Boy in a White Room by Karl Olsberg, reviewed by Tegan

This book was definitely an interesting read. From the first line, I was hooked.

Olsberg created a character that you wanted to read more about without even knowing lots of things about him. The book explores the story of a young boy called Manuel who wakes up in a white room and doesn’t know where he is. As he investigates his life from inside the room, he discovers things that would turn his world upside down.

I would say that this book is for 14+, as it does delve quite deeply into some quite complex things. However, I very much enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystery or science fiction. 

Hi, my name is Tegen and I am fourteen years old. I enjoy reading book genres like fantasy, crime and adventure. Some of my favourite authors are Holly Black, Alice Oseman, Stephen King and John Green. My other interests include playing chess, horse riding and writing. My favourite quote from a book is ‘that’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt’ from the fault in our stars.’ 

About the book

A gripping YA sci-fi thriller perfect for fans of Ready Player One and The Maze Runner. A boy wakes to find himself locked in a white room. He has no memories, no idea who he is and no idea how he got there.

A computer-generated voice named Alice responds to his questions – through her, he is able to access the internet. He gradually pieces together his story – an abduction, a critical injury, snippets of his past … But how can the boy tell what’s real and what’s not? Who is he really? A gripping YA sci-fi thriller by German and Spiegel-bestselling author, Karl Olsberg.

The novel has sold 40,000 copies in Germany alone and been optioned for TV development by Netflix. Explores themes of virtual worlds, artificial intelligence, philosophy and identity.

The Boy I Am by K.L. Kettle, reviewed by Mel

Wow. When I read that this book was a dystopian thriller, I didn’t really know what to expect as I’m not the biggest fan of dystopians, yet I am a huge fan of thrillers. The Boy I Am was everything and more you can get from a book. There is an insane amount of plot and character building right from the get go, with carefully placed flashbacks which really let you connect with the main character, Jude Grant, in a way which I find rare in a book. The conflict/battle scenes were detailed on a level similar to The Maze Runner- every scene was clear and I didn’t get confused once. Jude Grant undergoes insane character development throughout this book as his beliefs of the world around him slowly crumble as the reality of the situation is revealed.

Such an interesting and well executed look into different types of power and gender roles.

A fantastic book for anyone who loves plot twists, thrillers, dystopians and fight scenes!!!!

 As I kid I always adored reading, and it was my number one hobby. That filtered away for a bit when I started secondary school, but since getting back into it again over lockdown I haven’t been able to stop. My mums an english teacher, so
she’s always encouraged me to read and help me understand how amazing it is. I am an optimistic, chatty, kind person with a big love for animals and treating the planet kindly. I took Early Modern History, Psychology, and English Lang/Lit (combined) for A level to help myself gain a better understanding of the reasons behind people’s actions

About the book

They say we’re dangerous. But we’re not that different.

Jude is running out of time.

Once a year, lucky young men in the House of Boys are auctioned to the female elite. But if Jude fails to be selected before he turns seventeen, a future deep underground in the mines awaits. Yet ever since the death of his best friend at the hands of the all-powerful Chancellor, Jude has been desperate to escape the path set out for him.

Finding himself entangled in a plot to assassinate the Chancellor, he finally has a chance to avenge his friend and win his freedom. But at what price?

A speculative YA thriller, tackling themes of traditional gender roles and power dynamics, for fans of Malorie Blackman, Louise O’Neill and THE POWER.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, reviewed by Farrah

Going into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The concept sounded fascinating, but the execution was even better.

‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ follows Kell and Lila within a world of multiple dimensions.  As a traveller, Kell is one of the only two people who can travel between the world’s London’s: Grey, Red and White.  Black London has long since been destroyed.  Kell and Lila have a chance meeting and from that moment their story unfolds, as they attempt to save Red London from the darker forces attempting to penetrate from Black London.  

I found the world immersive, the characters three-dimensional and the story action packed from the very first page.  I read it in two days and have already continued on with the trilogy.

Book Review by Farrah Hoskins.

I’ve set myself the challenge of reading seventy five books this year & already I’ve read forty five. I hope this gives you an insight into how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading.  I’ve been reading more YA fantasy novels through my @readbyfarrah BookTok & have become obsessed with the series written by Leigh Bardugo, Victoria Aveyard, Sarah J. Maas, Alice Oseman, Cassandra Clare & V.E. Schwab.  As a staunch Gryffindor, my all time favourite Harry Potter book is The Goblet of Fire, oh & The Deathly Hallows…I can’t choose between those two: you can’t have one without the other six!  I credit Harry Potter for igniting my love of fantasy novels, but I love to fall down the rabbit hole of classics & crime fiction.  My Grandpa introduced me to Sherlock Holmes at a young age & I’m a massive fan of who dunnit novels by Agatha Christie, Robin Stevens & Karen M. McManus’ ‘One Of Us Is Lying.’

My current favourite book is ‘The Song of Achilles’. I defy all my reluctant reading friends not to be crushed by Madeline Miller’s masterpiece.   My passion for Greek Mythology started with a beautifully illustrated Usborne children’s guide, which has certainly influenced my choice of GCSE Classics.  Moving forward, I hope to study it at A Level, & fingers crossed at university along with English Lit.  I’ve read Stephen Fry’s fantastic ‘Mythos,’ Natalie Haynes’ ‘A Thousand Ships’ & Mary Beard’s Ancient Rome book entitled ‘SPQR.’ Even though I tend to steer clear of horror stories I do actively seek strong female role models & stories with good representation from the lgbtq plus community & books by authors of colour. 

If you need to reach me, I’ll be in my room ‘manifesting’ the third Six of Crows book!