By far, the most interesting aspect of putting this particular wall together was the fact that there seems to be a far greater number of male YA authors, at least the proportion of male authors to female authors in this wall is much greater than the prior ones. (Aussie YA and short YA fiction) In addition, the covers of UK YA book seem to be much more appealing than US covers, and by that I mean that they have actually interesting covers rather than some random girl in a dress or a guy and a girl caressing or some other cover that we keep seeing over and over and over again in the States. Just scan quickly down the wall and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. These are covers I would pick up, for sure, though I also know that the US covers I am talking about are (hopefully) not marketed to me. (but I also think they are alienating 99% of male readers with those types of covers)
Here's what Jo had to say about her top ten reads:
His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman -- This is my favourite UKYA series. Actually, this is my favourite YA series. Actually, this is my favourite series. Just thinking about these books makes me lose my mind.
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman -- I’ve only read the first book of this series but it’s stuck with me like no other. A terrifying and refreshingly different take on dystopia. (Also, read Boys Don’t Cry)
Losing It, edited by Keith Gray -- This is an anthology of short stories written by an amazing array of well-known British YA authors on losing your virginity. Sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious, sometimes cringey, always wonderful.
Goodnight, Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian -- I have read this book at least ten times and I will never, ever stop loving it. To me, it’s a masterpiece.
Being Billy/Saving Daisy by Phil Earle | When I Was Joe by Keren David -- Yes, ok, I know I’m cheating on this one, but if there’s something that us Brits can do well it’s gritty contemporary fiction. Both of these writers highlight what’s great about British YA that’s being written at the moment.
The Enemy Series by Charlie Higson -- Hands down, the best zombie books I’ve read. Genuinely terrifying, brilliantly paced and wonderful characters that will just make you want to join their crew and whack adults around the noggin’ with cricket bats.
A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd -- It’s one of those quiet books that not many people have read/heard of but it truly should be read by everyone who loves excellent YA fiction. Actually, you should probably check out anything that Ms Dowd wrote. She was a glorious, glorious writer.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett -- A childhood favourite of mine. “Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” Bliss.
Matilda by Road Dahl -- Oh come on, do I really need to explain to a site of book lovers why I adore this?
And no Top Ten (with a few extras) UKYA would be complete without, of course, Harry Potter by J.K Rowling. No book has even come close to this series in the way it has captured people’s imagination, got people who would never normally read to pick up a book, defined a generation and encouraged people, no matter how serious they are (or think they are), to believe in magic… even if just for a little while.
Cheeky Addition: The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness -- Oh come on, Mr Ness holds dual citizenship so I’m claiming him for the purpose of this feature. This series seems to divide readers something rotten but… ahh… I know who my true friends are when their eyes fill with tears when I say “Boy Colt”. It's spectacular.
Anna's picks are also in no particular order and are very succinct:
Code Name Verity -Elizabeth Wein
The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness
How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
What I Was - Meg Rosoff
Solace of the Road - Siobhan Dowd
Finding Violet Park - Jenny Valentine
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole - Sue Townsend
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
The Bride's Farewell - Meg Rosoff
A special note from Anna: "Sorry about all the Rosoff - I adore her :)"
The only Rosoff I've tried was How I Live Now and it was a little to incest-y for me at that particular moment. Perhaps I'll revisit it at some point.