Guest Post with Natasha Ngan, Author of THE ELITES

No doubt about it, THE ELITES has an heart-stopping cover. The equally gorgeous author, Natasha Ngan, is stopping by today with her top ten favorite books. THE ELITES is a standalone, eligible for the Standalone Reading Challenge – so pick this one up!


‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’

Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension.

Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.

Ten of my Favourite Books by Natasha Ngan

Choosing just ten novels that I love to share with you all was more difficult than I’d imagined! Then again, this really shouldn’t surprise me, since books have always been a huge part of my life. So many stories have inspired me, have really lit my mind and heart on fire, and I go back to different ones depending on my moods to re-read my favourite lines and scenes. Here are ten of my all-time favourites novels, and why I love them …

1. THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
Oh my word. This book, you guys. It just did something to my heart. If I could only recommend you one book, it’d be this one. I fell head over heels for Lisel, Rudy and Hans, and even Death – his narration was just heartbreaking. This was the most emotional I’ve ever been after finishing a book – I cried for hours, and was sad for days. I hope with the film coming out soon, more people will discover this beautiful story for themselves.

2. ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
This was another book that grabbed my heart within a few pages and never let go. Seeing Eleanor and Park’s relationship unfold from both characters’ perspectives was funny and awkward and brilliant, and made you feel so connected to both of them. It’s partly what inspired me to write my second novel, The Memory Keepers, from both the male and female characters’ perspectives in alternating chapters.

3. ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan
Man, that twist. If you’ve read the book or seen the film, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t – just you wait. You’ll never see it coming, and when it does come – all the feels! Such a heartbreaking story, and told with McEwan’s brilliant keenness for detail. A fantastic example of how to do an unreliable narrator right. I’d love to try one myself sometime!

4. MORTAL ENGINES by Philip Reeve
I’m a huge fan of Philip’s writing. Not only is he a lovely person, but his books are just so good. I can’t get over his imagination – the Mortal Engines series feels real but fantastical at the same time, and there’s wit to his worldbuilding. It’s utterly unique. The ending to this book, the first in the series, completely blew me away.

I read this recently and was stunned by just how damn sad and funny a book can be at the same time. That’s a tough act to pull off – kudos to you, Green. I know some people think the teen voices are pretentious and unrealistic, but I think they’re spot on. Maybe it’s because I remember trying to sound all grown up and philosophical when I was young! Another one to ready the tissues.

This is such a weird and wonderful book! I loved it as a child and still love it as an adult. It’s a super imaginative, witty fantasy that is actually very clever too. Plus, I love the original illustrations – gorgeous! The world in this book is just amazing too. There’s a word marketplace, a number mine, a dog with a watch in his body and something called subtraction stew. Too cool!

7. EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED by Jonathan Safran Foer
I first read this when I was a teenager and remember how vibrant and fresh it felt to me then – I had no idea a novel could be like this! It’s this completely strange, unique weave of fictionalised memoir, fantasy and road-trip novel. Loved his second book too. Foer writers terrible, devastating scenes with a rawness I’ve not read anywhere else.

I love all Dahl books (who doesn’t?) but Danny is the closest to my heart. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it, and how Dahl elevates a small plot about a man, his son and some pheasants to a story that captivates you every step of the way. Or perhaps it’s how amazing Danny’s dad is – judging by The Book Thief also being on this list, I have a soft spot for wonderful literary fathers.

9. NATION by Terry Pratchett
I do love some of Pratchett’s Discworld books, but sometimes I find them hard to connect with, as though the worldbuilding and humour trumps plot and character. Nation is nothing like the Discworld series, though it has Pratchett’s characteristic wit. This is a stunning novel I’d recommend everyone give a go – funny, moving, and just beautifully written. As near perfect a novel can be, I’d say.

10. ELITE by *coughs* me
No, I am not some humungous big head who thinks I’m the best writer in the world! I promise! Far from it. I just love this novel so much because of what it represents – that my dream of becoming an author, the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do, has actually come true. Even when I’m holding my book in my hands, I still can’t believe it. Wow. What a lucky girl I am.

Natasha Ngan

Hi! I’m Natasha, a 23 year old YA author from Hertfordshire, UK. I love books almost more than anything. I have always (only) wanted to be an author, and as cheesy as it sounds, I still can’t believe that my dream has come true. Follow my blog to hear about my publication journey, thoughts on writing, and news about my books.

I am represented by Nicola Barr at Greene & Heaton. My debut novel The Elites hits shelves September 2013 from Hot Key Books.

I’m also a social media freelancer and co-owner and editor of fashion blog Girl in the Lens. If you’re interested in fashion or photography (or just like looking at pretty pictures), why not check it out!

Find Natasha on her Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Add THE ELITES to Goodreads
Buy THE ELITES on Amazon


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    September 6, 2013

    I do so love this cover and can’t wait to read this story! It sounds fantastic. And the author’s fave book list affirms her good taste. :)

  2. Reply


    September 6, 2013

    I adore the Phantom Tollbooth! (Little typo, though–it’s by Norton Juster.)

  3. Reply

    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    September 6, 2013

    Omg Eleanor & Park and The Fault in Our Stars are both fantastic contemporaries. I think I was in the black sheep category of BOTH of those books and didn’t love them yet didn’t hate them, which sucked a lot to me. I love your reason for putting your own book on your list, loving it because of its symbolism is a fantastic reason. :) I need to read The Book Thief, too, I’ve heard fantastic things. Great guest post!

    Thanks for sharing, Hafsah!

  4. Reply

    Natasha@ Primrose Musings

    September 16, 2013

    I’ve already ordered this one through the The Book Depository and still waiting for it to arrive. Agggh!