Savita Kalhan was born in India but moved to UK when she was very young. She graduated with a joint honours degree in Politic and Philosophy from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She was a Batik artist and teacher before she turned to writing.
Her debut novel The Long Weekend is described as ‘an intensely compelling thriller’ which addresses the issue of stranger danger. Her recent books include Stories from the Edge (a YA Anthology) and Even Birds are Chained to the Sky. Savita lives in London.
Savita Kalhan’s Favourite YA Books
Thank you so much for inviting me here today! I’m so excited to share some of my favourite YA books with your readers. Okay, here’s a confession first – when I was writing this post I realised that it’s virtually impossible for me to narrow it down to ten books! I tried very hard, but I love YA books and there are so many amazing books out there to choose from!
I’ve also noticed a theme in my selection: most of the books take me somewhere else,
whether it’s to a different time or place in reality or into fantasy or dystopia. So here is my slightly extended list…
A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
The story is about a murder told by the heroine of the book, Mattie Gokey. But the book is
much more than that – there are several stories all woven together, and beautifully written. I love this book and highly recommend it.
I am Apache by Tanya Landman
I should say that anything written by Tanya Landman is going to be an amazing read. Apache is the story of Siki, who belongs to the Black Mountain Apache tribe, and wants to be a warrior. The book is set in the 19th Century in the southwest of America at a time when settlers are moving into Indian land. It’s a breath-taking story.
Ghost – Helen Grant
This book has just come out, and it is brilliant. I’m not going to say too much about it as it’s full of twists and surprises and I don’t want to give anything away! Check out the ForbiddenSpaces series of books by this author too, you won’t regret it.
The Curious Tale of the Princess Caraboo – Catherine Johnson
Based on a true story from the mid-1800s, it is the tale of a girl who is not what she seems. The book is full of great characters, setting, imagery, and, like everything Catherine Johnson writes, it’s beautifully told.
The Bartimaeus Series – Jonathan Stroud
This is one of my favourite series, although I love Lockwood and Co too. The djinni, Bartimaeus, is one of my favourite fictional characters!
Noughts and Crosses series – Malorie Blackman
Noughts and Crosses is an iconic series. I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t read it, so if you have missed it somehow, then go and read it.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
I love everything she wrote! I guess most of her work is for younger teens rather than young adult readers, but having said that I think that if you missed out on them when you were younger, you can still read and enjoy her books now.
Chaos Walking Series – Patrick Ness
I started reading this series as soon as the first book came out – and then I had an agonising wait until the second one came out, and again had to wait for the final instalment. It’s that good!
Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
This is such a powerful novel. It’s about Melinda who is isolated by her peers following a
party which she broke up by calling the police. No one knows why she did it. Melinda stops speaking, but she finds her voice through her art, and gradually we find out what happened to her. The book was written in 1999, and it’s still as relevant today as it was then, sadly.
Orphan, Monster, Spy by Matt Killeen
I was very lucky to get invited to Matt’s book launch and bag myself a signed copy! The
heroine in this book is simply amazing. The story will sweep you along on a ride that you just don’t want to come to an end. I’m already looking forward to Matt’s next book!
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
This is the second book on here set during the Second World War. It is such a powerful book. I loved Liesel, and having Death as the narrator was such a unique touch.
Tribute by Elen Renner
I loved Elen Renner’s writing. Her world-building has so much depth, and her heroine’s are always sassy! It’s a magical read.
Allegedly by Tiffany D Jackson
This is a psychological thriller – I really couldn’t put this book down. The main character,
Mary, was nine years old when she killed a baby. She’s sixteen now, and lives in a group
home. This book is dark and gritty, and a real page-turner.
City of Ghosts by Bali Rai
Set in Amritsar in 1919 around the time of Indian rebellion against colonialism, this book is epic. You’ll meet some amazing characters, and have a favourite – I did – and be swept away by this magical story.
Okay, that’s thirteen, so far… But I love all these books too!
- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys
- The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandya Menon
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
- The Unlikely Hero of Room 13b by Teresa Toten
I could easily add to this list, but I’m trying hard to rein myself in…
And then there are the ones on my must-read pile:
- The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- Stranger by Keren David
- Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
And there’s all the other books coming out later this year to look forward to too! I am sure to have missed some absolute favourites, because that’s what happens when I try and do a list like this, and I will remember them later and kick myself! I would love to hear which books would make your top ten list, so please let me know in the comments below, or tweet me @savitakalhan
If you want to know more about me or The Girl in the Broken Mirror head to my website- http://www.savitakalhan.com
Thank you so much for inviting me here today, Hannah. It’s been a pleasure. I hope all your readers love my book too!
Jay’s creative writing exercise is to write a fairy tale, to end with ‘they lived happily ever after’. But the way her life is panning out she’s not sure it will ever reach that stage. She and her mother are moving in with distant relatives and they have super strict rules for girls. Jay is expected to have only Indian friends, if she has any at all. How can she see her school friends, Chloe and Matt ? But this is only the beginning of a nightmare for Jay. When her life implodes, how can she hide the shame and how will she find a way to keep going?
The Girl in the Broken Mirror is ultimately about hope and understanding, and where help can be found – even in the darkest situation.