Time to think of Xmas presents: YA book suggestions

8 weeks to Christmas and books are always a good present, especially if you can match the right book to the right person. In this post I am concentrating on books that have been published recently (in the UK). Other posts will follow with less recently published book and classics.

walled  The Walled City by Ryan Graudin – a story set in a fictional Walled City which is heavily based on the Walled City that existed in Hong Kong, The story describes the criminal underworld and how it feeds on people and how they survive. Exciting and sad, but brutal too. This is a good adventure story that is both enjoyable and thought-provoking. Suggested age range 13+ – will appeal to adventure and action lovers. Readers who like to think about a story and its implications will also enjoy this book.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer – I have mentioned the book so much in my posts that I won’t go on about it here. Suggested reading age 13+ – will appeal to lovers of English and poetry, to readers who like to read and think about people and their issues. If readers enjoyed We Were Liars by E Lockhart they should like this book.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield – This book has been discussed in my earlier post so I won’t repeat myself. Suggested reading age 14+ – this is a more sophisticated book and I would recommend it for more avid readers, those who like romance and fantasy will find it interesting and, for anyone wanting to learn about the world of publishing, it is a must.

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant – another book I discussed in an earlier post. Suggested reading age 14+. This book is quite brutal and violent in parts. It will appeal to readers who like fantasy but it is not so much of an action book. I wouldn’t necessarily get this for a reader because they loved the Gone series. It has a slower pace and makes you think a lot. I think it would suit a thoughtful, more mature reader better.


Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan and Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle  – lighthearted, fun, clean
romance. Suggested reading age 13+ – ideal light and easy holiday reading.

terrorTerror Kid by Benjamin Zepheniah – with all the news reports of young people being drawn into terrorist groups, this book is an interesting read. It is thought-provoking and will raise many discussion topics. Suggested reading age 12+ – it is action packed but it is a serious book with plenty to think about. I would slip it into the present pile of any good 12+ reader.

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