Shortlist

Shortlist

Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

  

When I was wild, you were steady . . .
Now you are wild - what am I?

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with a guy Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. And it's the last person she would have expected.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.

As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.

Sara Barnard lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the “on” switch on the family Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of secondhand book shops at a young age. Sara is trying to visit every country in Europe, and has managed to reach 13 with her best friend. She has also lived in Canada and worked in India. Sara is inspired by what-ifs and people. She thinks sad books are good for the soul and happy books lift the heart. She hopes to write lots of books that do both. Find her on Twitter at @saramegan.
 

Clean by Juno Dawson

  

It's a dirty business getting clean.

When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she's hit rock bottom. She's wrong.

Because rock bottom is when she's forced into an exclusive rehab facility.

From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady.

As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all ...

Addiction, redemption, love and despair. Clean is Gossip Girl meets Girl, Interrupted, and it will have you hooked from the very first page.

Juno Dawson grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of “Doctor Who”. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing bands before writing for a Brighton newspaper. Until recently, Juno worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHE. She is most proud of her work surrounding anti-bullying and family diversity. In 2014 she became a School Role Model for the charity Stonewall. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman. Find her on Twitter at @junodawson.

Big Bones by Laura Dockrill

  

It's a food diary. I have to tell the truth. That's the point.

Bluebelle - aka BB, aka Big Bones - is a sixteen-year-old girl encouraged to tackle her weight even though she's perfectly happy, thank you, and getting on with her life and in love with food.

Then a tragedy in the family forces BB to find a new relationship with her body and herself. . .

Tuck in for best mates, belly laughs, boys and the best Bakewell tart.

Laura Dockrill is an author, illustrator and performance poet. She grew up in Brixton and attended the Brit School and still lives in London. She is author of CILIP Carnegie Medal nominated YA novel Lorali and its sequel Aurabel, as well as the Darcy Burdock series for younger readers, which was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Other books include Echoes, a collection of poems and short stories and a number of adult poetry collections. Her debut children’s poetry collection, My Mum’s Growing Down, was published in August 2017 by Faber & Faber. She curated The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl exhibition at the Southbank Centre and loves to visit schools and festivals and meet young readers. Laura has appeared on Blue Peter and CBeebies and is a frequent poet performer at festivals. Find her on Twitter at @LauraDockrill.

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

  

’I promised myself this time would be different. I would stand up for myself.'

Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem is used to being invisible. So no one is more surprised than her when Arif Malik, the hottest boy in school, takes a sudden interest.

But Arif is hiding a terrible secret and, as they begin to follow a dark path, Muzna faces an impossible choice: keep quiet and betray her beliefs, or speak out and betray her heart.

Muhammad Khan is an engineer, a secondary school maths teacher, and a YA author. He lives in South London and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at St Mary's. Muhammad takes his inspiration from the children he teaches, as well as his own upbringing as a British-born Pakistani. He has written two novels for Macmillan Children's Books: I Am Thunder and Kick the Moon. Find him on Twitter at @mkhanauthor.

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill

  

Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice?

What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice?

Louise O'Neill grew up in Clonakilty, a small town in West Cork, Ireland. Her first novel, 2014’s Only Ever Yours won the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year at the 2014 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards; the Children’s Books Ireland Eilís Dillon Award; and The Bookseller‘s inaugural YA Book Prize 2015.  Louise’s second novel, 2015’s Asking For It, was voted Book of the Year at the Irish Books Awards 2015 and spent 52 consecutive weeks in the Irish top 10 bestseller list. Her first novel for adults, Almost Love, was published in March 2018, followed by The Surface Breaks in May 2018. Find her on Twitter at @oneilllo.

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

  

For Angel Rahimi life is about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything she loves – her friend Juliet, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band with his mates is all he ever dreamed of doing.

But dreams don’t always turn out the way you think and when Jimmy and Angel are unexpectedly thrust together, they find out how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

Alice Oseman was born in 1994 in Kent, England. She completed a degree in English at Durham University in 2016 and is currently a full-time writer and illustrator. Alice can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything and everything to avoid getting an office job. Alice's first book, Solitaire, was published when she was 19. Her second, Radio Silence, was released in early 2016, and her third, I Was Born For This, in 2018. Find her on Twitter at @AliceOseman.

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

  

Seventeen-year-old Peter Blankman is a maths prodigy. He also suffers from severe panic attacks. Afraid of everything, he finds solace in the orderly and logical world of mathematics and in the love of his family: his scientist mum and his tough twin sister Bel, as well as Ingrid, his only friend. However, when his mother is found stabbed before an award ceremony and his sister is nowhere to be found, Pete is dragged into a world of espionage and violence where state and family secrets intertwine. Armed only with his extraordinary analytical skills, Peter may just discover that his biggest weakness is his greatest strength.

Tom Pollock lives and works in London. His debut trilogy, The Skyscraper Throne, won him a place on the Guardian’s list of 20 bet young novelists in science fiction and fantasy. The first title, The City's Son, was shortlisted for the Kitschies Golden Tentacle. The Glass Republic was shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award and Our Lady of The Streets was one of the Guardian's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy novels of 2014. Tom's second YA thriller, Heartstream—a story about celebrity, intimacy and conspiracy that asks who you can trust—will be published in July 2019. Find him on Twitter at @tomhpollock.

Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw

  

The border's closed. No one can get into Scotland, just like no one can cross the Channel . . .

This is England and it's no longer a free country. The Government can track anyone, anywhere, from a chip implanted at birth. But Jake has escaped from his Academy orphanage, and he's got to get to Scotland with his dog, Jet. When the Outwalkers gang grabs him, they go off-grid while the government hunts for them. The closer they get to Scotland, the more dangerous it is. Because now, it's not only their own lives that are at stake . . .

Fiona Shaw wrote a memoir and four novels for adults before writing Outwalkers. She was just beginning a fifth adult novel when she had a dream about a boy trying to leave England. That dream, together with what she was reading in the news, was the start of Outwalkers. Fiona’s adult novel Tell it to the Bees will be released as a feature film in 2018. Find her on Twitter at @fionakshaw.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber

  

Sometimes a broken heart is all you need to set you free…

Reiko loves the endless sky and electric colours of the Californian desert. It is a refuge from an increasingly claustrophobic life of family pressures and her own secrets. Then she meets Seth, a boy who shares a love of the desert and her yearning for a different kind of life. But Reiko and Seth both want something the other can’t give them. As summer ends, things begin to fall apart. But the end of love can sometimes be the beginning of you...

Katherine Webber is originally from California but currently lives in London. She has also lived and worked in Hong Kong, Maui, and Atlanta. She loves an adventure, whether it is found in a book or in real life. Travel, books, and eating out are her favourite indulgences. Her debut YA novel was Wing Jones, published by Walker Books. She also writes the young fiction series Sam Wu Is Not Afraid as Katie Tsang with her husband Kevin Tsang. Find her on Twitter at @kwebberwrites.

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

  

Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer—a handsome, dashing brother and sister—Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.

But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... and is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?

Laura Wood is an academic and writer. She is the winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children's Writing and the author of the Poppy Pym series. Laura loves Georgette Heyer novels, Fred Astaire films, travelling to far flung places, recipe books, Jilly Cooper, poetry, cosy woollen jumpers, Edith Nesbit, crisp autumn leaves, Jack Gilbert, new stationery, sensation fiction, salted caramel, feminism, Rufus Sewell's cheek-bones, dogs, and drinking lashings of ginger beer. Find her on Twitter at @lauraclarewood.

Read Q&As with all of the YA10 shortlisted authors here.