If you’re the parent of a just-spreading-their-wings teen, this one is going to keep you up at night. You, like Andy and his wife Laura, probably have rules. Let us know where you are. Stay with your friends. Don’t miss curfew. But sometimes even the best kids break the rules. Like Andy and Laura’s son, Connor. When he misses his curfew, it is just one of a series of events that will change his life – and that of his friends – forever. Twists and red herrings and there-by-the-grace-of-God. The Curfew by TM Logan boasts about being an up-all-night thriller, and delivers! Definitely our book of the month! Bonnier Publishing available from Exclusive Books.
Amid the desolate wilderness of the Great Plains of Nebraska, a region so isolated you could drive for hours without seeing another human being, sits Hatchery House. Having served as a church, an asylum and an orphanage, Hatchery is now a treatment facility for orphaned or abandoned children with psychiatric disorders. Haunted by patients past and present, only the most vulnerable find a home within its walls. Former FBI psychiatrist Dr Lorelei Lore Webber has almost grown used to the unorthodox methods used at Hatchery House. But when one of her patients is murdered, Lore finds herself dragged into the centre of an investigation that unearths startling truths, shocking discoveries, and untold cruelty. Dark, haunting, chilling, Kassandra Montag’s Those Who Return is a psychological thriller of guilt and redemption. Quercus, available from Exclusive Books
Mid-June … the 17th to be exact – is #DrinkCheninDay. So it would be rude not to. This Welgegund Heritage Wines Old Vine Chenin Blanc is a limited release- only 1801 individually numbered bottles were released. Soft and elegant, with flavours of star fruit, honeydew melons and lime, it will be wonderful served with roast duck confit and orange sauce, with crayfish, langoustines, sushi and line fish carpaccio or gnocchi with green peas and almonds. The wine will also complement a citrus tart or nutty nougat. With a couple of medals already under its cork, it costs R290 a bottle from welgegund.co.za/wines
The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history finals, and have politicians, doctors, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. Sara Novic’s True Biz plunges readers into the halls of the school, where they’ll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who’s never met another deaf person before, Austin, the school’s golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing, and February, the headmistress, who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact. Little Brown, available from Exclusive Books
Also on our reading list … The sudden death of a pupil in Fleat House at St Stephen’s – a small private boarding school in deepest Norfolk – is a shocking event that the headmaster is very keen to call a tragic accident. But the local police cannot rule out foul play and the case prompts the return of high-flying DI Jazmine ‘Jazz’ Hunter to the force. Jazz has her own private reasons for stepping away from her police career in London, and reluctantly agrees to front the investigation as a favour to her old boss. The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley, author of the Seven Sisters series, is suspenseful and compelling. Macmillan, available at Exclusive Books
First Born by Will Dean – Molly lives a quiet, contained life in London. Naturally risk averse, she gains comfort from security and structure. Every day the same. Her identical twin Katie is her exact opposite … gregarious and spontaneous. They used to be inseparable, until Katie moved to New York a year ago. Molly still speaks to her daily without fail. But when Molly learns that Katie has died suddenly, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. Katie is part of her DNA. As terrifying as it is, she must go and find out what happened. As she tracks her twin’s last movements, cracks begin to emerge. Nothing is what it seems. Hodder & Stoughton, available from Exclusive Books • The Twins by L.V. Matthews – Two Sisters. An Intense Bond. A Bitter Rivalry. Margo is a live-in nanny for an upper-class family, Cora a penniless dancer on the cusp of a big break. Total opposites, bound by an awful secret. And when it’s revealed, only one can survive. But can there be a winner when a secret is so dark? Welbeck, available from Exclusive Books
On a more serious note … Bullying. It’s frightening. It’s cruel. And it’s rife. Based on many years’ experience counselling bullies and targets, In Bully-Proof Kids Stella O’Malley offers concrete strategies to empower children and teenagers to deal confidently with bullying and dominant characters. She identifies effective ways for families to cope when bullying occurs, including approaching the school authorities, communicating with the bully’s parents and tips to tackle cyberbullying. Her common-sense approach will help your child, tween or teen to develop their emotional intelligence and will provide relief for families navigating the rapidly changing social environment, both online and in school. Faber & Faber, available from Exclusive Books