Friday, August 31, 2012

contemporary ya questions

I found this book survey over at the tumblr Bookshop.Girl (yes, another survey/meme thing okay, I know, I like these).  The topic is YA contemporary (realistic) fiction and it's so impossible for me to choose just one for each of these questions, so I'm going to choose 2-3.

Also, I'm not going to repeat any books (because there are so many good ones), even if a book fits into multiple answers for me.

1. Favorite YA contemporary novel? 
(Please note here that it was really, really hard to narrow this down even to three. But these are the ones that I probably have the deepest love for.)
serafina67 *urgently requires life*, by Susie Day - This one is my absolute favorite YA novel in the sense that I can read it again and again, flip open to random pages and passages, and always end up smiling. I love it.
Sweethearts, by Sara Zarr - In addition to being truly one of the masterpieces of YA lit and character-driven novels this one also has my all-time favorite quote from a novel. (I've mentioned that before.)
The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen - I believe this was probably the first YA novel I read, or at least one of the first, and in reading it I found an incredible author as well as the sort of sweet, emotional, character-driven stories that I wanted to write.

2. Contemporary YA that deserves more recognition?
After the Kiss, by Terra Elan McVoy - This author in general deserves more recognition. Of course I have no idea how many readers are actually reading her books, but it's pretty rare for me to see them on blogs and she's got such a unique voice. After the Kiss is by far my favorite of hers and I'd love to see more people reading it.
What Happens Here, by Tara Altebrando - I just... sigh. I know this one is a few years old (maybe more than a few? I don't know), but it's a brilliant little book and one that I absolutely love. A unique, yet straightforward take on "grief YA" before If I Stay or Twenty Boy Summer came about.
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, by Erin McCahan - This one is just so different from so much of what's out there. The writing and characters are top-notch and it's got that slightly-literary quality I just love.

3. What contemporary YA novel made you the saddest?
Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler - It's rare for me to all-out sob over a book, but this one had me in major tears by page 18. And while it definitely has a lot to do with the specifics of how/why Matt died, it still totally counts. A very personal kind of sadness.
Hold Still, by Nina LaCour - This book went beyond sad. It went deep into the psyche of an incredibly depressed girl and it was just impossible not to feel for her and what she went through.
Fall For Anything, by Courtney Summers - Gut-wrenching is all I can say.

4. Cutest contemporary YA you've ever read?
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. Honestly, nothing else even comes close.

5. What contemporary YA made you feel all of the feels?
Love and Other Perishable Items, by Laura Buzo - This one's actually not out yet but OMG, guys. Way more emotion and way more complexness than I was expecting.
We'll Always Have Summer, by Jenny Han - The whole series really, but this last book really tied everything together and brought it to a new level of emotional-ness. Is that a word? I don't know.

6. Who is your favorite character from a contemporary YA?
Kurt Brodsky, from Leverage, by Joshua C. Cohen - THIS GUY IS WAY AMAZING.

7. What character do you relate to the most?
Well, my real answer would be one of the characters from a book I've already mentioned, but since I'm trying not to repeat books I'm going to choose a second choice.
Ari, from Other Words for Love, by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal - Quiet, loyal, etc etc. I saw so much of myself in this character.
Eleanor Crowe, from Pregnant Pause, by Han Nolan - Not her situation (pregnant teen), but certain aspects of Eleanor's personality just reminded me so, so much of myself.

8. What contemporary YA surprised you the most?
Fangirl, by Ken Baker - Another one that's not out yet (October!); I expected a cute story from this one but did not expect it to be so incredibly well-executed or for me to absolutely obsessively love it as much as I do.

9. Why do you enjoy the contemporary fiction genre?
So many reasons. I like finding characters I can relate to, like to see how they handle situations, like getting a glimpse of a life that's maybe not mine but that's real enough that it could be somebody's life. I've always loved reading about people, emotions, and relationships more than anything else, and contemporary YA offers character-driven, emotional stories in spades.

10. What contemporary YA are you most looking forward to being released this year?
Honestly the two books I'm most looking forward to are ones I've already read the ARC of, but I'm also really wanting to get my hands on a copy of:
Meant to Be, by Lauren Morrill - It looks adorable and great in a sort of retro way (this is just from the cover, mind you), and I love the whole idea behind it. High hopes.

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