Books for Young Adults – Seeking Eden and The Bubble Wrap Boy

One of my regular freelance jobs involves me reading children’s books, for kids of all ages from pre-school to teenagers. Some of the books I read are pretty bad. Some are amazing! Here’s a review of a couple of brilliant books for young adults I’ve read recently.

Seeking Eden by Ann Turnbull

I tend to judge a book by its cover, so I didn’t have very high hopes for this one – which just depicts the face of a brooding young man. I didn’t think much to the title either.

But how wrong I was!

I absolutely loved this story and was completely hooked on it. It painted such vivid pictures in my mind and got me interested in subjects I’d never considered before, like the Quakers and the early settlers in the USA. This is actually the third part in a series, but I didn’t feel I’d missed out by not having read the previous two books.

Set in 1683, 16-year-old Josiah leaves London with his parents and younger sisters to start a new life in William Penn’s Quaker colony in America. In Philadelphia, the family hopes to be free from the persecution they have suffered as Quakers in England for so long.

In America, Josiah starts work for a wealthy merchant and falls in love with his daughter. He travels with them to Barbados on business and discovers the dark side of the merchant’s work. Can he go along with his master or should he stand up for his beliefs?

This is a very moving book about love, friendship and belief, all set in a time and a place I have previously never read about. It’s both disturbing and uplifting and beautifully written. I would definitely recommend it to teenage girls – and to their mums who like a moving story!

Book reviews, Seeking Eden, Ann Turnbull, YA fiction

The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle

Charlie doesn’t have a lot going for him. He is by far the smallest boy in school, he’s not even sure he likes his best friend, a fellow outcast, and he has the world’s most overprotective mother.

But then Charlie discovers a new talent – skateboarding. With skateboarding, he can see a way out of being the weird kid and a way to start becoming popular. But when he finds out a family secret, his world starts to crumble. Will he ever regain his popularity and why does his friend keep starting at walls?

YA fiction for boys tends to be about thrillers or fantasy. More ‘real-life’ kinds of stories written by a male author and with a male lead character are rare for older kids. So it’s great that this is a book which can be appreciated just as much by boys as it can be by girls.

It is moving and entertaining story, with a particularly harrowing bullying scene, which has the reader really rooting for Charlie, his family and Sinus.

This is definitely worth a read for boys and girls over the age of 12.

The Bubble Wrap Boy, Book review, Phil Earle

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Ooh I like the sound of Seeking Eden. The Crucible by Arthur Miller was set in a similar era in America and I think it’s a fantastic play so I’d be interested in reading this too.

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    • I’ve never seen or read The Crucible and didn’t realise it was set at the same time. It’s certainly an interesting era and one I would never have thought about if it wasn’t for Seeking Eden. x

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  2. I’m especially intrigued by bubble wrap boy, I’m quite jealous that your job involves reading books! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

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    • I think Bubble Wrap Boy would be a great one for your eldest daughter in two or three years. It’s a shame the book reading job doesn’t pay very well, but I do enjoy it of course!

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  3. The bubble wrap boy sounds right up my sons street and strangely enough, his name is also Charlie! May have to add this to his Xmas stocking…. #ReadWithMe

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    • It’s definitely well worth a read, especially for a boy called Charlie!

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  4. I love the sound of your job!

    I’m intrigued by the sound of The Bubble Wrap Boy, it sounds very different to the YA fiction that I’ve read.


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    • Thanks, my job is fun, although doesn’t pay very well! I hadn’t read anything like Bubble Wrap Boy either. It was quite disturbing at times, but also really enjoyable and I liked that it could appeal to boys.

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    • It was really good! I wouldn’t choose to read YA myself, but have to read them for work. I’m often impressed by how good they are!

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  5. I like the sound of Seeking Eden but probably not when hormonal by the sounds of it!! #ReadWithMe

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