Wild East

Wild East


The soaring debut YA verse-novel by Ashley Hickson-Lovence, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds, Manjeet Mann, and Dean Atta.

Pen in one hand, on my wrist, a ticking clock
I've got to make this work, just need a little luck...

When fourteen-year-old Ronny’s life is struck by tragedy, his mum decides it’s finally time they move out of London.

In his new city, as a Black teenager in a mostly white school, Ronny feels like a complete outsider and struggles to balance keeping his head down with his ambition of becoming a rapper.

But when a local poet comes into class, Ronny discovers a world he’s never considered before. Rap is like spoken word, bars equal poetry – and maybe the combination of both could be the key to achieving his dreams?

Praise for Wild East:

This empowering verse novel announces the arrival of an exciting new talent in YA fiction – Waterstones.com

A powerful story of resilience, friendship, discovery and growth - Jeffrey Boakye, author of Kofi and the Rap Battle Summer

An amazing tale of self-reflection, acceptance, and achieving your greatest aspirations - screenrant.com

Welcomes all types of readers...Hickson-Lovence has crafted a superb piece - DD Armstrong, author of Ugly Dogs Don't Cry


  • A powerful story of resilience, friendship, discovery and growth...Ashley has that rare ability to draw you in quietly and leave you feeling totally invested. I’m certain that if I had this when I was younger it would have changed my life, genuinely
    Jeffrey Boakye, author of Kofi and the Rap Battle Summer

About the author

Ashley Hickson-Lovence

Ashley Hickson-Lovence is a novelist, poet, literary critic, and Lecturer of Creative Writing.
Wild East is his first YA verse-novel, and was partly inspired by his time as a secondary school English teacher, his own move from London to Norwich, and tutoring a group of asylum seekers at an Arvon retreat. Wild East also weaves in Ashley’s love of British hip hop.
Ashley has also written two adult novels, The 392, and Your Show, which was longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards.
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