Jill's Top Ten YA novels of 2012

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2012 was a great year for YA fiction. Here are Jill's favourites. Why not tell us about yours?


In Darkness by Nick Lake

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An intense and affecting exploration of Haiti through the eyes of a boy in the present, caught in the rubble of the great quake, and a 19th century revolutionary leader. Gritty and real, full of cultural detail, this is a book not to miss. Full review...

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

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A haunting, vivid, earthy story of sea-wives from one of the most exciting young adult authors around. If you like your magic wild and dangerous and abandoned, don't miss it. Full review...

This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees

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A dark and unsettling novel featuring three characters interconnected by more than just a love triangle, although it's that too. Tense and frightening, but beautiful at times, this thriller is something we didn't expect from Celia Rees. But we loved it. Full review...

Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers

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A wonderful book about friendship, words, and our deepest, most hidden selves. Elegant, precise prose and wonderful dialogue in which space has as much to say as words. This is a book to return to. Discerning readers will love it. Full review...

This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

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Superb prequel of Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein, this is a fantastic read for everyone, not just fans of Gothic horror. Highly recommended. Full review...

The Seeing by Diana Hendry

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Menacing and atmospheric story with a little bit of the supernatural mixed in with a lot of real life tragedy. Set in post-war Britain, this story is short but beautifully formed. Highly recommended. Full review...

Next by Keith Gray

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After the success of Losing It, Keith Gray gets together with more leading writers for teens to create a volume of short stories about life after death. This slim volume offers romanticism, dark humour, religion, grief, nostalgia and comfort. Full review...

Bringing the Summer by Julia Green

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Tender and absorbing and truthful, this story will appeal to a wide range of readers, especially the thoughtful, sensitive ones. Some will recognise Freya from an earlier book, Breathing Underwater. Full review...

The Ingo Chronicles: Stormswept by Helen Dunmore

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Hooray! Ingo returns! New characters and a brand new introduction to Helen Dunmore's undersea world in a beautiful, magical story about history, music, and the special relationship between twins. Full review...