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Submarine by Joe Dunthorne

A first novel written by a Welsh poet and not at all what I expected - not many books make me laugh out loud but this one did! It's the story of Oliver, a teenager, full of angst, self obsession and curiosity and part of a dysfunctional family. Oliver is a cross between Adrian Mole, Christopher (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime) and Holden Caulfield. A definite edge there along with the humour.

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Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Set in a Swedish sink estate, this vampire novel is both chilling and gruesome but is also a true page-turner, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. The violence is frequent, terrifying and graphic (certainly not a read for the faint-hearted. However, alongside all that is a very tender, burgeoning relationship between Oskar and Eli. The large cast of supporting characters, some of whom will make your skin crawl, will make you look at any new neighbours in a different light as this novel makes its way to a very explosive climax. One to read with the lights on!

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Lost Bodies by Francois Gantheret

A tragic story of love and betrayal set in an unnamed repressive North African country with beautiful descriptions of the desert setting. Well told intrigue and devious plots combine to create a slow burning fuse of revelation; the characters are both strong and resourceful as they battle against relentless prison brutality. A very short novel but one in which every word matters.

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The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson

At the heart of this tale is a bizarre but beautifully written romance with a twist. Against a backdrop of dystopian worlds, Billie and Spike search, time after time, for a life and love together. Packed around that romance is a science fiction novel, full of eco-warnings, philosophising, and a touch of satire. As the revelations slowly unfolded, this novel enticed and drew me through its satisfyingly complex and unexpected story.

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