- Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
- Run or Die by Kilian Jornet
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
1. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Growing up as the daughter of a Fighter Pilot, life for Spensa was good. With the colonised planet of Detritus constantly under attack from an Alien race, know only as the Krell, fighter pilots, such as Spensa’s Father, are the only thing defending the colony from near certain destruction. Earning them a legendary status among the inhabitants of Detritus and an automatic place among the elites of society. Making Spensa’s life the stuff of dreams and envied by all. Until Spensa’s father died…
Spensa’s Father was not only accused of deserting his Flight and turning his back on the colony but, also attacking them too. Leaving a life of mistrust and difficulty for his wife and daughter, in place of the perfect eutopia they once enjoyed.
Now, not only being considerably ‘strange’ but, also the daughter of a traitor, her father ensured that growing up, Spensa was a social outcast, all the other kids her age shunning her, for something her father may, or may not have done. What happened to writing your own destiny? and everyone being an individual responsible for their own actions?
With her father now gone and her mother working all hours to support her, Spensa has no one to comfort her but, her ancient Grandmother. Being part of the crew which originally crashed on Detritus, her Grandmother still has vivid memories of the old home of human civilisation, Earth. With nothing else to do her Grandmother provides Spensa with entertainment necessary to pass the time, should she need it. Fueled by her Grandmother’s stories from Earth and it’s ancient heroes, Spensa has dreamed for years of proving herself and restoring her father’s honour, just as the heroes of old would have.
Every single waking moment Spensa, has spent preparing and studying the material necessary for her to pass the entrance exam to flight academy, beginning on the road to her Father’s redemption and the restoration of his and their families’ honour. The only problem is the Academy don’t want the chaos of a traitors daughter as one of their cadets. It simply isn’t feasible. Now, with the news that even with a perfect score, Spensa may not make it into the Academy, any little resolve that was holding her together begins to fall apart. Her one motivation in life a lie.
So, the question is, will Spensa be able to hold it together and attempt the test, no matter how small the odds are for her to pass? Or will she crumble and abandon her life’s ambition of being a pilot like her Father?
AGE RATING: 14+
TEEN RATING: 5.1/5
TEEN OVERVIEW: I literally don’t know how I will possible survive the months until October of 2019, when ‘Starsight’, the prequel to Skyward, is set to be released. I literally can’t wait. Absolutely sensational work from Sanderson, especially when in comparison with his previous novels. Sanderson consistently smashes any notion of a level for an incredible novel and sets the bar higher than previously even thought possible.
2. Run or Die by Kilian Jornet
Run Or Die by Kilian Jornet
“Kiss or kill. Besa o mata. Kiss glory or die in the attempt. Losing is death; winning is life. The fight is what decides the victory, the winner. How often have rage and pain made you cry? How often has exhaustion made you lose your memory, voice, common sense? And how often in this state have you exclaimed, with a broad smile on your face, “The final stage! Two more hours! Go, onward, upward! That pain only exists inside your head. Control it, destroy it, eliminate it, and keep on. Make your rivals suffer. Kill them” I am selfish right? Sport is selfish, because you must be selfish to know how to fight on while you suffer, to love solitude and hell. Stopping, coughing, feeling cold, not feeling your legs, feeling sick, vomitting, getting headaches, cuts, bleeding…can you think of anything better?” ~ An excerpt from The Sky Runner’s Manifesto and the code that Kilian Journet lives by.
Growing up in the remote Pyrenees mountains, constantly outdoors, anyone could have guessed Kilian would end up working there too. But, no one, maybe not even kilian himself knew he’d end up becoming, first off a world renowned Mountaineer but, an Ultrarunner or Sky Runner both. Or even that he would excel at all those sports, so much so that he would become world renowned in not just one but, all of those such disciplines. And even knowing this, no one would have guessed he’d grow up to hold the previous records for ascending and descending the of the Matterhorn, Mount Blanc, Denali and even Everest. Neither would they have been able to even begin to guess he’d go on to win The Buff Sky Runner world series three years in a row, while also being the youngest ever athlete to do so in the first place and to be ‘The National Geographic Adventurer Of The Year 2014’. Knowing all of this you would assume Kilian would be satisfied with what he’d achieved, he’d literally won everything there is to win and that he’d relax into the remaining years of his life, a happy man. Well you’d be wrong.
What makes Kilian so interesting isn’t the impossible things he’s accomplished in his lifetime but, the manner in which he did so and the reasons why he does what he does. When you know this you’ll understand why simply, ‘winning’, isn’t enough. It isn’t about finishing in first place. It isn’t about beating the others. It’s about overcoming yourself.
AGE RATING: 13+
TEEN RATING: 5/5
TEEN OVERVIEW: An absolutely breathtakingly imaginative journey. And a stark reminder to everyone of us, whether we have simply forgotten it, never knew it or have chosen to ignore it; of the potential power of our mindset over our actions, situations and our life on a whole. I would without a doubt recommend this book, to anyone interested in reading of any sort, whether you’re interested in sports or not, this book will, at the very least, change you’re fundamental outlook on life, whatever about what might happen if you really become absorbed in it…
3. The Hunger Games by Suzane Collins
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In the region currently known as North America, the last known cradle of human civilisation holds it’s last stand. Presumably as a result of a global war, the last remnant of the human race now reside in North America, or Panem. Panem is made up of thirteen Districts and the Capitol. Each District being responsible for the production of a product, which is then used in the Capitol to fuel their lavish lifestyles or to ensure the Districts’ will to rebel is subdued.
Both these criteria and the Rising of the Districts resulted in the creation of the Hunger Games. As punishment for the Rising, each year since the Capitol’s victory, every District has been required to provide one male and one female tribute, under the age of eighteen, to participate in their games. The winner of which would earn gain, oil and prosperity for their home District. To do so the winning tribute would have to be the last tribute left alive…
Katniss Everdeen’s world nearly ends when her younger sister Prim, is called upon to represent District 12. So Katniss does the only thing that would let her sleep at night, she takes Prim’s place. To have any chance of ever seeing her sister again Katniss will have to be the last tribute standing in the Arena. Which means Katniss would have to stand by, while one of her own, a boy from her own district is murdered. To make matters worse the boy has grown up with Katniss and attended school with her. And what’s more, Katniss knows him by name.
But Katniss’ family needs her, ever since her father’s death in the coal mine, both her sister, Prim, and her mother rely on the game she illegally hunts in the Capitol’s forest. As hard as life is now, even with Katniss’ help, they never have to worry about a shortage of food, without which they’d be hard pressed to survive more than a week. Which means Katniss has to come back from the Games, if she wants her family to survive. No matter who or what she faces in the arena, she must survive. If she fails then her sacrificing herself for Prim was all for nothing.
Unfortunately to make matters even worse, Katniss is getting confusing feelings about how she views the boy from District 12 but, will she let them get the better of her, dooming her family or will she put the survival of her family and her own life first?
AGE RATING: 13+
TEEN RATING: 5/5
TEEN OVERVIEW: Incredibly detailed and well rounded, it’s effect on the world and it’s resulting legacy, a monument to it’s brilliance.