Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Published in March 2013

Here are some of the teenage/YA titles that are being published in the UK in March 2013. I will put a link to this post and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. January's list is here and February's is here.

I have tried to identify all the British authors which I hope will be useful to those doing Sarah's British Books Challenge at Feeling Fictional. (please let me know of any errors or omissions).

Tom Becker - While the Others Sleep (4th, Scholastic, pb) British Author
Martyn Bedford - Flip (7th, Walker, pb) British Author
Kendare Blake - Girl of Nightmares (7th, Orchard, pb)
Kevin Brooks - The Bunker Diary (7th, Penguin, pb) British Author
Anne Cassidy  - Killing Rachel (14th, Bloomsbury Childrens, pb) British Author
Cassandra Clare - Clockwork Princess (19th, Walker, pb)
Siobhan Curham - Finding Cherokee Brown (4th, Electric Monkey, pb) British Author
Marianne Curley - Hidden (14th, Bloomsbury Childrens, pb)
Debra Driza - Mila 2.0 (28th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Michael Grant - Light (28th, Egmont Books Ltd, HB)
John Grisham - Theodore Boone: The Accused (14th, Hodder & Stoughton, pb)
Chris Higgins - The Day I Met Suzie (7th, Hodder Children's Books, pb) British Author
Marie-Louise Jensen - Smuggler's Kiss (7th, OUP, pb) British Author
John Lenahan - Sons of Macha (14th, The Friday Project, pb)
Claire McFall - The Ferryman (1st, Templar, pb) British Author
Katy Moran - Hidden Among Us (7th, Orchard, pb)
Sarah Mussi - Siege (7th, Hodder Children's Books, HB) British Author
Kate Kae Myers - The Vanishing Game (3rd, Bloomsbury Childrens Books, HB)
Lauren Oliver - Requiem (21st, Hodder & Stoughton, HB)
Luisa Plaja - Diary of a Mall Girl (14th,  Curious Fox, pb) British Author
Chris Priestley - Through Dead Eyes (14th, Bloomsbury Childrens, HB) British Author
Sheila Rance - Sun Catcher (7th, Orion Childrens, HB) British Author
Alison Rattle - The Quietness (7th, Hot Key Books, pb) British Author
Darren Shan - Zom-B City (14th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, HB)
Darren Shan - Zom-B (14th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Juliana Scott - The Holders (7th, Strange Chemistry, pb)
K J Wignall - Death (4th, Egmont Books Ltd, pb) British Author

Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne (September 2012, Headline, ISBN: 0755393058)

Notes: The following review is written by Laura Root and is reprinted from my Euro Crime website. You can read her crime reviews here.

Review: Heart-Shaped Bruise is Tanya Byrne's first novel, and a highly impressive debut. The protagonist, Emily Koll, is a remand inmate in the psychiatric wing attached to the fictional Archway Young Offender's Institute. This book is purported to be the contents of a notebook found in Emily's former room/cell after the closure of the YOI. We never learn the actual charges against Emily Koll, that have led the tabloids to dub her "Evil Emily Koll" and make her the source of curiosity and notoriety even amongst the fellow inmates. The reader is aware from the start that Emily has committed some terrible deeds as revenge against Juliet Shaw, the teenage girl who stabbed Emily's father, a violent gangster, after he shot and killed her father, a policeman. Emily's father survived the stabbing but was sent to prison.

Emily was blissfully unaware of her father's criminality until the stabbing, and wholly blames Juliet for the unravelling of the certainties of her pampered private school Surrey life. After taking to cigarettes and alcohol to cope in exile in Spain, Emily is eventually so eaten up by anger that she decides to take her revenge against Juliet. With the help of her gangster uncle, Emily manages to find out Juliet's new identity (Juliet has been relocated under the Witness Protection Scheme), and assume a false identity herself. Rose starts off by stalking Juliet then enrols at the same London sixth form college, to attempt to befriend Juliet. Matters are complicated by a love triangle - Emily is rather fond of Juliet's new boyfriend, the slightly older, glamorous but troubled Sid. Emily doesn't want to take her revenge straight away - instead she broods and plans and insinuates herself into Juliet and Sid's lives, as she starts to enjoy a more normal teenage life, of cider, parties and concerts, away from the bubble of boarding school privilege.

But this novel has a wider scope, moving beyond this intriguing revenge set up, by way of using a dual time line -we see the past via both the crumbs of information Emily is coaxed into revealing in her sessions with the prison psychiatrist, and the fuller version Emily confides to her diary, and we see the present that Emily is experiencing as a remand prisoner. In fact quite a proportion of the novel looks at Emily's experiences on remand, and the prison system's attempts at psychological help for someone who has committed a dreadful crime. Emily is (at least by her own account) initially sarcastic and highly resistant to the questions asked by the resident psychiatrist, Dr Gilyard, using her brittle wit as a defence mechanism, keen to prevent Dr Gilyard from going over her "line". Little by little, her reticence is chipped away, and she reveals more about her past, both with her father and with Juliet.

The depiction of the criminal justice system rings true, as the author conveys the relationships between the psychiatric unit inmates in a convincing and touching manner. The cycle of the remand prisoner in the justice system is well depicted - the unit's population, and Emily's quasi-friendships are transient, as the residents of the psychiatric unit come and go, as they are deemed well enough to be returned to the main prison population or are tried and dealt with in the criminal courts.

This is an excellent and assured debut novel. The multiple timeline aspect is very deftly handled; the theme of procrastination/delayed revenge (with its Shakespearean echoes) works, adding tension to the story so the action does not feel unduly slowed. Emily Koll is a compelling, if not always attractive character. Although she is not exactly an easy person to sympathise with, given her utter lack of empathy and the viciousness she shows towards Juliet, Tanya Byrne does a good job of letting us see beyond the headlines declaiming about "evil" in the case of a violent offender like Emily. We can see just how damaged Emily is herself, and how far her earlier life experiences have affected her (much is hinted at but never made explicit regarding the disappearance of Emily's mother and Emily's probable eating disorder). Other characters in Emily's life are well drawn, in particular that of Juliet, who in contrast to Emily, has not been soured by her tragic life experiences but is attempting to rebuild her life as best she can.

I look forward to reading future books by this author.

Laura Root

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Free Short Story from Stephanie Burgis

Dueling Magics by Stephanie Burgis is currently free to download (in various formats) at Smashwords.

Regency England's most magically mischievous twelve-year-old is back!

Kat Stephenson will do almost anything to escape a tedious shopping trip with her stepmama and older sisters...but when she enters a magical duel of wits with her sister Angeline, no one can predict the results!

"Dueling Magics" is a short story set a few months after the events of Kat, Incorrigible and a few weeks before the beginning of Renegade Magic (Kat, Incorrigible Book 2). 

Trilogy titles:

1. US = Kat, Incorrigible, UK = A Most Improper Magick
2. US = Renegade Magic, UK = A Tangle of Magicks
3. US = Stolen Magic, UK = A Reckless Magick

(All currently 99p on UK Kindle.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Publishing News: Cassandra Clare & The Bane Chronicles

From Booktrade:
Ahead of the highly anticipated major movie release of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Walker Books has acquired the innovative digital The Bane Chronicles story cycle from Cassandra Clare in which she co-authors with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson a sequence of ten short stories.

The Bane Chronicles feature Magnus Bane, a flamboyant immortal warlock who appears in The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series which Walker Books has published with great success since 2007. In the forthcoming film, Magnus Bane will be played by Godfrey Gao, a Taiwanese actor enormously popular throughout Asia. Launching this April, one digital story will be published every month (priced £1.99) with the complete collection available as a book during 2014.

Post movie release, Walker Books will extend the publishing programme further with the release of The Shadowhunter's Codex, the essential background handbook to the Shadowhunters' world, by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis in November 2013. 

Here the UK trailer for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 shortlist

The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 shortlist has been announced today and contains 6 titles. From the press release:
  • The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan, Bloomsbury
  • A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle, Marion Lloyd Books
  • Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, Hot Key Books
  • In Darkness by Nick Lake, Bloomsbury
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Bodley Head
  • Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick, Indigo
  • A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton, David Fickling Books
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Electric Monkey

Bestselling adult fiction author Roddy Doyle is one of this year's contenders for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the oldest (established in 1936) and most prestigious accolade for children's writing in the UK. Nominated for A Greyhound of a Girl - an Irish family saga spanning four generations - a victory for Doyle would be an extremely rare feat; having scooped the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Doyle would be one of only two authors to have claimed both prizes, thereby cementing his reputation as one of the leading novelists for both adults and children. Penelope Lively is the other.

Hoping to thwart the veteran novelist's chances are three debut authors: R.J. Palacio with Wonder, her critically acclaimed story about facial disfigurement; Sarah Crossan, whose The Weight of Water gives a voice to an Eastern European girl struggling to come to terms with life in Britain; and Dave Shelton, with his unconventional adventure story, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat. The eight-strong shortlist of books, typified by challenging themes and epic storytelling, also includes: In Darkness, set in the horrific aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, by publishing director Nick Lake; Midwinterblood, an unsettling love story stretching across centuries, from award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick; and Maggot Moon, Sally Gardner's dystopian novel which won last year's Costa Children's Book Award.

The winner will be announced on 19 June 2013.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Free World Book Day stories at Movellas

Movellas have a number of short stories from well-known YA writers available for free to read via their App(s) for World Book Day.

I have downloaded this App on my Kindle Fire and by searching for "World Book Day" it has brought up titles (so far) from Josephine Angelini, Sarah Alderson, Dave Cousins, Will Hill, Sarah J Maas, Chris Ryan and Alex Scarrow.

There is a specific World Book Day App for iTunes: