Before I post my first book review I thought I would make a list of my favourite YA authors, because chances are, they will make frequent appearances in the future. They fall into the I-will-read-whatever-they-write-even-if-it’s-boring category. I compiled two lists, the first includes writers with standalone titles, the second features writers with multiple books in a series.
Standalone YA authors:
1. Meg Cabot
I know, I know, most of Meg Cabot’s books are aimed at a younger audience and are part of a series, but I still put her on this list. My Princess Diaries days might be far behind me, but I can’t deny that is where it all started. 10-year-old me loved those books and still opens them every once in a while. It reminds me of a time when life was so much simpler and sometimes it feels good to get back to that.
2. Sarah Dessen
And that leads me to the be all and end all of standalone YA for me, the amazing Sarah Dessen. Her book Just listen was one of my first ‘real’ YA books, can’t even remember how many times I’ve re-read it. It deals with heavier issues like eating disorders and sexual assault without the gory details that scare off younger readers. It’s exactly the kind of book teenage girls should be reading. And there is also Owen Armstrong the obscure-music-loving radio show host with anger issues who is totally the male version of me (minus the radio show host part). That doesn’t hurt either.
3. John Green
I really don’t feel like I need to explain this one, do I? Every book reading teen loves at least one of John Green’s books, even if you aren’t into sad endings like the one in The fault in our stars or in Looking for Alaska. I’ve read all of them, my all-time favourite is still An abundance of Katherines with Colin Singleton and his love of anagrams. Franz Ferdinand = Fred N. Dinzanfar still cracks me up.
4. David Levithan
Hmmm. I know books about gay relationships aren’t for everyone. I’m not getting into that here. What I CAN honestly say with absolute certainty is, that if it isn’t deal breaker for you or if it is something you’re still trying to make up your mind about, David Levithan is where you should start. Not Glee. Or any other TV show that tries to ‘shock’ you by shoving it in your face. I think that’s the wrong approach. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes writing a truly beautiful and honest story about two people falling in love who happen two share the same gender is enough. I think YA authors in general who are willing to tackle this kind of story do a lot more to raise awareness and don’t get half the credit. Like I said, if you’re willing to keep an open my mind, go pick up a David Levithan book. ANY DAVID LEVITHAN BOOK. Even the not-so-good-ones are amazing.
YA series authors (pretty much the fantasy/paranormal romance/dystopian/sci-fi writers)
1. J.K. Rowling
She’s the Meg Cabot of this list. She is where my love of fantasy started. I got the first Harry Potter book when I was 10, way after everyone else in our fourth grade class. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then I opened the first page, and the rest as they say is history. It’s still the perfect series for me, the one I judge all others by.
2. Richelle Mead
Something you should know about me: I LOVE ALL THINGS RICHELLE MEAD. Seriously. Can’t even express how much. Be it Georgina Kincaid or Vampire Academy. And don’t even get me started on Bloodlines and you-know-who… This needs to be said, because I obsessively keep up with even the smallest things she does and I can totally see myself devoting entire blog entries in the future about the awesomeness that is Sydney and Adrian. I’m not kidding. I have a lot of feels. At times I actively have to remind myself to keep breathing until Silver shadows gets here. Centrum permanebit.
3. Cassandra Clare
She’s another author besides Richelle who’s probably among most fantasy-loving teen’s favorites. She also gets a lot of credit from me for creating Alec and Magnus. And not just because they’re adorable.
4. Beth Revis
Beth Revis. Wow. The biggest compliment I can give to an author is if I totally fall head over heels for a story that by no means should appeal to me. That is how I feel about the Across the universe trilogy. I don’t like science fiction. I don’t like books that take place on space ships or alien planets. And honestly, I can’t even say that I have the sudden urge to start reading other science fiction novels. But I will definitely read ANYTHING Beth Revis ever writes in the future. She’s that awesome. Highly recommended.
5. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
I know they are two separate people and have their respective trilogies on the way now, but I’ve only read the Caster Chronicles so I’m counting them as one. It’s one of the few fantasy series I’ve read that’s almost exclusively told from a male’s perspective. That’s always a plus for me. And call me crazy but Liv and John gave me serious Sydney and Adrian vibes which is never a bad thing.
6. Maggie Stiefvater
Her gorgeous writing style isn’t the only reason Maggie Stiefvater is on this list. She is one of the very few YA authors I know of who came to sign books in Budapest (Simone Elkeles is another). That may not seem like a big deal to many readers who live in the U.S. but the rest of us outside of it, especially this far, who may never get the chance to meet authors or get signed copies know what I’m talking about. IT MEANS A LOT. SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU. Especially in a small country like Hungary, this IS a big deal. You can check out her blog entry on the subject here.
I know many currently popular authors are missing from the list especially among the series authors like Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White, Marie Lu, Veronica Roth, Veronica Rossi just to name a FEW (seriously just a few, because there are hundreds out there), but most of them I’ve only read one book from, or are on my reading list, so I didn’t feel comfortable including them. But I’ll review all of the ones I get to read in the future.