YA Book Prize: Shortlist

I have just spent the last hour getting really excited and reading all about the 10 books shortlisted for the YA book prize 2018. I am pleased to say that I haven’t read any of these books before, meaning it will be a new reading experience with each book for me. I have read the synopsis of each of these books, and looked at some statistics, so if you too haven’t read any/some of these books this should help you be more clued up! I hope you enjoy!

YA10 landscape


1. The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. This is a fantasy novel set in three parts, focusing on a quest, mythical creatures, villains and adventure. After reading numerous articles explaining what the story was about, I was still left confused. I have never read a Phillip Pullman book, and have never really intended too. If I am completely honest, I am not really looking forward to this book, but would still like to try and read it to see how it compares to the other shortlisted books.

  • Goodreads average rating: 4.23
  • Number of pages: 464

2. Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls. I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this book before, it looks fantastic and so diverse. It is classed as a historical fiction, feministic YA read with LGBTQ+ characters. It follows three young women who join the fight for women to vote; I have high hopes for this.

  • Goodreads average rating: 4.18
  • Number of pages: 418

3. Release by Patrick Ness. This story is inspired by Mrs Dalloway (Virgina Woolf) and Forever (Judy Blume) and follows Adam who is having a very difficult day, with: confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak and hope. The synopsis sounds very vague which I do find intriguing, and I have never read a Patrick Ness book before (please don’t hate me!)

  • Goodreads average rating: 3.81
  • Number of pages: 287

4. Moonrise by Sarah Crossan. This story follows Joe who hasn’t seen his brother for 10 years as he is on death row. All the blurb tells you is: “now Ed’s execution date has been set, Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with him, no matter what other people think.” I loved Sarah Crossan’s book One, which like Moonrise, is written in verse form, and I am excited to see if this book is as successful at conveying a fantastic story.

  • Goodreads average rating: 4.22
  • Number of pages: 400

5. Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence. This contemporary novel follows two different young people as they come together, learn who loves them and learn to love back through trust. I am looking forward to reading this after learning Patrice Lawrence’s book, Orangeboy, won the prize the YA book prize the year before.

  • Goodreads average rating: 3.87
  • Number of pages: 451

6. After The Fire by Will Hill. Father John controls everything inside The Fence, and he likes rules, including that you can never talk to Outsiders. Moonbeam however, starts to doubt whether Father John knows best, and begins to undercover the lies beneath his words. This book sounds so intriguing; the synopsis again, is left very vague, but gives me a lot of excitement and hope.  

  • Goodreads average rating: 4.42
  • Number of pages: 496

7. It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne. This story follows Audrey who meets a wannabe film-maker when she takes a cinema job to escape her life at home. I am looking forward to this as I am a sucker for a cute romance once in a while, and this this is going to be just that! I really loved Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne especially her writing style, so am feeling positive about this book already.

  • Goodreads average rating: 4.21
  • Number of pages: 416

8. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. Flora has no short-term memory and when  she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend, this memory sticks in her brain for the first time. The story follows her as she goes on an impossible journey determined to find Drake and find out the truth about herself. I do quite like the sound of this book, but after reading The Truth and Lies of Ella Black and really not enjoying it, I am quite apprehensive. 

  • Goodreads average reading: 3.54
  • Number of pages: 303


9. S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett. This book is set in a boarding school and follows Greer who is struggling to set in. She receives a mysterious invitation with three words on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’. The front cover of the books says: nine students, three blood sports, one deadly weekend; that makes me very excited and intrigued to pick up the book.

  • Goodreads average rating: 3.59
  • Number of pages: 290

10. Straight Outta Crongton by Alex Wheatle. Life is a struggle for Mo, whose mum’s boyfriend beats down women, and the area where she lives is fraught with hazards. It follows her life when something bad happens and life is left hanging in the balance. This book does sound interesting, I have never heard of it or the author before so I am looking forward to broadening my horizons in YA.

  • Goodreads average rating: 4.05
  • Number of pages: 304

I hope you enjoyed this post and are just as excited for the YA book prize as I am. If you have ready any of these books please let me know in the comments what you thought, I would love to know!

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9 thoughts on “YA Book Prize: Shortlist

  1. Richard says:

    Pullman’s His Dark Materials series is one of my favourites! The Book of Dust is a prequel of sorts, and it doesn’t quite live up to his original series.

    The only other one I have read on the list is It Only Happens In The Movies- it was an enjoyable read but I don’t think YA Contemporary Romance is the genre for me..

    Liked by 1 person

    • karisbooks says:

      Thank you for your comment Richard! Fantasy isn’t usually something I look for in a book, and therefore it’s not something I would usually read. I do want to try and give it a go, that’s why I love shortlists for things as it makes me pick up stuff I probably wouldn’t ever do otherwise!

      Liked by 1 person

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