When I was younger and started to read more ‘grown up’ novels I came across a book named ‘Between Shades of Grey’ by Ruta Sepetys. I was around about 12/13 when I read this book and since then I have always said it is one of my favourites. It was a hard-hitting book for me to read at that age and I think that’s why I loved it so much, it shared a story that I had never thought of/heard of. It is a book set in 1941 during the Second World War and is based on first-hand family accounts and memories from survivors. It is a story of a young 15 year old girl, Lina, whose life is turned upside down when her and her family are dragged from their home in Lithuania and deported to Siberia by Soviet officers. It follows her journey to a labour camp in Siberia and what she has to deal with during this horrible time in her life. She deals with life changing events at the age of 15 which I feel no young person should go through. She sees members of her family die and people she has met along the way become her friends only to be ripped apart. She is separated from her love interest during her journey but is reunited at the end once she has been through the worst moments of her life. This book is incredibly powerful and shares a story of a strong and resilient young woman that would inspire anyone, especially young girls.
I think I loved this book due to the fact that it was based on a young girl not much older than I was and how she was so brave and determined to survive throughout her journey. I have read it multiple times and I think with each time it gets slightly better. As I have grown up and re-read the book I have seen it in a different light and experienced it differently from when I was 12/13. I realised that it is a hugely powerful book and I would recommend it to anyone of any age to take the time to read this as it is truly one of my all time favourites.
Another one of my favourites as a young teen was ‘Mist’ by Kathryn James. This is a book of mystery and intrigue and I was captivated from the start. It is a novel about a world beyond the mist. It tells the story of a 16 year old girl, Gwen, who is dragged through the mist and disappears. It also tells the story of her 13 year old sister Nell who spends her time throughout the book trying to find her sister and uncovering secrets about where her sister has gone. Whilst on this journey Nell befriends a mysterious boy named Evan. It is a beautiful world full of musical harps and magical castles which are both scary and intriguing. This welcomes any reader into the world, and invites you to read on. I loved this book when I was about 12/13 as it was a story filled with wonder and deception. It is a well written young teen novel which I was totally enthralled by. I think I loved this book so much is because it wasn’t like anything I had read before. It mixed a reality with another world beyond the mist in a way that seemed totally possible. Gwen crossed over dimensions and it was an amazing book to read.
I highly recommend both books for young teens as well as adults as they both inspire and enthral. You will find a young girl or boy would be inspired by Lina’s power and strength in ‘Between Shades of Grey´ and by Nell’s heroine acts and her investigation into finding her sister. Both are very well written by excellent authors that I couldn’t recommend enough.
Thanks for reading, Caitlin x
(PS comment your favourite books from when you were a young teenager J )