This week's topic is a tough one for me; "Top Ten Authors In X Genre". It would be easier for me to choose from genres I really like, but I like a challenge, so I'm going with a genre I don't often read. It's not that I don't like YA Contemporary, it's just that it happens to be a genre that (in my humble opinion) produced more crap that quality, and I don't have time to weed through it. That said, there are a few authors in this genre that I will read EVERYTHING and ANYTHING they write, so I wanted to give them props. (Click each author's name to go to their webpage.) Here goes...
YA Litwit's Top Ten Favorite YA Contemporary Authors
10. Laura Wiess~ I've only read two of her books, Ordinary Beauty and Such a Pretty Girl, but that's all I needed to know that I will read all of her other books, and anything she publishes in the future. She GETS it. Her writing absolutely rips your heart out and stays with you long after you are finished reading her books. If you haven't picked up anything by her, do it now.
9. Terra Elan McVoy~ Terra is a local author, and happens to be the first author I ever attended a signing for, but even if she wasn't, she would be on this list. Several years ago a bookish friend suggested I read her debut, Pure. I loved it! She really understands the mind and motivations of teenage girls, and she writes them in such a great way. She doesn't dumb down or sugar-coat. She digs deep into teen relationships with their peers, their significant others, and their parents, explores the highs and lows, and aptly expresses them. She's real and she has a light and energy that shines through in her books. I'm actually really excited for her upcoming book, Criminal, too. I can't wait to read how she writes another genre (Thiller). It's out in May of 2013.
8. Gayle Forman~ I contemplated leaving her off this list because she only has two well known books out, but I decided not to because those two books are two of the best books I've read in this genre. I loved If I Stay and Where She Went with all my heart. I read each one in one sitting, and ugly cried during both- we're talking snot-bubbles and swollen-face. I love how it all ended up and I can't wait to read her next story, Just One Day, out in January.
7. Maureen Johnson~ Maureen is smart and funny and sarcastic, and I just love her. She's written about a gazillion books, and I just love the way she writes. She manages to tackle some tough stuff without it ever seeming heavy. I laugh so much when I read her stories, but always walk away having gained something. Also, she is the BEST person ever to follow on Twitter.
6. Lauren Myracle~ Lauren writes both MG and YA and it is all worth reading. I love that my 11 year old has grown up with her, and that she continues to be her literary idol. Actually, grown-ups don't come much cooler than LM. I wish I could be her kid (as does my daughter). She also happens to be one of the most banned authors out there, but that is because she is real, and I really think teens appreciate that (even if some of their curmudgeonly parents don't). Her amazing book, Shine, was my favorite book of 2011 (read my review HERE).
5. Kody Keplinger~ It could be that she is practically a teenager herself, by I think Kody Keplinger is one of the most dialed in YA authors around. I have found her books easy to identify with when I think back to my teen years, and when I talk to kids who have read her books, I often hear that they feel like she could be writing about them or one of their friends. She is sharp and doesn't hold back. Add to that the fact that she is enormously talented for someone so young, and there is no other option but to expect amazing things in the future from her!
4. Stephanie Perkins~ There's YA Contemporary and then there's YA Contemporary Romance, and the latter is really not my thing, but I ADORE Stephanie Perkins. I very reluctantly read Anna and the French Kiss, after much cajoling from nearly every bookish friend I have, and I loved it. Then I read Lola and the Boy Next Door and it became clear that I would forever read everything she writes. I'm a total fangirl! She does YA Contemporary Romance like nobody else. All others in that category should bow down. I know that is a bold statement to make after only two books, but I dare you to read them and disagree...
3. David Levithan~ I very nearly bumped him up to the number one spot because of his latest book, Every Day (read my review HERE), which now sits near the top of my list of favorite books EVER (it holds a firm position as #1 of 2012), but when you look at the two authors above him, you'll understand... Still, some of my favorite YA Contemporary novels are by him or co-written by him (A dream of mine? For him to co-write a book with #9 on this list, his good buddy, Terra McVoy!), and really, if I could, my top three would be a three-way tie because I love them all (almost) equally. Honestly, it is like asking me which one of my three kids is my favorite; It depends on the day and my mood...
2. Ellen Hopkins~ I read every one of Ellen's books the minute they come out, but they usually have such a profound effect on me that it takes weeks, sometimes months to write my review. Sometimes I never write it because I can't articulate my thoughts. It is a fact that EVERY teen and most adults should read ALL of her books. She doesn't ever paint pretty pictures, but her books are no less beautiful for it. If you have never read anything by her, go ahead and put whatever you're reading now down (unless it's Every Day by David Levithan- you have my permission to finish IT...). I suggest Perfect because it is my favorite of her books (read my review HERE).
1. John Green~ The master of YA Contemporary. Nerdfighter extraordinaire. This guy rules, and if I had to guess, I would say that every author on this list would agree with me that he deserves to top it. He doesn't have as many books under his belt as some of the other authors on this list, but everything I've read by him has had a profound effect on me in one way or another; has changed the way I look at the world and relationships. In fact, if you look back on my past Top Ten Tuesday posts, you will see his books over and over again. John Green's books are fantastic and they get better with each new one.
So there is my Top Ten Favorite YA Contemporary Authors. Do you agree? Did I miss anyone? I would love to hear your thoughts!
And one more thing... I wanted to mention a few YA Contemporary authors to watch out for. Authors on this list only have one YA Contemporary published (they may have books from other genres, but I'm not counting those), and they were so good, I felt they deserved a mention...
John Corey Whaley~ In my opinion, his debut, Where Things Come Back, was the most underrated book of 2011 (read my review HERE). I know it won awards and stuff, but it just didn't get the love, attention, and praise from the blogger community that I thought it should have. It was brilliant and touching and funny. Plus, he is just adorable.
**Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for a SIGNED copy of Lauren Oliver's fabulous new book, THE SPINDLERS! Click HERE to enter! US/CAN. Ends 10/20/2012.**