So, over on Twitter, it’s #UKYA Day, a day to celebrate all things UKYA organised by the completely wonderful Lucy Powrie, 15-year-old book blogger and total superwoman.
One of the great things about UKYA is that the books are set here in the UK, and also anywhere else we UKYA authors fancy. My next book is set in Amsterdam, and you can win a copy here. And here are four UKYA books with distinctive settings that I have loved:
Welcome to the beaches of Cornwall and the world of surfing. Lisa’s debut novel is a romance between surfers Zeke and Iris which, inevitably, hits choppy waters. Can they survive the storms? This looks like the ultimate beach read, and it is, because it’s so good. I loved the romance, the hidden depths of the characters, the total immersion into the world of surfing – a sub culture about which I knew less than nothing before reading Blue. It’s no surprise that Blue is being made into a film, and I can’t wait to see it. But first I need to get my hands on Air, second in the trilogy, which is coming out in June.
Still Falling by Sheena Wilkinson
Belfast is the setting for this sweet and moving love story by one of my absolute favourite UKYA authors. Luke has the worst possible start to his first day at a new school – you don’t expect sixth formers to wet themselves on day one, but that’s one of the side effects of having epilepsy. Esther looks after him, and soon they are a couple, but Luke’s very real problems and Esther’s low self esteem threaten to break them apart. Loved it – and don’t miss Sheena’s other YA books either, Taking Flight is one of my favourite books ever.
The third book in one of those trilogies that you just never want to end. Urban Legends is set in Belgium – mainly Brussels – and, as always with Helen’s books, you just feel you are there, walking those cobbled streets, climbing into abandoned buildings and onto medieval roofs and (in this case) down into the sewers, and – most of all – completely terrified by a serial killer who, in this book is stalking Veerle and Kris, who I’ve adored ever since book one, and hoped would get together, and it finally seems to be happening…but then…Helen, how could you…You’ve got to read it. Brilliant stuff.
Pea’s Book of Holidays by Susie Day
Ok, this is UKMG really, but I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story and cares about books and writing and friendships and families, plus it’s set on the south coast near Corfe Castle, where Enid Blyton used to write her books – the perfect place for Pea’s writer mother to finish her impossible-to-write book, aided by the all-important Blyton Fumes. This book reminded me of how Enid Blyton blighted my childhood with a faint sense of disappointment – why didn’t I ever have any adventures? Why was ginger beer so nasty to drink? And it made me laugh a lot. And I may possibly be Pea’s mother.