As you probably already know, today is UKYA Day, an event organised by the awesome Lucy from Queen of Contemporary, who has done so much to show her support for UKYA over the years.
And since we’re discussing all things UKYA, I just wanted to take a little time to reflect on why it’s been so important to me. We have so many UK authors and stories that we need to be celebrating, and over the past year, I’ve seen a lot more of them see success, and I couldn’t be happier!
But for today, I wanted to go back to a part of my bookshelf that gathers a little more dust than the rest, containing the books I’ve had for a long while. I wanted to remember some of the UKYA reads I discovered in my early teens, and why I loved them so much.
One of the first book series’ that I really remember relating to was the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson books by Louise Rennison.
|My first and final books of the series|
I grew up with the series and Georgia still remains one of my all-time favourite characters today. The books perfectly captured the lives of British teenagers in a way not many other books could at the time, and I think that’s why I loved them so much. They the first stories I remember reading with my friends. Reading was normally something that I didn’t get to talk about all that much because none of my friends were readers, but this was the one series that we actually all loved. Oh, how we wanted (and tried) to be the Ace Gang, and go in search of our very own Sex Gods. This series helped me laugh my way through my awkward teenage years, and it’ll always stay close to my heart.
Also hanging around on my bookshelf was Voices by Sue Mayfield. Sue is an author whose books I remember always picking up in my high school library, but I very rarely see her books talked about now.
Voices is a contemporary story about a message in a bottle, and I completely fell in love with the idea of it. The characters and the plot are wonderful, and it’s a story I’ve gone back to read a few times over the years. It was originally published in 2003, but I’d love to see readers enjoying it now.
The other book I found whilst searching for the ghosts of UKYA past is Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning.
Again, Sarra was an author I’d always seek out at the library, but Guitar Girl was and still is my favourite book by her. It’s a story of teens finding success in a band, but rock and roll fame it isn’t everything they pictured it to be. I remember flying through this book in a day because I couldn’t put it down. It comes with awesome characters and songs you wish were real.
So there is my nostalgic trip to UKYA times gone by. I love seeing the amount of awesome books coming out of Britain now and gaining popularity across the world. It shows just how much UKYA has managed to progress over the years. I vow to never again let some of my British books gather dust on a lonely shelf, because they really did help shape the reader I am today.
What have been your favourite UKYA reads of all time? What books do you wish more people would pick up? Let me know! Also, be sure to get involved with all the action on Twitter by using the #UKYADay hashtag!