I read this book within 24 hours, on the same day that I saw Frozen for the first time. So basically, this day was a GOOD DAY.
The Girl with all the Gifts
I normally stay away from zombies, because I HATE ZOMBIES. But unfortunately I didn’t realise that this was a zombie book until it was too late, and then I had to see the book through to the end because OTHERWISE THE ZOMBIES WOULD GET OUT OF THE BOOK AND EAT ME. It’s only now, months after the trauma and nightmares have passed, that I can really appreciate how good this book was. It was wonderful, and is one of my most recommended books of the year.
I think the UK YA market has been yearning for a book like this for a long, long time. Contemporary, urban, cool, and refreshingly frank about sex, it reminded me of reading Judy Blume for the first time when I was a young teenager. I can’t wait to read what Non does next!
Sex Criminals vol.1
This book contains possibly the best dialogue referring to adult sex that I have read in forever. It’s honest, sincere and funny as hell, and I wish that more people outside the readership of graphic novels would find it. Yes, the premise is bizarre, but please go with it: you won’t find better realistic writing about love and sex anywhere else.
First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
I’ll admit that I found the first third of this novel a struggle, mostly because there’s a lot of exposition and explaining to get through before the plot really gets going. But once it does, OH MAN!!! So wonderfully clever – I spent most of my time with this novel marvelling at its craftsmanship. Gorgeous, magical science fiction that’ll have you looking at the world in a whole new way.
We Were Liars
Brilliantly, meticulously written, this book is pretty much the closest you’ll get to literary in YA, and it looks like its already become a modern classic. I challenge any YA naysayer to read this and not find it beautiful, engrossing and intelligent. In fact, if you’re only going to read one YA this year, it should be this one.
Another book where you have to get past a bizarre premise (and a front cover that’s really not to my taste) to hit the good stuff. Yes, it’s about evil, rampaging and sex addicted bugs that take over a small town, but this book is also so much more than that. It’s clever, it’s hilarious, and it takes you on a thoughtful, frank journey of teenage sexuality.
Only Ever Yours
Another book that I initially approached with caution because I’m generally quite wary of anything dystopian these days, but let me tell you something: this is not your average teenage dystopia. This is actually a clever horror story masquerading as dystopia. And when I say horror, I mean truly gut-wrenching, tear-jerking horror. Be warned.
The Wicked + The Divine vol.1
This book was written for me. Pop culture meets ancient mythology as the gods of old come to earth to have some fun for a couple of years before they die and the cycle can start again. But what really makes this book work is the clarity of the art. The characters are mesmerising, and I’d go with them anywhere! I can’t wait to see how this story develops.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters
This book marks the end of what has possibly been my favourite trilogy over the past few years. I’m still recommending the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, to everyone who I think would appreciate it, and I really can’t believe that Karou’s story has now ended. It breaks my heart! Taylor is a modern master of world-building and heart-stopping romance, and I will happily stalk her writing wherever it goes next!