Themes of race and mental health dominated the YA books reviewed so far in January.

Amy reviewed two YA titles. First up was Bro by Helen Chebette:

It tells the story of the danger of boys and their masculinity, peer pressure, “national pride”, racism, and trying to belong. It’s a book people should read about feeling different, and the consequences of male pride.

The second book Amy reviewed was Julia Lawrinson’s Before You Forget.

This is a book that covers a range of mental health issues, highlighting how they affect those around them as much as it shows how it affects those that suffer from them.

Amanda of Mrs B’s Book Reviews also reviewed two YA fiction titles this month: the classic Australian YA book: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchett and The Last Days of Us by Beck Nicholas.

Also reviewing two titles this month was Emily Wrayburn who highly recommends Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian, a title which delves deeply into mental health issues. The second of Emily’s reviews was Awakening by Cassandra Page. 

Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster  was reviewed by Brenda, who said:

The magical fantasy was done in such a believable way, it was easy to visualise the sights Esme was seeing – feel her emotions and fears.

HM Waugh reviewed Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell & Fiona Wood and gave it a book hug.

The book is chock-full of positive ways for teens (especially girls) to learn to feel good about who they are, but without that terrible feeling you’re getting a super-side-serve of preaching with your fiction. It’s simply a beautifully masterful, exciting and enlightening book.

Be aware… it, like a lot of teenage life these days, is peppered with swear words, sexual references, awkward sex scenes, drugs and alcohol… so I guess I’m saying it comes with an appropriate age bracket warning. The characters are 16, I’d hazard a guess at 13+ for readership.

Finally, indie author, R.L.Sanderson’s book, The Dying Flame was reviewed by Lisa.

Orla is a great main character, a tough but scared girl with an understandable need for vengeance. [The Dying Flame]…really goes to show that indie authors can put out stories just as wonderful as those traditionally published.

Have a great month reading YA fiction.


About N L King

Nadia is a young adult author and short story writer. A second edition of her book, Jenna’s Truth, which tackles cyber bullying head on, will be out in April 2018 from Serenity Press.

If you want to find out what other great fiction books were reviewed this month, check out our AWW database.