Thursday, October 18, 2012

Top Ten Favourite UKYA authors (that I've read in 2012)

Hello! This is my first time officially taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, so be gentle?  I've always loved the feature and really enjoying reading other people's lists so I'm really happy today to kick myself into gear and actually be a part of this week. (This post is going up on Thursday instead of Tuesday though, so not terribly helpful with the kicking myself into gear thing!) But thanks The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this fab meme :)

I really dithered about what X was going to mean.  I originally thought of favourite contemporary YA authors but thought it maybe a little simple, a bit taking the easy route for me.  Then I thought of favourite debut authors and as I was compiling that list, a couple of the authors jumped out at me as also being UK YA authors.  And of course, UKYA is something very close to my heart.  So today, I bring you my top 10 UKYA authors whose books I've read in 2012.

First up, we have Phil Earle with his beautiful book, Saving Daisy.  I thought Phil Earle's previous book, Being Billy, was hugely heart-breaking and he couldn't possibly reach the same level of sad-but-hopeful emotions, but I was proven wrong.  Saving Daisy is an amazing story of one girl who really has a rough time of things but no matter how hard her life has become, there are still people around her who care for her and are prepared to help her through.  Some of my favourite things in any book are the supporting characters like Ade who are so unconditionally there.

Phil Earle

Next, Sophia Bennett with one of my favourite books this year, The Look.  I loved The Look so much.  It's a great story about family and identity and appearance.  While involving some very serious topics like having a sister with cancer, this book doesn't feel at all weighed down by those heavy emotions.  It's funny and sweet and this book has one of the best scenes in any book I've read recently.  All these months later and I'm still thinking about it.  I really must get around to reading Sophia Bennett's other books in the Threads series.

Sophia Bennett

Also, a debut author, Laura Jarratt with the incredible Skin Deep.  I think I've said it before, how much I love stories that encorporate image into the storyline.  And I think Laura Jarratt did that incredibly well with Skin Deep.  It's a love story between two teenagers, one of which has been scarred badly from a car accident recently and the other is a traveller who has to deal with people's assumptions and judgements about him based on that.  I found both main characters to be wonderful, I connected with them both on a really emotional level right from the start and the relationship between the pair is utterly sweet as well.

Laura Jarratt

Another debut author and my favourite book of all of 2012, Tanya Byrne with Heart-Shaped Bruise.  I've made no secret about my love for this book! I really and truly love this book to bits.  I LOVE books involving identity, and the fact that Emily, the main character has been so damaged after finding out a basis of her identity has been shattered is really compelling to read.  I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages of this book.  I do adore books that involve an element of psychology into them as much as Tanya Byrne did with Heart-Shaped Bruise. I'm so excited to see what else Tanya will bring us after this incredible debut!

Tanya Byrne

Then we have one of my favourite authors in general, Sarra Manning for whom I've read both Adorkable and the brilliant Diary of a Crush series. I was dancing about all excited to read Sarra Manning's latest YA offering and I find that I'm never left disappointed after reading one of her novels.  Adorkable is a very fun book about two people who you'd think are opposites but they find they have more in common than they'd like to believe.  I loved Jeane, she's very quirky cool in Adorkable. And then! I managed to acquire a full set of the Diary of a Crush series (they're not out of print, WAHH!) and they are amazing. I read them over the weekend and they pulled me out of a bad reading slump.  Loved art boy Dylan!

Sarra Manning

I met Diane Messidoro recently and she actually remembered my review of her hilarious book, How To Keep a Boy as a Pet, how exciting is that?! It was the highlight of my week, let me tell you. And that is all to do with just how much I loved this book!  It was equal parts hilarious and heartfelt.  I loved that the book is told in blog posts (Yay! Blogging!) and that it centres around main character, Circe's attempts at figuring out that mysterious species known as teenage boys but also so much of the story is her gaining more confidence and self-esteem.  I loved that.

Diane Messidoro

I have to include Aidan Chambers on this list, because his beautiful book, Dying To Know You was one of my biggest reading surprises this year.  I've never read anything by Aidan Chambers prior to this book, but I shall looking out for books by him on the strength of Dying To Know You.  I have to be honest, what attracted me to this book in the first place is the gorgeous cover. I figured I may as well pick it up and read it instead of just staring at it!  And I really wasn't expecting the narrator to be an elderly man and I didn't expect to fall so hard for this utterly sweet friendship between the old man and teenage boy Karl.  A lot of the story is about expression of feelings, both with words and with other methods.  It was a beautiful and gentle story, one in which I loved so completely.

Aidan Chambers

I love Susie Day, and I did finally get to meet her recently, YAY! Her latest book, The Twice-Live Summer of Bluebell Jones is amazing and I obviously haven't raved about it enough... So here we go again.  I still think this book is amazing.  I've said it before, but after reading this book I have a new way of thinking that is changing my life in little, subtle ways.  I think to myself, what would future-me tell me to do?  Because that is what happens to 14 year old Bluebell Jones - she makes a wish on her birthday for some help and that appears in form of Red, who is her 15 year old self from the future! And over the course of this book, with a help from herself, Blue is able to be a little more daring and confident and have a summer that is amazing!  And that is what this book is - amazing. 

Susie Day

I've really loved Hayley Long since falling in love with her previous books about Lottie Biggs, but that love has been cemented after reading What's Up With Jody Barton?  Can't say much about it without spoiling the huge twist in the middle, but it is definitely worth your time to pick up this book and to discover its secrets.  I really loved Jody, and the way in which this story is told again in diary format.  It feels as though it will be quite a simple story from the beginning, about two people and a crush, but then the twist appears and BAM! Completely different story and circumstances.  Fantastic story. 

Hayley Long

Ages ago, I saw this boxset in WHSmith, the first three books in the Million Dollar Mates series by Cathy Hopkins for £4 and snapped it up.  I always knew that Cathy Hopkins is an author that I'd always wanted to try out.  And it turns out that I've really fallen for this series!  Cathy Hopkins makes it onto this list because of how addictive I found these first three book in the series to be.  I love that this normal girl and her family moving into a fancy London apartment brings about these thoughts about class differences and worth.  I love that Jess and her mates are just trying to figure stuff out and I've really enjoyed going on this journey together with them!  I've got the fourth book recently and I can't wait to dive in. 

Cathy Hopkins

So that's my list of favourite UKYA authors (that I've read in 2012) - I'd love to know who would make your list?


  1. Loving you straight back, thanks x

  2. I really want to read Adorkable! It sounds amazing. Nice list Clover. :)

    1. Thanks, Rachel! There are some amazing books on this list, Adorkable included. I hope you enjoy it :)

  3. The Look was a surprisingly emotional read and I absolutely adored Skin Deep - very sad but sweet :') I'm still itching to get my hands on Adorkable but I need to tackle my TBR pile first! And yay for Cathy Hopkins - I used to love her books!

    1. Woo! Thanks so much, Clover, as a newbie author it means a lot to make such a cool top ten! Diane x

    2. Weren't The Look and Skin Deep wonderful? :) I hope you manage to get your TBR pile in control soon so that you can pick up Adorkable!

  4. I've not heard of many of these authors, so have added quite a few to my wishlist. My favourite UK YA author has to be Malorie Blackman, loved the Noughts & Crosses series.

    1. Oh I love Malorie Blackman and the Noughts and Crosses series too! I'm hoping to reread them soon!


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