All rise for his majesty the queen as James Dawson, the author of Hollow Pike and Say Her Name, becomes the first male winner of the Queen of Teen award for his latest book, Cruel Summer.
After a vigorous social media campaign, Dawson topped a shortlist entirely nominated by teens (Cathy Cassidy, Beth Reekles, Holly Smale, Cassandra Clare, Veronica Roth, John Green, S.C. Ransom, Tonya Hurley, and Natasha Farrant) to join an illustrious cast of previous winners including Louise Rennison, Cathy Cassidy and Maureen Johnson.
Watch out for our report from the awards ceremony and interview with James by site member Alannahbee coming up!
Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller focusing on a group of teens who, one year on from the suicide of one of their friends, try to get over it by going away to a holiday villa in the Mediterranean. But when a new guest, claiming to have evidence that the suicide was actually a murder, is herself found dead, it's clear that one of them must be the killer…
Helloitsheath called it the "perfect balance of murder mystery, teen fiction and horror movie', which at the same time 'manages to be funny, heartwarming and – murder aside – easy for teenage audiences to relate to".
While XoXo Bookworm_98 gushed, "there were SO many times I just HAD to put the book down to take a breather, so that I could process what had just happened – there were just about a million twists that you will Never. See. Coming".
Dawson has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights (including supporting Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst) and XoXo Boomworm_98 noted that "the LGBT aspect of the book was so different from others I've read, and was a vital, beautiful, heart wrenching part of the tale".
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