Devour This Now
Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, made in Glasgow, Scotland since 1890…get a box from Cost Plus World Market and sit down to read the following titles:
YA New School Fantasy (As in Women Kicking UKW):
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson Graphic novel, aka fine art. Also read her series Lumberjanes. www.gingerhaze.com
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie Serious sea creatures, sweaty hot enemy to lover f/f tension. Did I mention pirates? Yes, please. www. skrutskie.com
The Girl at Midnight and The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey Scales, feathers, BFFs, forbidden love, adventure, magic, old cities, witty banter. Oh, my. www.melissa-grey.com
YA with Unreliable Narrators: Be prepared to throw these books across the room when you get to the end. In a good way.
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke (Be advised content may be best for teens 14+) www.apriltucholke.com
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart www.emilylockhart.com
YA with Voice, Voice, Voice: Writers are told, “I cannot describe voice, but I know it when I read it.” Here are two examples.
Mosquitoland by David Arnold www.davidarnoldbooks.com
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell Just read everything she has ever written, please. www.rainbowrowell.com
YA Must Reads (A bit different from the rest):
Chime by Franny Billingsley—evocative, strange, lovely, sad and yet hopeful, where witches and fairies and villians are never what they seem. Ever. You won’t see the twists coming.
The Across the Universe Trilogy by Beth Revis—put yourself in cryo-freeze and hold on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride through space, and not because of what’s outside the ship. For lovers of old-school science fiction, like Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein and J. Vinge. (If you haven’t heard of these writers, send me an email, I mean it.)
Other YA Must Reads (I Love Love Love):
An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir: www.sabaatahir.com
The Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: www.leighbardugo.com
**The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown: pierce-brown.com
The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie: www.allysoncondie.com
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: www.marissameyer.com
**YA or not YA? That is the question. Discuss.
Kickin’ It Old School YA/MG:
If you haven’t yet read any Cynthia Voigt, put down what you are reading and start with Homecoming, Dicey’s Song, and Izzy, Willy-Nilly. Your belly will know hunger, your heart will understand longing, and her characters will become a part of you forever.
Kickin’ It Old School YA (Maybe? More Like All Ages) Fantasy:
That is has been twenty years since the first book of Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, was published does not seem possible. Hollywood tried to make a movie version of Lyra’s lush, terrifying, mystical and philosophical journey some years back–I wish they hadn’t tried. No place but the human imagination can go where Mr. Pullman takes you, so take yourself there. Now.
The Middle Grade Series That Helped Me Become a Writer:
You’ll have heard of L.M. Montgomery and a plucky redhead named Anne of Green Gables, but you may not have heard of a moody, pale, elfin girl named Emily of New Moon. Find her three books and discover what it feels like to be compelled to write, to burn with a desire to weave stories at any cost. I re-read these books every few years to remind myself that the horrors of school bullies and being an outcast with a bad haircut existed even at the turn of last century.
Non-YA Must Reads, Fantasy Edition:
Queen of the Tearing and The Invasion of the Tearling, the first two books by Erika Johansen in a planned trilogy–I wasn’t so sure about Kelsea as a heroine at first, but keep reading. By the time you dive into book two, figure out what the Crossing is and hear Lily’s story you will be RIPPING through the pages. Last book coming out in November!
The Bone Season and The Mime Order, the first two books in a seven volume series by Samantha Shannon—the most complex, intelligent, thrilling and fully realized world of ‘magic’-made real since Tolkien invented several languages and a few thousand years of back story. Just dive in and try not to feel like a lesser human because you’re not a voyant. (And yet I do, I do. I think I want to be a Binder.)
The Magicians, by Lev Grossman, is where the trilogy begins. I haven’t finished all three because I am still recovering from the first one. I mean, seriously, real magic and real adult relationships and real emotional wreckage, all dropped into a violent Narnia-like world? I need time.