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YA Books and Authors you HAVE to have on your shelf

Sarah Dessen
First book: Someone like You.
Faves: The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Dreamland.

Sarah Dessen is probably the best contemporary YA writer out there, hands down. A lot of people say they’ve never read a Sarah Dessen book which is surprising. I’ve always thought that Sarah Dessen is the queen of contemporary YA fiction. I guess I was wrong. This doesn’t mean you should totally ignore her. Give her books a try. You’ll fall in love, I guarantee. 


Darren Shan
First book: Cirque du Freak (Saga of Darren Shan)
Faves: Saga of Darren Shan series and Demonata series (particularly book 3)

Darren Shan was the devilish angel of my life. I first discovered him with his addictive Darren Shan saga. Despite using his own name in the series and claiming that it was a true story, I drank in the story with childish glee. The funny thing is that I still love reading his books today (and I’m 21!). His Demonata series were grotesque and fiery and action packed – his fantasy demon world kept me occupied for hours. I was always jealous that I couldn’t create something as great as he did. 


Stephanie Perkins
First book: Anna and the French Kiss.
Fave: Isla and the Happily Ever After, and Anna and the French Kiss.

Stephanie Perkins writes about love and sex and relationships in a really grown up but totally sexy way. When will she write more books like these? WHEN?! The first one and the third one in the series are set in Paris – so romantic. I think that’s what made it different. Also, Perkins’ writing style flows really well and sounds age appropriate. If you love falling in love, well, Stephanie Perkins is the one to reach for!

Lucy Christopher
First book: Stolen

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s so lyrical, and poetic, and while at first it is disturbing, you can’t help but melt inside. Like the title, the book is about a young girl who gets abducted by this guy who has been ‘watching’ her since she was a child. She is taken to Australia where she desperately tries to escape his grasp. But there’s a twist. Will she fall in love with her captor? It’s a twisted thought, but once you read it through to the end you’ll get why this book is so great. 


Holly Bourne 
First book: The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting

I think Holly Bourne is a pretty new welcome into the YA circle. And she’s British! The book centres on a young girl who wants to be a writer, but her books are too boring and dull. Thus, she aims to change her life and become an “interesting” person. Bourne’s writing is really fun and entertaining. Unlike Stephanie Perkins, this is far from romantic but very true to life. Kept me engaged!


Jaqueline Wilson
First book: Cannot even remember!
Faves: To name a few… Love Lessons, Girls in Love series, Midnight, but Vicky Angel is probably my all-time favourite. Gah!

Remember when reading Jaqueline Wilson was the ‘done thing’? It seems like ages ago, but honestly one can never get over how true and beautiful Ms Wilson’s books used to be (and still are I’m sure). I loved how her books were for ‘young teens’ but they were probably more suitable for girls a little older. I think Ms Wilson really grasped the idea of a grown up age group in a modern day world. She might have blown up a cloud of controversy amongst shocked parents, but Jaqueline Wilson will always be the best writer for young girls. 

Suzanne Collins
First Book: The Hunger Games.
Fave: The Hunger Games

Strong main character who is also a girl: check. Romance: check. Violence: check. Emotion: check. Collins’ series ticks all the right boxes – this is what makes it so great. In particular, book one stands out the most. It hit fame when critics picked up on the controversial ideas of a future human population that is slightly barbaric, with a sarcastic echo on how people are like now but on a totally crazy level. This book had bite to it and that’s why I loved it!

And don't forget to have a look at...

Charlie Higson’s post-apocalyptic zombie horror series The Enemy is set in various parts of London – Central and the outskirts – and follows different groups of teenagers as they try to survive. Don’t get attached to anybody. Chances are they won’t survive long…

What does the future hold? It’s like going back to the middle ages. Nobody knowing what was going on outside their front doorstep. All I ever know is this. This little bit of London.”



C.S. Pacat originally posted chapters of her first two books on her blog before self-publishing on Amazon. They were so popular the series was acquired by Penguin and published in paperback this year. The slow build between Damen and Laurent is perfectly balanced with a plot shrouded in strategy and war. Kings Rising, the final part of the trilogy, is released in February 2016.

That’s right, I’m still captured,’ Damen said.
‘Your eyes say, “For now,”’ Laurent said. ‘Your eyes have always said, “For now.”’


Magic? Dreams? Car chases? Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle has it all. She’s no stranger to writing characters who stay in your head long after the final page with her poetic prose and snappy one liners. The point of view shifts between Blue and her group of friends, The Raven Boys, but for me it’s Ronan Lynch who stands out. You’ll see why in The Dream Thieves! The final book The Raven King is released March 2016.

(It’s hard to pick one quote!)

Reality’s what other people dream for you.”

“And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war.” 

“In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.
Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.
Her raven boys.” 

Posted in Blog by Carmen Jimenez