Variant X, by Sue Robinson (199 pages) – A deadly strain of botfly (these are horrific insects that lay their eggs inside living animals) strikes parts of Australia, and Adam and his scientist father go to South America to find some sort of remedy. Things go wrong, as they only can when flies lay their eggs in you.
Loathing Lola, by William Kostakis (346 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Courtney agrees to have her life shown on national television. She doesn’t think of herself as especially unusual, and she could do with the money (her family needs it). But she doesn’t anticipate what fame brings it.
The Traitor Game, by B. R. Collins (296 pages) – Best friends Francis and Michael have created a complex and engaging world of their own, called Evgard. Michael thinks that Francis has betrayed him over their world ; but has he really? His reaction can only make things worse. There is also a story set in Evgard, which is interwoven with the main story. (I enjoyed this book a lot.)
Blood Ties, by Sophie McKenzie (438 pages) – Theo and Rachel are linked by the firebombing of a research clinic, and are targetted by a group named RAGE; the Righteous Army against Genetic Engineering. They soon discover things about their pasts that are life-altering. Unputdownable, according to critics on Amazon!
Beneath My Mother’s Feet, by Amjed Qamar (198 pages) – From the catalogue’s synopsis: When her father is injured, fourteen-year-old Nazia is pulled away from school, her friends, and her preparations for an arranged marriage, to help her mother clean houses in a wealthy part of Karachi, Pakistan, where she finally rebels against the destiny that is planned for her.’
Rain, by Kate Le Vann (218 pages) – Rain Lindsay discovers her long-dead mother’s diary while staying with her grandmother in London, revealing some ‘unsettling secrets’. She also meets Harry, a student who is helping to renovate the house. True love blossoms!
Kiss Me Kill Me, by Lauren Henderson (260 pages) – Scarlett is desperate to be with the ‘in’ crowd at her exclusive London school, and is invited to a party, where the guy she fancies shows interest in her. But when he suddenly dies in front of her, Scarlett flees to another school, where she and a new friend try to solve the cause of his poorly-timed demise. (Not botflies.)
Chalice, by Robin McKinley (263 pages) – From the catalogue: A beekeeper by trade, Mirasol’s life changes completely when she is named the new Chalice, the most important advisor to the new Master, a former priest of fire. Apparently the world created in this relatively slim book is fully realised and ‘richly imagined’.