UKYA

Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors


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Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings

“I’ve seen a ghost,” said Emily. “Well, not seen one exactly. Heard one. At least, I think I have…”

Woodsville is not like other towns. Night falls a little earlier there, the shadows are darker and denser, and everyone knows it’s a place where strange things happen, even if they won’t admit it.

Bethan would prefer to be anywhere but here. Jay has his theories, but isn’t ready to share. Hashim sees more than he’ll say, while Kelly’s demons are all too flesh and blood. But Emily’s freak-out brings them out of denial and face to face with the supernatural. Anywhere else, Friday night would be date night. But not in Weirdsville.

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Keris Stainton’s Top 10 UKYA books

Keris Stainton (i.e. me) picks her fave YA books. In no particular order.

Beads, Boys and Bangles by Sophia Bennett – I really enjoyed all the books in the Threads series, but this one is my favourite. Even if you’re not interested in fashion (and I’m not), you’ll enjoy this book. And if you’re a big fan of cheap fashion, you should definitely read it – it may give you something to think about.

Torn by Cat Clarke – I’m a terrible wuss, so I was a bit scared to read Torn, but I loved it. It’s completely gripping and there’s one bit that still makes me shudder when I think about it.

Big Woo! by Susie Day – Big Woo! is one of the funniest YA books I’ve ever read with a completely fabulous, hilarious voice. I don’t think I need to say anything more than that, do I?

Almost True by Keren David – Again, this is the second book in a series (I loved the first and can’t wait for the third), but it’s my favourite. Gripping, frightening, plus it made me laugh and cry. Wonderful.

Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings – I read this book on a train in broad daylight and it really scared me. If I’d read it at home alone during, say, a thunderstorm, I would have been terrified. Having said that, it’s also really funny – it reminded my of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Slam by Nick Hornby – Hornby’s foray into YA is (perhaps unsurprisingly) well-written, funny and incredibly touching with a take on teen pregnancy I haven’t read anywhere else. I wish he’d write more in the genre.

Nobody’s Girl by Sarra Manning – I love Manning’s books. I’m reading her latest, Adorkable, at the moment and I suspect that if I’d finished it, it would be on this list too. Nobody’s Girl has a wonderful main character, a hot boy and a Paris setting. Perfect.

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott – I had no idea what to expect from this book – it’s not the kind of thing I usually read – but I was transported. It’s beautifully written and, again, gripping.

Split By a Kiss by Luisa Plaja – Luisa and I started writing at the same time and were in a writing group together. I read Split By A Kiss in various drafts and knew it was going to be wonderful from the start. I’ve reread it recently and still absolutely love it. Sweet and funny and true.

Angus, Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison – It seems a bit redundant including this book because everyone’s surely read it, but I couldn’t leave it out. It’s hilarious, of course, but I’d love it simply for introducing the expression “I hear the call of the horn.”