Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors

Liberty’s Fire by Lydia Syson

23524565Paris, 1871. Four young people will rewrite their destinies. Paris is in revolt. After months of siege at the hands of the Prussians, a wind of change is blowing through the city, bringing with it murmurs of a new revolution.

Alone and poverty-stricken, sixteen-year-old Zephyrine is quickly lured in by the ideals of the city’s radical new government, and she finds herself swept away by its promises of freedom, hope, equality and rights for women. But she is about to fall in love for a second time, following a fateful encounter with a young violinist. Anatole’s passion for his music is soon swiftly matched only by his passion for this fierce and magnificent girl. He comes to believe in Zephyrine’s new politics – but his friends are not so sure.

Opera-singer Marie and photographer Jules have desires of their own, and the harsh reality of life under the Commune is not quite as enticing for them as it seems to be for Anatole and Zephyrine. And when the violent reality of revolution comes crashing down at all their feet, can they face the danger together – or will they be forced to choose where their hearts really lie?

COMING SOON: That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson

51-+QeabKQL._SY445_Romney Marsh, July 1940. When invasion threatens, you have to grow up quickly.

Sixteen-year-old Peggy has been putting on a brave face since the fall of France, but now the enemy is overhead, and the rules are changing all the time. Staying on the right side of the law proves harder than she expects when a plane crash-lands in the Marsh: it’s Peggy who finds its pathetic, broken pilot; a young Polish man, Henryk, who stays hidden in a remote church, secretly cared for by Peggy.

As something more blossoms between the two, Peggy’s brother Ernest’s curiosity peaks and other secrets come to light, forcing Peggy and Henryk to question all the loyalties and beliefs they thought they held dear. In one extraordinary summer the lives of two young people will change forever.

Published by Hot Key Books on 3 October 2013


Author Keren David’s UKYA Books of the Year

So many…it’s really difficult to pick…

Two historical books:

images-6VIII by H M Castor –  a stunning beautifully written account of the life of Henry VIII

A World Between Us by Lydia Syson. Lydia’s in my writing group, so I’m like a proud auntie to this book. A touching love triangle set against the skillfully drawn background of the Spanish Civil War

Two contemporaries:

The Look by Sophia Bennett    A really enjoyable well-balanced story about two sisters, one’s talent spotted by a model agency, the other is diagnosed with cancer.

Fifteen Days without a Head by Dave Cousins  –  Made me laugh, made me cry. Two brothers fight to cover up their mum’s disappearance.

images-7One only-just UK…

The author is American (but lives in the UK). The setting is America (but there’s a British character).  Whatever. At Yellow Lake by Jane McLoughlin constantly amazed me with its brilliance.


A World Between Us by Lydia Syson

With Europe on the verge of war, Felix is on the verge of discovering love. But discovery means choice and she had to decide between logic and attraction, good sense and passion.

As suburban London becomes a memory, Felix has to fight to survive. Not just the battles of the Spanish Civil War, but also the conflicts of her own heart.

A passionate and exciting adventure story that explores the meaning of love and the power of choice.

Published 4 October 2012

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The Things We Did for Love by Natasha Farrant

Reviewed by Lydia Syson:

An exceptionally haunting love story set in occupied France.

February, 1944. How can Arianne not be struck by Luc when he returns to the village of Samaroux after five years away? The two fall irresistably in love, under the jealous gaze of Romy and the protective watch of Ari’s cousin Solange.

But in wartime, the choices you make always have consequences for others. As German forces surround the village, intent on vengence, the young lovers have to make some difficult decisions. What will they do for what they believe in? What should they do for love? And what, finally, is the price of resistance?

Visit Natasha’s website