Apparently it’s “I read YA” week on the interwebs. I didn’t know this was a thing otherwise I would have properly prepared myself (for one, I might have put more thought into this blog post, or maybe read a YA book this week, even though as I keep saying – if only to convince myself – I’m “taking a break” from young adult fiction).
But this was too good an opportunity to pass up. Even though I said Writing Wednesday would be every other week (and technically this should be a Fiction Friday post, but I already have a half-finished post lined up for that).
Why do I read YA? Honestly – I don’t know. I guess it was just the category of books I started reading as a pre-teen and never really “grew out of”. It has just as much death and romance, sex and violence as so-called “adult” books (though less graphic for the most part…); just as much depth and symbolism and emotions – except the characters happen to be younger. But trying to explain what I like about YA is like trying to explain why I’m a pop-punk fan. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about YA that draws me to it, but the pull is strong enough that I’ve made it my life goal to publish a YA series of my own (sidenote: in a perfect world, I would also be in a pop-punk band, but that might be asking for a little too much).
So, to celebrate “I read YA” week, here are a few authors (who fall into categories that I just made up):
THE ONE(S) I LOVE
Libba Bray can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve read just about everything these she’s produced and her Gemma Doyle ranks among some of the best YA books I’ve ever read.
THE ONES I REALLY LIKE EVEN IF I HAVEN’T READ ALL THEIR BOOKS (YET)
Melissa Marr technically belongs in the “ONES I LOVE” category, but I think she may have just released something. Either way, her Wicked Lovely series is very high up on my list of favourites.
Ann Brashares: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was probably the first YA book I read (I was 12. I also didn’t know there was such a thing as “YA”). I’ve read almost everything she’s produced, even if I didn’t love it, but I haven’t gotten around to picking up her most recent book.
THE ONES WITH THE STELLAR FIRST SERIES THAT THEN KINDA WENT KABLOOEY
Lauren Kate‘s Fallen series (not to be confused with Thomas Sniegoski’s Fallen series which, incidentally, is decent) was wonderful and I devoured the last book…but then Teardrop came out and I wondered if maybe I had outgrown her. We’ll see if I read the sequel.
Likewise, Gena Showalter‘s Intertwined trilogy was so good I almost stopped breathing when I read the last page (is she EVER going to write a fourth volume?!), but Alice in Zombieland left me breathless in a bad way (like I’d been punched in the stomach).
THE ONE I FEEL OBLIGED TO FOLLOW UNTIL THE END
Cassandra Clare. Oh, Cassandra Clare, remember how much I loved the first Mortal Instruments trilogy? And then you wrote a second trilogy. And a Victorian trilogy that I probably would have loved even more except the characters were so boringly familiar. I keep promising myself that when City of Heavenly Fire comes out, it will be the last C.Clare book I read…but we all know she’s planning another series that I may or may not end up reading.
Well, this post has gone on long enough and I’ve really only touched half a bookshelf (plus I haven’t even mentioned THE AUTHORS I GAVE UP ON which includes Alyson Noel and Melissa De La Cruz. Or THE I DON’T KNOW IF THESE ARE YA OR MIDDLE-GRADE BUT THEY’RE AWESOME, home of Eoin Colfer and Justin Somper). So I’ll just leave this here as my contribution to this week because #IreadYA and I’m proud of it.