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All reviews tagged with Claire Hennessy

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A Crack in Everything

The day Izzy sees the graffiti angel in the streets of Dublin is the day everything changes. Pulled into the world of the Sidhe, she learns about the hidden realm of Dubh Linn that intersects with mortal reality, and gets caught up in an age-old war. Long’s background as a librarian and folklore enthusiast shines…

Across the Universe

Godspeed, the largest ship ever built when it left Earth 250 years ago, hurtles towards its destination: a new planet another fifty years away, ready for colonisation by its cryogenically frozen passengers. Seventeen-year-old Amy – considered non-essential cargo and on board only because both her parents are considered crucial to the mission – is woken…

Afterworlds

Part contemporary novel set in the heady world of New York publishing, and part paranormal romance, the latest Scott Westerfeld occupies curious territory. Its protagonist, eighteen-year-old Darcy, has just sold her debut YA novel and is deferring her first year of college to concentrate on rewrites; in alternating chapters we read that same novel, in…

Alice & Megan’s Cookbook

In the great tradition of so many children’s books, Judi Curtin writes vividly about the wonders of food – but this time readers can bring these treats to life. Despite Alice’s notorious Home Ec disasters, she’s managed to talk Megan into writing a recipe book – or rather, Megan’s stepped in to ensure Alice doesn’t…

Angel Kiss

“When I like a guy, I tend to examine every word that comes out of his mouth with the determination of a profiler interviewing a suspect,” Jacki King notes in Laura Jane Cassidy’s debut novel, Angel Kiss. Angel Kissis a blend of suspense, crime, the supernatural, and contemporary realism – Jacki may be someone with…

Birthmarked

In the twenty-fifth century, drastic climate change has left water in short supply. Technology is limited, and the worldwide communication systems of our own era – referred to here as ‘the cool age’ – are a thing of the past. Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone is an apprentice midwife, following in her mother’s footsteps. Each month, the…

Brides of Rollrock Island

On Rollrock Island, a witch discovers she has the power to call seals from the sea and release the women within, so that they may marry the men of this small community. Within a generation or two, the seal-wives are the only women on the island, but they long to return to their true home.…

Bumped

In the not-so-distant future, a virus ensures that the only members of society capable of getting pregnant are teenage girls. Fertility and control over the female body are familiar topics for dystopian fiction to address, but McCafferty’s take on them is unusual. Rather than a grim, grey world, the reader is presented with a fast-moving,…

Chain Reaction (A Perfect Chemistry Novel)

Luis is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, a boy whose family has a history with local gangs that’s hard to shake off. Nikki is a girl with trust issues, especially when it comes to anyone who might be involved in a gang. When she meets Luis, there’s an immediate attraction –…

Etiquette and Espionage

Sophronia Temminick is not a proper young lady – she prefers climbing and mischief to proper manners or pretty dresses. So when her mother sends her to a Finishing Academy, she presumes it won’t at all be her cup of tea. But Mademoiselle Geraldine’s school isn’t just about how to properly curtsy – it’s a…

Every Other Day

Sixteen-year-old Kali lives in a world where preternatural creatures are real and studied in university science labs. Her father is an expert on these monsters, but she still hasn’t told him – or anyone – about her own mysterious supernatural power. Every twenty-four hours she shifts from an ordinary human girl to a fearless, powerful…

Falling

Cat Clarke’s young adult fiction never shies away from exploring just how nasty teenagers can be to one another, and how sometimes it really is too late to do the right thing. Falling is a short read from Barrington Stoke, particularly targeted towards dyslexic and reluctant readers, but it is every bit as edgy and intense as…

Flight of Dragons

There’s a cosy old-fashioned charm to this fourth book in Vivian French’s Tales of the Five Kingdoms series. This is a world filled with genuinely good people, like the Trueheart Gracie Gillypot and the adventure-seeking Prince Marcus, who set out to find a lost dragon’s egg before evil forces – especially the terrifying Old Malignancy – get…

Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind

Fourteen-year-old Archie is a Geek who spends his Friday nights engaged in Role Playing Games, and whose Interior Monologue reveals the thoughts he can’t share with his friends and doesn’t dare express around his mum and her boyfriend, ‘Tony the Tosser’. This self-deprecating hero understands that when a girl – a pretty girl, at that…

Image & Imagination: Ideas and Inspiration for Teen Writers

The teenage years are a curious time for young writers: on the one hand, it is a time of creativity and having much to say, and on the other hand, there are so many rules and regulations for writing within a school system that they grow wary of getting it ‘wrong’. Image & Imagination is…

Like Other Girls

It’s doubtful whether anybody over the age of forty could have written this book as the world it portrays – teenagers who are ‘transitioning’ to become the opposite sex as well as those with serious alcohol problems (and they’re only sixteen) just wouldn’t have figured back in their day. Or if they did, they certainly…

Memories

Claire Hennessy’s latest novel is written in a fastmoving teenage vernacular and told in the present tense by three teenage girls. This device provides different perspectives upon the action and, despite the constant shifting from one narrator to another, the story is skilfully moved along at a steady pace. The characters are convincing and engaging,…

My Story: The Hunger

Originally published in 2001, The Hunger is a 2015 reissue of one of the My Story books, all of which focus on first-person accounts of key moments in European and American history.  The year is 1845. Phyllis McCormack is fourteen in rural Ireland – just old enough to begin questioning the way her country is…

My Story: The Hunger

Originally published in 2001, The Hunger is a 2015 reissue of one of the My Story books, all of which focus on first-person accounts of key moments in European and American history. The year is 1845. Phyllis McCormack is fourteen in rural Ireland – just old enough to begin questioning the way her country is…

Night Shift

‘I had lost my compass and without it any map was forfeit.’ Debi Gliori, best known for ‘lovely’ picturebooks for younger readers, reminds us here that illustrated texts are not just for kids. The heroine of Night Shift is deeply depressed, through the condition is never named as such. Instead, a combination of pencil drawings…

Noble Conflict

Kaspar Wilding is a newly-graduated Guardian, following in his dead parents’ footsteps and charged with protecting the citizens of the Alliance from the dangerous Insurgents. But his own interactions with the enemy don’t quite match up with what he and his friends have always been taught, and soon the cracks in the so-called ‘truth’ begin…

Panther

Derrick’s life has never been the same since his older sister Charlotte’s suicide attempt, and now her depression hangs over the family home, disrupting everything. Derrick overeats, is isolated from his friends, and obsesses over Charlotte’s former best friend. The only thing that keeps him going is news of a panther prowling around the area…

Prized

This sequel to Birthmarked follows teenage midwife Gaia, on the run from the corrupt Enclave and with her new-born sister in tow, as she travels to the Dead Forest in search of her grandmother and some answers. When she arrives at Sylum, what she gets instead are further questions. Why are so few of the babies born…

Romans (Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonders)

This book, along a volume on the Egyptians, marks the beginning of Tony Robinson’s new series about history for children. The ‘Weird World of Wonders’ features a cast of characters known as the ‘Curiosity Crew’, who hover around the pages of this book offering up comments on the pictures and details given about the Roman…

The Babysitters Club: The Summer Before

Taking the opposite approach to Francine Pascal, whose follow-up ten years on to the Sweet Valley High series is aimed at nostalgic adult readers, Martin’s prequel to the highly successful ‘Babysitters Club’ series is designed to lure a new generation of young readers into the world of Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey and Dawn. The…

The Kissing Game

Unlike Chambers’s last work, the 800-plus-page This Is All, his new book – a collection of short stories – is a slim volume, though almost as broad in its scope as the previous. The topics covered include murder, human trafficking, human (and animal) nature, the environment, religion, injury, grief and love. The reader may reasonably…

The Lost Gods

In this sequel to The Sleeping Army, the Norse gods arrive in a Britain that worships them in name only, but in practice spends more time obsessing over celebrities. With the Frost Giants threatening to wreak havoc on the world, waking from their frozen slumber, the Gods are needed to defend this alternate world more…

The Queen’s Tale

Wicked stepmothers sometimes get a bit of a hard time in fairytales, but in Kaye Umansky’s retelling of Snow White it’s difficult not to have at least a little sympathy for the vain yet charismatic narrator. Sure, she’s a little evil – she mixes poisons in her secret lair, spends all of her husband’s money on shoes,…

Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonder: Egyptians

This ‘Weird World of Wonders’ book opens with all the wonders of the ancient world, and moves on specifically to address the Pyramids of Egypt and Egyptian culture more generally. As with other volumes in this series (the Romans, the British and the Greeks titles are already available; World War II will be published in…

Trial by Fire

In this sequel to Raised by Wolves, Jennifer Lynn Barnesexplores the dynamics of an unusual werewolf pack – mostly young, female and led by a human girl, Bryn, rather than a wolf – as they face threats from another pack and a coven of psychics. Strong female leads are always welcome in teen fantasy. Bryn’s role as…

Will Gallows and the Thunder Dragon’s Roar

Fantasy collides with the western in the second volume of the Will Gallows series. The title character, half-human and half-elf, inhabits
a world of cowboys – albeit sky cowboys – and sheriffs, as well as Native American- inspired elves and mages. As tensions grow between cowboys and elves, Will uncovers
a sinister plot and things get worse when
his…

Words to Tie to Bricks: Creative Writing from CTYI

Words to Tie to Bricks is an anthology of poetry, stories and other short writing from an intensive course run by Claire Hennessy for the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland at Dublin City University. The fifteen authors are aged 14-17, and the book is sold in aid of St Michael's House, which provides services to…

Yet to be Told (Stories by Fourth Year Students, Mount Carmel Secondary School)

This collection of stories from twenty-four Transition Year students in Mount Carmel Secondary School serves more a celebration of young people discovering and enjoying writing – unsurprisingly, given its publisher is Fighting Words – than an anthology to be thoroughly enjoyed by readers. While there are some excellent stories in here, others feel unfinished –…

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