UKYA

Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors


Top 10 favourite UKYA by Jim from YAYeahYeah

Jim is an incredibly prolific book blogger, with YA Yeah Yeah, YA Contemporary and the fabulous new YA TV site, Young Adult TV. He shares his Top 10 faves with us. 

My top ten of anything changes pretty much daily. I haven’t even attempted to order these, because that way madness lies. If you asked me tomorrow, some of them would certainly still be on there, some may be nudged out by others which are just off the list at the moment. However, I think the ten below are wonderful books and series that all fans of UKYA should take a look at.

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Wein has created one of the most memorable fictional pairings ever in narrators Verity and Maddie. A stunning, heartbreaking, but ultimately life-affirming book.

2. The Things We Did For Love by Natasha Farrant
I read this straight after Code Name Verity and really should have taken a break to stock up on tissues. Londoner Farrant’s portrayal of a French village where the Resistance are bravely fighting the Nazis, and a love story set against this backdrop, is staggering.

3. Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt
How can anyone be this talented with their debut book? Jarratt’s central couple of traveller Ryan and Jenna, who’s scarred from a car crash, are both battling their own issues but find conmfort in each other. The romance between the two is beautiful. As a book, it’s also incredibly unpredictable.

4. A Witch In Winter/A Witch in Love by Ruth Warburton
Winter, the small fishing town to which Anna and her father move at the start of the first of these novels, is a fabulous location and Warburton describes it so wonderfully that you can practically feel the sea breeze when reading. Add in some brilliant characters and great plots and you have a superb series so far.

5. Wereworld series by Curtis Jobling
I read the first of these novels expecting fairly mindless action – making the old mistake of judging a book by a cover – and was blown away by Jobling’s rich worldbuilding and incredible characters. This is a truly epic fantasy sequence which gets better with every new book.

6. When I Was Joe/Almost True by Keren David
David’s taut style, fast paced plot, and believable characterisation make these books completely impossible to put down. She’s created a male narrator who is really easy to like and who has a truly compelling story.

7. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
As I’ve mentioned above, I bawl like a baby quite often when reading books these days. When I first read this, I wasn’t reading much teen fiction and don’t think I’d ever cried at a book before. I broke down 3/4 of the way through this one and, rereading it years later, found it had lost none of its power. An incredible tearjerker.

8. Department 19 series by Will Hill
Hill writes books which are ridiculously long but never seems to waste a word. They’re arguably dangerous to read – there were so many shocking moments in book two, The Rising, that I nearly dropped it several times. (And this is one heavy hardback!) I’ll take the risk of a broken toe, though, and carry on with this series because Hill cuts between narratives wtih huge skill and manages to create absolutely compelling, multi-layered stories which leave you desperate to know what happens next.

9. Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
I like the first three and love the last four. I think Rowling did a phenomenal job of creating characters who lots of people cared about and some wonderful plots.

10. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
As a fantasy sequence, this is possibly unbeatable. Alexander created a wonderful world and characters who developed beautifully in the course of his five novels. A real gem.
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The Top 10 Best-Ever UKYA novels – as voted by YOU

I know, I know, it’s taken a while, but we had over 1000 votes – how brilliant is that? So here, without further ado, are (in reverse order)…

THE TOP 10 BEST-EVER UKYA NOVELS (as voted by YOU):

10) A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd

9) Lila series – Sarah Alderson

8) C.H.E.R.U.B. series – Robert Muchamore

7) Chaos Walking trilogy – Patrick Ness

6) The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 and 3/4 – Sue Townsend

5) I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

4) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

3) Noughts & Crosses – Malorie Blackman

2) His Dark Materials series – Philip Pullman

1) Harry Potter series – JK Rowling


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Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was J.K. Rowling’s first novel, followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as well as three books written for charity and inspired by the Harry Potter novels: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

The Harry Potter novels have now sold over 400 million copies worldwide and been translated into 68 languages.

The series is No. 1 on our Top 10 Best-Ever UKYA Novels list.


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Raimy of Readaraptor’s Top 10 UKYA novels

Raimy of Readaraptor shares her Top 10 UKYA reads.

When Keris asked me to write this post I thought “Of course I’ll do that, that won’t be hard at all.” Oh how wrong was I?! I am now sat here at the computer thinking, “how can I narrow this down to ten?!” and they say that UKYA isn’t as big as USYA! HA!

1. First up I have to put the queen of UKYA from when I was a little sprog myself – Louise Rennison and her Georgia Nicholson series.

This is the series I was hooked on when I was younger. I read the first one over and over until I got the second and then read them both over and over, until I got the third (You can see where this is going right, you don’t need me to carry on?)

I think this is a pretty much timeless series, it would apply to kids of that age now just as much as it did back then.

2. I’m sorry for including the book that EVERYONE picks but the Harry Potter series are the books that got me into reading. All I had read before Harry Potter was the Animal Ark series, Jacqueline Wilson’s entire catalogue (up to that point) and good ol’ Georgia Nicholson.

Harry Potter made me realise there were different genres and not everything was the same as my boring old life! It changed my perspective on the world and brought me closer to my sister.

3. Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series came to me when I was around 15. This is UKYA at its most amazing, I believe. It was my favourite dystopian read before I knew what dystopia was.

4. Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy has to be one of the most amazing thrillers I have ever read and it has stuck with me for years now. I even squandered valuable food (and booze) money to go see a stage version of this book in my first year of Uni. Unfortunately I have yet to go back and find more Anne Cassidy books but I think that’s because I thought this one was SO good I’m scared the others won’t live up to it!

5. The Opposite of Chocolate by Julie Bertagna is another one from my 15-year-old days (I read some amazing UKYA books in my teens!) that I could not put down. This book is so atmospheric that you can’t help but feel like you are inside Sapphire’s world. I think I even wrote fan fiction for this book a long, long time ago!

6. Where do I go now!? I think I’ll have to go for yet another book I read back in the day… This author is amazing and is still very prominent in todays UKYA circles with her new book Adorkable due for release this year. Pretty Things by Sarra Manning was an amazing read for me because at around the time I was busy trying to work myself out. I think this was the first book I read with an LGBT character in it and I loved that there were people as confused as I was out there!

7. Sticking with LGBT this next book is on this list partly for an AMAZING book but also because of the way LGBT is handled in it. Hollow Pike by James Dawson came out this year and ever since I read it, it has been stuck in my head. I adored the book in itself and then when the LGBT element came around I was so enamoured by it that this book went to my favourite book of the year. This was James’ debut novel which is shocking because I don’t know how he’s going to top it!

8. Doing It by Melvin Burgess has to have been the most brilliantly funny yet epically “WTF?!” book I read when I was a teen. I loved this book more than anything at the time and it’s so raw and real that I don’t think any teen could read it and not love it. Its written from a male POV (a rare thing for the books that I read at the time and still now, sadly) and it’s all about sex so it captured my interest straight away (sorry, but I was 15 – what do you expect?)

9. Its time for a bit of fantasy. Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott is a beautiful oriental story that’s based loosely on Cinderella. Zoe is an incredible young writer from the UK and all her books are just as beautiful as each other, but this one has to be my favourite. I never thought I’d enjoy this type of fantasy but as soon as I started reading I could not put it down. I have raved about this to everyone and am eagerly awaiting Zoe’s next book.

10. Naked by Kevin Brooks gets the last spot on this list. Naked is a unique story about London in the 70s during the rise of the Punk movement. It was amazing and I have other books of his just sat on my shelf that I can’t wait to read because I loved this one so much.