It’s pretty much guaranteed that if you’re a British girl, you spent your childhood reading the likes of Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy or Jean Ure from the Children’s section. One of the things I used to worry about when I was younger was what I was going to read once I’d grown out of those books. I didn’t like the idea of going from ‘Sundae Girl’ to ‘Twilight’ and in 2009, the majority of the YA section was being eaten away by vampires and werewolves. But, somehow, among the paranormal, we managed to find our feet in with YA, and thought we’d share with you the books that started us of. Our YA Origin story if you will.
Kisses for Lula by Samantha Mackintosh
The cover of this book screams ‘I’m-so-cute-read-me-now’ to a thirteen year old. It’s an excellent contemporary, and we recommended as part of UKYA Day! Lula is a adorable and funny character, who gets up to a lot of mischief over the school holidays. There’s romance, a complete make-over, and a mystery to be solved; what more could you want?
How My Private, Personal Journal Became A Bestseller by Julia DeVillers
The title pretty much sums up what happens to Jamie Bartlett in this book. Even though for her it seemed like a nightmare, this was the kind of thing I daydreamed about. Becoming a famous author, doing interviews and TV spotlights and writing articles for big magazines…this book is so inspiring for anyone that wants to be a writer, and always makes me want to power on with my novel! But, it also discusses different friendship dynamics, the woes of high school and internet safety – overall, an excellent read!
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
I will always love this series. I fondly remember buying Wings and Wild thinking that was the sequel and then having to get my Mum to drive me to the nearest book shop (30 mins away by car) because it was actually the third! Destined was one of my most anticipated releases ever and I just cried and cried! Wings was also the first love triangle I read, so I’d be quite interested to re-read it and see how my opinions may have changed in light of other not-so-successful love triangles that I have read since. This series really rekindled my love of faeries and I can’t even think about what my reading life would be like without these books; I will cherish them forever!
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
It seems that the books I went for as a young teen, all had super long titles. I have such a vivid memory of seeing a girl reading this in my secondary school library and desperately wanting to grab it off her and read it. This Gallagher Girls debut sparked my love of spies and boarding schools, and spy boarding schools. I adored the mixture of a clandestine lifestyle and a secret romance! This book can definitely stand on its own in the series, as the rest of the books take on a more serious tone as the readers, as well as Cammie, got older. Perfect!
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Wasn’t this just the book for all book lovers? I can’t even describe how much I loved ‘Inkheart’ when I first read it and how much I wished I could reach characters out of books, or, even better, read myself into books! I think this was the first book of over 500 pages I’d read too, so holds a small record in my mind. I must get on to reading the next in the series – it’s really interesting that more characters are adults rather than children.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
While Bee managed to get through ‘Order of the Phoenix’, and I was still stuck on Hagrid’s Tale, I moved on to Harry Potter’s American equivalent: Percy Jackson. I was interested in watching the movie when in came out in 2010, but thought I’d better read the book first, and, boy, was I glad I did! Although this golden cover is no longer available to the world, it will forever be one of my favourite things I found as a young teen, and has given me the wonder that is ‘Mark of Athena’. Excellent for any age, PJATO is something I think I’ll always come back to when I’m in need of adventure!