Experiments Gone Wrong

By Colleen Hybl

“Test 1 begins now.” No matter how much you prepare for an experiment, sometimes it does not go how you plan. You may be testing for one thing, but then you discover something else. Sometimes the experiment totally goes sideways from your perspective. In these young adult books, experiments take some unexpected turns. 

What happens when you take a bunch of teenagers, drop them into the wilderness with experimental recording drones, and film it for television?  That is what Cam, River, Trip, and Liza are about to find out in Adrianne Finlay’s Cut Off, opens a new window. Each teen has a different reason for going on the show, but they will have to work together if they hope to get off the island alive. 

Speaking of staying alive, that is Sarah’s goal as she tries to keep five teens alive in the Kalahari Desert as a silver lion is stalking them. The silver lion is just the start of their problems. The lion’s unusual color is part of a highly contagious and deadly virus. It will take all of Sarah’s knowledge as the daughter of zoologists to get them out of the desert alive in Jessica Khoury’s Kalahari, opens a new window, a companion novel to Origin, opens a new window. 

Companions are nice to have, but Alec Holland prefers his companions to be his plants, with the exception of his twin, Walker. When the twins discover their father’s infidelity, they go to live with their cousins for the summer in rural Virginia. While there, Alec starts to perfect his plant memory experiment but gets unexpected results in Swamp Thing: Twin Branches, opens a new window.

Hopefully, the only unexpected consequences you find in these books is that you like them!