As the UKYA Extravaganza is a celebration of UKYA I thought it’d be nice to do a piece about my favourite UKYA.
This is really quite hard though! There’s so much and what I choose today might not be what I’d choose tomorrow. To try and make it a bit easier, I thought I’d break it down into five categories. So, here we go –
- Favourite UKYA from my teenage years
The Chrysalids – John Wyndham
- Favourite UKYA I’ve Read This Year
Seven Days – Eve Ainsworth
- Favourite UKYA Dystopian
ACID - Emma Pass
Well, this is a no-brainer decision! Of course this has to go to Emma Pass’ ACID. What I especially love about it, well two things really, is the imagination gone into creating the world where Jenna is being hunted down for supposedly killing her dad, and the amount of twists yet all making absolute sense. The reader is dragged in at the beginning and pulled along on this roller-coaster of emotions and excitement.
- Fave UKYA Ghost Story
Glimpse – Kendra Leighton
I do love a good ghost story. This is inspired by the Alfred Noyes poem, The Highwayman, although it incorporates a lot of the poem it still manages to make itself individual from it. Teenage Liz has a tragic past and a miserable present; she and her father have moved to the Highwayman Inn for a fresh start, but Liz doesn’t fit in at school, and she keeps seeing Glimpses – ghostly images of bodies and humans! It’s got atmosphere, tension, nightmares, romance and mystery.
- Favourite UKYA Fantasy
The Name of the Blade, Book One – The Night Itself – Zoe Marriott
Set in modern-day London yet with ancient Japanese gods and monsters, technically I suppose this falls into urban fantasy category, but that’s what I really love about it. It’s set somewhere I’ve been, yet it has this crazy juxtaposition and it just makes it feel as if it could actually happen. With teenage Mio – a Londoner of Japanese descent – ‘borrowing’ a family heirloom, all kind of unexpected consequences come hurtling her way. Shadow beasts, monsters, Japanese folklore, and all at an absolutely cracking pace.
There is so much stunning UKYA talent out there – many overlooked – and I’d urge people to seek them out. A good place to start would be to look at the marvellous authors we have at the UKYA Extravaganza this time, or at the programme for the UKYA Shot this month too. We have a wonderful history of children’s literature here in the UK, let’s help support it into the future.
Kerry Drewery is a YA author of A Brighter Fear and A Dream of Lights (Leeds Book Award shortlisted, CILIP Carnegie nominated and NETBA award winner.)
Her new novel – CELL 7 – is set in a world where a sinister reality TV show has replaced the justice system and teenage Martha is accused of murdering Jackson Paige, a self-made millionaire. Like all the other criminals in the story, her fate will be decided by the public, who will choose whether she lives or dies. To be published in 2016 by Hot Key Books.
Would you like to attend the UKYAX event? Check out the infographic below!