Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Best of UKYA

We have some seriously amazing talent in the UK and yet I still find that my blog is overrun with American books and authors and it’s not right, I tell you! I then began thinking about my favourite UKYA of the year so far, then I went on to the UKYA authors I worship and I decided that they’re so awesome that they deserve a blog post! So here you go, the best authors UKYA has to offer.

Sarra Manning
It’s no secret that I worship Ms Manning and her books filled with snark, toxic boys, delicious kisses and perfectly imperfect girls I wants to be BFFs with. Seriously, go and read her.

Start with Diary of a Crush, Nobody’s Girl or Adorkable

Keris Stainton
I love Keris. Her books are fresh, funny and bang up-to-date and usually set in places I want to visit so badly it hurts. Keris isn’t afraid to stand up for girls and her recent stand on feminism has opened my eyes and really stuck with me. This lady is on a mission.

Start with Della Says: OMG!, Jessie Hearts NYC or Emma Hearts LA (whoops, that’s all of them!)

Darren Shan
My like and respect for Darren Shan is a new thing for this year. With his epic, serial Zom-B series, he blew me away with his insane plot twists, hidden message and extreme cleverness. Shan gets kids reading, especially boys, and you really can’t ask for more than that!

Start with Zom-B or Cirque du Freak

Luisa Plaja
Luisa is one of the loveliest ladies I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and her books are just as sweet, funny and heart-warming with a splash of magical realism. Luisa’s novels are the perfect gateway into romantic YA and fun, quick reads for everyone!

Start with Split by a Kiss or Kiss, Date, Love, Hate

Tanya Byrne
Tanya Byrne has only published two books and yet I think she already has one of the strongest voices in contemporary YA. She tackles gritty and sometimes controversial topics with aplomb. You’ll sit down to read the first chapter and look up again to find you’ve lost a day and finished the entire novel. Truly brilliant.

Start with Heart-Shaped Bruise or Follow Me Down

Kevin Brooks
I discovered Kevin Brooks with a random pick in my local library about eight years ago and I’ve never looked back. Brooks writes on the darker side of contemporary and his books never fail to make me think and make me feel. I really don’t think he gets nearly enough love in the blogosphere as he deserves.

Start with Lucas or The Bunker Diaries

Meg Rosoff
One of our most literary authors, Meg Rosoff delivers something unexpected with each book. Regardless of the synopsis, I never know what I’m going to find, learn or feel when I read her books and I love that. She regularly throws the rule book out of the window and is hands-down one of my favourite authors.

Start with How I Live Now or What I Was

CJ Skuse
CJ has one of the freshest voices around at the moment. Kooky humour, lovable characters and mad-cap plots: what more could you ask for? Like with Rosoff, I never know what to expect next from CJ, but I know it’ll be brilliant.

Start with Rockaholic or Dead Romantic

Cat Clarke
This woman is a heart-breaker. With all three of her novels, I’ve cried; with the most recent two, more than once. The power and emotion behind her characters and her story blows me away and she’s stormed her way into the hearts of YA lovers and she’s there to stay.

Start with Entangled, Torn or Undone (whoops again...)

Melvin Burgess
I don’t think it would be any exaggeration to call Burgess the King of contemporary UKYA. Highly controversial topics, gritty backgrounds and clear, staccato prose, he’s a legend. Though I was slightly disappointed by his latest, I’m already excited to see what he tackles next.

Start with Junk or Sara’s Face

And just in case you already know and love all of these authors (good for you!), I’d recommend checking out Laura Jarratt, Siobhan Curham, Emma Pass and Lucy Christopher for some more excellent UKYA.

Did I miss your favourite UKYA author? Anyone you disagree with?



  1. Great Post! I tell you, you Uk'ers have some pretty fab authors. I think it's a great idea to spotlight the talent of your town which is why your post has inspired me to maybe do a post on the best of Aussie Lit. Talking of Aussie lit, I couldn't help but notice Friday Brown on your sidebar. How are you enjoying it? I loved it.

  2. Nice post! I have deep love for several of these authors - and I've noticed CJ, Meg Rosoff and a lot of Darren Shan in my school library this week ;)

  3. You missed Philip Reeve - one of my all-time favourite authors, let alone UK ones. His Mortal Engines series is so imaginative and cinematic, and Here Lies Arthur is so beautifully written and unique. x

  4. I've written a similar post for my UKYA fortnight and have realised how many amazing UKYA authors and books we have. Narrowing it down so that it wouldn't make a mile long blog post was very hard!

  5. Fabulous roundup, some great recommendations there. Have read Tanya Byrne and thoroughly agree re her books. Also how about Imogen Howson, and author of Earth Girl, think Janet someone?

  6. Great post. I think you missed Zoe Marriott- in my opinion, she has written lots of really good, original books.


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