Author guest post: Top 10 YA reads by Carlyle Labuschagne

Today I’d love to welcome South African YA author, Carlyle Labuschagne to my blog.

Carlyle, who is the author of The Broken Destiny, a YA dystopian novel featuring a heroine on a quest to save a dying race, has kindly agreed to stop by to tell us a little more about her favourite YA reads.

I, for one, an always excited when authors do guest posts like these, as it gives us as readers a chance to see which books they love and which of those have inspired them with regard to their own writing.

For those of you who have read The Broken Destiny, the cover for the sequel, Evanescent, has just been revealed. Carlyle’s been running quite the giveaway where you can win a host of fabulous goodies, so be sure to check out her Facebook page for more details.

For more info about The Broken Destiny, head on over to Goodreads. 

More about Evanescent
Her fall has just begun. Only his touch can save her from the shift that could destroy it all.

Within my blood runs a thing our kind calls The Shadowing Disease.

It shadows over, and bends everything to its will. When the first blood- shift came, it tore through flesh and blood, threatening to bend me, break bone, shatter my mind and entrap my heart with its honeyed, seductive poison.

It came with vicious intent, moving my thoughts and altering me forever.

The shift has caused a rift within me.

No one was safe when it entrapped me in its claws of foul lust. But I have the only antidote against the evil that becomes me – his touch alone has the power to release the spurs of sweet darkness that clung on for dear life.

I knew what I had to do; the desperation pulled my mind with the deep determination of a hungry predator. But by the time the revelation raised me from the dark dungeon of my bounds – it might have been too late.

Add Evanescent to your Goodreads TBR pile.

Over to Carlyle.

My top 10 YA reads of all time

Ten, really only ten you say? How does one choose when confronted with so many great stories? I’ve compiled the list as my top 10 of all time, purely on the emotional pleasures these books gave me. What adds to the pleasure and total appeal of such a book for me?

Number one – The title. I love myself a catchy, intriguing title. Number two – the cover (yeah sorry to be one of those, but I adore beautiful visual things, like most people I assure you that.) 

Number three, how do the words, flow, build, and weave into the cover and story of the book? What I mean by this is, the usage of words that are true to the character and the reality of the story.

Dialogue plays an important role for me too. Perhaps sometimes the layout plays an important role – all these components mashed together bring me art! High Standards? Perhaps?

I am not putting the Twilight Saga on this list. I do however treasure it for what it was. But let’s go outside of the Twilight movement. Give the rest a go!

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.
Although it is the prequel to The Mortal instruments series, I truly fell in love with the trilogy because of its time period, its steampunk elements,and the characters - who were beyond amazing.

All in all, the series as a whole gets a delicious, totally satisfying 5 Stars. It holds everything from Romance, loads of action, magic, angels, demons, werewolves, clockwork creatures, science… I can truly go on and on.

The Glimpse by Claire Merle
A Dystopian two book series, with a twist of horror. Claire has created a dystopian setting in London of all places. Yay Claire! I am currently 90% done with The Fall (second and last book).

Why I adore this story so much: It is all so very stressful; there is always something happening that makes you want to pull your hair out and scream as you see it all heading downhill - and there is nothing you can do about it!

Her main characters are unbelievably strong willed and unpredictable. There are some horrid realities she has created, which like The Hunger Games, is totally believable and necessary for the authenticity of it all.

The Eve Trilogy Anna Carey
I have only read the first two books in this series but I can say that without a doubt, it has already left its mark on my soul. Anna Carey writes beautifully, deeply and it’s all very memorizing. My all-time favourite genre is Dystopian, I devour it totally.

These books I could not put down, the twists and turns the – OH NO moments, the deep, desperate love, the evil empire – then comes my best part – total disbelief and elements of shock. What? OMWord I never saw that cruel twist of fate!

Yeah I am a sucker for struggles and impossible situations. Another 5 Stars!

The Hush Hush Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatric delivered an amazing Fallen Angel concept like no other. There were times I was totally mad at the characters, shed some tears and was taken aback by the unexpectedness of it all. 

But mostly the originality and beauty of the world she had created drove me to another 5 Star rating for the entire 4 book series.

Wormwood by D.H. Nevins
OMWord can this woman can write and conjure up some intensiveness that will leave you feeling all kinds of things; tuning your emotions into a cyclone of sorrow, desperation, anger, longing, fear and hope. It holds two really amazing star elements – Angels and the end of the world.

From the first sentence I was trapped in the dark world right up until the end, where the author totally topped it off with a cruel, unexpected twist. How can life be so unkind?

When all hope is lost there is a glimmer of a shining star and then it ends! Urgh right – I love that! Mwhaaahahahaa. I don’t really know how to class this book – exceptional.

From the writing style, the words, the story, the characters that deliver a full 5 Star soul nourishing read.

Graceling. Fire, and Bitterblue a three book series by Kristin Cashore.

This is fantasy at its utmost, creative best. Cashore managed to bring fierce woman fighters, sexy men, entirely other-wordly abilities and, heated moments into a new orb of amazingness.

The world the author has created in all three books was impressive, ambitious and tasteful.

The textures, colours, landscapes, creatures and situations had me at the first page of every book.

Although each book is in a way separate, she managed to bring the different worlds together in one way or another. Her writing style is very classic witch only added to the enrichment quality of it all.

A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young.

This book was just that  - beautiful, sad and haunting. From the beginning there is mystery and the inevitable knowledge that things have to end badly. The torment of knowing she is keeping a secret from the only one who loves her –the gorgeous older bad-boy love interest.
And no matter what she does he loves and fights for her. Need I say more?

Child In Darkness by Robert Hill
This one has come a loooong way with me. I read this at the age of 13 and is to this day one of my all-time favourites. It’s about friendship in the most strangest of ways.

About accepting someone or something for who they are, fighting and risking for what you believe in. It’s about connection when the odds are not at all in your favour!

The Hunger Games (you saw that one coming!) Suzanne Collins
The fight, the trill, the twists and the plot. The never ending battle for freedom, sacrifice. A gorgeous colourful cast of characters.

A world beyond our imagination, yet can be total reality. Many have not liked the writing style of Collins in this Series, but I think it is absolutely, brilliant and true to the reality of the world created, in which we find ourselves glued to.

Divergent by by Veronica Roth
It’s dystopian! Its action, its suspense, its enthralling and its finding love in a dark place. It’s about breaking the mould, the cast and the entire damn orderly, oppressive, judgemental system.

About being something no one saw coming. About turning against everything for who you are, to never stop fighting. Veronica has depicted the ultimate segmentation of ‘types’ and choices.

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

There was something about Fury that lured me in. Besides the gorgeous cover, I loved every minute of Fury. Each page, each phrase, it was all perfect. Beautifully written. Executed wonderfully.

Elizabeth is an extraordinary writer. There was not one moment where I thought oh no, why would you put that in there. It all added up. The plot was cunning and well - perfect. Yet another Author to add to the Amazing Author list

The Faerie Guardian Rachel Morgan

A very talented author, who works magic with words and scenes. I loved it from page one, action... action.. action... romance... action...romance and some sad and broken scenes, conflict and magic. Everything to keep you on your toes all the way through.

I didn’t want it to end. I still don’t want it to end. Characters were spectacular, the world was amazing. Why I loved this book so, so much besides of the obvious mentioned above.

I write what I want to read, and here Rachel reminded me of every little element I create to keep readers enticed and begging for more. Well I am begging for more.

The plot was brilliantly and flawlessly put together; there was attitude, violence, love, sorrow, guilt and attitude and more attitude. I cannot say enough about this book, just read it!

Other great YA authors to consider:
T.G. Ayer. Shelly Crane . Airicka Phoenix . Beth Revis. Gayle Forman

Author Bio
Carlyle Labuschagne is a South African Debut Author working her way into the hearts of international readers with her First Young Adult Dystopian Novel “The Broken Destiny. She is not only an author but works as a Sales Rep and Marketing Manager by day.

She holds a diploma in creative writing through the writing school at Collage SA. Loves to swim, fights for the trees, food lover who is driven by her passion for life.

Carlyle writes for IU e-magazine India, an inspirational non-profit magazine that aims at inspiring the world through words.

The drive behind her author career is healing through words. Carlyle is also the founder of the first annual book drive – Help build a library in Africa project.

“My goal as an Author is to touch people’s lives and help others love their differences and one another.”

A firm believer in - YA saves!

Where you can find her:


What's your favourite YA read of all time and why? Feel free to share your list below.