GUILDFORD, England, July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
James Dawson has been named as the winner of this year's Queen of Teen award, supported by online independent book retailer the Book People.
Dawson - the first-ever male winner of the Queen of Teen - received the award for his psychological thriller, Cruel Summer. The book centres on a group of teenagers who embark on a holiday following the apparent suicide of one of their friends. However, it soon emerges that the alleged suicide wasn't what it seemed, leading them to frantically attempt to identify the real culprit.
Tens of thousands of people voted for this year's Queen of Teen, which celebrates the very finest talent in teen fiction. Both the shortlist and the eventual winner were chosen solely by eager readers themselves.
"The 2014 Queen of Teen has been one of the most successful so far, and we're delighted by the response we've had this year," said Ryan Barham, editor at the Book People. "To have our first male Queen of Teen is fantastic, and it's entirely fitting that the title has gone to such an exceptional talent as James Dawson."
Dawson, a former school teacher, has earned particular critical acclaim for his rounded, realistic and sensitive portrayal of LGBT characters in his work. He was self-deprecating about his own talents upon winning the award, but said he would spend his reign as Queen of Teen promoting the best of young adult fiction.
"I am not the best-selling author on the list. I'm not the most famous. I'm not the most talented," he said. "So all I can really do is promise to work twice as hard to be a really good queen."
The 2014 Queen of Teen shortlist was among the strongest in the award's six-year history. Beth Reekles, Tonya Hurley, Natasha Farrant and Cassandra Clare were shortlisted, as were Veronica Roth, S.C. Ransom, John Green and Holly Smale.
Find out more about the Queen of Teen award by visiting http://www.queenofteen.co.uk or view the entire shortlist by visiting http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?categoryId=126227&storeId=10001&catalogId=10051&langId=100.
You can also watch a video of the awards event by heading over to the Book People's YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/CCwuzhis7do.
SOURCE The Book People