UKYA

Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors


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Cicely of Cicely Loves Books’ Top 10 UKYA

Book blogger Cicely of Cicely Loves Books shares her Top 10 UKYA faves.

Naked by Kevin Brooks

A really great, kind of tragic story about early punk in the 1970s; I was kind of taken aback by how much I really loved it. I wasn’t expected great feats from it at all, but it blew me away.

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott

A beautiful fantasy retelling of Cinderella that twists the story into something that feels fresh and new. It’s a lot darker than the Cinderella I grew up with too, though it only made the story better. I need to read the rest of Zoe’s books!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

What sort of a post would this be if it didn’t have Neil Gaiman on it! Even though he doesn’t technically live in the UK anymore, he still has a British accent so I’m counting it. Also, I guess it’s not 100 percent YA, but I do really love this book. It’s the first Gaiman book I ever read and I loved the feel to it, and the way he writes is amazing! Sorry, I like Neil Gaiman a lot…

Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton

SO. BLOODY. CUTE. I’ll be honest, I was torn between which of Keris’s books to put on here because I love all of them, but just the way New York was described in this book! It gave me a serious case of wanderlust, and now thanks to Emma I want to go to LA too. *saves up for a plane ticket*

Torn by Cat Clarke

One of the most twisted, gripping books I’ve read in ages. I literally couldn’t put it down. I was just so involved in the story and it moved me with how intense it was. The ending is pure evil, but it’s one of my favourite books.

Witch Child by Celia Rees

I read this book ages ago, actually, but I still really love it! It was one of my first introductions to historical YA and I just remember being really caught up in Mary’s story. The sequel, Sorceress, is just as good, but it made me cry. A lot.

Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

Another really dark, intense book (what does that say about me?!) that I just really loved. I was so torn for the whole thing, and I didn’t really know if I could trust Emily, but at the same time despite the crazy I really liked her and it made me feel stuff, guys! I felt so numb at the end, it was like I’d been on an emotional rollercoaster (cheeeeesy, but true).

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

I have so many feelings about this book it’s insane! This is another one of those wicked, moral twisting books that makes you want the wrong thing to happen because even though Ty kidnapped her he’s not that bad! Also, the whole letter-writing style it’s done in is really unique and I loved it once I got used to Ty being called ‘you’.

Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Another adorable book! Or should I say, Adorkable! (or maybe I shouldn’t. Sometimes I can’t hold back on the awful puns. I apologise.) This book just makes me want to hug it, and that’s all I’m going to say because this is already too long.

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

So dark and creepy! I loved this book, and I really want to read something new from her soon. Even though it wasn’t until about the last 150 pages that it got really creepy, it still kept me awake at night.


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La Jongleuse chooses her Top 10 UKYA novels

The blogger knows as Jongleuse chooses her Top 10 books. 

1) Siobhan Dowd A Swift Pure Cry

Simply one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking books in any genre I’ve ever read.

2) Julie Bertagna Exodus and sequels

Julie Bertagna has deservedly cropped up on many best of YA lists. Her post-global warming trilogy spanning generations and continents, as well as being exquisitely written, is a great adventure story.

3) David Almond, My Name is Mina

Prequel to Skellig, but not like any other prequel you’ve read. Anything and everything by David Almond is worth reading.

4) Meg Rosoff, There is No Dog

How I live Now is Meg’s best-known book, but I loved this quirky tale of a teenage boy playing God, delivered, as usual, in Meg’s precise, beautiful prose.

5) Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men and sequels

What to say about Sir Terry? If you’re a fan of fantasy, humour and metaphysics in equal quantities, the Tiffany Aching series is a brilliant place to start, although most of his output is eminently YA suitable anyway.

6) Anthony McGowan, Henry Tumour

Funny, sad and outrageous.

7) Celia Rees, Witch Child

This one really pushed the boundaries of historical fiction, away from bodice-rippers to something darker and more thought provoking.

8) Kevin Brooks, Naked

Brooks’ writing is taut and clever. Being (only just) old enough to remember punk first time round I loved this book about a teen punk rock star and her involvement with a young man who has a troubled past. Anything by Brooks is worth reading, however.

9) Jan Mark, They do things differently there

Jan Mark is not much read these days (sadly I think this one’s out of print) but she was outrageously talented. This story of two girls who invent an alternative world (Stalemate) in their boring New Town is brilliantly original.

10) Scarlett Thomas, The End of Mr. Y

Not marketed a YA but older teens would adore this weird, heady fantasy with heavy literary pretensions. I love the idea of the Alex awards in the USA where non-YA books are rewarded for being great teen reads.


The Fool’s Girl by Celia Rees

Violetta and Feste are in London, the year is 1601 and William Shakespeare is enjoying success at the Globe Theatre. But Violetta is not there to admire his plays; she is in England to retrieve her country’s greatest treasure, stolen by the evil Malvolio, and she needs help.

In an adventure that stretches from the shores of Illyria to the Forest of Arden, romance and danger go hand in hand. In a quest that could mean life or death, can Violetta manage to recover the precious relic and save her country and herself?

Watch Celia talking about this book


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Laura of Sister Spooky: Book Fangirl’s Top 10 (and more) UKYA books

Laura of Sister Spooky: Book Fangirl‘s Top 10 UKYA picks. Plus a couple of extras she couldn’t resist (luckily for me). 

1. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman: I adored this book for it’s ace storytelling as well as the way Malorie chooses to confront difficult issues like racism, social divides and terrorism.

2. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman: A story full of magic and morals that is so cleverly woven together you can only read it in awe.

3. Adrian Mole, Aged 13 and 3/4 by Sue Townsend: one of the 1st YA I ever read as a teen and it made me feel happy that there were books with teens in and the embarrassing bits in too

4. Rockoholic by C.J.Skuse: I adore C.J.’s ability to make me completely connect with Jody and her love of music and the sadness in her life.

5. You Against Me by Jenny Downham: a heart wrenching book that leaves you numb

6. Witch Child by Celia Rees: wonderful storytelling and a fab take on historical fiction

7. Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda: *bows at Sarwat* not only is this book full of humour and geekiness I adore but it has a kick ass hero that isn’t just you typical clean cut blond boy.

8. Torn by Cat Clarke: one of the few books I read that had me gripped and terrified.

9. My Swordhand Is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick: Haunting and scary. Like a classic Gothic novel for a YA audience that doesn’t dumb down because it’s YA.

10. Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott: I cried; if you know me then you’d realise that makes this book GOLD!

I know this is a Top Ten list but I wanna give you two special mentions for books I would have put on my list but they’ve yet to be published.  I HIGHLY recommend you watch out for these two both out in June 2012

So

Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton: This is Keris’ next book and Keris (the super angel she is) let me get a sneaky peek at it. One of the first non-editor eyes to see it and I fell in love with the city, the characters, the romance and the sense of humour.  Sometimes you just need this kind of book in your life to give you a warm hug and a giggle. I’d flag this one up on your wish lists now because it was so wonderful!

and the second book

Geekhood by Andy Robb: Yes, I’ve been banging on about this one on my twitter since I read it but I just adored it. In my review I described it as ‘Adrian Mole for the Geek Generation’ and I mean every word. A fan-tabulous debut author who would be up on my Top 10 the second his book is published. His book and Andy himself are funny and honest. A read for boys and girls alike. Buy, buy buy.


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Witch Child by Celia Rees

She was locked in the keep for more than a week. First they walked her up and down, up and down between them, for a day and a night until she could no longer hobble, her feet all bloody and swollen. She would not confess. So they set about to prove she was a witch…

Mary’s grandmother is executed for witchcraft, and Mary is forced to leave her home to avoid the same fate. At first she flees to the English countryside, but when the atmosphere of superstition and suspicion becomes all consuming she leaves on a boat for America in the hope that she can start over and forget her past. But during the journey, she realises that the past is not so easy to escape.

Visit Celia’s website

See also: This Is Not Forgiveness