Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors

The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) by Gemma Malley

Evil has been eradicated. The City has been established. And citizens may only enter after having the ‘evil’ part of their brain removed. They are labelled on the System according to how ‘good’ they are. If they show signs of the evil emerging, they are labelled a K . . .

But no one knows quite what that means. Only that they disappear, never to be seen again . . .

Visit Gemma’s website


The Declaration by Gemma Malley

It’s the year 2140 and Longevity drugs have all but eradicated old age. A never-aging society can’t sustain population growth, however…which means Anna should never have been born. Nor should any of the children she lives with at Grange Hall. The facility is full of boys and girls whose parents chose to have kids–called surpluses–despite a law forbidding them from doing so.

These children are raised as servants, and brought up to believe they must atone for their very existence. Then one day a boy named Peter appears at the Hall, bringing with him news of the world outside, a place where people are starting to say that Longevity is bad, and that maybe people shouldn’t live forever. Peter begs Anna to escape with him, but Anna’s not sure who to trust: the strange new boy whose version of life sounds like a dangerous fairy tale, or the familiar walls of Grange Hall and the head mistress who has controlled her every waking thought?

Visit Gemma’s website


Top 10 Favourite UKYA books, by Kirsty of The Overflowing Library

Kirsty of The Overflowing Library blog, chooses her Top 10 UKYA faves.

I agreed to do this post then I freaked out. As someone who reads over 200 books in a year (and many of those written by British Authors) I didn’t know how I would be able to pin down my top 10 favourite books by British Authors. Below is what I think are my top 10 in no particular order but ask me again tomorrow and the list might have changed. I’m fickle like that.

1) Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

I loved this book because I loved the main character. She had been in an accident which left her face scarred and the majority of this book deals with her settling into her new life post the accident but also revolves about a beautiful love story with the boy she falls for but doesn;t think she has a chance with because of her scars. It had me hooked from page one.

2) VIII by HM Castor

I love Harriet Castor and I love her book. If I were to write a book (and don’t hold your breath on that one) this is the sort of book I would want to write. It looks at a well known historical figure and looks at him in a different way to the norm. It is historically accurate and engaging and both my YA read and History Teacher Heads love this one. When Harriet talks about this book to kids she compares Henry VIII to Anakin Skywalker which I love as an idea such a good comparison and way to hook readers, especially boys in. FYI sadly there are no lightsabers in this book.

3) Department 19 by Will Hill

I am by no stretch of the imagination a horror reader but I loved this book blood-thirstiness and all. I love the main character Jamie and his potentially heart-breaking ways (give him a year or two) and by the end I wanted to don my very own T-Bone and go out vampire hunting with the Department.

4) Paradise Barn by Victor Watson

This book is not only written by a favourite British author of mine it is also published by my favourite British Publisher, the small but perfectly formed Catnip Books. I love this book and the series that follows. It is a brilliant one for engaging teens in historical fiction and has a cracking storyline.

5) Unrest by Michelle Harrison

I read this book in one sitting and literally found myself flying through it. I found it effortless to read and I really enjoyed every page. It’s about ghosts and has a brilliant lead character who I loved.

6) Adorkable by Sarra Manning

After loving Sarra Manning when I was a teen reading this last month was like stepping back in time. I loved it entirely. I loved the main character Jeane and her quirky ways and I loved the morales of the story. I’ve since lost my copy to kids at school who heard I had a copy early and begged me to read it.

7) The Declaration by Gemma Malley

For me this is one of the first dystopian books I ever read before I even knew such a think existed. I loved every page and the world created within it because you could just about see it happening somewhere in the not so distant future.

8) Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

Do not read this at night or alone. One of the creepiest books I have ever read and beautifully written. I won’t say much more about this one because I can’t begin to describe it. Just buy it!

9) Hollow Pike by James Dawson

I loved Hollow Pike. I love how funny it is with its cracking one-liners and I really loved how well James can write teenage girls. There are so many bits of dialogue which rung so true with me because I remember saying similar as a teenager or I can well picture one of the kids I teach saying. Also it has a brilliant anti-bullying message which I loved.

10) 12 Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge

This book reminds me of an earlier Phillip Pullman. The main character is a plucky Victorian girl making her way in a world in which the odds are stacked against her. I loved the historical elements and there is a twist on the visions seen by one of the characters in the book which is really clever.

Caitlin of The Cait Files picks her Top 10 UKYA books

Caitlin Lomas, who blogs at The Cait Files, chooses her Top 10 favourite UKYA books.

The White Darkness by Geradline McCaughrean

An all-time favourite, follows a girl, Sym, who is shy and socially withdrawn, mostly as a result of her hearing impairment, partly because of the death of her father but also because her best friend, intrepid explorer Titus Oates lives in her head. With a trip to Antarctica, an abundance of conspiracy theories and a creepy ‘uncle’ you’ll never know quite what to think or who to trust.

Junk by Melvin Burgess

A very real book based around heroin addicts who form a highly dysfunctional but often sweet family. Controversial, but eye-opening and oddly captivating.

Denial by David Belbin

Initially picked up because the MC was called Caitlin (best name ever) who is a teenage girl trying to recreate herself, which seems to be working, until her teacher father is accused of molesting one of his students and Caitlin’s life gets turned upside down.

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

One of the first dystopians I ever read and one of the best. In a world where adults live forever, children, Surpluses, are considered lower-class citizens and taught to be ‘useful’ to make up for their own existence.

Echorium Sequence by Katherine Roberts

A fantasy series surrounding the Singers and a battle over the ultimate evil. First book, Song Quest, was recently rereleased by Catnip Books

The Doomspell Trilogy by Cliff McNish

Possibly a little younger than YA, but I have always adored it. Fantasy series surrounding a witch who snatches children away to an alternate dimension meets her match when she steals 2 kids with extraordinary powers. Lots of battles, witches, wizards, other creatures, splendid.

The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson by Louise Rennison

Everyone’s read them, but they deserve a mention. Hilarious diaries of a teen girl getting to grips with life. My sister used to shout at me for reading these late at night and keeping her awake  by laughing.

A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton

Paranormal romance with a British twist!  Witchcraft, love and magical mysteries all in a small coastal town in Southern England. And the sequel is just as good.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Strange, a little disturbing but very beautiful; the tragic story of spoilt, cynical Daisy and her cousins whose idyllic summer takes a nasty turn when a war breaks out. There’s a reason it’s a staple on these lists. Everyone should read it.

Hollow Pike by James Dawson

Creepy murders in a creepy town surrounded by a creepy wood. And if that’s not enough to entice you, James’ teenagers are outstandingly realistic and he writes about LGBT teens and issues better than any other author I’ve encountered so far.

And I’d like to end with an honorary mention for one of my favourite authors and favourite series, Sarah Rees Brennan and The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy. Keris said I could not include her because she is IRISH but her books are so fantastic they had to get a mention. Urban Fantasy set in England which follows the Ryves brothers and their adventures with demons, magicians and annoying girls with pink hair who demand you save their brother. One of the funniest and most plot-twisty series I’ve ever read.

1 Comment

The Legacy by Gemma Malley

When a Pincent Pharma lorry is ambushed by the Underground, its contents come as a huge surprise – not drugs but corpses in a horrible state. It appears Longevity isn’t working and the drugs that are supposed to guarantee eternal youth are failing to live up to their promise.

A virus is sweeping the country, killing many in its wake, and Longevity is powerless to fight it. When Richard Pincent of Pincent Pharma suggests that the Underground has released the virus, something has to be done to alert everyone to the truth and put the story straight once and for all.

Visit Gemma’s site