All things YA

It’s a great month to launch our new website, Paisley Piranha, dedicated to all things Young Adult. You can find it here: https://sites.google.com/site/paisleypiranha

If you’re reading this, chances are you know already, but just in case … this month marks the very first UK YA Book Prize! And that’s great news for all you YA readers out there, and great news for YA writers, like the four of us here at Paisley Piranha. What it means is that a whole lot of people, including writers, publishers, readers, bloggers, reviewers and librarians, are interested in and engaged by YA and want to share this enthusiasm with other people. It’s an exciting time to be into YA: with conferences, signings, midnight book launches, blogs and forums springing up, and the development of a community of like-minded people ready to chat about everything and anything YA.

I’ve been keeping up with the YA Book Prize since the shortlist was announced. You can find reviews of all the shortlisted titles by me and the other Piranhas over on our review site [here]. We loved some of the titles, were a bit meh about one of two of them, but what struck me was that the list showed just how varied the titles that publishers and booksellers put out there under the YA label. Here’s a summary of the shortlist:

A Song for Ella Grey
by David Almond

A modern take on the myth of Orpheus

 

Salvage by Keren David

A gripping story of adoption and broken families

 Say Her Name by James Dawson

A truly terrifying ghost story

 

Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Perils of relationships in a novel that’ll make you laugh out loud and squirm

 


Half Bad by Sally Green

Good versus evil witch fantasy in a scarily convincing world

Finding a Voice: Friendship is a Two-Way Street by Kim Hood

A moving story involving disability, mental

illness and friendship

 

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Dystopian novel in which you do NOT want to be a girl

Goose by Dawn O’Porter

A story of friendships and religion and sex, set in the 1990s

 

Trouble by Non Pratt

A touching and funny story of the confusion of teenage pregnancy

 

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Puzzling, peculiar and rather lovely – I can’t sum this up in a few words!

 All that variety, it’s really exciting! I can’t wait to find out which book will win. Me, I’m backing Lobsters, a truly original voice (maybe more writers should team up), funny, moving and authentic.

Claire Watts, 1st March 2015

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