Friday, February 01, 2013

UK YA in February 2013 (Celebrating British Authors)

I have to say, February is looking good for YA releases by British authors! Pantomime and Infinite Sky have already topped my Top Ten Books read in 2012 and I am now excited for more people to read them.  And Geek Girl by Holly Smale was my favourite book that I read in January...

CJ Skuse is one of my favourite YA authors so I'm dying to read Dead Romantic. Darcy Burdock is a brilliant book which is aimed at a slightly younger reading audience than YA, but whatever. It's brilliant, so I'm including it! I'm quite keen to finish the Winter series by Ruth Warburton, I love the sound of Red Ink, and am quite interesting in reading books by new-to-me authors like Rae Earl, Frances Hardinge, Kerry Drewery and Sarah Naughton.

Coming up in February, to support UKYA in 2013, expect to see guest posts from CJ Flood, Laura Lam and CJ Skuse and there is still a strong possibility of more... Wait and see. For now, I present the books being published this month by British authors. I do apologise for the state of your wish lists by the end of this post!

Infinite Sky by CJ Flood (14th February, Simon and Schuster)

Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists.

When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth?

When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself.

Infinite Sky is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love.

CJ Flood

Pantomime by Laura Lam (5th February, Strange Chemistry)

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

Laura Lam

Dead Romantic by CJ Skuse (4th February, Chicken House)

Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she kows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?

CJ Skuse

A Witch Alone by Ruth Warburton (7th February, Hodder Children's)

Where do you go when your heart has been ripped out?

For Anna there is only one answer; into her past, where the truth about her mother, her power, and her real identity lie hidden.

But as Anna delves deeper into her history, she begins to fear that the truth about what set her mother running may be darker than she ever suspected. With the witches of the world on the brink of war, Seth gone, and her friend Abe wanting more from her than she can possibly give, Anna is in crisis.

As the clouds around her gather, Anna is torn between friends, family and rival tribes of witches and – at the last – between love and magic.

Ruth Warburton

Geek Girl by Holly Smale (28th February, HarperCollins)

Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Holly Smale

Darcy Burdock by Laura Dockrill (28th February, Random House)

Ten-year-old Darcy Burdock is one of life's noticers. Curious, smart-as-a-whip, funny and fiercely loyal, she sees the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around her.

In this first book, we are introduced to her family: Mum, who Darcy loves as much as her favourite fried egg and chips, Dad, who is kind and fair if a bit hopeless, and little siblings Hector and Poppy, who Darcy likes dressing up in ridiculous outfits and having dance-offs with, respectively. Plus there's her non-bleating pet lamb, Lamb-Beth and best friend, Will, to have adventures with.

Darcy learns that turning into an angrosaurus-rex and causing chaos just gets her in trouble, trying to run away from home with a reluctant lamb in tow leads to sore kneebows, it's best not to throw a massive strop just before your surprise birthday party, Hallowe'en is all about spider costumes and having a pumpkin with a wonky eye, and if she's ever in a situation at home or at school where she's not sure what to do, she should write a story around it and the truth will be illuminated by her imagination.

Laura Dockrill

OMG! Is This Actually My Life? by Rae Earl (7th February, Walker)

Fourteen-year-old Hattie Moore doesn't actually know who her father is - but that's the least of her problems. How can she become a TOTAL HOTNESS GODDESS when Miss Gorgeous Knickers at school hates her and no one fancies her because she has no breasts? And her family are an actual nightmare. Her unbelievably annoying brother is EVIL and on top of that, her gran is a TOTAL mental who may be texting rude jokes to just about EVERYONE in the world. Including her dentist.

Hattie's diary of this tumultuous year is an absolutely hilarious account of the ups and downs of teenage life including a dating bogey phobia, near death from biscotti and a home-made breast-growing machine.

Rae Earl

Red Ink by Julie Mayhew (7th February, Hot Key Books)

When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce Melon to a 'living, breathing' father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and is unlikely to be jumping on a plane and coming to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has 'The Story'. 'The Story' is the Fourakis family fairytale. A story is something. RED INK is a powerful coming-of-age tale about superstition, denial and family myth.

Julie Mayhew

The Hanged Man Rises by Sarah Naughton (28th February, Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

When their parents are killed in a fire, Titus Adams and his little sister Hannah are left to fend for themselves in the cruel and squalid slums of Victorian London. Taking shelter with his friend and saviour, Inspector Pilbury, Titus should feel safe. But though the inspector has just caught and hung a notorious child-murderer, the murders haven't stopped. Now everyone is a suspect, even the inspector himself, and unless Titus can find a way to end the killings, he will lose all that is dear to him. For this evil cannot be contained, even by death.

Sarah Naughton

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge (28th February, Macmillan Children's Books)

In the underground city of Caverna the world's most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare - wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear - at a price. Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell's emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed . . .

Frances Hardinge 

A Dream of Lights by Kerry Drewery (28th of February, HarperCollins)

A powerful and moving stand-alone novel for anyone who loved A GATHERING LIGHT or BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY, in which a teenage girl struggles against the odds for survival in a North Korean prison camp… From the author of A Brighter Fear.

Yoora is a teenage girl living in North Korea, dreaming of the lights of foreign cities while eking out a miserable existence in a rural northern village. But then she makes a mistake: she falls in love. With someone far removed from her social class. Someone dangerous to know. When tongues start to wag, her father is executed and she is taken to a prison camp in the mountains. There, escape seems even further from her grasp. But Yoora is about to learn an important lesson: love can surprise you, and it can come in many forms…

Kerry Drewery 

Which books by British authors are you looking forward to reading in February? 


  1. Oh no! What have you done?! Now I'm going to have to put them all on my wishlist! I really love the sound of Infinite Sky and will be looking for it once it's out. Dead Romantic is amazing and I was so lucky to read it as part of the blog tour.
    I really want to start supporting more YA novels and authors so this post is really helpful.
    Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. You are very welcome, Lucy! I've read a handful of these already and I've got to say, Infinite Sky is so beautiful! If you do get the chance to read it, I'm sure you'll love it :)

  2. I really want Dead Romantic, so much! And Geek Girl was fantastic :)

    1. Wasn't it? :) And Dead Romantic is brilliant too, so much fun!

  3. There's so much amazing UKYA coming out this month! I'm reading Dead Romantic at the moment and I'm loving it.

    1. Isn't it great?! :) You're right though. Amazing UKYA out this month!


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