UKYA

Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors


COMING SOON – Geekhood: Mission Improbable by Andy Robb

Archie is a Geek to his core – and despite having a Close Encounter with Sarah at the beginning of term, he’s still completely clueless about girls. Enter Clare – an older woman (she’s sixteen) who Archie meets on his weekend trip to see his dad and his nightmare step-mum, Jane.

Clare and Archie hit it off – and she comes up with a brilliant, foolproof way to get their crushes to notice them: pretend to be going out with one another! What can possibly go wrong? With school, Sarah, a fake girlfriend and his insane family to deal with, Archie and his mates step-up the nerdiness and go Live Action Role-play gaming. Ladies and gentlemen, we are entering a new era…

The follow up to Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind is published 1 April 2013 by Stripes Publishing.

Visit Andy’s website.

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SisterSpooky Laura’s UKYA Books of the Year

Sooooo many good reads published in 2012 and so these are in no order because that’s like saying which one of your kids are your favourite. (I hear that’s frowned upon)

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
Goblins by Philip Reeve
Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton
Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
Fire City by Bali Rai
Kiss, Date, Love, Hate by Luisa Plaja
Frostfire by Zoe Marriott
Adorkable by Sarra Manning
The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison
The Look by Sophia Bennett
Someone Else’s Life by Katie Dale
Hollow Pike by James Dawson
Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan

Oh and there was this other book called Geekhood by Andy Robb which was pretty frigging awesome. Don’t tell him that though because it’ll go to his head!

PHEW

Roll on 2013!

www.sisterspooky.co.uk


Top 10 UKYA favourites by Jesse of Books 4 Teens

Jesse of Books 4 Teens shares his UKYA Top 10.

I knew when I agreed to write this I’d find it tricky but I didn’t think I’d find it this tricky.  It’s surprising just how much US YA there is and some authors who I originally thought were based in the UK, well – weren’t.

So a couple of amendments later, a bit of tinkering here and a bit of tinkering there and I have a list.  Even now though there are more books springing to mind, which are equally as good, but I’m going to stop tinkering now.  This is in no particular order – except the order I thought of them 🙂

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

I read this series when I was still in school and it’s a story that has never, ever left me.

Kiss, Date, Love Hate by Luisa Plaja

A computer game that lets you take control of certain aspects of your friends (and not so friends) life. Enough said I think!  A seriously fun read with such an authentic teenage voice I’m convinced Luisa is a teenager really!

Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb

A call out to geeks everywhere and a sweet romance told from a male perspective!

A Witch In Winter by Ruth Warburton

Witches, a mystery, good versus evil. Need I say more!

Hollow Pike by James Dawson

I love a good mystery and that’s exactly what you find in Hollow Pike with a little bit of magic sprinkled in for good measure.  I loved the way it switched from the deeply serious to the more light-hearted side without undermining the story.

Rockoholic by CJ Skuse

A shout out to an author (reasonably) local 🙂 I adored Rockaholic – such an original idea – kidnapping a pop star and the ensuing drama is hilarious! Well worth a read.

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriot

This was one of my favourite books last year – a modern fantasy fairy tale with tones of Cinderella sprinkled throughout.

The Truth About Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne

I thoroughly enjoyed this one – such an original story with a truly thrilling aspect to it.

The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish

If scary and creepy is your thing you HAVE to read The Hunting Ground, I’m saying no more.

Department 19 by Will Hill

Oh dear – I’m finishing with a series (well I couldn’t go and forget Department 19 could I?) Yes, it’s vampires but it’s how they were meant to be. Full of blood, nods of the head to Dracula and oh yes and a secret government department to take care of it 🙂


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Andy Robb’s Top 10 UKYA books

If I was asked my Top Ten Books were, it’d be relatively simple – but with the YA tag attached it makes it a lot harder: there’s so much to choose from! But, I think I’ve narrowed it down. Here we go, then – in no particular order:

The Bartimaeus Books by Jonathan Stroud. I love these for a number of reasons, but mainly for Bartimaeus himself; he’s a sassy, jaded, arrogant gargoyle determined to come out on top. I also loved Bart’s pairing up with Nathaniel – who is an equal jerk, just a different kind. Action, humour and pathos all rolled into one. Can’t wait for the fifth.

The Borribles, by Michael de Larrabeiti. This book has a bit of a cult following. In this world, disaffected young adults drop out of society, grow pointed ears and live in tribes across London. It’s quite dark and bloody but, at the same time, quite Tolkienesque; the Borribles have a rich history and an incredibly-defined culture of their own. Plus there are the bad guys, the Rumbles’ giant rat-like creatures that want to see all Borribles destroyed. Plus it’s the first book I read to features the word ‘arse’.

Young Sherlock Holmes Black Ice, by Andrew Lane. I’d always loved Conan Doyle’s creation, but it was interesting to see just how Lane has humanised the young Sherlock and hints at how he will become the distant detective of the future. Although they are packed with intrigue, mystery and detail, they are easy to read.

Wereworld, Rise of the Wolf, by Curtis Jobling. If I’m honest, I was prepared not to like this. I love my werewolves, but I think I’m a bit of a traditionalist and see them as lone, tormented creatures. Jobling has created a world where were-creatures are part of society and, to my surprise, I loved it! 16 year-old Drew is a great character, fraught with the worries that come with that age, which made it all the more interesting to read.

Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress, by Sarwat Chadda. What I loved about this book was the way Chadda has created a world of his own from Indian myths and legends and dropped a 21st Century geek, slap-bang in the middle of it. Ash isn’t your typical hero, but then this isn’t your typical YA book. Great stuff.

The Mortal Engines books, by Philip Reeves. These books are almost too big to be contained by pages. I don’t mean that they’re long, but the scale of Reeves’ vision is epic. And the characters are beautifully flawed, some of them wearing their scars as testament to their fallibility. It’s Steampunk at its best, because the ‘s world he’s created doesn’t overshadow the characters, but you’re always aware that it’s there.

The Suicide Club, by Rhys Thomas. Like the title suggests, this is a dark book – but only in as much as it explores the darker side of the teenage psyche. It’s also about love, friendship and betrayal and is an utterly absorbing read. I really enjoyed it.

Exodus, by Julie Bertagna. Set in an alternative reality, where Earth has flooded, this is a great novel about betrayal on a personal and a global scale. The sequel, Zenith, is just as action-packed and engaging. The unsettling aspect of this book is not only the potential for the world to end up underwater, but the way that the remaining societies organise themselves. The three survivors, Mara, Tuck and Fox are superbly engaging.

The Black Book of Secrets, by FE Higgins. It’s a brilliant conceit, brilliantly executed: Joe Zabbidou buys people’s secrets and he’s looking for an apprentice. Enter Ludlow Fitch, the hero of the piece. I loved the idea, the writing and pretty much everything about this book. I have read it several times and don’t get tired of it.

Triskellion, by Will Peterson. I liked this book because of its simplicity. Yes, there are plenty of twists and turns but, at its heart, it’s a Good vs Evil kind of ride. It’s set in a quiet, English village where two American kids, Rachel and Adam, sent to stay with their grandmother. And, of course, everything is not what it seems… The great thing is that the author doesn’t dumb-down; I think may writers underestimate Young Adults but, if you think back, you were easily capable of pretty sophisticated thoughts and feelings. And, nostalgically, this book reminds me of episodes of Classic Dr Who, where everything was a slow-burner, capped of with a cracking reveal.

While I’m here, I’d just like to offer up my thanks to all the bloggers and reviewers who’ve taken the time to give my book the once-over. I can only hope that it ends up on someone’s Top Ten, somewhere down the line…


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Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb

If you haven’t worked it out yet, girls don’t do this. They don’t come to the Hovel. They don’t like goblins and dragons. They don’t paint miniatures. They don’t play role playing games or re-enact fictional battles. And they don’t talk to Geeks like me especially if they’re pretty. And this girl is pretty.

What do you do if you’re a fourteen-year-old Geek, and a Beautiful Girl has appeared in the midst of your geeky world? And she seems to like you…

For Archie, the natural reaction would be to duck and cover … run for the hills … buy a new model elf… Anything but risk stepping into the Real World. But even Geeks have to put their heads above the parapet at some point.

With his mum barely able to contain her excitement that her son is about to join the human race, and his step-father, Tony the Tosser, offering crass advice, it’s time for Archie to embark on a daring Quest to win the Beautiful Girl’s heart and shake off his Geekhood for good…

Visit Andy’s website