Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fortnight of Guests 2012: Savita Kalhan ( Plus GIVEAWAY!)

Today we have Ms Savita Kalhan here with us, the wonderful author of The Long Weekend and just a really lovely person! She's here to reveal her Top Ten YA Must-Reads! And... an international giveaway of a signed copy of The Long Weekend!! Make sure you check it out: you just need to write your own Top Ten Books in the comments!! So (without further interruptions from me!), I shall hand over to Savita...

Hi Megan, thanks so much for inviting me to your Fortnight of Guest: The Authors!

YA Books That I Recommend As Must-Reads

I love reading and I read a lot, but where to find the time to read more can be a problem. I’m sure you all know what I mean! I try to read as many teen and YA books as I can, but I do get left behind and end up stockpiling books for holidays and even then I don’t get through half as many as I want to.
I don’t read YA when I’m writing. I’m not really sure why, but I think it’s to preserve the integrity of the voices of my characters, or not to be influenced by other styles within teen and YA writing, or by the way that other writers have tackled issues or themes that are in my current work-in-progress.
So this is by no means a definitive list, but very much a work in progress and I am bound to have forgotten some great titles! I’ve enjoyed all the books on this list and would highly recommend them.

1.       A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This book was based on Siobhan Dowd’s idea, which sadly she was never able to write. It is a moving story of a boy struggling to come to terms with his mother’s illness.
2.      The Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman
I love everything this woman writes, but again I was forced to pick one, so I picked her compelling trilogy, which is utterly brilliant! Her new book, Boys Don’t Cry is a must read too.
3.      Before I Die by Jenny Downham
I hadn’t read anything quite like this before. I cried buckets all the way through it, but it’s much more than a simple sentimental read. Me Against You is her recent YA novel and it’s also a gripping read.
4.      Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
One of my favourite teen/YA novels. It is a compelling story, powerfully written.
5.      I’m Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti
This book was published a few years ago, but recently re-published as a YA book. It’s a gripping portrait of a nine year old boy who uncovers a terrible secret, and with that knowledge his life begins to fall apart. It’s set in rural Italy, very evocative of the landscape and the characters are vividly drawn.
6.      The Opposite of Amber by Gillian Philip
I have to say that I love everything that this remarkable author writes. Her dark fantasy series, Rebel Angels, is a must read too and I can hardly wait for the third part in the series!
7.      Stolen: A letter to my captor by Lucy Christopher
Set in the outback in Australia and stunningly visualized, I couldn’t put this book down.
8.     The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Is there anyone left who hasn’t read this yet...? Who doesn’t love Katniss and the many trials and tribulations of the dystopian world she defies death in? The series is easy to read and great fun, thrilling and quite brilliant. I wish there was a fourth!
Dystopian YA novels have taken off over the last couple of years, so there are others that I’ve read and really enjoyed to – Divergent by Veronica Roth being one of them and Blood red Road by Moira Young another.
9.      The Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
I read this a couple of years ago, but it made an impression on me. Beautifully written, multi-layered and completely absorbing. I loved it. Her recent book Revolution, is a great YA read too.
10.  Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
A very important book for any teenager and young adult to read. The isolation and pain of the central character and her inability to deal with the crime that has been done to her is poignant. You really want her to speak.

When this blog is posted, I’ll probably kick myself as several other books will have come to mind! I think I might try to do this list every three months so I don’t forget anything important...
What would you and your blog followers put in their top ten recommended must-reads, Megan?
I’m giving away a copy of The Long Weekend – all you have to do is leave your answers in the comments below!

Thanks so much for asking me to guest post on your Fortnight of Guests. It’s been fun! Happy reading! 


Thank you so, so, so much for taking part Savita!  And thank you for the giveaway too!!   I'm ashamed to say that although I own many of these, I haven't actually read them... *hide face in shame*  I will read them all ASAP!  :D
My top ten?  Hmm...  If I start, we'll end up with this bit being longer than your guest post, which wouldn't be good!  I'll leave mine in the comments instead!! :D
Everyone, what's your Top Tens??!!  Leave a comment and tell us!  We'll pick a winner at random on July 17th and they get an amazing, signed book!  So enter now!! :)

And, if you liked this post, make sure you follow all the FoG events on Twitter at #FortnightOfGuests

https://twitter.com/#!/savitakalhan    @savitakalhan

Savita Kalhan was born in India, but has lived in the UK most of her life. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She was a Batik artist before going to live in the Middle East where she taught English for several years. Then she turned to writing. Now living in North London, she continued to write. Her debut novel, The Long Weekend, published by Andersen Press, is a tense thriller about two boys who are abducted after school. It was short-listed for the Fabulous Book Award 2010.

Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with a man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out.
They were trapped, then separated.
Now they are alone.
Will either of them get out alive?

“One of the most important books published...I honestly can’t recommend this book highly enough.” The Bookbag
“An uncompromising thriller which will chill you to the bone and have you breathlessly turning page after page.” The Bookette


LisaD said...

Hi There,

It is so hard to just pick ten but certainly some of my favourites are:
1. The Knife of Never letting Go Patrick Ness.
2. Magus of Stonewylde by Kit Berry
3. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
4. Wood Angel by Erin Bowe
5. Firebrand By Gillian Philip
6. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
7. Angel Kiss by Laura Jane Cassidy
8.City of Beasts by Isabel Allende
9. A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Savita Kalhan said...

A great list, Lisa, and a few there that I haven't read yet. I'm completely with you on A Swift Pure Cry - an amazing book! Thanks for trying to make a top ten list - it's so hard, isn't it!

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Oooh... Umm. Top Ten...
1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
2. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
4. Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid
5. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
7. Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey
8. Scarlet by AC Gaughen
9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
10. Cherub by Robert Muchamore

Well, I think that's my Top Ten... It may change! ;)
Thank you for the awesome guest post, Savita!! :D

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