Book blogger, YouTuber and one of the 2018 YA Book Prize judges Lucy Powrie discusses the #YA10 shortlist:
Read more about the books and their authors below.
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
How do you know who to trust when you can't even trust yourself?
I look at my hands. One of them says 'FLORA BE BRAVE'.
Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can't remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is. Then she kisses someone she shouldn't, and the next day she remembers it. It's the first time she's remembered anything since she was ten.
But the boy is gone. She thinks he's moved to the Arctic. Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust?
Emily Barr worked as a journalist in London but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. She went travelling for a year, which gave her an idea for a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, an adult thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and she has since written eleven more adult novels published in the UK and around the world. The One Memory of Flora Banks is her first novel for young adults. She lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children. Find her on Twitter at @emily_barr.
S.T.A.G.S by M A Bennett
Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.
It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S.
To her surprise Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin' shootin' fishin' - an invitation to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S.
Greer joins the other chosen students at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, and soon realises that they are at the mercy of their capricious host. Over the next three days, as the three bloodsports - hunting, shooting and fishing - become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying reality that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school...
M A Bennett is half-Venetian, and was born in Manchester, England, and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a History graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialised in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as a historical source. After university she studied art and has since worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer. She also designed tour visuals for rock bands, including U2 and the Rolling Stones. She was married on the Grand Canal in Venice and lives in north London with her husband, son and daughter. Find her on Twitter at @MABennettAuthor.
It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne
Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn't mean things are easy. Because real love isn't like the movies...
Holly Bourne is an author and a journalist. Holly's first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the Spinster Club series, Am I Normal Yet?, was chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize. Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor of TheSite.org - a charity-run advice and information website for young people. Find her on Twitter at @holly_bourneYA.
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
Seventeen-year-old Joe hasn't seen his brother in ten years. Ed didn't walk out on the family, not exactly. It's something more brutal.
Ed's locked up – on death row.
Now his execution date has been set, and the clock is ticking. Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with his brother, no matter what other people think ... and no matter whether Ed committed the crime. But did he? And does it matter, in the end?
This poignant, timely, heartbreaking novel asks big questions: What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?
Sarah Crossan has lived in Dublin, London and New York, and now lives in Hertfordshire. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University. Since completing a masters in creative writing, she has been working to promote creative writing in schools. In 2016, Sarah won the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as the YA Book Prize, the CBI Book of the Year award and the CLiPPA Poetry Award for her novel, One. Find her on Twitter at @SarahCrossan.
After the Fire by Will Hill
The things I've seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.
Father John controls everything inside The Fence. And Father John likes rules. Especially about never talking to Outsiders. Because Father John knows the truth. He knows what is right, and what is wrong. He knows what is coming.
Moonbeam is starting to doubt, though. She's starting to see the lies behind Father John's words. She wants him to be found out.
What if the only way out of the darkness is to light a fire?
Will Hill grew up in the north east of England and worked as a bartender, bookseller and in publishing, before quitting to write full-time. His debut novel, Department 19 – the first in a series of five – was published in 2011 to widespread acclaim. Will now lives in East London with his girlfriend. Find him on Twitter at @WillHillauthor.
Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence
Seventeen-year-old Indigo has had a tough start in life, having grown up in the care system after her dad killed her mum. Bailey, also seventeen, lives with his parents in Hackney and spends all his time playing guitar or tending to his luscious ginger afro.
When Indigo and Bailey meet at sixth form, serious sparks fly. But when Bailey becomes the target of a homeless man who seems to know more about Indigo than is normal, Bailey is forced to make a choice he should never have to make.
A life-affirming story about falling in love and everyone's need to belong.
Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Sussex. She found her way to east London in the '90s and lives there with a partner, a teenager and a cat called Stormageddon. She has been writing for as long as she has been reading. She loves crime fiction, sci-fi and trying to grow things. Music can't help creeping into her books. Her first novel, Orangeboy, was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and won the YA Book Prize 2017 and the Waterstones Book Prize for Older Children. Find her on Twitter at @LawrencePatrice.
Release by Patrick Ness
It's Saturday, it's summer and, although he doesn't know it yet, everything in Adam Thorn's life is going to fall apart. But maybe, just maybe, he'll find freedom from the release. Time is running out though, because way across town, a ghost has risen from the lake... This uplifting coming-of-age novel will remind you what it's like to fall in love.
Patrick Ness is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Chaos Walking trilogy, A Monster Calls (which he wrote the 2016 film adaptation of), More Than This and The Rest Of Us Just Live Here. He has won every major prize in children's fiction, including the Carnegie Medal twice. He lives in London. Find him on Twitter at @Patrick_Ness.
Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.
Evelyn is seventeen, and though she is rich and clever, she may never be allowed to follow her older brother to university. Enraged that she is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart rather than be educated, she joins the Suffragettes, and vows to pay the ultimate price for women's freedom.
May is fifteen, and already sworn to the cause, though she and her fellow Suffragists refuse violence. When she meets Nell, a girl who's grown up in hardship, she sees a kindred spirit. Together and in love, the two girls start to dream of a world where all kinds of women have their place.
But the fight for freedom will challenge Evelyn, May and Nell more than they ever could believe. As war looms, just how much are they willing to sacrifice?
Sally Nicholls grew up in Stockton-on-Tees, and after school, travelled the world, working for a period at a Red Cross hospital in Japan. Sally's first novel, Ways to Live Forever, won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and she has been shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Costa Children's Book Award. She lives in Oxford. Find her on Twitter at @Sally_Nicholls.
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .
Philip Pullman was born in Norwich and the early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular. From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales. After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He eventually left teaching in order to write full-time. His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. He is best known for the award winning His Dark Materials series. Find him on Twitter at @PhilipPullman.
Straight Outta Crongton by Alex Wheatle
Round these ends, it's hard to hold on to your dreams
Life's a constant hustle for Mo. Her mum's boyfriend Lloyd is just another man who likes to beat down women; the South Crong streets are fraught with hazards and nasty G's; and when it comes to matters of the heart . . . she's still hung up on Sam.
No wonder she's vexed so much of the time.
Thank god her sistrens, Elaine and Naomi, are on her side: if one of them falls then they all fall.
But when badness goes down and a life is left hanging in the balance, Mo has to face her hot urge for revenge . . . and she might end up losing more than she wins.
Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents living in Brixton, Alex Wheatle spent most of his childhood in a Surrey children’s home. He returned to Brixton in 1977 where he founded the Crucial Rocker sound system and performed his own songs and lyrics. Alex's first novel was Brixton Rock, published in 1999. He was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to literature in 2008. He is a member of English PEN, and he now visits various institutions facilitating creative writing classes and making speeches. His 2016 YA book Crongton Knights won the 50th Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Find him on Twitter at @brixtonbard.