about a boy called Clay who came home to find a box full of audio tapes. The tapes were made by Hannah Baker who Clay had feelings for but Hannah had committed suicide two weeks earlier. The tapes are about what happened that caused her to kill herself. Clay listens and goes to the place Hannah’s voice tells him to. Clay turns out to be number 9 on her tapes and she tells him that she had feelings for him; he was only on the tapes so he could understand why and he didn’t belong on the same list as the others. (It was at this point I started to cry.)
The book was so emotional and exciting and it ended so well. You really got to feel how Hannah felt leading up to her suicide.
(An S2 pupil.)
NO TIME FOR GOODBYE by Linwood Barclay
No Time For Goodbye is about a girl called Cynthia who wakes up to find her family are missing. She spends the next 25 years of her life trying to solve the mystery. She finds out loads of interesting information about her lost family and by the end of the book she knows the full story.
My favourite part of the story was at the end when she has found her dad. Her dad is about to die, so he drives off a cliff to save Cynthia. He took the people who were trying to hurt Cynthia over the cliff as well.
The ending of the book is really good because it shows that Cynthia’s life has changed for the better. My favourite character is Cynthia because the book was mainly about her and how losing her family affected her life.
I really enjoyed reading this book and would rate it 8/10.
By Shannon M.