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YA A to Z: Matthew Quick

Quick! Help me think of a YA author for the Letter Q. Haha, see what I did there. And that’s why I don’t write humor people.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock has been an important part of The #SVYALit Project, particularly when it comes to the discussion of male survivors. If you haven’t read it yet, you should immediately rectify that situation. But before we talk books, let me tell you a little bit about Matthew Quick.

According to his webpage bio, where I also borrowed this picture, “Matthew Quick is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which was made into an Oscar-winning film. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention, among other accolades. He lives with his wife, novelist/pianist Alicia Bessette, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.”

If you read the longer bio you will learn that before quitting to pursue writing, Quick was a high school teacher. He also coached soccer and basketball. So obviously part of the reason that he writes such authentic YA literature is because he has spent some time in the trenches, and he obviously has some skills.

It seems remiss to discuss Matthew Quick without mentioning the movie Silver Linings Playbook, the Academy Award winning film based on his novel starring Jennifer Lawrence. This was his first novel, published in 2008.

His three YA novels include Sorta Like a Rockstar, Boy 21, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.

About Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock:

Leonard Peacock is turning 18.
And he wants to say goodbye.

Not to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing something tragic and horrific.

Nor to his mum who’s moved out and left him to fend form himself. But to his four friends.
A Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour
A teenage violin virtuoso
A pastor’s daughter
A teacher

Most of the time, Leonard believes he’s weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he’s not.

He wants to thank them, and bid them farewell.” (Publisher’s Description)

“I feel like I’m broken—like I don’t fit together anymore. Like there’s no more room for me in the world or something. Like I’ve overstayed my welcome here on Earth, and everyone’s trying to give me hints about that constantly. Like I should just check out.”
Matthew Quick, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m@CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

 

YA A to Z: Stephanie Perkins

Guest post by Mary Hinson

“I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.” – Lola and the Boy Next Door

I’m visiting Teen Librarian Toolbox today (oh, my gosh, I just realized I’m an ACTUAL teen librarian now!) to talk to you about Stephanie Perkins, writer of swoony romance and all around awesome person.

I discovered Stephanie in 2012. I was in college and having a rough time outside of the classroom, which affected my performance in the classroom. I had been diagnosed with severe depression, and my only solace some days was the joy I got in visiting the local library (not the university library, which I actively avoided). Everyone on Goodreads had been talking about this Anna and the French Kiss book so I made sure to go find it at the library.

French Kiss tells the story of high school senior Anna who is shipped across the Atlantic and dropped into a super-exclusive boarding school for the children of various VIPs: politicians, the rich and famous, and, in Anna’s case, her best-selling Nicholas Sparks-esque author father. Anna’s story is sweet, fun, and utterly relatable, being at times simultaneously heart-breaking and heart-warming. Anna’s intense loneliness was a feeling I could understand entirely at that point in my life, and the hope I felt as Anna made friends and inched her way toward an adorable romance with Etienne St. Clair–a boy with a spectacular national identity crisis–made me hope for a happy ending of my own. As a tall girl, I like tall boys, but in vertically-challenged St. Clair’s case, I would absolutely make an exception because he is a charmer! Stephanie manages to incorporate so many facets of the teenage experience in her delightful debut: crushes, new friends vs old friends, mean girls, Parent Problems, and the changes created by both distance and time. There’s a lot going on, but it feels so true to the story that you never feel overwhelmed in reading Anna; instead, I guarantee there will be at least one thing that you will directly relate to.

“I don’t understand why things always go from perfect to weird with us. It’s like we’re incapable of normal human interaction.” – Anna and the French Kiss

Immediately after I finished Anna, I requested a copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door. This companion tale (yes, it’s not a direct sequel, although Anna and St. Clair make an appearance or two!) recounts the adventures of Lola, a vivacious San Francisco girl with a passion for costuming and some serious drama with Cricket, the boy next door who moved away but comes back. Even though I enjoyed Boy Next Door, I had a harder time relating to Lola and her world during my initial read. I’ve never been a teenage girl caught between my twenty-something-year-old boyfriend and my childhood crush. I’m not all that quirky or whimsical. However, when I listened to Lola on audio earlier this year, I suddenly LOVED the story. Somehow I had missed out on its beauty the first time around.

But let’s go back to 2012. I loved Anna, and I liked Lola so when I heard there was a third book in the works, I was READY. Stephanie kept teasing about this mystery book three, but there was very little information. Finally, in 2013, this blog post popped up on Stephanie’s website. My heart broke for Stephanie as she recounted her struggles with depression, but I also felt a sense of camaraderie with Stephanie because of my own depression. I really just wanted to give her a hug and say, “it’s okay!” because I had been there. Some days, I’m still there. But Stephanie’s books and her brave admission of her struggles really helped me through that time.

“Do adults realize how lucky they are? Or do they forget that these small moments are actually small miracles? I don’t want to ever forget.” – Isla and the Happily Ever After

I am really glad that in 2014 not only did we get TWO Stephanie Perkins novels–the long-awaited Isla and the Happily Ever After and My True Love Gave to Me, a lovely anthology full of holiday short stories written by ya heavyweights and edited by Stephanie–but I have also had the immense pleasure of meeting her three times. I can tell you that Stephanie is one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever met, author or no. Also, to hear her talk about her husband Jarrod–on whom St. Clair, Cricket, and Josh are all modeled in one way or another–is the most darling experience. Save Will and Kate, I don’t know of another real couple that I ship so hard…unless it’s Stephanie and Kiersten, the bestest author besties of all time.

I just want to end by saying if you have not yet read Stephanie’s books, I highly recommend you do so, even if contemporary romance isn’t your favorite genre. Trust me; these books will make you ridiculously happy. Also, what’s next on Stephanie’s plate? A YA slasher. Because why not?

Meet Our Guest Blogger: Mary Hinson

Mary is a ya book blogger at Mary Had a Little Book Blog and a new teen services librarian at the Irving Public Library. When not reading or fighting Dallas traffic, Mary can be found at Half Price Books, usually with Karen and her kids (who adore her).

YA A to Z: Lauren Oliver

If you are new to TLT, you may not know that I am a huge Lauren Oliver fan. The first Oliver title I read was Delirium, which The Tween and I listened to as an audio book. This was The Tween’s first YA book experience. Lauren Oliver was the first author I took The Tween to meet. I pulled her out of school early and the entire family journeyed to Northern Dallas for an epic adventure that culminated in this incredible moment. Her first signed book was Leisl and Po by Lauren Oliver. As you can see, there are a lot of firsts associated with Lauren Oliver in my house.

I was in love with Pandemonium after reading it, so much so that I ended up writing this letter to Lauren Oliver. We live in a world in which choosing to love may not be illegal, but it is definitely courageous. If after getting your heart broken that first time, or the second or third or 100th time, you still choose to love, then you are one of the bravest people out there. I wish more of us chose love every day, then maybe we wouldn’t be at this staggering moment in U.S. history where 1 in 30 kids now are homeless.

Lauren Oliver doesn’t just write YA novels, she has written a couple of Middle Grade novels as well, which The Tween and I have read together. These are precious memories to me, especially as I have recently begun to notice that she doesn’t really want to kiss me goodbye as I drop her off in front of the school anymore. So I’ll take some good family reading cuddles when I can get them.

So, about Lauren Oliver. She was born, raised and currently lives in New York. She lived in Chicago for a while to attend university. It’s astounding to me that her first book, Before I Fall, was first published in 2010. Especially when you consider it is now 2014 and she has published 9 books: 6 YA, 2 MG, and 1 Adult. Her adult book, Rooms, is the only one I haven’t read so far. She is the daughter of true crime novelist Harold Schechter.

Before I Fall is the Groundhog Like tale of a mean girl, unique in that it is told from the mean girl/bully’s perspective. She is forced to live one day over and over again as she slowly comes to understand how her actions have affected those around her and works to change the events of one fateful day.

Panic is about a group of high school seniors who compete in a series of increasingly dangerous dares in a competition to win a large sum of money. The thing I like most about this book his the near pitch perfect way in which Oliver captures that fierce desperation to escape both small town life and a life of poverty. As someone who has lived in and cares passionately about the issue of poverty, I thought Oliver did a really good job of capturing those little details. At one point our main character is living out of her car and trying to keep that fact hidden from her friends and authorities so she can keep her and her sister together and out of foster care.

I am, obviously, a huge fan of the Delirium trilogy. This dystopian thriller asks us to consider what it means to chose love. It also asks us to consider the importance for free will and autonomy, even if that means we are often forced to suffer the consequences of not only our choices, but the choices of others. I think there is a lot of interesting discussion to be had here.

I recently finished reading an advanced copy of Vanishing Girls which will come out in March of 2015. It’s much too early to talk about this book, but it is the story of a family that is disintegrating, a small town mystery, and the relationship between sisters. There was so much that I liked about this book and look forward to discussing.

Her MG titles are Spindlers and Leisl and Po, both fantasies that The Tween and I love.

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m@CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

YA A to Z: Patrick Ness

Image from Moviespictures.org

Today is brought to you by the letter N and the number 2. Actually, I just made that number part up. I’m having Sesame Street flashbacks.

I discovered Patric Ness last year as a judge for the Cybils. Wait, let me back up. I was of course aware of the author Patrick Ness before last year’s Cybils, I just hadn’t read any of his work yet. I know, it’s hard to believe that I – the dystopian lover – had not yet read The Chaos Walking trilogy, but I hadn’t and we’re all going to just have to live with that. I had them in my collection, of course, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading them yet. I hang my head in shame. But one of the things I love about the Cybils is that we can all find new titles and authors that we may not yet have explored.

“To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.”
Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

My first Patrick Ness book was More Than This. It is a complex speculative fiction title that challenges readers to read closely, think deeply, and asks profound questions. I’m not going to lie, I had to read it twice because I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on the first time. But I liked that I had to read it twice; I liked that it didn’t talk down to teens but fully expected them to just dive in because Ness acknowledges that teen readers can have deep thoughts, intellect, and very dark lives. On occasion various article writers – you know, the ones bemoaning children’s and YA lit – have suggested that Ness’s works are too violent or too dark. I follow him on Twitter and he has great discussions there about this topic. He doesn’t look down upon his readers or coddle them, he writes the books that need to be written and trusts that they will find the right audience. It’s a tactic that hasn’t failed him yet.

In 2011 Patrick Ness won the Carnegie Medal for Children’s/YA Fiction and in a piece about him Nicollete Jones says, “He does not believe in boundaries for books: he advocates reading everything, including trash, and thinks it is often enriching when one genre leaks into another . . .”

That same article goes on to describe The Chaos Walking trilogy: Chaos Walking is set in the future, on another planet like our own, but where men and animals can hear one anotehr’s thoughts (though dogs’ reflections are limited). Women’s thoughts are silent. It has, particularly in the first book, the atmosphere of a Western – a boy on horseback, a bad guy wanting small-town power – and it involves a love story, between teenagers Todd and Viola, and big themes including moral responsibility, attitudes to women, political deception and, notably in Monsters of Men, the nature of war. (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/whole-truth-for-teenagers-patrick-nesss-novels-have-attracted-acclaim-awards–and-censure-2301674.html)

More Than This is a philosophical novel that explores the meaning, and nature, of life as well as relationships. It’s very Matrixy in some of its imagery, which is a high compliment. More Than This begins with a boy drowning (it’s a brutally well written scene). After his death, he wakes up to find himself in a world – the afterlife maybe? What follows is a surreal exploration of what it means to be alive, to be in love, to be a part of a family. The Tween once fell into the deep end of a pool, she was around 4 at the time, and I remember jumping in fully clothed as I watched her sink slowly onto the bottom of this pool. It was one of the more terrifying moments of my life. And reading More Than This, that opening scene, wrecked me. It was such a spot on depiction and tapped into that very primal moment of fear and I sobbed for days. That is not hyperbole. That’s how good I found Patrick Ness’s writing to be, he incapacitated me with emotion.

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

The publisher’s description for A Monster Calls, which is currently in movie production mode, reads as follows:

“The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.”

So here’s the deal, I was late to the party. But Patrick Ness is a word salad genius. His works will blow your mind and move you.

yaatoz2 1 150x150 YA A to Z: Tahereh MafiJoin the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m@CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

 

YA A to Z: Tahereh Mafi

We are now half way through the YA A to A alphabet and at the letter M. Like many of the letters before it, this was a hard one to pick. So I opted to highlight an author that I haven’t talked a lot about, although I am a fan of her work. Who is this mysterious author?

Tahereh Mafi

Oh look, here’s her Twitter pic. You can follow her on Twitter.

Mafi is the New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series. She currently resides in California where she is married to another bestselling author, Ransom Riggs. According to her Epic Reads bio, she can speak 8 different languages with varying degrees of fluency.

Shatter Me is the first book in a dystopian trilogy that features the character Juliette, whose touch is lethal. When you read the book it is full of lines and passages that have been struck out, indicating the difference between what is happening in the real world and what Juliette is thinking in her head:

“I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back”

The Shatter Me trilogy continues with Ignite Me and concludes with Unravel Me. In between there are two novellas, Destroy Me and Fracture Me which can be found combined in the work titled Unite Me. Once you read the entire series you can join the online debate about whether or not you are team Adam or team Warner. When I first read Shatter Me the thing I liked most is how I thought one thing was happening but by the end of the book we meet a variety of people who have similar issues as Juliette and it kind of became a very different thing, in many ways comic book in its origins.

She has an upcoming book titled FURTHERMORE coming soon from Penguin, which has this book description on Goodreads:

“Once upon a time, a girl was born. It was rather uneventful.

Her parents were happy enough: the mother glad to be done carrying it; the father glad to be done with the mystery of it all. But then one day they realized that their baby, the one they’d named Alice, had no pigment at all. Her hair and skin were white as milk, her heart and bones as soft as silk. Her eyes alone had been spared a spot of color: only just clinging to the faintest shade of honey. It was the kind of child her world could not appreciate.

Ferenwood had been built on color. Bursts of it, swaths of it, depths and breadths of it. Its people were known to be the brightest — modeled after the planets, they’d said — and young Alice was deemed simply too dim, even though she knew she was not.

Once upon a time, a girl was forgot.

Twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow has only three things in the world that matter: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; triplet brothers, who never knew her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him, so some said he’d gone to measure the sea. Others said the sky. The moon. Maybe he’d learned to fly and had forgotten how to come back down. But it’s been almost six years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other. No matter the cost.

It’s a kind of fairytale, a story where magic is a must, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.”

If you like the Shatter Me series you might also want to check out some of the books on this book list.

yaatoz2 1 150x150 YA A to Z: David LevithanJoin the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m@CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

YA A to Z: David Levithan

 Why I chose David Levithan:

In fall  of 2003, I had just finished graduate school and was working at The Children’s Book Shop in Brookline, Massachusetts (far and away my favorite job ever). I was a big fan of LGBTQ YA books, just as I am now, so whenever a new title would come in, I’d snap it up. I read Boy Meets Boy, then (probably) proceeded to make my coworkers crazy as I read passages out loud to them. I adored this book that was set in an extremely gay-friendly town. The protagonist, Paul, doesnʼt have to come to terms with being gay; he just is. He says, “Iʼve always known I was gay, but it wasnʼt confirmed until I was in kindergarten. It was my teacher who said so. It was right there on my kindergarten report card: PAUL IS DEFINITELY GAY AND HAS A VERY GOOD SENSE OF SELF.” Paul is neither lonely nor alone. Multiple love interests make Paulʼs life more complex, not to mention the colorful friends in his life (like Infinite Darlene—once Daryl—the star quarterback and schoolʼs most popular drag queen). I’ve read everything Levithan has written, but Boy Meets Boy remains my absolute favorite of his books.

 

Brief biography (from Levithan’s website):

I find it downright baffling to write about myself, which is why I’m considering it somewhat cruel and usual to have to write this brief bio and to update it now and then. The factual approach (born ’72, Brown ’94, first book ’03) seems a bit dry, while the emotional landscape (happy childhood, happy adolescence – give or take a few poems – and happy adulthood so far) sounds horribly well-adjusted. The only addiction I’ve ever had was a brief spiral into the arms of diet Dr Pepper, unless you count My So-Called Life episodes as a drug. I am evangelical in my musical beliefs.

When not writing during spare hours on weekends, I am a publisher and editorial director at Scholastic, and the founding editor of the PUSH imprint, which is devoted to finding new voices and new authors in teen literature

 

Works (from Wikipedia):

Boy Meets Boy (2003)

The Realm of Possibility (2004)

Are We There Yet? (2005)

Marly’s Ghost: A Remix of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, illustrated by Brian Selznick (2005)

Wide Awake (2006)

How They Met (2008)

Love Is the Higher Law (2009)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-written with John Green (2010)

The Lover’s Dictionary (2011)

Every You, Every Me (2011)

Every Day (2012)

Invisibility, co-written with Andrea Cremer (2013)

Two Boys Kissing (2013)

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story (scheduled for release in March 2015)

With Rachel Cohn

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2006)

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List (2007)

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (2010)

With David Ozanich and Chris Van Etten

Likely Story (2008)

All That Glitters (2008)

Red Carpet Riot (2009)

Plus various anthologies edited and short pieces (see Wikipedia page)

 

Find David Levithan online:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

 

If you like David Levithan, check out these authors:

Nina LaCour, Rachel Cohn, Alex Sanchez, Brent Hartinger, Ellen Wittlinger

 

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m@CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

 

YA A to Z: Julie Kagawa

Back in May when I wrote my post entitled Dear Media, Let Me Help You Write That Articles About YA Literature, I revealed one of my secrets: I love vampire books. It’s true, I’m a big fan. And I understand their appeal. Not only are they dark and dangerous and often steamy, but think about it from the perspective of a preteen or teenage girl who is thinking about love: Here is a man (or a woman) who will live for all of eternity, who has lived for 100s or 1,000s of years, which means they have met a ton of people, and YOU are the one person in all of that they choose to fall in love with. If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what it.

But what does all of this have to do with Julie Kagawa being chosen as my letter K author you ask? Julie Kagawa wrote what is arguably my favorite vampire series – The Blood of Eden Chronicles. Here, she takes everything we know about vampire books and adds her own flair. Allison lives on the outskirts of a world rules by vampires, barely surviving because she refuses to pay a blood tax. One night she is attacked by a pack of feral vampires and her only chance of survival is to allow herself to be turned into the very monsters she loathes. Now one of them, she tries to find ways to not feed. And tucked inside all of this is a really good testament against censorship. You see, in order to keep the humans from revolting, the vampires have outlawed reading and are burning all the books. Even the vampires know that the best way to control people is to keep them stupid, which is why we should all support education. There is also a terrifically disturbing scene where we get a glimpse at some equally fascinating and revolting vampire entertainment.

Photo from Julie Kagawa’s Goodreads Page

Kagawa is also the author of the very popular Iron Fey series and the new dragon series that begins with Talon.

I could give you a really dry bio of Julie Kagawa here, telling you where she was born (California) and where she lives (Kentucky). I could tell you that she is of Japanese descent. I could tell you that The Immortal Rules has been optioned for a movie, which I want desperately to see made. But instead, I want to tell you a story about meeting her earlier this year at YAKFest. YAKFest is a teen book festival that takes place in Keller, Texas. There were a ton of authors involved, including Julie. During lunch most of the authors went into a private room to eat lunch, which is completely understandable because being “on” all day like that can be overwhelming. Julie, however, came out and talked to the teens, which is where I met her. There sat a group of teen girls and she just came out and started talking to them. They sat for a while, talking about vampire books, yes even Twilight. These girls had just had their day made and it was a pretty awesome thing of Julie to do. Sometimes a simple moment like this, and it maybe lasted 5 or 10 minutes, can be the most life affirming moments in the life of a teen. I was just very touched that she took the time to do this and think very highly of her for doing so. But if you want to know more bio stuff you can visit her website.

About Julie Kagawa’s Book Series . . .

Blood of Eden series: “Red Lung decimated the human population. Vampires rose to rule the crumbling cities. Madmen seek to destroy what little civilization remains. Only Allison Sekemoto, former fringer-turned-vampire stands against them. This is the world of The Blood of Eden. This is Allie’s world…”

The Iron Fey series: “Meghan’s discovery of her Faery heritage opens up a whole new world to her – literally. The Nevernever has a geography all its own and its disparate, potentially deadly realms are yours to discover…”

Talon: “Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.”

All book descriptions are from Julie Kagawa’s webpage.

yaatoz22 150x150 YA A to Z: Maureen JohnsonJoin the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. 

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

YA A to Z: Maureen Johnson

 

Why I chose Maureen Johnson:

I got to meet John Green during his book tour for The Fault in Our Stars (shut up, this is relevant.) When I met him I thanked him for two things – one, everything he’s done to enrich the lives of teens, two, recommending that we follow Maureen Johnson on Twitter. Honestly, I feel it’s the best thing he’s ever given me.

On Twitter, Maureen lets her idiosyncrasies run rampant. One moment posting pictures of her adorable dog, the next going on about the Olive Garden on the moon, Maureen is nothing if not entertaining. But wait a few moments and you will get a brilliantly scathing take down of the latest article trashing YA literature. Or an engaging and convincing plea to assist in a great cause. Or a description of something or someone so unique that you feel that she must actually seek out these people and experiences in order to have material for her novels. In fact, I have often thought that the difference between Maureen and your average human is that when confronted with these people/circumstances, most of us work diligently to avoid them. Maureen seems to wade gleefully into the morass of humanity, delightedly exclaiming, “Oh! Look at this!” It shows in her novels.

Of everything she’s written, I am most fond of her Scarlett novels and the Shades of London series. Both feature characters you can easily imagine Maureen following down the street at a distance thinking, “That’s a little odd – I must see where this person goes!” Her plots are both lively and engaging, and her protagonists seem at once delightfully human and just a little bit ‘off.’ In the best possible way.

Brief Biography:

Maureen now lives in New York, but is a native of Philadelphia. She attended an all girl, Catholic high school and graduated from the University of Delaware. She has a graduate degree from Columbia University. She’s worked a variety of jobs ranging from the expected (editor) to the outlandish (working on a live tiger show in Las Vegas.) Looking for more detail? Check out her extended biography available at her website.

Books:

Shades of London series

  • The Name of the Star
  • The Madness Underneath
  • The Shadow Cabinet (upcoming)

The Ginny Blackstone Books

  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes
  • The Last Little Blue Envelope

The Scarlett Books

  • Suite Scarlett
  • Scarlett Fever

Stand Alone Novels

  • Girl at Sea
  • Devilish
  • The Key to the Golden Firebird
  • The Bermudez Triangle

And short stories in

  • Let it Snow
  • The Bane Chronicles
  • Vacations from Hell

You can find Maureen online:

If you like Maureen Johnson’s books, I’d recommend:

  • Stephanie Perkins
  • Justine Larbalestier
  • E. Lockhart
  • Rachel Cohn/David Levithan collaborations

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. 

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

 

YA A to Z: Rachel Hawkins

Why I chose Rachel Hawkins:

Excuse me for a moment while I fangirl… I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Rachel Hawkins! Her books are fantastic! Her twitter feed is hilarious! Just…just LOOK at that picture! Okay, I’ll try to contain myself. But sometimes I can’t even, y’all.

If I’m remembering correctly, I was first introduced to her book Hex Hall when it showed up in one of my Junior Library Guild deliveries. I was intrigued, so I read it. Fascinating, well developed characters, fast moving plot, plenty of reader engagement AND snappy dialogue?! Sign me up! I purchased two more immediately. Since then, I think I’ve had to purchase at least 4 more. She is quite the popular author amongst my students. I’m sure the booktalks I do of her books don’t hurt, but I have found a fantastic word of mouth underground trend in her fans. She followed it up with Demonglass which was that rarest of all gems – the second book of a trilogy that was not the typical narrative lull between a strong start and a bang up finish, but actually the best book significant measure. That was actually the first time I’d ever experienced that phenomenon.

My favorite Rachel Hawkins story is from her tour with Ally Carter. I’d been following them both avidly on Twitter for a while when they announced that they were being sent on tour together for a few stops, and it turned out that my fantastic local book store was to be one of their stops – oh, joy! Then, as the week before their arrival wore on, their tales from their tour got increasingly silly. I followed their adventures on Twitter as they got off at the wrong train stop and only realized when their driver had to come from a different state to pick them up. And then…when they got to my book store…they told us the whole story! I was in heaven! Just look at me.

Brief Biography:

Rachel is an Alabama girl who taught high school English for three years before she decided to take a chance on this whole writing thing. I think it’s worked out pretty well. She is married with an elementary aged son.

Books:

  • Hex Hall (2010)
  • Demonglass (2011)
  • Spellbound (2012)
  • School Spirits (2013)
  • Rebel Belle (2014) I reviewed this earlier.
  • Miss Mayhem (upcoming, April 2015)

You can find Rachel online:

@LadyHawkins on Twitter

On Tumblr

If you like Rachel Hawkins’ books, I’d recommend:

  • Ally Carter
  • Kiersten White
  • Louise Rennison
  • Sue Limb

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. 

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z

YA A to Z: E. Lockhart

Why I chose E. Lockhart:

I’m drawn to every single element of Lockhart’s books. I love her writing style, the narrative voices, the clever banter, and the way she can take totally ordinary plots (like just following a teenage girl—Ruby Oliver—through her high school travails) and make them memorable.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and the Ruby Oliver Quartet are my favorite (so I’m saying that more than half of the YA books she’s written fall under the category of “my favorite”? Yes, yes I am). Frankie is hard at work being a manipulative feminist prankster. Ruby is anxiously flailing her way through all of her relationships. And I’m riveted by both of these characters. Her characters are not perfect. They’re awkward and weird and I love them for that. These books look at what it means to be a teenage girl and the challenges and relationships that come with this time.

 

Brief biography (taken from the FAQ on her website; see the FAQ for more details, as well as her bio page for 21 facts about her):
Lockhart was born in New York City in 1967. She grew up in Cambridge, MA and Seattle, WA. She went to college at Vassar and grad school at Columbia. She has a doctorate in English literature with a focus on 19th century British novel and the history of British book illustration. She lives in the New York City area. She’s a full-time writer and teaches in a low-residency MFA program in Writing for Children at Hamline University.

 

YA books:

The Boyfriend List (2005)
Fly on the Wall (2006)
The Boy Book (2006)
Dramarama (2007)
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (2008)
How To Be Bad with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski (2008)
The Treasure Map of Boys (2009)
Real Live Boyfriends (2010)
We Were Liars (2014)

Many children’s books and two adult books, written under the name Emily Jenkins.

 

Find E. Lockhart online:

@elockhart

Website

Tumblr

Pinterest

Blog

Website (as Emily Jenkins)

 

If you like E. Lockhart, check out these authors:

Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, Gayle Forman, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Oliver, A.S. King, Stephanie Perkins, Corey Ann Haydu, Sarah Ockler, Morgan Matson

 

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. On Twitter, we’re @TLT16 and I’m@CiteSomething

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z