YA Book Prize 2019 shortlist

YA Book Prize 2019 shortlist

In case you missed it, yesterday the YA Book Prize revealed this year’s #YA10. I put my predictions up on Wednesday, so today I’m going to share my thoughts on the shortlist: which inclusions surprised me, and which ones I feel stupid for not guessing!

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

A Sky Painted Gold was praised by a lot of bloggers last year, so I’m surprised that I didn’t think of this one (but Amy of Golden Books Girl did, so well done to her!). I didn’t really know all that much about it – apart from the fact that it seems to be universally loved – but as soon as I checked out the blurb on Goodreads and saw the word ‘Gatsby-esque’ I got very excited. I’m looking forward to giving this one a go.

Big Bones by Laura Dockrill

My NetGalley request to read Big Bones was approved, but at the time I planned to pick it up a whole slew of negative reviews appeared on Goodreads and really put me off. I’m going to read it to make up my own mind, but I am really surprised to see this book make it onto the shortlist.

Clean by Juno Dawson

I KNEW Clean was going to be on the list, and I’m already rooting for it to win. It’s hard to focus on anything when you have a newborn, but Lexi’s narrative was so engaging that I read Clean in a couple of sittings. I think I might try and find time to reread this one before the winner is announced, but I can’t see my opinion changing.

Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

I’m still gutted that A Quiet Kind of Thunder wasn’t on the 2018 shortlist, but I’m glad that Goodbye, Perfect made it onto the list. I didn’t get a chance to read it last year, but this is the first of the shortlist books which I haven’t read yet that I’m going to pick up.

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

I’ve been intending to pick up I Am Thunder for a while, but every time I’ve tried to borrow it from the library it’s already been out on loan. That’s already proof that it’s popular, and I’m mad at myself for not predicting this one – it was one of the most talked about debuts of last year, and almost everyone reviewing it gave it five stars.

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

I wouldn’t be surprised if I Was Born For This ended up winning the prize, because it was the only book anyone could talk about for months following its publication. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but if I love it anywhere near as much as I loved Oseman’s Radio Silence, it might be a strong contender against Clean as my winner.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber

I debated putting Only Love Can Break Your Heart on my list of predictions, but I changed my mind at the last minute because I also thought Wing Jones deserved to be shortlisted last year and I was wrong about that! I haven’t picked up Katherine Webber’s second YA novel yet, but I’m looking forward to reading it now that I have an excuse to purchase a copy. Hopefully it’ll be as brilliant as Wing Jones was, because I read that it one sitting.

Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw

Outwalkers was the biggest surprise on the shortlist, because I’ve literally never heard of it. According to Goodreads it’s a dystopian, and I normally enjoy dystopians… Although Outwalkers is chonky, coming in at over 400 pages. I’m going to leave Outwalkers until last, because I need to borrow it out of the library and I don’t have the time to read a book of that length right now!

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill

I had The Surface Breaks on my list of predictions, but I removed it at the last minute and switched in Karen Gregory’s Skylarks instead (a book which I was so emotionally invested in seeing on the shortlist and am absolutely devastated by its exclusion). Although I love The Little Mermaid and I normally enjoy retellings, I wasn’t a huge fan of this one.

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

This was another book that people couldn’t stop talking about after its release, so I was kicking myself for forgetting to include it. I borrowed it from the library already and am looking forward to reading this one, because I was planning on reading it at some point in the next few weeks even before it was on the shortlist!

What are your thoughts on this year’s shortlist? Do you already have a winner picked out from these ten?