Fortunately for Jamie, Department 19 can provide the tools he needs to find his mother, and to kill the vampires who want him dead. But unfortunately for everyone, something much older is stirring, something even Department 19 can’t stand up against…
Sixteen-year-old Jamie Carpenter’s life was violently upended when he was brought into Department 19, a classified government agency of vampire hunters that was formed to deal with a little problem . . . known as Dracula.
But being the new recruit at the Department isn’t all weapons training and covert missions. Jamie’s own mother has been turned into a vampire–and now Jamie will stop at nothing to wreak revenge on her captors. Even if that means facing down Dracula himself.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Along with Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere, one of the two most heartbreaking books I’ve ever read, and the most heartbreaking of all UKYA. Simply perfectly written.
Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt
The best debut of the year by some way, Jarratt’s novel deals with disfigurement, prejudice, mental illness, and recovering from tragedy with great skill and compassion.
The Things We Did For Love by Natasha Farrant
While it seems to have been overshadowed somewhat by the success of Code Name Verity, Farrant’s own WWII novel is an exquisite book. It’s beautifully written, captures the feel for the period perfectly, and made me cry.
Department 19: The Rising by Will Hill
700 pages or so and not a wasted word. Absolute genius at work, with a huge mass of plotlines woven together perfectly.
Silenced by Simon Packham
This book about a boy struggling to cope with the death of his best friend stands out because of the huge warmth and surprising amount of humour found in it.
Jesse of Books 4 Teens shares his UKYA Top 10.
I knew when I agreed to write this I’d find it tricky but I didn’t think I’d find it this tricky. It’s surprising just how much US YA there is and some authors who I originally thought were based in the UK, well – weren’t.
So a couple of amendments later, a bit of tinkering here and a bit of tinkering there and I have a list. Even now though there are more books springing to mind, which are equally as good, but I’m going to stop tinkering now. This is in no particular order – except the order I thought of them 🙂
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
I read this series when I was still in school and it’s a story that has never, ever left me.
Kiss, Date, Love Hate by Luisa Plaja
A computer game that lets you take control of certain aspects of your friends (and not so friends) life. Enough said I think! A seriously fun read with such an authentic teenage voice I’m convinced Luisa is a teenager really!
Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb
A call out to geeks everywhere and a sweet romance told from a male perspective!
A Witch In Winter by Ruth Warburton
Witches, a mystery, good versus evil. Need I say more!
Hollow Pike by James Dawson
I love a good mystery and that’s exactly what you find in Hollow Pike with a little bit of magic sprinkled in for good measure. I loved the way it switched from the deeply serious to the more light-hearted side without undermining the story.
Rockoholic by CJ Skuse
A shout out to an author (reasonably) local 🙂 I adored Rockaholic – such an original idea – kidnapping a pop star and the ensuing drama is hilarious! Well worth a read.
Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriot
This was one of my favourite books last year – a modern fantasy fairy tale with tones of Cinderella sprinkled throughout.
The Truth About Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne
I thoroughly enjoyed this one – such an original story with a truly thrilling aspect to it.
The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish
If scary and creepy is your thing you HAVE to read The Hunting Ground, I’m saying no more.
Department 19 by Will Hill
Oh dear – I’m finishing with a series (well I couldn’t go and forget Department 19 could I?) Yes, it’s vampires but it’s how they were meant to be. Full of blood, nods of the head to Dracula and oh yes and a secret government department to take care of it 🙂