Five of the best YA books you haven’t read …

Today I’m taking part in a blog blitz organised by Kelly at YAnnabe. Kelly has been researching librarything to find YA books that LT users have rated really highly, but that not many people own, then asking people who own them to champion them.

I was only too happy to oblige, as I feel that the very best YA books deserve to have an adult readership also. Often the differences between a YA and an adult novel are very small – the main characters are usually younger YAs themselves, and obviously bad language and sex are toned down, but everything else that makes a great novel is still there – plot, setting, characterisation, and beautiful writing …

The Death Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean who is one of the UK’s mostly highly regarded children’s authors, having written many books for all ages, including the official Peter Pan sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet.

This, her latest novel is for young adults, and it’s superb. Imagine your aunt had prophesied that you would die at the age of fourteen, and worse still that everyone believed her. That’s what happened to Pepper Roux and he wasn’t going to let it stop him having a life.

Read my full review here.

The Kiss of Death by Marcus Sedgwick is set in Venice, which immediately gets my vote, and also features proper old-school vampires from Eastern European tradition. Read my review of it here.

Readers of this blog will also know my fondness for his fictional biography of Arthur Ransome’s years in Russia Blood Red Snow White.

He’s coming to a school’s event in Abingdon next month, and I’ll be helping! – Looking forward to that hugely.

Pastworld by Ian Beck is another recent read that deserves to be huge! Read my review here. Imagine that London has been turned into a Victorian theme park and you’ll get the idea.

The book has an absolutely fantastic website here – there is a filmed trailer for the book too – I think it gives a little too much away, but the whole site is great.

Numbers by Rachel Ward is the debut novel by a new British writer that I read last year. It’s about a girl who sees numbers above everybody’s head – they represent the day they will die.

Read my review here. I hope she writes more.

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner. Sally is an author and illustrator who has been working her way up the age range. The Red Necklace is her second YA novel, and it’s set during the French Revolution. Full of adventure, wonderful characters, and her magical touch it is a fabulous novel. Read my review here.

I must read its sequel The Silver Blade too. I saw Sally speak at an event last year and she was fascinating to listen too – she’s severely dyslexic and had huge problems at school as a teenager, but never let that stop her!

With the exception of the last novel, less than 65 LT members own any of the other titles mentioned above. I loved reading all of them, and recommend them all to you if you fancy reading YA. If you stop by YAnnebe’s blog you can link to all other bloggers taking part today – I’m sure you’ll find a YA book to tickle your fancy!

0 thoughts on “Five of the best YA books you haven’t read …

  1. Meg says:

    These are all new to me — and they sound great! I'm definitely going to check out The Red Necklace; I love well-done historical fiction. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lenore says:

    Pastworld and Numbers are both in my TBR.I really enjoyed The Red Necklace and recently bought The Silver Blade.

  3. Michelle (su[shu]) says:

    I haven't even heard of them before, much less read them. The book "Numbers" reminds me very very much about a Japanese anime, 'Death Note', in which a person who has a contract of some sort with the Death God can see numbers on top of people's heads, indicating how long more they have to live. Sounds very similar. So I'm very interested in reading 'Numbers'.

  4. Nymeth says:

    I'm adding all of these to my wishlist! They sound excellent, and judging by Here Lies Arthur we have similar taste in YA. I also agree that the difference between YA and adult fiction is often minimal.

  5. Megan says:

    You must have done quite a good job with this – I don't think I've even ever heard of any of these much less read them. They all sound great though – much more fodder for my TBR list!

  6. Jenna says:

    I've been wanting to read Numbers for so long, but haven't been able to find it anywhere, I'll have to keep looking.

  7. Kelly says:

    I agree with most everyone else…good job on your list because I hadn't heard of ANY of these!The Death Defying Pepper Roux sounds like it would be right up my alley. I just put in a request at the library for them to order it. 🙂

  8. Annabel Gaskell says:

    Dear all, thanks for your great comments. In particular thanks to Kelly for doing all the hard work, in highlighting the less-owned YA books in my Librarything catalogue for me.

  9. Lana says:

    I enjoyed The Red Necklace – a very cool blending of the magical and the French Revolution. I loved Yann!

  10. Lawral the Librarian says:

    I, too, loved The Red Necklace. I just finished The Silver Blade and highly recommend it!

  11. Anastasia says:

    Haven't read any of these, but I have heard of some of them! And I'm for sure going to have to check out Pepper Roux and The Red Necklace.Great list!

  12. Charlotte says:

    I liked the Red Neckless lots too. I think the poor book was cursed with bad covers; although I don't exactly like the cover you show, which I am guessing is the paperback, it is at least much more interesting than the picture on American hardcover!

  13. Lawral the Librarian says:

    Charlotte – I agree on the covers of The Red Necklace. If you look at them on LibraryThing it's like you have a choice of regency fiction, horror or history channel, none of which really fit the story. Not to mention, who is that blonde chick on the cover of the US hardback? Sido's hair is dark!

  14. Annabel Gaskell says:

    Charlotte, Lawral, I liked the original UK hardback cover the best. Unfortunately I couldn't get a pic of it. Doesn't detract from what a great book it is and still less than 300 LT users own it.

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