Caroline Carpenter, The Bookseller's web editor and one of the panel of judges said: "We’re delighted to share this year’s YA10, showcasing the breadth and brilliance of YA publishing in the UK and Ireland today. Among the submissions, we saw three main trends: books about teenagers struggling with their mental health, books set in or around water, and books increasingly concerned with borders. These timely themes reflect some of the biggest issues facing not just young people, but also society in general at the moment, and they are all represented on the shortlist in some way. I’m excited to see which book the judges select as their victor.”
Louise O’Neill harnesses that darkness and transforms the mermaid’s plight into a tale of feminist awakening. On her first swim to the surface young mermaid Gaia falls for a human boy, but what must she sacrifice to be with him? The suffocating patriarchy of the underwater kingdom, where women are reduced to their physical appearance, feels almost dystopian. O’Neill’s prose cuts and rages and her vision of the sea witch is truly transformative.