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Reviews highlights - books for young adults

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Reviews highlights series

Books for Young Adults

This summer we are opening up our reviews archive to highlight some recent gems in Swedish-language literature, in lists curated by genre and age group. Whether your interest is in poetry or picture books, searing literature or spine-tingling thrillers, we hope that our reviews highlights will help you to discover something new.

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Image credit: Geran de Klerk on Unsplash.

YA fiction

Inte din baby (Not Your Baby)

by Seluah Alsaati, reviewed by Sophie Ruthven

Natur & Kultur, 2020, 176 pages.

'Alsaati's prose speaks not only to and for those caught in the whirlwind of destructive relationships, but to and for a part of Stockholm that is also often ignored or misrepresented. The writing is sharp, with a fluency that is truly exciting for a debut novel.'

Book cover of Himlabrand by Moa Backe Åstot
YA fiction

Himlabrand(Polar Fire)

by Moa Backe Åstot, reviewed by Saskia Vogel

rabén&sjögren, 2021, 206 pages

'This is a novel for a generation dedicated to divesting themselves of prejudice and harmful taboos. Åstots message is one of hope and assurance that love is love, and for teens like Ánte, the world is changing for the better.'

Book cover of Middagsmörker by Charlotte Cederlund
YA fiction

Middagsmörker(Polar Night)

by Charlotte Cederlund, reviewed by Alex Fleming

Opal, 2016.

'In this first instalment in the Idijärvi Trilogy, Charlotte Cederlund blends Sami mythology with YA fantasy to create a Nordic coming-of-age novel set under the glow of the Northern Lights.'

Book cover of Pärlfiskaren by Karin Erlandsson
YA fiction

Pärlfiskaren: Legenden om ögonstenen(The Pearl Fisher: the Legend of the Eyestone)

by Karin Erlandsson, reviewed by Charlotte Berry

Schildts & Söderströms (Finland), 2017, 248 pages.

'Legenden om ögonstenen has been received with wide open arms in Finland, and the last two titles are eagerly anticipated. This particular title, with its richly drawn landscapes of sea and forest, will undoubtedly appeal to all those who love the quest tradition of Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books.'

Book cover of Sista Resan by Ewa Christina Johansson and Kristina Sjögren
YA fiction

Sista resan(The Last Journey)

by Ewa Christina Johansson and Kristina Sjögren, reviewed by Helena Forsås-Scott

Rabén & Sjögren, 2009, 252 pages.

'Very well written and with plots that twist and turn unexpectedly, the books about Siri, her  family and friends provide both exciting reading and critical perspectives on key problems in society today.'

Book cover of Jag är tyvärr död och kan inte komma till skolan idag by Sara Ohlsson
YA fiction

Jag är tyvärr död och kan inte komma till skolan idag(Unfortunately I'm Dead and Can't Come to School Today)

by Sara Ohlsson, reviewed by Ian Giles

Gilla Böcker, 2011, 299 pages.

'Ultimately, what is satisfying about this book is the quite innovative approach to young adult writing taken from the screen, the fluid writing, the sense of place, and the description of teenage insecurities – presented in one easily digestible novel.'

Book cover of De afghanska sönerna by Elin Persson
YA fiction

De afghanska sönerna(The Afghan Sons)

by Elin Persson, reviewed by Joanna Flower

Bonnier Carlsen, 2020, 188 pages.

'... there is a real sense of connection and empathy with the subject matter and the characters. This is a story about the dehumanising of Afghan refugees by someone who is longing for the system to change.'

Book cover of När hundarna kommer by Jessica Schiefauer
YA fiction

När hundarna kommer(When the Dogs Come)

by Jessica Schiefauer, reviewed by Mia Österlund

Bonnier Carlsen, 2015, 301 pages.

'Jessica Schiefauer’s thorough examination of neo-Nazis, hate crime and homoeroticism resists simplification and reminds us of the thin line we all tread when we choose how to treat each other.'

Book cover of Breven från Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff
YA fiction

Breven från Maresi(Maresi Red Mantle)

by Maria Turtschaninoff, reviewed by Mia Österlund

Förlaget (Finland), 347 pages.

'Compelling and unpredictable, Breven från Maresi is a timeless story about power and repression. Though written with a light touch, its prose is grounded in reality, and convincing.'

Book cover of Sagan om Turid by Elisabeth Östnäs
YA fiction

Sagan om Turid. Kungadottern(The Saga of Turid: Daughter of the King)

by Elisabeth Östnäs, reviewed by Darcy Hurford

Berghs förlag, 2015, 260 pages.

'Mention the word ‘Viking’, and most people think of a male warrior, travelling by sea, trading and waging war. Sagan om Turid takes a different approach. Not only is the main character a girl, but the novel looks at other aspects of Viking life, particularly religion, literacy and social distinctions.'