As ever, a huge thank you to Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman for letting me use their idea for the 6Degrees meme. If you want to join in, just start with Only Ever Yours (picked as it's the first ever winner of the YA Book Prize, and the second will be announced in just under a month at Hay!) and make your own chain of six books, linking in any way you like. (And remember to add the link at the end!)
Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill was the well-deserved winner of the inaugural YA Book Prize, beating 9 other brilliant books to take the accolade. Another fantastic 2015 book which won a prestigious award was Frances Hardinge's The Lie Tree, which became only the second ever children's book to win the overall Costa.
The Lie Tree's heroine is called Faith, and she's a wonderful character - tenacious, loyal to her dead father's memory, brave and intelligent. Another Faith I love is Candy Harper's lead character in her stunning series, which started with Have A Little Faith.
Have A Little Faith is definitely the book I've owned the most copies of, having bought around 15 at various times to pass on to people. Another I own multiple copies of is Lisa Williamson's gorgeous, heart-warming The Art Of Being Normal.
The Art of Being Normal was the first book I've read to feature a trans character in a lead role. Since then I've read several really good ones but one that I'm especially excited about is trans author Meredith Russo's If I Was Your Girl, coming out here next month - it's a really stunning read, wonderfully written and with a fabulous main character.
Finally, If I Was Your Girl is one of my very favourite debuts in a year packed full of some great new authors. Another is Sara Barnard's Beautiful Broken Things, an outstanding novel about a complicated friendship between three teen girls.
Check back in future weeks for great guest posts from Cat Doyle, Grace from Almost Amazing Grace, and one other to be announced! And please take part on your own blog and leave a link below!
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