Louisa Reid, author of Black Heart Blue and Lies Like Love, picks her Top 10 UKYA books “in no particular order!”
1. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
This book made me cry. It’s terrifying and clever and beautifully written in clear, sharp prose with an ending so heart-breaking and powerful that it had me reeling for ages after. An amazing piece of fiction.
2. Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne
I love Tanya’s writing for its originality and vivid detail and also because she isn’t afraid of the dark side. A brilliant book about boarding school mayhem, teenage danger and desire. I read this with relish.
3. Heroic by Phil Earle
Heroic is a fabulous novel with wonderful characters and relationships that feel really real. Definitely one to read if you want something fast-paced but also tender.
4. Slated trilogy by Teri Terry
I love dystopian fiction and Teri’s novels are wonderful. I couldn’t pick one out of all of them so I’m having them all! The twists and turns are brilliantly plotted and keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. Also these novels are a perfect example of how to use dream sequences to brilliant effect.
5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I’m a sucker for war novels and this one really is well written. The powerful friendships and the heroism of the main characters is wonderfully portrayed.
6. A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
This is a brilliant and beautiful book. It engrossed me from start to finish with its powerful evocation of grief and the frightening consequences of loneliness and alcoholism.
7. Trouble by Non Pratt
I’d have loved this book as a teenager and I loved it as an adult reader, even going so far as to badger its poor author for a sequel because I couldn’t bear for it to end! Fab characters and themes – teenage pregnancy, in particular, is dealt with in an original and challenging way and the moral questions posed really had me thinking.
Another cheat, sorry! Two for the price of one. I have to admit to only just reading the brilliant Looking for JJ but I’m glad I waited as it meant I could binge on the sequel too. I love that book box set feeling because I have no patience and have to guzzle everything all at once. Anyway, these are fascinating novels with a tricky and challenging premise. Wonderful.
9. The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine
An old favourite. I first encountered this book early in my teaching career and remember the class loving its darkness, just as did I. Twisted friendships and horrific family secrets make this one a gripping and taut read.
10. Pop! by Catherine Bruton
I love Catherine’s writing. She creates wonderful characters with distinctive and original voices. I could really see and hear every detail of this book. It’s a great read with a setting that’s perfect for someone who often misses the grim North (only joking about the grim bit!)