Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors

The Glass Republic by Tom Pollock

the glass republic tom pollockPen’s life is all about secrets: the secret of the city’s spirits, deities and monsters her best friend Beth discovered, living just beyond the notice of modern Londoners; the secret of how she got the intricate scars that disfigure her so cruelly – and the most closely guarded secret of all: Parva, her mirror-sister, forged from her reflections in a school bathroom mirror. Pen’s reflected twin is the only girl who really understands her.

Then Parva is abducted and Pen makes a terrible bargain for the means to track her down. In London-Under-Glass looks are currency, and Pen’s scars make her a rare and valuable commodity. But some in the reflected city will do anything to keep Pen from the secret of what happened to the sister who shared her face.

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The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

images-5Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Urchin, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Urchin opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen-where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Urchin’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Urchin raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.

Raimy of Readaraptor’s UKYA Books of the Year

This is my top list of books from 2013. I tried to keep the list short, I failed. There were too many awesome books out this year!

FrostfireFrostfire – Zoe Marriott

This latest offering from Zoe Marriott is quite possibly my favourite of hers so far. I was in awe the entire way through and I loved how Zoe gets across the complexity of the main character without making the whole book hard to read.

The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket – John Boyne

Any fan of Roald Dahl should be reading this book. It is quite simply awesome! I couldn’t put it down, I laughed and I cried but most of all I loved every bit of it!

Heart Shaped Bruise – Tanya Byrne

I am a sucker for psychological thrillers so I was grabbed by this the minute I started reading. Following the story of an 18 year old girl who was awaiting trail in the mental health ward of a young persons unit this is a must for people who like stories that get into your head.

Emma Hearts LA – Keris Stainton

This book holds a special place in my own heart and it is a fantastic and brilliant example of British Contemporary fiction!

AdorkableAdorkable – Sarra Manning

I can’t put into words my love for this book but I enjoyed it so much I wrote a letter to the book instead of a review of it!

Boys Don’t Cry – Malorie Blackman

Following the story of a guy who gets a baby he didn’t even know existed left on his doorstep this one is well worth a read!

Undone – Cat Clarke

I’ve read two Cat Clarke books this year and let me tell you, it was hard to chose which to put on this list. I decided on Undone purely for the emotions that overcame me whilst reading the book. Its a gut wrenching story which leaves you in shock and makes you want to return to the start and read all over again.

The City’s Son – Tom Pollock

I’m not good with fantasy books, especially high fantasy that looks like its so far beyond what we are used to in everyday life that it will make my head hurt. However The City’s Son goes on this list for making me see that I shouldn’t be scared of this type of book, it was fantastic and once I got used to the world (which didn’t take long!) my head didn’t even start to ache!

Author James Dawson’s UKYA Books of the Year

2012 has been a mega year for UKYA, yes MEGA. With a couple of notable exceptions (oh hai Leigh Bardugo’s GATHERING DARK) ALL of my faves have been by UK writers. I think we do some awesome work  -I’m just gonna float that out there. Here are but five excellent examples of 2012 releases:

images-5WHAT’S UP WITH JODY BARTON? by Hayley Long – rightly nominated for the Waterstones prize, this coming of age tale pulls of the rare, rare feat of being powerful and moving without ever being worthy or mawkish, which I loathe. Please read this today.

THE CITY’S SON by Tom Pollock – Do you like beautiful, elegant prose? Do you enjoy fast-paced urban fantasy? Do you appreciate sinister oil men and living statues? I thought so. Read this book.

TORN by Cat Clarke – A group of girls do a very, very bad thing to the school bitch and have to deal with the consequences. Like a teen movie, but with a achingly real, unshowy ending. I can’t wait for Undone.

images-2HEART SHAPED BRUISE by Tanya Byrne – A masterclass in ‘voice’, Tanya’s damaged/fabulous main character, stabby Emily Koll, lives and breathes from these pages. There’s a reason everyone’s talking about it, yo.

UNREST by Michelle Harrison – Genuinely scary stuff in which a flawed young man is (literally) occupied by the spirits of restless spirits. Not just a ghost story but a twisty turny thriller too!

Get reading! There’s so many 2013 releases to be excited about you haven’t got time to waste! See you next August dear readers! James xxx