Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Along with Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere, one of the two most heartbreaking books I’ve ever read, and the most heartbreaking of all UKYA. Simply perfectly written.
Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt
The best debut of the year by some way, Jarratt’s novel deals with disfigurement, prejudice, mental illness, and recovering from tragedy with great skill and compassion.
The Things We Did For Love by Natasha Farrant
While it seems to have been overshadowed somewhat by the success of Code Name Verity, Farrant’s own WWII novel is an exquisite book. It’s beautifully written, captures the feel for the period perfectly, and made me cry.
Department 19: The Rising by Will Hill
700 pages or so and not a wasted word. Absolute genius at work, with a huge mass of plotlines woven together perfectly.
Silenced by Simon Packham
This book about a boy struggling to cope with the death of his best friend stands out because of the huge warmth and surprising amount of humour found in it.