Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guest Post: Savita Kalhan (and a Giveaway!)

Today, I have a special guest for all of you. Savita Kalhan, author of The Long Weekend, is here! She is going to share some young adult book recommendations, so enjoy and give a warm welcome to Savita Kalhan!

YA Books that I recommend as must-reads for Elizabeth

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.
So this is by no means a definitive list, but very much a work in progress! I’ve enjoyed all the books on this list and would highly recommend them.

1. Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick
I love everything this man writes, but if I was forced to pick one it would be Revolver, which I’ve just read!
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!
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.
4. Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
A brilliant novel by a talented writer for teens. It is both thought-provoking and moving, and tells the story of neglected child and how she tries to move forward with her life after committing a terrible crime.
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.
6. The Survival Game by Tim-Wynne-Jones
This story stayed with me long after I had put the book down. It is a tense, vividly-drawn portrayal of a boy’s struggle to escape his bullying father by running away, knowing that no matter how far he runs, he will be tracked down.
7. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
I love fantasy epics and this is one I really enjoyed recently. The characters are brilliant, the djinni is inspired, and the story hooks you instantly and you fly with it.
8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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!
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.
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...

Thank you, Savita for your recommendations! I am definitely going to have to some of those out.

Savita Kalhan is also offering one of Swords for Fighting's readers to win a copy of The Long Weekend! If you would like a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment. Oh, and make sure to leave your email adress, so I have a way to contact you. This contest is international, and it ends on March 1st.

Swords are for fighting,


  1. Speak was such a beautiful book, and I'm glad it made your list. :) I remember reading that a few years ago and just sitting in my room, staring at the wall for a few minutes, just trying to understand everything said.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway!
    shyluck13 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  2. The Hunger Games is my all-time favorite book! <3 Speak is also amazing(:


  3. It sounds like a book worth reading so please enter me in the giveaway.

    Thanks for opening it to worldwide entries.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  4. I absolutely love The Hunger Games series and Before I Die is just so raw.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  5. Sounds like a wonderful book :) I hope I can get a chance to read it!

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

  6. Sounds really amazing ! I want to read it ! ^^

    anais.styling AT orange.fr