Some books you can read and forget about after a few months, but there are others that stay with you for a long time afterwards. There are also those books that will always stick with you, no matter what, and have affected your life in some way. Here are a few of mine:
Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton
I love books for a wide range of reasons, but one of the main ones is because they’re always there when I need them most. When I was 12, a few months before I started my blog, my granddad died and it was something that affected me hugely, us being so close and me being so young. During the months after, I turned to books to help me through and one of these books was Jessie Hearts NYC. For this reason, it’s a book I’ve recommended a lot and Keris’s books, like Jessie Hearts NYC and Emma Hearts LA, are a great place to start for readers who are starting to read YA.
In the wider book industry, female authors often get overlooked so it is super important to support them as much as possible. I thought I would compile a list of some of my favourite female authors today. They all write books that feature either feminism or female characters who stand out as being realistic and passionate.
Louise O’Neill – Only Ever Yours and Asking For It
Louise is one of the biggest YA talents out there at the moment and with the recent announcement that she’s been signed to write two adult books for Quercus, I’m really excited to read her future books. Only Ever Yours has earned Louise comparisons to the likes of Margaret Atwood, which is no mean feat, and it is set in a dystopian future where girls are genetically engineered to be perfect. They are then raised to please the men of this fictional world, which leads you to question our own society and just how far away the world in Only Ever Yours is from ours.
Asking For it deals with the subject of rape and consent. It’s extremely harrowing and a must-read for people of all ages. It draws attention to what it’s like to be a woman in the digital age and, although I didn’t love every second of reading it, I came away knowing just how important the book is.
Holly Bourne – Soulmates, The Manifesto On How to Be Interesting, Am I Normal Yet?
I read Soulmates a few years ago and fell in love with it. Each page gripped me and I couldn’t put it down. Since then, I’ve become a huge fan of Holly’s and she is one of the loveliest people you could wish to meet. It makes me very happy to see her books doing so well!
The book that I could talk all day about is Am I Normal Yet?. The first in a new series, it tells the story of a girl recovering from OCD and anxiety, and her journey as she tries to fit in and be “normal”. The best part of it for me was the feminist group that Evie and her two friends set up. It allows younger readers to test the waters of feminism without it being forced on them and it’s a book that I’ll be recommending to everyone. Continue Reading
I’m so excited for this edition of Lucy Recommends… because I’m going to be recommending one of my favourite UKYA authors! Keris Stainton writes amazing contemporary books that one can devour in less than a day. Here are some of her books:
Della says: OMG!
Della has such a realistic teenage voice and is the perfect introduction to YA for people looking to start reading it. It’s about a girl called Della whose diary goes missing and extracts from it appear on Facebook and are sent to her mobile. I think it’s my favourite of Keris’s books!
Jessie Hearts NYC
Set in New York, it tells the story of Jessie who moves to New York and hopes to forget about her ex-boyfriend, and Finn who falls in love with his best friend’s girlfriend. It was the first of Keris’s books I read and it really made me fall in love with her writing.
Emma Hearts LA
Can you guess where this one is set? In LA! It’s a companion novel to Jessie and I loved reading a book set in the US from a British person’s perspective.
My favourite of Keris’s books, and you can read my full review here! It’s so diverse and features great friendships. It’s perfect for readers of middle grade who’d like to start reading YA because it’s light enough that it introduces YA gradually, but it also represents the kind of emerging issues that YA does very well.
Have you read any of Keris Stainton’s books? Which was your favourite?
I love reading UKYA books set in other countries because I’m able to read them through a tourist’s eyes and learn about incredible new cultures. There aren’t many of them, but the existing ones are real gems!
Stolen by Lucy Christopher is set in the Australian Outback, about a girl who is kidnapped by an older man. The imagery was beautiful and it was easy to imagine what the setting was like, even though I’ve never been there before.
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell is out TOMORROW and is set in Japan. It’s about a boy called Sora who has ALS and we learn about him as his ALS progresses. Despite the topic, it’s a book full of hope which was shown even more through the setting of Japan. I’d love to read more books set there!
Jessica Cole Model Spy: Code Red Lipstick by Sarah Sky is set in Paris. I am a huge sucker for any book set in France and it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll love it. Sarah Sky’s books are modelling meets Ally Carter, and SO good!
A Brighter Fear by Kerry Drewery is set in Baghdad during the war in 2003 and it’s wonderfully unique. It’s easy to feel as if you are actually there and living through the terror and fright.
Jessie Hearts NYC and Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton are both brilliant contemporary books by one of my favourite UKYA authors. They have a big crossover appeal too and I like recommending them to people who are new to reading YA!
Finding Sky by Joss Stirling is a book I’ve read millions of times from cover to cover. In fact, I think I’m in need of a re-read soon! It’s set in Colorado and I’m pleased that it’s a UK fantasy book set in another country. There aren’t many of them!
What are your favourite UKYA books set in other countries?