YA Book Prize 2016

How many of them have you read?

I’m quite shy so I don’t go to very many parties; Hon is not shy and goes to lots of parties  but this week we both went to the YA Book Prize Drinks and it was a great party. Of course it was a great party because it was celebrating some awesome books (also there were goody bags…).

yabp16Here’s the shortlist:

The Art of Being Normal Lisa Williamson

The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo Catherine Johnson

The Lie Tree Frances Harding

The Rest of Us Just Live Here Patrick Ness

Unbecoming Jenny Downham

Am I Normal Yet Holly Bourne

Asking for it Louise O’Neill

Concentr8 William Sutcliffe

One Sarah Crossan

The Sin Eater’s Daughter Melinda Salisbury


There are descriptions of all the books and lots of interesting interviews, fun stuff and links on their website and tumblr – check them out, you’ll get a real sense of the books and the people that wrote them. I honestly think that no matter which book wins on the 2nd June, every single shortlisted author will be happy –the book community is like that (a bit because they are nice people and a bit because they are readers as well as writers and can’t help falling in love with each other’s books). They’re all such strong books that no-one could deny that any one would be a worthy winner (even though Frances Hardinge did say ’…if [The Lie Tree] doesn’t win I’ll set my eerie, shadow-loving, lie-munching tree on everyone’). I know it’s a bit annoying when there’s a competition and everyone just goes ‘oh I don’t mind who wins, they’re all GREAT’ but I think a lot of people (me included) really do feel that way.

I can’t get over how different they all are. I don’t just mean that they deal with different subject matter (historical and contemporary and alternate realities, murder and mystery and humour and lies and abuse and love stories that are surprising and unusual) but of course the different writing styles too (One, Sarah Crossan’s beautiful book about being a sister and love and struggle, is written in verse). I was going to say there’s something here for everyone but I think instead I’m going to say there’s lots here for everyone. I understand readers who like to stick to one genre, that’s fair enough, all we book-y people probably spend far too much time telling readers what and how to read BUT if you did feel like trying something that was different to what you would normally choose then this list would be a really good place to start.





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