The best Young Adult books of 2014

The best Young Adult books of 2014

Trouble by Non Pratt
Published by Walker Books, March

Trouble is the story of pregnant teenager Hannah and Aaron, the new boy in town who volunteers to pretend to be the father of her child. It is a stunning debut, absolutely spot-on in the way it portrays the teen characters as well as being heartfelt and full of emotion. I can't recommend it highly enough.

The Madness by Alison Rattle
Published by Hot Key Books, March

Set in a Victorian seaside town, The Madness follows the story of Marnie, a crippled teenager who works as a dipper, helping to dip upper class ladies in the sea for the benefit of their health. For me, The Madness is a perfect example of historical fiction at its best – rich in fascinating detail.

When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan
Published by Bloomsbury, January

I firmly believe this book is set to be 2014's answer to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. The main character, Dylan, has Tourette's, making for a very sweary and very funny read, balanced with a sensitive insight into the condition.

A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson
Published by Usborne, March

A really sweet read which I thoroughly enjoyed. A Boy Called Hope will make you laugh out loud and shed a tear as you follow Dan's adventures to make the items on his wish-list come true – most important being the task to make his Dad love him again.

Boys Don't Knit by T.S. Easton
Published by Hot Key Books, January

A hilarious read following the story of Ben. After a misunderstanding and failed attempt to steal a bottle of wine from his local Waitrose Ben is forced to take a knitting class as a hobby in order to avoid the Young Offenders Unit. A thoughtful and funny read which I devoured in one sitting.

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
Published by Hodder Children's Books, January

The first book in a series about about witches set in Victorian London. The story follows Rosa, a teenage witch who Luke – posing as a stablehand – has sworn to kill. I loved the historical setting and already cannot wait for the second book in the series.

Finding Jennifer Jones by Anne Cassidy
Hot Key Books, February

Finding Jennifer Jones is the sequel to Carnegie-nominated Looking for JJ. Finding Jennifer Jones is a worthy sequel which raises questions about how society should treat children who commit crimes once they have served their time.

Running Girl by Simon Mason
Published by David Ficking Books, January

A clever crime novel which keeps you guessing until the very last page with all its twists and turns. The main character, Garvie, is quick-witted and always one step ahead of the police. Refreshingly, not all of the main characters are from a white-British background, as is so often the case with teen fiction.

The Black Crow Conspiracy by Chris Edge
Published by Nosy Crow, January

The final book in a series which I love. Penny Treadwell is a clever and feisty main character who solves mysteries to help save the day and this instalment is her biggest adventure to date. If you loved Philip Pullman's Ruby in the Smoke, you'll love this series too.

Tape by Steve Camden
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books, January

Tape starts when the present-day Amelia finds a cassette tape recorded by Ryan and listens to find out more about his world. I particularly loved Ryan's story as for me it was an exercise in 90s nostalgia – remembering how teenagers coped in a world without mobile phones and the internet and reminiscing about the fashion and music from the time.


Books chosen by Kirsty Connor of, @overflowingklc