As I did last year, I will be presenting my ‘best of’ books I have read that there were published this year along with my favourite book already published I read this year.
Favourite YA Debut
This is such a hard one for me as I truly read a number of outstanding debuts but I have to say that Tanya Byrne’s Heart-Shaped Bruise just blew me away. This is a book that I couldn’t put down and spent a lot of time pointing out phrases I loved and saying to my Mum I wished I had written that bit, and that bit, and that bit. It’s poignant, well-written and simply stunning. I need more of Tanya’s writing now!
The YA Book That Broke My Heart
Oh, Cat Clarke, you! Undone just left me stunned, speechless (which if you know me is an achievement in itself) and utterly bereft and heart-broken by the end. A stunning tale of obsession and revenge, but for me primarily a brilliant and heart-wrenching depiction of being consumed by grief. The ebook is out now, but the paperback is released in January. Read it, please.
The YA That Changed My Mind
I was never a big fantasy reader, I kind of liked it a bit when I was 12 and I read Lord of the Rings and the ilk and wrote my own terrible fantasy stories, but then I just drifted away from it. I grew to get on with urban fantasy but I was still a reluctant fantasy person. Then I read The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo and it opened me up to YA Fantasy as a whole. The Gathering Dark is a great, atmospheric and Russian inspired fantasy that blew me away.
Favourite YA Sequel
I have to say that while I never expected this last year, Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series and it’s first sequel Pandemonium (and final part Requiem out in match) blew me away. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started Pandemonium but suddenly I was reading this beautifully told, achingly poignant novel and connected to it in a way I really hadn’t in the first book. Pandemonium is a stunning read!
Favourite Paranormal YA
A Witch In Winter/ A Witch In Love by Ruth Warburton has quickly become one of my favourite series in YA and a fab paranormal read. It’s set in the UK with witches, crushes, boys and truly chilling moments. I love how Ruth uses real history about witchcraft and incorporates it into her writing. This series has flown under the radar a little, but trust me when I say it’s well worth reading and deserves more acclaim.
Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt is a truly stunning debut about looking beyond appearances and prejudice. It has it all; romance, issues, even a crime or two. I loved the relationship between Ryan and Jenna. Most of all, it challenges a lot of general preconceptions though and is a truly important read.
Favourite Humorous YA
How To Keep A Boy As A Pet- Diane Messidoro. This book was a complete surprise to me and reminded me of the great, funny YA I read when I was a teenager. It reopened my desire to read more books like this and made me laugh a lot while raising some serious topics too.
Favourite ’New To Me’ YA
Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. After a lot of recommendations I finally started Vampire Academy and just loved it. It’s possibly my favourite vampire YA series to date.
Hollow Pike- James Dawson
Witch Crag-Kate Cann
The City’s Son- Tom Pollock
Saving June- Hannah Harrington