Tuesday, 31 December 2013

YA Yeah Yeah Year-Ends Day 6: Best YA Historical Novel and Best Non-romantic Couple

(Links to reviews to be added later)

Best YA historical

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross - I picked this up on a whim after hearing it was based on a Zola short story about ugly women hired out to make companions look more attractive, but was surprised by just how gripping it was. Full of wonderful characters and raising some interesting questions about the nature of true beauty, this is a real gem.

Debutantes In Love by Cora Harrison - Harrison follows the brilliant Debutantes with an even better book, this time focusing on just 2 of the 4 Derrington girls. Hugely romantic and capturing the time period perfectly, don't miss this.

Flappers: Diva by Jillian Larkin - Larkin ends the best historical series in recent memory on a real high note. The central trio are amazing characters, as are the various love interests, and you almost feel you're in Prohibition-era America she's such a vivid writer.

Love In Revolution by BR Collins - I can't quite summarise this coherently, but it's AMAZING.

Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory - Gregory's Order of Darkness series continues with an impressive entry following on from the enjoyable Changeling. Much of the brilliance here is the wonderful relationship between the quartet at the centre.

Best non-romantic couple

Daisy and Poppy in Debutantes in Love by Cora Harrison - I was originally taken aback by Harrison's decision to make these two the focus of her second Debutantes novel, after the first featured all four Derringtons quite heavily. However, it pays off because the relationship between the two is so strong.

Ellie and Grace in The Summer of Telling Tales by Laura Summers - These two narrators, both blossoming in different ways after they and their mother run away from their abusive father, are a fabulous pair.

Evie and The Dragon in The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale - Casale's phenomenal thriller is full of twists and turns, and even after the end I was still guessing about some things. The relationship between Evie and the dragon, who comes to life after he's carved out of her rib, is fascinating.

Isaiah and Noah in Crash Into You by Katie McGarry - I was ever so slightly disappointed by Dare You To, McGarry's first companion novel to Pushing The Limits, mainly because these two didn't feature in it too heavily. I was thrilled to find out we'd be getting Isaiah's story in book 3 and it definitely didn't disappoint - it's a stunning book overall, but the brother-like relationship between him and Noah is one of the real highlights. (As is the surprising friendship between rich girl Rachel and drug dealer Abby, who could have easily taken a place on the list themselves if I didn't feel giving two places to one book was perhaps overkill.)

Maggie and Roux in Spy Society by Robin Benway - I thought the way this pair grew to become firm friends was brilliantly done. I've seen a few comments this year that strong friendships between teen girls are rare in YA - I'm not sure I'd agree with that overall, but I don't think there's many that are this strong.

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