Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guest Book List #4: Jenny of Wondrous Reads on British Books

When Steph asked me to take part in her Best Books of 2010 feature, I had a bit of trouble deciding what to write about. I didn't want it to overlap with my own end-of-year blog lists, and being British myself, I eventually settled on the theme of British books. Every year piles of brilliant books are published by UK authors, and unfortunately some fly under the radar and never quite get the recognition they deserve. Of course, some win well-deserved and coveted awards, which always makes me proud to be so involved with British publishing.

Here is a list of my personal favourite British books of 2010. I hope you might find something new to read, or an exciting title to add to your wishlist.

Merry Christmas, fellow bloggers!

- Jenny / Wondrous Reads

My Top 10 British Books of 2010

10. You Against Me by Jenny Downham
This book explores important themes and issues, and shows how much rape can tear a family apart. Jenny Downham's writing is almost perfect, and the overall outcome is a thought-provoking read that I'm sure will be shortlisted for upcoming awards.

9. Pretty Bad Things by C. J. Skuse
This is a UK debut from Chicken House, one of my favourite publishers. Pretty Bad Things is random, edgy and snarky, and highlights the many ups and downs of family relationships. Also, it's set in Vegas. So cool.

8. Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda
Sarwat Chadda restored my faith in werewolf fiction. Most of you know I'm a vampire girl at heart, but Dark Goddess reminded me that, yes, werewolves can be brutal and not the fluffy romantics I've become accustomed to. This book literally had me on the edge of my seat, and features fascinating Russian lore. Win!

7. When I Was Joe by Keren David
This book was one of the first I read in 2010, and has stuck with me throughout the year. It's powerful and incredibly realistic, and features another problem in today's society: knife crime. If you haven't yet read this one, put it on your wishlists. I think it will appeal to everyone, and is an important story that needs to be read.

6. Drawing with Light by Julia Green
Whenever I talk about this book, I say, "It's like a British Sarah Dessen". I think that's pretty much all I need to say here!

5. Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
Mary Hooper is like the British Queen of historical fiction. Fallen Grace is absolutely brilliant, and re-introduced me to a genre I'd forgotten I loved. I was transported back in time as soon as I started reading and, given the setting, I think that's quite an accomplishment.

4. The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison
I love Michelle Harrison and the 13 series. In my opinion, she writes the best faerie books out there, and her writing is fantastic. If you read these books, prepare for an unforgettable magical experience!

3. Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
Out of Shadows is my UK debut of the year. It's utterly brilliant. It's set in 1983, a few years after the Zimbabwe War of Liberation, and is one of those books that moved me to tears. Very highly recommended.

2. Flyaway by Lucy Christopher
I'll admit it, I'm a Lucy Christopher fangirl. Flyaway didn't disappoint and, in my opinion, it surpassed Lucy's debut novel Stolen. This is another one that had me in tears, and one that I will definitely reread in the future. Fantastic stuff.

1. The Legacy by Gemma Malley
The Legacy is the last book in the Declaration trilogy, which is basically just awesome dystopian YA. I have a somewhat bad track record with final books in a series, but Gemma Malley never let me down. It is AMAZING. Never mind best British book of the year, it's the best book of the year. No contest.

Thank you, Jenny! Be sure to visit her blog at Wondrous Reads.

Back to: Master List | Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Guest List #1 | Pt. 3 | Guest List #2 | Pt. 4 | Guest List #3 | Pt. 5 | Guest List #4


  1. Ooh, Janny's favourite was the third in a series which I am planning to read next year. Yay! How she managed to put them in order amazes me! Tough task.

  2. I had the opportunity to read The Dark Goddess already (there was no way I could wait for it to come out in the U.S. after reading Devil's Kiss!) and it was even better than the first. So intensely awesome. The setting of Russia was absolutely fantastic and it actually made me want to visit (when previously I had no desire to).

    I just added Out of Shadows to my TBR list. Sadly it doesn't come out in the U.S. till August I think :( Ah well, I'm happy it's on my radar!

    And wow high high praise for the Declaration trilogy. I'll have a look at the first book in the series :)

  3. Wow, loving all the lists! Have only read one of Jenny's top 10 - When I Was Joe, which was absolutely amazing - but it also contains a couple that are on my to read list, You Against Me is probably going to be one of the next ones I pick up because I've heard so much great stuff about it and because Before I Die was one of my favourite YA books of recent years.


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