UKYA

Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors


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

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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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Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda

Varanasi: holy city of the Ganges.

In this land of ancient temples, incense and snake charmers…

Where the monsters and heroes of the past come to life…

One slightly geeky boy from our time…

IS GOING TO KICK SOME DEMON ASS.

Ash Mistry hates India. Which is a problem since his uncle has brought him and his annoying younger sister Lucky there to take up a dream job with the mysterious Lord Savage. But Ash immediately suspects something is very wrong with the eccentric millionaire. Soon, Ash finds himself in a desperate battle to stop Savage’s masterplan – the opening of the Iron Gates that have kept Ravana, the demon king, at bay for four millennia…

Visit Sarwat’s website


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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.