UKYA

Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors


For Holly by Tanya Byrne

23008849Lola Durand hates her stepmother. It’s a cliché but it’s true.

Lola Durand can’t get through to her father. He never wants to talk about the things that matter: why they had to move to Paris, why he had to marry evil Agatha, and how they can get through the heartache of her mother’s death together.

If he won’t listen, she’ll show him. She’ll show him the truth about his new wife and then her life can go back to normal, just the way she likes it.

Lola Durand knows a secret about her stepmother. She’s going to share it.

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Author Gary Meehan’s Top 10 UK YA Books

Gary_Meehan_520x520Gary Meehan is the author of True Fire. He’s chosen his Top 10 “in no particular order.”

The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale

A girl recovers from post-traumatic stress disorder by retreating into a fantasy world. Or is it fantasy? Beautifully written and thought provoking.

images-4The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend

I’ve grown up with Adrian these past — oh my god, thirty years (pause to contemplate mortality). The first remains a devastatingly funny read for anyone who’s ever worried about doing the right thing, the pretty girl in the class, and how long their thingy is.

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

A witty, charming tale of a bullied geeky girl who accidentally becomes a model. Plenty of heart and one of the most surprising meet-cute scenes you’re likely to read.

18482265Boys Don’t Knit by TS Easton

A spiritual successor to Adrian Mole, in that it’s a told as teenage boy’s diary. Very funny, but with a serious message. Many YA books encourage girls to do ‘boy’ things; this one lets boys know it’s okay to be ‘girly’. I still have no idea how knitting actually works though.

Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

Proof you don’t need a likeable or even sympathetic heroine to make a story compelling. You know something bad’s gonna happen, but you can’t stop reading.

UnknownNowhere by Jon Robinson

Ah, some good old-fashioned sci-fi. An intriguing premise — why have all these kids been snatched and locked up — a fast-paced adventure, and hints of something manipulating the fundamental nature of the universe.

Trouble by Non Pratt

An honest story of teenage lust and its consequences, shot through with comic moments. Read it, kids, and let your next purchase be a jumbo pack of condoms.

Unknown-1Half Bad by Sally Green

A tale of brutality and paranoia, unbending bureaucracy and the nature of good and evil — a bit of light reading, then. Tense and thought-provoking.

Code Red Lipstick by Sarah Sky

A fun, lively adventure with a kick-ass, kick-head, kick-everything heroine. Not everything has to be dripping in angst, you know.

A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil by Christopher Brookmyre

My stretching-the-definition-of-YA entry. It’s a tale of bunch of kids growing up wrapped in a murder mystery set when the kids are adults, but it’s the acutely observed school scenes that stick in the mind. If it’s a measure of book you’re a little heartbroken to leave the characters behind, then this measures up.


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Author Louisa Reid’s Top 10 UKYA books

picLouisa 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.

follow-me-down2. 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.

127434724. 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.

unknown56. 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.

looking-for-jj8. Looking for JJ and Finding Jennifer Jones by Anne Cassidy

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.

pop_cover10. 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!)


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COVER REVEAL & COMPETITION: Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne

First love. Last lie.

When Adamma Okomma has to leave her glossy high school in New York for a dusty English boarding school, she thinks it’s the end of the world – or the end of her social life, at least.

Then she meets the wicked-witted Scarlett Chiltern, who shows her all of Crofton College’s darkest corners and Adamma realises that there’s much more to her new school than tartan skirts and hockey sticks.

She and Scarlett become inseparable, but when they fall for the same guy, the battle lines are firmly drawn.

Adamma gets the guy but loses her best friend. Then, when Scarlett runs away, Adamma finds herself caught up in something far more sinister than a messy love triangle. Adamma always knew that Scarlett had her secrets, but some secrets are too big to keep and this one will change all of their lives forever.

FOLLOW ME DOWN

Published by Headline, 9 May 2013

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Open internationally. Closing date midnight GMT, 22 February 2013.