Award: Awesome Indies: APPROVED
Author: Rosaline Riley
This is a coming-of-age novel set in the 1950s and 60s in Lancashire. Its point-of-view protagonist is Ellen, a working class girl who becomes friends with middle class Erica when she goes to the convent school in the neighbouring town. Focussing on both Ellen’s home life and her school life (which she tries to keep separate), the novel explores the gains and the losses that education and religion provide over the course of her school years. Thematically, it’s a novel about friendship, love, loss, and death. Social class is also dealt with lightly. There are dark passages in the novel, but also much humour. Each chapter is a month of the year – beginning with September to reflect the structure of the school year. This framework also allows for treatment of the seasons and the liturgical year. The months are sequential but the years are not. Between September 1959 and September 1966 the years go back and forth (with some flashbacks to earlier years).
Categories: Coming of Age, Coming of Age, New Adult, Seal of Excellence Recipients, YA Action Adventure, YA Fantasy, YA metaphysical, YA Romance, Young Adult
Tags: Adventure, compassion, demons, emotional health, magic, self-development, Sword & Sorcery, YA Romance
Author: Tahlia Newland
Series: Diamond Peak
Publisher: S & H Publishing
Ariel and Nick face their deepest fears and their greatest challenge as they search for the Master Demon who holds the key to the future of mankind. Slay him and the world goes free; fail, and it falls irrevocably into violence and chaos. Guided by a wisdom master of a mystical tradition that uses mind power as the basis of powerful magic, the assault party travels from the ancient granite walls of the Hermitage, up the Steps of Death, and through a labyrinth of shifting gorges to the Palace of Skulls. Even if Nick wins his struggle with the scars of his past and defeats the green-eyed head of the Cogin clan, they still must cross the scree slope, where the bones of Ariel’s father lie, to get to the ice caves beneath the summit where the Master Demon awaits. The journey is extraordinary, the enemies are deadly and the ending is mind-blowing.
What kind of a boy would it take to convince two high school teachers to risk their careers? Times have changed since Jim Stevens chose to teach. Protocol designed to protect children now makes all pupil/teacher relationships taboo – even those that might benefit a student. What kind of boy would cause Jim to risk his career? A boy who can clothe a word in sarcasm; disguise disdain with respect. So what is it that Jim finds he has in common with 14-year-old Shamayal Thomas as they study the large framed photograph of an owl that hands above the fireplace? It is Aimee White’s owl, to be specific. At least, that’s how Jim thinks of it. A powerful exploration of the ache of loss, set in a landscape where broken people can find each other.
Categories: Coming of Age, Literary Fiction, Metaphysical & Visionary, Romance, Seal of Excellence Recipients, Women's Fiction
Tags: Aboriginal magic, Adventure, Australia, betrayal, epiphany, inheritance, love, metaphysical, outback, self-realisation, sex, YA Romance
Author: Barbara Scott Emmett
Publisher: Pentalpha Publishing Edinburgh
Inheritance, betrayal, love, sex, aboriginal magic and a sleazy lawyer. What more could you want? 1987. The morning after the Great Storm. A letter drops through the door of Jess Whitelaw’s London flat and sets her on a journey through the Australian Outback and her own damaged psyche. In the heat and dust of the Northern Territory, Jess’s protective armour is chipped away as painful truths are revealed. Tension builds like thunderheads heralding the start of the Wet. Will Jess be able to come to terms with the guilt she feels? Will she ever learn that the past is not so terrifying when looked at the right way?
Author: Andrew JH Sharp
Publisher: Picnic Publishing Ltd
Zachye Katura, tending cattle in the grasslands of Kaaro Karungi, and Michael Lacey, the child of missionaries, are happy in their childhood idyll. But the world around them is changing, propelling them towards tragedy.
Category: Coming of Age
Author: Jaye Frances
Publisher: Redstone Press;
Amy is the ultimate trophy girl--gorgeous face, killer body, and a vivacious personality. But there's something else about her, something that makes her even more special. Amy is new. A transfer student from out of state, she's starting her senior year without knowing a soul. And that means she's up for grabs, available.Infatuated from the moment he sees her, David is determined to meet Amy, and if the fates are willing, to spend the rest of his life with her. But his shyness prevents him from approaching her--until his friends devise a contest to determine who will be the first to prove their manhood by seducing her.
In 1983, Vee buried a box of mementoes at her husband's newly-dug grave. Twenty-five years later, on the anniversary of the day she buried him, Vee finds this box on her doorstep. But why did she bury that box full of keepsakes and who would be cruel enough to dig it up and send it to her so many years later? The mystery is slowly revealed as Vee drifts in and out of memories--her childhood in Northern Ontario during the 1950s and 1960s, her love affair with a charming Québécois man, a family wrenched apart by pride, a loss that unhinged her--and as her daughter, Lise, pieces together the puzzle of her mother’s past in an attempt not only to understand her mother's life, but also her own.
Author: Carol Davis Luce
Behind closed doors, a young mind is awakened to a world bigger than innocent brown eyes can imagine. Suzy Kovak learns early how to keep a secret. One secret she didn’t keep. “When I was six, I sat Danny down on the curb and told him his mother was his grandmother and his sister was his mother—and that made him a bastard. A bastard, I said, was a really bad thing to be. It sent him into his house wailing, and bought us a one-way ticket out of my Aunt Flora’s court complex.” Latchkey kids, Suzy and her brother, watch out for each other until he finds a new best friend. Forced to fend for herself, Suzy becomes a target for bullies. Growing up in Southern California in the 50s wasn't exactly root beer floats and sock hops. Their single mother struggles to keep the family together. Suzy feels lucky to get in good the cool kids who would cut their mark into the flesh of anyone clumsy enough to cross the gang. Tough teen-agers take care of themselves. Yet sometimes a girl still needs her mom even if her mom is less than perfect. Suzy holds tight to her secrets—until she meets the one person who unlocks her mind and sets the secrets free.
Tag: Sword & Sorcery
Author: LJ Cohen
Series: The Changeling's Choice
Publisher: Interrobang Books
This is not Shakespeare's Oberon and Titania. And Lydia has no desire to be their chosen one. Welcome to the subtle war between overt and covert magic, where every choice has consequences. THE BETWEEN, Changeling's Choice book 1: a modern take on the myths of Faerie. High school senior, Lydia Hawthorne, is less than grateful when Oberon has her snatched from the mortal world and she finds out she's actually Fae. And not just any Fae, but a trueborn with enough inherent magic to tip the balance between Oberon and Titania's warring Bright and Shadow courts. But that's their game and she doesn't want to play by their rules. Together with Clive Barrow, a Bright Court Fae with embarrassing family ties to the mortal world, Lydia fights to regain her old life, fueling her magic with the very human power of love and loss, challenging the essential nature of Faerie itself