Friday 18 April 2014

UKYA Day! UKYA Recommendations For The Uninitiated

Hello everyone! Today is UKYA Day, a part of Project UKYA's April Extravangaza (I can no longer look at that word without thinking of RuPaul's Drag Race... ELEGANZA EXTRAVANGANZA) dedicated to celebrating UKYA and all it's wonderfulness. So I thought I would take part by just spreading the love for some of my favourite UKYA books and authors! So here are some of my UKYA recs, by genre.


16036975This is not a numbered list (because I find it incredibly hard to pick favourites. Decision making is not my forte) but if it was than Cat Clarke would probably be number one. On this list.  She would also be number one on a list of people whose books break my heart and ruin my life. Undone in particular is soul destroying. I don't know how much more I can do to convince you to read it. Honestly, it's quite incredible and so powerful and emotional I cannot recommend it enough if you like those sorts of books.

10890319However, if you like your contemporary on the lighter side, then may I please direct you towards the brilliant books of Sophia Bennett. The Look and You Don't Know Me are both light books (especially when compared to Cat Clarke), but they also both touch on important issues like cancer and bullying and fame. Both of them are fun and enjoyable and touching. I can also heartily recommend the amazing books of Sarra Manning, including two of my favourite books ever (Adorkable and Nobody's Girl). Both of these books are very different, but they're just both so great (note: I'll try and keep track of how many times I say 'it's just so great' but I can guarantee that it will be a lot) and wonderful that if you like any books by Stephanie Perkins or the like, then you will love them. Plus, Sarra Manning is like classic UKYA. SHE IS THE QUEEN OF UK COMTEMP.

 There are so many books that I want to put here, though. So, a quick list of some other UKYA contemp that you should completely check out:

Jessie Hearts NY and Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton, Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt, Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter, What's Up With Jody Barton by Hayley Long, Rockoholic by C J Skuse, Geek Girl and Model Misfit by Holly Smale.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy

I don't actually think I've read that much UKYA Sci-Fi (please feel free to rec me some good stuff!), but when it comes to fantasy there is one author who you must absolutely read: Zoe Marriott. I've only read three of her five books, but I love them all and I absolutely must read the other two. Shadows on the Moon and FrostFire are both amazing, well developed fantasy novels with brilliant worlds and complex characters, and quite frankly I don't talk about her books enough so this is a good opportunity for me to spread the love. Her most recent offering, The Night Itself is the first book in an urban fantasy trilogy based around Japanese mythology, and it is also brilliant. If you're looking for diverse, interesting fantasy than look no further.


Also, Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve is such an interesting blend of sci-fi/dystopia and fantasy that I have to include it here. It's just such a great book, and if you read it now then you'll be all ready and prepared for the release of the second book, The Illusionists, in August! Yay! And, although this is bordering on MG, A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge. This book is so weird. I love it so much. It is glorious. 


I will say one name - James Dawson. Probably more paranormal/horror, really, but I can't be bothered making a whole new category so I'm just going to include him here and there's nothing you can do about it. James Dawson is pretty much the master of all things creepy in the UKYA world right now, especially with his new book, Say Her Name, which is out in June. It's about Bloody Mary, and it is bloody scary I can tell you that. Also, his first two books - Hollow Pike and Cruel Summer - are really excellent. I think Cruel Summer is my favourite of his.

Another brilliant book is Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne, which again, probably doesn't really fit into this category, but again, I'm not going to change it now. And, more of an actual mystery, is the Poppy Sinclair series by Sharon Jones which starts with Dead Jealous and the second book, Dead Silent, came out about 2 months ago. Such a good series if you're looking for mystery and a thrilling story! And again, definitely MG and nowhere near the kind of thrilleryness of the rest of these, but Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens. I don't think I've had that much fun reading a book in ages. It's a Sherlock-type detective story only our Sherlock and Watson are two 13 year old girls who attend an English boarding school in the 1930s. AMAZING.

So, there are so many other books I could have mentioned in other genres and stuff, but this is already quite long and it seems like a pretty good place to start! Also, I am no expert in UKYA. I definitely do not get to read enough of it myself, but the books that I have read I have majorly loved. I would love it if you guys had any great UKYA recs for me! I think it's so great what Lucy is doing with Project UKYA, trying to spread the word, and I'd just like to end this random paragraph by thanking her for UKYA Day, and all the other amazing things that she does to spread the word and support UKYA fiction.


  1. I completely back your claim that Sarra Manning is the queen of UKYA contemp! I love her books so much.

  2. Ooh. Really great recommendations for UKYA! You've picked some amazing authors and books!


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