Top 10 books for young adults
Magnificent indie bookshop Mostly Books has scoured the shelves, and selected its Top 10 books for the miracle of a tween/teen no-screen Christmas.
All Of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor
When Miri and her friends get a chance to meet their favourite author, they plot a way to get even closer to her – and somehow, it works. The author invites them to hang out – but what if she has an different motive?If the girls think her a friend, if they tell her their secrets – what if they find out her next book is not as fictional as they would have liked? A dark tale full of secrets and revenge, brilliant for any teenager that loves a thriller.
Available in paperback for £7.99.
Throne of Glass Collector’s Edition by Sarah J Maas
Undoubtedly one of our favourite series of all time, Throne of Glassfollows Celaena Sardothien after a gruelling year in the slave camp of Endovier. Celaena was meant to spend her life in the camp – however short that would be – until the Captain of the Guard pulls her out to meet the prince. The prince has a challenge for her; compete to become the Kings Champion, and she could earn her freedom in only a few years. But the competition is rife with danger, and not just from the other competitors, murders and thieves them all. There is evil stalking the castle walls, along with magic that shouldn’t have worked….
If you haven’t already read the series, the beautiful hardback will be a perfect start – or, a perfect addition to the bookshelves of any fans of Sarah J Maas.
Available in hardback for £16.99.
The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedgwick
The Villa Diodati, on the shore of Lake Geneva, 1816 – the Year without Summer. As Byron, Polidori, and Mr and Mrs Shelley shelter from the unexpected weather, old ghost stories are read and new ghost stories imagined. Born by the twin brains of the Shelleys is Frankenstein, one of the most influential tales of horror of all time. In a remote mountain house, high in the French Alps, an author broods on Shelley’s creation. Reality and perception merge, fuelled by poisoned thoughts. Humankind makes monsters; but who really creates who?
This is a book about reason, the imagination, and the creative act of reading and writing.
Available in hardback for £12.99
And the Ocean was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
The whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt. Led by the formidable Captain Alexandra, they fight a never-ending war against men. Then the whales attack a man ship, and instead of easy prey they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself… With their relentless Captain leading the chase, they embark on the final hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of whales and men.
From the writer of A Monster Calls – another brilliant book – comes this stunning illustrated story of power and obsession that turns Moby Dick on its head.
Available in hardback for £12.99
The Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth
Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. Now returned to London, Evelyn spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, overcome with longing for Woodlands, and desperate to return. Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world, moving America to escape the memory of what was. But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Evelyn truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.
Available in paperback for £7.99
Killer T by Robert Muchamore
Harry and Charlie are teenagers whose lives are shaped by a society that’s shifting around them. He’s a lonely Brit in his first term at a Las Vegas high school. She’s an unlikely friend, who gets accused of mixing a batch of explosives that blew up a football player. The two of them are drawn together at a time when gene editing technology is starting to explode. With a lab in the garage anyone can beat cancer, enhance their brain to pass exams, or tweak a few genes for that year-round tan and perfect beach body. But in the wrong hands, cheap gene editing is the most deadly weapon in history. Killer T is a synthetic virus with a ninety per-cent mortality rate, and the terrorists who created it want a billion dollars before they’ll release a vaccine.
Available in hardback for £12.99
Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
If you keep up with current popular musicals, you may have already heard of this. It’s coming to UK theatres next year, but until then, the book of the musical is out. Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of Evan, the almost-invisible boy at school, who is accidently pulled into a family’s grief over the loss of their son. Suddenly there are people that see him and who care about him – and the only thing he has to do is keep up a lie that he never told – that he was friends with Connor. It’s a beautiful book, full of funny moments, but also full of heart and grief, and it’s a story that teens and adults alike will recognise. If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack of the musical, we recommend that too – both the book and the musical are utterly, utterly, brilliant.
Available in hardback for £12.99.
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
Five Dunbar brothers are living – fighting, loving, grieving – in the perfect chaos of a house without grown-ups. Today, the father who left them has just walked right back in. He has a surprising request: Who will build a bridge with him? It is Clay, a boy tormented by a long-buried secret, who accepts. But why is Clay so broken? And why must he fulfil this extraordinary challenge? At once an existential riddle and a search for redemption, this tale of five brothers coming of age in a house with no rules brims with energy, joy and pathos. Zusak makes a triumphant return with The Bridge of Clay. His distinctive writing style, coupled with strong observations around the complexities of family ties make this a great read.
Available in hardback for £18.99.
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. We are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? How do we stay human in a technological world? How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. So, he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the twenty-first century.
Notes on a Nervous Planet is available in hardback for £12.99.
The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea. So begins Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines, the first book in his epic post-apocalyptic series of giant motorized cities on wheels. But how did the world end up like this? What led to the downfall of our civilization, and to the rise of the Traction Cities that roam the Great Hunting Ground to attack and devour each other? Now, for the first time, discover the untold future history of Traction. This lavishly illustrated book contains incredible tales of fearsome Zagwan warriors riding war-zebras into battle, daring air-traders flying the Bird-Roads in search of adventure, and the mysterious plague-ridden wasteland of the Dead Continent that was formerly known as ‘North America’. This definitive companion guide includes detailed maps, fascinating character profiles, and stunning colour illustrations. A perfect gift for all.
The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines is available in hardback for £20.
Recommended by Mostly Books, 36 Stert Street, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 3JP